In my day job I’m a full-stack web software engineer. When I’m not playing or discussing or reading rpgs and I get some spare time, I like to have a software-related side project to work on.
I don’t tinker often, but lately I have caught the bug.
One of the things that frustrates me about playing games online is a lack of tools that work for my style of play. I particularly enjoy theatre of the mind with minimal, sketchy maps only when necessary.
In the real world, my table often just gets covered in index cards and sticky notes scribbled on with sharpie.
Roll20 and Tabletop Simulator etc are all amazing tools but they do way more than I need.
I don’t need fog of war, dynamic lighting, highly detailed maps etc - what I do need are easy drawing and writing tools (oh god, roll20 falls short when drawing in real time at the table instead of uploading maps) and a better way to organize and share sheets and handouts and such at the table.
I have started to create a prototype of a VTT for the games I play and the way I play them - it’s essentially a tabletop where you can spawn endless numbers of virtual index cards and sticky notes, write on them with Markdown, and drag/drop to rearrange them however you want on the table. So far everything is a card - even tokens are just small round cards.
I don’t know how far I will go with it, but so far I’m enjoying building it. I plan to add a dice roller, of course, and decks or stacks of cards that can be shuffled (or not).
Right now I plan for these cards to be controlled entirely by the players with no scripted behavior for any particular game, but I have toyed with the idea of creating widgets for making games like Microscope or “For The Queen” hacks easier to play.
Two additional goals outside of the kinds of tools I want at my table are to make it work on an iPad so you can use a VTT on the couch and also to do my best to make it really screen-reader friendly.
I don’t know what I’m hoping to talk about in this thread - I’d love ideas, questions, encouragement, indications of interest or anything you might have to say on the subject. What did you love or hate about another vtt you tried? What would be the killer feature for you in a minimalist 2d tabletop?