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Subject: Tabletopia: the experience ?? rss

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Bruno Bacelli
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Hello,
I'd like to understand more about Tabletopia from people which actually palyed on this platform.
So I'll ask some questions...

The game system simulates every rule of the game, keeping you from making forbidden or irregular moves?
Or it's just about giving a 3D vision of the table, the pieces, and having some game aids like shuffling the card decks or setting up the game?

It's necessary to chat with a microphone during a game (or during most games)?

Is the visual experience, generally speaking, clear and helpful enough to play a game without problems?

Does the platform need a big bandwidth use or it's good for slower connections too?

To create a game, do you need to be a programmer? Or there's human intervention needed by the Tabletopia staff? Do you need to put into your projects all of the game mechanics or just the pieces and a rulebook?[this may be a repetition of first question].

Sorry meeple if some of these topics are clarified elsewhere in the forums, I did a little research but could not find enough informations.
Thanks for you input.
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Joe Kell
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I'm also quite curious.
 
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Carl G
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I haven't played a ton it, but here's what I've experienced:
There are no rules enforcements. It simply simulates all the physical properties of a specific board game. So it's up to you to play according to the rules, as if the board and pieces were in front of you. So yes, it is a 3D version of the pieces, table, cards, etc. Pieces can snap into the correct place, but that's about all the control the game has over what you do.

It's not necessary to use a microphone. There is in-game text chat. But if you want to hear the people you play with, you'll need to use a third party voice chat like Discord.

The visuals are very clear. There is minimal clutter and it's super easy to set up multiple camera views that you can instantly change with a keypress.

I haven't created a game, but I believe you don't need to know programming to make a game. I think you upload assets and tell them how to behave with drag and drop presets. Someone who has done this should elaborate for me.

I think you can play some games for free so you should try it out. Hope this helps!


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American in Chile
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I can only answer some of your questions.

Bacheau wrote:
The game system simulates every rule of the game, keeping you from making forbidden or irregular moves?
Or it's just about giving a 3D vision of the table, the pieces, and having some game aids like shuffling the card decks or setting up the game?
There's no rules enforcement. It's nice when games do the initial setup, but some don't even do that, leaving it to the players to deal out cards, tiles, etc.

Bacheau wrote:
It's necessary to chat with a microphone during a game (or during most games)?
Text chat is available. I don't know about voice chat.

Bacheau wrote:
Is the visual experience, generally speaking, clear and helpful enough to play a game without problems?
Generally, but since the players do all the parts manipulation, it can get a bit tedious. There are, however, the abilities to roll dice or select a specific number, draw a specific number of cards, hold things in your hand, place cards/tiles face up or face down, use dials (which are easy to increment or decrement) for points or money.

Bacheau wrote:
Sorry meeple if some of these topics are clarified elsewhere in the forums, I did a little research but could not find enough information.
Why don't you create an account and try some games? There's a free membership level, which will still allow you to play most games, although many games will restrict you to certain player counts or not allow advanced modes.
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James Williams
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My understanding is Tabletopia has three levels of game development.
Level 1 simulates the board and components. It may have some 'snapping' to make play easier, but it's up to players to enforce the rules.
Level 2 adds rules enforcement, prompts for turn sequencing, etc.
Level 3 adds AI players so you can play without other human players.

I believe more programming skill is required the further up those levels you want to go.
 
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tim kelly
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VASL is also very good. Same as tabletopia. Skype is great, like sitting at the table with someone. Also, the save feature is great, for those long games.
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Steve C
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Vassal is good for wargames.
Don't forget TableTop Simulator(but not free) is also like Tabletopia.
 
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Bruno Bacelli
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Thanks for the answers.
I'm a bit curious about the "next level," where rules are enforced, there's an AI etc.
In the promotional material I've seen there's not real information about these.
Is this a thing for the future?
 
