This is one of the coolest tabletop gaming setups I've ever seen

Tabletop lighting being controlled by a tablet
(Image credit: Bryan Versteeg)

All you need for a good tabletop adventure is some pals—thanks to apps like Roll20 you don't even need a table, or to gather everyone for an in-person game. But some GMs like to put a bit more effort into their campaigns. GMs like Bryan Versteeg, who combines detailed maps and models with an overhead projector to create some tabletop gaming magic. 

Using the painting app Procreate, Versteeg is able to create all sorts of things that are then projected onto the table. In the clip below, posted on Twitter earlier this week, you can see him clearing up the fog of war. The projector shrouds the ramshackle village in shadows, but using a tablet Versteeg can brighten things up in real-time. 

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"I use this for grid overlays, stats, fog of war, area of effect simulations, and for some dramatic lighting," the wizard explains. 

Here's a better look at his setup. 

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"Any projector with Airplay can screen match your tablet," he notes in a follow-up tweet. "I have an open ceiling so mounting was easy. Then any drawing program (I use Procreate). Buildings are 3d printed and hand painted but you could project the entire map itself. Infinite uses."

I'm always impressed whenever I see people using a bespoke lighting setup for their tabletop campaigns, but this is some next level stuff. And if you've got the space for it, it seems like something anyone could use for their next adventure. Though, it's worth noting, Versteeg is a concept artist with skills that must come in handy. You can check out his work on his personal website

Versteeg has also put up a bunch of videos showing off the creation of various Martian dioramas, including a nifty lightbox habitat that you can check out below. 

Now, if only I could get him to fly over from Canada to GM for me. That's the dream. In the meantime, I'm going to see how easy it would be to install an overhead projector in my gaming area.  

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.