Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A person present at the table who is not there.

Last night's test run of my Mice in Mech Suit mech combat rules also marked the test run of a sort of play by video conference experiment that will start for real during next week's Mutant Future session.  One of the players has not been able to attend since we switched the game day from Friday to Sunday, as he has a weekly baby sitting gig.  The host for our weekly session has a Playstation 3 with something called the Playstation Eye and so does his brother Jake (the player who has not been able to attend), and last night they set up a television in the corner of the room behind me that displayed Jake and he watched what was going on in the game on a television on his end.  I am going to send Jake a link to a secure dice server and we are going to try having him participate in a session remotely.

I wonder how common this is - I know that a lot of people game remotely, but how many people combine a live table full of people and a remote person?  The Playstation Eye does not have that great of resolution - here is a screen capture from last nights session when we all stuck our heads in the frame to get a group portrait:

I think the audio is going to be the biggest problem, as Jake will have to both be able to hear what is going on around the table and be able to be heard in turn.  During combat it will be easy, as when it is his turn in the initiative order all eyes will turn to him.  When the group is discussing stuff outside of combat it might be a challenge; I did notice that during the general hubbub and commotion of the group talking, he got lost in the shuffle pretty easily.  Still, it is worth a shot and I will post an update on how this went after we try it out for real.


  1. I wish you folks all the best with this. :)

  2. My group did this when two of our players moved to Arizona.

    They do get lost in the shuffle. And someone has to wrangle the laptop, which means you lose some of that player's participation.

    As a short-term thing it may be worthwhile, but I wouldn't do it for more than a half dozen sessions.

  3. We did it - Worked better than I thought it would. Having a big Hi-Def TV and a nice sound system for the video and audio definitely helped.


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