EpicTable 1.1 Preview #4 – Drop Shadows

Posted in EpicTable Development, Screenshots on March 7, 2013 at 3:27 am


Long ago, a very wise artist/designer/musician, in between trying to coerce me into implementing playing cards, entered a feature request for drop shadows. I had them for some types of notes, but under the old technology I was using, it was just to difficult/time-consuming to implement drop shadows for everything. Now, though, with the new tech going into EpicTable 1.1 for other reasons, drop shadows are quick enough to implement that I can make good on this long-standing promise to “look into it”.

They do add a little spiffiness…. Notice that they’re not limited to rectangular objects like the 1.0 shadows.

It’s less obvious, but borders are at work here as well. The dark grey border around the image of the girl is EpicTable’s doing. Essentially, as I add the 1.0 objects to the 1.1 tabletop, I’m hooking up the Format tab, which in 1.0 is active only for text fields. This gives you access to borders and shadows and other visual tweaks to the objects on the tabletop.

Don’t worry—I’ll get on to more important stuff, like cards and vision/fog-of-war, but as I’m hooking things back up, it doesn’t take that long to add some consistency and polish that 1.0 was lacking.

EpicTable 1.1 Preview #3: Notecards

Posted in EpicTable Development, Screenshots on March 4, 2013 at 2:00 am

NewIndexCardsEpicTable has had notecards for a long time. But they’ve always been very plain. The text fields in EpicTable 1.0 are all kinds of fancy, but that’s not the case for the other objects in this weird trio made up of notecards, rich text notes, and text fields.

They’re distinct partly because they’re used differently and partly because they were implemented at different times. The downside of their being distinct is that when I made text objects super cool, I couldn’t easily do that for rich text notes and notecards. Now, in the technology overhaul tabletops are getting for 1.1, I have to change these objects anyway. While I’m doing that, I’m taking the opportunity to unify these concepts. From a code perspective, these are all going to be the same thing. That’s good for you, because it means that all these note-like objects will get the same treatment that text fields have in 1.0. As you can see here, notecards get a significant boost in functionality as a result.

There will still be some out-of-the box presets for notecards vs. text fields, for instance, but you’ll have a lot of customizability, and you’ll be able to save your creations. So, if you love mint green notecards, you may applaud now.

Beta 13 Screenshots!

Posted in EpicTable Development, Screenshots on November 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Hi all!  Here’s a new batch of screenshots, taken from beta 13.

These are also up on flickr and facebook.  One could reasonably ask “why here and facebook and flickr?”  Mostly, I just can’t decide how best to present them. I really like the way the Windows Live galleries integrate effortlessly into the site. EpicTable already had a facebook presence, but I like the way flickr presents them better, and I can’t leave well enough alone. 

It’s the same set of screenshots, so your choice:

Old School Hack Annotated Screenshot #2: Hand-Drawn Map and Tokens

Posted in EpicTable Development, Screenshots on April 27, 2011 at 11:45 pm

This is the second post in a series of annotated screenshots from an Old School Hack campaign I’m involved in.   Brennen is the GM, Bryan and Brian, are the players.    If you missed the first post in this series…um..well, that was the link, so I guess I’ll just get on with it.

Hand-Drawn Map and Tokens

Brennen drew a quick map and scanned it in.   As much as I give Brennen a hard time about hassling me for ad-hoc drawing tools, he’s right—they’re necessary, and I want them too.  I “drew” a river with blue stones in a session, which is something I don’t want to ever repeat.  Over the Easter holiday, I prototyped some drawing support….  Ah, but until then…Brennen draws maps and scans them in.  He then sets them as his background on a tabletop or a map.  (There’s really no difference except a map can have a grid, and will be able to support vision later—actually supports it now, but it’s turned off in the beta thus far, because vision opens up a whole new can of worms.)

The tokens here are an accidental variety.  We have a couple of square ones, which is the result of a couple of us setting the same image for portrait and token.  (One of us should have known better.  One of us wrote the code that creates a pog-style token from the portrait, if you don’t supply a token.)  The wolf token is an example of EpicTable creating a token automatically from a portrait.  The other small round token was a separate token image supplied by Brian for his character, and the red stones are game pieces that are in the EpicTable game piece gallery.  Brennen’s using them here for enemy minions, rather than digging up images.


Open Image

Old School Hack Annotated Screenshot #1 – Game Intro Tab

Posted in EpicTable Development, Screenshots on April 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Recently, the online gaming group I’m part of has been playing Old School Hack.  I really like the system, but instead of going on about OSH, I’ll point you to Matt Jackson’s posts about Old School Hack.

Brennen actually ran this game, so all I have are screenshots.  He and I will do a screencast of a walk-through in a future session and focus on using various EpicTable bits to create something like a character sheet.  In the meantime, I’ll post a series of annotated screenshots from our session.