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James Williams
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Bruno, the rule enforcement and AI are what I heard from years ago. This article from 2015 indicates those things are future developments.

https://tabletopia.com/news/inside_tabletopia

I don't know if they are implemented yet.
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Steve
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You get rules enforcement at:

http://www.boiteajeux.net/
http://www.yucata.de/
https://boardgamearena.com/

There are a few other such sites.
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Bruno Bacelli
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Thanks for the information and the links...

Now I have a some stuff to explore....
surprise
 
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Jack Dillon
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There just are not enough players right now to make the subscription model Tabletopia uses to make it worthwhile. The interface is super but without opponents it is useless.


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Bruno Bacelli
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dndspeyside wrote:
There just are not enough players right now to make the subscription model Tabletopia uses to make it worthwhile. The interface is super but without opponents it is useless.



Well this could be a real problem....
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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jlwill wrote:
Bruno, the rule enforcement and AI are what I heard from years ago. This article from 2015 indicates those things are future developments.

https://tabletopia.com/news/inside_tabletopia

I don't know if they are implemented yet.

They want to layer arbitrary rules enforcement on top of a completely generic user interface? If they have a coherent vision for how that would work, I would be very interested to hear it (whether or not they actually build it); managing the layers of abstraction seems like it would be a bear.
 
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dndspeyside wrote:
There just are not enough players right now to make the subscription model Tabletopia uses to make it worthwhile. The interface is super but without opponents it is useless.
I realize that this is a problem for some people. I guess it helps to coordinate games outside Tabletopia with people you already know. I insisted that my whole family join, just so we can play games we don't own.
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Carl Van Ostrand

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I've used it quite a bit - to answer you questions and help guide a bit:

1. No rules enforce, just a visual / virtual / digital representation of your game using in-game physics to move the pieces around.

2. It's a very nice clean crisp look, and pretty easy to play on (after a little practice).


Things to consider:

You'll want / need nice digital versions of all your "stuff." So that means correct sizes / formats of files that can be easily uploaded to the platform. Whether it's the board, cards, dice (etc.) you'll need to upload the assets.

The interface had some light bugs and took me a little time to understand. It was also a bit hard at first to post open links and allow others to find / play your game.

I agree that the main issue right now is just "not enough players." I was able to organize small groups of playtesters which was nice, but I never had anyone creating their own games for a blind test. After about two weeks of stalking out the lobbies for fresh players, I barely ever saw anyone and eventually gave up.

That said, I think it will get better and this will be a great tool for devs to get used to using.
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patrick mullen
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Some of the missing features are actually good from a design perspective:
* lacking rule enforcement means your playtester have to actually try and learn the rules
* lacking any game logic or ai means you can implement the prototype without any additional work beyond importing your pieces, meaning you can build a prototype and change things quickly (no, you don't need to be a programmer)

I prefer tts, it is a little harder to understand how to build a prototype, but faster to do once you learn how.

Don't expect to find much of a community on tabletopia or tts. You will have to build your community elsewhere and bring them in.
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Bruno Bacelli
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saluk wrote:
Some of the missing features are actually good from a design perspective:
* lacking rule enforcement means your playtester have to actually try and learn the rules
* lacking any game logic or ai means you can implement the prototype without any additional work beyond importing your pieces, meaning you can build a prototype and change things quickly (no, you don't need to be a programmer)

I prefer tts, it is a little harder to understand how to build a prototype, but faster to do once you learn how.

Don't expect to find much of a community on tabletopia or tts. You will have to build your community elsewhere and bring them in.


Well this is a real problem (lack of players). Both if you want to use tabletopia for fun, or for game design. It seems people still wants to use real wooden and cardboard chips and maps.

Programming for a real automated game can be a problem for another reason, too: if rules are difficult to translate in whatever language the game provides, and if players have plenty of interaction, that is, a possibility of stopping someone else's move to play a card or an event etc. This could be difficult to implement

 
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patrick mullen
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Bacheau wrote:
saluk wrote:
Some of the missing features are actually good from a design perspective:
* lacking rule enforcement means your playtester have to actually try and learn the rules
* lacking any game logic or ai means you can implement the prototype without any additional work beyond importing your pieces, meaning you can build a prototype and change things quickly (no, you don't need to be a programmer)

I prefer tts, it is a little harder to understand how to build a prototype, but faster to do once you learn how.

