If you’re new to Virtua Rasa, start with the Player’s Quickstart.

If you want to use Virtua Rasa as a Game Master, the GM’s Quickstart will also help.

Quick Start Player’s Guide for Virtua Rasa

World domination is a player’s game. So is saving reality.

Virtua Rasa is where you find the tools and meet the talent to go forth and conquer. Or preserve. Or maybe even both.

Create an Account

If you’re new to adventures in our online worlds, go choose your username right now. We’ll still be here when you get back. If you get lost, this friendly icon (Image only) Tome of Knowledge (found at the top of every page) will get you to help.

  • Usernames are publicly visible. So unless you intend to announce your identity, we recommend that you choose a username that’s not personally identifiable. And hey, keep it classy, because the Internet remembers.

  • Your email address will not be made public. We’ll only use it for account maintenance, important service announcements, and the occasional (brief!) newsletter… but only if you tell us you want to get the newsletter. We promise not to spam you — we hate getting it, too!

Meet the Icons

The icons in this section aren't active, so clicking on them toggles zooming. Take a closer look!

This meeple meeple icon is your intrepid stand-in for units and tokens in this Quick Start.

Menus and Pop-Ups

Icons along the edges of the map let you interact with your map, your worlds, other players, Virtua Rasa, and even announce things to the Internet at large. Icons with this symbol new window icon will open a page in a new tab or window. Other icons toggle a pop-up area or dropdown list.

These buttons appear at the top of every page and let you communicate with Virtua Rasa:

(Image only) Tome of Knowledge

Tell Virtua Rasa that you need help! Anything you need to know about using Virtua Rasa as a player or as a GM is somewhere in our Tome of Knowledge. Read and be enlightened.

(Image only) Contact Us Talk to the Virtua Rasa admins. Is something broken? Was the Tome of Knowledge missing information? Want to compliment our illustrious code monkeys? Have a suggestion or request? Drop us a line. You can also find us on Twitter as @VirtuaRasa and on Facebook as Virtua Rasa.

(Image only) World & Atlas If you want to wander without being lost, it helps to have a map. (Apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien.) The name of the world you’re in appears to the right of the globe icon. Clicking the globe icon opens a dropdown list of revealed maps for the world. Hide it by clicking the globe icon again.

(Image only) User Icon

Tell Virtua Rasa what you want to do. Clicking the user icon opens a dropdown list of user-based activities.

Hide it by clicking the user icon again.

Here are the highlights of the icons and buttons you'll use most when adventuring in a world:

The full details of every icon and option are described in Navigating the Map or Creating a World.

Next to the user icon is a button with your username on it. (In our demo world, it has your random unit’s name on it.) Click this to find your unit on the map, if you’ve lost it.

Stack Indicator

Te last icon you might need to know about is the “stack indicator&rdquo  — this will show up when more than one unit is in the same space. Click on it (in the map; the icon here is only a sample) and it will reveal all the units. If one of the units is yours, and you want to move it out of the stack, you can single-click it in the popup, and then double-click somewhere else on the map. Your unit will move to the space you double-clicked. To dismiss the popup, you can hit Escape, or you click somewhere else on the map if you haven't already chosen a unit to move.

Playing

Once your account is created, give your username to your Gamemaster, and ask them to add you to their world. Their world will then appear on your Profile page. The link for the world can be bookmarked, so that you don’t always need to get to it from your profile page, but all worlds that you have access to will always be listed there.

Using the Map

It’s pretty likely that you’re going to get a unit in this world, so that you can move your character around the map. The pop-ups on the right will help you interact with the map, and are discussed in detail on the Navigating the Map page. A quick summary of the most important is below.

Units

The unit list can be accessed from the “Units” pop-up, which can be opened and closed by clicking on the button with the six meeples on it units icon . This shows all of the visible units on the map1 and the connected players. (Each player currently connected to the world will have a green dot to the left of their name in the list.)

