Tabletop Simulator

GWJ Conduct and Online Gaming Resources List

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I think it’s pretty safe to say that life as we know it has changed.

Right now, many of us are under assault by stressful unknowns. News and social media barrage us with constant updates, an endless array of questions but few answers. We live in an age of ubiquitous information, but in these times of duress, the uncontrolled surge of reports and thinly-veiled speculation can harm our ability to keep on keepin' on.

Modulating our consumption is a pivotal part of navigating the modern information minefield. We each need to find ways to step back, take a breath, and ready ourselves for the next step forward. It is crucial to identify and protect the activities, the communities, that rebuild and recharge us.

For a lot of us, gaming is our haven. By extension, the places we frequent to discuss and plan our games become like sanctuaries. Gamers with Jobs is a safe harbor for many of us. Of course, we naturally feel the need to engage with our peers and friends to discuss what ails us and the world at large. I just want to stress the importance of respecting boundaries within the site. We are primarily a gaming website, and many folks come here specifically to escape the external onslaught.

I'm asking folks to refrain from creating even more threads or diverting other conversations toward COVID-19 and the surrounding politics. Discussions of the pandemic have a way of sucking all the air out of the room, and we already have plenty of existing threads on the topic. So, before you create a new thread, please look to the following: here, here, here, and here. If duplicate threads are created, be advised they may get locked and redirected to one of the existing threads. Also, comments that derail into pandemic talk can be moved to a more appropriate thread or shuffled around if necessary. I have no wish to stifle conversations on the topic, as they can often be healthy, but I do want to contain them to ensure the rest of the forum can continue to be a refuge from the storm.

Even more, though, I want to emphasize how important it is, now more than ever, for many of us to gather and commune in any way we are able, especially when so many of us are expected to isolate. We can gather strength from the support of our communities. In order to help facilitate this, I've compiled a list of distance-gaming resources as mentioned in our most recent podcast.

If you have suggestions or information to add to this resource list below, post a reply and I will add them to the main post.


Distance Gaming Resources

Online Boardgame Resources

Boiteajeux Modest, but relatively popular French, German, and English online boardgaming site. Agricola, Dixit, and more.

Board Game Arena Probably the biggest and most popular online board gaming website at the moment. Many classic and popular games. Lots of automated movement, scoring, and ease-of-use adjustments for online gaming. GWJ has an open group here. Premium membership guarantees better connectivity and ability to start more game tables. Browser chat enabled, third party chat recommended due to some connectivity issues and site overload.

Boardgamecore, which has a fantastic asynchronous implementation of Splotter Spellen's Food Chain Magnate, as well as a few other games.

Brettspielwelt Probably the longest-running online boardgame site, specializing in German board games. Used to be more niche before Board Game Arena and Tabletopia started carrying more of those game types. Less heavily trafficked than the previous two sites.

Codenames A free, web-based client that allows folks to play a digital version of Codenames by Vlaada Chvátil. Some kind of third-party voice/video chat client is required.

Happy Meeple Smaller, simpler board game site with a dozen games and focus on card, tile, and dice. Mostly good-quality two-player games.

Tabletopia Recently updated, seems more stable. Has a few classics, also many off-the-beaten-path games. Potential for exploring a variety of new game types. Premium membership nets more games.

Tabletop Simulator Access to addons for the likes of games such as Wingspan, Settlers of Cataan, Carcassone, Splendor, Scythe, and more. As this is a non-automated system, players are responsible for manually scoring, moving, and organizing pieces if used for board gaming.

Yucata Another online board game site with a large user base. Agricola, Puerto Rico, Terra Mystica, and more.

6 Best Sites to Play Board Games for Free! by Emily Sargeantson (Blog Post)

Online Tabletop RPGs:

Roll20.net Modules, character sheets, dice-rolling, and other resources for running and participating in online TTRPGs. Fates, Paizo, D&D, and a variety of other systems available. Plenty of dungeon maps, puzzles, and a variety of GM tools as well.

Astral Tabletop Provides both free and paid features for recreating tabletop experiences. Beautifully detailed animated maps, tokens, tiles, server storage, and character sheet management.

