Tabletop Simulator - Knil
Hey we got another great patch for you guys today with a ton of great scripting changes, give host, and a brand new file browser!

Give Host:
  • Allows the host of game to pass the hosting off to another player that is connected to them.
  • The selected player will receive a confirmation dialog to accept the new host and can accept or decline.
  • If accepted all players will disconnect and then have the choice to reconnect to the new host in the exact same setup and layout they were just playing in.
  • Everything will be preserved from the previous host.



New File Browser:
  • Brand new file browser.
  • Can search and favorite folders to easily find your assets.
  • Works in VR now.

Split & Cut:
  • New split added to contextual menu that let's you split a deck / stack in a certain number of stacks.
  • Cut has been improved by letting you choose at what proportion you want to split the deck / stack.

Scripting Improvement:
    Lua
  • putObject() now returns an Object.
  • Using it to combine two cards will return an object reference to the newly formed deck.
  • Using it to put an object into a container/stack/deck will return the container/stack/deck it was made part of.

    New class Notes
  • Contains notebook and set/getNotes functions.
  • Deprecated the old "Base" versions of these functions.

    New class Wait
  • This new class allows you to easily trigger functions after some form of delay.
  • Contains frames, time, condition, and stop functions.
  • Deprecated Timer class entirely.

    New Object functions
  • obj.cut(int) - Cuts a deck at the given card index.
  • obj.split(int) - Splits a deck in a number of stacks.
  • obj.getRotationValue - Returns the current rotationValue of an object (see: gizmo tool).
  • This function existed previously, but was not documented.

    Event Functions
  • Added onObjectPeek(object, player) - Triggers when peek is used by a player.
  • Added object.onPeek(player), object.onRandomize(player).

    Misc
  • Player Color strings convert automatically
  • Example: printToAll("Hello", "Green").
  • Snap points created on objects use Vectors local to the Object, rather than global.
  • This applies to both position and rotation.
  • Fix for optional parameters of spawnObjectJSON().
  • Fix motor_force not working on jointTo().

    New Object Member Variables
  • loading_custom - Indicates if the assets of a custom element are being loaded.
  • spawning - Indicates if any object is currently in the process of spawning.
  • These are helpful to determine if elements are loaded into the game fully
  • Especially useful with the new Wait class!

    Callback Changes
  • Callbacks are being overhauled to use brand new syntax where you directly pass the function instead of the function string name, function owner, and params.
  • Ex: Wait.time(|| print("Done"), 1) or Wait.time(function() print("Done") end, 1)
  • Effected are spawnObject/Json(), takeObject(), and Webrequests.

    Custom UI:
  • New Lua function:
  • UI.setValue(string id, string value) - Updates the value that appears within element tags {>>(ex: <Text>THIS</Text>)<<}
  • UI.getValue(string id)- Obtains the value that appears within element tags {>>(ex: <Text>THIS</Text>)<<}
  • Both support Rich Text!
  • Added get/setCustomAssets() with keys named and url.
  • New InputField attribute placeholder- Greyed out text that appears in the input if there is no text present.

Chat Improvements
  • Added optional timestamps for chat found in chat settings.
  • Improved black outline around text in chat.
  • Numbers in chat are now monospace.

Onscreen indicators
  • Added on screen indicators to the edge of the screen for ping arrow and peek icons.
  • Never miss a notification because you were looking at the wrong direction.

UI Improvements
  • Add clear input x button to all search inputs.
  • Added a scale animation to popup menus.
  • Added a safe guard to restore UIs dragged off the screen.

VR Fixes:
Tabletop Simulator - Knil


Steam's Summer Sale is here and Tabletop Simulator is 50% off!
You can get both the individual and the 4-pack at this discounted price.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/286160/

Additionally, all our DLCs are on sale up to 50% off!

https://store.steampowered.com/dlc/286160/

Hope you guys are having a great summer!

Sale ends July 5th at 10am PST.
Tabletop Simulator - Knil
Hey everyone we got another great patch for you guys focused on a broad range of things, but a lot had to do with spring cleaning and keeping everything running great.

