Tabletop simulator on Kickstarter

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Heath
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Tabletop simulator on Kickstarter

Post by Heath »

There's a tabletop simulator over on Kickstarter now that is fully funded, and working on stretch goals. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/27 ... -simulator

I would imagine that ZunTzu's fully developed game library and (in my opinion) superior approach to a shared tabletop experience would also do well in a Kickstarter campaign. Perhaps with that additional funding, ZunTzu 2.0 could finally be finished?
paffers
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Post by paffers »

Now that ZunTzu is (seemingly) dead, I have switched to this.

I, and the group I game with, are enjoying the experience, and converting some of my ZunTzu gameboxes to something TTS uses has not been difficult.

Also, new patches and features are coming think and fast - its still in pre-release state.

Documentation and 'gameboxes' are still lacking but that will come.

15 dollars well spent I feel.

Would it be wrong to post this in the general forum ? I feel a bit disloyal advertising an alternate system :(, but it would be nice if the prolific gamebox creators here started producing stuff for TTS - if they liked it of course.
dulcaoin
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Post by dulcaoin »

paffers wrote:Now that ZunTzu is (seemingly) dead, I have switched to this.

I, and the group I game with, are enjoying the experience, and converting some of my ZunTzu gameboxes to something TTS uses has not been difficult.

Also, new patches and features are coming think and fast - its still in pre-release state.

Documentation and 'gameboxes' are still lacking but that will come.

15 dollars well spent I feel.

Would it be wrong to post this in the general forum ? I feel a bit disloyal advertising an alternate system :(, but it would be nice if the prolific gamebox creators here started producing stuff for TTS - if they liked it of course.
I'd love to see a screenshot of what you've done.

This app looks more focused on 3D objects than board games, especially hex-and-counter games.

Am I getting the wrong impression?

-- joshua
paffers
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Post by paffers »

I have not delved into everything yet, but there are two types of object in TTS (aside from the board/table), a card and a 3d object.
Cards can be any size but must be rectangular so I use them as counters as well. Works perfectly. Dont know how to do 3d objects - that sort of modelling is not my thing so I just use what the community share. However someone has already built round and square tokens that you just paste an image onto if you want to use those instead of cards.

TTS features exceed ZunTzu in general but here are the things it cant do (yet ?) that ZunTzu can :

1. Irregular shaped cards/counters
2. View a stack without pulling it apart and viewing each card. This is a bit of a pain that I hope is rectified soon.
3. Card decks are read from a jpg containing a 10x7 grid of the cards - maximum 69 with the last being the back.
So if your deck is bigger you must split it over several jpg's.
4. No 'cardboard counter' objects. As I said I use cards of appropriate size which works fine.
This feature has been requested to the author BTW.

Thats what I have found so far.


The biggest difference is the gamebox and the fact its a physics engine. You dont put everything into a big file. You create the components and put them somwhere where everyone can access them - I use imgur.com. If you are just building for yourself it can access local files.
Then you load up TTS, select a table/board and start bringing in objects. You can resize them on the fly, copy and paste of you need multiple copies. Once your game is setup, you save it ( I assume a save is a list of object links and location ) and thats it - done.

When you host, and players connect in, their PC uses the links to fetch the objects - hence the reason for them to be online somewhere.

The physics thing takes some getting used to - rol your dice through your minis and they all get knocked over :D.
However pressing "L" on an object locks it (good for ZunTzu terrain type cards) and there is a back button to redo last move if you make a mistake.

I will try to get time put a meaningful screenshot of something this weekend that ZunTzu-ites will recognise and post a link for you.

In the meantime go check the workshop of the things people have already done here :

http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/brow ... sort=trend

Apart from that a google/youtube search will show lots of examples of gameplay and how-to guides.

All in all, if you can get around the idea that this is NOT ZunTzu 2 but a different way of doing what we have been, I can heartily recommend TTS.



