Moving my Face To Face Game to Epic Table

edited January 2012 in EpicTable Discussion
Sooooo - I have been playing Pathfinder at a local Game shop on Monday Nights for the past several months, and it's been pretty fun.



Basically, I take a 32" flat Screen T.V. and lay it down on the table, and put PlexiGlass on top of it. then I use my Ipad with Drop box, to pull up my Map Files, and we use mini's on the plexiglass over the map to play our games.



it's been quite fun, but, it's kind of a pain dragging my TV in to the shop each week and setting it all up and such.



Also, I'd really like to be using a computer so that I could integrate EpicTable into our play sessions.



I imagine that we would still use Mini's on top of Plexiglas - but still I like how I could organize my maps and such things better in Epic Table, and flash up handouts and such...



Sooo, I'm going to tell the group tonight (or maybe next week if I chicken out,) that I'm not going to run the game on Monday nights any more and that those that would like to come to my house on Thursday's are welcome to do so.



Wish me luck!



I'm really looking forward to getting to use Epic Table in my home games.



zWolf -out.

Comments

  • That sounds awesome! I've been really wanting to use a touchscreen in my face to face game, but an affordable one big enough is tough (though I've been looking really hard at the Dell ST2220T and wondering is 22" is enough).



    Your setup sounds cool. I've thought about that, but I was afraid the parallax would make it tough to align minis on the map. I was concerned that maybe those screens weren't meant to be laid flat and that heat or something would cause problems. Guess I should have just gone with it. It's working out well for you?



    I love the idea of using the iPad too. I'd really like to do something to make EpicTable and the iPad work well together...or you know, at all together.



    I have been wanting to try something like your setup with a mix of physical and virtual minis. I'm guessing I'd use real minis for the PCs and would quickly stop digging around for monster minis and just use on-screen tokens. I'd love to hear how you make out. And if you have any requests, let me know.
  • John Lammers;2489 wrote: That sounds awesome! I've been really wanting to use a touchscreen in my face to face game, but an affordable one big enough is tough (though I've been looking really hard at the Dell ST2220T and wondering is 22" is enough).


    yes, the 32 inch TV has been large enough for the maps and mini's it really hasn't felt too cramped yet... I even had about 70 peasants on the board (small dice represented the peasants,) and it ran smoothly. so, ya while 22" seems a tad small - (we usually have 5 or 6 players) 32" is working fine....



    Though a ceiling mounted projector is the dream set up...

    John Lammers;2489 wrote: Your setup sounds cool. I've thought about that, but I was afraid the parallax would make it tough to align minis on the map.


    Surprisingly this hasn't been an issue at all. It's quite a thick peace of Plexiglass too - but I can scroll the map around to where I want it, and the players then set the pieces down where they want them to be.

    John Lammers;2489 wrote: I was concerned that maybe those screens weren't meant to be laid flat and that heat or something would cause problems. Guess I should have just gone with it. It's working out well for you?


    I'll be honest, there was one time after a 4 hour session, that as I carried the TV out, it 'did' smell just a tad hot... you know... like melted electronics... but hopefully it was just my imagination. :-P



    honestly I can't really speak to what the manufacturer's would recommend, (I'm guessing not flat heh) but I have been using it for several months, every week like that and it's still working fine... and it's not anything high tech.... a cheap westing house I think.

    John Lammers;2489 wrote: I love the idea of using the iPad too. I'd really like to do something to make EpicTable and the iPad work well together...or you know, at all together.


    ya, the ipad is a most excellent tool - I have the touch screen capability, with out the expense of a huge touch screen. I have to admit, the AV geek in me loves it when some one new walks into the shop and goes into exited exclamations about how cool gaming like that looks.



    One thing though... I found that I missed having my ipad as my 'reference tool' with all the pdf's on it, and a searchable prd, since I use Drop Box, I have all my maps on my iphone too - low and behold it worked great plugged into the TV, so I had my ipad free to look stuff up with, or flash up portraits of monsters, NPC's and Items that they encountered.



    John, don't tease me with the possibility of using any aspect of Epic Table with the iPad - that would be SO F'reaking Cool I'd love it AND you'd be the super star of Role Players every where... well, even MORE of a super start than you already are.

    John Lammers;2489 wrote: I have been wanting to try something like your setup with a mix of physical and virtual minis. I'm guessing I'd use real minis for the PCs and would quickly stop digging around for monster minis and just use on-screen tokens. I'd love to hear how you make out. And if you have any requests, let me know.


