Archive for category Blog2011

Qs, As and an S + R

I thought I’d spend a post elucidating my thoughts on this Game Table idea by answering/responding to friends who posted about it on my blog and FB!  Here we go!

Q: Have you seen the GeekChic tables?  They are cool / incorporate a lot of interesting ideas.
A: Yes, I have seen them.  Or rather, I knew of them and I had browsed their website once upon a time.  I don’t think I will be getting one of theirs, because two of the reasons I find this project compelling is the chance to build something myself and to have it be my design.  I do think I will review them, though, and possibly go check one out (at PAAAX?), to get ideas.

Q: How many people would you like to seat?
A: Ideally, a complement of 7 (6 + me) because I find that to be the maximum size of gaming group I am comfortable with.  I think it should have reasonably optimzed seating for 4 and 6 as well.

Q: When you say “cubbyholes” do you mean places below the tabletop surface, like indented or would you like to be able to place sheet holders in certain places that rotate/slide up and down?
A: I guess I mean places below the tabletop surface, indented.  Ideally, I would like some amount of display potential so that a player could raise up an illustration or visual aid in their space and others could see it, but most of the time (maybe all of the time) I would want that space below the table.

Q: LCD mounted flat facing up? or movable so it rotates around?
A: My initial thoughts were mounted flat facing up.  I want it to be a map on which miniatures can be placed, or a digital game board for board games, as needed.

Q: Drink holders that slide out of the bottom so spills are contained or hit the floor instead of the table?
A: Yes, that sounds like a great idea!  But in practice, I expect players will just place their drinks at table level, so I may also try to investigate solutions that involve having them spills-contained on that surface.

Q: How many in-progress games do you want to store?
A: Good question – probably no more than three?  Two is more likely, with a third on the actual table surface.

Q: Before you get too ambitious, exactly how much experience with furniture building do you have? And are your power tools up to speed?
A: Too late for that, heh!  But no, I have no experience with furniture building at all!  I am, however, naive, intelligent and somewhat patient.  I expect to be able to learn, and will budget time and resources to trial and error as well.  I don’t have any power tools other than a drill, so obviously that would be part of the project and would need to be carefully considered.

S: Tim has been dreaming about an LCD tabletop that can plug into an iPad for the DM and connect to each player via iPhones.
R: Tim is a genius!  I’ll have to consider this, and possibly *ahem* reacquire certain Apple technologies for the purposes of testing. >_>

Special thanks to Alan, Monty, Dylan, Sean and Molly for the feedback and questions!

Next up – some basic project outline stuff, so that I get it from head to (digital) paper.

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Game On

While I was in California, I was noodling on a sort of hobby project I could use to get my brain and hands working on non-work stuff, and what I came up with was a game table.  I want to design, construct and use a game table for hosting gaming at my place.  Here are some of the features I brainstormed in a short amount of time:

  • “Character Sheet Cubbyholes” – plus a larger one with a built-in divider/screen for a GM seat
  • Removeable tops for storing in-progress board games
  • An LCD integrated with the top-below-the-removeable-top that has a display-in port for hooking up a laptop to project a map
  • Built-in drink holders (with some sort of anti-spill screen?)

I intend to make this my project this year, once I am settled into my new place fully… so probably design thoughts in late April, begin in late May?

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Faceboat

Sometimes I get an idea in my head, and it screams to be free and in the world.  This isn’t as easy as it might appear, as some ideas are not satisfied with being spoken – they must be made real in the form my imagination fits to them.  In this case, I had an inkling of an idea when I found out my new HTC Evo phone (which is awesome, btw) could be a wireless access point.  What if I could host an application on my phone, where there was no Internet?  “No Internet?” you scoff. “Where exactly is that going to apply?”

On the Magic Cruise, that’s where.

I have been developing a local-area-network version of Facebook (*much* reduced in capability) for use on this cruise a bunch of nerd-friends of mine are taking next week.  I call it Faceboat.  Faceboat will do a few things for us that may or may not be useful:

  • We can check-in from various parts of the boat, in case anyone was wondering where to find us
  • We can set up rendezvous plans without needing to be in exactly the same place at the time of the plan
  • We can put our room # up, available to friends, for reference

I’ll be honest – it was fun to release the creative desires that led to the imagined reality of Faceboat, but we may find it is completely unnecessary once we embark on the cruise.  Still, totally fun to do!

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