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If anyone else is going to do this, this $699 cell phone (large
cell phone) sized projector would be a lot easier to mount. I don't
know the specs on this projector and how well it would work in a set
up like in this thread. Heck, I don't know much about projectors
period, but they are cool.
This is very cool. One step closer to ultimate cool would be to
be able to project from underneath onto some kind of rear projection
surface so that arms, miniatures, and other objects don't get in the
way of the light.
__________________ USCM_Sulaco on my favorite D&D
monster, the Leucrotta:
"I can't stand those bloody things.
Large, talking, evil dog-deers just seem stupid."
Disclaimer 1: Above all, I am a very silly
man. So if a statement of mine can be construed as joke - especially
if it's not funny - it likely is. Disclaimer 2: I am also
opinionated, so when not joking I am still voicing my opinion.
Except when I am stating facts.
This is very cool. One step
closer to ultimate cool would be to be able to project from
underneath onto some kind of rear projection surface so that
arms, miniatures, and other objects don't get in the way of
Just what I
Now I just need to work out how to incorporate
this into the ultimate gaming table that was posted on here a while
ago and then figger out how I am going to afford a bigger house so I
can have a dedicated gaming room that I can fit the whole caboodle
__________________ Not So Evil DM - A RBDM in training
Trying to figure out how big an image I could get by projecting
the image from the floor below the table (home-made 1/2" plywood
4'x8') through frosted glass (no shadows on the map, can mark on the
the power of love. Possibly by means of a love-powered laser or
some such. -Doug McCrae Given a choice between adapting your
players to fit your campaign, or adapting your campaign to fit your
players, always adapt your campaign. -Lord
Zardoz [sigvirus]cheese[/sigvirus] [sigvirus]uhoh[/sigvirus]
Wow. WOW. I want one. But first I need a laptop...
setup. I wish I could do the same, although my wife might really
start to believe I'm crazy, instead of just thinking it on
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Location: Realm of Burning Spiders, Deepest Pandemonium
Last Seen: 02-09-06 (08:24 PM)
That is a cool setup, but I'm a miniatures-hater and I'm still
not convinced. NWN may be good for generic dungeon-hacks, but it
can't imitate the fantastic glory of a setting like Planescape,
where my players last month visited a burg perched on a huge
stalagmite column which had titanic blades and chains spinning
around it generating steam power. How would you ever show that in
NWN? The place looks 10x better in my imagination that in any
generic NWN tileset.
Also, there's the perennial problem of
not having enough miniatures. You'd have to spend a fortune to get
all the miniatures for an exotic fantasy setting, some of which
might not even exist. Are there miniatures for the Howler on
Pandemomium? How about modrons on Mechanus? I doubt it. So you end
up substituting some ridiculous miniature that doesn't look like
what you described. Your imagination can do a lot better than that.
Nice work, though. And it's great that your players are
dedicated enough to put that much money and effort into their
__________________ "I saw weird stuff in that place last
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And I want in." - Homer Simpson Visit Portalseeker.com for all your gate-key needs.
Location: Realm of Burning Spiders, Deepest Pandemonium
Last Seen: 02-09-06 (08:24 PM)
Originally Posted by Patryn of
Well, well, lookie here ...http://www.city-of-doors.com/ So, would
you like to take your foot out of your mouth now, or would you
like a little extra-planar help,
No need to be
rude, Patryn. I already know about that project. Notice that it
isn't finished yet, and that it only deals with Sigil, not the
entirety of the planes? Nothing about Pandemonium or Mechanus there.
It still doesn't address my problem of how would you present the
wonders of the planes outside of a generic tileset, or where you
would get miniatures of exotic planar creatures. Some may exist,
some may not. That by itself limits your options, whereas your
imagination is limitless.
If you have discounted the use
of miniatures in your sessions. Please – re-think your
position. There is so much you can do with a setup like this.
While that setup is
really spiffy, it sure doesn't constitute a good reason to
reconsider minis. As an extension to a part of the game you already
know you like, it's cool. As an experiement into something you don't
know you'll like, it is far, far too expensive.
Location: Realm of Burning Spiders, Deepest Pandemonium
Last Seen: 02-09-06 (08:24 PM)
Originally Posted by Patryn of
Saying something can't
be done is not being rude. You, on the other hand, are being
patronizing and condescending in the extreme, with hardly a thought
to actually refuting my points.
