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Playing live via Facebook, Zoom or other "video conference"

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Playing live via Facebook, Zoom or other "video conference"

Postby Kurgan » Tuesday March 17th, 2020 5:39pm

Hey folks, as cool as it would be to play in person, now that there are Covid-19 fears around, some of you may have tried this.

I played Hero Quest with a family member over facebook live video (rather than Skype, which had compatibility issues). I used my HQ set, pointed the webcam at the board (and did closeups for cards/figure introductions/die rolls/etc). He was an experienced player and had his own set of dice, but I think it went pretty well. I didn't have an expensive setup, a couple of smartphones/laptops did the trick, and I did use a cheap free-standing microphone. Every so often I would have to point the camera or hold something up for clarification (if it was hard to see). As Zargon I was a little more lenient, since the heroes couldn't see their surroundings so perfectly as with a board on both sides, but it worked.

Now if both parties have a board set, it could be easier. I haven't tried any of the software produced out there for "live" games, but that might be interesting. Still, I prefer this because we can use all our house rules without worry.

I never tried Google hangouts or twitch, but I wonder how easy it is to have a bunch of people logged in from various locations all "playing" this way? I am all for options that are free and work for a variety of computer setups.

Edit: Zoom seems to work well!
Last edited by Kurgan on Wednesday September 9th, 2020 12:09am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Playing live via Facebook / or other "video conference"

Postby Anderas » Wednesday March 18th, 2020 2:02am

Well, this piqued my interest for sure.

I am at home, too, and we played risk and UNO often enough now.


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Re: Playing live via Facebook / or other "video conference"

Postby Kurgan » Saturday March 21st, 2020 3:55pm

There's also tabletop simulator, but that assumes you have steam accounts and there's the house rules and custom content to consider...
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Re: Playing live via Facebook / or other "video conference"

Postby Jafazo » Sunday March 22nd, 2020 2:01pm

I can see a complete game running this way. If everyone has a camera they can direct it at their hero card, papers and dice tray with no real need to put your face out there. Then Zargon could point his camera at the board and move it around as needed. A dedicated Zargon could even set up two or more cameras.

I think the idea's solid and isn't primitive at all compared to software because you're leaning more toward actual table top play as opposed to online play. You can use a special miniature you like whereas through software there would be integration problems etc. You could even live stream it to try and drum up interest in the game again.
Unless you specify your version I'm going by the US rules.
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Re: Playing live via Facebook / or other "video conference"

Postby Kurgan » Sunday March 22nd, 2020 4:24pm

Yeah, if everyone has their own board, they could be following along, using their own pieces (for the equivalent of any special pieces that Zargon uses)...

We assume people have at least the game system, but I've now seen people playing using paper standees instead of miniatures, printed cards, tile based furniture and even standard six sided dice for combat... (5 or 6 for white shields, 1 for black shields, 2-4 as skulls). You can print a board too, but that's more work... Really only Zargon needs a set, the rest can follow along, but I think having at least some dice is best, though Zargon isn't supposed to be cheating anyway with rolls. ;)
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Re: Playing live via Facebook / or other "video conference"

Postby LurchBrick » Wednesday March 25th, 2020 6:56am

Not sure if you've seen this old thread about using the Vassal program to play HQ online: http://forum.yeoldeinn.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=867

I've used it to play many games over the years.


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Re: Playing live via Facebook / or other "video conference"

Postby torilen » Wednesday March 25th, 2020 8:49am

I've thought about this, as well. I'm not up to speed on all of these sites where one can play
games online...and I've never really used skype. I did discover a new site yesterday...Zoom.
Supposedly they only give you 40 minutes at a time for free, but with the global shutdown
they have waived that for now. That offers video and audio capabilities.

I just doubt that I would be able to keep up with anything, simply because of how our
family and work schedule go. Yes...I'm one of the unfortunates who still must go into
work - only because my office refuses to put any effort into making it so those in my
position can work from home. And I work at night, so by the time I get up we have
dinner, and then kids' time for a bit, then reading and bed. And then it is 9pm.

So...um...yeah.

I am actually looking at possibly posting something on twitter soon, however. Either
just an adventure that people can run through by themselves, or possibly offering
choices and writing on based on which gets voted for most.


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Re: Playing live via Facebook / or other "video conference"

Postby Anderas » Wednesday March 25th, 2020 9:27am

torilen wrote:I've thought about this, as well. I'm not up to speed on all of these sites where one can play
games online...and I've never really used skype. I did discover a new site yesterday...Zoom.
Supposedly they only give you 40 minutes at a time for free, but with the global shutdown
they have waived that for now. That offers video and audio capabilities.

I just doubt that I would be able to keep up with anything, simply because of how our
family and work schedule go. Yes...I'm one of the unfortunates who still must go into
work - only because my office refuses to put any effort into making it so those in my
position can work from home. And I work at night, so by the time I get up we have
dinner, and then kids' time for a bit, then reading and bed. And then it is 9pm.

So...um...yeah.

I am actually looking at possibly posting something on twitter soon, however. Either
just an adventure that people can run through by themselves, or possibly offering
choices and writing on based on which gets voted for most.


Make sure to post a link


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Re: Playing live via Facebook / or other "video conference"

Postby Pancho » Wednesday March 25th, 2020 1:33pm

Yeah Zoom is worth a look for this kind of thing. I’ve started using it for work to stay in face to face contact with colleagues, and I think it could be good for Heroquest.


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Re: Playing live via Facebook / or other "video conference"

Postby Kurgan » Wednesday March 25th, 2020 6:22pm

Vassal and the rest of those free game simulators are cool, but again, for me it's the difficulty of using house rules. Still, neat that these options exist for "live" gaming while we're hunkering down...

I'm in the Central time zone and I too am (so far) still working outside my home during the week.
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