Tabletop Simulator Launches In June (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Tabletop Simulator [official site] and all its boardgame-replication and physics-enabled table-flipping will leave Early Access on June 5th. The switch to a full release might not mean much since updates will continue, but it will also see the price increase and herald the addition of the first DLC, an officially-licensed digital recreation of the card game Superfight.

Superfight is a card game in which two players assemble characters with powers by drawing cards, argue over who would win in a fight, and then put the outcome to a vote of the other players. It’s produced by Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment, the creators of The Walking Dead. It coming to Tabletop Simulator as DLC is the first instance of a boardgame being added in officially licensed form, though there are already dozens of unofficial recreations available through the game’s Steam Workshop. We collected some of the best Tabletop Simulator mods a few weeks ago, but one has to imagine there’s more official translations on the way.

TTS leaving Early Access and the DLC train starting to roll doesn’t mean that free updates to the main game are coming to an end. The announcement mentions more features to come, such as “VR support, Space Theme Pack, Mobile version, and additional features & fixes.”

When the game is released on June 5th, the current price of $15/£11 will increase to $20/£15, while the Superfight DLC also available on that day will cost $10/£7.

Here’s the most recent trailer:

31 Comments

  1. karnak says:

    It would be great if they could acquire the official licenses for some famous board and CCG games and convert them to the game engine as DLCs.

  2. stonetoes says:

    After the last article someone asked if there was a Necromunda module. Does anyone know if there is, or even if it’s possible to have 3D terrain, line of sight, or all the other things you would need?

  3. Orija says:

    Wow, this looks really promising. Does anyone who has played have any opinions to share?

    • Runty McTall says:

      I got this for me and my brother. It’s sufficiently exciting that I immediately downloaded like 30 modules from the Steam Workshop and then downloaded Blender and started working on my own module (Man O’war – progress exceedingly minimal).

      It’s all a bit fiddly though. For example, I’m not sure why they didn’t lock unselected items by default – I expect that they are very chuffed about their physics simulation but most of the time you don’t want the piece that you are moving to scatter everything all over the place. You can run back time, but still. Also, setting up something like Survive! (great, great boardgame by the way) is a hassle as you need to tesselate like 40 hexagonic tiles to build the island in the first place.

      Probably the best thing would be to read the previous RPS article, linked above. It does a good job running through the experience of setting up various games.

      Just gonna throw this out there as something for the future – VR or AR Necromunda (not necessarily in TTS, just generally). Can’t decide which one is more exciting really – VR gives you more flexibility but overlaying line of sight, range and animations on your own models and scenery… Frickin awesome!

      • Mora says:

        Just wanted to point out that turning on the “Semi-lock” feature in host settings will lock items that aren’t currently being selected/moved and prevent pieces from being knocked around.

    • Kohlrabi says:

      It’s the exact opposite of what you’d want from a board gaming implementation on PC. All the manual fiddling with tokens and cards, without any convenience or programmable automation.

      • Runty McTall says:

        To be fair, the name is quite explicit – they call it a tabletop simulator and it is. You do most of the physical moving around and have to enforce the rules yourselves.

        This makes it fiddly but immensely flexible.

        It does handle things like shuffling, concealed areas that other players can’t see, the ability to rerun time if you make a mistake, copy/paste and of course network play. Plus there are literally thousands of addons in the Steam Workshop (some of which you have to imagine are living on borrowed time, legally speaking).

        • Kohlrabi says:

          I don’t see any benefit of this over using Vassal (link to vassalengine.org) for boardgaming, or OCTGN (link to octgn.net) for card gaming. Except for the “immersion” aspect of having three-dimensional tokens. This might be great with Occulus Rift, though.

          • Baines says:

            Immersion matters.

            Else there wouldn’t be a reason to make board games with more expensive plastic pieces that are shaped like tanks, zombies, space ships, and the like. Every game could instead just use generic painted cubes and cardboard chits. You wouldn’t need themes, either.

            Those things matter. Sure, you could play a game of Star Wars Epic Duels with cardboard counters for the characters and black & white text-only cards. You don’t technically need fancy figures and the cards don’t technically need pictures from the films. The game is technically just as good without those elements, but it isn’t quite as engaging.

  4. aircool says:

    A build your own ruleset would be nice.

  5. Bishop149 says:

    I predict that almost 98% of games played in this manner will go the way of the chess game in the first 30s or so of the demo, along a similar timescale.
    All pretense of actually playing a game abandoned to chaos and dickwaddery.

  6. Saarlaender39 says:

    Couldn’t see the benefit of this, when it was first announced – can’t see it now.

    This always reminds me of this other thing: “QWOP”.
    Or maybe “Octodad”.

    I wouldn’t want to play board games with both of my arms under anaesthetic influence – and this looks exactly like I imagine such a game would work out.

    • Baines says:

      The popular benefits of Tabletop Simulator are online play and board game availability/piracy.

      Steam Workshop has over 3,000 items for Tabletop Simulator, including many unofficial/unlicensed recreations of commercial board games, both in and out of print.

