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Tabletop Simulator vs. Tabletopia for playtesting

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harmon89
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Has anyone here had any experience with either of these two? Which is more conducive to game design in your opinion? It seems that Tabletopia could be a great way to get a lot of playtesters since they can play the game for free, but it seems that Tabletop Simulator is a little more developed at this point.

Arcuate
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I'd like to see them compared

I use Tabletop Simulator, and have no complaints. It is easy to set up a prototype, allows limited scripting for automated setup of individual games,and there are several designers already using it for playtesting. For playing existing published games, there seems to be a huge array of games out there that are essentially free, once you have TTS.

I have heard some say Tabletopia has a nicer interface, but is possibly harder to port games to. Don't know if that's true.

If you want to share playtesting efforts, you could join a group we have set up on Slack (the team messaging app).

ElKobold
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I`m using Tabletopia. Works

I`m using Tabletopia. Works great for testing.
Admittedly it takes some time to make a prototype.
But in the end, it will save you a lot of time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uaEMbmDiK4

I don't believe it's vastly different from TTS though.

Arcuate
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Looks fairly similar...

Here's a youtube vid I made of my game, for comparison. It was not focussed on the TTS aspects directly, but could give the OP an idea.

https://youtu.be/RrLiZLibHs8

It took about a week of evenings to create the mod.

Scripting took another week, because the scripting interface was in beta stage. But most people should not need scripting.

whiletruefork
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tabletop simulator

I have found bashing out prototypes for tabletop simulator to be very nearly as fast (if not faster) than paper prototyping. That said I've mostly been doing relatively simple board concepts with mostly abstract pieces/etc.

You can periodically get 4 packs on 50% sale if you look around. I bought three bundles and distributed them to friends for first tier playtesting support.

Hook
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TT TTS

I only briefly tested TT simulator but I did not like the UI (maybe it has changed since I used it). The ui and feel is much nicer in Table Topia. One major difference is the physics engine. TTS you could make dexterity games which is not possible in the same way on TT.

harmon89
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Thanks for the feedback one

Thanks for the feedback one and all. :)

larienna
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Thanks for the video

Thanks for the video tutorial, I'll take a look at them for R&D purpose when it will be time to implement board game aspects into my game engine.

Squinshee
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Great timing, since I was

Great timing, since I was going to create a thread in a similar vein. Since I have no programming skillz, are either of these accessible enough for me to create prototypes in? I'm struggling to find people to play my games, so maybe one of these would help with that.

whiletruefork
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Programming Requirements

Tabletop Simulator has essentially no programming requirements. It's a physics sandbox and all rules enforcement is meant to be left to the players (as in a real board game). So to that end if you are playtesting for rule comprehension, the inability to program in mechanics is almost a feature, since in real life the players will not necessarily have the aid of automatic gamekeepers.

ElKobold
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Same goes for Tabletopia. You

Same goes for Tabletopia.

You pick available object types and upload images if you don't like the default look.

Then you drag-n-drop those objects and click publish. That's it, pretty much.

Arcuate
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Squinshee, TTS is fairly easy

Squinshee,

TTS is fairly easy to prototype with, and I assume Tabletopia is similar. No programming needed.

TTS is turning out to be my primary means of getting feedback on my game, though I am planning to get a physical playtest soon.

So what sort of games are you developing?

Over_Thinker
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New to board game design in

New to board game design in general. I have a physical prototype, but would love to make it digital and play test with others. I looked up Tabletopia and Tabletop simulator. Tabletopia has a subscription cost. I've never looked into steam, but it looks like a one time cost. Is that right, or did I miss something?

Squinshee
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@Arcuate, I have a two-player

@Arcuate,

I have a two-player card game that's definitely the furthest along development wise right now. You can read about it here (although this version is a little dated at the moment):

http://www.bgdf.com/forum/game-creation/new-game-ideas/crystal-clash-des...