You can reorder any unit that you’re allowed to edit by dragging and dropping it within the unit list. (For example, this can be used to show initiative order.) You can also double-click any unit’s name to pan the map so that unit is visible.

Moving the Map

The compass rose compass rose icon button shows and hides the map movement pop-up. This can be used to zoom in and out, pan, center on your unit, or move the view to the edges or center of the map.

You can also interact with the map without using pop-ups:

  • Pan with click-drag or touch-drag
  • Zoom in and out with the scroll wheel or a pinch
  • Move units by clicking or touching them and then dragging them
  • Point to a place on the map with shift-click or long-press
  • Draw on the map by shift-click-drag or long-press-drag

Chat

The chat chat icon button shows and hides the text chat pop-up, and lists the number of number of unread messages below it.

Next Steps

Go play a game!

Feel free to read the rest of the manual if you want a more in-depth explanation of the user interface and how Virtua Rasa works.

Virtua Rasa

We give you what you need to make them give it all they’ve got!

Quick Start GM guide

  • Give the Player’s Quick Start a once-over.
  • Even GMs need an account to start.
  • Player controls and GM controls overlap; this QS convers any divergence.

Note: This meeple meeple icon is your intrepid stand-in for tokens in this Quick Start.

A New World

After you create your account, you are empowered to create a whole new world! Every account is entitled to a free “Basic” world that you can create anytime. When naming your creation, choose wisely, since we don’t support renaming worlds right now!

Note: This world will be listed on your publicly-viewable Profile page.

Upgrading your membership will let you create “Premium” worlds and upgrade your existing world to Premium.

The main screen of Virtua Rasa is the map, which can be accessed from your Profile page, or can be bookmarked for faster access.

Creating Tokens

Tokens List popup

All newly created worlds start out empty.

To start playing, you’ll need to create some tokens. Click the Token popup button (Token popup button) if the Token List popup isn’t visible on the right.

Click the “New” button to show the Token Editor.

The most important parts here are the name, colors, icon, and size (each field is discussed in tokens.html, if you want more details). They all have defaults, including a random name from our name generator to act as inspiration. For now, choose whatever values you like for the token, and then press the Save button Save token). The new token will now appear in your list!

Double click the name in the Token List, and the map will pan so that the token is in view. Since you’re the Gamemaster, you can always edit or move all tokens. Drag the token to wherever you like. Now create as many as you need for your players and your first encounter!

Adding a Player

First of all, take note of your world’s name. Other people can connect to your world by going to the URL https://virtuarasa.com/vr/w/worldname/. (For example, anyone can connect to the Virtua Rasa demo world, named Taecninge, by visiting https://virtuarasa.com/vr/w/Taecninge/.)

When someone connects to a world, the eye (Connection icon) will blink and Virtua Rasa will play a rising connection sound. (If you don’t see the eye icon, your browser window needs to be wider; if you’re using a phone, try turning it so it’s wide, not tall.)

Users can have one of three roles in a world: Gamemaster, Player, and Watcher.

Gamemaster
This is you! If you’re a Premium member, you can add another Gamemaster to help manage the game. The user who owns the world can always add or remove other Gamemasters.
Player
Players can edit a their token, move it around, and talk in chat. If a user connects to a world as a Player, and they don't already have a token, they get one automatically.
Watcher
Watchers can’t own any tokens nor can they talk in chat. Logged-in users that connect to a world without any other role become Watchers.

There’s also another role, “Anonymous”, which refers to connections not associated with a user account. By their very nature, Anonymous connections can’t be upgraded to any other role. (If you’re a Premium member, you can choose to block access to Anonymous connections, and even to users who you haven’t already added as a Player or Gamemaster.)

Anyone who connects to a world that they’re not already will appear in the “eye menu” as Watchers. If you click “add” next to their name, they get upgraded to Players.

Assigning Tokens

Alternatively, you can grant Players access to tokens you’ve already created by using the Tokens page.


