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Thread: Prototypical - Rapid Boardgame Prototyping (Experimental)

  1. #1

    Prototypical - Rapid Boardgame Prototyping (Experimental)

    Hi everyone!

    Because I felt that creating prototypes for boardgames should take minutes, not hours, and because Tabletop Simulator is a wonderful tool for testing new boardgame ideas, I decided to combine TTS with Excel and build a tool that allows you to test and iterate your new boardgaming ideas almost as quickly as you can type out the content.

    The results of spending a week of vacation and a few evenings is this first, work-in-progress, version of Prototypical. Because I believe in getting early user feedback, I was hoping to see if some folks here are also interested in prototyping games and want to have a go at it with this application.

    So what does it do?

    Prototypical is a small application that can read a specially prepared spreadsheet containing boardgame data and then draw all the game content from it, and convert it into a working Tabletop Simulator Savegame, which you can then load and play.

    Since a picture is worth a thousand words, it basically goes from this:



    To this:



    in about 3 seconds.

    What kind of content does it create?

    Right now, it can create the following types of items:

    - cards with custom content (text only, but fairly complex layout)
    - boards with custom content (text only, but fairly complex layout)
    - some basic pawns and cubes (with color/size)
    - generic dice
    - custom 6 sided dice with text on them
    - small tokens with custom text/color
    - cards are combined into decks
    - other content can be put into bags

    You can see a full breakdown of all the available options in the reference file, which is included in the download.

    What systems does it support?

    Right now, I'm providing a Windows executable. Technically, it's a Python program and it should run anywhere, but I've only spent the time to build a Windows dist right now. If you want to have a go at getting it to work on something else, the code is open source and available here. (If you find a way to make it run as a dist on another system, I'll gladly include that in my future builds.)

    What are some things to keep in mind?

    It currently cannot store images online. Everything is saved to your disk, which means that right now your demo will only work for you. I'm going over some ways to make this available online, but for now you're stuck with testing on your local machine.

    The interface looks like crap. I haven't really spent a lot of time to make it look decent; it's just some buttons and a big status window.

    Also, this thing is an experimental work in progress. If it fails to run for you, or you run into weird errors, I'd love if you'd let me know either here or through email. (Address can be found in the readme). I ran a bunch of tests to make sure that the basic functionality works, but it's hard to predict what you run into when releasing a program into the wild.

    If you have suggestions for new features, I'd also love to hear. Or just if you liked the idea. Or hated it. Pretty much anything is valuable feedback at this point. So let me know what you think!

    Where do I get it?

    You can download the current version here.

    Check the Readme for instructions on how to use the tool. If you have any questions or feedback, let me know!

    - Pluisjen

  2. #2
    very very very interesting....

    I'll defiantly have a look at this when I get time.

    So basically you enter all the data into the excel sheet and it creates all the tokens and stuff... using that data.. . what a great idea.
    My Boardgame uTube chan - Tragic's Table Top
    BGG Guild of BoardGame uTubers - Tube Tables

  3. #3
    any more work being done on this great tool?
    My Boardgame uTube chan - Tragic's Table Top
    BGG Guild of BoardGame uTubers - Tube Tables

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