EDIT : Wierd. About an hour after typing this I discover a new patch with stack searching

http://steamcommunity.com/games/Tableto ... 0570013400

Well thats my main problem solved then :) When I said rectified soon, I didnt really mean later that morning. Perhaps the developer reads these forums :wink:
Geralt
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Post by Geralt »

I would buy this programm, but I wonder how I can archive/download modules for tabletop. I know that most interesting games will be deleted etc...
paffers
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Post by paffers »

Geralt wrote:I would buy this programm, but I wonder how I can archive/download modules for tabletop. I know that most interesting games will be deleted etc...
Not sure I follow - do you mean copyright issues ? If so then that is going to affect any system you game on, not just TTS.
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Post by dulcaoin »

Geralt wrote:I would buy this programm, but I wonder how I can archive/download modules for tabletop. I know that most interesting games will be deleted etc...
From what I can tell, you'd want to place your assets on your local machine (.zip file distribution, I imagine), and make all your URL's using file:// format. You will be adding the idiosyncracies of the local operating system pathing, so I doubt you could make a universal file that would work across Mac and Windows (Mac and Linux would be more possible).

You would then distribute that archive to the other players. Eliminates the "magical" auto-download of assets, but you don't have assets hanging out on the web to be leeched/discovered.

The system isn't ready for general use yet, in my view, but definitely holds some promise, IMHO.

The author will need to solve this problem (plus encryption of assets, and maybe add a top-down view capability) before I feel it would make a worthwhile contender to ZunTzu for me personally.

Also, the "Irregularly shaped cards/counters" issue would/could be solved with modeling 3D objects to represent them, so that's not really a negative issue.

-- joshua
dulcaoin
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Post by dulcaoin »

paffers wrote:Now that ZunTzu is (seemingly) dead, I have switched to this.

I, and the group I game with, are enjoying the experience, and converting some of my ZunTzu gameboxes to something TTS uses has not been difficult.

Also, new patches and features are coming think and fast - its still in pre-release state.

Documentation and 'gameboxes' are still lacking but that will come.

15 dollars well spent I feel.

Would it be wrong to post this in the general forum ? I feel a bit disloyal advertising an alternate system :(, but it would be nice if the prolific gamebox creators here started producing stuff for TTS - if they liked it of course.
Out of curiosity, why the switch?

Is it simply because ZunTzu hasn't had an update? Or are there features in TTS that you feel are an improvement over ZunTzu, that maybe ZunTzu could use if it were being updated?

-- joshua
paffers
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Post by paffers »

You are pretty much spot on Joshua, I believe ZunTzu is dead or at best its going to be dormant for a long time, and more, better features on TTS (with more being added every week).

At 15 dollars it was worth a try.

In addition it is my belief that there will eventually be a bigger contributing community to TTS, if its not there already.
dulcaoin
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Post by dulcaoin »

paffers wrote:You are pretty much spot on Joshua, I believe ZunTzu is dead or at best its going to be dormant for a long time, and more, better features on TTS (with more being added every week).

At 15 dollars it was worth a try.

In addition it is my belief that there will eventually be a bigger contributing community to TTS, if its not there already.
I guess I was hoping for a list of things you liked better about TTS. :-)

Your post got me really excited about Tabletop Simulator. It supports Mac, and has some form of live matchmaking. It's written in Unity, which is what I'm convinced a new ZunTzu needs to be written in for future expandability. But the more I looked, the less excited I was.

Right now, to me it's a sandbox physics simulator that celebrates FAR too loudly its greatest feature that you can "flip the table!" From what I've seen, it's attracting the wrong kind of gamer to the matchmaking lists. I couldn't see overhead views, it doesn't have any kind of packaging mechanism, and it's -- so far -- lacking basic features from ZunTzu. I certainly can't package any of the modules I'm working on (because they are sanctioned by a board game company) because there is no encryption of assets, and in fact no clean packaging of them.

Competition is always a good thing, it drives innovation. It would be my hope that the features you find in TTS that you like could be evaluated for ZunTzu inclusion.

So my additional questions would be
What features are you enjoying in TTS that we don't get in ZunTzu?
How does the physics feature enchance (or degrade) the experience?

To me, the lack of grid snap in TZ is fairly irritating, but I would think having to carefully maneuver chits around a map by hand with a clumsy virtual hand could end up being worse.

Can you imagine the day we literally have to use in-game tweezers to move chits? :-D

Please understand: I'm just looking for a clearer picture right now. I think TTS has amazing potential (if the guy doesn't fizzle out or get sued out of existence: there have already been C&D orders handed out), but it's not there yet, and I -- personally -- can't muster greater faith that it will get where it needs to be than I can that the ZT development engine could get running again.

