Sunday, March 9, 2014

Virtual Table Top Interview - Savage Worlds Crept In

Gaming Ballistic interviewed R. K. Athey (aka The Savage Troll) concerning Virtual Tabletops and MapTool.  It was a wide-ranging discussion about communities, products, and Chaos Lord Zack.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mobile Google Docs for Play-By-Post

I posted in a previous article how to use Google Docs (Drive) for a play by post game. For some reason, I expected people to post at their desktop. I was wrong. Almost everyone used a mobile device of some sort.

I'm organizing the game by Acts which contain Scenes which contain Rounds. I do one Drive document per Scene with the Rounds as Headings so I can generate a table of contents for easy navigation on a mobile device. Images use a sub-heading so they show up in the ToC as well. The players 'follow link' to any particular section.

First thing I had to figure out was how to take a screen shot. Don't laugh. I've never had to do this before. On my Note 2, I went to Settings->My Device->Motion and checked 'Palm Swipe to Capture'. To take a screen shot you act like you're going to karate chop your phone on one edge of the screen then swipe the edge of your hand from left to right or right to left. It takes some practice.

I then edit the photo in my favorite image editor, Sketch. It allows me to easily draw arrows and annotate. I can't say enough good things about that simple but powerful tool.

So, first thing I asked them to do is make sure they have Drive, Google+, and GMail.

I had previously shared the Drive document but it wasn't all that obvious to new users how to find that. 

The next problem was adding comments. Again, not that obvious to new users of the Drive Mobile App.

The results of this is a Savage Worlds game using MapTool. The maps are small on the screen but Drive allows a pinch motion on the image to expand for exploration.

I'm pleased with the results of using Drive on a mobile device. My only complaint so far is that when pinching the image above you often enter edit mode which covers some screen real estate with the touch keyboard.