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  1. #21

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    My two cents on dev direction for that stuff, from a development project POV:

    While the dev path of, push more prettier pixels and sparkly effects, is what the last decade+ of video games is what it has been.

    I hope the VTT dev path takes greater aim at being functionally useful heavy mechanics automation and GM organization / creation aid tool. More than focusing on features to supplement the power of imagination.
    Visual aids are nice and all, but the automation and organization of dense complex mechanics, are the one and ONLY thing a VTT can offer, that nothing else can.
    There are tons and tons of FREE options to just be perosnally interactive and provide visual aids to players. A VTT is superfluous in the market, relative to that job. Yeah the VTT is on the hook for this visual aids too, but if visual aids is the bulk of the VTT's dev efforts, then the VTT and google free meet, and all other video chats, are right next to each on the shelf to pick between for what they all do.

    What the VTT can offer that no other way of sharing visual aids can, is to automate dense cumbersome mechanics for the GM and players. That's it, nothing a VTT does in visual can't be done with other tools just as readily, just as easily, and often for free.
    What a VTT can uniquely offer is the mechanics automation. That is all a VTT has that nothig else could also do. I think the VTTs get way stronger to focus on what only they can do, more than try to have all the sparkly razzmatazz first.

    As an example:
    The dynamic line of sight feature for FGU.

    If that was only ever going to be, simplistic no game rules control, infinite line of sight to the next solid wall or edge of the map.
    Then anyone that wanted to play the actual rules of their RP system that had vision distance limitations, will just always have to be sure that bit of fluff is turned off. Because it would mechanically break the rules of the game otherwise, if it reveals to the PCs anything that, in rule they do not have the ability to see yet.

    I assume that the dLoS feature, is just in stage one, I know dev is in small steps, everything in bite sized chunks as best as can be managed.
    But then the actual roadmap plan would be, to have it tie into the character sheets in the party to actually dynamical determine the mechanical line of sight of the characters based on the in use rule set.
    And if you got real detailed about it all, GM options for: ignore LoS limits, individual party LoS draw, shared party LoS draw.

    So just say'n here, some of us will have little to no praise for what functionally, is just fluff razzmatazz, rather than real mechanically useful creation, organization , and automation tools to run a game.
    Last edited by A Social Yeti; September 17th, 2020 at 22:44.

  2. #22
    It's probably my age, but while the animated maps are cool and pretty and all, I think it's something that appeals more to people who grew up with the video game generation. I started playing D&D in 1985. We rarely used maps! It was all what you'd now call "theater of the mind". In a way, I feel all the visuals and sound effects and background music take away a bit of the imagination that used to be such a big part of the game, when we'd REALLY get so deep into a game that the table would disappear, and we'd see the forest or the cave or the tavern. Different times, I guess.

  3. #23

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    Different times, but also different capabilities - in face to face you can't have automated video maps the way you can on a VTT. People are just trying to promote the medium's advantages. It similar to the difference between reading a book and watching a movie - both are entertainment but both tell the story in different ways. The trick would be to find a story that really can use an animated map as other than a "gee-whiz" cosmetic way.

  4. #24
    That's a good point about using the medium to its full advantages. I suppose watching TV wouldn't be the same if they said "You know, when I was a young'un before TV, it didn't have pictures, and was called 'radio' and you had to use your imagination!" and so they stopped using pictures.

    I guess it's a bit silly of me to expect time to stand still. I do appreciate the beauty of those maps. As I said: they are cool and pretty, and they're lively! It would be cool if they were interactive, and you could snuff out the lights, or if your movement caused birds to scatter. Is that a thing?

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griogre View Post
    ...in face to face you can't have automated video maps the way you can on a VTT.
    Oh yes you can! Lots of people put a flat-screen TV on their table for face to face games (including me) and use that for maps. That's exactly how most people use video maps like Dynamic Dungeons: https://www.patreon.com/dynamicdungeons/posts
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  6. #26
    Animated maps are cool, but somewhat limiting. If I want a specific map, with specific layouts, I make them myself (I'm a prolific map-maker) with the caveat being that they are not going to be animated. Until that process becomes more easy and efficient vs the time cost of making a map animated, this is a feature that I don't particularly care for. Nice to have, but personally not something I'm bothered with.

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