-- joshua
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Bill Barrett
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Post by Bill Barrett »

Right now, to me it's a sandbox physics simulator that celebrates FAR too loudly its greatest feature that you can "flip the table!" From what I've seen, it's attracting the wrong kind of gamer to the matchmaking lists. I couldn't see overhead views, it doesn't have any kind of packaging mechanism, and it's -- so far -- lacking basic features from ZunTzu. I certainly can't package any of the modules I'm working on (because they are sanctioned by a board game company) because there is no encryption of assets, and in fact no clean packaging of them.
That's exactly what I thought too Joshua.

Now ZT certainly isn't "dead". Sure its development has stalled, but it still works beautifully and already provides me with 90% of what I want from a boardgame emulator. Even if Jerome abandons it entirely, I know that I'll still be using it in years to come.

And I'll personally be creating scores of gameboxes for it :wink:

Regards, Bill.
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Post by paffers »

Things I like best NOT in ZunTzu ? off top of my head :

1. Ability to add, copy, paste, delete, resize components on the fly while playing.

2. I personally like the 3d engine and components - it looks great :)
Rotate and look at the board from any angle is really useful (even top down :) ). But thats eye-candy and not important to all I guess.

3. I am finding it quicker to build gameboxes. Measuring up pixels and doing masking to get clean components in that XML file did my head in.

4. Show a zoomed picture of a component without zooming the whole board. Great for deck building games with a gazillion cards on the table.

5. Dice can be positioned / zoomed like any other component where they are used for non standard things - War of the Ring in ZunTzu anyone ?

6. View is independent of the players. You want to zoom in to see something - does not affect anyone elses view.
No more cries of "STOP BLOODY MOVING THE TABLE !" from your mates as you zoom around the board.


Those are the important ones for me.

My biggest beef is that yes, it IS more difficult operationally to boardgame in a physics engine, but not so much that its a painful experience.
We have learnt to lock stuff down if we want "terrain" (and thats just an "L" keypress), and to throw dice AWAY from that important stack of counters :)

There are some other small bugs as well such as components not 'landing' properly when reloading a game but I expect these to get ironed out as time goes by. None of them are deal-breaking.

Yeah, I see where you are coming from re. table flipping. Its a gimmick. But then again the guy is trying to sell a product and it makes the trailer fun. It should not put you off !
We embrace it by enforcing that whoever comes last in a session MUST flip the table and be the resident loser for the week :)

I am quite surprised to hear about C&D orders. To the developer himself ?? I understand mod makers getting them (they have) but not the developer - its nothing to do with him surely.
In any case I don't see this as any more of a problem than say Vassal or ZunTzu have. Got a link for that story ?

Legality is not something I have really thought too deeply about to be honest. Anything I produce will no doubt not be sanctioned :oops: but I will not distribute anything to the Steam Workshop if I think its going to upset anyone. It will be for private use. Your situation sounds different. Are you developing 'official' gameboxes for someone ?

My components are in hidden albums in imgur.com so not findable/searchable without the URL if I understand correctly but I would not really mind if someone leeched them.
No skin off my nose.

My only other advice is, if 15 dollars is no big deal to you, buy and try it. The more I have played with it, the more I have enjoyed it.

I don't ever see ZunTzu resurrecting. Jerome has disappeared completely, unless someone else knows otherwise. If he has dropped the project altogether, or put it on hold for a year or two, at the very least he could have left a post in the forums to tell us.

I know several here, including myself, have sent him emails to find our what's going on, but no-one has received a reply.

