Creating a simple board game

Creating a simple board game

This tutorial will walk you through the process of creating a variant of Pachisi with in Tabletop Playground. When creating a new game, we first have to think about what kind of objects are used when playing the game. Pachisi involves a game board and some game pieces for each player. Traditionally, players use sea shells for randomness, but we’ll just stick to dice here for simplicity. You can download a zip file containing the image and model used in this tutorial here.

First, we’ll create the game board. We need an image of the board, so unzip the tutorial archive. Now start the Editor and create a new package. In your new package, create a new object template and choose Board. You will be asked to select an image. Click on the button and choose the image from the archive, then press Create. You will now see your new board in the object template editor.

Adding a snap point grid

You already have a Pachisi board now, but you can add some snap points to make playing the game more convenient. In the header of the snap point pane on the right, there are different ways to create snap points. By clicking +, you can create a single new snap point and then edit its properties below. By clicking on the arrow button, you can activate placing snap points by clicking on the board with your mouse. Or you can add a whole grid of snap points at once by clicking the grid button. Try adding snap points to each field on the board!

When you’re done, click on Save and the go back to the object template selection. You’ll see that your new Pachisi board has appeared in the list. Now we need game pieces. You could use the included pawns or meeples, but here we’ll import a new 3D model.

Create another object template with the type Generic and select the model file from the archive. That’s all you need to do in order to create a new game object from a model file, but you can have a look around on the screen and check out all the different options to customize your object. In the model pane on the left, you can see the model file you selected when creating the object. You could also add more models when creating more complex objects.

By default, game objects get a collider box around the whole object. If you want a more precise collision, you can add colliders in the pane on the right. For this object, you can add a new collider by pressing +. Then click the model button and choose the same file from the archive again that you chose as visible model. Colliders models have to be convex: they can’t have any holes or dents. If you try to use a concave collider, its convex hull will be used instead. Complex collider models can hurt performance in-game, so you should only use them if you really need precise collisions and fall back to simpler colliders or the default box where possible.

Adding a model collider

Now give your new object a name in the object properties on the left, save, and go back. The final element we need are dice, but Tabletop Playground already comes with suitable dice included, so we don’t need to create another object template. Instead, we can go ahead and create a starting state for our Pachisi game.

Click on “Preview package or create start states”, then “Start with empty table”. Select a table you like and click start. You are now in-game with an empty table and your new package is already activated. Open the object library from the context menu and create a Pachisi board, 16 game pieces, and a D6 (from the dice package). Place the game pieces on the triangles on the center of the board and color them accordingly. Finally, save the state to your new package: click Save State in the context menu and selecting your package in the destination list. Then enter a name for your new state and click Save.

Note that you have to be in the editor, using the “Preview package or create start states” button in order to save states to your package. When you start a regular game from the main menu, you can save to your local states, but those won’t be available to others who download your package!

That’s it, you have created a new board game with a custom board, a new 3D model, and a starting state! You can now quickly play a game of Pachisi by selecting your package and state when starting a new game.

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