Tabletop Simulator Makes Me So Happy

By Craig Pearson on February 17th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

God, I adorrrrrrre chess.

As the world’s pre-eminent tables-in-games journalist, Tabletop Simulator pleases me. It’s a game of games, full of things like chess, backgammon, and a deck of cards. The neat twist is that it places these classic games in a physics sandbox, so you can pluck up the pieces and place them calmly and gently on the board, or you can be a little bit more creative and use the physics to whack them away and hope that your multiplayer friends don’t get in a huff. And if they do, well Tabletop Simulator also enables you to create your own board games to share, so Chess Royale 3000 could be a totally legitimate thing

I like it when someone takes a very simple thing that exists in the real-world–tipping over chess pieces–and lets me do it online. Why do I like that? I’ve no idea, but it probably has something to do with the way my brother and I would play chess as children: it involved a long hallway and some marbles and my mum getting angry at me. Well she can’t get angry at me if I do it in the virtual world, can she?

Just watch the trailer: it is a lovely wee thing and I completely approve of it.

They are on Greenlight, and they have a Kickstarter ticking along as well. The stretch goals on the Kickstarter include adding an RPG kit. That could be wonderful.

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63 Comments »

Top comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I see two major problems here: First, there seems to be no way to grab the board and fling it through the room. Second, it apparently doesn’t include the bodies of the players, so that it is not possible to throw game pieces at an opponent.

  2. Knil says:

    Hey there guys I’m the lead developer on this game. First off thank you so much RPS for doing on an article on us we really appreciate! Feels surreal to see my own game on my favorite gaming website!

    If you guys have any questions about the game feel free to ask away :)

  1. Spacewalk says:

    Oh boy, I can recreate the game that I thought up when I was twelves where one player has to build castles out of cards but the other player has an army of chess pieces that they use to destroy those castles.

    • Premium User Badge

      bills6693 says:

      When I was little I think my parents were very pleased that I could entertain myself with ‘Bottlecap wars’ in which various bottlecaps represented different kinds of soldiers. All I needed was the bottlecaps my parents collected for me to use and any surface at all (terrain, you see :P)

      Looking back its rather amusing how much I could get out of little pieces of coloured/patterned/decorated metal that would generally just be rubbish. If I could somehow recreate…

    • Ionsoment says:

      my best friend’s sister-in-law makes $86 hourly on the internet . She has been fired for ten months but last month her income was $19994 just working on the internet for a few hours. look at more info….

      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://WWW.JOBS84.COM

  2. Premium User Badge

    Luringen says:

    So, it’s like Wolfire’s Desperate Gods?

    • Psymon says:

      I was immediately reminded of that too.
      If wolfire’s experiment revealed a market for physics based board game video games, fantastic!

    • LionsPhil says:

      Link for the lazy. I’d suggest any potential backers try it for a taste of the idea—the experience is fun, although I’d say the game itself being simulated isn’t. Mechanically not much cop. Also a few actions around deck management are a bit tedious since you’re effective having to do them with a grabber arm instead of a pair of hands.

      What bothers me about this Kickstarter is that putting your own modded stuff into the game is a stretch goal, not part of the core from the get-go. It seems so utterly essential to me that if you’re going to make a shared physical space simulator for games, people need to be able to bring items to the gaming table.

      • Knil says:

        Desperate gods was definitely an inspiration for our project. I played that a few years ago and it got me thinking about how it would just work for pretty much anything tabletop. Unfortunately, no one seemed interested in the idea, so I ran with it. I wanted to make it bigger and better, while having great admin control to control greifing.

        To address why custom content is a stretch goal:
        We already have the ability to import any picture onto a board, but during the marketing of the game – it was a very requested feature to be able to import any object. So we thought it would be a perfect stretch goal, because low amount we are asking relatively it would just get the game out the door.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    Finally!
    The Tantrum Simulator 2000 is here.
    Combine this with Surgeon Simulator so we can make our opponents feel the pain as well.

  4. Premium User Badge

    bglamb says:

    I think real physics is what computerised board games has been missing. Those wonderful moments when you accidentally knock the board and can’t remember exactly where all the pieces were. I’m so glad that I can now find the same enjoyment online.

    • TWChristine says:

      With any luck they’ll have an expansion pack where cats randomly come along and lie down on the game board, knocking everything around.

      • Premium User Badge

        bills6693 says:

        We have a large dog. No less disruptive – possibly more. We tend to only play on the dining table now as the coffee table and floor are both within his domain and who knows if the things we are playing with is food for him to eat? Not him!

        • Premium User Badge

          phuzz says:

          Yup, I used to have a chess table at just the height of our dog’s tail.
          He was pretty well trained to not eat things, but when he got excited that tail started wagging and…

          New dog has an even more waggy tail, and an overriding need to TASTE ALL THE THINGS!

      • nil says:

        That would be the crossover multiplayer mode with Catlateral Damage.