BTW - have you looked at this ?

http://www.battlegroundsgames.com/

You can D/L a demo version.
dulcaoin
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Post by dulcaoin »

Bill Barrett wrote:
Right now, to me it's a sandbox physics simulator that celebrates FAR too loudly its greatest feature that you can "flip the table!" From what I've seen, it's attracting the wrong kind of gamer to the matchmaking lists. I couldn't see overhead views, it doesn't have any kind of packaging mechanism, and it's -- so far -- lacking basic features from ZunTzu. I certainly can't package any of the modules I'm working on (because they are sanctioned by a board game company) because there is no encryption of assets, and in fact no clean packaging of them.
That's exactly what I thought too Joshua.
I'd like to reiterate, it's got TONS of potential. But I just spent the past 3 years programming Unity clients (notably, I worked on the Pokemon Online Trading Card Game client), and Unity is a fickle mistress. Sure, the built-in physics stuff is fun, but it's dodgy. And the UI elements in Unity can be dodgy, and the memory management can be an issue. It's really easy to get the fun quick stuff running, but then knuckling down and making it act like something a Pro would use, that's the bulk of the work. With Unity, the bulk is on the back-end rather than the front. You get 90% of your stuff working, and then find out you've worked your way into a corner where Unity doesn't allow a way out.

He spent 5 months building what he's got now, that's not a lot of time.

If he knows what he's doing, he'll be fine. But he might run into some unexpected and irritating roadblocks.

I also want to avoid jumping on a new bandwagon too early. How many years of work were put into ZunTzu to make it so solid? It was and is solid, but people want to (perhaps understandably) decide the ride is over. But TTS is far too early in its cycle to be able to count on it making it for the long haul.

Maybe I'm too cynical, but I remember the days of CCG Workshop. ;-) Things always shift.
Bill Barrett wrote:Now ZT certainly isn't "dead". Sure its development has stalled, but it still works beautifully and already provides me with 90% of what I want from a boardgame emulator. Even if Jerome abandons it entirely, I know that I'll still be using it in years to come.

And I'll personally be creating scores of gameboxes for it :wink:

Regards, Bill.
And I think there's room for multiple solutions out there, too.

I've spent the past two months writing a layout utility that makes laying out all the pieces for ZunTzu much easier for me (from a wargaming perspective). It's actually possible to affect how ZT works without actually having to patch the software, so there is always hope.

To stem the inevitable: While it's been SUPER useful to me for laying out the work I've been doing, it's a personal database app, and half the work is punching numbers into tables; it's far from user friendly, requires an ancient and esoteric desktop database system, and isn't ready for any kind of sharing. It's more a proof for what can be done. Personally, I'd rather ZT have drag-and-drop editing, than for me to have to recreate half of its functionality in another app in order to get an editor that worked.

BUT... it's _possible_. ;-)

-- joshua
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Post by dulcaoin »

paffers wrote:Things I like best NOT in ZunTzu ? off top of my head :

1. Ability to add, copy, paste, delete, resize components on the fly while playing.
I can see where you'd want that while editing. But resizing during play? Adding components out of thin air while playing? Hmm. Might be my focus (war games) speaking, but part of the play can be the component limits, using only what comes in the box.
paffers wrote: 2. I personally like the 3d engine and components - it looks great :)
Rotate and look at the board from any angle is really useful (even top down :) ). But thats eye-candy and not important to all I guess.
I think it's very important. If eye-candy didn't matter, I think we could all be using Vassal.

For me, playing a wargame in the middle of a virtual field doesn't present the right "feel."

That doesn't mean one couldn't add the beach at Normandy as the backdrop around the table and take a certain wargame to a WHOLE new immersion level. ;)

paffers wrote: 3. I am finding it quicker to build gameboxes. Measuring up pixels and doing masking to get clean components in that XML file did my head in.
(With respect) is this really fair? It would take a tremendous amount of time (outside of XML and ZT, admittedly) to chop up all my counter sheets into individual files. There are pro packages (Photoshop) that could make the chopping and masking much easier, but it's still measuring and masking, right?

I'm going to take some license and figure you'd be far happier if the pixel boundary definitions were mouse-draggable in the UI of ZT, and this issue would go away for you.
Also, add to ZT the ability to import individual counters (rather than require they all live on a giant image "atlas"), and I bet your issues fade quickly.
Yes?
paffers wrote:4. Show a zoomed picture of a component without zooming the whole board. Great for deck building games with a gazillion cards on the table.
Battlegrounds does this. I put it in my wishlist posting for ZT. I don't know how that would sit with Jerome's ZT vision, of course. ;)
I was also hashing out a design for tooltips in ZT. I think they could be used to ameliorate the issue.
paffers wrote:5. Dice can be positioned / zoomed like any other component where they are used for non standard things - War of the Ring in ZunTzu anyone ?

