Thursday, 3 April 2014

Helroth's Tower to include VTT maps?

I have a quick question for the folks out there that use VTTs (Virtual Tabletops)...

If I were to include separate image files for each of the maps that feature in the 'Helroth's Tower' booklet, how would you prefer them?

For example, would you like them to be supplied exactly how they appear in the booklet (i.e. with a parchment background, compass rose, minimal text, etc. - as seen on the images on the left)...

 ...or would you prefer them cropped down so that only the structure is included (with either a plain or parchment background - but no text) as seen on the images in the right?

Also, is the file size an issue at all? it's been a few years since I've gamed regularly on a VTT, and back then, keeping the file size down was definitely a priority.


  1. Programs like Maptool allow you to set a background texture, grass, space etc. Perhaps if you could offer the images as PNGs with transparency people could place them over a background texture.

    Failing that, personally I prefer the first one but I can see that text and a compass might detract from the experience a bit for some people.

    I'm so decisive today!

    1. PNG files with transparency are another option ...though I expect that will mean larger file sizes (which may, or may not, be an issue).

      (note that I've edited the original post so that it also includes a smaller 'upper' level example - so that folks can see how cropping the image would eliminate a lot of the 'wasted space' around the tower)

  2. Hrm, file size shouldn't be much of an issue. For me it's not that important whether or not it has a parchment background, though I tend slightly to no background, but can't tell why. More and of uttermost importance is the fact that those files do not show traps or secret doors (they may show the rooms though, because those can hidden under fog of war, if the wall is thick enough), nor should tehy show any gm hints. Room numbers may be in there because they help navigating the map, though they may interfere with the immersion, as far as it's linked to the map. Since most VTTs should have a fairly decent highlighting mechanism for positions no room numbers should also do.

  3. Larger file sizes are always a plus for VTT users. We're usually savvy enough to crop down, if we need to, but resizing up is always yucky.

    As for backgrounds, I use whatever I can get my hands on; the is a fog of war option in most, if not all, VTT clients that allows you to hide pieces of the map. Backgrounds can be shown or hidden, depending on the importance (e.g. cavern walls may hold other paths so keep the fog trimmed carefully).

    Thanks for thinking about your VTT users!