To let your players move or edit their tokens, you’ll need to assign it to them on the Tokens page. Click the profile profile icon icon and then on the “Tokens” link, which will open a new tab or window. Find the player’s token in the list and press the edit edit icon button. In the panel on the right, scroll to the bottom, and click the appropriate boxes. Setting the “default” checkbox for a user means that their comments in chat will use that token’s colors and name in chat. Setting the “Can Edit” checkbox will allow them to move the token, change its icon and colors, and so on.

Next Step

Keep reading! The next section applies to you as well as to your players.

Next Steps

Go play a game!

If you have any questions, you can always get back to this manual with the book manual icon button in the titlebar of the application pages. Feel free to read the rest of the manual if you want an explanation of the user interface, or more details on how Virtua Rasa works.


1: The Gamemaster can create tokens on the map without revealing them to players, as discussed on the Tokens page.

Creating an Account

While there are open demo worlds to get a feel for what Virtua Rasa can do, to enjoy the full features you need to log in. We have two ways you can log in. First we support several OAuth providers, currently Google, Facebook, Discord, Amazon, and Patreon. Second, you can create a VrituaRasa account, which is free. Either way you get a small “Basic” world.

To log in with Oauth, select the provider you wish to use. They will ask you to confirm that you wish to give us basic information (your email address and whatever name you choose to display). Once you have you will be redirected to your Virtua Rasa profile page.

To create an account, go to Request Account. Fill out the form and click “Request Account” — an email will be sent to you with a link to activate your account. (We send out the email promptly, and the link expires in an hour, so if you don’t see it within a few minutes, make sure it’s not in your spam folder and that you’ve given us the correct email address.) The link will lead you to a page where you can set your password. Now you can log into your account, join the worlds of other users, and even create a world of your own.

Joining a game

To join a game world, get a link to the world's map from the game master. When you go to that link, you will be prompted to log in if you haven't already. Initially you will only be able to watch, but you are visisble in the Player's menu (the green eye). The game master can give you full access from that menu.

(We’re working on improving communication for users who want to join games — watch this space for updates!)

Logging In

When you log in, you’ll be presented with your profile page. If you have’nt created your free Basic world yet, you’ll be presented with an option to do so. Below that will be a list of all the worlds you can access. There is also a tab for changing your email address or your password.

A Note About Privacy

The short version is that we respect your privacy and will collect only the minimum necessary data to make things work. We’ll use your email only for activating your account, resetting your password, and notifying you of major system changes that might affect any of your games. Once we set up mailing lists, we’ll have an easy way to opt in or out of getting them.

Usernames are publicly visible. If you’re concerned about minimizing online visibility, please choose a username that isn’t easily associated with your real-life identity.

The long version is our full Privacy Policy.

Navigating the World

Panning and zooming the map works similar to most map applications. Click+drag or touch+drag will pan the map. The mouse wheel or touch pinch will zoom. There is also a navigation popup on the right sidebar that provides pan and zoom controls. Finally, the arrow keys will pan the map, and +/- zoom.

The simplest way to move a unit is to drag it. Click-drag or touch-drag to where you want the unit to be, and release. The unit will be moved in a straight line to that square.

If you want a more complex path, you can use waypointed movement. Double click or long press the unit you wish to move. Single click or touch various points of your path. Finally, double click or long press at your destination.

Menus and Popups

In the titlebar and the sidebar are a number of useful buttons and popus. Next to the world name is the world menu. From here you can access the world's cameras, wiki, forums. Game masters can also access the world's units, maps, and players, and change the map they are viewing. At the bottom are a list of other game worlds you have access to.

Next is a profile popup. From here you can access your profile page, change some option, and logout. Next to the profile menu is a button with your unit's name on it. Clicking it will center the map on your unit and cause it to "bounce". The 'Clear Paths' button will remove various markup from the map. Finally on the right side of the titlebar are some round counter controls.