Once again, I repeat this:
Is anyone replicating the Planescape setting in whole? No. City of
Doors is only about Sigil, a tiny fraction of the planescape
universe. Without sounding too critical of CoDI, it too is a pale
imitation of the drawings and descriptions of PS in the setting
material, and is no substitute for a good DM's description and
ad-hoc storytelling. You should have argued for Planescape Torment,
as it comes closest and does a far better job in that regard.
So now how *are* you replicating the Tower of Khin-OIn in
the howling waste, or making a NWN tileset for the chain-city of
Jangling Hiter, hmm?
Secondly, the miniatures problem still
stands, and you haven't addressed it at all.
not rudeness, but being insulting without addressing my arguments
That's cooler than ninja pirates. I'm not
sure if it's cooler than ninja pirate robots with dinosaurs, but it
just might be.
Originally Posted by Krypter
NWN may be good for generic
dungeon-hacks, but it can't imitate the fantastic glory of a
setting like Planescape.
NWN can never imitate Planescape. It didn't murder a
setting with REAL fantastic glory so it could rehash it as
Spelljammer, on the other hand, would be
absolutely amazing with this setup. You could do asteroids, the
curve of planets, even large "stationary" objects like the
Spelljammer itself or a big dwarven
Let me address a few issues that have popped up
could project it on a plastic sheet or whiteboard and use
markers (as I do now). I think the main issue would be that
the markers would be invisible in the dark areas of the map -
unless the ambient light is strong enough to see
Steel_Wind, do you think that could work?
Projecting on a whiteboard
certainly would work well. We have experimented with projection
surfaces, trying a white piece of foamcore, a white blind and our
It's a function of the brightness of your
projector and ambient lighting in the room. We prefer to use a
surface with a 1" grid on it already as that makes use in game easy.
More white reflective the surface = higher gain.
In term of
being able to use markers - I don't see why not. You might want to
play with the color of the ink - but it will work in most
Might I suggest you are missing the obvious though? If
you are using NWN, why not simply use the creature models in the
game? You will have a ready made supply of hundreds of creatures,
limitless PC races and you will never, ever run out. There is
nothing more you will need to buy.
Admittedly, you can't use
something like Tabletop Mapper with NWN digital minis, but if cost
of miniatures is your concern, an all digital solution is
I don't know if my crappy laptop does that. I'll try. Even
without the projector, I could use my TV to display images,
maps, or charts. That would be pretty useful too!
If you have a SVGA TV-Out
port on your laptop - I am pretty much CERTAIN you can extend your
desktop to it under Win XP. It's a standard approach of the chipset
is very cool. One step closer to ultimate cool would be to be
able to project from underneath onto some kind of rear
projection surface so that arms, miniatures, and other objects
don't get in the way of the light.
This was a concern of ours
initially too. We thought of trying this as a rear projection setup.
There are some technical concerns though with this
The biggest issue is throw distance of your
projector. Generally speaking, the shorter the distance between the
projector and the projection surface, the smaller the image that is
being displayed. Results vary highly from projector model to model
So putting it directly on the floor underneath your
surface and projecting up is likely with most projectors to make an
inadequate sized image (but see below)
You can skin this cat
another way though. You can install a mirror at an angle below your
table and then put the projector a ways off on a stool or some such,
so you are increasing your throw distance. This is an approach that
another group uses. Here is his set up:
The big problem is
the big ass mirror under the table, which restricts movement around
the table and potentially poses a serious danger to stray
You also have light loss on the mirror and the
projection surface. This group uses simple paper to reflect the
image. A piece of buffed Lexan would probably work better and result
in less light loss.
Still - depending on your gaming setup, it can be
cool. Here is a more typical use of their table during
I prefer our own setup as it provides for a more
intimate central table. The miniatures do not interefere with
projection at all by the way - and hands over the table is something
we don't even notice during play - so this is really not a concern.
I admit I had the same worry initially - but it has proved to be no
concern at all during actual use.
anyone else is going to do this, this $699 cell phone (large
cell phone) sized projector would be a lot easier to mount. I
don't know the specs on this projector and how well it would
work in a set up like in this thread. Heck, I don't know much
about projectors period, but they are cool.
Let me explain what the main issues are here
with projectors being used for this purpose. You care about the
following elements of a projector:
1 - Brightness of
image:. You want a minimum of 1200 ANSI lumens. Without it - you
will be gaming in very low ambient light, too low really. You will
note that in all the reviews the ANSI lumens is not noted for this
unit. That suggests to me that this is a dim unit, relatively
2 - Minimum Throw Distance: The bigger the
image with the smaller the throw distance, the better (in general).
