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Thread: ✪ Similar Tool to Hidden Area, Fog of War ✪

  1. #1

    Lightbulb ✪ Similar Tool to Hidden Area, Fog of War ✪

    So I have been working on a dungeon recently and I realised that currently creating any decent fog of war is impossible.
    Ideally, I'd like to be able to reveal rooms and such as players move through a dungeon.
    Right now it's an awkward removing of hidden areas and revealing too much when a whole object is revealed rather than just the part inside the hidden area.

    Here are my thoughts:

    What if the fog of war was drawn instead of built out of boxes? Then we could just rub out areas that we want our players to see.
    What if the fog of war didn't hide whole tiles/models, though rather the line of fog just obscured anything past it from view?

    Something like this would be nice:
    Last edited by Mark; 03-04-2016 at 07:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Yes. This is needed. There is a crafty fellow who put a mod on steam where you can do such a thing. He drew on the whole bord in white until he complety covered it. You can then use the eraser to reveal slowly

  3. #3
    There is a crafty fellow who put a mod on steam where you can do such a thing. He drew on the whole board in white until he completely covered it. You can then use the eraser to reveal slowly


    Working with that idea, if it was possible to add an eraser ability to an object and include a variable diameter slider for the size of the eraser zone you could then have you models unveil the board as you move them about. Probably best linked to a hot key to activate it, so you don't accidentally expose other parts of your board when your setting things up.

  4. #4
    I will bump this thread in hope it comes to light on top of other suggestions. This would make my life as a regular Tabletop role-player much easier and would definitely gain the attraction of the Roll20 crowd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky seven View Post
    Working with that idea, if it was possible to add an eraser ability to an object and include a variable diameter slider for the size of the eraser zone you could then have you models unveil the board as you move them about. Probably best linked to a hot key to activate it, so you don't accidentally expose other parts of your board when your setting things up.
    Attaching an eraser to a figurine would be interesting @Lucky seven. I'd imagine it as just dragging the eraser from the side of the screen on to a figurine on the table and have it visible as an eraser icon when you right click, or when you hover over the figurine for an extended period and reveal the description along with the eraser icon beside it. It would be even more interesting if we could drag things like the pen tool to figurines and have them draw out a map of footprints on the table. :P

  5. #5
    I'm going to bump this thread since I'd love this. The boxes that we have now are not very flexible (in fact they're a pain, and not useful for snaky dungeons or anything with many rooms) and if you make maps to have on your table (which I think many of us do) then a drawable fog of war would be fantastic.

    Even if this means just using the pixels but giving us a far bigger brush and a color that is somewhat see through for the GM only. Even just keeping it as it is and giving us a fill mode for the pixel color (restricted to gm or promoted status). Anything at all.

  6. #6
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    I don't know if this meets your needs, but I've created some tools that are designed to help with the storage, presentation, hiding and revealing of scenes. Scene System is the main toolset, and you can use "vision spheres" to control what's revealed at any time. Or, I also made a thick fog cloud (particle system) that you can use (multiple clouds are no problem) to obscure things.

    Scene System is here: [url]http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=762386374[/url]

    Fog (and other stuff) is here: [url]http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=766664690[/url]

    Hope it helps! Always open to suggestions on things that will make it more useful

  7. #7
    Those are some really cool tools Dig65! Unfortunately my group uses images that we load onto the table as dungeons, and that still shows through, so it doesn't work for us.
    The fog might work, but it seems to slow down my friends computer to the point where he can't play not sure why.

    Still, for any tile based game your tool is very very cool.

  8. #8
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    Gotta, totally makes sense!

    The fog is created using particle systems, and I tried to keep it as light as I could while still getting the effect, but some less powerful computers can't handle too much on top of TTS.

  9. #9
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    Something to look forward to: there was some talk in the suggestion forum to give us more control over lighting. Maybe not enough to implement this idea, but possibly.

    If we had a pitch-black board, you could spawn in light sources to reveal map area, leaving older light sources on to keep older areas revealed. And have a personal spotlight for each player so they could see their area.

    Might not be functional, just trying to brainstorm a little. Maybe cover your dungeon image with a bunch of tiles, each with a scripted button on it in the middle. If the DM clicks the button, the tile vanishes. It would remove the need to switch to the fog tool. Not sure if it would actually be of any use to you though.

    For instance, make a 500x500 black image, and import it as a custom token. Then add this script to its lua:

    Code:
    function onload()
        self.createButton({
            label='', click_function="click", function_owner=self,
            position={0,0.2,0}, height=100, width=100
        })
    end
    
    function click(o,c)
        if c=="Black"  then
            self.destruct()
        end
    end
    Then size it to match your table's grid, copy/paste a row, then paste that entire row until you cover the play area. Click button to remove as needed.

    This may be a horribly dumb idea, and if so, sorry.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MrStump View Post
    [...]
    If we had a pitch-black board, you could spawn in light sources to reveal map area, leaving older light sources on to keep older areas revealed. And have a personal spotlight for each player so they could see their area.
    [...]
    THIS. Please! Since we already have lights that can be in cone shape or circular, a pitch black board with player-specific lights would be all that is needed to make double-blind wargames finally happening!

  11. #11
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    I get this, and I'm totally down with it (btw, Knil has said he'll look into us being able to take over the sun and the skybox, which is how you'd achieve a pitch black room), but I'm wondering how you'd plan on everyone being able to see their non-map assets? More lights? What if those bleed onto your map? Will too many lights be a processing problem for the least-powerful computer in the game? Etc. I'm not sure about it yet.

  12. #12
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    Yes, it is not entirely perfect. You can have the point lights not cast any shadows and only extend a limited range, which will be fairly cheap, light source wise. I haven't tried adding a ton of lights to a map yet to check the impact.

