Digital Gaming Table 2.0

I love my gaming table and I’m more into drawing simple sketches of my maps rather than building them or displaying them on screen. But I’d love to try a digital table sometime, if just for the possibilities and opportunities it opens up. Being able to display more details quickly… using animations.. revealing the map slowly to the players… I love the thought of running a game this way. Maybe in the future. Or maybe I could steal cyderak‘s fantastic table. It’s the 2.0 version and it uses a Samsung 40″ LED TV connected to his laptop, though the original version with a projector was sweet as well. Check out the table here!

 

 I connect the 40″ LED TV to my laptop which has D20Pro, the software I use to present and manipulate the Battle maps. D20Pro is a Virtual Table Top (VTT) program that allows pen-and-paper gaming groups to play online.

I just use D20Pro for its ability to:
–Present and manipulate the maps.
–Utilize its Fog of War features.
–Use gif animations for spell effects, Monster animations, and animated objects.
(most of which I got here: [link] and then personalized the gif animations with “Easy Gif Animator”, A program that allows you to tweak gif animations’ speed and amount of images in the animation.) –cyderak

game_table_2_0_finished_by_cyderak-d5p60vd

The table panel on the side of the table is epic in itself! It is based on an original by Todd Lockwood.
The table panel on the side of the table is epic in itself! It is based on an original by Todd Lockwood.
The caves look great!
The caves look great!
This entire gaming dungeon is worthy a post in itself.
This entire gaming dungeon is worthy a post in itself.
I love my pixelated world!
I love my pixelated world!
  • Pingback: Inkarnate; the ultimate RPG tool()

  • How do you keep the T.V. From overheating?

    • Jasonobi

      They only play in Arctic terrains.

      😀

      But to be honest, that’s a good question, and one which we don’t have a specific answer to. Perhaps they store their mini fridge underneath it?

      • Corbinator

        over heating… play in the arctic… nah… it will not make much heat, the plastic covering the screen is thick that it can protect it pretty well

    • Brandon Moore

      TVs do not get that hot. I have zero cooling for mine.

  • Pingback: Add some atmosphere: Slate coasters()

  • Jebb Richard

    Another concern I had was regarding the thickness of the clear material which is the screen for the television. The thickness of the screen may only be 1/8 of an inch, but I believe that would be enough to introduce a “parallax error”. By that I mean the 1/8 inch distance between the actual LCD display behind the screen, and the miniatures on top of the screen could make it appear as though the miniatures are not centered inside the squares on the grid, but are actually on the grid lines (not inside a square tile). The perception of each person looking at the table would vary only slightly, but I believe it would still be enough to cause this “parallax error”. How was this avoided in this design, if it was?

    • Robert Alaniz

      This is a valid concern. I have built a table very similar to your first design (linked below), and we chose not to use a display screen because of the problems we heard from others about the parallax issues. Can you respond to that concern and tell us if it’s a problem for you?

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8bFNMq_PApNNC1RaGFSRUJFc0lxWWtyZGZ6aWdXeHVCb21B/edit?usp=sharing

    • William Byrne

      You can help cheat the parallax error, by recessing the monitor forcing player’s to look more directly down..

  • Bill Fortney Jr

    For the heat, I think vent holes in the sides of the TV bracket and bottom of the table should keep it cool enough. For the “parallax error” I’d say go grid-less. Check out “DMScotty’s” YouTube channel ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcfSpwJMGHE ) for the tiles he makes and how he measures distance for movement and range with sticks, knotted strings, and transparent disks for area effect. Mixing Warhammer 40K ideas with D&D or Pathfinder maps. In my opinion it could make for a more organic and free-form game. I’ve never gotten to play with this yet myself, but can’t wait to try.

    • Corbinator

      no vents… don’t make much heat

  • /b/

    I want, no I need this. If only I had the space

  • I took inspiration from cyderak’s table too and made an interactive table that fits my living room.
    Pictures here (including some of the build process), along with descriptions:
    http://gentlegiantdk.deviantart.com/gallery/51227027/Gaming-Table

  • Ghull’ARTS

    Awesome..but i create this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2upPHIo8PU

  • Redstate

    I love the idea of using a TV but I have a few concerns and I would really appreciate your input.
    My biggest concern with using a TV is the visibility at acute angles. Can the players and DM see the detail from a seated position or do they have to stand in order to gain full visibility? What is the least angle that affords visibility? I’m thinking of elevating the play surface to allow more table top room for books and player sheets. The elevated surface would exacerbate the angle issue.
    Another concern is if the image is close enough to the surface that a miniature sitting on the surface does not appear to stay inside the lines of the grid?
    My last concern is screen protection. Do you use anything to protect the screen, and if so, what do you use?