You can have your picture too big though, which will start to make
the image visibly pixellated. Generally speaking, that's a nice
problem to be able to have though as the real problem is an image
which is too small. If this projector can do 40" at a distance of
three feet - it would be VERY possible to use it directly under the
table. Or put it over the table if you prefer - either way - very
3- Bulb life: Most modern DLP projectors (this
is different from an LCD projector, although analogous) have
sophisticated bulbs in them which include aligned optics in the
halogen bulb. They are complicated lil gadgets - damnably bright -
and VERY expensive to replace. Cost is about $300-$400 to replace a
bulb, depending on the unit. Yup. That much. Bulb life is about 2000
hours on most units, 3,000 hours on the newer models.
unit above, the lighting is said to be provided by LED's not a
halogen bulb. This is an extremely stable light source so bulb life
is practically "forever". That's very cool. However, using LED's as
a light source is very limited by their brightness.
be flabbergast if you can get 1200 ANSI out of an LED lit DLP
projector. If anyone can track down the brightness of this unit to
report back - I want to know about it. If it is rated at 1200 or
over - I'll buy one just to use at home and as a back up
4 - Size of the Unit: Our Optoma EZpro 750
projector is about the size of a clock radio ca. 1980. It is very
light. The newer the DLP, the smaller they seem to be
Compare that to an old LCD projector. Those things
were monsters. Here is a pic of the one Jans Carton's group
His LCD is also old and relatively dim at about
800 ANSI. They use special lighting in the basement room their
projector is located in (you can see the LED light strips) as a
A small DLP can be lugged around and placed over a
living room or kitchen table with no problem and you can use an
indirect support method like our pole. For an older LCD projector
like Jans, that puppy needs to be bolted down and its not going
My guess is that most wives are not going to put up
with one of those over the dining room table
5 - Resolution of Image: You want a minimum
of 800x600 and if it scales up to 1024x768 or higher, so much the
better. This pocket projector appears to be adequate if a little
fuzzy at 800x600. It's one of those things you have to see "live in
concert" to get a feel for - but it sounds ok.
I will make
some more inquiries into the Mitsubishi PocketProjector, as its
size, portability, bulb life, minimum throw and resolution all
appear to be IDEAL for a gaming application. Moreoever, its cost,
brand new at MSRP, ROCKS. The real issue - and the one that concerns
me most - is brightness of the image.
If the company is not
touting its ANSI Lumens brightness, you can expect that it is not
very good. How bad is the real issue. But if it's 1200 or higher -
this would appear to be an AWESOME unit.
Nice thing is - the
tech only gets better folks. If this one is not bright enough for
your purpose - just wait a bit - they'll get brighter.
Lastly, the technology behind the DLP projector is what is
making all these devices so cheap. They are stealing the market from
LCD projectors now and as the quality increases, my expectation is
there won't BE an LCD projector market in a few years. It will all
move to DLP.
And yes, we are starting a website for
projection Gaming table purposes at DLA next month. Who knows what
else a group of 30 software developers and 3d artists might have up
their sleeve for this sort of thing?
Also, there's the perennial
problem of not having enough miniatures. You'd have to spend a
fortune to get all the miniatures for an exotic fantasy
setting, some of which might not even exist. Are there
miniatures for the Howler on Pandemomium? How about modrons on
Mechanus? I doubt it. So you end up substituting some
ridiculous miniature that doesn't look like what you
described. Your imagination can do a lot better than
You can use
placeholder minis for quite a bit, and you'd be suprised how many
first and third party models there are for NWN. The DM doesn't need
physical minis to do anything - he can just spawn however many
models he needs. If there aren't modron models already, they're at
least going to be pretty easy to make.
EDIT: Robert (Steel
Wind), have you considered using a lens or warped mirror to reduce
the minimum throw distance? You'd still have a considerable minimum
(unless you raid an observatory), but you might be able to do a
slanted projection or just a short enough throw to integrate a
projector into a coffee table or desk. Also, what's the minimum buy
in for an acceptable XVG DLP projector? I'm new to this projector
scene and filled with a nerdly desire beyond all reckoning.
Last edited by Hurtfultater : 02-24-05 at 07:33
The price of LCD
projectors have come down significantly in recent years. I saw one
new at Best Buy for around $800. Yea, still pricey. I never
considered one for this purpose. I was thinking of just using the
wall as my computer monitor. Of course, anymore then only game I
really play on my computer is spider solitaire, so that would be
kind of silly.