    Right, that's what I planned to do when I brought the game back home - (instead of at the shop where I play now.) I'd have Epic Table run, and use Tokens and such and have all my beasties prepared for when the players burst into their Dojo. At the shop, I currently tr to scrounge up fig's to play with... but often end up using dice or what not to mark the spot of the baddies.



    As for my 'plan' of getting out of the Monday Night Game, and moving it to Thursday's at my house, that sort of didn't go so well - I'm such a push over sometimes. heh, we had 2 of the players that wouldn't be able to make it on Thursdays, and Soo - what I now plan to do, is see if Epic Table will work alright on a Net Book. (that's small right? won't take up much space, and be easy to set up I figure.) If it does, then I'll run Epic Table off of that and still use the upside down TV (instead of the projector... sigh.)



    Either way, I'm gonna get this campaign going on a Epic Table if the internet connection is solid - if not, I'll use Battle Grounds, which was my original plan when I didn't think I'd have internet access there. it's been a dream of mine for a long time to use a VTT to help make the prep of my games easier... and to have the option of running remote games.



    Thanks for helping make it happen!



    zWolf.
  • You guys realize that there are any number of really good remote desktop apps for iPad, right? I could run ET from my iPhone if I wanted.
  • Brennen Reece;2497 wrote: You guys realize that there are any number of really good remote desktop apps for iPad, right? I could run ET from my iPhone if I wanted.


    No sir, please elaborate! I really wana know how to do this. It would be absolutely AWESOME to run see it on my IPad or iPhone! what is the app you'd use? And any tips on what id need to do to make this work. ( since my Pc would be at home and me at the shop... Would I need to set up a VPN or something? Or would the app handle all that... This would really open up a lot of possibilities. Thx for mentioning it Brennnen.
  • This is what I use:



    http://itunes.apple.com/app/wyse-pocketcloud-pro-remote/id326512817?mt=8



    Watch the video at the bottom of this page (but don't listen to the awful stock music):



    http://www.wyse.com/products/software/pocketcloud/iphone/index.asp
  • I've used this to look at EpicTable on my DroidX. At that form factor, it was just a novelty. I forgot all about it by the time I got my iPad. I suspect a dedicated app would be better, but since I'm not likely to get to that anytime soon, it would be interesting to know how well this works.
  • I'm going to test it out right now, I'll let ya know.
  • Brennen Reece;2497 wrote: You guys realize that there are any number of really good remote desktop apps for iPad, right? I could run ET from my iPhone if I wanted.


    Ok, now THIS has some REAL potential! my 'fast report' is just that It's so cool, I'm having a difficult time 'focusing' on any one task... as I start something, then I think, Hmmm, I wonder if I could... and I'm off on the Bioware web site trying to see if I can stream the Flash Videos to my iPad, and in turn on to my TV via Apple TV... (answer to that one = not really very well...)



    But, for the little bit that I have played around with Epic Table so far, it looks extremely promising! man I'm stoked about this!



    I believe that the 'primary' application will be to use Epic Table as a resource manager - (as well has have access to all the incredible tools if I so desire...) I can log in with my main computer, then control the desktop with that ipad App that Brennan suggested to bring up my Maps on the TV at the shop. (laying upside down on a table,) the players will move their pieces around on the piece of plexiglass set on the TV, and I can use monster tokens, and dice rolls with Epic Table.



    With all the ways to minimize the user interface, this the 'play area' on the Flat T.V. Will be perfect, with only minor intrusions of 'tabs' in-case I want to open the Chat window to show Dice Rolls. ( I like to do them in the open.) Also, I might start using the 'character bar' to track initiative... (not sure if that's the best way to go or not... but we shall see how as I play more with it.



    I also thought of running two computers at home, one being the GM box, and the other the 'Player'box, then running the Player View through the iphone, and displaying that on the T.V. and using the Ipad as my GM took kit.



    I ran into something that most likely revolves around the fact that the 'test maps' that I'm using, are from back in one of the most early Beta's...



    The 'grid overlay' didn't seem to be the same view on the player box, as I had on my 'GM' machine.



    GM View:







    (larger GM-view)



    Player View:







    (larger Player-view)



    At first I thought it was how I had so many 'hops' in between... you know.. GM PC running on ipad, and Player Machine running on iphone - then mirroring to the TV via Apple TV.



    But, when I checked 'just' the PC's they showed the same thing...



    I could move things on the GM PC, and they would move in the player view... however - they looked like they were in the wrong position - the 'Grid' was quite a bit different as you can see in the images, and that was what was causing the difference.



    Or, the it's more likely the fact that the 'resolutions' of the display's that I am using are significantly different. one being an HD TV, and the other a 24 inch monitor.



