Some New Chits

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
April 17, 2008 - 4:05am
I just submitted some new SF KH chits in png format. Most are around 200pixels in sizes. I tried to get them smaller but they started to distort since the orignals are from high resolution 3d cgi that I created and rendered. Most of the 3d meshes are also available in obj format upon request if you like them (With the exception of the Carrier and Heavy Cruiser which seem to resist being transfered off of my system and fall apart in the process) I hope you enjoy the new chits and can have a lot of fun using these alternative ship designs to add a little spice to your KH games. Hopefully there will be no major issues with the submittal and the webmaster can get them posted for you soon
Comments:

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
April 17, 2008 - 6:40am
I've noticed problems with the image posting myself recently.  Can't wait to see them.  I might be interested in the 3d meshes as well.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
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Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
April 17, 2008 - 7:33am

Send me a message with your contact email and I would be happy so send you the meshes. Created in Hexagon, they are nice but uncomplicated, no boolean manipulations (wish I had the time for that). But they do render very nicely and accept a wide variety of textures.


Full Bleed's picture
Full Bleed
April 23, 2008 - 10:25pm
Looks like the site was backed up to an earlier date...

I, too, am looking forward to seeing these.

All of the images I've attached to messages and uploaded here were PNG's... so I'm not sure what's changed.


Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
April 24, 2008 - 6:03am
This issue is resolved. I just tested uploading your Masking Screen.
Refer to: Masking Screen

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
April 24, 2008 - 6:41am
Yahoo!!!!!! It looks great to see the image up. Thank you everyone at the site for getting the issues resolved. I still can't download the others yet but I am sure that will probably be resolved soon as well. Thank you for allowing me to share my work with the community, I hope eveyone enjoys the work. game on

Full Bleed's picture
Full Bleed
April 25, 2008 - 3:46am
They are showing up now.  Cool.

I kind of wish they were larger though.  I don't have my book in front of me, but looking at the size of the ships in the KH books, I'd render ships out at 200 pixels per inch (with the Assault Scout setting the what the "inch" metric would be.)  That's also kind of loosely basing them on the size the metal mini's would be (though they were not totally accurate to the KH books as I recall.)





AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
April 25, 2008 - 7:37am
The Chits are not to scale. There are also some large sized pics in the alternate SFKH ship design thread I started. (unfortunately also not to scale but bigger pics). I really haven't had the time to post a size comparison chart yet.

Full Bleed's picture
Full Bleed
April 26, 2008 - 3:02pm
I mention some measure of scale because I think that these "chits" should be as geared toward online virtual table-top play as they are to just printing them out for traditional tabletop use.  And in most cases having some kind of scale would make them more useful in that regard.

That's also why I keep pushing for PNG releases with transparent backgrounds when things like this are done.





Full Bleed's picture
Full Bleed
May 1, 2008 - 9:05pm
Moving the discusion of image size back to the thread...

On one concern, when an image is uploaded to the Downloads section the site neatly thumbnails the image so that the size of the file does not break the site.  That's one of the core benefits of having a dedicated download section.  You could release a low and high rez version to cater to specific needs if you wanted.

As for images in threads that do "break the thread", Bill might be able to find some kind of plugin that thumbnails images inside threads as well without permanently changing the resolution of the image.  I imagine he's a little too busy to deal with that right now though.

Now, as for the files not rendering well at the higher resolution (showing seams, etc.) that's a technical limitation that probably can't really be over-come (unless the software has some way to deal with that issue.)  I think a lot of the stuff people are doing now-a-days is using programs like Poser or Daz3d... and I'm unfamiliar with the limitation of whatever program you're using AZ, so I can't really comment too much on that.

And finally, to sumarise my lost thread on resolution, the number I eventually came to illustrate scale was 50 pixels per 10 meters... with the assumption being that every square on the Knight Hawk's scale chart was equal to 10 meters.

This fully takes into consideration that the native resolution of a high rez image is not practical for typical on-screen viewing or table top play... but, on large virtual maps, resolution issues and issues of scale often become manageable.


AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
May 2, 2008 - 7:29am
ok

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
May 2, 2008 - 8:29pm
What would the pixel size be for virtual mini's of PC's?

As far a monchoromatic Chits, yes thats fine we've all used them for years and there's definitely nothing wrong with that. However, colored Chits would be far more visually interesting and exciting. One thing I really liked about the Star Trek Starship Tactical Simulator game by FASA was that it used these larger beautifully colored starship counters that were really cool for game play. As I remember probably about 200pixels in size using hexagonal shape. Not what were using in SFKH but it would be nice to add a little color and excitement to the game. I am not against monchromatic but color is more exciting and impressive and with Laser printers a realistic option.

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
May 4, 2008 - 8:34am
AZ_GAMER wrote:
What would the pixel size be for virtual mini's of PC's?

As far a monchoromatic Chits, yes thats fine we've all used them for years and there's definitely nothing wrong with that. However, colored Chits would be far more visually interesting and exciting. One thing I really liked about the Star Trek Starship Tactical Simulator game by FASA was that it used these larger beautifully colored starship counters that were really cool for game play. As I remember probably about 200pixels in size using hexagonal shape. Not what were using in SFKH but it would be nice to add a little color and excitement to the game. I am not against monchromatic but color is more exciting and impressive and with Laser printers a realistic option.


Would they work on the KH game board?


AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
May 4, 2008 - 6:55pm
No the Fasa game chits/carboard pieces were much larger than the Star Frontiers Ones. A solution to this (but not a practical one and possibly costly, but depends on what you want to present visually for your gamers) would be to build pedestal stands that fit the KH game hexes that could suspend the larger pieces above the map. Again just an idea, not a practical one, but I have often used a lot of visual devices in game sessions that were a lot of fun, props, sound effects, digital displays on my laptop and the such to make for fun and stimulating game play.

Let me preface this next statement by saying my first roleplaying experiences were D&D like most 1980's era gamers. WOTC has just recently started a major promotion campaign for the new 4th ed. D&D game. One of the major new developments is a virtual game table which uses all of the best new virtual game tools for Dungeon Masters (Virtual Maps, Virtual Minatures, Sound Effects, Postings, On-line game play, Lighting effects, etc.) All as virtual tools to be used in conjunction with the table top game and not a replacement of it. Please check it out sometime on the www.dnd4.com site. The reason I mention this on SF site is because it would be exceptional to create these tools for use with the game we love.

Full Bleed's picture
Full Bleed
May 7, 2008 - 3:55am
The "official" D&D gametable has nothing on the gametables that are already out there, other than being partially 3D.  For example, Maptool has the best vision and lighting system on the market and tons more features.  Fantasy Grounds 2 has one of the most pleasing interfaces with an awesome virtual die roller (but it's really geared to d20.)  And Battlegrounds RPG is a good all around gametable with a nice clean interface (but has some limitations.)

Both Maptool and Battlegrounds are the most actively developed programs out right now with new versions and features coming out every month (if not every week.)

ITable is a new VTT to the market right now that includes video support.  Its game table is a little weak, but it's got a lot of other strengths for online gaming and it's being developed pretty quickly right now.

Kloodgewerks is a great d20 based system... maybe a little too automated, but I don't think it's being as heavily developed as some of the other programs out there are.  But, for all I know, someone may have actually created a Star Frontiers rule-set for it.

The point being that WotC is Johhny-Come-Lately in this field and their solution is not good for Star Frontiers.  They focused on being pretty over functionality (no line of sight, poor fog of war, no custom importing and exporting of user art/maps, not friendly to other gaming systems, and the list goes on and on.)  But a program like Maptool or BRPG would be fantastic for SF right now.  Yes, these 3rd party programs rely heavily on user contributed art, but right now there is tons of stuff to use.  Just go to a site like http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/default.asp?C=4 and check out their art forums.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  I probably have 30 gigs of tokens, maps, textures, and the like for virtual gaming (though my focus is largely on fantasy right now.)