__________________ Curtis __________________ Books I used last session: Wilderlands of High Fantasy boxed
set, Players guide to the Wilderlands, Player's handbook,
Bluffside:City on the Edge, Tomb of Abysthor, Demihuman Deities (2e)
and Unearthed Arcana, Monster Manual, Monster Manual II, Artificer's
I have some dwarven stone dice,
a D&D poster, and some other stuff for Sale. My Blog
A friend of mine wallpapered his home office (well, the upper
half of the walls) with a product that functions exactly as white
board and is finished to be appropriate for use as LCD projection
screen. This would give you the benefit of both surfaces and provide
a bright image from the projector.
I will send him an email
to see if I can get a name of the product.
__________________ Heinrich in Pogre's
latest story hour Gronar in Hairy Minotaur's "Don't laugh...it's
coming" story hour
I daydream about the 'perfect game room' all
the time and I often wonder if I'd go with an overhead projector or
an underglass monitor. I thought a touch screen would be neat.
Especially if you could configure the software to hilight an area of
effect centered on where you touch.
A nice fantasy for me,
but I commend you for taking steps to make it a reality for your
__________________ "If the radiance of a thousand suns
were to burst at once into the sky, That would be like the splendor
of the Mighty One... I am become Death, The shatterer of
One aspect of digital projection mapping that I haven't seen
addressed on this thread is speed. This is one of the biggest
impacts on the gaming experience our setup has had for us. We used to waste hours of
game time on drawing relatively crappy-looking maps.
with a dry erase battle mat for individual encounters, my players
felt the need to have a hand-drawn map of the whole dungeon. We've
found that with the ability to zoom the projected map, it serves
Even if you spend a lot of time preparing the
map in advance like I do, the in-game time saved is enormous. I'd
guess we have at least double the number of encounters per game
session that we did when we were drawing maps in-game.
even if the projected map doesn't help in setting the mood (it
does!), and even if you don't use miniatures (they rock!), consider
projecting your maps to cut the drudgery and get to the
If you want to set the mood and help
your players visualize the environment, there's nothing like
projecting visual aids! My players get all excited when I say "Oh! I
have a picture of this..." and project it onto the table.
use lots of Dungeon Magazine adventures. They have great artwork
thats just begging to be scanned and projected. You can also find
tons of great art, ready for projection, on the Wizards web site
is where a large scale collaborative project or a professional third
party would come in handy. There's no reason why you couldn't have
an entire city mapped out, perhaps with multiple outlying
surroundings. Just by ripping off Paris and London in the 17-19th
centuries, one can get great general city and street layouts, and
while it would be a very large project to do an entire city, 3-5
regular contributors working over a couple months could provide a
resource that many people would happily pay for.
Even as it
is, publishing campaign notes to some community site could help
people start making ever more detailed and robust settings, helping
GMs who, like me, are both lazy and perfectionist.
game like one in which your players can truly wander, but it
requires a huge amount of preparation. Being able to display or
print maps on demand could give players a new sense of setting,
scale, and immersion.
Or start a
consulting business for others who want to do this.
Or a TV
series: "Gamer Playroom Makeover."
__________________ I’ll sing you a song of other times and
places, And sights you may never
see. I’ll sing you a song of other times and
places, And things you may
never, That you may never hear of
again. Songs of Other Times and Places Story
Projector costs are coming way down. I work in AV support/video
production, and the projectors we're buying right now at around
$1800 do a better job than projectors we bought for $7000 just 3-4
years ago. I concur with everything Steel Wind has said, he's done
his homework on this subject.
In particular, I agree with
his comments regarding an under mounted projector - it sounds like a
great idea, but for a number of practical reasons (which he listed)
it probably won't work for most people.
Makes me want to look into
projecting normally, onto a vertical surface, using the NWN editor
(or any other program that would work) and completely eliminating
miniatures altogether. This saves a lot of table space, and helps
with some of the physical problems such as mirrors, distance, etc...
Not to mention I see my wife allowing this kind of "traditional"
setup moreso than a portable overhead kind of setup. If only I
had a $1000 to spend on a projector... Later! Gruns
So even if the projected map
doesn't help in setting the mood (it does!), and even if you
don't use miniatures (they rock!), consider projecting your
maps to cut the drudgery and get to the
I think the
whole map-projection thing is, as we'd say in my business,
"technically sweet", but the sales pitches aren't working for
What is your time worth? We're talking about on the order
of an $800 setup. Even if you say your time is worth $10/hour, you
have to get to saving 80 hours of time before this comes up a win.
And, of course, the setup is useless if you're a DM who likes to
"wing it". If you aren't going to put in hours ahead of time making
up maps (which is also cutting into your time saved), this is not a