I think this is just about the coolest thing.
There really hasn’t been a better time to be a board game designer. After about a year into Silent Fury’s development process, we found the GameCrafter, and that let us create the action cards that added so much to how the game plays and how you run your ship – not to mention making the whole thing look more like a professional product.
Now, someone went and made Tabletop Simulator. It’s a physics engine with some enhanced usability options for cards and other game components, and the above screenshot is my progress thus far in putting Silent Fury into the thing. As you can see, it’s going well.
Though it hasn’t been all that smooth – there’s a million little ‘gotchas’ and every time I try to add a piece, I find some problem that needs to be corrected. For example, my early attempts at damage tokens imported with transparent sides (solved by tessellating the objects). The first time I tried to add action cards, I crashed the program by the time I made a third deck from memory usage (solved by using smaller image files). And the ship is basically a giant card with a poker card’s dimensions rather than the 8×11.5 sheet of paper it was made for, so it’s a little squished horizontally (solved by accepting that a slightly squished ship sheet is still totally readable.) And my latest issue is that my damage tokens fall through the ship sheet sometimes, so after this post I’m going to go try to solve that one.
TTS is still in beta and has some issues, but I’m confident that when I’m done, anyone with Tabletop Simulator will be able to play this game. Despite the problems I’m having importing the game, I’ve been able to work through them so far.
Mostly, I’m damn impressed that some software can emulate a real game that I’ve been making for years prior to the release of that software. This is just about the coolest thing.