Author Topic: Table Top Computer Board Games  (Read 41943 times)

Offline insertnick

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Reply #15 on: December 23, 2008, 06:13:29 PM
If you get your hands on a cheap projector they might not reach the resolution you need.

I do not agree:
let's say
  • we find a small, bright and cheap projector, with a very low resolution... let's say 320 x 240, dirty low, ok?
  • And we find another one bigger, or less bright, or less cheap, but with 1024x768 resolution or more.

Which one is better for this kind of application? We're not seeing a movie: I think the lo-res smaller/brighter/cheaper one is the right one.

If the graphics are well done, a low resolution is often ok, our mind can easily interpolate after few minutes of exposure. We've all enjoyed awesome games with MAME, some of them were so blocky and so fun ;)

Here it is an example of the full world map, with some padding on the borders too, scaled on bigger size from a 320 x 240 version:



It can be playable and enjoyable, as long as the game is playable and enjoyable.

Moreover, when some detail is necessary, we could make use of the interactivity, which is a big plus here: pan/zoom functions could be a feature if necessary (cost: other buttons in the UI). And yes vector graphics would help a lot in this case too.

Of course, a 640 x 480 resolution would be better, but I am sure we can deal also with 320 x 240 if price drops enough.

Unfortunately, I think there are no cheap enough projectors around, even if lo-res is not a problem.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 06:15:39 PM by insertnick »



Offline Deceit

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Reply #16 on: December 23, 2008, 08:51:31 PM
well i work at UPS currently and i have a projector and tv repair man on my route, im sure he will be able to give me some insight on how to go about "making" my own version of a cheap projector, in fact he will more than likely be willing to help, but that will have to wait untill peak season is over ( were slamed at the moment and i have no time for that conversation in my days right now ;D)



Offline insertnick

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Reply #17 on: December 24, 2008, 05:45:06 AM
I believe there's no easy way to make a projector.
The one I know is by using an LCD, a good lamp (+electronics) or leds-matrix behind, lenses, fresnels, mirrors, filters, fans, case...
Unfortunately this is not easy at all, but I also believe that if we can come to a working design using an "already stripped" very small LCD (see here), this could be a viable path.

The LCD stripping phase is the hardest and dangerous part of the process.
We don't need a very big projected screen, just enough to fill a table, so maybe a very small LCD could be used (which would simplify things a lot).
But some math has to be done to be sure that a normal ceiling height minus a normal table height, minus the projector length, is enough for a small LCD to fill a normal table.

I am supposing that the projector is mounted with some kind of support in proximity to the ceiling (I can think to a couple of ways to accomplish this).



Offline insertnick

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Reply #18 on: December 24, 2008, 06:57:29 AM
Deceit, I've just had a vision of a thing and I want to share it with you (and all) because maybe you could get this kind of direction in the development of the game (or for a future project).

This is the vision: TTCBGS
It stands for "Table Top Computer Board Game Studio".
I mean, a software to BUILD your own Table Top Computer Board Game, just like AGS (Adventure Game Studio) is in respect of point-and-click adventure games.

A 2D vector engine, definable graphics/elements, defineable board/s, rules defineable with some kind of high-level scripting language, etc...
Everything focused on building custom Table Top Computer Board Games.

Oh, it would be complex. But anyway I'm launching this stone :)



Offline Wiweeyum

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Reply #19 on: December 24, 2008, 03:42:11 PM
That would be fantastic!

In this case though, I think focusing on one simple project should be the current goal. We have no idea if this concept will even be fun yet. :) Let's get some rough functionality with risk, then start applying the engine to other ideas.


~"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."~
- EF Schumacher


Offline insertnick

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Reply #20 on: December 26, 2008, 05:45:18 AM
That would be fantastic!

In this case though, I think focusing on one simple project should be the current goal. We have no idea if this concept will even be fun yet. :) Let's get some rough functionality with risk, then start applying the engine to other ideas.

Of course, I fully agree.



Offline Wiweeyum

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Reply #21 on: December 26, 2008, 07:12:10 PM
I've created a section in my personal project forums dedicated to table top board games. I didn't want this thread to turn into a large clutter of game theory ideas and development stuff when it could be centralized elsewhere.
The link is HERE.

Also, in the next week or so, a website will be finished to be used as an information site and to document current progress in the realm of the table top computer board games.

Thanks guys!


~"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."~
- EF Schumacher


Offline insertnick

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Reply #22 on: December 27, 2008, 06:41:04 AM
Well done, just subscribed.
So see you there...