6. View is independent of the players. You want to zoom in to see something - does not affect anyone elses view.
No more cries of "STOP BLOODY MOVING THE TABLE !" from your mates as you zoom around the board.
Yeah, these are big. My wishlist for save/restore of views was meant to ameliorate this, but it really needs a new design to be correctly fixed.
paffers wrote: Those are the important ones for me.

My biggest beef is that yes, it IS more difficult operationally to boardgame in a physics engine, but not so much that its a painful experience.
We have learnt to lock stuff down if we want "terrain" (and thats just an "L" keypress), and to throw dice AWAY from that important stack of counters :)
I'm curious: is there a way to roll dice without physically picking them up and casting them through visual space? Or is it ENTIRELY physics based?
I like my realism, but using the mouse to represent virtual hand movements is very clunky for me (and I imagine, quite a few other folks).
paffers wrote:There are some other small bugs as well such as components not 'landing' properly when reloading a game but I expect these to get ironed out as time goes by. None of them are deal-breaking.

Yeah, I see where you are coming from re. table flipping. Its a gimmick. But then again the guy is trying to sell a product and it makes the trailer fun. It should not put you off !
We embrace it by enforcing that whoever comes last in a session MUST flip the table and be the resident loser for the week :)
It's a cool gimmick, but it's attracting "the wrong element," I fear. Lots of griefers. It's not the gimmick that bothers me, it's the kind of community it's attracting.

Feel free to think of me as a cranky old curmudgeon here, that's fair... ;)
paffers wrote:I am quite surprised to hear about C&D orders. To the developer himself ?? I understand mod makers getting them (they have) but not the developer - its nothing to do with him surely.
In any case I don't see this as any more of a problem than say Vassal or ZunTzu have. Got a link for that story ?
http://www.berserk-games.com/forum/gene ... ssion/350/
paffers wrote:Legality is not something I have really thought too deeply about to be honest. Anything I produce will no doubt not be sanctioned :oops: but I will not distribute anything to the Steam Workshop if I think its going to upset anyone. It will be for private use. Your situation sounds different. Are you developing 'official' gameboxes for someone ?
Yes, I am. High quality, sanctioned, needs encryption, "you need your reference materials at hand" type stuff. And I have no particular horse in the Legality race, either. I do have to keep my stakeholders (who provide clean assets and OK the use) happy, though.

<snipped some content>
paffers wrote:I don't ever see ZunTzu resurrecting. Jerome has disappeared completely, unless someone else knows otherwise. If he has dropped the project altogether, or put it on hold for a year or two, at the very least he could have left a post in the forums to tell us.

I know several here, including myself, have sent him emails to find our what's going on, but no-one has received a reply.
:-X :-)
paffers wrote:BTW - have you looked at this ?

http://www.battlegroundsgames.com/
LOL... Heruca just recently (like, two days ago) contacted me to see if I'd give his application a try. I just downloaded it yesterday and started to evaluate.

Competition is good for everyone. Very good. It has some issues I'm not happy with (rotating anything kills anti-aliasing, the hex grid is not usable in its current state, etc.), but to be honest, I was thinking of asking YOU why you thought TTS was a better way to go than BGE. :)

I think BGE has a future. ZunTzu has a future. We will see how TTS comes together over time.

-- joshua
Geralt
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Post by Geralt »

paffers wrote:
Geralt wrote:I would buy this programm, but I wonder how I can archive/download modules for tabletop. I know that most interesting games will be deleted etc...
Not sure I follow - do you mean copyright issues ? If so then that is going to affect any system you game on, not just TTS.
Yes, but for example in ZunTzu I can download and archive module (or make my own module from my copy of game) for private use only (direct connect with friends). I think almost everything can be and will be deleted due to the copyright issues (especially if it will be popular program).

I afraid that I will buy program without possibility to play interesting games.

For now I play ZunTzu with my friends and I and my friends make some new modules and it is cool...

BTW: I think ZunTzu is still very good program but it lacks of community (and I would like to see some additional functionality for example temporary synchronizing of view or better hand management <- but this is not so necessary). Also I'm not sure if 3d view is optimal (it looks better:) ) for manoeuvring elements but I would like to try this tabletop simulator.

Geralt
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