    If that is the case, is there any chance that ET, can 'discover' the lowest common denominator resolution, and force all clients connected to the session to use that resolution or something... i imagine 'that' might cause issues too hmmm. something to think about.



    once again, I'll play with this creating some things in the most recent version instead of regurgitating stuff from way back in Beta 3 or when ever, and I can see if the problem will fix it'self.



    over all, I'm pretty exited about the potential of this... Imagine using the ipad with an over head projector beaming down on a game table miles away from where your PC is running Epic Table? sweet eh?



    ok, the # of users that actually use it in that manner might be fairly low.. but still, for those of us who do, it is just so freaking fun to play with!
  • I don't think your problem is resolution. I think it's different DPIs. Someone else ran into this. See if this helps any: http://support.epictable.com/entries/20745073-token-positions-incorrect-and-other-visual-issues-when-using-large-dpi-settings





    I'm going to fix this. For now, one person got relief by changing his DPI settings. Obviously, I don't want people to have to do that.



    If you'd be so kind, please give that a shot, just so I know if my upcoming DPI fix will work for you or if there's something else going on.



    Also, keep us informed about how you're doing with your setup and the iPad. It's really exciting. It has me all geared up to try something similar for my F2F game.
  • John Lammers;2508 wrote: I don't think your problem is resolution. I think it's different DPIs. ...



    ...For now, one person got relief by changing his DPI settings.


    Yes, the DPI was set to 'medium' on the 32 inch TV, I have no idea how it got that way... I may have let the Nvidia do some automatic settings or some such thing, but when I changed to to 'standard' (or normal or what ever,) it fixed right up and worked as expected.

    John Lammers;2508 wrote: Also, keep us informed about how you're doing with your setup and the iPad. It's really exciting. It has me all geared up to try something similar for my F2F game.


    Games such as 'Diablo III - Beta' don't seem to do that well.. (hah, you know i had to try it right? :-P)



    But Epic Table was working fantastic! I'm really encouraged by the results I have had so far. I'll do some more tomorrow, and take it for a 'real' spin on Monday (if I can get my encounters set up in ET on Sunday.)



    It's supper cool - the iPad is large enough that I can move objects around, with a bit of fooling around, re-sizing icon's wasn't even very hard - once you get the hang of how the mouse tool works.



    and THANK YOU, for the option to make the UI so minimalist... I'm sure that took quite a bit of programming to get every thing to 'slide' to the edge like that, but the result on something like what I'm doing, is AWESOME! almost the full screen can be dominated by the map, making for some beautiful play sessions, not distracted by un-imersive 'UI' objects. Really well done sir!



    one thing that I noticed was that with the Ipad, I could zoom in on a section, and the display on the TV would also zoom in. the iphone wasn't like that... I could zoom in on the iphone, - but it would just show the 'full iphone screen' non zoomed on the TV.



    - The iPhone had me 'enable external screen' where as, the iPad did not. Of course all of that stuff is 'external' to Epic Table... it's all part of the remote desktop software I was running on the iPad/iPhone (and may have had more to do with the fact that one of my computers had to run in VNC mode due to the OS being 'home' instead of 'pro/ultimate'.)



    but yes, I'm pretty stoked about the possibilities... I REALLY hope that the internetz / wireless network at the Local Game shop can handle the connection... we shall see. But over all, this was really cool. and has great potential.



    I could totally see using this solution to play a game at a coffee shop, or at school on breaks, Hotels etc. the ipad's smaller than a monitor or map of course, but still, it would work in a pinch, and honestly, with a 25$ Cable, you can connect it to about any TV and run a game that way, what fun!



    Dang it, it's about to get Light out side (5:47am!) Starwars TOR has taken it's toll on me, ... robbed me of another Sunday Morning (as I'll be fast asleep for the next several hours :-P ) TOR is a fun game but, I look forward towards when I shall shed it's chains and move on to my own, 'Epic-DreamThatCanBeCompletedWithTheTimeSavedNotPlayingMMORPGs'



    :-) to bed I go!
  • zWolf;2492 wrote: I'm gonna get this campaign going on a Epic Table if the internet connection is solid


    Just checking...you need the internet connection to be solid because you have to reach the central server so you can run both a GM and a player instance of EpicTable, right? If you're only running the GM instance, you shouldn't need an internet connection. Awhile back, I was experimenting with having multiple tabs pointed at the same map but seeing different things (primarily for vision testing and for letting the GM cycle through player views). That's not currently enabled, but vision isn't either. I'm guessing that the ability to drag a map tab onto the secondary screen is all you'd really need for your face-to-face game, and that's something I actually have working in a prototype. I just haven't integrated it into the main codebase because it was still kind of rough. Let me know if this is interesting to you.
  • Wow, there are a couple of things in here that are really exiting news to me! Stuff you have known, but for some reason didn't register with me.

