player-lightingThere are a few instances where I break the verisimilitude of the tabletop metaphor to add utility and enhance the player’s experience. The first of those is the line-of-sight calculation. The second is player lighting.

What can my player see? is a question that comes up often at the gaming table. At it’s simplest, you can just just compare, say, the light radius of a torch against the distance of the things you are looking at. A clever GM may even attempt to determine if something is hiding behind a corner, or is in the shadows. It’s often difficult, too, to make sure that the characters all stay together around the torch bearer or the wizard’s light spell. Tabletop Connect eliminates all of that guesswork. Combined with line-of-sight calculations, you’ll know exactly what the character can see. Right down to what’s hiding in the shadows.

The player lights are fully controllable, with a few useful presets: none, torch, lantern, and flashlight. Each has a unique look that lends the feel of their real-world counterparts. Whether it’s the flickering torch, or the limited view of the flashlight, you’ll experience a whole new level in tabletop gaming.


Tabletop Connect - First Look at Player Lighting from C. Lewis Pinder on Vimeo.

Also available on YouTube:


8 Comments » for First Look - Player Lighting
  1. Zander says:

    Looks cool. I do have a few questions:

    1. Do you have a plan for different types of vision? Also, spells/devices, that effect vision? Things like infra vision, magic eye spells, spacial awareness, etc.

    2. Is there a way for these abilities to only be seen on the map of the player who has said devices/spells/abilities? (and the DM/GM of course)

    • carl says:

      I’ve considered different types of vision, if there is a demand for them. Localizing the effect to particular players is not difficult. Currently, the players see whatever the player lights illuminate in addition to their own restricted line-of-sight. The GM gets to see everything.

  2. Zander says:

    Here is my two cents. I have played a lot of games mostly from the 70-90′s. I would like to see a vision options in a mapping system that is functional.
    If we take the 1st ed. AD&D for instance all the races, besides humans, have some sort of vision ability. Though games like Harn or Runequest do not handle vision in the way, they do have spells that give site advantages.
    Any modern or future setting would also be served by a system that could handle vision devices that are readily available to most players for a price.
    Many Vampire, horror and other games have special vision options.
    Sure there are games like the 20′s setting for Call of Cthulhu, Boot Hill and others that wouldn’t require more than the current offerings you have. I feel that would limit the uses of this system.
    I am sure you have thought of this, but I shall say it anyways. Items like goggles which depending on the tech level of the game being played would cause restrictions to the players field of vision could work very well with the flashlight option you have already built.

  3. Eric says:

    This is really cool. This is one of those applications that we always wanted automated for us when we were playing. Excellent.

    Is there a way to make the torch lighting flicker? If so I’d make it a toggle. Seems neat in theory but might be head ache inducing over hours of game play.

    Vision makes sense to have, but it is pretty low on my want list. In play visions just always seemed like a way to avoid having to worry about lighting. I think most calls for vision, at least in my group, could be answered by just turning the darkness limiting sight feature off.

    • carl says:

      The torches do flicker, though it doesn’t look like it’s too evident in the video. I think I have the flicker cycling too fast. Flickering will be a toggle. I had considered that it might be a tad seizure-inducing.

  4. Spacecookie says:


    This looks quite nice. I would like to suggest an additional lighting option which would really allow a custom level of lighting by including a sliding scale as an extra light source option, that would allow for custom/arbitrary lighting scenarios.

    Also, will you be including options of vision abilities, so that things like a lantern will suddenly ‘blow out’ the night vision of everyone around it, making everything bright/white for a while, etc?

    One final lighting question, sorry for going on so, is will you include auras, not just player specific, for spells etc, but for items and such too? So for example, the sword sting, in the lord of the rings gave off quite a glow in the presence of goblins and such, so if that’s enough to see by, as if a individual candle were being carried, then because it suddenly lit up, the night vision of legolas would suddenly be so much less useful, and the player of legolas’ sight would be reduced to more normal levels like everyone else, or flooded with light for a few rounds or whatever, as defined by the GM.

    • carl says:

      Additional lighting options have been added ( a global directional light and a global ambient light) for each map. Map lighting will be refined.

      Regarding vision sets and auras, there will be support for vision sets and GM specified glows, though the actual implementation of these is still TBD.

  5. Spacecookie says:

    Ooh, I can’t wait for lightsabers in the dark. ^_^

    This is such an exciting project. I’m really looking forward to seeing it in it’s full glory.

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