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"Remote Gaming" Topic


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Dadster Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2020 11:00 a.m. PST

Hi,

Thinking of giving this a shot Any recommendations on cameras I would imagine a wide angle lens is best, I would also imagine that a tripod would be in order. Skype or Zoom? Any other tips or hints?

Any suggestions on articles, etc.?

Thanks,
Frank

45thdiv26 Oct 2020 11:23 a.m. PST

I am interested in this as well. Look forward to reading everyone's thoughts

Matthew

John Armatys26 Oct 2020 11:30 a.m. PST

I've been using a cheap basic camera (12.99 on eBay at the start of the pandemic) mounted over the "table" (a drawing board or chess board) on a lath fixed to an old camera tripod examples on Martin Rapier's blog here:
link
link

The blog also has entries on games run by Martin and others in the group

My most recent games have been run using Powerpoint instead of a board link was the first, the latest games look better and use Tom Mouat's fonts mapsymbs.com the napoleonic one is good for anything pre-WW1 and the map icons one is great for terrain.

Zoom works better for us than Skype provided you have access to a paid account.

Keep the game simple and small, and run longer games over a number of sessions 1 hours is enough for a single session.

Nugget 326 available here link (note the password before clicking the link) has an article on matrix gaming using Skype.

45thdiv27 Oct 2020 3:14 a.m. PST

That is interesting, but I don't want to have a grid. I could do board games this way.

Matthew

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2020 4:45 a.m. PST

Thanks for the reply John, it is very interesting, but I am thinking a wide angle web cam like 120 degrees, on a tripod that allows rotation. Better still if possible 2 cameras. Table will be 9 by 5 or larger.

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2020 4:45 a.m. PST

Using miniatures and played on a surface the size of a ping pong table or greater.

DungeonDelver28 Oct 2020 6:01 p.m. PST

Well, our group has developed a slightly different approach.

We realized that there is a window that appears in a skype/zoom/discord video feed. Keeping the whole gaming area in view at once poses some challenging focus and perspective problems. It was a lesson to us that items that on an in person table top appear lined up may not appear so on a camera. What we came to was to place the camera (a cell phone camera is better than a webcam) on an arm over the table with approximately the view of a single player. This orientation made the game more accessible. People are not used to a direct overhead view for game play.

Then we moved the camera to the scene of the action. This was not perfect but much better than dealing with the imperfections of the whole table view.

Later we set the camera to be steady and moved the playing surface under it. But this solution was limited to a 2' x 4' board that would fit under the camera.

We got the screen image to be very good and clear for the players, but at the expense of not having the whole board in view at one time.

AGregory29 Nov 2020 11:01 a.m. PST

We use a wide-angle security camera plus a close-up web camera. The basic approach is described here:

hmwrs.com/RemoteHowTo.htm

Different guys in our group do it different ways, but what is described in the article is the easiest.

Cheers,

A. Gregory

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