Fantasy Grounds Either one-time purchase or monthly subscriptions available. Long running, officially licensed, generally paid content worth supporting. Paizo, Savage Worlds, Deadlands, and more.

Tabletop Simulator Customizable, often free or low-cost user-made content available. Non-automated movement, all player controlled. Modular and potentially more flexible for importing custom images, tokens, pieces, and parts. Requires strong GM familiarity with operating Tabletop Simulator.

DND Beyond A fantastic companion for any 5E online game. Character creation, sheet management, stat tracking, inventory...it does it all. The customization and organization work very well for shared campaigns. The at-your-fingertips resources make the crunchier aspects of RPG management easy.

Videochat/Voicechat:

Discord Much of our community gathers and plays to talk, plan, and game together over on The GWJ Discord server found here. Discord has the ability to "stream" games, windows, displays, and programs directly into their voice channels, allowing for game-screen sharing with near real-time speed.

Hop over to #watercooler for general text chat, or get in a voice chat to play a game. We now have an Apollo Bot in #apollo-events channel that we've just started using to coordinate play dates. Please feel free to use it! Please also note the rules before joining the server, and have fun!

Slack often used for work groups, but popularly used for many social group chats, like the community-run Unofficial GWJ Slack Channel here! Great for keeping in touch with your peers.

Zoom Video chat popular for it's plug-and-play ease of use, it's currently free for up to 40 minutes at a time with a temporarily increased allowable party size. Paid accounts allow for larger groups and more use time. Also allows for low-delay screen streaming to the channel.

Video Game Stuff

GWJ Steam Community Group Post here to say hello and request invites to the group.
Itch.io's Games to Help you Stay Inside (pay what you want)
Good Old Games special offers and free games.
Jackbox.tv Login site for players on their own personal devices (PC, Mobile) Best used remotely by screen-sharing in Discord, Zoom, or Mixer and being in the same voice chat together as players.


This is just the beginning of the list, and any additional suggestions and tips are always appreciated.

If you haven't before, please consider joining us through the links above by playing games and staying connected. We'd love to have you!

Comments

Thanks Amoebic. Usually it's not too hard to stay clear of the latest media frenzy if one chooses to, but the pandemic is simply everywhere all the time. So yay for at least having a little corner of the internet where COVID talk stays uh quarantined (sorry).

Thank you, Amanda.
This is a very thoughtful step to take. And extremely kind as well. Thanks for looking out for your fellow humans. This feels very much like the move a support group would take. Which is, as you've put it so well, what GWJ is for so many of us. I am very grateful.

Thank you for both the positive steps and for the great list of resources.

I was just having the conversation with some friends who turned to me as the Alpha Gamer asking how we can play boardgames together.

Boardgamearena seems like exactly the ticket!

A great list of resources Amoebic!

The online board gaming sites are currently under a lot of pressure right now, so some patience may be needed due to server loads. Hopefully, they will be able to deal with the increased traffic in time.

They are definitely a great way to play board games online and joining a group chat on Discord whilst playing a live game adds to the social interaction.

Here's a useful blog post that I found that covers the following online board gaming sites (most of which you covered in your post) in a bit more detail:

Link to blog post: 6 Best Sites to Play Board Games Online for Free!

Board Game Arena
Yucata
BrettspielWelt
Tabletopia
Boite a Jeux
Happy Meeple

Thanks, Neutrino! Added all the new info to the OP.

Wow, that BGA group is certainly a blast from the past. I made Amoebic an Admin of the group, if anyone else would like it, just let me know. I've been playing some more BGA than usual, but with all the options available these days in terms of other online card games (MTGA) and Roll Playing games, my attention has been a bit, diverted.

I have to say, I know that platforms like tabletopia and TTS have become all the rage, but there is still something to be said for BGA doing all the admin work for you

Fanatical is selling 4-packs of Tabletop Simulator for $30 (7.50/key). Sale ends sometime Thursday, April 2, but I've seen it sold out of keys during this sale (but they got repopulated).

https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/ta...

