Lurkers must sign up now to visit our additional forums. Please register today and enjoy our endless banter. Instant access as of March 2019!

The Ultimate Way to Play D&D Over the Net! (Virtual)

Discuss any non D&D roleplaying topics here.

Moderators: Brightmantle, Stik

User avatar
Cole
Webmaster
Webmaster
Knight
Knight
Posts: 1604
Contact:

The Ultimate Way to Play D&D Over the Net! (Virtual)

Post#1 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:33 am

He everyone,

So, because I just moved to Alberta from BC and lost both of my groups out there and some super long time players. I decided to work on a way (virtually) that those players can jump right in online (connect to a program) and hopefully function as IF they are sitting directly at my table. I'm going to post instructions under this topic as I figure stuff out and hopefully someone on here can use it as well.

So, obviously I'm at stage 1 now. Software testing and coming up with all the tech and gear necessary to do this right. This is NOT GOING TO BE FOR BROKE PEOPLE! My list of must haves is going to be quite big and YOU WILL have to invest in quite a few gadgets to pull this off. So far I've already determined that BOTH parties (you the DM and each player) will require special software (which is possibly free) and at least 2-3 HD cams for the DM and 2 for each player. An extra monitor and a lot of patience.

The reasoning behind that is the DM will require;

DM CAM #1 to show his entire table (it will be mounted on a wall or high above the table or zoomed out on a monitor). This way the player connecting can see the entire game in a glance like "real life" and feel as if they were sitting right there.

DM CAM #2 will be specifically placed to show all rolls at the table. A special box or cake pan or whatever else you like will become the designated rolling area where everyone can see the rolls (live on cam) as they occur.

DM CAM #3 will be placed in an area where the player can see maps on-screen just like the players at the table. It will need to be a designated area to, so that THEY can see exactly what your PC's at the table can see. This CAM can be eliminated with options such as a "Drop Box" where the DM can drop the digital image from his laptop/PC into the DropBox as the game goes along or even before the game even starts. Then everyone has a copy. The problem with this is the DM can't draw the map as the players explore (I'd rather have the cam), but we'll see.

THE PLAYERS

The players will each require 2 HD cams (or 1 adjustable) cam each. One pointed at their faces and the other on their dice rolling area (so the dice stay on cam and viewable for all to see) < no off cam cheating then. If they can only afford 1 cam, you may have the option to have an adjustable one where they can quickly point the cam at the dice when rolling and then back at their faces when not.

SIDENOTES;

So obviously I want this as close to sitting at my table as possible. I don't do things half assed as most of you can probably tell if you've known me long enough (I'm an all or none kinda guy).

I won't tell you to go buy something and then have it not work. If you able to follow instructions and you're a tech junky like me, it won't be to hard. ;)

I'll post a DEMO video with a phone cam to show everyone my table and how it all works once I get it figured out.

I'm trying all the most obvious software first including skype, hangouts etc and will determine which options are best and report back on this topic.
The Borg of Dungeons & Dragons

User avatar
Cole
Webmaster
Webmaster
Knight
Knight
Posts: 1604
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Way to Play D&D Over the Net! (Virtual)

Post#2 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:33 am

OK, it took me allot less time than I thought to figure this out. I'm actually pretty shocked I haven't seen this done yet online. I've seen Roll20, but it's just not the "ultimate" experience. My goal here is to re-invent the wheel per-say and to have a virtual game that would simulate my best friends/players sitting at my table. A place were real players (actually sitting at the table) and the DM could sit down and play a session with virtual players at the same table and not have their images or cams so small that nobody at the table could interact as if they were sitting there.

Either way, I want everyone reading this to know it IS POSSIBLE! You just need to follow along with my instructions and you'll have your buddies at your table again in now time. A side effect of this is money $$$. If you want to have this done right, you'll need to spend some bucks... but if playing with your friends again really matters... then what's a few bucks right. ;)

THINGS YOUR PLAYERS WILL NEED;

    Each player will require a PC, with an HD webcam (a laptop with a built in HD cam will work to)
    Each player will need a fast internet connection
    Each player will need to install the latest skype they can get, plus sign up for a skype account.

