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Jaxilon
12-26-2009, 01:24 PM
Should we have a sticky with suggested resolutions and sizes to use for VTTs? I've seen it posted here and there on the web but I have never used a VTT myself so I'm a bit clueless.

I just figure if we all use the same standard it would make it easier for anyone who wanted to use maps from this site.

It's also possible that this doesn't matter, like I said, I don't know much about VTTs yet.

mearrin69
12-26-2009, 04:29 PM
I don't know much about VTTs but I have used Fantasy Grounds a bit. It seems to me that resolution is highly dependent upon the screen resolution you're running. On my laptop I use smaller maps than when I run it on my desktop...which would be a bit of a pain if I ran the same campaign across both machines. I have a *lot* more real estate on my desktop monitor.

If you wanted to standardize I'd say try to make it so the map can fit comfortably on a 800x600 (low-spec) or 1024x768 (high-spec) screen along with the other info you need (chat window, character sheet, menu bars, etc.) Of course, I listed old-school screen resolutions...widescreens (which many people have these days) can get a little more width.

One given that may help is that folks can always scale the image downward but scaling up is a problem...so I'd say bigger is generally better.

Don't know if that helps at all.
M

Hussar
12-26-2009, 08:23 PM
I've used both OpenRPG and Maptools quite a bit, so here's my 2 cents.

Actual image dimensions seem to be fairly unimportant, or at least, far less important than memory sizes. For Open, I used Photobucket to host my images. Pbucket seems to have a pretty decent bandwidth and having four or five (or more I suppose) people hit the same image at the same time doesn't seem to hurt things too much.

I did notice that I had to limit images to about 200-300 k though. I had one player with a dialup and anything bigger than about 200k just locked him out. I imagine if he had a better computer and hookup, things would be easier. I know that with my current players, it's only the guy with the wireless that has any connectivity issues.

My advice would be to keep background images down to about the 200 k range (give or take) and tokens should never be bigger than about 30k. There's absolutely no reason to have tokens bigger than that. Token Tool saves very nice tokens in png format at around the 10-15 k range.

The big thing to be careful with is pulling images off the net directly. From time to time I've found myself just grabbing a quick image off the net for one reason or another. Occasionally those things are raw bmp files and they're bloody HUGE. Just something to be aware of.

Redrobes
12-26-2009, 11:28 PM
For mine theres a limit of 2K square per token then there is an image splitting tool which breaks up big images into tiles and puts them all back together again. So it can deal with any size and res map up to about 20K square before it starts to howl.

The bigger is better for tokens in terms of just how nice and sharp they look.

Then smaller file size is better if requiring to transfer them to all other players. Thats down to what kind of pipes you have between you all. That could be a huge issue with dial up etc. The idea is to reuse tokens tho so you would hope that most of them they have already.

For most people her tho they go with either 50 pix per 5ft or 100 pix per 5 ft. Thats a res thats not too bad for playing but not so good if you use the VTT as a token mapper.

Jaxilon
12-27-2009, 01:35 AM
When you say 'token mapper' are you meaning if you want to print the map?

Redrobes
12-27-2009, 08:07 AM
Yeah, with most of these apps they implement a set of tokens on the top of a base map. If it can handle quite a lot then you can make maps from the tokens. Mine, Battlegorunds RPG and MapTool are some for example that you often have more tokens on the playing area than just characters and monsters. You can have doors that open, torches and chests, chairs etc then even start on the walls and floor too. If you want to print the map then its good to have plenty of res in the tokens to make a good job of it.

heruca
12-28-2009, 09:34 AM
Most VTTs used a standard resolution of 50 pixels per grid square, but 100 pixels seems to be gaining popularity of late.

Battlegrounds (aka BRPG) uses a resolution of 122 pixels per grid square (or hex), but the maximum map size is 4000 x 4000 pixels.

As RedRobes said, bigger is usually better, since users can easily downsize a graphic to the size they need, whereas if you try to enlarge a graphic beyond it's native size you will get pixelation/blockiness.

torstan
01-05-2010, 06:57 PM
Yep, 100px per grid works well for maptool, and it's easy enough to downsize to 50px which will run beautifully and will still look decent on a monitor. I know the standard for Dunjinni is 200px per 5' grid as that's geared towards printing as well as online play.

The important thing in maptool is to have an integer number of pixels per grid. That may seem obvious, but a number of published maps are printed having been resized which makes it tricky to get them to line up to a grid without a little editing.

MadCartographer
02-09-2010, 08:56 PM
I use ScreenMonkey alot for all my role playing (D&D Online) All of my maps are at 2500x2000, which puts the file at 1.7 mgs. But the detail is great.
Image is below (a dungeon my players are in now)
http://www.mstsls.com/ls/Map/Dungeon.JPG
This is for a LVL 1 party.

Midgardsormr
02-10-2010, 03:36 PM
Battlegrounds (aka BRPG) uses a resolution of 122 pixels per grid square (or hex)…

Where the heck did they come up with that number? That's even more arbitrary than 72 (which is at least divisible by 9. I just figured out why the chose that number for the nonsensical "screen dpi." You'd think that would have been far more obvious to a math geek).

Anyway, I shoot for 100px / square in my D&D 4e game, which I display to my face-to-face group on a HDTV. My maps are about 5-10 MB in jpeg format, and my 32-bit png tokens run to about 30k. That's a bit on the large side, really, but since I'm not having to transport the assets over the 'net it works out.

heruca
02-10-2010, 04:04 PM
Where the heck did they come up with that number?

Battlegrounds originally had a resolution of 61 pixels per cell (square or hex). I arrived at that as a result of subjective testing of various resolutions. 50 seemed too low for the amount of detail I wanted to be able to show, but I was afraid that going too much higher would lead to file size and bandwidth issues. So I was about to settle on 60 pixels per cell when I realized that, for the snap-to-grid feature to perfectly center a unit in a cell, I would need to have an odd number of pixels. Hence 61 was decided on. At this point in time, Battlegrounds didn't have a zoom feature. When I added zooming, all the graphics ended up pixelating when fully zoomed in. Since Battlegrounds maximum zoom level is 200%, I doubled the resolution of the graphics so that there would be no pixelation even at full zoom. That's how Battlegrounds' resolution ended up being 122 pixels per cell.

Improvement in broadband bandwidth and hard drive sizes over the last few years have resulted in the increased file sizes not being as bad as I'd originally feared when I first started development.

Midgardsormr
02-10-2010, 08:10 PM
Well, that explains it. Thanks! I didn't realize that you were the developer of Battlegrounds; you should join the Industry Professionals group and get yourself a colored name!