Introducing EpicTable 1.3

Posted in Announcements on August 22, 2014 at 12:24 am

EpicTable 1.3 is available for download. This is a free upgrade for all licensed EpicTable users, and it’s completely backwards compatible with 1.2.

Those of you who visited us at Gen Con already got to see the new features in this release. (And for you guys who bought EpicTable at Gen Con, this release is slightly updated from the one you have, so you’ll want to update when you get a chance.)

You can simply install this version over top of your existing one. Or if you’re ultra-cautious, you can install it side-by-side with your existing EpicTable.

Go ahead and download the latest version of EpicTable while you read about the changes.

Free the Tabs!

The primary focus of this release was letting you move tabs. Reorder them—which was a longstanding request—and more importantly, undock them and allow them to be dragged to a secondary display. This feature lets you drag any map or tabletop to a secondary display, either for your own use or for the players’ use. Using this capability, you can put a map on a big screen TV or a projector.

Open Player View

Player View

Dragging tabs around is pretty cool, but Player View unlocks a key scenario—using fog of war and putting the player’s view on a big screen or projector while you sit behind your laptop screen with the GM view. Now, you can do just that.

Ribbon Reorganization

A secondary focus of this release was making map and tabletop tabs more useful and their associated menus less confusing. One thing that’s been a bit confusing is that maps and tabletops are basically the same thing, at some level. You can put things on them, move things around on them, fog of war and grids work on both of them, and so on. However, the ribbon separated them because I’ve always thought of maps and tabletops as distinct concepts. I still do, but having some options under “Maps” and some options under “Tabletops” was misleading and confusing, and hid a lot of power from you unless you were adventurous enough to try map options on tabletops and vice-versa. In this new version, the “Maps” and “Tabletops” ribbon pages are consolidated and actions and settings common to both are extracted into their own tabs.

1.3 - Maps and Tabletops tab

1.3 Actions and Properties tab

Wrap Up

There are a handful of bug fixes in 1.3 as well. For a full list of changes, check out the What’s New page.


EpicTable Seminar at Gen Con 2014

Posted in Announcements on July 31, 2014 at 11:23 pm

EpicTable will be at Gen Con again this year, and I’m trying something new. I’m going to be conducting a seminar: “Using EpicTable to Keep Your Gaming Group Together Online or Enhance Your Face-to-Face Games”. I’m considering attending a seminar on concise naming of seminars. If you’re going to be at Gen Con, here are some excellent reasons to check it out:

  1. I’m afraid that if I’m conducting a seminar to an empty room, I might appear crazy.
  2. It’s free, and it’s not a sales pitch. I’m going to be talking about how to use EpicTable and the rest of the online gaming ecosystem to play online. I plan to cover basic things like VOIP vs. text chat and how I organize my handouts, tokens, and other resources, how I chunk up maps, how I use multiple displays for player vs. GM views, etc.
  3. I’ll tailor the seminar to the people in the room. You have the opportunity to ask questions, and I’ll demonstrate things live.
  4. Someone is going to win one of these spiffy new EpicTable t-shirts.

orc-t-shirt-mockup

Whether or not you can attend, please let me know what topics you’d like me to cover and offer your own tips for working with EpicTable, or for gaming online in general. As the developer of EpicTable, I’m sure I’m blind to all kinds of cool stuff you guys do that I’ve never thought of. Post your ideas in the EpicTable forum on Facebook or G+.

The seminar is SEM1460143. It’s on Saturday, August 16th, from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and it’s in the “Chamber” room of the Westin hotel, which is next door to the convention center. I hope to see you there.


EpicTable 1.2.2 Fixes Startup and Game Loading Bugs

Posted in Announcements on March 14, 2014 at 4:45 am

A couple people reported problems in EpicTable startup or game loading in 1.2.1.
In the one case, EpicTable silently exited before it even displayed the start page. In another case, EpicTable would fail to load a game, displaying the mysterious error, “No mapping for file C: under root.” These are both fixed in EpicTable 1.2.2, available now.

My apologies to the folks affected, and thank you so much for working with me to get this resolved.
— John


EpicTable 1.2.1 – Retries

Posted in Announcements on February 26, 2014 at 10:16 pm

I know some of you have been interested in EpicTable but waiting for fog of war. If you’ve evaluated EpicTable and you’re interested in taking it for another spin now that it has fog of war, now’s your chance. With this 1.2.1 release there’s a refreshed evaluation license, so you have another chance to try it out.

In addition, I’ve addressed a bug in the feature that lets you tell EpicTable where to store your data. It didn’t impact new games or new resources, but it caused EpicTable to “lose” resources created before changing the data location. That’s taken care of in this release.

If you want more trial time, or if you’re changing your EpicTable data location and have existing games, get EpicTable 1.2.1.


EpicTable 1.2 Released!

Posted in Announcements on February 24, 2014 at 9:39 pm

EpicTable 1.2 is available now. The main feature of this release is Fog of War, but there are some other goodies as well. EpicTable 1.2 is a free upgrade for 1.x customers. Download EpicTable 1.2 while you read about it!

