Graphics play a very important role inmost board games giving players necessary information, helping with the usability of components, supporting thegame’s setting and creating atmosphere.
WithTabletopia our aim is toallow game authors and publishers to adapt their game graphics from standard prepress or print-and-play files very quickly. Usually it will take only a few hours to create a game,seeHow to Create a Gamefor detailed process.
But you can go further andcreate objects which were not presentin the “analog” game, e.g. replace abstract wooden resource cubes with good looking tokens or even 3D pieces, design custom player zones, etc. SeeTips to Improve Visual Design of Your Gamefor suggestions.
This article will provide you with all the specific information about how to prepare and use graphics in Tabletopia and give you some useful tips.
The standard variants for each game-designer to start with include:
- Prepress files. The game is already published and you have graphics you used to print it.
- Print-and-play. The game is not published but you have or going to playtest it and have the graphics prepared.
- No graphic files.You will have to make all the graphics from scratch in Tabletopia.
If you have prepress or print-and-play files ready, you will only need to separate each component’s image into a different file.
Note that front and back image of the component also mustbe in different files.
Example: For a deck of 52 cards youwill need53 image files: 52 front images and 1 back).
Two-sided components, like cards or tiles, must havefront and back images of the same size.
Make sure all the components of the same typeareexactly the same size in pixels. It is very important if you are going to use Stacks or Random Elements in your game. Even the slight difference in number of pixels is critical.
Tip: See Tips to Improve Visual Design of Your Gameforadvice on enhancing your game’s graphics and look and feel on Tabletopia.
When adapting real-lifegamesto the screen, it is important to keep the proportions of sizes of thecomponents.
OnTabletopia we are operating with sizes given in centimeters or millimeters.To render real-life objects measuredin centimeters or inches to virtual world objects in pixels,we must convertcmtopixels.
OnTabletopia 10 pixels equal 1 millimeter.
This parameter was selected experimentally using cards with extensive use of text (e.g. Magic: the Gathering or Berserk). The text remains clear to read and the resulting file size of thecard does not exceed thelimits.
The default table available onTabletopia is 80×120 cm and can beused as a reference for thesize of all other game components(seeTables, Surfaces and Skyboxes):If you set the right size for the game board and other components, they will look exactly like the real components on a real table.
Sometimes using this proportion with big-sized objects (e.g. Game Boards) leads to an excess increase of the setup file size and consumption of computer resources.
With some objectsit is reasonable to usescaling, which allows you to scale the object up to 400%, effectively reducing the given proportion up to 2.5 pixels in 1 millimeter and what is important — reducing the size of the image.Using this option is especially required for the games to be correctly displayed in Chrome.
Example: The game board in Septikonwas shrunk in size from 8.3 to 2.65 megabytes by scaling a JPEG image to 200%.
Backward scaling down to 50% is also possible if you need to increase the resolution of an object. Another possible use of scaling is to precisely modify the size of an object in the game when you do not want to modify the original image.
When deciding on the size and quality of ingame components take into account the overall size of your image sizes in megabytes and the resulting size of the setup file, which will be loaded by players.Bigger files tend to be loaded slower and consume more computer resources, this can cause discomfort for players.
Maximum size of one continuous one-sided object in the system is1600×1600 mm using the scaling maxed to 400% (or 400×400 mm with scaling set at 100%).
Tip: Try not to exceed the image size of 2000×2000 pixels for each object. The system performance is better when the size is lesser.
Maximum objects size are 3-10 MB, depends of objects type, but you should try to keep it not more than 1-2 MBfor the optimal performance.
Tip: In a rare situation when you need a bigger object (e.g. gigantic game board) contact Tabletopia’s Support. We will help you to find the optimal solution to this problem if it is possible.
Recommendedsetup file size ismax 20 MB.The following recomendations will help you reduce the size of your setup:
- The quality of images should be good enough to read from and discern one image from another, but not too high.
- Use the same image several times in the setup (e.g. back image of the deck of cards), it will be added only once and the size will be adjusted accordingly.
- Decrease the size in pixels of the big images and scale them up by editing the settings of each image in Tabletopia’s system.
- Use JPEG images instead of PNG to decrease the size of the image when you do not need to set a complex shape.
- Split the game to several setups for different number of players or for different sets of components, seeGame Setupsfor details.
Tabletopia allows two different image file formats to be used in the game: .JPEG and .PNG.
- Photographic images. The quality of the image is quite good and the size of the file is not as big as PNG.
- Very large game boards, when the size optimization is more important than the quality of the image.
Note that you can useJPEG images forrectangularobjects only.
- Size. Generally the size of a JPEG image is lower than the size of a corresponding PNG image, exported from the same source.
- Quality. JPEG is a method of lossy compression for digital images, so it provides less quality. It is not well suited for line drawings and other textual or iconic graphics.
- Small palette bigger file size. Note that if an image has a small number of colors in its palette, a JPEG file may have bigger size than the corresponding PNG file.
- Rectangular shape. JPEG files does not support alpha channel transparency, so it is not possible to create objects with round edges or a complex shape.
