maps and newness to vtts

I have been looking for a vtt that I can use, and doesn't cost too much or is free. Several searches gave me broken links... anyway, I decided to stop by here.



The one thing I didn't realize at first is I would have to have a map for the players to see with no room numbers on it... probably obvious, but I do make mistakes. I am used to having my maps behind the DM screen, and telling the players what their characters see. I used a set of map tiles I made out of manila folders, ruler, and a pen.



I do have two web sites in my .sig that have mostly overland maps. The amount of detail varies. The Crestar site has the most detail and some dungeons. My maps are free for gaming, just let your players/DM know where you got them. And please don't sell them. You could use ad-blockers to not see the Google ads on my sites. I don't need the revenue.



The Crest of a Star, Crestar, site is being updated rather often. The Traveller one not very much.



No, I don't make maps to order.



I DMed from 1979-1985, AD&D 1E, with a bit of TOON tossed in from time to time. I may or may not have open games, if my previous players don't want to game using a VTT... one has told me no way already.



I like the one time fee along with no player licenses.



I tried ScreenMonkey... but it just didn't seem like I could do alot with it. Not going to use VTTs that rely on soemone else's servers either. One did look good, but I found out it was very difficult to get copies of my logs and game results/combat off their servers. I dislike that. It should be /createlog at the start of the game session and then /downloadlog when I am done.



Anyway, I've babbled enough. I am leaning towards a purchase of EpicTable.

Comments

  • Hi JimBlue,



    Thanks for stopping by and checking out EpicTable. Completely aside from whether you choose EpicTable or something else, I hope you can convince your players to use a virtual tabletop. I've gamed since the 70s, like yourself, and only got into online gaming by necessity about...I guess almost ten years ago. For me, it's been a great experience. Not only has it allowed me to get back into gaming again, but there are some things that are actually easier with a VT, like I used to print out handouts on the night before the game...and then hope I'd actually get to use them. Now, I just throw the images I want to use in a folder I create for each game. I use handouts a lot in both face-to-face and online games.



    Hey, and just being upfront with you on the bit about relying on someone else's servers: all EpicTable's communication between GM and players goes through the cloud. It's done this way to avoid issues with firewalls and routers and such. All the images, maps, etc., reside on your machine though, and get sent to the players where they're cached. All that's invisible to you. You don't have to pre-send anything, or that sort of thing. But the upshot is that if you're playing a game with multiple people connected, it's going through my servers.



    If there's anything I can answer or help you out with, let me know. I'm the developer.

    -- John
  • Ah, I don't particularly trust the cloud for personal data, but game maps should be okay.



    Thanks for the welcome.



    One thing I have noticed with some vtts, the maps used have a maximum pixel size. Is true for Epic Table ? Not that I would try loading huge maps of a million pixels height and widh. Just wondering what size I can/need to make my dungeon maps.



    Also, in one of the tutorials, zooming in and out was mentioned. Is this in steps or continuous zooming ?
  • Ah, I don't particularly trust the cloud for personal data, but game maps should be okay.
    The definitive copy of anything in EpicTable is on the machine of the person who introduced it to the game--i.e., your map, your machine. The cloud is only used for message passing and caching and storage of invitations for you players to retrieve. I do plan on having an option to store your stuff in the cloud, which would enable you to play from any machine without using Dropbox or something to shuttle resources around.

    One thing I have noticed with some vtts, the maps used have a maximum pixel size. Is true for Epic Table ? Not that I would try loading huge maps of a million pixels height and widh. Just wondering what size I can/need to make my dungeon maps.



    Also, in one of the tutorials, zooming in and out was mentioned. Is this in steps or continuous zooming ?
    I use maps that are around 2000x2000, a little larger sometimes. I've found that the bottleneck is transferring them to all the players. 2MB files are fine, and most anything you pull from a PDF will be much less. Where people get into trouble is where they scan a map at 600dpi, 5000x5000. Not only is that way more resolution than you'll use onscreen (it's print resolution) but it takes too long to upload to all the players. (I have a cloud-based caching scheme in the works that will help with that.) My goal is for EpicTable to be the VT where you don't have to think about that stuff, but it's an ongoing improvement sort of thing.



    The zoom buttons zoom 10%. You can enter a specific zoom %, which would give you, not continuous, but 100 zoom increments.
  • Exact amounts of zoom is good. I feel it gives me better control over what I'm doing.



    I learned that when I use png files for my maps, I can reduce the file size by going to 'Decrease color depth' under the Image menu of Irfanview. I change this to Custom 202 colors. Save again. This can make a big drop in file size.
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