To attend this event successfully, you’ll need to have access to the technology that makes it possible to play board games in a virtual setting. Before purchasing a ticket, please make sure you have:
Reliable broadband Internet connection
- A wired ethernet connection to your router is ideal, but not required
Laptop or desktop computer with minimum requirements
- OS: Windows 7 SP1+ OR macOS 10.12+
- Processor: SSE2 instruction set support.
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: Graphics card with DX10 (shader model 4.0) capabilities.
- DirectX: Version 10 (if using PC)
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- Storage: 3 GB available space
Though not required, a mouse with mouse wheel can make the controls in Tabletop Simulator a little easier to manage.
Discord account with tested ability to voice chat
- We’ll ask for your Discord username with 4-digit ID# during badge registration
- Test to be sure you have a headset or earbuds that allow conversation over a Discord voice channel without a lot of echo or background noise interference.
- Setting up and learning how to use the push-to-talk option in Discord often helps eliminate distracting background noise.
- Using a microphone connected directly to your laptop instead of wireless headphones will help you avoid losing microphone functionality in the middle of a playtest.
A quiet place to set up
- Out of respect for your fellow attendees, it’s important to participate in playtests only when you can be fully present to the game and feedback session.
- If you can’t separate yourself from background noise of children or pets, it will be especially important to set up and learn how to use the push-to-talk option in your Discord user settings to avoid causing too much distraction for your fellow attendees.
- If a fellow attendee tells you that your line is producing a lot of background noise or echo, switch to the push-to-talk setting or make sure to mute your microphone whenever you aren’t talking.
Virtual board gaming platform
- Tabletop Simulator (TTS) is our primary recommendation for online prototyping. You likely will not be able to play many prototypes if you are not able to run this game. It requires an account on Steam and a 1-time purchase of no more than $20 (though sales a are regularly available).
- Tabletop Playground is a competitor to TTS. It also requires an account on Steam and a 1-time purchase of no more than $20.
- Screentop.gg is currently a completely free platform that has more limited functionality than Tabletop Simulator, but it can work great for certain prototypes and is light weight and easy to connect to. Playtesters don’t even need to create an account to access a live game session.
- PlayingCards.io is another free, 2D, browser based remote tabletop gaming option. You won’t be able to share the games you make here on any public repositories, but it can work for playtesting some types of games.
- Tabletopia is another virtual board gaming platform offered through Steam that allows for game designers to build and share their prototypes. It tends to be less popular among game designers than Tabletop Simulator because of the difference in its pricing model.
- Discord video chat if you have a game with no (or very minimal) secret information that doesn’t require passing components from player to player, a playtest may be possible via video conference. A Discord video chat at a private table also works great when all you want to do is workshop an idea without running a full-blown playtest. Spontaneous video conference happy hours or meal breaks for free-form networking are also encouraged — as long as you don’t forget to get back to playtesting after an hour or so. 🙂