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Subject: Tabletop Simulator for remote playtesting? rss

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Liberty Kifer
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I *just* discovered this awesome Tabletop Simulator thing and I'm curious if any of you have used it (or would use it) to playtest a game? My husband is a programmer, and I have virtually all the card artwork done, so I think he'd be able to do any scripting necessary pretty easily... Anyway just curious because it sounds like a great way to save some $$ on sending out a bunch of prototype decks or save the testers' time by avoiding them having to print cards. (Plus it'd be closer to the real deal than a crappy print and play version, if art is important.)

The simulator is on Steam for $20.

EDIT: also, if we can get this going, and you're interested in testing our game just based on the description in my WIP thread, send me a message and I'll be sure to let you know when it's ready!
 
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Chris Rees
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I use it to playtest two games pretty frequently, and I've helped make a mod for another game so that testers can play it online.

Creating a mod is pretty easy. There's a tool in the TTS directory that lets you make decks by making a giant sheet of your card images. You then load that into TTS and it splits the image into the cards used by your deck. All of the scripting is LUA and there are a few good guides on Steam and the TTS website. I've only really played around with some of the simpler scripting to get cards where they need to be, but it's pretty cool.

Also, Tabletop Simulator is currently on sale at GreenManGaming for $8.

EDIT:
TTS has an official guide on building a custom deck. There's also an unofficial 16 minute YouTube video that goes into it a bit.
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Liberty Kifer
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Awesome! Thanks so much for the info and especially the sale, I'm grabbing it now. I'm excited to try it out and see what it can do. One more push to get those last couple of card illustrations done (I swear, the card backs are the hardest part!!) Thanks again.
 
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Chris Rees
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Fair warning: the controls are very confusing initially. It took me a few plays to get comfortable with them.

Good luck with your game!
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Liberty Kifer
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Many thanks again!
 
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James Arias
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Seconding above. The GUI is a bit noob-unfriendly, but if you google you'll find a lot of 3rd-party tutorials that are very helpful.

I've been using it for prototypes once I'm past first few iterations of "cut out paper and cardboard"

There's also a TTS playtesting guild on Steam (with a BGG thread too).

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Paul Gipson
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Hello,

I think you may find Tabletopia to be more helpful (although I hear great things about TTS as well)

While the traffic on Tabletopia is definitely smaller, anyone with a web-browser can play it, and they don't have to have the extra step of having to pay for and download the program ahead of time. Instead, your playtesters just open up a link, in their browsers, and go! 3D tabletop ready --- so it is accessible to more people.

My design partner is actually working on a video right now on how to input your game into Tabletopia ... When I get home, I will send you a link by message to our first rough-draft video.

Edit:
I am adding the videos that I was referring to here
ApolloRa Games - Digital Design: Prep Files for Tabletopia
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Chris Rees
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TaylonMoon wrote:
Hello,

I think you may find Tabletopia to be more helpful (although I hear great things about TTS as well)

While the traffic on Tabletopia is definitely smaller, anyone with a web-browser can play it, and they don't have to have step program downloaded or paid for ahead of time. Just open up a link, in your browser, and go! 3D tabletop ready --- so it is accessible to more people.

My design partner is actually working on a video right now on how to input your game into Tabletopia ... When I get home, I will send you a link by message to our first rough-draft video.


Do you mind sending that to me as well? One of the reasons I like TTS is that it's very easy to put your game in and I've never seen how to do that with Tabletopia.
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Zeke C
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I think you will like tabletopia, I just finished building my first game in it and it was very intuitive, honestly was much easier than I thought. It's set up very nicely and rather user friendly. Definitely would recommend it.
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Liberty Kifer
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crazybyzantine wrote:


There's also a TTS playtesting guild on Steam (with a BGG thread too).



That's great to know, thank you so much!!!
 
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Liberty Kifer
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TaylonMoon wrote:


While the traffic on Tabletopia is definitely smaller, anyone with a web-browser can play it, and they don't have to have step program downloaded or paid for ahead of time. Just open up a link, in your browser, and go! 3D tabletop ready --- so it is accessible to more people.

My design partner is actually working on a video right now on how to input your game into Tabletopia ... When I get home, I will send you a link by message to our first rough-draft video.


That sounds great, and I'd love to see the video! Our game is thankfully all cards so that should make it easier I'd think. No board or anything.
 
