Not all of a game takes place on the map with miniatures. One would hope that much of a gaming session occurs outside the dungeon. There are the practical matters like rolling up characters, picking out minis, and waiting for all the players to arrive; and, of course, all the role-playing that happens before the swords start swinging.
Call it a lobby or the table, it might well be the part that you are looking at most. Working on the networking necessitates that I pay attention to “the table.” I’ve kicked around a few ideas, but the one that I’m leaning toward most is extending the tabletop metaphor into a virtual tabletop. I remember, too well, efforts like Microsoft Bob that didn’t go over with the users. Having a folders and a trash can on the desktop works well enough as long as you can just double click to open a folder and don’t have to virtually mimic digging through a filing cabinet.
I did a quick 2D mock-up, but I think I might be pushing it a little too far. What would you like? How much verisimilitude is the right amount?[poll id="2"]