Don't expect to find much of a community on tabletopia or tts. You will have to build your community elsewhere and bring them in.


Well this is a real problem (lack of players). Both if you want to use tabletopia for fun, or for game design. It seems people still wants to use real wooden and cardboard chips and maps.

Programming for a real automated game can be a problem for another reason, too: if rules are difficult to translate in whatever language the game provides, and if players have plenty of interaction, that is, a possibility of stopping someone else's move to play a card or an event etc. This could be difficult to implement



Yeah, I'm not sure that it is about people wanting to use real tokens. I think it is perhaps intimidating to play with strangers online in a board game setting, where verbal communication is a very important component. (Better yet, face to face) You can't play most of these games very effectively with just chat. I see a lot of games running on tabletop simulator, but most of the games are already in progress and locked. It is a group of friends who coordinated on their own to play remotely, rather than a community coming together to try something new.

You still see people in there at times, but there isn't a lot of effort put into these programs to make the community work well on its own.
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Idk. I still think TTS is much better platform and it has a growing community. When you get accustomed to controls you can play games at ease.
I've met so many cool ppl through TTS (Saluk included ).

Last week I've made a game in it and till then already had more playtests than I would had in rl. Most quickest platform for prototyping, If you know what you're doing.

Actually, I'm thinking to open a thread about making game mods for TTS on BGG forum. I just don't know where to open it.
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David Caldwell
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I put a free solo play version of the game I am currently developing on Tabletopia. This allows someone to learn the game, get a feel for what it's like and actually play (regardless of the amount of players on Tabletopia at the time).

I paid Tabletopia $300 to take all of my digital assets and create Neon Dawn on Tabletopia. They were professional and worked quickly to correct any of the issues I identified in the test version they provided to me while they created it. Even found a bug that they resolved within a few days.

That said, you can do the same thing by yourself without paying anything, although you may need premium for all of the development options they use. If you choose to go it alone, you will need to upload all of your assets, a rule book and create initial table layouts (for 1, 2, 3, 4 players, etc). This allows players to skip at least a portion of the setup, which is cool.

I agree that there usually aren't very many people online to just pick up and play with, so you'd either need to plan a play time in advance (which shouldn't be tough with resources like BGG available) or stick to the solo play options. I actually enjoy the solo play option of Neon Dawn more than dragging out the physical prototype of solo play. Minimal setup and no clean up is really nice!
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I prefer Tabletop Simulator, just because anything with a subscription model (even an optional one) is a huge turnoff. Companies like that all too often change their rules later on and decide no more free to play. I'd rather 'own' (technically, lease?) the software and be able to download the game assets so that I have them.

Building games in TTS is just as easy as playing them, though there remain a fair bit of UI optimizations I'd like to see to streamline the process, it's functional. If you are going to implement rules via scripting then things get a lot more complex, but a basic 'make a virtual game that plays the same as a RL version' is learnable in an afternoon. Regularly build my own personal copies of games so I can try-before-I-buy. It's saved me a lot of money.
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Also I've met that guy that made Ascension through TTS one evening. He was playtesting his new game so I saw it before the release. So, that's another plus.

Who know, maybe one day I jump into Eric's Lang room and catch him while he's making something.
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Bruno Bacelli
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8Oj4N wrote:
Actually, I'm thinking to open a thread about making game mods for TTS on BGG forum. I just don't know where to open it.

I you do it please let me know.....
 
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Bruno Bacelli
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Another problem comes to my mind... if you live in different time zones, compared to possible fellow players, it could be a problem to meet for enjoying a game together on those virtual boardgame simulators...

But hey, in real life it would be just IMPOSSIBLE.
So this is a plus...thumbsup



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