    And they have spotlights that could make a lit zone in front of each player where their hidden zone would go to handle their assets. Just set the spotlight above their hidden zone, pointed straight down, and lock it there. Should make a perfect circle of lit area.

    And I'm afraid I misspoke. While stuff is rendered client side, I don't know of a way to make a light that one player could see when another player could not. Not sure that bit is possible. Sorry

  13. #13
    I think the problem with that would be that it would be nearly impossible to not have the players see through walls, especially in a castle or house.

    If you've ever used [url]www.roll20.net[/url] I think they have a brilliantly easy solution.

    I think this game ALMOST has it built in too.

    Just take the pixel painting part, have a special color available to game master only that is 50% see through for him and black for the rest. Give ability to fill the table quickly with a paint bucket tool and perhaps adjust the size of the eraser (but not even that's necessary). I think that'd work out pretty well.

  14. #14
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    My Scene System mod has a true line-of-sight feature that blocks pieces from being revealed if they are beyond a wall, just FYI. Only works when you have things on a shrink board (vs. inside a chest), but it does work. If your "walls" don't have the word "wall" anywhere in the mesh name, then you can mark them as walls (there's even a tool for marking them).

    There's another way to handle it, which is to separate each "room" on to a different shrinker, so that visibility from one shrinker does not trigger visibility from another. Requires a little more setup.

    Not perfect by any stretch, but still a viable way to handle these things.

  15. #15
    Wow, this has blown up... I would still like to see this in the game as a "draw-the-fog" tool.

  16. #16
    Has there ever been an official response from the devs on this?

  17. #17
    I hope this thread is still getting attention and I would love to hear some input from the devs about this as I believe player vision is the single greatest weakness TTS has when it comes to playing D&D. I love the idea of a simple and clean system where you can easily scrub the fog away to reveal exactly what you want your players to see. I would also like to see a similar tool to do the opposite of this where I can choose to "paint" on fog to create custom blind spots on the fly to simulate a players change in vision/angle as they move through the environment or to more easily represent things like Darkness spells without having to fumble around with the awkward (albeit improved) Hidden tool. I've spent countless hours building dungeons and custom maps, it is by far my favorite thing to do in TTS, unfortunately the thing that brings me the most enjoyment is inevitably followed by the thing that makes me bash my head into my keyboard over and over. Having to fill my creations with ugly awkward blocks that do a mediocre job at best to simulating player vision has actually deterred me from creating some of my more ambitious map designs as I dread the thought of having to spend the time clumsily placing hidden zones in a way that will allow me to reveal my maps quickly and seamlessly without ruining the experience and immersion for my players. And even if you happened to make a dungeon that is a series of perfectly bland square rooms that work best with the hidden tool you have the issue of your players being able to see the entire layout of your map in giant grey blocks, this results in the DM having to either accept that the players know where all the rooms in your dungeon are (including the secret ones), or in my case spend even more time creating a series of convincing false fog blocks to simulate non-existent rooms to throw my players off, which ultimately ends up a blocky and confusing eye-soar.

    So as a DM and a builder the idea of simply blacking out the entire map and easily scrubbing away the darkness as my players progress sounds wonderful, however, I do see how this might not be as simple to achieve as it sounds. While programs like Rolld20 have implemented similar systems to the one suggested above their interface is far less complex than that of TTS. Simply scrubbing away hidden areas is an easy thing when its a basic 2D image, when dealing with 3D objects and player movement it gets immensely more complicated. How would the scrub brush work when you are not in a fixed top down perspective. If I adjust the camera to be level with the table and I try to scrub away fog in front of me what happens? Do I inadvertently erase the fog in front of me as well as all of the fog I've placed behind it in other rooms?, what determines the depth of the erase tool and how does it know when to stop. I am not a programmer and I don't know the first thing about this stuff but as a layman I can see that the logistics of creating something like this is not a simple thing. So where does that leave us? I don't think anyone would argue that the current system is good enough. I'll leave it to the devs and people smarter than me to decide if the scrub tool solution is a realistic one, if it is then that's fantastic. But in the meantime what do you guys think would be some good alternatives. The lighting suggestion was an interesting one and could be explored further. There is also the fact that hidden zones are not simply used to play D&D, its a tool that is meant to be used for all kinds of games and often works perfectly fine for the majority of them. We wouldn't want to compromise how the tool works in other games simply to appease a portion of the TTS community. So perhaps the key is not to redesign the hidden zones tool but to create a new fog mechanic specifically designed for D&D type games, one that is more flexible and intuitive.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBacon View Post
    Simply scrubbing away hidden areas is an easy thing when its a basic 2D image, when dealing with 3D objects and player movement it gets immensely more complicated. How would the scrub brush work when you are not in a fixed top down perspective. If I adjust the camera to be level with the table and I try to scrub away fog in front of me what happens? Do I inadvertently erase the fog in front of me as well as all of the fog I've placed behind it in other rooms?, what determines the depth of the erase tool and how does it know when to stop.
    I imagine it should just auto-switch to the top-down view when selecting the Fog of War tool, where you can scrub in a 2D top-down scribble of the fog. Then to erase it would be the same. The height off the table/level could be determined in an Options menu like the Grid currently is, or the Fog of War zone could be treated as a single object with a GUID like hidden zones currently are, where you'd be able to edit the scale and the position with the Gizmo tools.

    Or we could have a really large 3D brush which would be really easy to use in VR though a pain to try and work without VR. It's been done in voxel games where you can create terrain out from the ground, like in Astroneer for example, so some research on how to do this to make a 3D brush within Tabletop Simulator would be required.

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