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Thread: Remote at your Tabletop

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    ronpyatt's Avatar
    ronpyatt is offline Dallas Organizer & Admin Golden d20 Award
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    Remote at your Tabletop

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    Have you tried to include gamers to your table by way of conference call or video feed?

    One of my groups has done both, and it can be a great way to include out of town members. We have one of our party about to move out of state, and we discussed including him into future sessions via video chat or phone.

    Are there any other ways to have remote players at the table?

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    ronpyatt is offline Dallas Organizer & Admin Golden d20 Award
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    This got me to thinking about having an online game with all or most of the players via video chat. Remote table-topping. My group had only ever had need for one player to call in like that.

    Scouring the Internet, I've run into quite a few dead ends when it comes to video conferencing multiple feeds. I'm looking for something that doesn't break the bank. If you find anything interesting, let me know.

    I did find MultiChat Viper, which looks promising, but I need to dig out my old cam to put it to the test. I think it boasts 7 video feeds at once with minimal bandwidth. 7 is a good number for gaming session. I'm also on a Linux machine, which doesn't seem to be a problem for it as this Viper uses Flash.

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    Since I moved to Seattle, I've been DM'ing for my group remotely. They still get together at one location and then we use a webcam on both sides through either Skype (if it is behaving) or Yahoo IM. Skype has a bit better resolution and refresh, but Yahoo will allow you to broadcast to more than one person and receive more than one webcam feed. The draw back is that Yahoo limits your resolution to a smaller screen and the refresh is only once every 1 to 3 seconds. This isn't too bad though, and if you're wanting to web-conference with more than one person, it is probably the only option you'll have.

    For our battlemat, we use KloOge, which works very well for our purposes and seems more friendly (to me) than OpenRPG. We still roll dice manually on the honor system, but KloOge would accommodate fully taking over all dice rolling and most of the mechanics of combat as well. I think my only complaint with KloOge so far is that it is doesn't manage memory usage very efficiently and large maps (kb wise) can crash the whole thing. Oooh, and it also allows you to have a fog-of-war effect for your maps, which is very useful for dungeon crawling situations, etc. It does cost though, however the price is very reasonable.

    So, I can tell you that it can be done. It's not 100% the same as being in the same room, around the same table, but it comes close.

    Robert A. Howard
    Pen & Paper Games
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    http://www.fantasygrounds.com/ + ventrillo (voice chat) = good gaming.

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    Excellent suggestions.

    I have the hardware and the software. Now I'm ready to experiment with this multi-video feed for remote tabletop gaming. I'm starting small, simple, and cheap.
    1. First step: Try the audio / video feed.
      1. Well, it seems to work just fine with one feed.
      2. Ah, good...
    2. Second step: Add a second and third feed.
      1. Find other cam gamers
      2. ...

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    MyBeam.com is hosting rooms for multi-video feeds as a simple link. They'll eventually have recording capability and admin stuff.

    This is a live link. So if you have your web cam turned on, the Flash app might ask for access. You don't have to give it access, and you can see who's online. Of course, it's a max of 7 people in one room.
    http://www.mebeam.com/Myroom.php?penandpapergames
    Last edited by ronpyatt; 07-07-2007 at 11:34 AM.

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    Hey Ron, just in case you missed it on the other thread, check this out:

    http://www.rptools.net/doku.php

    I would suggest using ventrillo as a voice chat option instead of typing, but that depends on your speed. This RPTools thing rocks pretty hard. Been testing it all morning.

  8. #8
    Ed Zachary Guest
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moritz View Post
    I would suggest using ventrillo as a voice chat option instead of typing, but that depends on your speed. This RPTools thing rocks pretty hard. Been testing it all morning.
    Do people from the south talk too slowly for that to work?

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    I.............don't.............rightly........... .know.............what..................you're.... ..........talkin'.............bout...........Ed... ..........................But.............I....... ..........reckon...........you...............may.. ..................be..................right.
    Last edited by Moritz; 07-26-2007 at 10:40 AM.

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