Author Topic: A way to play Inquisitor across the internet? Oh yes.  (Read 1515 times)

Offline Ynek

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A way to play Inquisitor across the internet? Oh yes.
« on: January 10, 2015, 03:15:21 AM »
Good evening, esteemed members of the Conclave.

I've been lurking in the background for a while, but I felt that it was high time I broke my year-long silence. Some of you may recall that I ran an experimental online game of Inquisitor through a skype conference a couple of years ago with members of the Conclave community to see if such things were viable. After learning that the skype conference method was a bit convoluted, I let the idea of online Inquisitor games take a back-seat in my mind.

However, this caught my eye this evening....

After playing a few games of Warhammer 40,000 with the software, I can attest that although it takes a little longer than normal to play games, this platform is ideally suited to playing tabletop games across the internet with your friends. I just finished up a game of 1,000 point WH40k, and feel confident that this platform could be used for games of Inquisitor.

There are, of course, limitations....

1) The game pieces available for the simulator predominantly favour fantasy gaming, so knights with swords and shields are common whilst space soldiers with blasters are not. This means that you have to use "proxy" models for the most part. The game does have a built-in model importer, so it shouldn't be too difficult to bring in our own work. As an amateur 3D modeller this isn't a huge problem for me... Some of my favourite characters will probably be remodelled in CG-3D form for use in this sort of gaming platform.

2) Game pieces do not stack well. This means that standing on top of buildings and so on is a little tricky. It isn't impossible, but in the limited time that my friend and I were dicking around with the software, we couldn't figure out a way to place miniatures on a surface that wasn't actually the gaming surface, or something taller than a few millimetres. This is probably more to do with our own inadequacy at working things out than anything.

3) Game flow suffers. When playing, games are slow. This is a limitation of the interface, sadly.

4) The table sizes are limited to only a few choices. Large scale games may be difficult as a result.

5) The software isn't free. At ten pounds, it's hardly breaking the bank, but still, the fact that every player needs to fork out for the software is worth mentioning.

6) Limited number of players. You can only (apparently) have up to eight players at one table in the game.

Other than that, I think it's worth looking at. I certainly had fun with it this evening, and it might help some of the more remote members of our community get a few games in here and there. ^_^

And purely to provide some semi-relevant eye candy... Here are a few pieces of my work which I intend to be using the next time I use the tabletop simulator....

Revised Hive Maiden:
Generic Soldier:

I'm hoping that nobody else has suggested the idea of holding "online" inquisitor games or tournaments... Because I'll feel like a right pillock if I've missed a conversation that's taken place and am just putting my foot in my mouth here....
"Somehow, Inquisitor, when you say 'with all due respect,' I don't think that you mean any respect at all."

"I disagree, governor. I think I am giving you all of the respect that you are due..."

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: A way to play Inquisitor across the internet? Oh yes.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2015, 04:37:42 AM »
It would be nice if it were a reality, but my previous experiences with virtual interfaces make me a little sceptical; the adjectives most immediately to mind are "slow" and "awkward".

To respond to a couple of your points specifically:

1) I think models are probably going to be the big one. I think I'd be reluctant to just throw a load of proxies at the (virtual) table, in much the same way as I wouldn't consider a character done if I were just using an unconverted Sgt Stone as a model. (Although I feel little less guilty the other way around - some of my PC models will get used as generic NPCs from time to time).

Inquisitor is all about distinct personalities and unique characters.

Although, as you say, we do have a few digital modellers around. Even I'm slowly getting into it myself, after I got addicted to modding Skyrim.
(But what I've been doing for the last week has been mostly a custom skin texture. I wanted something that felt like a more detailed/realistic version of what I'd been using, not like I'd completely changed it. Slightly NSFW WIP picture here).

6) I can only recall having been in a game with more than eight people at the same table once, and that was the finale game at the 2010 Spring 'clave.

Even the mammoth 50 model game I ran for Ancient Rites last year was only six players plus myself, and that's about as large an Inquisitor game as has ever been run. (Even then, the few bigger games I do know of were run by multiple GMs and were more parallel games).

In practice, I think the limitations of having to interact with virtual environment would make the game too slow a long time before you got to eight players. When it's come to Skype RPing, I tend to find that the upper limit is around about five players + GM, but four is generally less vocally crowded. (Particularly if I'm one of those four. I talk a lot).
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline Nymie_the_Pooh

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Re: A way to play Inquisitor across the internet? Oh yes.
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2015, 11:31:50 PM »
I've been looking at Tabletop Simulator. Thank you for sharing your experiences with it. I've had some success with other miniature games in Roll20 and have been thinking about trying Inquisitor there. There are a lot of included art assets, but you can also upload your own art. You do lose the 3D element with Roll20. You can mark a model for what level they are on or take time to right click and shift the art assets up or down, but elevation is clunky there as well. Using a token or marker for elevation level works better in my opinion than trying to shift the level the art is on. It's not as good as playing a game in person, but it is much better than playing 40K over Vassal for example. There's actually some Mordheim leagues using Roll20. It's another option if you are looking at tools to mess around with playing online.

Offline Heroka Vendile

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Re: A way to play Inquisitor across the internet? Oh yes.
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 12:41:25 AM »
As it is Mordheim has a full video game conversion under construction at the moment with (I believe) a mid-late 2015 release date.

Inquisitor could work on Roll20, although to my mind it'd be easier to use single-storey settings rather than mucking about with multi-level floorplans. And I think Inq benefits from it's 3D-ness.

Tabletop Simulator seems like a slightly clunky way to go about things, but I suppose it could work fine provided you can turn off the ridiculous physics and ability to fling the table that is demonstrated in the trailer.
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