On the top of the sidebar is the units popup, which lists the active units of the current map. Next is the toolbox popup, for adding and removing terrain features. The toolbox is only visible to Gamemasters. Next is a wiki page popup, useful for viewing character pages or notes stored in the wiki. The navigation popup has some additiona pan/zoom controls and a restore button. The restore button resets the pan/zoom to the default for the current map. Finally at the bottom is the chat popup, where you can text chat with the other players.

In the upper left corner there is a icon for Patreon, where you can become a Premuim member with a larger world and more players. Next to that are links to our social media page. There is a menu for our help pages.

Gamemaster Features

In the navigation popup, there are a couple Gamemaster options for managing the default view of a Map. The first, 'Save View', sets the current view as the default for the current map. Whenever someone switches to this map, this will be their starting view. The second 'Save & Set View', saves the view as above, then changes the view of everyone connected to the new view.

Chatting

Virtua Rasa has several ways for players to communicate during a game. First, there is is a standard text chat, accessed in a popup on the lower right hand side of the map. Players will chat as their default unit (see below) if they have one, otherwise as their username. Gamemasters default to the same as players, but they can change to chat as any unit. Changing the 'Chat As' field at the bottom of the chat popup will change who the Gamemaster is chatting as.

A user may point to a place on the map with a shift-click, double-click, or a long-press. An arrow colored as their default unit and labeled with their name will be placed on the map. It can be removed by pressing the ESC key.

A user may draw on the map with a shift-click-drag, or a long-press-drag. While drawing a dashed curve will be drawn. The dashed curve indicates it is only visible to the player drawing. Once the mouse button is released or the touch lifted, the curve is submitted to the server and redrawn as solid. Once solid it should be visible to all players. This drawing can be thought of as a transparent whiteboard over the map. All drawing can be erased with the 'Clear Paths' button in the titlebar.

Wiki

Each Virtua Rasa world includes a wiki for game notes, world design, image uploads, and anything else you'd like to write about your world. Both Gamemasters and players can read and edit the wiki, while watchers can only read it. In the future we will add finer control so Gamemasters may have pages they hide from the players.

To view the wiki, chose Profile->Wiki, which will open the wiki's main page in a new window. To edit a wiki page, choose the 'Edit' link at the bottom of the page. The wiki use CommonMark (basically a standardized version of Markdown) for markup. There is a link to the CommonMark documentation on the left side. To create a new page, create a link to it, using the CommonMark format, for example [newPage](newPage). When you navigate to a page that does not yet exist, you will be prompted to edit it.

To upload an image to your wiki, chose the 'Upload Image' link on the left side of a wiki page. Use the browse button to choose a file to upload (only GIF, JPG, and PNG are currently supported). Once you've chosen a file, the 'Upload To' field will be set to its name. You can edit that if you wish it to have a different name in your wiki. Click the Save button to complete your upload.

To use your uploaded file in your wiki, CommonMark's format is ![My Image](myImage.png). Use the :wiki/ prefix to have wiki images as unit icons or map backgrounds, for example :wiki/myImage.png.

You can see a list of all of your wiki pages in the 'Manage Wiki' link on the left side of any wiki page.

Creating a world

Each account comes with a free Basic world, which supports a small number of players and maps. To create your world, got to your profile page and there will be a message at the top. Enter a world name and click the create button. World names can contain only letters, numbers, and spaces. If the world already exists, you will be given a message and prompted to choose another. Otherwise your world will be created and you can begin building.

If you already have a Basic world, it will be listed in your worlds with note that you are the owner.

Players

Virtua Rasa users can have one of three roles in a world (four if you count no access at all). They are:

  • Gamemaster: Gamemasters have full read/write access and can add/remove users, create/edit units and maps, and edit the world's wiki. They can chat as any unit or other name they wish, although their default chat is the same as a Player's.

