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Would you be interested in a NEW authentic skirmish game experience played on PC?
Yes 43% [ 19 ]
No 57% [ 25 ]
Total Votes : 44
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So would anybody out there be interested in an authentic tabletop skirmish game experience played on your computer?

I've been working with a team who are building something along these lines, and I was curious if others like me have been looking for something that can really scratch the itch of playing a tabletop game, but can be played quickly and easily on your PC.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
I realize it may help to see what they're working on. You can get an idea here: http://www.virtualminiatures.com You can even download the rules they're working with.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/04 16:41:09


 
   
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How is this different than a turn-based strategy game?


My painted armies (40k, WM/H, Malifaux, Infinity...) 
   
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Isn't that what tabletop simulator or somesuch on steam already accomplishes? I applaud their efforts but I'm cautious about the potential P2W efforts that are so often baked into modern digital titles.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/04 17:10:26


   
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 spiralingcadaver wrote:
How is this different than a turn-based strategy game?


That's a very fair point. It is a turn based strategy game. Personally I've struggled to find a game I can play with friends online that really captures the skirmish tabletop game feel. I love blood-bowl II as a video-game, it really captures the board game alternative.

I now want to play a battle online (I'm a 40k player, have been since early 90's). I want it to feel like the creation of my army list, the movement of my units, and the order in which I use my units and the targets I choose really make a difference to the outcome, just like I did as a teenager playing on my parents dinning room table.

My hope is that this could be that. Perhaps there's already something like that out there. If so, I'd love a link.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Looks like a maybe able to answer my own question. After some more searching I found this:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1022310/Warhammer_Underworlds_Online/

It's not released yet, but certainly sounds like something I'll be checking out. Now if only they could do this with Kill-Team. I've always been more 40k than fantasy battle (age of sigmar).

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/06/04 17:32:04


 
   
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Seattle, WA USA

hawkeye117 wrote:
So would anybody out there be interested in an authentic tabletop skirmish game experience played on your computer?
Frankly, no. If it's on a computer, it's not a tabletop game by definition, really. Now that's not to say it may not be a good game and worth playing, but the reason I play miniature tabletop wargames is for the physical spectacle of them, not just their gameplay.

To me, PC games (even if it's tabletop simulator or the like of a tabletop game) and tabletop games are different things, neither really substituting for the other. Both can be fun, of course, but they scratch different itches for me.
   
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hawkeye117 wrote:
So would anybody out there be interested in an authentic tabletop skirmish game experience played on your computer?


So here's the very first thing:
What do you mean by the words "authentic tabletop skirmish game experience"?

A lot of the "table top simulator" things that I've seen have appeared to be cutesy unplayable garbage that can't distinguish between "things that you have to do in a physical environment to play a game" and "things that you want to do while playing a game".

Consider for a moment the classic table top skirmish experience of 1990's FASA Battletech. There are differences between that and the 2019 Battetech PC game.
If you want to give people a reason to be interested in what you're doing, explain the difference between what you're trying to do and that sort of thing.

   
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Steelcity

You can't really have an authentic table top experience without the tabletop and in person social experience. If you remove the social aspect from GW games all you have left are very poor rule designs. Also, the rules are so imprecise that it would take forever online or require a computer to calculate which removes the "fun" of rules such as true line of sight!

The only GW games which work well online are the ones the rules team hasn't touched in 20 years (and are thus still well written) such as blood bowl, gothic and epic.

Of course, some people hate the hobby aspect and hate social experiences but then I feel like it's the wrong game for them.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/04 18:49:51


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No, don't want to play a computer game. Want the physical aspect of a tabletop game including painted models I own forever, nicely built terrain and an evening with friends and booze
   
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hawkeye117 wrote:
So would anybody out there be interested in an authentic tabletop skirmish game experience played on your computer? .

How does it handle the painting, and displaying the miniatures in between games?



You don't get an 'authentic tabletop skirmish game experience' on a computer, because the miniatures are an intrinsic part of that experience. At best you get something that is a top-down, turn-based strategy game. At worst you get something that combines the worst aspects of both platforms to try to be something that it really doesn't need to be.
   
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hawkeye117 wrote:
So would anybody out there be interested in an authentic tabletop skirmish game experience played on your computer?

I've been working with a team who are building something along these lines, and I was curious if others like me have been looking for something that can really scratch the itch of playing a tabletop game, but can be played quickly and easily on your PC.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
I realize it may help to see what they're working on. You can get an idea here: http://www.virtualminiatures.com You can even download the rules they're working with.
I believe what you are describing already exists, a lot, in many formats, both specific to games and general.