    John Lammers;2513 wrote: Just checking...you need the internet connection to be solid because you have to reach the central server so you can run both a GM and a player instance of EpicTable, right? If you're only running the GM instance, you shouldn't need an internet connection.



    I seriously had no idea that you could run it without an internet connection! As a matter of fact, back when I first started running the face to face game at the shop. When I didn't think that I would have internet at all, I Told Heruca that I was going to use Battlegrounds to display maps.



    Instead I used my ipad that I got right about that same time.



    But yes not needing the internet is actually a pretty big deal and I just didn't put it together. Now... will I need internet to log in? or, could I actually use ET, in a 'no internet at all' situation? (assuming GM only.)

    John Lammers;2513 wrote: Awhile back, I was experimenting with having multiple tabs pointed at the same map but seeing different things (primarily for vision testing and for letting the GM cycle through player views). That's not currently enabled, but vision isn't either.


    That sounds interesting,



    In face to face games the 'view' is easy, as I'm always forcing players to see what I'm seeing. With the remote players, it would be nice to be able to hit a 'GM View' button or some such not yet invented thing to get every one on the same view, just to make sure we are all looking at the same thing.

    John Lammers;2513 wrote: I'm guessing that the ability to drag a map tab onto the secondary screen is all you'd really need for your face-to-face game, and that's something I actually have working in a prototype. I just haven't integrated it into the main codebase because it was still kind of rough. Let me know if this is interesting to you.


    Draging a map tab to a second screen would be a DREAM come true - It would completely Eliminate the need for me to bring a second computer online and make using a ceiling mounted projector even 'more' appealing.



    if you want a 'prototype beta tester' please consider me. :-)
  • zWolf;2514 wrote: ...I seriously had no idea that you could run it without an internet connection!...Now... will I need internet to log in? or, could I actually use ET, in a 'no internet at all' situation? (assuming GM only.)

    Yeah--I mean, that's what I always demo at Gen Con, because I don't want to pay the $100/day they want for an internet connection. You can't do multi-player without the internet (because all the messaging is in the cloud, to avoid router/firewall issues), but everything else works.

    zWolf;2514 wrote: In face to face games the 'view' is easy, as I'm always forcing players to see what I'm seeing. With the remote players, it would be nice to be able to hit a 'GM View' button or some such not yet invented thing to get every one on the same view, just to make sure we are all looking at the same thing.

    Yeah, a number of people have sold me on the notion that this is worthwhile. It's on the list...unless the following makes it irrelevant/less important.

    zWolf;2514 wrote:

    Dragging a map tab to a second screen would be a DREAM come true - It would completely Eliminate the need for me to bring a second computer online and make using a ceiling mounted projector even 'more' appealing.

    That's been the plan all along, and ironically, the pre-beta versions of EpicTable worked that way. It was an extra layer of complexity I decided to pare away for the beta, but it's always been my intent to bring it back.



    I'd be interested in feedback on this--especially from you guys that are running face to face games and are after the view syncing. My guess is that this is great for face-to-face games, but view sync would still be high on the wish list for people in online games.
  • John Lammers;2515 wrote:

    I'd be interested in feedback on this- (*this =the ability to move a map tab to a 2nd monitor and view syncing) -especially from you guys that are running face to face games and are after the view syncing. My guess is that (*moving a map to a 2nd screen) is great for face-to-face games, but view sync would still be high on the wish list for people in online games.


    You would be correct. one 'dream' I have is to run a hybrid game, where folks are invited to play at my house if they can, but if they are unable to get a babysitter or live too far away, then they can jump online and play remote.



    in that case, being able to 'direct the view' or at least indicate which tab that the players should be on, would be invaluable... or at the least, very nice. :-)



    I'm sure that you want more feedback than just me - but seeing as how your request is going to be buried deep on 'page 2' of this thread - it might be good to start a new thread on it.



    *inserted by me.
  • I'm with you. One of my groups is hybrid too.
  • I am also running a face-to-face that is in danger of becoming a hybrid game. We've got one player whose wife is expecting, and a friend in another city who may want to play. Neither of these is likely to be able to join the rest of the group in one location for gameplay.



    I'm definitely in favor of the ability to pull a map onto a second display so I can put it up on a TV set. Also, running things remotely from my GalaxyTab would be pretty cool as well - I already use it at the moment for images and maps and such, but am hand-drawing battlemaps right now because dragging the PC to the game isn't worth it yet. As features get added, EpicTable may well become a necessity for the game(master) and the PC will start roaming with me. :)
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