  • Player: Players have limited read/write access. They can view the world and edit/move units a Gamemaster has given them access to. They have edit permission to the wiki. They chat as either their username, or their default unit if they have been assigned one.

  • Watcher: Watchers are strictly read only. They can see map changes and chat messages, and read the wiki, but cannot move units, chat, or edit the wiki.

Adding players to a World

To grant a user access to a world, or to change their existing access, follow 'Profile->All Users' to go to the user management page. There will be some information about how many users of each role the world supports, and a table listing the current users in the world.

Important: as you make changes, the rows in the table will get a yellow background and be changed to italics. That indicates the changes are pending but have not been submitted yet. Click the 'Update' button to submit the changes. Click the 'Cancel' button to drop the changes.

To add a player you will need to know their username. Enter their username in the 'Add Username' text field, select the desired role, and click the 'Add' button. This will add a row to the table as a pending change (see above). To change a user's role, select the new role from the menu next to their name. If you assign them a role of 'None', they will be removed from the world. Remember to click 'Update' to confirm your changes.

Assigning Units to Players

Players may have units assigned to them in two ways:

  • Default Unit: A player may have one default unit, which will be used to determine the name and colors they interact with in the map. If a new default unit is assigned, the previous one will be overwritten. Multiple players may have the same default unit, but that will most likely be rather confusing. A player cannot move or change their default unit unless they are also granted edit access.

  • Edit Access: If a player has edit access to a unit, they have full read/write access to the unit. They can change name, colors, icons, etc. Importantly, they can move the unit on the map. A player may edit access to multiple units, and multiple players may have edit access to the same unit.

To change unit assignments, follow Profile->Manage->Units to get to the manage units page. Select the unit you desire to change. (There is an interactive search field that may be useful if you have a lot of units). At the bottom will be a table of the users in the world along with checkboxes indicating current assignments. Change the checkboxes as you desire, and click 'Update'.

Tokens

Tokens are the basic “thing” in a world. Animate tokens are expected to move. They can represent people, animals, vehicles, etc. Tiles (inanimate tokens) are not expected to move, and would represent things such as furniture, trees, a section of road, etc. Tiles don’t support movement the way tokens do, but their position can be changed in the Token Editor. The Token Editor can also switch a token to a tile, and vice-versa.

By default, tokens can only be edited or moved by a Gamemaster. The Gamemaster may set a token to be editable by some or all of the players in the game. They’ll then be able to change or move that token.

A player may have a token assigned as their default token. This token will be used to determine the name they chat as and the colors used when they point and draw on the map. If they do not have a default token assigned, they will chat as their username, and draw in black and white. A player must get edit permission separately to change their default token’s characteristics.

Key Token Features

Name
The name of the token. This will be displayed on the map and in various lists, so it shouldn’t be too long.
Description
A long description. This will show up when the mouse hovers over the token on the map or in the Token List.
Background
The background color for the icon, and chat/gestures for default tokens.
Foreground
The foreground color for the icon, and chat/gestures for default tokens.
Icon
The icon to use on the map. The Shapes will be colored according to the token’s background and foreground. The Camera special is discussed in the camera section below. URL allows you to set a url for the image. Wiki enables you to choose an image file uploaded to your world’s wiki.
Size
The size of the token. The default, “Medium”, takes up a single square. The smaller sizes are normally centered in a square, while the larger sizes take up more than one square. Custom sizes are of the form “WxH”, where “W” is the width and “H” is the height. For example, `1x2` would be one square wide and two high.
X/Y/Z
The coordinates of the token, in squares. Normally, you’ll drag tokens on the map, but this can be useful when first creating tokens or for fine adjustment.
Facing
The facing of the token. If set, and the icon is a basic shape, a dot in the foreground color will indicate facing. If the icon is a graphic, it will be rotated to the appropriate facing. A facing of “None” clears the facing indicator.
Map
The map the token is on. Change this to move tokens to another map.
The movement range for this token. This, along with the map’s grid scale, is used to calculate the range shadows when a token is selected or moved. In many games, this number is usually 30.
Hidden
Indicates the token is hidden in some sense. The icon will be made partially transparent.
Inactive
The token is inactive, and won’t be shown to players. Gamemasters will only see the token if they have checked the “Show Inactive” checkbox in the Token List popup. This is useful for pre-staging tokens before revealing them to players.
Inanimate
This is a tile, which means it can’t be moved on the map (though its position can be changed in the Token Editor). It is also placed below other tokens. (This is useful for [terrain](terrain.html).)

