First and foremost, we are excited to announce the first iteration of Drawing Tools is live for everyone to try!
This update introduces a new Power Bar for GMs at the bottom of your screen. (For players, this new menu is located just above your portrait.) The Power Bar allows GMs and players to toggle the brush tool, and you can also change brush sizes, colors, and fx. GMs can also manage grid settings, such as grid snapping and visibility, using the Power Bar.
As a GM, you can manage each player’s drawing permissions and even clear a player’s drawing board. You can paint using solid colors or using any of Astral’s built-in FX, such as fire or fog.
We are eager to continue improving on drawing tools and hope you enjoy using this first iteration. Stay tuned for more drawing updates as we have drag/drop shapes and spells on the roadmap.
Since you can now change grid settings from the Power Bar, we thought it was an opportune time to introduce an often-requested change.
Turning off snap-to-grid for a map will also prevent character tokens from snapping to the grid, as well as the measuring tool.
The grid settings are individually saved per map, so feel free to play with this option as you see fit for your scenarios without worrying about making universal changes to your entire game.
We’re not done yet! In addition to the new features above, we also spent some time improving dynamic lighting. After tweaking some numbers (and a few successful INT rolls), we finally cracked many of the bottlenecks in dynamic lighting that were observed in the past.
This latest update improves the rendering performance of dynamic lighting up to 50%! You should notice significantly less lag when using very large maps or maps with lots and lots of points.
If you’ve had problems or latency issues with dynamic lighting in the past, we highly recommend giving it another shot — and please let us know your feedback!
Additionally, we’ve capped rendering to 30 FPS to improve performance draw on laptops and similar devices.
We still have improvements to make, but we hope this is a big step in the right direction.
We’re excited to announce the new addition to our quickstart game offering: Infinity: Circular File! Check out this Sci-Fi adventure set in the future, where technology has advanced to unfathomable heights.
As with all our quickstart games, this game comes complete with maps, characters, and instructions for running the game on Astral.
Thanks to community member LaMorte for an amazing job on this quickstart game!
New this week!
As always, Pro subscribers get instant access to the new content below. You can also purchase these packs individually from the marketplace.
More requests from the community were addressed this week:
Thank you to everyone who reported issues this week.
With the release of the Freehand Brush tool, we’re eager to begin working on drag-and-drop shapes and spells next.
These shapes and spells will use similar controls to the Freehand Brush tool and will let you customize the size, color, and FX of the shape.
Our goal is to make it easy to drop a 30 ft. “Fireball” spell onto the map or cast an illusion spell using the “Space Dust” FX.
Gen Con Online is right around the corner and we are extremely excited to be part of the action!
Tune in to the Gen Con Twitch channel July 3 at 3:30pm PT for a live session about using Astral for your Gen Con Online experience (and maybe even some giveaways?). We’ll also be hosting a handful of live talks and tutorial sessions in the near future to help new users get acquainted with Astral and to help advanced users unlock even more potential.
We’ll be posting official times and dates on the @AstralVTT Twitter, so be sure to follow us there for more updates.
A topic that has come up in feedback with remarkable regularity is that of having easily accessible actions for common use cases, such as spells from the 5E SRD. We’re happy to announce that we’re spearheading a project to provide you just that!
We need your help to make this a reality. If you’re interested in contributing, check out the project here:
With enough help, the possibilities for similar projects in 5e SRD content, as well as other game systems, are virtually endless.
We're continuing to look at the forums for feature requests, support tickets, and Discord to hear what you all have to say. Please don't hesitate to reach out and voice your feedback. Our table always has an open seat, let us know what you think.
Thanks for reading and for being a dedicated Astralnaut! We look forward to bringing you more updates from the Astral Plane.
- Team Astral