Flip The Board: Tabletop Simulator Adds Vive Support

Imagine playing a boardgame that actually allows you to reach toward the cardboard and plastic with your hands, or a virtual representation thereof. Imagine being able to pick up the pieces and move them around. Imagine being able to lob a chit at your opponent. All of that is now (sort of) possible thanks to Tabletop Simulator’s [official site] VR support. Currently in beta, the Vive implementation received a beefy update in yesterday’s patch, and full details along with a trailer are below.

While recent updates have focused on VR, the devs will still be working on improvements and additions to the non-VR aspects of the software. Indeed, the latest DLC has just arrived in the form of board-building 2-5 player clan management game, Simurgh.

On the VR front, here’s the latest changelist. Includes new shrinking abilities so you can play boardgames while roleplaying as Antman.

VR players are now semi-transparent to regular players.
Tooltips added when hovering over an object just like in the base game.
Sharper image and texture quality thanks to 1.25 resolution scale.
You can control this resolution scale using /vrresscale # in the game tab. (Be careful with this setting)
Updated the tutorial to support VR and added VR specific steps for the transform gizmo (scale, rotate, floor).
Make sure to play through the tutorial to learn all of the controls.
Lowered the big screen UI to reduce neck strain.
You can now shrink much smaller using the transform gizmo.
VR tool support for pixel paint, zones, line, flick, and joint (More coming).
You can now interact with 3d UI elements like scripts buttons or counters.
Improved performance due to a smaller resolution on the spectator view.
Fixed objects getting stuck picking up for a hand.
Fixed being unable to pick up layered cards like in solitaire.
Fixed voice chat not turning off if toggle voice was enabled in the configuration menu.
Fixed tooltips appearing when hovering over with the your regular mouse.

When I think of the games that seem like a natural fit for VR, my mind tends to drift toward the truck and flight simulators. Tabletops are a fine thing to wave a virtual hand toward as well though and this is a very welcome addition to the Vive catalogue.

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11 Comments

  1. Boomerang says:

    Call me old fashioned, but if I’m gonna play a board game, I’ll play a damn board game.

    • PseudoKnight says:

      I have a hard time finding people locally that would play board games I’d like to try. I’m certainly not going to buy an expensive VR headset any time this decade, but I can see the appeal of this. I already have Tabletop Simulator, in part because my friend made a game with it, which sounds fun.

    • GHudston says:

      My regular group has splintered across the country and some of my other friends aren’t even in the UK. TTS let’s us continue to play together.

    • ryryryan says:

      Don’t think you quite get the point of TTS.

      Anyone would choose to play the physical thing over this, but that isn’t always practical. I always wanted to play Dominion but never bought it because I don’t think it would interest my girlfriend/friends.

      Played it on Vive the other night in TTS and it was ace, very enjoyable.

      Also you can make yourself the size of a boardgame piece which could be awesome in something like zombicide.

  2. Veles says:

    I like how it degenerated into just throwing stuff at each other

    • annoyingpotato says:

      Well, that sounds real enough for me. Isn’t that how you play tabletop games?

  3. MajorLag says:

    Back in my day, Tabletop Simulator was called VASSAL, Wil Wheaton was the annoying kid on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and gas was under a dollar a gallon. UNDER A DOLLAR!

  4. n0m0n says:

    “Imagine playing a boardgame that actually allows you to reach toward the cardboard and plastic with your hands[…] Imagine being able to pick up the pieces and move them around. Imagine being able to lob a chit at your opponent.”

    Really? I mean, I do this all the time while playing actual boardgames…

    Either way, I would much rather play a virtual board game in AR than VR, so hopefully it won’t be too hard to port this to the HoloLens (as long as I can actually afford one upon release). I have plenty of friends scattered around the world who I try to play a game with any time I find myself over seas, though that usually ends up being less than once a year. I’m mostly interested in the (future) social capabilities of AR/VR hangouts, though I expect it will still take a decade or so before anything near what I am looking for.

  5. Detocroix says:

    Oh how I wish I could afford Vive (and that my old boardgame friends did too). That’s so brilliant! I really miss the old boardgame sessions we used to have when everyone still lived at the same city… :(

    • Author X says:

      You can still play Tabletop Sim without it! I do with my friends when we all have a block of free time together (which is still rare, admittedly). In fact, one does have a Vive and played with the rest of us – at least until the VR jiggery introduced too much lag and he couldn’t interact with anything, and he had to quit and rejoin with a regular old 2D screen interface.

  6. zbeeblebrox says:

    “Imagine playing a boardgame that actually allows you to reach toward the cardboard and plastic with your hands”

    This statement reminds me of Don Hertzfelt’s “3D” Animation Show interstitials. One of the character is physically standing in front of the other in 3D glasses, waving his arms, saying “IT’S LIKE I’M REALLY TOUCHING YOU!”