We got a couple of great Custom Xml UI examples below to help you started getting your feet wet. They are also very functional and could be useful for your games.



Xml UI Example:

General:
  • Flip now actually flips the dice instead of increasing the number value (rotate right still does this).
  • Optimized away all garbage allocation per frame to improve overall smoothness.
  • Optimized 2D UI rendering to be more performant.
  • Overall lots of code cleanup to improve our workflow in the future.

Xml UI:
  • Visibility attribute now supports admin, host, and team names.
  • Clicking button won't block your hotkeys anymore.
  • Added getXmlTable() setXmlTable().
  • Fixed onValueChanged recursive event loop.
  • Fixed setAttribute() not working if it thought there wasn't a change.
  • Fixed not being able to setXml() with an empty string.
  • Fix support for RichText in Get/SetXmlTable().
  • Fixed zombie Xml UI when opening File Browser.

Scripting:
  • Added Player.getAvailableColors() and Player.getColors().
  • Added SetSnapPoints() and GetSnapPoints().
  • Added JointTo().
  • Lots of scripting improvements to make it easier to convert between Lua Tables and C# types.
  • Fixed Hotseat crash when using scripting input fields.
  • Fixed camera triggering scripting zone.
  • Fixed Turns.getNextColor() returning name instead of color.

Permissions:
  • Added feedback with a onscreen popup warning when trying to do
  • something that is blocked by a permission.
  • Permission save objects / saves to block saving objects to chest.
  • Permission peek to block alt+shift looking at the backside of an object.
  • Permission nudge to disabling all nudging with N.

External API:
  • Atom will now warn you when you try to Save & Play after creating an object in TTS without saving.
  • Lua error reporting improved.
  • Various fixes.

VR:
  • Zoom object: by default bound to pad-down on the left control. Touch it to display the last examined object (with either controller). Click it to lock in this mode; click again to exit. While locked, pad-left and pad-right will scale the object.
  • Fixed rift hotkeys.

New commands:
  • vr_left_hand_pad_down_bindable
  • vr_left_hand_pad_down_zoom
  • vr_left_hand_zoom_scale
  • vr_right_hand_pad_down_bindable
  • vr_right_hand_pad_down_zoom
  • vr_right_hand_zoom_scale
Sword of the Stars: The Pit - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Tabletop Simulator

Kerberos Productions – creators of the Sword of the Stars 4X strategy series – may have a slightly patchy track record, but they’re a studio that’s never short on heart. This month, they’ve been Kickstarting funds to start a board games division, adapting their universes into dice-and-cardboard form. Possibly hedging their bets, they also released a prototype of their upcoming Sword of The Stars: The Pit board game as a mod for Tabletop Simulator today, letting folks try it for free.

(more…)

Tabletop Simulator - Knil
Hey everyone we got another patch for you guys today focused on improving the new Custom UI by adding the ability to attach them to 3d objects in the game. Also many VR Improvements especially for Oculus. Last and not least a new looking for players indicator on the server browser.



Custom UI
  • Supports 3D UI attached to Objects.
  • Each object can have its own assets (images)
  • UI.getXml() and UI.setXml() added, allows for dynamic UI creation from a string. Expect more ways to dynamically spawn to added in the future.
  • Click sounds added for the UI.
  • Player colors now match TTS colors. For example, "red" is now equivalent to the player color red exactly.
  • Dragging is improved so the element doesn't snap to its rectAlignment when dragged.
  • Fixed changing active attribute from scripts the visibility attribute would sometimes not work correctly.
  • Added position attribute and fixed rotation to work like you would expect.
  • Scale of onscreen UI based on resolution height instead of width.
  • Custom UI hides correctly whenever there is a popup dialog.
  • Scripting editor now has two modes Lua and UI that let you edit their respective scripts per Object or Global.

VR Improvements
  • Fixed grabbing objects messing with rotation.
  • Selection box will use laser position if laser is on.
  • Fixed selection box placement bug.
  • Added icon showing current tool mode.