      Those Tabletop Simulator recreations might lack the convenience features of a dedicated PC port, but the Tabletop Simulator versions are also free. You could, if you want, also play different versions of a game, which dedicated PC ports don’t allow. Of course, the vast majority of board games have no official PC incarnation at all.

      Even if you aren’t into the piracy factor, and only want to play board games that you own, many physical board games aren’t mechanically suited for play through services like Skype. Tabletop Simulator gives an alternative, one that allows both shared components (such as everyone drawing from the same deck) and hidden information at the same time.

    • grimdanfango says:

      You haven’t tried it though. It may *look* that way to you, but it’s absolutely not the case. This isn’t a joke game, it’s an incredibly solid feeling physical environment, with some very useful features.

      Drag a block around dice, click-hold to pick them up… shake your mouse to shake them, move and release to throw… it feels fantastic when you try it, really satisfying. The physics are balanced perfectly, you rarely have dice roll anywhere you didn’t want them to, everything has just the right amount of bounce and friction.

      Throwing poker chips into the middle of a table feels just as satisfying. You have the added benefit that when you win a hand and rake in your pile of chips (dragging a simple block over them), that you can just hit G and it’ll automatically sort the chips back into stacks for you.

      You can set up a board game once, and just save it as a starting bookmark, compared to reality where you have to spend half an hour on setup every time you get a game out of a box. Another plus :-)

      It’s easy to look at this game and write it off as a pointless novelty, but I’ve tried it, and sitting down with my headset on, chatting away to a friend 200 miles away as we roll dice and deal cards and place tokens on a solid feeling board, discussing the details of the rules (looking things up in .pdf files on communally-viewable ingame tablets with a fully working browser)… it’s already been some of the most relaxed and enjoyable multiplayer gaming I’ve experienced!

      Seriously, if you have any real interest in board-gaming as a hobby, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

    • Mora says:

      It controls nothing like those games or other joke “simulator” games.

      I can manipulate pieces just as efficiently as I can with the physical counterpart, sometimes more so.

  7. Eleven says:

    They’ve promised Oculus Rift and CastAR support for the full version, which would be kind of perfect for this concept.

  8. nim.was.taken says:

    This is almost certainly one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. The problem with tabletop gaming, be it board games or rpgs or ccgs, is that in order to play them you need to live near other people who want to play them.

    TTS allows you to overcome this hurdle nicely. The community is actively creating mods, but you’re going to have a hard time finding people to play with through the server browser; PUGs be pretty lame in this game. Your best bet is to try out a steam group like “Tabletop Simulator Club” to try and find people who are actually passionate about the hobby and not just big idiots.

    Nim

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      Harlander says:

      Quite so. Being able to play boardgames with family and friends without having to go to wherever the hell they are now is worth somehow being made even more clumsy than I am in real life.

      At least you can’t spill your drink on the board in TTS

  9. Flavour Beans says:

    Of course, the biggest problem with this game is if/when game publishers are going to come around with takedown notices. The biggest thing it has going for it is the rapidly expanding collection of real-life boardgames. But if even just Fantasy Flight came around and asked for their stuff to be taken down, it’d blow a hole in the side of this.

    • grimdanfango says:

      They’re going to have a real battle on their hands, as “mods” aren’t mods in the traditional sense in this game. At their most basic, they’re essentially just save games that people share, and all the textures (ie, the copyrighted elements) are streamed in from links to images hosted anywhere on the internet. Takedowns would need to trawl around each and every free-image-hosting service. It will ultimately just mean that Steam Workshop won’t be the go-to place to get mods that include copyrighted content, it’ll just end up moving off to some other source that won’t be as big a target for takedowns.

      It would certainly be great to see board game publishers actually embrace this fantastic new platform and release their own, reasonably priced DLCs, rather than resort to battling against it. Ultimately I think that battle would end up being somewhat futile anyway. They could waste a ton of money on lawyers, only for the textures to spring up in 10 other places the very next day.

      • Nixitur says:

        Really, the images themselves aren’t even in the mod? So, if I install somebody’s mod, the game silently downloads images from random servers all over the internet?
        That sounds… pretty unreliable. But I guess it makes the legal situation a bit simpler for the mod makers.

        Of course, that probably won’t matter. If Fantasy Flight confronts a penniless mod creator and says “You better take that down.”, do you really think any of them are going to go to court over that? In fact, the mod makers even using the titles of the games is very likely to be a problem.

    • Traxellus says:

      That’s why every game I’ve made for TTS has been discontinued, like my Doom: The Boardgame mod from FFG featured in the pic in this article. It’s the people making thestuff like the X-Wing Minis game that have me worried FFG might bring down the hammer.

  10. squirrelrampage says:

    Please respect tables
    ┬─┬ノ(ಠ_ಠノ)

  11. GameCat says:

    360 no hands table flip ban this sick filth

  12. RLacey says:

    Bought it on sale, expecting it not to work as well as I’d hope.

    Instead I found myself ordering all my friends to buy it. This is a spectacularly good piece of software.

  13. Traxellus says:

    Thanks for featuring my Doom: BG mod in another article. It has been updated since this screenshot though. For example, the map tiles are actually 3d models now.