Any of the 40k turn based RPG video games, Tabletop Simulator and others like it, any number of other turn-based 'close to miniature wargames' strategy/tactics video games.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

I have to agree with the others that you've got to work out what you're trying to actually make and how it might be an actual product. Right now you've got a very basic concept "board game on the PC" which has a clear answer in a "turn based strategy game"

Now you can add various things that can give you a unique identity and some elements which are on the tabletop can translate into such a game, for example:
a) Building armies from points before the game - loads of games do this already though if you want examples Warhammer Total War and Mark of Chaos do this

b) Unique paint schemes - can be done though it will likely be like Dawn of War and thus more a unique colour scheme (areas predefined for each model)

c) Terrain setup - actually rarer in a pre-game but often included in a map-maker (often good to produce for your own use for production of the games core content)

d) Turn based action - yep very widely done, the only thing you have to consider are things such as time limits and the flow of the game to ensure its not abused. However this area can vary somewhat. Some games, like Dominions series games, have play by email features where turns could take days; through to the far more common games like Age of Wonders which not only feature alternating time limited turns but also live turns where both players act at the same (or near same) time

e) Communication between players - options for microphone and text communication between the players. Can enhance the experience, but also needs filters and blocks and disabling options as can also be a source of abuse.

That's just a few random ideas; but in general what you're making is a turnbased strategy game, of which there are many on the market. The only way I think you can really tie it to the real world is to base it on an existing tabletop IP such as Warmachine, Warhammer, Infinity etc... Though of course any such situation would come with a lot of paperwork and legal to ensure it was properly arranged and the companies might not even give you permission even if you've a good case (though GW at present seem quite free with their digital licences and have actually given their licence to quite a few small time companies).


In my personal experience digital games that try too hard to be just like the physical real game often turn out rather boring and clunky. They can also seem rather annoying such as having you simulate rolling dice; its fun the first time then it gets to being a drag, esp because you've never the option to roll them physically. Never overlook the physical interaction aspects which can enhance otherwise mundane activities within a game .

 Kirasu wrote:

The only GW games which work well online are the ones the rules team hasn't touched in 20 years (and are thus still well written) such as blood bowl, gothic and epic.


Except I don't think GW has many games that actually run on anything near their original rules. Battlefleet Gothic, for example might take some reference from the original rules, but the game is utterly different in the PC environment. For one thing its real time not turn based. Space Hulk games might get closer, but even they have live-action versions of the game now. You have to go all the way back to classics like Final Liberation for games which try to emulate the rules of the game more strictly. Though Armageddon gets closer, but is a bit clunky and mostly uses the rules and engine from Panzer Tactics.

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I've gotta say no thanks. The tabletop simulators out there already exist and are pretty poor. I play Tabletop games solely in order to get away from the computer (hell I don't even pull out my phone unless I'm taking pics). It's escaping from tech for 2-4 hours...and that's why I do it.

If you're looking for turn based wargames, there are dozens and dozens of them on Steam - don't see why I'd take the restrictions of a table top game and apply them to a computer game and vice versa.

 
   
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Thanks to everyone that has responded to far. I have to say your insight has been really interesting.

Like many of you I love the fact that tabletop gaming is a truly social experience (and i mean social - interacting with people face to face). I also love the spectacle that is a tabletop game. Fantastic miniatures, personalized with truly spectacular paint work. A digital alternative will never replace that.

Solkan is absolutely correct in saying that virtualminiatures needs to do more to convey how their attempt to bridge the gap between a video-game and the tabletop is different to what already exists. Overread has made some really interesting remarks so again thank you all so much.

I will say this was first described to me as an app that acts like a window to a tabletop game. I know that just sounds like a throw away statement, but it's what drew my interest in the first place. I like the idea that the computer is just a facilitator for me to be able to play a tabletop skirmish game. Yes I agree it's not the same as throwing dice with mates, but if it could get me a little closer than anything available now, that's a start. I love the idea of being able to game a little more.

The guys at Virtual Miniatures are very interested to hear from anyone who has thoughts of how a digital miniatures game could work. So please keep the conversation going here, or drop them an email at ideas@virtualminiatures.com.
   
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UK

I can't remember the name, but there's a cheap freeware 2D game that lets you play tabletop games on the computer already. It was really popular with Warmachine crowd (not so with Warhammer because GW wouldn't allow a licence).