Token Editor

  • Create a Token: To create a token, select the create button at the top of the token list. Edit the fields to your desire, and select the save button at the middle bottom of the token list.

  • Editing: to edit a token, select the crossed swords button in the specs column of the token list. Make changes and save as with creating a token.

  • Cloning: When editing a token, you can clone it by selecting the bottom right button. The token name will have a number added or incremented to keep the tokens distinct. You can also clone tokens by control-dragging them (holding down the control button on your keyboard and then dragging the token on the map). A cloned token will appear at your destination.

  • Removing: When editing a token, the remove button will delete the token from the world.

Terrain

This page is useful to Gamemasters. Players and Watches don’t have access to most of the controls described on this page and can’t make terrain.

Terrain is indicated on the map with the map’s background and tiles (inanimate tokens).

The Toolbox contains some useful symbols to add to a map.

Choosing New Tiles

Tiles can be chosen by clicking on the red Toolbox button (toolbox popup button) to open the Toolbox popup. (Tiles can also be added by opening the Token popup with the red and blue Token button (Token popup button) clicking the “New” button, and setting the token to “Inaninate”. Existing tokens can be made into tiles by changing them to Inanimate with the Quick Edit button [Quick Edit button]. Using the Toolbox is a lot faster when you want to place a lot of tiles.)

The color of the tiles can be changed with the color selectors at the top of the popup.

Using the Toolbox

While it’s open, the Toolbox takes over the normal pointing and drawing controls.

Shift-clicking, double clicking, and a long-press will all change the square’s contents.

  • The Toolbox ignores any tile that’s larger than size Medium.

  • The Toolbox also ignores any normal tokens, of any size.

  • If the square is empty (of tokens or of tiles the Toolbox doesn’t ignore), the tile currently selected in the Toolbox will be put in that square.

  • Otherwise (there’s a tile that’ Medium or smaller), the Toolbox will delete the token.

Shift-drag and long-press drag will tell the Toolbox to keep doing whatever it did in the first square. If it placed a tile in the first square, it will keep placing tiles as you drag. If it emptied the first square, it will keep erasing tiles as you drag.

Bigger Tiles

Tiles larger than Medium are useful for custom terrain using images uploaded to your world’s wiki. It's generally easiest to follow this process:

  • Create a new token using the Token List

  • Set its size, either with the size presets, or with a custom size (like 12x10)

  • Save the new token

  • Move it to the proper location

  • Use the Quick Edit make it Inanimate, locking it into place.

See the Tokens section for more details.

Importing Maps

If you prefer physical maps (graph paper, roll-out mats, printed tiles, or 3-D terrain) instead of purely electronic maps, you can use a digital camera, a webcam, or even a phone camera to take a picture of your map. Then, by using our perspective correction and saving the adjusted picture to the wiki, you can bring your physical map into Virtua Rasa!

You can also use a live image from a webcam (or a stabilized phone camera) by allowing Virtua Rasa access to your camera and then setting a tile’s icon to “camera”. See the Camera page for more information.

Maps

When a world is created, a map in the world is created with the name of the world. Additional maps may be created for cities, dungeons, and other regions in the world.

To add or edit your maps, follow Profile->Manage->Manage Maps to go to the Manage Maps page. Once there you can select a map to edit, or use the create button to add a new map (assuming you have not created the maximum allowed). There are several parameters of each map that may be changed.

