A better plan for Vision Blocking and Lighting

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Haslor
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A better plan for Vision Blocking and Lighting

Post by Haslor »

Hi all;

A friend and I have been using MapTool for a few years now, for his game., we both like it. I have also used it in my Fiction Writing to work out encounters.

Here is our creation process.
My friend hands me a rough sketch of the building he wants, I can quickly take that sketch from the Napkin to a basic building in five minutes; using Campaign Cartographer with Dungeon and City Designer. Here I have Layers for the floor, walls, fixtures, and the like. Somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes I have the building ready for export, which I do in several flavors: DXF, Floor, Floor and Walls, and a Mask of those areas not visible.
The DXF I use to make a 3d model of the building. the Floor and walls become the Tile for MapTool and the Vision Mask... Call it for Future expansion.

Then I open MapTool, place the images or tiles (to ensure they match up with the grid system), before I hand the completed Tile PNG's to him. He or I build the Vision Blocking Layer, puts Lighting on objects and does the dressing. And here is where the issue starts and the Joy ends.

If we reuse, move, or resize a Building or Tile, we have to start from scratch on all of the dressing. If we are building out a Village, it could take Days and that is not good, for the creative process or his game.

I am glad to hear you are moving to JavaScript for your micro language, it ill make one of my plans workable. The idea of a moving NPC, on a tick. When triggered the Boy who runs into town yelling about a wolf. But I digress.

So here is my proposal to solve the Vision Blocking issue:
Make the Vision blocking and lighting layers for any object, (it could be Tile X, Door #, Torch #, or Building Y) part of the object. Then you could do the vision blocking once and it is reusable. This alone would give we the users, the ability to build a village or cave system, complete with Lighting and Vision blocking, in minutes; by just dropping tiles. This also means a GM could extend an existing map, while the players and deciding which hallway to search. It would make the tool much more usable.

Linking the Vision Blocking to objects has its advantages. It would mean instead of cutting an opening when the players open the door, the vision blocking would follow the door object and so the player couldn't see the Orc behind the door. It would mean when you move the wardrobe, the vision blocking would move with it to reveal the secret door behind it.

Say that is not possible (or would take a complete rewrite of your App) then what about exposing Vision Blocking and Lighting Layers. Allow the creation of lighting and Vision Blocking Tiles (Masks), which can be dropped over their image tiles, not to mention being able to move and resize these masks. Creating a Vision Blocking mask for a tile would be easy, in a program like Photoshop, Gimp, Affinity Photo or even CC3.

I am just thinking of spending less time with mapping and more time writing or playing the your game, while making it look great.

Just a thought.
Haslor
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aliasmask
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Re: A better plan for Vision Blocking and Lighting

Post by aliasmask »

This has already been tested and will likely be included in one of the next couple of releases. At least, that is my assumption.

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lmarkus001
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Re: A better plan for Vision Blocking and Lighting

Post by lmarkus001 »

The Bag of Tricks can manage vision blocking attached to a token now! When the token is moved the vision blocking moves with it!

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aliasmask
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Re: A better plan for Vision Blocking and Lighting

Post by aliasmask »

lmarkus001 wrote:The Bag of Tricks can manage vision blocking attached to a token now! When the token is moved the vision blocking moves with it!

I wasn't sure if those VBL functions were made live in b91. I guess so. But they're not really attached to an object. BoT attach it to a token manually, but you'll have to move the object with a macro, afaik.

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wolph42
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Re: A better plan for Vision Blocking and Lighting

Post by wolph42 »

aliasmask wrote:
lmarkus001 wrote:The Bag of Tricks can manage vision blocking attached to a token now! When the token is moved the vision blocking moves with it!

I wasn't sure if those VBL functions were made live in b91. I guess so. But they're not really attached to an object. BoT attach it to a token manually, but you'll have to move the object with a macro, afaik.


yes it made it into b91 and no you don't have to 'move the token with a macro', although you're close. You apply VBL to token, you assign VBL to token through a macro and you can copy paste move the thing around as you like. Note that with copy-paste you need to either move it again first before the vbl is reapplies. The VBL changes are triggered onTokenMove.

As an example have a look at Dungeon Builder 2 (link in sig.).

Better yet, in case of houses its possible to have 2 VBL layers. One layer for when a token is outside and only sees the roof (usually a cross) and one layer as soon as a token enters the building. Both the roof and the VBL are then automatically swapped (roof is made transparent and the other VBL layer is applied). Should the token move out, then the roof VBL is returned. Same trick with doors, tunnels, bridges, trees etc.

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