Offline Wiweeyum

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Reply #23 on: January 02, 2009, 07:56:34 PM
Just to keep everyone updated, the project is coming along very very well. We've been making lots of minor prototypes that showcase different aspects of the gameplay, and as soon as each one is completed, they'll be implemented together into one game. I thought I'd show this test here. In essence, this is a proof of design test for the basic control scheme as well as general graphics.

http://www.vioflem.com/files/wiimote/risk_setup_v003_1.exe

Some things to pay attention to. First off, if you're a fan of Risk, you'll know the game takes about an hour to set up. In this test the basic setup takes about half a second when the game starts. All the countries are divided up equally between the players. Hit Spacebar to restart the map.

Clicking and dragging the units (the little number circles) onto the respective color country adds units to that country. To buy more units to place, drag from the BUY button onto the unit number you wish to purchase.

The countries get more filled in with more units placed on them. This is so you can quickly glance across the board to see which countries have more units. Also, the text displaying the units increases in size with more units, for the same reason.


As of right now, we're working on placing your attacks, and the math involved with that. We're making some really good progress between the three of us. Let us know what you guys think so far. :)


~"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."~
- EF Schumacher


Offline benpaddlejones

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Reply #24 on: January 02, 2009, 08:44:12 PM
TTCBG Team
Great work guys, colaboration is awesome!

Could I make a point of asking you to please please please post the findings of your research into a low cost data projector. A summary of data, expereince and where to buy would be fantastic for others to build upon or follow in your foot steps.

You will see we are in the process of refining the forum threads including a topic to disucss wiimote gaming applications, knowledge and ideas. More will come over teh following week, your input as game developers would be good on this tread construction.

benpaddlejones :)


See my full profile and links on my Google Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/benpaddlejones


Offline Wiweeyum

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Reply #25 on: January 02, 2009, 09:28:20 PM
Thanks for the kudos, benpaddlejones.

I'd be happy to help out with all the game related discussions once they're up. As for the projectors... none of us have purchased one yet. :) But any information we've got so far is over on the Cheap Projector thread. As we find them, we post about it with a link. According to jmitchells comment though (read here), the inexpensive ones are not too great quality. If you'd like me to go through and organize the information we have thus far with some links to reviews etc, I'd be more than willing to do that.


~"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."~
- EF Schumacher


Offline insertnick

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Reply #26 on: January 03, 2009, 09:39:32 AM
Could I make a point of asking you to please please please post the findings of your research into a low cost data projector. A summary of data, expereince and where to buy would be fantastic for others to build upon or follow in your foot steps.

I'm trying to figure out which is the best way to obtain a big projected image, with acceptable luminosity and quality, with very few bucks. This would be ok for our application but not for other applications.

Unluckily, this is a not so easy task, as by now it seems projection is not a cheap thing to accomplish.

By the way my research will stop only when I'll find the best and cheapest way, and of course I'll post my findings in the apposite thread.



Offline benpaddlejones

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Reply #27 on: January 07, 2009, 06:19:31 AM
Tabletop Computer Games Team

I know you have been putting a lot of thought into the application & projector so I thought I might share a piece of genius I stumbled across:

http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/20072816

My sisterís kid has one to draw on, as soon as I saw it I saw one thing: The perfect childrenís interactive learning table!

They are really cheap $35AUS and the surface is white and perfect for a small projection. I'm thinking form a learning perspective but for your project it is the perfect size to mimic the old arcade tables (hope I'm not showing my age here) you would just need bigger seats for the larger gamer.

Benpaddlejones :)


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Offline Wiweeyum

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Reply #28 on: January 07, 2009, 06:45:33 AM
Thanks for the pointer. Once we have a working prototype of the entire piece of hardware, I think this is a very good way to take production in a different angle. The issue here though is projection angle/wiimote viewing angle.

Let's say that for ease of use in a classroom full of little kids, you take out the center of the table and replace it with a piece of plexiglass and you rear project on it. Some material could be put on the underside of it to catch the projection, but be thin enough to let the IR light pass undimmed.

Ironically that table there has an aspect ratio of exactly 4:3... so that's pretty convenient. To use the wiimote as the tracking device though, you'd need the table to be 82 cm high to make its viewing angle equal to the table width and height. That's calculating it if the wiimote were sitting directly on the floor pointing straight up. So twice as high... but! I think it'd work very well.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 06:49:48 AM by Wiweeyum »


~"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."~
- EF Schumacher


Offline benpaddlejones

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Reply #29 on: January 07, 2009, 08:36:07 AM
Wiweeyum
I though you were doing top down projection?

Yes VA will be a big problem.

benpaddlejones :)


See my full profile and links on my Google Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/benpaddlejones