  • Name: The name of the map, which will be displayed in the menu and other locations. Excessively long names may prove inconvenient.

  • Background: There are several options for map backgrounds.

    • None: No background will be used, just the browser default.

    • Inherit: The background of the map named after the world will be used.

    • Scaled Image: The URL field will be used as the background. The ':wiki' prefix (e.g. ':wiki/someimage.jpg`) may be used here to access images uploaded to your wiki. The image will be scaled to fill the map.

    • Centered Image: Same as Scaled Image, but the image is centered in the map without scaling.

    • Tiled Image: Same as Scaled Image, but the image is tiled over the map instead of scaled up.

    • Color: Sets the background to the solid color you provide.

  • Grid Scale: The size of each square on the map. This is used for movement and distance calculation.

  • Map Bounds: Sets the boundary of the map, in squares. Negative values are ok, but Left must be less than Right, and Top less than Bottom. Adjust these if you find you need to add some space to your map. Extremely large maps (thousands of squares wide) may have problems on some browsers.

Camera Overlay

Virtua Rasa includes augmented reality to help share table top games with remote players. This is provided by a low bandwidth live video stream. It’s not suitable for a conversation, since it updates only once per second, but when you combine it with our perspective correction algorithms, it lets you share a game with remote players.

Setting Up A Camera Feed

Virtua Rasa uses your browser’s built-in multimedia support to talk to the camera, so there’s no extra software to install (other than whatever you need to use the camera normally).

Get to the “Cameras Page” with the “Cameras” link in Virtua Rasa’s menu. This opens a new tab (or window), which you’ll need to leave open to keep the camera updates going. (If you see a camera feed start to turn sepia on the map, it means Virtua Rasa isn”t getting updates for that camera any more. This usually means the “Cameras Page” for the camera got closed, or the user’s having trouble with their Internet connection.)

To get to the “Cameras Page,” choose the “Cameras” link in the application menu. This will open a new tab (or window), which you’ll need to leave open to keep the camera updates going. (If you see a camera feed start to turn sepia on the map, it means Virtua Rasa isn’t getting updates for that camera any more. This usually means the “Cameras Page” for that camera got closed.)

Right now, each user may have only one camera feed per world. (Additional cameras for a single user will be added as a Premium feature.)

Under the “Local Cameras” section of the Cameras Page, there”s a drop-down menu of cameras that your web browser can use. Next to it is a checkbox to start the camera stream. Choose the camera you’ve pointed at your game and check the box.

If everything’s working properly, you’ll see a live feed from the camera. Otherwise, see Troubleshooting at the bottom of this page.

Perspective Correction

Trying to align a camera above a map so the squares line up in Virtua Rasa seems to be nearly impossible. We’ve wasted a lot of time trying, before we decided there had to be a better way. Once we added perspective correction to the camera view, the position of the camera can be much less precise.

We’ve gotten usable results at a 45° angle, though miniatures look odd at such a sharp angle.

To correct your picture:

  • Position the camera so the map is more or less centered in the preview. Try to make the map as large as possible without clipping the edges.

    • If the real map is bigger than the view seen by the camera, it’s hard to remember what can be seen at the table vs what can be seen in Virtua Rasa.

    • This can be fixed by putting marks on the map at the virtual edges, but it’s simpler if the camera can see the whole thing. Plus, then there’s more space that can be used in the game!

  • Add control points by clicking on each of the four corners of the map. (If the map is pretty close to centered, the software can automatically figure out which corner you’ve clicked.)

  • Text fields are near each corner of the image. These fine tune the points, if necessary, or if Virtua Rasa guessed wrong. Make “X” bigger to move the point to the right, and make “Y” bigger to move the point down. (Smaller values move left or up, respectively.)

  • Once you’ve chosen all four corners, you’ll need to count the squares between the points.

    • If you’ve clicked on the corners, there should be the same number of squares between the top points & the bottom points, and the same number between the left & right points.

