Google+ gaming opinions?Posted: April 27, 2012 Filed under: adventures 9 Comments
Has anyone who reads this silly blog done any D&D type gaming via google+ or similar platform? How did it work?
I’m particularly interested in your opinions on:
- Issues of scheduling for more long term games — did the same players always show up, was there a rotating cast of characters with a mix of ‘visitors’ and ‘regulars,’ or was every session a new gang tossed together at random? And which did you like and why?
- How did you schedule games?
- How did you share info both during and between games?
- During game did you use IM or something similar to ‘pass notes’ to one player without the other players knowing about it?
- How did social interaction via google+ or similar platforms work out?
- In terms of ‘the game experience,’ did you have a ‘board’ or diagram of some kind to help players envision the space or did you just use “talking?”
I’m considering something for the distant future when elements of real life settle down a bit, but am only at the ‘info gathering’ stage at this point.
I've played via Fantasy Grounds 2 and G+
I have found that the group formed via G+ was much more reliable than the group formed via the FG2 forums. G+ puts a face and voice to people, with intimacy comes obligation.
We played same time / same day on a weekly or biweekly basis. Set times allow people to work their life around the game.
FG2 we used the chat features, w/ G+ we used the video chat. Both worked well. Between games in FG2 we used a forum, on G+ we used a G+ thread.
FG2 you can use a “whisper” command to talk one on one. no idea if G+ has a similar feature.
G+ worked out greater. The RPG we used didn't really suit our needs. I get to run ACKS starting next saturday, so I'll let you know how it goes.
FG2 has a grid and a whiteboard. G+ we used an experimental interface with die roller. I need a whiteboard to really feel comfortable as an online DM. i don't think G+ is there yet.
Roll20 will be free on release. it looks good, cross platform, nothing to install – just not sure if it will have a whiteboard or not.
Tabletop Forge (+TabletopForge) is in its second stage of development and supports aliases, dice rolling (including exploding dice) portrait switching maps and tokens. I highly recommend you take a look at it on G+ or watch an overview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8vmaLara-s
I've played more or less weekly via Skype voice/video for the last two years or so. However i play with my two best friends so some of my results are probably not typical.
1. Scheduling should not be any more or less of an issue than with ftf. So yeah, it's a pain in the ass, but it's usually that one guy who fucks things up.
2. We picked a day that everyone said they could make it.
3.At first we used infrno, but it is slow and buggy, so we just went with Email inthe end. If i do drawings I give the pics sequential file names, make a folder and send it out to the players, and have them open the pics one at a time as we get to them.
5. It works fine for the most part. I find the video chat feature a bit distracting on smaller screens, but lately we've been throwing it up on the TV and it's much less of an annoyance.
6. I've done both. I'd just as soon talk it all out, but I've got a guy who is convinced that all DMs are adversarial and trusts me not at all- which is funny since we do die rolls on the honor system and I could totally fuck him that way if i wanted to, diagram or no diagram.
My advice for the GM is plan for shorter games (2.5-3 hours is my max really, unless its a dungeon crawl in which case I can go on and on). Do a game/campaign whatever that allows for characters to come and go with little or no warning, this will keep one guy from holding the whole game hostage because he can't or wont make it- or is always late.
Stef, why don't you try playing in a session of ours to give you an idea?
1. Issues of scheduling for more long term games — did the same players always show up, was there a rotating cast of characters with a mix of 'visitors' and 'regulars,' or was every session a new gang tossed together at random? And which did you like and why?
I run Agrivaina. The players who attend sessions tend to be a mix of regulars and visitors. Since I designed the setting to offer a fun, exciting experience in every game and every direction of play, the rotating cast works just fine.
2. How did you schedule games?
I post a time and see who's available. Never had a problem filling seats.
3. How did you share info both during and between games?
What do you mean, info? Just start exploring. For new players I usually take 1-2 minutes to explain what's been going on in the setting and throw out some hooks. No more than a minute to two necessary.
4. During game did you use IM or something similar to 'pass notes' to one player without the other players knowing about it?
Happened once to let a player know he was possessed and wanted to raise an undead army and that if he did it, I would award his character 1000XP. Worked fine.
5. How did social interaction via google+ or similar platforms work out?
Just fine. No problems with G+. Some tech hangup, but the game just went on till the player returned.
6. In terms of 'the game experience,' did you have a 'board' or diagram of some kind to help players envision the space or did you just use “talking?”
Sometimes I would sketch things in Twiddla, but other times we'd just talk things through. Different situations call for different methods.
I have so far played only one game over G+, and it wasn't relevant to most of your questions, I'm afraid. We organised it via email and didn't use any kind of board or anything. We used Twiddla, but only the messaging part as we didn't do any mapping. G+ itself worked very well, with none of the glitchiness I've experienced gaming over Skype.
That would be great! I'd love to!
Right now I run two sessions a week of Castle Nicodemus, one at 9pm Eastern on Monday nights and the other at 12noon Eastern on Thursdays. I use Twiddla for anything we need to draw, and one of the players will often map there. The only problems I've had so far have been related to my having a cruddy old computer, but when I use one of my kids' laptops everything is nice and smooth.
I started out using Jeff Rients' model of more random player selection. I have about 30 people in my pool of players, and I would just select 5 or 6 at random. It worked fine, but there was a lot of going-over-the-same-places by the groups. Still, I think it was a great way to start out, as it gave a ton of people a chance to try it out, and made it very clear which people were especially interested in my game. Now I've switched to a system where I have a core group for each day (currently 9 for Monday, 6 for Thursday) and then for the 1 or 2 free spots I always have I open it up to anyone who's online and wants to play. It's a nice mix.
You are definitely welcome to try out my game! No commitment necessary. Just let me know if you can make one of the times above, and I'll save you a spot.
Ok, I will email you when we play next and you can check your schedule.