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Subject: Advise for playing games over video rss

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Grant Holzhauer
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Chandler
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Hi all,

My brother and his wife recently got majorly into board games (like my wife and I), and we own many of the same games. Alas, we live about 1500 miles apart from each other.

I know that people play RPGs over Skype (or similar video service), and probably board games too, but I'm not sure of the best way to go about doing it.

If anyone has done this, and has some tips to make this work as simply as possible, that'd be great. We each have laptops and the latest iPhones, and I have an iPad (as far as video go).

Thanks!
 
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Caleb
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dojogrant wrote:
Hi all,

My brother and his wife recently got majorly into board games (like my wife and I), and we own many of the same games. Alas, we live about 1500 miles apart from each other.

I know that people play RPGs over Skype (or similar video service), and probably board games too, but I'm not sure of the best way to go about doing it.

If anyone has done this, and has some tips to make this work as simply as possible, that'd be great. We each have laptops and the latest iPhones, and I have an iPad (as far as video go).

Thanks!


Well if you buy iOS board games with multiplayer capbability, you can all play them.
 
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Grant Holzhauer
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True, but a limited amount of games (or games that we enjoy), and it lacks the social part of it (we enjoy each others' company).
 
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K. Sorbo
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We played Catan a few times over Skype. If you have a duplicate of the game, the only hard part we found was randomization of the cards. To help with this, we would randomize one deck, then arrange the other deck in the exact same way, then cut a number of cards off the top of the deck ten times or so, and do the same for the other deck.

If someone on the other side drew a card, I would just take it off the stack and put it in another pile, outside of the game.

We also used two cameras, one at the board and one at the players.

We didn't get much past that.
 
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Grant Holzhauer
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Thanks! The part about the cards is very helpful, as that seemed like the biggest hurdle to me.
 
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Ben Crane
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I have a system that takes a bit more bookkeeping, but only requires one copy of the game.

One group "hosts" the game. They set it all up and have all the components there. Point a camera at the board. (If the other group has a copy as well, they can set a mimic copy up too so they can have physical things to look at. Don't bother syncing the decks of cards).

Of the hosting group, select a Card Master. Then set up a couple pieces of paper at the table where the absent players would be. Put card-shaped boxes on the papers and number the boxes. Anytime an absent player would draw a card, the card master draws a card and holds it up to the camera. Honor system to keep people from peeking if it isn't their card. The card master then lays the card on a numbered box, and whoever "drew" the card notes what the card was and what box it is in.

Then, when they want to play a card, they say "I'm playing card eight" or whatever box it is in. The Card Master holds it up to them to confirm it is the right card, and then plays it.

The whole system works just as well with tiles or other one-sided objects as it does with cards.

It is a little bit clunky and adds time and bookkeeping, but it works when you have only 1 copy of the game or when the deck syncing just won't work (for a game like Battlestar Galactica, for example, where the decks are either too large to sync or have too many unique cards where you risk remembering patterns, no matter how many times the deck is cut).
 
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K. Sorbo
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Another thing I just thought of is card stands. If you have a stand that cards can be put in, facing the camera, and the players cannot see them, then that may help as well.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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I've done it with Pandemic over skype. What we did is set up the board on both sides, but have one person run the "real" board and the other folks just go get out the cards they "drew". Of course that means everyone knows each other's cards exactly, but trying to go over video with hidden information is going to be tough unless you have a server or something doing that part for you (RPGs are a little different because the GM has final authority in a way that no one does in a board game).
 
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Curt Carpenter
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Play online implementations while on skype. Lots of games available on various sites.
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