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Kobold
 
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 2:59 pm
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 Post subject: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 10:10 am 
its been an idea of mine since i first heard of the ipad, and researching said idea is what lead me to the rpgtool website. I'd love to see a way simpler version of this tool for use on an ipad that can connect with nearby people or a wifi network. It wouldnt need chat because everyone would be in the same room using it just for combat/optional dice/pdf's/character sheets/initiative and you would definitely have to make the UI much simpler and more synergistic (waaay less options, there are a ton of options your program has that (although are awesome for playing online) would be far beyond unnecessary for this application).

basics of what you will need:

1. it would be more popular and way more easy to use on an ipad if you exclusively used pre-drawn tiles (similar to the official DnD tiles or paizo's game mastery series of maps). instead of using sight blockers and fog of war, the dm can simply tap an eye button and then tap tiles or drag his finger to make a selection box to make entire rooms visible etc as they progress through a dungeon/catacomb/etc, or the DM could even build it as he goes for a on the fly kind of dungeon. You could also still use fog of war and just have it automatic, where you select your vision or light source , and that reveals your fog of war for anypart of a tile that you can see, you wont have to make sight blockers with this method because the maps aren't gigantic open fields they are dead space with tiles on them (and players can only see and move through tiles) so if there is a tile on the other side of some dead space, the players wont be able to see it until they visually find how to walk to it with connected tiles. The tiles would most likely have to be squares to best facilitate having pre-drawn tiles like this... I'm sorry "hex" people, i appreciate you but your just far outnumbered by "square" people from an industry standpoint. :(

2. pre-build templates of generic random encounters/taverns/etc. perhaps even allow maptool exporting to ipad as flat images? This will cut down some time and allow the DM to make good use of the power of a tile based system and have all the maps still look highly professional and artistic.

3. a variety of basic tokens (including geometric ones for monsters that are not yet represented). If it is possible to still make custom tokens for an ipad that might be worth investigating, but from a simplistic standpoint it would be more powerful to have a large variety of premade ones.

4. simpler drawing tool. pick a color, pick a size, and draw with your finger. this will be more for gesturing and drawing things not represented in tile form into the game. similar to how a sports caster draws over game highlights.

That's pretty much the basics of all you need to make it. I know there are a lot of details and some things are easier said than done but the technology has existed for a while now to make an awesome touch screen maptool, and i know my entire dnd group would rush out and buy an ipad if it meant reducing table top clutter! as it stand now we all play with laptops for our pdf's and sheets leaving less room for rolling out the map and less room to even see each others faces while we game haha! I'd shave my chest with a lawnmower to get software like this and i know i'm not alone :) I have a bunch of hand drawn mock up UI's already that i think would be both simple and successful.


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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 10:39 am 
slambert wrote:
I'd love to see a way simpler version of this tool for use on an ipad that can connect with nearby people or a wifi network.

You don't say which "tool" you're referring to. We have multiple tools available, y'know: CharacterTool, DiceTool, InitiativeTool, MapTool, and TokenTool. You're probably talking about MT though, based on some of your later comments.

You likely won't see anything from RPTools appearing on the iPad any time soon. The iPad doesn't have Java support (AFAIK) and our apps are all written in Java.

Some kind of front-end written in Javascript for HTML5 might be possible but I doubt we'll be the ones to develop that. If anyone else wants to attack that project I'd be happy to (try to!) answer questions...


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Kobold
 
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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 10:44 am 
yes i meant the maptool :) sorry


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Demigod
 
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:53 am
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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:08 pm 
slambert wrote:
I'd love to see a way simpler version of this tool for use on an ipad that can connect with nearby people or a wifi network.


Someone is developing a MT front-end for the ipad/iphone.

You can see details here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13610

You should take your ideas and concerns to him and see what he says... though, I believe if you get rid of as much functionality in MT as you talk about just to have a "simple" interface you'd lose far more MT user's than you'd gain. Especially if they had to pay $500+ to lose that functionality.


Quote:
i know my entire dnd group would rush out and buy an ipad if it meant reducing table top clutter! as it stand now we all play with laptops for our pdf's and sheets leaving less room for rolling out the map and less room to even see each others faces while we game


Would you really save space? While I see some of the benefits of having a touchscreen available, the difference between the footprint of the ipad and a midsize laptop is negligible. Plus, without using a stand, your players would end up having to pick it up all the time, or lean over their table to see the screen, instead of just having it angled up and facing them. Data-entry is easier on a laptop too.

If you're referring to power wires on the table taking up space, it seems to me that a $200 netbook with a 7 hour charge would do the trick, provide a small footprint, easier data-entry, come with it's own "built-in" stand, work with MT and every other MT tool nativly, probably have a webcam, at least 10 times the storage space, native flash/java/silverlight support, true multitasking, etc. The only thing you're giving up is a touchscreen and the higher cost.

I'm not saying that the ipad wouldn't be a decent or fun platform to use MT on... I'm just saying that I don't see it trumping the a laptop's functionality in too many categories. There is a lot to give up to get a touchscreen interface.

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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:26 pm 
Full Bleed wrote:
If you're referring to power wires on the table taking up space, it seems to me that a $200 netbook with a 7 hour charge would do the trick,

Wow, can you find a netbook for $200 with a 7-hour charge?!

