EpicTable 1.1 - observations from a short game session

edited September 2013 in EpicTable Development
Well, my updated (moved to Traveller5) campaign kicked off this past weekend, and we got to use the new 1.1.2 EpicTable release. Some observations from the short session:



1) The updates to Map / Tabletop editing and Draw mode were fantastic. It was so nice to no longer have bizarre artifacts, elements appearing and disappearing, and the like. The shared updates means I could draw while someone else laid out strategy while a third party arranged tokens, all without artifacts, vanishments, and problems. It was great!



2) Updated chat interface that gives you both a player & character name is sweet! No more having to remember who WillowBark7 is as a character! Thank you so much for putting that in.



3) Telling you who you whispered to is GOLD. Fantastic addition - thank you so much! And the unanticipated addition that if someone's character identity changed, the whisper notices updated with it was double sweet.



A few oddities:



1) Sometimes, EpicTable will look at me chatting to the entire group and decide that I'm Whispering to the entire group instead. It was just funny. I wonder if it has to do with moving in and out of whispering mode - it will take some more experimentation to lock that down.



2) Sometimes EpicTable will still take it upon itself to change who I, or a player, is whispering to. You really have to be careful here - I am not kidding when I say that the interface for it JUST CHANGES and suddenly your target is different. It's not that it doesn't let you know - it does - but if you set the whisper, type a block of text and hit "Send" without checking, every once in a while you'll see that go to a totally different person.



A couple of hoped-for features for the future, because naturally the customers can't be TOTALLY happy! ;)



1) The ability to pull a map tab out and place it on a separate screen will be gold in the future - this will be especially true later when TruVision comes into play.



2) As a random thing, we have the ability to add dice rolled together. Is there any thought to being able to subtract dice from each other? Traveller5 has a mechanism called "Flux" which is literally a light die with a dark die subtracted, yielding values from -5 to +5 with a weighting at zero. Yeah, it's statistically identical to 2D6-7, but it loses some of the atmosphere. :)



John, I could not be more pleased with not only the current product, but the current product direction as explained by you. This makes a game with players in three - no, I'm up to four - states possible. As I have moved, then friends have moved, my game has splintered. What started with nearly everyone in my living room has over the course of two short years become a game with more remote players than local, and EpicTable makes it work. Thanks for a great product!



Paul G.

Comments

  • Thanks so much for posting your experiences here. It's hard to convey how much that kind of feedback means to me, sitting here night after night, for years, working on EpicTable.



    The whisper and chat target stuff you're seeing is incredibly weird. Anything you can do to come up with reproducible steps will really help in nailing that down. I'm currently focused on the fog of war stuff, but I'll return to chat at some point. Let me know if it becomes intolerable in the meantime.



    The subtraction dice mechanic for flux is interesting to me. That's the second system I've heard of that uses something like that. I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I love dice mechanics. They're really fun to implement and I have some stuff I want to do with the dice roller soon. Subtraction was one of those, but I need someone with experience with the mechanic when the time comes. As a side note, during demos at Gen Con, I think I stumbled upon a way to handle Hero System rolls within ET as-is. I need to review that to make sure I'm right and create a blog post or video or something.



    You mentioned pulling a tab out and its relevance to fog of war. That's actually what I'm working on now, and why fog is taking a little longer than I thought. It was pretty to demo, but not as slick as it should be if you couldn't do things like detach views and have multiple views of the same surface. The use model that's in my head, for face to face groups, is the GM with his view of the map, where the fog is semi-transparent, and another view of the same surface that's the players' view, and allowing that view to be detached and dragged to a 2nd monitor.



    Thanks for all the feedback and keep the suggestions coming!

    -- John
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