Turns are simultaneous; there are two phases, each where you pick one option alongside your opponent, then reveal your choices. Further options develop depending on the outcomes, but it's relatively straightforward (I like to think...).

How are you getting people to playtest your prototypes on TTS? Friends of yours? BGDF peeps? I'd be interested in doing a kind of monthly Skype call where we playtest some games. Who doesn't like some good ol' feedback?

Arcuate
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Joined: 02/05/2016
Two main ways to playtest on TTS

Hi Squinshee,

I am part of a Slack group that consists of designers who use TTS. There are about a dozen members, but many are quiet. About five of us post regularly about our design progress, read each other's rules, and meet on TTS to playtest. If you are interested I can send you a link. Like most things, you'll get more out of it if you offer to help the other guys out... I think a few joined wanting help but they were not prepared to give it, so they went quiet.

I'm also part of the Red Dice TTS community, which has a Discord channel set up like a pub, with audio, and there are games on all the time. The games include scheduled vents on a calendar, as well as spontaneously announced games in the "pub". The vast majority of the folks are not designers, just people who love games. Mostly they will want to play tried and tested games but I have had a couple of teaching sessions where non-designers dropped in, learned my game, and now want to play a proper session. I have the added difficulty that my game is a 3-hour epic with long rules, so I need to teach in one session, play in the next, and just remain patient. If your game is quicker you will find it much easier.

Link here:
http://thereddice.enjin.com/forum

I will have a look at your card game in a little while. I have a busy Saturday planned with two soccer games to watch and then unfortunately I have to go to work as I am on-call. Probably won't look at it till Sunday.

Glide5
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Table Top Simulator User

Hey, I can say that Tabletop simulator is very easy to use, but can be a bit cumbersome if you have to upload a lot of custom tiles and pieces. If you spend the time, you can knock out a rough prototype in a few hours.

For example, my game involves 10 characters with skill decks and other cards, custom tiles, treasures, ect ranging about 300 pieces that had to be uploaded in decks. It may not look elegant in TTS, but it is very functional. You may have to find some work arounds though.

Also, for the user on here who was talking about having a play testing group, I'd love to get a hold of you about that. I know I need to start getting other opinions on this game soon, and that would be a good place to start. If you read this, send me a PM. Thanks.

Hook
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TTS TT

I have not made a game in Tabletop simulator.. mainly because the UI and workflow sucks imo.. but it seems like a lot of people say it is easy so it might just bet me. TableTopia has a wonderful special developed workshop area for creating and reusing you pieces. There are some bad stuff there as well - like all objects are created and organized via a web interface. I like the look on the games better in Tabletopia. There is no options for programming in Tabletopia .. and as far as I know you can make special LUA scripts in TTS.

Tabletop Simulator has a lager userbase and would therefore maybe be easier to find players - but I think that TableTopia will win the gamers in the long run, because of a better experience.

My minigame Moogh has been set up on Tabletopia here
https://beta.tabletopia.com/playground/play/moogh-4vvf7j

and on Tabletop simulator (not by be) here:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=687004042

If you want to compare the end result ...

If you make a game in the browser for tabletopia you need to leave the seat in the browser before joining it in Steam - if you wish to do so. It runs better in steam - but otherwise use firefox or safari. (since it need unity plugin to run) BTW. TTS does not run in the browser..

Arcuate
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The interface in TTS

The interface in TTS is often clunky, but poses no major issues once you know your way around. I have not tried Tabletopia to compare.

The scripting in Lua is a major difference. For people who think they might want a bit of automation, that would be reason enough to choose TTS. The Lua scripting was extremely awkward when I used it, in beta mode, but they were working hard on improvements. It is a long way off being good enough to do a decent AI, but for automated token counting, dealing, and so on, it is fine.

Squinshee
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I've just started doing

I've just started doing playtests in TSS and after a brief learning curve I'm incredibly pleased with its functionality. Granted my game is a fairly simple two-player card game, I think I actually prefer playing on there than on a real table! The physics is the only thing that irritates.

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