Multistate Madness

The previous posts were all about ways to customize the appearance of objects in the game. But sometimes, changing colors or material is not enough and you want to switch the texture of an object. For example, what if you need a way to count points or have a rulebook with multiple pages ready on the table?

With the new multistate objects, you can switch textures during the game. There are two standard multistate objects included with Tabletop Playground: a 10 state counter and a 100 state counter. You can change their state by pressing a button, using the context menu, or on the object properties window.

When you create your own multistate objects, you can combine multiple components: Just as with standard objects, you can use model components to add arbitrary 3D models. You can also add multistate components. They come in square, round, or hexagonal shape and can have dozens of different texture states.

The texture states are defined in the editor in a similar way as the cards in a card deck. All multistate components of an object are always in the same state. For example, here’s an object with a cube model and three multistate components:

You can now find an entry on multistate objects in the knowledge base, too!

Shiny Heavy Metal

Apart from colors, objects in Tabletop Playground have two other properties that alter their appearance: you can define how rough and how metallic they are.

Roughness determines how “shiny” an object is: an object with roughness 0 is perfectly smooth and will sharply reflect surrounding light. On the other hand, an object with roughness 1 scatters incoming light so you don’t see any reflections or highlights on it.

The metallic value should be 1 for surfaces that are clearly a metal, and 0 for most other materials like plastic or cardboard. Values between 0 and 1 are uncommon, but can be used to achieve special effects.

A light grey sphere with various roughness and metallic values

You can alter the roughness and metallic values for most objects in-game. But when you create new objects in the editor, you can also define which parts of the objects are metallic and how rough any point on their surface is. You can use the “extra map” introduced in the color post: The red and green channels determine where colors can be changed. The blue channel controls how metallic an object is, and the alpha channel controls roughness. Many of the objects included with Tabletop Playground use the extra map for rougher and smoother parts of their surface. Some objects, like the chest, also have both metal and wooden parts.

The chest has both wooden and metallic parts, and its roughness varies across the surface

Any Color you Like

This post is all about colors and how they work in Tabletop Playground. Colors are used in two ways: to identify players and to customize objects.

Player colors

Each player in a game is identified by a color. There are 10 different color options (those are, by the way, based on a color palette that is distinguishable for players with color blindness – click here for some scientific background on the topic). You can switch your player color in game. When you save the game and continue later with the same players, everyone will start with their previously chosen color.

The player color also determines which objects you “own”: currently, only card holders can have owners. Only the owning player (defined by player color) can see which cards are on a card holder. But you also have the choice to set it to ownerless so everyone can see the cards.

Object colors

You can modify colors for most objects in the game. The simplest case is a uniformly colored object: you will set the color of the whole object. You can either freely choose a color, or you can quickly set it to your player color or a configurable custom color.

You can also set a color for simple textured objects: it will “tint” the whole object with that color.

But often you don’t want to change the color of entire objects. Take a chess board, for example: the squares are usually black and white. However, for some chess sets light brown and dark brown may work better, or some other color combination (green and pink, anyone?). The chess board in Tabletop Playground is set up so you can edit both square colors independently. Other objects, like dice, work in a similar way.

If you want to create your own objects, you can also define where colors can be changed: In the editor you can include an “extra map” texture, where red color defines where you want the primary color, and green parts are used for the secondary color. The blue and alpha channels of the extra map are used to define roughness and metallic appearance, which will be the subject of the next post!

What else is on the table?

In my previous post, I introduced four object types that you will find in many games: standard objects, dice, cards, and card holders. Today, I want to tell you about the remaining object types that Tabletop Playground currently supports.

Containers

In some games, you need an infinite supply of certain objects (like go stones), or you want to grab a random piece out of a selection of objects (think of the letters in Scrabble). For these situations, the container object type is what you need! You insert items by simply dropping them onto the container. And you can drag them out either randomly or in a defined order, such as first in-first out.

Cardboard figures

Cardboard figures don’t have any special behavior: they are just a convenient way to get figures into the game, if you only have a 2D Image. You create the figures in the editor of Tabletop Playground. You can select a round or rectangular base, or use your own base model. Then, all you need is an image and you have a 3D game piece!

Tables

Surprise: the action in Tabletop Playground takes place on a table. The game comes with a selection of eight different tables, but you can also create your own tables for custom games. You can get creative with what a “table” can be: for example, you could create a miniature golf lane course! However, the main property of tables is that they are unmovable and serve as a surface for your game.

That’s it for the quick overview of all currently implemented object types. You can create your own versions of all of them using the editor, which I will talk about in one of the next posts. If you want more details, head over to the knowledge base that just went online with the first articles about object types.

What’s on the table?

Hi, in this post I’d like to talk about the different objects that you can interact with in Tabletop Playground. Currently, there are 7 different object types implemented: standard objects (e.g. cube, ball, pawn,…), dice, cards, card holders, containers, cardboard figures, and tables. All of them have certain properties that should enable you to have a fun virtual tabletop game experience. Today, I will describe the first four object types, leaving the others for a future post.

You will probably not use all of these object types in every game you choose to play: some are more useful for board games or card games, others may come in handy for wargaming. So, let’s have a closer look!

Standard objects

Many games include elements that are simple standard objects (in Tabletop Playground those are also called “Generic” objects). They don’t have any special behaviour – just imagine a pawn, or chess piece. In a game you would mostly interact with these objects by moving them over your game board. By the way: game boards are also standard objects!

Standard objects are mostly characterized by their physical properties. But you are able to influence those! Change the appearance (colors, roughness, or make them metallic) of an object, or play around with the scale. You can also define the bounciness and friction. Just try it out – it’s a lot of fun to watch your objects slide on the table without friction.

Dice

Dice are an important part of many board games. Tabletop Playground includes six standard dice shapes. When you throw dice, they will spin randomly and all players get notified with what you threw once they settle. Using the Editor, you can create dice in any shape!

Cards

Cards are the only component of pure card games, but they are used in many other tabletop games as well. Tabletop Playground includes standard playing cards. But you can also create your own cards – in a rectangular, round or even hexagonal shape. Cards can be flipped and stacked, and card stacks can be shuffled.

Card Holders

In many games, you will want to organize a hand of cards, or keep your cards hidden from other players. Card holders help you do that: you can drop cards on a holder and order them as you would in your hand. Each card holder can have an owner. This means that cards on the player’s holder are not visible to other players.

I still have ideas for several additional possible object types, which will get introduced as Tabletop Playground continues to evolve. You’ll find out more about the remaining existing types in the next post!

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