Game Intro Tab

Brennen put together this nice intro to his game to set the stage for us.  It has an overland map of the area, some adventure background material, and even a set of suggestions for setting-appropriate names.  This is a great, creative use of EpicTable tabletops.

EpicTable Screenshot - Game Intro Tabletop

Open Image

Screen Maximizing View

You can maximize your screen real estate in EpicTable in a number of ways.  You can minimize the ribbon from a right-click menu or a double-click on any of the tabs at the top (Main, Characters, etc.).

You can set the various panels, like Chat, Dice Tray, and Portrait Bar to “Hide” or “Auto-Hide”, or you can detach them and drag them to a secondary display.

In this screenshot, I have the Dice Tray and Portrait Bar hidden, and I’ve dragged the Chat window to my second monitor.

Overland Map

Brennen drew this overland map and scanned it in for use with EpicTable.  Drawing tools aren’t integrated into EpicTable (yet).  Those of you wanting ad-hoc drawing tools in EpicTable will have Brennen’s relentless campaign for them to thank when they arrive.

The map is, I think, part of the background he used. Alternatively, he could have used an “image object”. The adventure text and name list are “rich text objects”.

Like any other surface in EpicTable, you can use game pieces or character tokens on this map.  What I’ve found helpful is using stones or map pins (from the gallery on the Tabletops tab) to mark the group’s position or important landmarks.

Adventure Background

Brennen used a rich text note (from the Tabletops tab) to provide a brief set of adventure notes to get us all on the same page (so to speak).

He could have used a plain old notecard, but those are plain text and he’s way too into typography for that.  <g>

Sample Character Names

Brennen included a couple lists of setting-appropriate character names right here on the game intro tab.  That’s a great idea.  Not only did it help guide the naming of our own characters, but it gave us a set to draw from for NPC names.

In EpicTable, this is a “rich text note” (accessible under the Tabletops tab) placed on the tabletop.

Managing Game Elements: Revisited

Posted in EpicTable Development, Screenshots on October 17, 2009 at 2:29 am

Resource tree mockup.Last time, I showed you a mockup of a UI for managing in-game resources. Since then, I’ve been working on an implementation of that mockup, and I’d like to get your feedback on a couple screenshots. …continue reading Managing Game Elements: Revisited

EpicTable Hits the Jackpot

Posted in EpicTable Development, Screenshots on September 22, 2009 at 12:56 am

Woohoo! EpicTable is unexpectedly awash in pieces of eight!

Along the way to finishing the “Arrange” (i.e., z-order) context menu for the tabletop, I introduced a short-lived but extravagant bug. One of the things you can do with objects on the tabletop is duplicate them. Last night, you could duplicate them…a lot. Imagine my surprise to see pieces of eight spilling out across the tabletop. By the time I stopped it, I had more than 9,000 coins on the tabletop! They were multiplying like tribbles.

Now, if I could just figure out how to do this on my physical tabletop….

Here’s a shot of the current context menu for Arrange with a sufficiently tamed Duplicate function. To the folks from the forum who have weighed in on this, let me know what you think. I’ve not forever ruled out something more elaborate, but my thinking is that this is sufficient for version 1.

Credits and Sources: Background texture and Pieces of eight from iStockphoto.

Stackable Surface Objects

Posted in EpicTable Development, Screenshots on September 16, 2009 at 2:04 am

Added proper stacking (i.e., “z-order” tracking and rendering) to EpicTable surfaces. This means that if you put one object down on top of another, it’ll look that way and not “slide under” the other object. Not a huge deal, just something that needed to be knocked off the list.
…continue reading Stackable Surface Objects

Tabletop Surface Integration, Dice Panel, etc.

Posted in EpicTable Blog, EpicTable Development, Screenshots on June 4, 2009 at 3:50 am

Just a couple quick updates on development status. There’s been a good bit of work done since the demos during FUMcon. My focus continues to be integrating and testing. I’m working hard at getting an alpha release ready with a beta to follow shortly, and I wanted to give you an update on what’s been happening. Special thanks goes to Brennen Reece for design advice on some of the visual improvements since the demo.
…continue reading Tabletop Surface Integration, Dice Panel, etc.

Dice and Dogs in the Vineyard

Posted in EpicTable Development, Screenshots on November 30, 2008 at 12:19 am

Last time, I discussed EpicTable’s support for game pieces on a tabletop surface. This post is similar in that it too involves moving objects around on the tabletop—only this time, the objects are dice. Dogs in the Vineyard is a prime example of a game that involves doing more with dice than just rolling them. Lets look at how EpicTable supports this functionality. …continue reading Dice and Dogs in the Vineyard

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