    Fixed Rift controls:
  • Gem now defaults to angled and is better positioned
  • Trigger activates laser and UI objects
  • Stick controls activate properly (teleport works on click, rotation will repeat on hold)
  • Stick UI becomes visible when stick touched.

    New console commands:
  • vr_card_in_hand
  • vr_laser_beam_opacity
  • vr_laser_beam_visible
  • vr_mode_icon_colored
  • vr_thumbstick_icons_constant
  • vr_thumbstick_repeat_duration
  • vr_trigger_activates_laser
  • vr_trigger_activates_ui

Looking For Players
  • New looking for players indicator on the server browser. This will be default on for all servers.
  • This can be changed in game by going Options -> Server.
  • Can also be set from scripting with setLookingForPlayers(bool).

General
  • Updated to Unity 5.6.6.
  • Fixed thumbnail preview image causing image to being lower resolution than it should in the world.
Tabletop Simulator

The biggest issue with board gaming has always been finding other players. Even when you do track down some potential opponents, pinning them to an agreed time and place can still be tricky. 

As a result, there have been services to co-ordinate online play since the earliest days of the internet. Nowadays they’ve proliferated and become much more polished and usable. If there’s a game you want to play, you’re almost certain to find some software that lets you, often free or for a pittance. 

Here are five of our favourites.

Tabletop Simulator

Tabletop Simulator 

Best for: Real-time games on the internet

Speed: Real-time only

Rules: Not enforced

Top Titles: Star Wars Destiny, Cosmic Encounter

This looks more like a physics engine than a board game client. Your view shows a game table, and you use the mouse to manipulate game components, draw cards, roll dice. It feels odd at first, but it's a stroke of genius. It allows the client to simulate pretty much any tabletop game. Throw in text and voice chat, a busy community and a dazzling cascade of fan-made modules and you've got the world's current favourite game client. It's even got VR support.

You pay upfront for the software then, in theory, you pay for premium game modules, of which there are currently 34 on Steam. In practice there are a huge number of homemade ones in the Steam Workshop. Many are a bit rough and ready, but they work well enough. You’ll need your own copy of the rules, though. 

Of course, while it's useful for trying out a new game you might be interested in picking up, using a free module means the original game creator isn't getting paid. 

Tabletopia

Tabletopia

Best for: Hotseat play around one screen

Speed: Real-time only

Rules: Not enforced

Top Titles: Santorini, Race to the Rhine

Following in the footsteps of TTS, this is another physics-based platform with a smaller library and a bit more polish than its competitor. It's free to download, and gives you access to a limited library of solid titles. If you want the full range to play, you'll have to stump up on a subscription-based model.

Almost everything that's good or bad about Tabletopia runs off that subscription model. On the plus side, the interface on most games is slick and professional. And, of course, paying a subscription means game creators get paid. On the downside, subscribers are scarce, so finding opponents for premium-only games can take a long time.

It is, however, great for hotseat play where all the players sit round the same screen. Not least because you can play a lot of otherwise premium titles this way. That's not a great way to play games with hidden information. But for everything else, Tabletopia offers a pleasing and accessible package.

Vassal

Vassal

Best for: Dedicated gamers who want a lot of options

Speed: Real-time and play by email

Rules: Not enforced

Top Titles: Mage Knight, X-Wing

Want access to a colossal library of tabletop games, many of which aren't available on any other digital platform? You can get it through Vassal, but you'll need to put in some work. It's Java-based, for starters, so you'll find the Vassal installer adds that you your PC if it's not already there. You'll have to download and configure the modules you want to play. It's all a bit of a faff, frankly, but it's worth it in the end.

What Vassal costs in effort it makes up for in flexibility. Its library of games is huge. They're all free, but you're asked to only download and use ones for games you own. You can play live, although there's no real lobby system, so it’s wiser to arrange games with friends or on forums. But you can also play games by email, sending log files back and forth.

Vassal's original purpose was to facilitate the play of monster wargames. The sort of things that have hundreds of counters and play-hours. There's still plenty of them among its modules library. Nowadays, however, users have created modules for all sorts of games. Plus, wargames themselves have become far more accessible. Try something like Commands & Colors: you might be pleasantly surprised.

