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Anyone know how to use Thoth?

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sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

I downloaded thoth a little while ago and just started looking at it today... Seems like it's mostly for card games.

Does anyone know how to make Thoth do things, want to give me some tips? Can it be made to represent a game board? Even if it means having 1 big card to represent the board and a few little cards to represent the pieces... seems like it could work.

- Seth

P.S. If not, is there another program that will?

IngredientX's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
Anyone know how to use Thoth?

Thoth looks like a very nice play-by-email system. Personally, I don't know if I'd have the patience.

A friend of mine just pointed me in the direction of GUB, the "Generic Universal Boardgame." The nice thing about this system is it's real-time. This means that instead of playtesting over the course of a few weeks, a bunch of us BGDFers could theoretically get together at an agreed-upon time and use the application to playtest.

What intrigues me about GUB is that it doesn't know or care about game rules. All it does is handle the board and the pieces. The players are to enforce the rules themselves. This is great for those of us who don't have the patience to code, which Thoth and VASL both seem to require.

Unfortunately, according to the top of the page, GUB seems to have problems with the current implementation of the Java Virtual Machine; so apparently there's a project called QUB that will eventually take its place. Looking at the QUB site, it seems that even "eventually" could be wishful thinking.

There are links to GUB-like programs at the bottom of the GUB page, but many of these links seem to be broken. And all those applications seem to be PBEM as well, not real-time.

GUB has no chat client, but that's no big deal. If it ever were to become a viable option, we could use other chat software, or the BGDF chat area.

Finally, I don't think GUB can handle cards; it was meant for hex-and-counter wargames.

So, it seems that my perfect online playtest system has yet to be written. It actually doesn't seem too difficult to create. Here's a rough spec...

- Ability to scan in components (board, cards, tiles, etc.)
- No need to enforce rules; the program allows players to drag-and-drop game components anywhere on the board. The players enforce the rules themselves.
- Dice roller.
- Real-time play. All players see the board, and react to plays in real-time.
- Cards. Cards scanned into the application can be "shuffled" and dealt to players. Dealt cards can be face-up on the table, or visible only to the player who received the card. In the latter case, cards can be dragged from a player's hand onto the table. The program should be able to handle several decks of cards. Tiles can be handled exactly like cards.
- Integrated chat client.
- Scoreboard.
- Preferably coded in Java, for platform-independence.

With something like this, we could actually playtest those great-sounding games in the GDW!

Anyone know how to use Thoth?

Funny you should mention it...

As we live close enought to NOT need it ;) but I've been investigating the possibility of using Flash to do this (GUB)... since it's hard for me to get to gaming groups on weekends, or, oh, I dunno, in London, I thought this type of thing would be ideal.

What I desperately need is a way, though, to have real-time card decks and dice rolls.... primarily for testing my own stuff, but also online for playtesting with others.

I downloaded Thoth last night but it was getting pretty late. Sometime over the next few days I'm going to see if this at least does the cards and dice reasonably easily for my needs... I suppose, then, there must be SOME way of getting a board back and forth in reasonably quick time.

I don't think I would want to wait an 15 minutes, or an hour, or more, for each turn.


Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Anyone know how to use Thoth?

If you want to see what Thoth can do ... you have to check out Geoman's site: ... he has card and board games nicely done-up in that engine. Also, Thoth can play in real-time, but for 2-players only.

As for VASSAL ... no programming is needed, actually, if you want to keep things simple. I did-up a module for "Castle Danger" in about an hour (but, of course, I already had graphics to use from my own computer version of that game).

I could see using either of these for prototyping (and now I have to go check out this GUB thing -- thanks, Gil! ;)) ... but somehow find their interfaces "not quite right" for exactly what it is I'd like to do with my games.


Anyone know how to use Thoth?


A tutorial on that link! Right on.

I downloaded Thoth and tried it, but am getting errors... not that the tutorial will alleviate that, but it might, and it probably won't hurt.


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