Hopefully someone can pitch in with its name. That game certainly would form a 2D base line for what you're aiming to create.




That said its main appeal was allowing the play of a real world tabletop game on a computer environment. Overcoming distance issues between online friends. It was also free which helps such programs gain popularity.
It was also used to test combos and ideas in freeplay approaches. Giving players an idea of practicalities of certain tactics and combos.

A core part of its popularity wasn't so much being its own thing, but being a supporting product. I think that if the developer team makes their own "tabletop game" the focus then it won't work well. It will be too simple and too "tabletop" like for those who want a turn based strategy game on pc; whilst those who are tabletop fans first won't see the point in it because it won't be the game they play on table already.



So I think if the intent is to make it tabletop then you've got to consider getting a big name or three to let you use their material. Games Workshop is the big name, but I don't think they'd let you honestly, but it wouldn't harm in approaching.
Privateer Press might allow it, but then again if this is commercial software that might change things over the freeware one noted above.

Though there are other companies out there,



Honestly I think the ideas should be coming form the team who has the concept; what are they hoping to make; what are they wanting to make; what is the vision they are working with in more detail.

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Belgium

There are already softwares and apps allowing us to play an online game with existing tabletop rules. Hell, we even had the Blood Bowl experience with Cyanide studio : it's the exact same set of rules from the tabletop game. There were the same arguments : no need to paint the miniatures, no need to settle the board, no need to roll dice, easier to find players online around the whole world, playtime is optimized, and so on.

Still, the experience isn't the same. Most importantly, PC doesn't handle the random results of dice the same - there were bugs, some quite lasting with the game like giving the same results when you used a reroll, player behavior online isn't the same as well, and so on. There is a good reason people keep playing the tabletop game rather than just play Blood Bowl 2 on Steam. Actually, there are more than one, one of the most important is : what happens when the game isn't supported online anymore by the game editor ? Fact is, when it goes online, players lose all control on the game - it's all in the hands of the people editing it. At least with tabletop games, you still have the miniatures and all the game material at hand. You can play it litterally years later. Online video games if the servers are out ? No way.

That, and online games usually mean microtransactions - ah, sorry, I meant "player recurring investment".

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/05 00:05:24


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I'd love a computer version of just about tabletop miniature game, especially one where I could play against the computer.

These guys will be competing against the likes of already existing Tabletop Simulator, which lets you handle the likes of 40K, Kill Team, Bolt Action, X-Wing and a host of other games. Some advantages Tabletop Simulator has: you don't have to buy, paint and assemble the minis - especially nice in the fact, for example, if you want a game with 10 Baneblades, you only need one "model" and can copy/paste it 10 times. Also, it's is possible (though not often done) to animate the models, so for example if you select a squad to shoot an enemy you could have them run an animation that looks like they start shooting at the enemy (same sort of thing for melee).

If they could license official game support and make it more user friendly than Tabletop Simulator, I'd be willing to give it a shot.

There's also Vassal, a slightly older, top-down tabletop emulator. Graphics aren't so great and it isn't very user friendly (and you still need your books sitting next to you, like Tabletop Simulator).

If these guys can one-up the above two, I think they've got a shot.


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 Overread wrote:
I can't remember the name, but there's a cheap freeware 2D game that lets you play tabletop games on the computer already. It was really popular with Warmachine crowd (not so with Warhammer because GW wouldn't allow a licence).


Is Vassal still around? Back when I lived far from any gaming community, that's what I used.

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Yes, I'm very interested! Warhammer Underworkds is doing this, too. It really lends itself to hex based games, which I see in the teaser image on your site. Will definitely be following this!

Also remember your audience is far greater than the tabletop gamer market. You want to get them, but you Really want the broader market, too... so just something to keep in mind as you get feedback from "hardcore" tabletop gamers on here

I think a key thing to design for is, as you said in your opening post, it needs to be playable "quickly and easily on your PC". Vassal and Tabletop Simulator do not scratch this itch for me. They're saddled with rules that are intended for tabletop use (like measuring), and don't take advantage of the digital format.

Very much looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2019/06/05 15:03:11


 
   
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Thanks again to everyone who has posted on this thread, the feedback has been very interesting.

Virtual Miniatures have now created a development blog to report their progress. The first post outlines the overall vision for the project. Please check it out and feel free to leave feedback - https://blog.virtualminiatures.com
   
 
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