Board Game Arena

Board Game Arena

Best for: Slow burning strategy by email

Speed: Real-time and asynchronous

Rules:  Enforced

Top Titles: Through the Ages, Hanabi

If you wander into BGA's website, you'll find it a barebones affair. Register and start playing, though, and you'll discover a service full of impressive features and boasting a big list of games. According to the site's creator, he has licences to offer all of them online. The majority are free, although there's a premium subscription service to unlock a few more and support the site. 

There are a lot of websites that let you play games online, but BGA is unusual in offering real-time play alongside asynchronous games. Action unfolds as you watch in your browser, and icons keep everyone informed of each other’s status. You choose which mode you want before selecting or starting a game.

The site even enforces the rules of the game you're playing, although the quality of the interface varies a lot. It can be hard to work out what's going on in some of the more complex games. As you might imagine for a free service that works in your browser, BGA has a solid user base, making it easy to find opponents.

Yucata

Yucata

Best for: Long term players who like ranks and stats

Speed: Asynchronous only

Rules:  Enforced

Top Titles: A Few Acres of Snow, Jaipur

There are plenty of places to play asynchronous board games. What distinguishes this German site is the range of games and features on offer. There are over 100 titles to play, a ranking system, and a replay feature you can use to study strategies. Chrome users even have a browser plugin available to track their games.

Playing games by email can take a long time: potentially months depending on the speed of your opponents. On the plus side, it does give you plenty of time to think about your moves. And there are some gems among the games on offer, including out-of-print and hard-to-find titles unavailable elsewhere.

Yucata started out purely as a hobby project. It’s still free to use and free of adverts, and is supported entirely through player donations.

Honourable mentions 

While those five are the top picks for online play, there are plenty of other competitors to consider. The best known is probably BrettSpielWelt, a German community that offers free real-time play via its Java client. It's old, though, and it shows. And it can be hard for English speakers to get to grips with the interface and to communicate in game.

Another venerable program is Cyberboard, which lets you record log files for play by email games. It's free and doesn't need any third-party software. But its user base and range of available modules is small. ZunTzu and newcomer BattleGrounds Games clients are also worth checking out.

Other websites worth checking out for browser play includes SpielByWeb, Boite a Jeux and For Whom The Web Rocks. ACTS is a limited-feature site that tracks card decks and dice rolls for multi-player games. 

Finally, some publishers make their own online versions. Days of Wonder lets you play some of its games via browser. And many games have dedicated PC versions, too. 

Tabletop Simulator - Knil
This patch includes creating Custom UIs using Xml giving you the power of Unity's UI system with an easy to use format.

We also have a brand new API documentation that is much more feature complete with examples and better looks. Can be found here: https://api.tabletopsimulator.com/

Read about the new VR Controls at the bottom of the patch notes!



Custom UI

Scripting
  • object.randomize (or shuffle/etc) now returns 'true' if shuffle occurred. For example, a deck currently being searched by a player will not shuffle, so 'false' is returned.
  • Added search events: onObjectSearchStart, onObjectSearchEnd, onSearchStart, onSearchEnd
  • Button callbacks now have a third parameter which will be set to true if the button was right-clicked or long-pressed.
  • createButton now lets you specify 'hover_color' and 'press_color'
  • Added getJSON() to Object and spawnObjectJSON() this is the same format as Objects are saved in the save files.
  • Turns class added to let you controls the turns menu from scripting.
  • Event onPlayerTurn(player) added.

Voice Chat
  • Team icon is now working.
  • Updated to latest version of voice chat.
  • Fixed more bugs with Voice Chat.

Fixes
  • Fixed items appearing faded in Search window.
  • Fixed Search window not working in VR.
  • Fixes to cosmic encounter.

VR Controls Update
The goal is to provide a more intuitive VR experience; closer to how you would play a board game IRL. This is still in development, feel free to leave us your feedback about how it feels! To enable the old control scheme type +vr_controls_original into the system console.

