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Subject: Board game commentary on Tabletopia or Tabletop simulator? rss

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Florent Herbinger
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I used to watch commentaries of video games like StarCraft, Age of Empires, Company of Heroes, and other real time strategy games. Although I was never really good at any of the games themselves, there was something about the strategies, tactics, and meta-game that always fascinated me. Watching players that had seemingly perfected their skills and listening to the exciting commentating drew me back to Youtube and Twitch time and time again.

Fast forwarding to 2016, board games have replaced video games for me, but I do miss the thrill of watching a really close game between expert players. So my questions for you guys is would it be possible to have commentary for board games?

I know there was this 2014 thread that asked if the World Board Gaming Championships could be filmed and commentated, but the consensus was that setting up the cameras would be difficult and players might be uncomfortable with cameras pointed at them.

Apart from that, I didn't find many other threads that talked about this, and a quick search on Youtube brought up very few results. However, with platforms like Tabletopia and Tabletop simulator gaining more and more traction, would commentary be possible?

This is something I might even consider doing myself if I had more time, but I just wanted to throw the idea out there and spark a discussion. Is this something you would be interested in watching?
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G J
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you'll find chess commentary to be the most common form of boardgaming commentary.
 
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Francisco Gutierrez
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Technically it's video game commentary, but I watch a guy on YouTube play Blood Bowl all the time. https://m.youtube.com/user/cKnoor

It's not always commentary (it's usually him and his friends just mucking about), but some good tips and insight do come up.
 
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Matt D
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BiteTheDust wrote:

This is something I might even consider doing myself if I had more time, but I just wanted to throw the idea out there and spark a discussion. Is this something you would be interested in watching?


I can't really see myself being interesting enough that anyone would want to watch me play a board game.

I'm not convinced that I could find enough interest to watch someone play board games, either.

But, I also tend not to watch long run through videos either, so I may not be the target audience for this.

The thought of doing so (recording a game) has crossed my mind, I just don't think anyone would care.
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bort
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hestiansun wrote:

The thought of doing so (recording a game) has crossed my mind, I just don't think anyone would care.


Probably never know unless you give it a shot?
 
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Florent Herbinger
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zombiemaster22 wrote:
you'll find chess commentary to be the most common form of boardgaming commentary.


I used to be a competitive chess player, and watching chess commentary was definitely something I enjoyed doing. I'm just thinking, wouldn't this be possible with modern board games that have little luck?

hestiansun wrote:
I can't really see myself being interesting enough that anyone would want to watch me play a board game.

I'm not convinced that I could find enough interest to watch someone play board games, either.

But, I also tend not to watch long run through videos either, so I may not be the target audience for this.

The thought of doing so (recording a game) has crossed my mind, I just don't think anyone would care.


I am of the opinion that if people enjoy watching commentary of chess, poker, and hearthstone that modern board games could also be given the same treatment.

Can anyone back me up here? There must be board gamers out there who watch e-sports.
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Peter de Boer
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Yes, I think commentary would be possible. I would be very interested in watching it. I enjoy watching chess commentary a lot. In the chess world, commentary is very common, with livestreams, livechats and commentary from reknown chess players during important tournaments, world championship etc. Many people are watching these things.

To make it interesting, some conditions need to be fulfilled, I think. First of all, the spectator should be able to see the game well. In that sense, chess and poker are ideal games, since there not so many items (pieces, cards) involved. In many modern boardgames there are many more items involved, so it would be more difficult to get an overview of what is happening on and around the board.

Also for chess, the commentators usually have some chess software available, to show analyses during the game. Such analysis software might not be available for any game.

You would also need skilled commentators. A commentator needs presentation skills, should know the game very well, and should also be entertaining somehow.

The chess and poker worlds are big enough so that money can be made with advertising etc. Therefore commentators are professionals. In other boardgames you would need to rely on volunteers, I guess.

So there are quite some prerequisites to make boardgaming commentary successful, but I definitely think it could be possible. You just need a bunch of enthusiastic crazy people to make it happen
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I would love to watch strategic commentary for a couple games that I play. I would love to watch a video from a skilled player playing the game and walking the viewer through the thought process behind every move. For games with a variable setup, this sort of commentary would allow the viewer to understand how to react to game state which is hard to explain without a concrete game in front of the teacher.

I was considering doing something like that for Star Realms, but then I realized that I don't have a good microphone, cannot stand the sound of my own voice, and, lately, I am not good at the game... So, can anyone recommend a cheap microphone that does not sound horrible?
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Florent Herbinger
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weisswurst wrote:
To make it interesting, some conditions need to be fulfilled, I think. First of all, the spectator should be able to see the game well. In that sense, chess and poker are ideal games, since there not so many items (pieces, cards) involved. In many modern boardgames there are many more items involved, so it would be more difficult to get an overview of what is happening on and around the board.


I think this is exactly why a platform like Tabletop simulator or Tabletopia is perfect for commentary. You can move the camera around, magnify individual components to see them better, and zoom in on the board.

weisswurst wrote:
Also for chess, the commentators usually have some chess software available, to show analyses during the game. Such analysis software might not be available for any game.


This is true, and I don't think we'll see advanced algorithms developed for board games anytime soon, but I may be wrong!

weisswurst wrote:
You would also need skilled commentators. A commentator needs presentation skills, should know the game very well, and should also be entertaining somehow.


This is also very important. I am thinking of launching a pilot project to see if commentary is something I would enjoy doing. I would also see if I am entertaining enough that people enjoy listening to me.

weisswurst wrote:
The chess and poker worlds are big enough so that money can be made with advertising etc. Therefore commentators are professionals. In other boardgames you would need to rely on volunteers, I guess.


This doesn't bother me at all but it might bother others. I would do it simply as a side project of my hobby.


ThinkingThatsAll wrote:
I would love to watch strategic commentary for a couple games that I play. I would love to watch a video from a skilled player playing the game and walking the viewer through the thought process behind every move. For games with a variable setup, this sort of commentary would allow the viewer to understand how to react to game state which is hard to explain without a concrete game in front of the teacher.
.

Exactly! That idea is what motivated me to post this thread. Apart from first person commentary, I think that analysis of games played by other players would be interesting as well.

I have been chatting with Tabletopia to ask if some kind of recording feature can be added so that players can view games after they have been played. This would allow analysis of finished games as, in its current state, spectator mode does not allow spectators to see the hidden information (e.g. hand of cards) of the players in the game. So far, I have had little luck, but we'll see.

ThinkingThatsAll wrote:
I was considering doing something like that for Star Realms, but then I realized that I don't have a good microphone, cannot stand the sound of my own voice, and, lately, I am not good at the game... So, can anyone recommend a cheap microphone that does not sound horrible?


Yeah, I hope that I can stand the sound of my own voice. If I decide to pursue this project, I will be buying a good microphone for sure, and I'll let you know what model I buy.
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