Fog of War

EpicTable’s Fog of War lets the GM control what the players can see on a map or tabletop. It’s equally useful for hiding unexplored areas of a map or for hiding GM only notes or images on a tabletop. EpicTable accomplishes this through the concept of “zones”—areas the GM defines on the fly or ahead of time and can make hidden or revealed to the players.

The new Fog of War tab on the ribbon is available to the GM only, and it has extensive tooltip help.

If you haven’t already, check out the video tutorial demonstrating EpicTable’s Fog of War.

 

 

Configurable Data Folder

Do you prep on one machine and play on another? I do. Have you gotten a new computer since you started using EpicTable? I have. Previously, these were difficult situations because moving your EpicTable data was tricky. Now, at the start menu, there’s a new configuration button.

EpicTable-StartPage-ConfigurationButton

 

Right now, the only thing configurable from this page is the EpicTable data folder. This allows you to change where your EpicTable data is stored. I put mine in a subfolder of my DropBox folder, for instance, so all of my machines have the same EpicTable data!

A word of caution, however: don’t have two computers trying to use that data at the same time. This feature is for sharing between your machines, only one of which is using EpicTable at any one time. If you do otherwise, you’ll have two EpicTables stomping on each other’s data.

 

Wrap Up

There are a handful of bug fixes in 1.2 as well. For a full list of changes, check out the What’s New page.

EpicTable 1.2 is intended as a free update to EpicTable users. If you’ve already tried EpicTable and decided not to buy because it didn’t have Fog of War, give it another shot. If your trial has expired, let me know, and I’ll extend it so you can take 1.2 for a spin.


EpicTable 1.1.2 Released

Posted in Announcements on August 23, 2013 at 2:11 am

EpicTable 1.1.2 is available. It contains fixes for bugs reported via email, forum and the automated error reporting mechanism in EpicTable. Thanks to everyone who took the time to submit these. All of the auto-reported issues are fixed in this release, as well as most of the other issues reported against 1.1. The only things outstanding, in terms of 1.1 issues, are an issue with non-US keyboards and some functionality omitted from the dice tray, relative to 1.0. You’ll want to grab this one. It is, of course, a free update. For full details, see “What’s New”.


EpicTable 1.1 revision

Posted in Announcements on August 15, 2013 at 2:39 am

Due to a couple issues with handouts and backwards compatibility from 1.0, I’ve created a revision to 1.1. The latest is 1.1.1.0, and it’s available via all the standard download link. Just run the install over top of your existing EpicTable installation.


EpicTable 1.1 Released

Posted in Announcements on August 13, 2013 at 12:13 am

EpicTable 1.1 is out and I think you’re really going to like it. My group has been playing with various incarnations of 1.1 for awhile now, and I certainly wouldn’t go back. There are several bug fixes, some feature requests, an upgrade of the messaging layer, and little bits of added polish here or there, but the release revolves around my replacing the technology underlying maps and tabletops.

EpicTable is a free upgrade for 1.0 customers. For those of you with expired trials, there’s a fresh trial included, so you’ll get another 30 days to decide on EpicTable.

Download EpicTable 1.1 while you read about it!

Map and Tabletop Improvements

  • Scrollbars are present on maps and tabletops now, so you no longer need mysterious hand icons or mouse gestures…or hand gestures, for that matter.
  • You can directly edit notecards, text fields, and rich text notes instead of always having to popup an edit dialog. For rich text notes, you’re still somewhat limited in what you can edit without popping up the edit dialog, because there wasn’t time to build a new rich edit toolbar for 1.1, but for quick edits, you don’t need the dialog anymore.
  • Only opaque portions of objects are clickable. No more will we suffer the tyranny of transparent obstruction! If you can’t see it, it can’t hurt you. Or, you know, you can’t click it, so it won’t block the thing you’re really trying to click.
  • Any note or text object can be transparent. Just as we bring transparency to heel, we encourage it. You can now make any of the note-like objects partially transparent (or I suppose, fully transparent, but…see the previous item.)
  • Anything on the map or tabletop can have a dropshadow or a border. Feel free to overdo this and see if Brennen (EpicTable’s Visual Advisor) comes after you. (Hint: Borders are really nice for indicating character status. Dropshadows are really just visual candy.
  • You can resize groups of selected objects. Make a bunch of your dice on the tabletop bigger or smaller, for instance.
  • Drop indicator on snap-to-grid maps: A semi-transparent highlight makes it easy to see where you’re about to drop your token. It’s size-aware too, so the days of trying to figure out just where that ogre was going to land are gone.