THING's THE DM WILL NEED;

A very good PC, with 2 or 3 HD cams (a lap with a built in HD cam, plus at least one more USB HD cam will do, but not great)
A very fast internet connection (5 MBPS upload/download speed / player recommended)
A copy free copy of "manycam" from https://manycam.com/. A purchased copy is best (more options)
A skype account for all your players to connect to (a dedicated one is best)
All yer maps/DM goodies etc on the same PC your many cam is installed on

* EVERYTHING IS FREE HERE BUT THE TECH

Pictures below to show my tested setup
The Borg of Dungeons & Dragons

User avatar
Cole
Webmaster
Webmaster
Knight
Knight
Posts: 1604
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Way to Play D&D Over the Net! (Virtual)

Post#3 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:50 am

Here is what it looks like set up (at least my testing area... real room to come)

STAGE 1: (How the DM's screen should be set up)
Many Cam needs to be installed and running and then skype (resize the windows to look like my setup)
Image

STAGE 2: (The DM's screen with 1 player logged in through skype)
Image

STAGE 3: (Setup - How to get ALL cams online - step 1)
At the bottom of your skype screen you need to enter the "Audio and Video Settings" area. Here you will find a few things you can adjust, but the MOST important option is under "Camera". YOU MUST SELECT MANY CAM VIRTUAL CAM. This is how we get skype to bypass the single cam option and allow skype to display as many cams as you desire on the ManyCam screen.

Image

STAGE 4: (head up to picture in picture mode on the many cam screen next)

Image

STAGE 5: (Select the layout you prefer)
I selected 1 large main screen with my first additional cam in the bottom left corner (my dice cam)
Image

STAGE 6: (Select you camera by clicking on the new camera box and then going to camera / "your list of cams"
Image

STAGE 7: (Now ALL players can see the dice being rolled on their own screens by all players at the table)
Image

That's it!

The DM can add more cams if they like, the can add maps on screen as well. However, we have already found that the messenger in Skype is best for this as it can send any image in full rez to all the players connected to the game at once. It's fantastic!

More pics below and a real DEMO to follow
The Borg of Dungeons & Dragons

User avatar
Cole
Webmaster
Webmaster
Knight
Knight
Posts: 1604
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Way to Play D&D Over the Net! (Virtual)

Post#4 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:58 am

More pics of my setup;


What my DM screen looks like with a "dice cam" and a "Map screen" on.
Image

What the screen looks like with 2 virtual players logged in zoomed out
Image

Same with 2 players logged in zoomed In (covering many cam screen) - this is what it will look like most of the time. Players and DM's just see player screens, nothing else.
Image

The DM screen split 4 ways evenly (the gaming table, the monster pic, a npc pic and the dice cam, plus 1 player screen logged in)
Image
The Borg of Dungeons & Dragons

User avatar
ThanatosTheLoonie
Peasant
Peasant
Posts: 24

Re: The Ultimate Way to Play D&D Over the Net! (Virtual)

Post#5 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:41 am

Cole wrote:So, because I just moved to Alberta


Wait, what? You too? :o Which city? CK and I are in Edmonton.

User avatar
RPG Dinosaur
Merchant
Merchant
Posts: 477

Re: The Ultimate Way to Play D&D Over the Net! (Virtual)

Post#6 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:39 pm

Cole wrote:* EVERYTHING IS FREE HERE BUT THE TECH
Pictures below to show my tested setup

Thanks for putting in the time to get this checked out.
_Matt_

User avatar
Cole
Webmaster
Webmaster
Knight
Knight
Posts: 1604
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Way to Play D&D Over the Net! (Virtual)

Post#7 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:02 am

Ahh, yes a very cool setup that I'll never use... but hey.. at least other people can see it's possible. Can even live stream it to youtube ;)
The Borg of Dungeons & Dragons

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests