January News: Driving For Immersion!


#1

Greetings and Well Met, Astral Users!

The new year is upon us, and with it comes good tidings! Last year we saw tremendous growth from our community and inside our company. We’ve grown from our humble beginnings as a one-man project to a full-fledged virtual tabletop platform supported by an amazing team (no longer just Tom!)

Last year presented us with many challenges and made us reflect on what is important to us and what experience is important to the community.

We have heard you! All your amazing feedback and support has lead us to a few big decisions for 2019.

Tabletop Immersion Tools

At our core, we believe Astral is the best in-person and online tool for Game Masters and players to experience and interact with a living, breathing world. We think we’re particularly good at making your worlds an interactive experience. We want to keep focusing on that and deliver even better tools to tell your story.

Animations

Is that river … moving?! Yes, yes it is! We are super excited to announce that we soon will be able to support animations in your worlds. Create living spaces that feel more realistic than ever. Create worlds that respond in real-time to player actions. Best of all, we’ve optimized our engine so even low-end computers can take advantage of this incredible new feature. Upload your own GIFs or check out some of our artist’s amazing animations on our marketplace. Stay tuned for updates!

dd **

Performance Enhancements

We are in the process of enhancing our Dynamic lighting, as well as updating Astral to optimize performance! We have seen a dramatic increase in FPS, as shown here:

Going Systemless

We’re going to be building a systemless experience that will support any tabletop system. Pathfinder, Check! Call of Cthulhu, Supported! [Insert any other system here], Yes!

The new system will introduce new tools that replace any complicated macros or buggy automation and make it even easier to roll, navigate, and interact with the tabletop world - no programming required!

Build and play in your world no matter what system you use. We don’t want to get in the way, we just want to provide you with awesome tools that make your players go, “WOW” when you tell your story.

Audio and Localized Sound FX

We are extremely excited to announce that we are prioritizing audio streaming and localized sound fx for your worlds.

Localized sound lets you drag audio onto your map and define a radius for that sound. This means you can setup worlds with chirping forests, hard-working blacksmiths, and babbling brooks and your players will hear the sounds distinctly when navigating different parts of your world. It’s kind of like 3D audio for your 2D battlemap!

We also are supporting the ability to stream audio to your players - cue intense battle music!

Triggers and Waypoints

A long-requested feature, we are prioritizing “Triggers”, or a way for a Game Master to define actions to interact with. Triggers will be especially useful for objects such as doors, where a player might be able to click a trigger and open a door automatically - or spring a trap! We are building triggers so that you can automatically modify layers, play sound, roll dice, and more with the click of a button.

Similar to triggers, “Waypoints” are places in your world that link to other worlds. This means you can setup a continent map with Waypoints that lead to all your other townships, cities, and areas in that continent. You could also setup a bustling town with waypoints that lead into all different shops. We are extremely eager to see what you build with this new feature!

Dice Rolling Widget

Last year, we started to break out core features of the online experience into “widgets” which let you choose how you want to run your game. For example, instead of overlapping Live Audio/Video on your map screen, we separated the feature into its own widget so that you can use it with (or without) the map. We are going to be building 3D dice in a similar way.

What does this mean? It means you will have access to a great dice roller from your mobile device, tablet, or right on your desktop that interacts with your game live! Best of all, this widget will also support 3D dice and skins! We are prioritizing this feature so that you can customize your dice box, choose which dice you want to roll, and let you save common rolls.

We’re listening!

As always, the Astral team is working hard to improve your experience. If you have any suggestions of improvements you would like to see or features that would make Astral a better experience for you, please send us a feedback submission form by using the buttons at the bottom of the website.

Fixed issues:

Resolved a bug that prevented certain users from logging into Forums

Resolved a bug where users couldn’t collapse the Vault Search sidebar

Resolved “Location False” issue

Refined Vault Asset searching to improve fidelity

Resolved bug where users could lose their username after editing their profile, resulting in other complications including Status Code 500 on vault.

Happy adventuring! :crossed_swords:

Best,
James
Community Experience and Outreach
Unicorn Heart Club :unicorn:


If you would like to help improve Astral by becoming a Beta Tester as well as get access to up-and-coming features before public release, drop us a line at: support@astraltabletop.com

**Animation featured in gif is the work of Dynamic Dungeon, this is included as a proof of concept on the support of animation in maps. Please check out his Patreon!


#2

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE!

I’m so happy that you guys released the door triggers! My players have been asking for that for a while and I can’t wait to tell them that!

[EDIT] Also will we be able to create and add assets that are animated? Are they going to be gif, webm, mp4?


I want to be able to create a world with map links
#3

So, do you need testers for the Systemless features?


#4

Hey @TheMaskedFerret,

If you are interested in being a beta tester, please drop us a line at support@astraltabletop.com, we’ll consider it! We currently don’t have the new experience out on Beta yet, but soon™

@WicWicTheWarlock, we haven’t released these features quite yet, but this is what we’ve got planned for the near future!

Best,
James


#5

Done
(Padding this post out to > 20 characters)


#6

Amazing! I can’t wait to try it all ! :grin::grin:


#7

Great work and fantastic news! Can’t wait for everything you have planned!

We’ve been looking for a new VTT to recommend to our players, and can’t wait to get our game loaded in once Astral systemless. We’re already beta testers, but if you need anything beyond that as far as that system goes, we are more than happy to help.


#8

We have been waiting for those feature, particularly for triggers and audio FX, it’s great! But I still would like to point up the importance of Fog Of War, either because it could allow some great dungeon exploring combined with dynamic lighting and because it stops the players from seeing the map when they first enter it