The topic is essentially about simulating table top gaming (card games, role playing games, board games, etc…) on to a desktop PC. In our workshop the focus was bringing these ‘in real life games’ to digital platforms with a focus on how you can do that in Linux using a bit of software called VASSAL.
Here’s how we left the whiteboard…
- Who plays what?
- Why would you choose to play via tabletop?
- Social experience, bit of fun, can maintain this aspect of gaming digitally whilst maintaining the unique character of the games.
- Reasons to go digital
- Distance restrictions and limitations.
- Regular group, e.g. weekly games nights.
- Tournament practice.
- Experimenting with different options and different strategies.
Vassal is a platform where the most popular modules are things like X-Wing, Advanced Squad Leader as well as…
- Traditional games – monopoly, scrabble.
- War gaming – games with miniatures.
- Card gaming – MTG etc…
Take a look at the full list of VASSAL modules here, there are over 2000 modules in total. Other alternatives to VASSAL are…
- Tabletop Simulator (3D, proprietary, on Steam but works on Linux)
- Roll20 (browser based)
- Battlescribe (list creator for handhelds)
- Pretend You’re Xyzzy (a Cards Against Humanity clone)
- Simply playing by e-mail, using MUDs, forums, etc…
Lastly took a quick look at the module editor to basically see how all these overlaying bitmaps interact within the game.
The talk for this weeks workshop meeting was presented by LUG member Darren who is known as d72 online and is one of the current maintainers of the Vassal40k module. It is likely a version of this talk will be ran again sometime in the next 6 to 12 months with other games in mind too.
Additionally if you are interested in development of new VASSAL modules, working on VASSAL itself or working to improve existing modules and want to work with other LUG members face to face… then please use the meetings@ mailing list to discuss as there can always be ongoing projects in the background of any workshop meetings.