If You Play You Win from hairylarry's blog

JesseQ made a post about how he would use multiple free online tools for online gaming. I have been wanting to set up an Actual Play podcast as a Gamer+ event and JesseQ's post got me thinking. Here's his out of the box suggestions.


Discord for chat (text, video, voice)
Miro for shared whiteboard/tabletop
Watch2Gether for atmosphere/music


I have come  up with another platform set.


Discord - Tenkar's Tavern in particular for the chatroom/game table


Web Whiteboard - A whiteboard app on the web the DM could use for drawing maps or diagrams for online games. You can also post text and pictures. Players can also post, make map annotations during play, upload something they saw, etc.


File Downloads - My Pydio instance does this great. There are many other free web alternatives.


So the only barrier to participation is getting into Tenkars Tavern on Discord. Discord has become a new standard for voice chat and their apps are easy to install and work on every platform.


Once you are in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern the DM can post a link to the whiteboard set up for this game. The players click on this link and they are there on the whiteboard. No passwords or accounts required.


The DM can also post a link to a folder on Pydio. The players can follow this link, browse pregens, and download or print the character sheet they choose to play. The DM has a different link that allows uploading and file deletion. Again no install, passwords, or accounts required.


And this is the key. Follow the link and you're in.


You enter the chatroom. The DM posts a link and you go pick a character. When the DM starts to draw something he posts a link. You follow the link and view what he's drawing. It would even be possible to lay out battle maps and move player tokens on the map.


So these two apps, the whiteboard and the file manager, are both included in Miro as per JesseQ's suggestion. There is an advantage to having these both in one app. But Miro is more complicated to use and the DM would have to send player invites which means collecting emails. In some situations this would not be cumbersome but for Gamer+, If You Play You Win, actual play podcasts I wanted it to be as easy as possible to jump into the game.


As JesseQ suggests, Gamer+ has set up a Watch2Gether channel that the DM could use for Monster noises and appropriate background music. It is also available for listening on the public web just by linking in with no password or account necessary.


So this is just another possible way to set up for online gaming. I chose these apps because of their open availability to anyone without having to install apps or create accounts. There might be better choices for your games or campaigns. Please leave your ideas in the comments.


Thanks


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JesseQ
Sep 8 '19
I'll give Web Whiteboard another shot. Something about it didn't grab me, but I was kinda doing speed-runs on the various shared-workspace services to see what I could get away with, so it's easy to think I missed something.

Many of the elements of Miro turned out to be more intuitive than I expected, including sharing documents, and making notes. Mostly drag-and-drop from the desktop, or just start typing over an element.
I'll give Web Whiteboard another shot. Something about it didn't grab me, but I was kinda doing speed-runs on the various shared-workspace services to see what I could get away with, so it's easy to t...See more
hairylarry
Sep 8 '19
Miro is definitely more powerful, with more features, and would probably be preferred for a campaign or a private game. My criteria was easy to use and no login required. Web Whiteboard does that.
hairylarry
Sep 8 '19
Now I definitely haven't given Miro a fair shot. I got to the invite users by email and passed for what I want. There may even be a way to share with a link.
hairylarry
Sep 8 '19
You can share with a link but it takes you to a login screen, not a whiteboard. So gamers have to be willing to make an account to see the whiteboard. (to the best of my knowledge)
hairylarry
Sep 8 '19
Also if you are going to run a campaign that outlasts the Web Whiteboard 21 days it will cost money if you need to save the whiteboard from session to session. I believe Miro is not time limited in it's free version so that might also be a big factor. (to the best of my knowledge)Also if you are going to run a campaign that outlasts the Web Whiteboard 21 days it will cost money if you need to save the whiteboard from session to session. I believe Miro is not time limited in it...See more
JesseQ
Sep 8 '19
Yeah, the only notable limitation for the free version of Miro is three boards per account. Some features are turned off, but they're mostly aimed at things like productivity and workflow control.

The 21-day cap is much more problematic, as I don't run games rapidly (outside of one-shots).
Yeah, the only notable limitation for the free version of Miro is three boards per account. Some features are turned off, but they're mostly aimed at things like productivity and workflow control. See more
hairylarry
Sep 8 '19
Also if you're running campaigns you probably already have the emails of the players. In the Gamer+ If You Play You Win one offs I want anyone who's at Tenkars to be able to pick a pregen and be in the game. We are going to rotate DMs. We're working on the first one and my son Kier will DM that. I figure schedule 3 hrs. for a one off. Would you be interested in running one of these in the future?Also if you're running campaigns you probably already have the emails of the players. In the Gamer+ If You Play You Win one offs I want anyone who's at Tenkars to be able to pick a pregen and be in th...See more
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