  5. BTAxis says:

    That seems really cool. I kind of like board games, but I don’t have any, nor do I have anyone to play with, so this could be a solution. Depends on what games are going to get implemented; I can see there being lots of legal issues in that area.

    • Didero says:

      I thought there was nobody around to play board games with either, but turns out there’s a board game club in this city!
      Try googling around, there may be one near you too.

      • BTAxis says:

        I live in a small community in northern Sweden. There’s nothing here.

    • TWChristine says:

      There’s this thing as well: http://www.vassalengine.org/
      Not sure how board-gamey it is though..

    • Knil says:

      Thanks BTAxis, I think you will find this perfect for what you are looking for!

    • Syphus says:

      There aren’t really too many legal issues that come up with VASSAL or OCTGN, mostly just some from FFG and Games Workshop. But in general I own the games I play on VASSAL and just have no one to play them with, and I’m not alone.

  6. Premium User Badge

    bills6693 says:

    Man, I hope they reach the $7000 stretch goal and make a fullblown RPG thing to allow you to play tabletop RPGs. I’ve actually never played a tabletop RPG (might have played with my parents when I was very young, isolated memories, but I can’t remember it). I would love to have this in a game (along with that meaning the better engine etc is all included as they are earlier stretch goals)

    I know there is roll20 which I’ve not yet tried but intend to with some friends across the pond, but man, this would be worlds different…

    • Knil says:

      We hope so too! Thank you, can’t wait to play some pathfinder on this :)

  7. Velko says:

    I’m eagerly waiting for the next installment in the series, the Tabletop Simulator Game Simulator, wherein a fully-functioning Tabletop Simulator game is running on a simulated computer, with completely simulated physics, so that I can angrily beat the virtual keyboard with my fist when yet another chess game goes wrong!

  8. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    No goat, no sale.

    • The Random One says:

      They should add a stretch goat.

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        Nice.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        0_0
        Now I have TWO favourite things of the day. I do not now know how to behave
        *flails momentarily then wedges upper body and head under sofa cushion*

  9. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I see two major problems here: First, there seems to be no way to grab the board and fling it through the room. Second, it apparently doesn’t include the bodies of the players, so that it is not possible to throw game pieces at an opponent.

    • Knil says:

      But we are going to be adding table flipping!

      • Premium User Badge

        Bluerps says:

        Ooh, nice. That’s at least as good as flinging the board.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      I am so glad you wrote this. My friend used to do that. I thought it must mean that I was such a bad person, that I alone drove this otherwise normal human being to do such a thing, by cheating at monopoly. Now I know it is normal human behaviour. Thank you, I can at last stop the nightly self-birching.

  10. jo-shadow says:

    Definitely reminds me “desperate gods”, a game jam game made by Wolfire in 2012: http://www.wolfire.com/desperate-gods

    • Knil says:

      Desperate gods was definitely an inspiration for our project, but the code work is all our own.

  11. Knil says:

    Hey there guys I’m the lead developer on this game. First off thank you so much RPS for doing on an article on us we really appreciate! Feels surreal to see my own game on my favorite gaming website!

    If you guys have any questions about the game feel free to ask away :)

    • Syphus says:

      Its nice to see that this is almost already funded. So here’s my question: When you talk about Custom Games / The RPG kit stretch goal, how custom are we talking about here? Could I make this a prettier version of VASSAL? Like, lets say I wanted to make a Talisman-like game, or a 40K-like game, or a Magic-like game?

      • Knil says:

        We want to allow importing of custom 3d assets, currently in the game you can only import a picture onto a board. The RPG stretch goal will add a bunch of great generic RPG figurines, a modular tile set for creating campaign maps, and bunch of RPG focused features. All this will work great for war gaming and with custom asset importing you can make anything game work I think.

    • LittleJP says:

      Will the ancient game as shown here http://www.feudaleffort.com/Comic182.html be included?

    • DaveFY says:

      Hey there!

      A couple of my friends and I are playing a game of Risk on the custom board. It’s really fun but we noticed that the board is too small and the pieces are too big to hold the mass number of troops we have. XD

      Are you going to implement a way to scale the board and/or the pieces in the future?

  12. Knil says:

    Thank you so much RPS you have us pushed all the way to funded! YOU GUYS ROCK!

  13. Crunchman says:

    This looks a lot like Desperate Gods, down to the dice rolling. Is this project building on top of that project at all?

    • Knil says:

      Desperate gods was definitely an inspiration for our project, but the code work is all our own.

  14. JanusForbeare says:

    Maybe it’s just the fact that this article was preceded the SoT article, but when I read the title it immediately makes me think of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_17RHGKNTY

  15. vivlo says:

    it seems to induce joy ! hurray for physicall ‘accurate’ games !

  16. Rapzid says:

    People won’t create things without copyrights and trademark.. oh wait, what’s this?

  17. shimeril says:

    Just backed this on Kickstarter. Purely for the potential of that RPG stretch goal. That could be amazing fun.

  18. damaki says:

    It could be like Vassal on steroids.
    Nice!