Alpha 8

Posted in EpicTable Development on September 15, 2010 at 12:52 am

No, you didn’t miss anything. I haven’t started the beta yet, and the alpha is really just my own gaming group. However, I thought I’d give you an update on how things are going. I don’t want to rub salt into any “give it to me now!” wounds you might have, and that’s part of why I’m just now telling you that I’m on my 8th alpha build, but I know you’re curious, so….

I’m working towards the beta–which essentially means firming up features demoed at Gen Con last month and dealing with any issues that come up in the alpha. The way I’ve been handling the alpha is to try to get a new build out each week for my group’s Monday night game–which is why I’m up to alpha-8. As soon as it’s pretty stable and pretty complete, I’ll shift to beta. Still shooting for this Fall.

Okay, so this Monday’s game was using EpicTable alpha-8. We’re playing Diaspora, a hard sci-fi RPG using the FATE system. One of the interesting things about Diaspora is the abstract encounter maps. Check out this map that Brennen made for a combat encounter on the beach. We’re using stones (provided with EpicTable) on a tabletop for enemies and our characters. (Guess which is which.)

This worked out pretty well. We had the map zones there, predefined on this backing image, and then moved the stones around to track tactical positioning. Next week we should have character tokens (there’s an issue with transferring character portraits and tokens to other participants in this build). Also in the interest of full disclosure, Bryan had a communication issue that kept him from seeing this map. A later test with just Bryan and I worked just fine, so I have some hope that this is all Brennen’s fault. 😉

The EpicTable dice roller was helpful. Lots of 4dF + modifier rolls in FATE. I found that my modifiers don’t change that much, so I created a couple saved rolls that I used over and over. As you can see, authoring a virtual tabletop doesn’t get you special treatment from the dice!

I experimented with using an index card on the table as a primitive character sheet. It actually worked pretty well, but we found a formatting problem (every time Brennen edited a card, it lost all its line breaks).

Next week, I hope to replace the stones with character tokens, figure out the issue with Bryan’s connectivity in Brennen’s game, and have nice, formatted text that Brennen doesn’t break for the character sheet.

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