The people I've talked to that own them (Dell, HP, and Acer/Asus (don't remember which)) say they get about 2.5-3 hours on a charge when web surfing and doing email. That was with the smaller battery pack (6 cell?) on all of them except one of the Dells, which had 50% more cells and got roughly 50% more operating time.

Given that the cpu will be fairly busy with calculating vision lines (that's some pretty cpu-intensive stuff) and scaling images when zooming, I doubt you'd get more than a couple hours out of a netbook. Does anyone here have any RL experience to the contrary...?


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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 2:22 pm 
slambert, I think what you really need to do is wait about 2 more months... and then send them all after which ever android tablet comes out on top... MT's probably gonna be a whole lot easier to port to android (assuming sun or O.S. coders don't just write or tweak a JRE to support android anyway), you might not even loose functionality...

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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 3:01 pm 
Azhrei wrote:
Wow, can you find a netbook for $200 with a 7-hour charge?!


Well, I've seen netbooks sell in the $160-$170 range. Buy a second 9cell extended battery for $30 if you want another to swap in during a game. Yet another thing you can't do with the iPad. Lets face it, ipad or netbook, a some point during a 5 hour game someone is probably going to need a charge unless everyone loads up before coming to the game (which you know they won't.) I'd probably bring an extra battery... people that don't have them will need to plug in. This would likely be device independent behavior.

Quote:
That was with the smaller battery pack (6 cell?) on all of them except one of the Dells, which had 50% more cells and got roughly 50% more operating time.


Probably a 3-cell. Pretty standard for many netbooks on the low end.

The Acer Aspire One AO532h has a 10 hour rated battery and you can get one of those for $250-$270.

As for how close to rated any of these devices (the ipad included) will get in a VTT environment, who knows. The persistent WiFi connection and the efficiency of the processor for what MT needs is pretty variable.

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Dragon
 
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:34 pm
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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 3:08 pm 
Full Bleed wrote:
As for how close to rated any of these devices (the ipad included) will get in a VTT environment, who knows. The persistent WiFi connection and the efficiency of the processor for what MT needs is pretty variable.


The iPad will hit 10 hours, I suspect. People are clocking it at 10 hours while streaming video from Netflix; it really is that good on battery life.

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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 3:13 pm 
Thanlis wrote:
The iPad will hit 10 hours, I suspect. People are clocking it at 10 hours while streaming video from Netflix; it really is that good on battery life.


We don't need to guess.

According to the thread I linked above, the MT front end on the iPad is now in beta testing.

Have at it iPad owners: http://boards.gandreas.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=642



Edit: Gizmodo got 6.5 hours when continuously streaming Netflix videos over 3g. *shrug*

Quote:
Here's what we found after running down our iPad 3G several times—netting a darned impressive 6 hours and 30 minutes of battery life while continuously streaming Netflix videos over 3G.

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Dragon
 
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:33 am
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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 7:18 pm 
Azhrei wrote:
Full Bleed wrote:
If you're referring to power wires on the table taking up space, it seems to me that a $200 netbook with a 7 hour charge would do the trick,

Wow, can you find a netbook for $200 with a 7-hour charge?!

The people I've talked to that own them (Dell, HP, and Acer/Asus (don't remember which)) say they get about 2.5-3 hours on a charge when web surfing and doing email. That was with the smaller battery pack (6 cell?) on all of them except one of the Dells, which had 50% more cells and got roughly 50% more operating time.

I have an Asus netbook. When its battery was brand new, it lasted 5-7 hours - more like 5 hours when the wireless was enabled, as it would need to be to use MapTool.

It was about $500, but that was a year ago. I could imagine getting a similar netbook for $200 now, maybe even with a fresh battery if you get the right Ebay deal.

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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:42 pm 
Full Bleed wrote:
Edit: Gizmodo got 6.5 hours when continuously streaming Netflix videos over 3g. *shrug*

Quote:
Here's what we found after running down our iPad 3G several times—netting a darned impressive 6 hours and 30 minutes of battery life while continuously streaming Netflix videos over 3G.


Oh, interesting. 3G burns more battery. Yeah, here's some discussion of that. Since I personally plan on getting a 3G model because I don't think I can count on wifi every time I want to use my iPad, I'm thinking the 3G numbers are more important. :)

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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 11:41 pm 
Raoden wrote:
I have an Asus netbook. When its battery was brand new, it lasted 5-7 hours - more like 5 hours when the wireless was enabled, as it would need to be to use MapTool.

That's not bad at all. Although I think Asus was the one known for sipping at the battery instead of gulping, IIRC.

Thanks for the updated info. :)


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Kobold
 
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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:44 am 
Thanlis wrote:

According to the thread I linked above, the MT front end on the iPad is now in beta testing.

Have at it iPad owners: http://boards.gandreas.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=642



MapNakotic, the app that was linked by Thanlis, has been sent to the app store for approval so hopefully, by my next game session, it will be available to the masses. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:50 am 
Ah, yes. Looking around on their site, this thread is the announcement: http://boards.gandreas.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=759

And another thread about a milestone for MaPnakotic: http://boards.gandreas.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=741

It's cool to see people writing mobile apps for MapTool!


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 Post subject: Re: ipad virtual table
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:06 pm 
I've tried MaPnakotic - on an iPhone - and it's pretty darn cool (I was a deadbeat beta tester, because I got it working and then a bunch of work and life stuff came up and I completely forgot about it).

It's a bit hard to use on such a small screen, but it works.

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