Virtual Tabletop Game Pieces

Posted in EpicTable Development, Screenshots on November 17, 2008 at 2:02 am

I’ve been talking about dice an awful lot lately, so here’s something a little different. Recently, I’ve been playing Primetime Adventures and reading a lot of other Indie games, and these games have an interesting set of needs. Often, instead of maps, the players need to be able to move game pieces around on a surface. For instance, Primetime Adventures has fanmail tokens, Universalis and Don’t Rest Your Head use coins, and so on.

EpicTable’s Virtual Tabletop Surface

Here’s an example of EpicTable’s general purpose tabletop. Now would be a fine time to click on that screenshot to get a better view….
What you’re looking at is a close-cropped view of the virtual tabletop. Instead of a map, you have a tabletop with a smattering of game pieces. The ribbon control at the top of the window contains galleries of table surfaces and game pieces from which you can choose. You can drag these around the virtual tabletop, stack them, clone them, and so on. Certain items such as dice—a few of which you can see hanging out on the right side of the screen—have additional actions that you can take; for instance, rolling them.

Questions and Answers

Will EpicTable come with any game pieces or table surfaces?
Yes. EpicTable will ship with a set of table surfaces, which currently include various types of wood, cloth, leather, and parchment. There will be some metal too for sci-fi games. Game pieces include coins, colored stones, and fanmail tokens.

Will I be able to add my own game pieces and surfaces?
Will there be RPG-centric or game-specific game pieces?
Yes. Fanmail is fairly common and Brennen had already created a fanmail game piece, so that’s there already. I plan to let add-ons for specific games add their own resources as well.
Can I resize, rotate, and stack these game pieces?
Yes, yes, and yes. There may be some exceptions—it might be awkward to stack dice, for instance, if you can roll several at once.
Will there be support for cards?
Yes—I’m just not promising when. Cards weren’t part of the initial EpicTable version 1.0 plan, and I’m running a bit behind on that 1.0 release, so I really don’t want to add cards to 1.0. (But I really want to add cards to 1.0.)
Those galleries look a little small….
They’ve auto-shrunk because I resized the window to get a smaller screenshot and still get the whole ribbon in. They normally show five items across. The arrow keys allow you to scroll through items, and the lower arrow key pops open a window showing more at a time. In addition, the galleries support filtering, so if you’re only interested in coins, for instance, you can filter out the stones, fanmail, etc. All this applies to the table surfaces too.

Here’s an example:

Closing Thoughts

As always, I appreciate any questions and feedback that you have. Please chime in on the forum via the comments link below.

Credits and Sources: Die images and fanmail token by Brennen Reece. Coins, stones and textures from iStockphoto.

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