Major Drawing Improvements

  • You can move objects and drawings at the same time.
  • There is no more Drawing Mode! It’s hard to overstate the joy behind that statement. Going in and out of drawing mode was a source of a couple tough-to-find memory issues and the cause of some general clunkiness and quirkiness. Now, the tabletop is the tabletop–no separate little universe in which you can draw things before returning to the here and now.
  • Quick! Return to select. You don’t have to go to the Drawing tab to put down your pen. The little “Select” arrow in upper left of the EpicTable window takes you back to select mode.
  • Gallery of predefined pens and brushes, so you don’t have to mess around if you just want to grab a pen or brush and go.
  • User-defined gallery of pens and brushes. Don’t like my choice in pens and brushes? Create your own. EpicTable will save them in a gallery on the Drawing tab.
  • Pens and brushes are pressure-sensitive. So, if you have the right hardware (like a Wacom tablet, the source of my hopes-dashing post about “tablet support”), your lines will be thinner or thicker depending on how hard you press. (At least one of you is excited about that.)
  • Eliminated scrolling and zooming issues encountered when moving back and forth between draw mode and normal mode. You got the part about Drawing Mode being evil, right? This was more of the evil. There were things you couldn’t do very well with respect to scrolling and zooming if you were drawing. That’s all fixed up now. Scroll, zoom, draw, whatever you like.

Networking improvements

  • New messaging server: EpicTable is now running on the latest version of the cloud messaging server it uses. This should yield better performance and better reliability. And it’s not bleeding- edge-no-one-is-using-this-yet new. It’s been out for awhile and only new to EpicTable. It has much better monitoring tools in use by the team that handles the messaging service, and while they’ve been great about support, I expect they’re quite happy to have EpicTable off their old release.
  • Participant status lights: Really just a taste things to come, these little lights in the lower-left corner of EpicTable’s main window help you to see who’s having trouble and who’s okay. It’s very coarse-grained right now, but it’s a possible area of enhancement in the future. I think it would be really cool to click on one of the little lights and bring up all sorts of stats about that user’s connectivity–are their messages delayed? Are they slower or faster than the norm? Are they still downloading resource? Having trouble? The thing that keeps me away from that is that you don’t need it very often. (And one hopes, even less often now.)
  • Better tracking of content “in-flight” and better handling of long-running content retrievals. You can’t see this–though it would be incredibly cool to give you a visual of all the content being transferred. Despite the fact that you can’t see any indication of it, the way content retrievals are done is better. There are still some things I want to do in this area, in a later 1.x release, but it’s improved relative to 1.0.
  • Better color rendering: It should probably be a rule that the colorblind developer doesn’t write the dice color changer…but when you’re the only developer… It’s better now–more true to the colors in the color picker.
  • Default values for exploding rolls: Just a minor thing, but one of those gnawing ones. You used to have to mess with a couple different settings to build an exploding dice roll. Now, the default is, if you’re exploding, you’re exploding on the high value of the die, and you’re exploding as long as you continue to roll that value. You can still configure it differently, but for this most common case, it exploding dice are just born that way.

Chat

  • Whisper indicators: Chat whispers are now indicated as such on the whisperer’s screen, so he can see what was whispered and what was said to the group.
  • Whisper target names: Both the player name and the character name are shown now, so you don’t confuse Bob playing Orrin with Karen playing Dorrin…as easily.

Wrap-up

Whew. That was a lot. I don’t intend 1.2 to take so long. It was really the wholesale replacement of the tabletop and mapping technology that made it take so long, but that’s also why the change is so profound and so satisfying. I’m really happy with 1.1, and I hope you will be too. It’s a free upgrade, and there’s a lot to love. If you want issue by issue details, you can check out the What’s New page.


EpicTable / Frozen North Holiday Bundle!

Posted in Announcements, Gaming Accessories on December 23, 2012 at 1:25 am

Yetis! White Dragons! Polar Bears!

I’ve been after DevinNight for awhile to finish up his latest token set, “The Frozen North”. Not only has he done so in time for the holidays, but he’s managed to work in some of those yetis I was pestering him for. 😉

To celebrate, I’ll be running a holiday promotion. From now until the end of the year, anyone who purchases EpicTable will get “The Frozen North” token set FREE!

Check out the details and some previews from “The Frozen North” in the EpicTable Store.


A Hoard of Content for EpicTable Owners!

Posted in Announcements, Gaming Accessories on October 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I’m happy to announce that EpicTable is a backer of the Kickstarter, “Game Master’s Campaign Fantasy Art Kit”. If you haven’t seen this yet, definitely check it out. Artist Raymond Gaustadnes has created a treasure trove of tokens and map tiles and other game art that’s going to really give your virtual tabletop a boost. Whether you’re looking for monster tokens, character tokens, or dungeon dressing for your battle map, you’re going to find something here.

Better yet, every time I check in on the kickstarter, he’s added more–it just keeps getting more valuable. If we could just trick him into letting the kickstarter run another couple months…. 😉

What does this all mean to you as an EpicTable user? Well, if you’re a licensed user of EpicTable, you’ll get the base fantasy art kit from the kickstarter as artwork integrated into EpicTable! Additionally, if you back the kickstarter, Raymond’s going to upgrade you to the next higher reward tier for free. Check out the details at the “Game Master’s Campaign Fantasy Art Kit” Kickstarter site! But don’t wait too long–there are only a few days left!


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