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Jonah Berlin

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Hi, I'm a moderator over at TTS.
Tabletopia uses a Netflix model. It's more glossy, but it's really not where the interesting stuff in this world is happening. I admit total prejudice here, but by all standards, I am correct.

Take for example, the OneWorld project, a user-made system that allows RPG hosts to integrate everyone else's content into living, mutating narrative tables (a bit like a tabletop Neverwinter Nights 2? I suppose). The fact that the workshop has become a bustling Library of Congress of long forgotten chit pullers and print and play games, where people submit their game competition submissions, where variants are deployed and embraced and new board games are tested all over the place.
Renting games on the static old school but pretty Tabletopia .... It's the wrong direction.

Semi-Rant done, I am happy to answer any questions about TTS, which is one of the most exciting platforms I've ever used. It has consumed basically all of my time on Steam.

While there are some issues with TTS, mainly, they have way too many contracts and people wanting to DLC stuff but just not enough devs to do it. I suppose too much work is better than none, but I do worry they might suffer from overextension sometimes. But -- the constant patches to the increasingly robust scripting system, with Unity and Steam integration increasing with every patch, is a very hopeful sign to me. Also: Linux support. Thank you Knil (game co-founder & head dev).

While not "noob friendly" in many ways, it's not rocket science. One can lock the cameras andplanes to make it function a lot like a roll20/Vassal sort of GUI. Many people complain about vertigo in the sandboxy environment.

the "?" key, bringing up a command overlay, is a very good friend.

There are several playtesting clubs.

If that wasn't cool enough, Stonemaier launched Scythe (and Euphoria) as DLC over a year before they made the hotness over on BGG. That's because TTS is cool. THE COOLEST


P.S. I am paid nothing by them. I volunteer. I don't even get free DLCs.
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Jonah Berlin

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The browser based game aspect is nice. Some people cannot afford TTS or don't like Steam.

The $7 one might have to pay on Steam for a copy of TTS compounded by the free 20,000 mods in the workshop overwhelming to most timid Secret Hitler player might drive one away. Yet, there are a few browser based, free services out there, my favorite being yucata.de (DE), some people boiteajeux (FR) ... Nothing wrong with these either. Well, there are some security and protocol things but I'll leave those be.

One of the persistent, long term goals of the TTS crew is to make a marketplace for independent game publishers and designers. Right now they only accept DLC submissions from established publishers out of necessity, and the line runs out the door. Stonemaier has apparently been on the hook for a year for a Scythe expansion.

How this market is going to work exactly is not shared to us yet, but I think the general feeling is to progress carefully and slowly. I can't think of a tool that exists that is better for playtesting boardgame prototypes, anywhere. I've seen very big names testing some really cool stuff, no big attention drawn to it, it's just what you do.

It's what I'm using for my projects as well.
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Liberty Kifer
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I totally appreciate the information AND your opinions, Jonah! I think bias/preference is perfectly fine, in fact when people say they're completely unbiased I always eye them with suspicion.

I got a great deal on TTS thanks to someone here (sorry, can't see the post while I type this, but thank you new stranger-friend!) and I'm starting there as it seems to be the preferred option and has a much higher rating on Steam than Tabletopia.

Hoping my husband will take an active role in setting up the simulator, especially since I keep seeing stuff about scripts and, well, he's the programmer, not me!

goo <--- PS this forum has some weird emoticons, what the heck is this for?
 
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Crazed Survivor
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I have not because I find it tedious, instead I buy prototypes when given the chance, to still get the tactile feel and mesh it with my existing collection if it's an expansion.

But if you can find the proper party then it's quite an improvement as you don't have to pay for components, gather friends that may have other things to do, or go through the hassle of cutting pages and pages of components (I mean, I signed for a playtest of a game with no less than 550 cards.
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Paul Gipson
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Here are our Design Videos on putting things into Tabletopia. Sorry for the delay, but my partner wanted to polish them more! I hope they help!


This link should take you to our facebook page where he has the videos posted:
ApolloRa Games - Digital Design: Prep Files for Tabletopia
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Liberty Kifer
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TaylonMoon wrote:
Here are our Design Videos on putting things into Tabletopia. Sorry for the delay, but my partner wanted to polish them more! I hope they help!


This link should take you to our facebook page where he has the videos posted:
ApolloRa Games - Digital Design: Prep Files for Tabletopia


Thank you so much for remembering and taking the time to share this! It will be a huge help!
 
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