Note
Various commands in the system console govern vr behaviour: type help vr to see them. For example, turning 'vr_sticky_grab' on will mean you do not have to hold the trigger to maintain grip on an object; instead you press to grab, then press again to release. If you want these commands to persist then add them to your autoexec (type 'edit autoexec' and enter them there).

You can quickly switch between old and new controls if you do something like 'bind right_control !vr_controls_original' (...you can then hit right control to toggle)

Changes
Laser pointer now turns on and off as the player touches the touch pad, and is oriented like a pointer rather than a gun (it now matches the default steam keyboard laser).

Selection box now drawn from controller position instead of laser position.

Controls
Touchpad when not holding an object:

Center = click (buttons, UI, etc.)
Up = teleport
Left & Right = Mapped tool. Hold left or right to bind current tool to that button.
Touchpad when holding an object:

Center = flip
Left & Right = Rotate
Grip buttons now let you move (holding one controller) or rotate/scale (holding both). Holding any grip button will display control layout.

Holding menu button will reset your position.

Trigger now used exclusively to interact with 3D world

Advanced
The touchpad controls when not holding an object are set using the console bind command, and can be overwritten, so you can bind any command you want to the touchpad if you wish (left, right, and up if you disable teleport; down and center are reserved). For example: 'bind vr_right_pad_left !vr_laser_constant' will toggle the laser on and off when you hit left on the right controller's touchpad. You can use -, +, and ! bind prefixes to bind to press, release, and long press respectively. Use 'vr_unbind_all' before binding your own to remove the default bindings.

Example autoexec
-vr_controls_original
vr_unbind_all
bind +vr_right_pad_left tool_grab
bind -vr_right_pad_left tool_revert
bind +vr_right_pad_right tool_paint
bind -vr_right_pad_right tool_revert
This will mean for the right controller, as long as you hold the left pad you will be in grab mode, and as long as you hold the right pad you will be in paint mode.
Tabletop Simulator - Knil
This patch includes some good upgrades to the tablet and the ability to increase player counts beyond the current 10 using the console!

The other great new is that we have revamped and upgrade Cosmic Encounter with great new graphics and effects. We didn’t stop there either! We are bundling the expansion Cosmic Eons for free with the base DLC!

We are getting this patch out before GDC expect some good stuff soon in the following patch. If you are going to be at GDC this year let us know.




DLC Cosmic Encounter Upgrade
  • Free expansion Eon now included with the base game!
  • Custom thematic table and environment ( + animations and particle systems).
  • Full revamp of all game components to match the theme.
    Scripting additions:
    - Highlighting planets using the hyperspace gate
    - Tracking amounts of player ships
    - Scripted rulebooks
    - Scripted Alliance Dials

http://store.steampowered.com/app/405130/Tabletop_Simulator__Cosmic_Encounter_Connector/


Tablet Upgrade
  • Updated version of Chromium browser.
  • Mac should be working correctly.
  • More stable and less rendering issues.
  • No linux support just yet.


Console Commands
  • Added host_max_players to change the max number of players that can connect to the server. This can increase the player count above the current 10 limit.
  • Added host_name to change the name of the server.
  • Added host_password to change the password of the server.


VR
  • Laser now oriented like a remote. Let us know if you like this new position.
  • Removed the vive wand head for more visibility.
  • Expect more VR improvements in the next patch.


Improvements
  • Mousing over an object in your onscreen hand will now lift it above the rest.
  • Joining a steam friend with the game closed with load up the game and join them.
  • Scripting added events onPlayerConnect(Player) and onPlayerDisconnect(Player).


Fixes
  • Fixed duplication bug with deck / bags with alt right click when searching.
  • Fixed bug with password mismatch even though they should match.
  • Fixed certain text label being messed up.
Tabletop Simulator - Kimiko
This is our first update in 2018 and while this patch may not seem too exciting, it’s because we spent a lot time cleaning up underlining code to facilitate better updates for the future. We hope you do like any of the changes and updates that have been added thus far.

Our next DLC, Pillars of Eternity: Lords of the Eastern Reach, is a 1-4 player card game based on Obsidian Entertainment's best-selling Pillars of Eternity computer role-playing game.