PNG image files are well suited and prefered in most cases for all of the objects in the game. This format is especially useful if you want to create objects of complex shape.
- Complex shape. The most useful application of .PNG formatis to create objects of complex shape with transparent parts. One restriction still applies: There may not be transparency inside a closed image contour.
Unfortunately images which consist of several parts divided by transparent areas cannot be correctly recognized by the system. There are two possible solutions availablein this case:
- Make the area between parts of the image non-transparent (you can try to make it of the same color as the surface or board).
- Consider creating several different images, each image containing only one part of the initial image. Thus you will need to combine all the parts in the setup by hand.
Also note that the parts of the image with inner angles (e.g. the mouth area of ‘Pac-man’ style game token) support only visual transparency. Those areas act as a part of an object even if they are transparent.
- Quality. PNG is a lossless image file format, so your exported image will not lose quality compared to the original. Sometimes it may even be smaller than a corresponding JPEG alternative.
- Size. In most cases the size of the PNG file is several times bigger than the JPEG file. Consider using scaling and/or JPEG files for game boards and other big objects.
- Make borders for the components (especially cards) that will be taken by players into theirhand. It adds a 3D look to them and helps to visually distinguish one from another.
- Don’t makecomponents overbright. There is a source of light in the system and some images with high initial brightness may not look good. Test your objects in the preview mode, also you may place them all on the table and review them before creating the game setup.
- Don’t make components too dark. Special attention mustbe given to vertical tokens. It is better to increase the brightness of images used in vertical tokens.
- Make thecomponents easily distinguishable from one another at the mid-range distance from thetable. If you use images that are too small or images with thin lines on a similarly colored background, they may look much alike to each other even from a low camera view and the players may become confused
Tabletop Simulator has not only more games, it has a larger variety of games than Tabletopia. You are just more likely to find the game you want to play on Tabletop Simulator. You will also spend less money ultimately with Tabletop Simulator.How do you change the graphics in Tabletopia? ›
To change the graphics quality, go to the main menu of the game client in top left corner > Settings > Required Quality > OK. You do not support my browser. What other options do I have? Tabletopia runs well on all modern web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge).What browsers are supported by Tabletopia? ›
What other options do I have? Tabletopia runs well on all modern web browsers (Google Chrome, Opera GX, Mozilla, Safari, Edge). Games can take time loading for the first time (though will be quicker in subsequent loads). Tabletopia can be downloaded for Windows & Mac through the Steam platform for free.Can you make games in Tabletopia? ›
Now that you have a plan with Tabletopia, you can start creating the game. Your game will start with components and graphics. Components. We already have an extensive library of default components you can use for your game: dice, cards, pieces, cubes, discs, pawns, etc.Why is tabletop gaming so expensive? ›
Why are boardgames so expensive? They are often made by small publishers, in small print runs, with custom components which means the production costs are high. Each game also has costs for assembly, storage, and distribution. Of course, the price of board games varies hugely.What happened with Tabletop sim? ›
Tabletop Simulator removes global chat amid allegations of transphobic, homophobic moderation. One user alleges she was banned multiple times for simply mentioning her gender and sexual identity.How do I adjust my graphics performance? ›
Launch the Settings App. Browse to System > Display > (scroll down) > Graphics settings. Click nTop in the list and select Options. Choose your performance mode preference and press "Save".How do you stack in Tabletopia? ›
- Place a card (tile or token) on the table.
- Select all the other cards (tiles or tokens) and drag them to the first one.
- After the deck becomes highlighted, release the mouse button. The deck or stack will be automatically formed.
Tabletopia is free-to-play on Steam. No subscriptions or recurring payments are required to play. With free Tabletopia you can: Access 2000+ games for free (some setups and expansions may require Premium).What browser does everyone use? ›
As of August 2023, Google's Chrome is the leading internet browser in the world with a global market share of 63.56%. In other words, more than six in ten people use Chrome to browse the internet. Apple's Safari is in second place with 19.85%, 43.71 percentage points behind.
Tabletopia Mobile is available for both iOS and Android and can be download from App Store and Google Play. The app is accessible to players for free. Online, Hotseat and Solo modes are available.Is it illegal to recreate a board game? ›
As long as the game is an original creation and has not been copied from someone else's work, it is eligible for copyright protection – just like any other copyrightable work! However, there are some limitations as to what parts of a board game are copyrightable.Do board game creators make money? ›
It's like any other job. The more senior the position in the company and the more responsibility they have, the more the board game designer will make. According to Glassdoor average board game designer salaries range from $56,000 – $113,000.How profitable is making a board game? ›
How much profit can a board game company make? A successful board game business can make tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. If a game sells for $30 per copy, selling just 1,000 games would generate a revenue of $30,000. In some cases, businesses are much more successful than this.What is the best Tabletop Simulator for D&D? ›
- Foundry Virtual Tabletop. Foundry Virtual Tabletop is currently my go-to virtual tabletop for my own home game. ...
- Roll20. ...
- Tabletop Simulator. ...
- Astral. ...
- Fantasy Grounds. ...
- TaleSpire. ...
- The RPG Engine. ...
Unfortunately no, we don't have the rights to publish Monopoly.