Right now they're also giving away a Tomb of Anniliation title (baldurs-gate-esque) when you spend over $10.

Fine print wrote:

This 4-Pack is delivered as a single Steam key and gives you three extra copies of the game to gift to your friends! Please note: Cross region trading and gifting is disabled for this item.

I've bought from Fanatical about half a dozen times in the past and so far haven't had any issues.

Thanks for this Amoebic!

I'd also like to point out boardgamecore.net, which has a fantastic async implementation of Splotter Spellen's Food Chain Magnate. Currently my #1 game of all time. They have some other Splotter titles on there as well.

If anyone would like to play a game or get my help to learn it, shoot me a DM or Steam message.

We did our first You Don't Know Jack via Discord last night with some friends on the other side of town and it was a hoot.

Jonman wrote:

We did our first You Don't Know Jack via Discord last night with some friends on the other side of town and it was a hoot.

So a friend just proposed a virtual trivia night tonight for multiple couples, using Trivial pursuit rules and any trivia type questions anyone has available in their homes. It was proposed to use Zoom, but no one was aware of the 40 minute limit.
Any suggestions on the best way to go about this? As GWJ knows, its not encouraging that I'm the most tech savvy person in the group.

Good stuff.

Thanks, Amoebic

Thanks, Amoebic!

I have a question for the group - is there any schedule of when people are going to be streaming to the GWJ Twitch channel, with what they're planning to stream? I did a quick search and didn't turn up anything. It seems like now would be a great time to watch some fun Twitch streams. Heck, I've never streamed anything myself, but I was thinking today that it could be fun to try.

This is fantastic thanks. A friend just asked if we could find a game to play together. Lots of potential candidates here.

Thanks, Yoyoson! updated the main post.

LastSurprise wrote:

Thanks, Amoebic!

I have a question for the group - is there any schedule of when people are going to be streaming to the GWJ Twitch channel, with what they're planning to stream? I did a quick search and didn't turn up anything. It seems like now would be a great time to watch some fun Twitch streams. Heck, I've never streamed anything myself, but I was thinking today that it could be fun to try.

I'm a big fan of folks getting into streaming! It's nice to have company, and people will sometimes stream together.
Seu and myself are the only regularly-scheduled streamers at this point; most folks stream on-a-whim and it gets announced on their personal twitter accounts, and are retweeted by the main @GWJCC twitter account. It's kind of buried, but on the front page of our twitch, scroll down under the 'Schedule' tab we have details linked here. I think Seu may be switching to Sunday mornings soon, however!

Thanks!

I ran a Jackbox game via discord with my family last night. It went fine, but with Discord screen sharing I couldn't hear the game on my end and we couldn't use our camera. So with a bit of research this is the setup I'm planning on running next time. I haven't tested but I think I've got all the variables covered.

Posting here for inspiration and comment..

Online game night

This is for a PC connected to a TV so family can play games like Jackbox remotely. This guide is for the person hosting the game. Other participants just need Discord.

Software

• Discord
• OBS
OBS – Virtual Cam
Voicemeeter
• Webcam software (for me Droidcam)
o The reason for this is OBS will be your camera in discord so you’ll need a preview window for your own camera

Setup

OBS

In OBS Install and enable OBS-VirtualCam and enable an output.
Setup a scene with the game window, Discord and your webcam preview window. You’ll probably need to finalise this once your call has started.

Don’t worry about any audio sources. That’s what Voicemeeter is for. Turn down any audio in OBS.

Voicemeeter

Install and run Voicemeeter. Make sure it’s picking up your desktop audio, test by running the game in a window in the background.

Make sure it’s picking up your mic. Cheap hack here, headset mics are very sensitive omnidirectional mics so you can use one as a room mic.

Discord

In Voice & Video settings select “VoiceMeeter Output” as audio input device and “OBS-Camera” as camera.

And bang, you’re busy sniping each other in Fibbage.

I believe we were able to get volume working and everyone connected and hearing sound in discord without voicemeeter or obs. Just mic, headset, game, discord. I will pm you.

Edit: I realize we don't use self video in discord, which is what your setup allows. Zoom will allow for that, though!