And a big thing we’ve added to TTS is Discord integration, so you can see what game your friends are playing, what they are hosting and the number of seats available, and much more. Hope you enjoy!



DLC - Pillars of Eternity: Lords of the Eastern Reach



Discord Integration
  • You can now click on a user in Discord and see what game they are playing within TTS.
  • You can see when players are hosting a game, the number of seats available and their color.
  • You can also see how long that particular session has been going as well as if they are in singleplayer or multiplayer.


DLC Battle For Souls Update
  • Fixed bouncing rulebook when changing states.
  • Added info to the Notebook.
  • Made background objects non-interactable.

Scripting Improvements
  • Added custom deck setCustomObject() and getCustomObject() support.
  • Fixed takeObject() collision issue with concave colliders.
  • Fixed sync input fields on late joining people.
  • Fixed null reference with Player.getSelectedObjects().

  • getCustomObject() will return a list of these keys because it could be multiple decks combined:
  • string face, bool unique_back, string back, int width, int height, int number, bool sideways, bool back_is_hidden



Chat Improvements
  • Added a ‘System’ tab console (icon is a tilde ~).
  • This gives better user experience with errors and reports for players.
  • Color of chat window will be different to differentiate between this tab and the others.

Hotkey Improvements
  • Added hotkeys to toggle UI elements on and off:
    ctrl-f1: Tools
    ctrl-f2: Top Menu
    ctrl-f3: Players
    ctrl-f4: Notepad
    ctrl-f5: Chat

Improvements
  • You can now modify custom decks with by reopening the custom menu.
  • Enter key now works in password dialog.
  • Duplicate errors logged to any chat tab now collate, rather than spamming the chat box.

Fixes
  • Fixed issue with Text editor text invisible when it has too many characters.
  • Fixed bug with 3d pointer sometimes not showing up onscreen hands.
  • Fixed DLC custom assetbundle textures not getting converted correctly by making the secondary bundle load first.
  • Fix chat settings and host server UI overlap.
  • Fixed chat yellow indicator disappearing for all tabs when changing tabs.
  • Fixed global chat history being lost when exiting to main menu.

Stay up to date on development by following us on Twitter and Facebook!
Tabletop Simulator

The granddaddy of all space-empire sims, Twilight Imperium retails for over $100 and is delivered to your house in a cardboard coffin. It is huge, meticulous, stocked to the gills with itty bitty rules, and it takes a solid eight hours to finish a single game. Twilight Imperium sessions begin when you invite your friends over for breakfast, and end when you've ordered pizza for the second time. Nothing in the tabletop games industry is more unreasonable, and nothing is more fun. If you think board games are boring, you've never watched in horror as a former mate gleefully goes back on their word then conquers and colonizes your home planet. This happens in hour number six, and you react by swearing vengeance til the day you die.

Shattered Ascension was originally a set of house rules invented by a Twilight Imperium fan named PsiComa. He loved the game, but identified some nagging imbalances in the design, and started work on a remix. Soon enough, PsiComa's pet project emerged as a full-time hobby: he Photoshopped new cards, theorycrafted new mechanics, and dreamed up a brand new rulebook. His variant (originally called Ascendency) proved popular, and he found a small contingency of adherents who were similarly disillusioned with the base game. Together they continued to work out the kinks of PsiComa's design, and by 2011 they had a fully working module.

The problem with Shattered Ascension is that it was difficult to play. Sure, it used a ton of the components packed in with the Twilight Imperium box, but as a homebrew variant you also had to print out reams of PsiComa's updated components on cardstock. Tabletop Simulator was a godsend. The moddable board game physics sandbox meant that the Shattered Ascension playset could be available to anyone with a PC.

"How cool would it to be play the game seamlessly with friends, and perhaps more importantly with the online community that had discussed and theorycrafted the game for so many years?" PsiComa says over Discord. "How cool would it be to have a definitive, fully updated digital version anybody could play, without spending dozens of hours cutting and gluing new replacement Shattered Ascension components?"