Full Bleed's picture
Full Bleed
May 7, 2008 - 4:15am
AZ_GAMER wrote:
What would the pixel size be for virtual mini's of PC's?


I think that many people render virtual minis of PC's around 200x200... but most people will play with them around 100x100 or even 50x50.  I perfer to play with them around 100x100.

Here are some Virtual minis that would work with Star Frontiers:

http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=9999&PN=6
http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=9940&PN=6
http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=9791&PN=7
http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=9480&PN=8
http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=9462&PN=9
http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=8828&PN=10
http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=3591&PN=25

You can spend a long time looking around just that one forum.

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
May 7, 2008 - 12:31pm

I agree Full bleed that there are probably a lot of great products out there better than D&D. In fact I'd rather see one of our very talent computer guys build us something to use here. However, I just crawled out from under the rock of reality from several years absence from gaming and found the D&D site, watched the promo videos, and thought the concept was very cool and would be great (the concept that is) for use in SF. I have looked at the dunjinni site and think they have a lot of talent people contributing and some great stuff out there. I am not familiar with the other software and will be sure to check it out on my own later. Thank you very much for posting the info here. Why are all of the minis top view only, isn't there any 3D stuff for those virtual game tables? 50x50 pixels is pretty tiny what are they using to maintain the integrity of the image, or are they monchromatic like the SF Chits?


Full Bleed's picture
Full Bleed
May 7, 2008 - 10:24pm
None of the Virtual Table Tops are true 3d.  Even the WotC gametable only has 3d minis (maybe some objects) on a 2nd map.  Part of the reason for this is that producing 3d material (maps, minis, objects, etc) is very time consuming and just not something that is really doable by the vast majority of gamers.  Creating or using existing 2d art, however, is much easier and more accessible to the masses.  Though, like with your ships, people are creating 2d images using 3d art.

Some people choose to use pog style tokens... and RPTools even created an easy Token Tool (http://rptools.net/doku.php?id=tokentool:intro) so that pog type tokens could be made from any piece of art a user already has.  I suspect that a concerted effort to bring SF to VTT gaming would probably start with them as there just isn't much top-down SF art or 3d models on characters available.  You may be able to find a bunch of top down sci-fi humans that work well in a SF game... but finding something for the other races is unlikely.

I generally prefer top-down... but token/pog style work great in gaming.

At 50x50 people really aren't interested in a lot of detail and you can get alot of object of a screen easily.  The first VTT's were just simple whiteboard type programs where small icons could be moved around.  The move to 100x100 and 200x200 is really in its infancy, and many times people may still set up their playing grids to be 50x50 pixels per hex/square but use higher resolution tokens and objects so that when you zoom in, the images don't pixelate.

You can check out http://gallery.rptools.net/main.php and http://rpgmapshare.com to see more examples of top-down tokens, objects, and maps.

The truth is that developing a Virtual Table Top specifically for one game system really isn't practical or desirable in most cases.  Why put all that time and effort into something that only one small market can use?  And, frankly, even if someone here started developing something specifically for SF, it would be years behind the stuff that's already out there.  All SF players need is a concerted effort to start getting useful VTT artwork together into one place (particularly minis/tokens and ships)... then just import the graphics into the VTT of your choice and you'd be ready to roll.

Take some time to check out Maptool and Battlegrounds to see what I mean.  Maptool is free and Battlegrounds has a free demo that people can play around with.



And keep in mind that a totally respectable SF game could be played entiely with chits that are available here and in various SF modules (and SFMan mags.)  You could just scan in location maps, deploy your chits on the maps and you're in business.   My push to see ships take on some kind of "scale" with regard to resolution was mainly because with VTT's we can... though we certainly don't need to.  Using scale may very well be overkill... but I think it's how I'd like to play if I had a choice.




AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
May 8, 2008 - 12:49am
i like toolsFoot in mouth