Thursday, July 18, 2013

One of my reasons...

...for giving up online HackMaster a few years ago was I thought it was really impersonal. It was more about getting the computers to work than the game. And sometimes I feel like the internet is an intrusion instead of a tool. I look for ways to get away from it because I'm suspicious of anything that takes up too much of life. It's too easy to get into the fake life and forget the real one. I missed the kind of interaction that happens at an actual table. 

It's great to want to be at the table all the time, but not realistic. Time to rethink the virtual table top.

What changed for me was Google created Hangouts and Jolly started a campaign using Roll20. There is a long thread about Roll20 on the Kenzer forums. I read the conversation and figured I'd need a lot of time to figure out a new program for running HackMaster online. My experience with previous virtual table tops was hit and miss. Setting up the game and getting everything connected took more time than the game. It felt like someone was always getting kicked out of the game because of a poor internet connection, a slow computer, or problems with a browser. And no one could ever hear me. 

Roll20 was easy. I skipped my Tuesday night Toastmasters meeting assuming it would take a while to set up Wednesday's adventure and was surprised to have it worked out in about an hour. And yes, everything was still there when I signed in again to start the actual game. ;)

The difference was Roll20 was supportive of what I wanted to do while the other programs I tried seemed to need a lot of work first. I'm just not interested in needing to do a lot of computer stuff to get to my game. And I know that "computer stuff" is a lot of fun for some people, just not for me. It was awesome getting to launch the game in a Hangout and go right to it. Not too unlike sitting around the table at home.