    • Enter the number of squares between the left and right points into the first text entry field below the live preview.

    • Enter the number of vertical squares between the top and bottom points into the second text entry.

  • If you want to include a bit of the surrounding table, so that miniatures can be used even a little way off the map, check the option for a two square border. (In our games, no matter where we start, players always end up trying to move off the map.)

  • Finally, click the “Set Correction” button.

  • Below the live view is a preview of the corrected image, based upon the chosen settings, along with a grid overlay so you can check alignment. If necessary, adjust the control points or the numbers of squares and press “Set Correction” again, until you’re satisfied with the results.

  • Optionally, if you’re using the camera with something that doesn’t have regular corners, you’ll need to wing it. Try to make the number of squares match the aspect ratio of the control points. This is easiest if you make the area between the points square.

Using the Feed as a Map

The live camera feed is used by changing the icon of a unit. All of these steps are performed on the "Main Map” for your game.

  • If you don’t already have a unit you want to use for the camera feed, create a new one.

    • Usually, only Gamemasters can add new units to the map, but anyone’s camera can be used with any unit.

    • Any Player can add a camera to any unit they’re allowed to edit.

  • Go into the “long editor” for the unit.

  • Choices for icons are about five lines down. Choose “Camera” under “Special” in the first drop-down.

  • A second drop-down will appear on the right of the first one. You can choose the appropriate camera here (based upon the username of the player with the camera). The size of the unit will immediately change to fit the camera feed.

  • Make the unit “inanimate” (this way, it won’t interfere with other units).

  • If you want the camera feed somewhere other than the top left corner of the map, set the X and Y coordinates accordingly.

  • Save the new unit.

Using the Feed as a DungeonCam™

If you put a camera near a miniature’s eye level, you can use it as DungeonCam — our name for a live image from the miniature’s point of view.

  • If you don’t already have a unit you want to use for the camera feed, create a new one.

    • Usually, only Gamemasters can add new units to the map, but anyone’s camera can be used with any unit.
  • If you’re not the Gamemaster, ask them to give you a new unit for the DungeonCam.

  • Go into the “long editor” for the unit.

  • Choices for icons are about five lines down. Choose “Camera” under “Special” in the first drop-down.

  • A second drop-down will appear on the right of the first one. You can choose the appropriate camera here (based upon the username of the player with the camera). The size of the unit will immediately change to fit the camera feed.

  • Optionally, set the X and Y coordinates to somewhere away from the immediate gameplay, so it doesn’t block the action in Virtua Rasa. You can also drag the unit around as needed.

  • Save the unit.

Saving Images from the Camera

There are two options to save camera images to your wiki. They’re both optional, but can be handy if you’re setting up map backgrounds ahead of time, or you want to grab a snapshot of a particularly exciting view. You can save both the uncorrected image and the image with the perspective correction applied.

One use for saving corrected images we discovered after adding perspective correction is to use hand-drawn maps in Virtua Rasa. Instead of fiddling with editing them in a graphics program, you can use Virtua Rasa to correct it for you.

Warning: If the wiki already has an image with the same name, it will be overwritten! Right now, this can’t be undone.

Troubleshooting

Is your OS blocking access to your camera? Check the “Privacy” settings in your OS.

You also might have blocked all websites (or just Virtua Rasa) from accessing your camera. Check your web browser’s “Privacy” settings.

Only one program or website can access the camera at a time, so if you’re letting something like Skype or Google Hangouts use your camera, Virtua Rasa won’t be able to. You can leave the other program running as a voice channel, or you can tell it to use a different camera. It just can’t use the same camera you want to use in Virtua Rasa.

Sometimes web browsers act like they’re using the camera, but nothing happens. This can usually be fixed by restarting the browser.

If none of these are the case, see if any other programs can access your webcam. Maybe it’s really not working, or it came unplugged or something.

Finally, rebooting your computer sometimes fixes this sort of thing.

Reference