Shattered Ascension has its own unique look to go with its updated rules, which PsioComa believes distinguishes his product as its own unique entity.

PsiComa and the rest of the Shattered Ascension community had to import literally hundreds of assets into the Tabletop Simulator infrastructure. Some of that was fairly straightforward—he already had high-quality jpegs of the custom cards, which scanned into the game with ease—but the other stuff, like the plastic miniature ships, required a defter touch. That didn't matter, because PsiComa was dedicated. He learned the 3D modeling application Blender, and spent endless weekends prototyping his spaceships. The results were beautiful. He managed to render a suite of miniatures that were even crisper than what you find in the physical game. 

PsiComa ran into a similar issue with the planetary tiles that make up the Twilight Imperium board. Originally, he planned on importing them with a high-quality scanner, but he couldn't quite get it to work without annoying pixel interference patterns. So PsiComa resolved to build his own tiles from scratch. Decisions like that are what he thrives on: rather than recreating the art from the base game faithfully, he took inspiration from the flavor text associated with each of the planets and created in his own take on the existing fiction.

"I wanted to make each of the planets unique and distinct, with enough details to capture the concept described on each planet card," says PsiComa. "The redux tile project felt like a task with no end to it—working night after night making a few more tiles, and looking back at it now, I can hardly believe I managed to find the time and energy to pull it off."

This also helps with any potential questions of copyright infringement. Shattered Ascension has its own unique look to go with its updated rules, which PsiComa believes distinguishes his product as its own unique entity. 

Shattered Ascension will always be PsiComa's baby, but there have been plenty of quality-of-life improvements thanks to the community at large. One of the programmers, who calls himself Cyrusa, tells me that the project comes equipped with 1,100 lines of custom code, including DNA for automatic dice rollers, pre-set map generators, and a specialized script that cuts through Twilight Imperium's set-up phase with ease. 

"The hardest part about developing the scripts, besides the technical aspects, is that due to the way it is designed, Tabletop Simulator itself knows essentially nothing about what happens from the point of view of the game," he explains. "For example, it knows that object number 123456 was moved to position one, two, or three, while what really happened is that the Sol player activated his Home System. This makes it challenging to design scripts to assist the players."

Any worthwhile aspect of fourth edition will be considered and potentially incorporated into Shattered Ascension in some way, shape or form

PsiComa

One of the key perks to playing Shattered Ascension on a PC is the fact that you don't have to dedicate an entire day to playing a single game. Tabletop Simulator allows players to effectively freeze their board states in carbonite, which means you and a group of friends could play for two hours a night over the course of a month without being forced to leave the game unpacked on some kitchen table. 

Honestly, even the most dedicated Twilight Imperium fans usually only get in one or two plays a year, because it's difficult to conquer a galaxy while remaining gainfully employed. That's different now. The Shattered Ascension Discord is home to multiple sessions every week, with newcomers stopping by all the time. In 2018, you can play the world's heaviest board game casually, and that's a genuine revolution for this hobby.

You can learn more about Twilight Imperium by watching SU&SD's great documentary on it.

"This mod has definitely given legs to the community by attracting newcomers to the scene and allowing members to play the game with old and new contenders with no hassle to it." says PsiComa. "It made the game easy and accessible. Because of this it has indeed made the Twilight Imperium scene flourish, and we hope for it to become even bigger in time."  

Last year, Fantasy Flight released the fourth edition of Twilight Imperium, which introduced some smart refinements to their 20-year-old design. PsiComa tells me that right now, the community doesn't have any plans to adapt the company's new concepts to Tabletop Simulator, though he won't rule it out. "Any worthwhile aspect of fourth edition will be considered and potentially incorporated into Shattered Ascension in some way, shape or form," he says.

After all, the work is never finished. Shattered Ascension was amorphous and modular back in 2007 when it was a series of verbose PDFs on a lonely homespun website, and as a mod it's evolving faster than ever thanks to the steady pulse of the Discord channel. The obsession necessary to get knee-deep in a homemade rule-set for a classic board game is being rewarded by technology, and the creation of a cult of print 'n play fanatics has found a second life.

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