Among the many events that we miss on pre-pandemic days, board game nights might not get as much attention as visiting the bar or going to the movies. However, they are relatively easy to reproduce online. You can include all your friends without breaking your quarantine and having (almost) as much fun as before. Here’s how.
Any decent board game night has a few key traits that make it fun. Enough people to play most games, a wide variety of games to choose from, and anything other than Cards Against Humanity for once, please. With that in mind, we are looking for an option to play online games that are flexible enough to allow you and your friends to play any games you want. Depending on the desired configuration, there are a few options.
Option 1: Discord and webcams
We have already discussed how Discord Gameplay can be used to play things like Jackbox, but the same principle can be used to play physical board games, with the right setup. If you already have a collection of games in your home that you want to keep playing with your distant friends, this might be the best way to go.
The trick is to use a person’s camera to point at the table. As long as other players can see the board and the host can move pieces around, many games are just as playable (with a little extra work on the host’s part) as before. If you want the host to always be visible on the camera, try using a second dummy account.
The main disadvantage of this method is that it does not work very well for games where players have to keep game elements secret. You can work around this problem in some cases – for example, in Clue, players can write information. separately where they are – but any game where you need to deal cards to a player and keep them to themselves may not be possible with the Discord Method. Fortunately, there are other alternatives.
Option 2: Tabletop simulator
Table simulationator is a game on Steam that you can use to play other games. It features robust tools that let you and nine other players control virtual versions of physical objects such as game pieces, cards, boards, and even the table itself. If you want, you can even flip the virtual table, throwing all the coins everywhere. The game aims to mimic the experience of sitting around a table in the most authentic way possible.