Online-Roleplaying.community

Go Back   Online-Roleplaying.community > Public Commonness > Cognitive Yammering

Reply
Thread Tools
  #1  
Unread 23rd of November, 2011, 08:58
SinbadEV's Avatar
SinbadEV
Bodak [GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Member: #1798
Location: North And East, But Not Far Enough East to be French.
Posts: 901 (0.20 per day)
Google+ Hangout with Extras Session

I tend to ramble quite a bit so...
TL;DR: Let's play over Google+ Hangouts!

Executive Summary:
Google+ "Hangouts with Extras" seems ideally suited for real-time online roleplaying sessions. The ability to share screen sections, documents and notes/sketches added to the improved communication of video chat and the ease of organizing the meeting and ensuring all players can connect make it seem like a good option. I am seeking dicussion in general along with specific interest in organizing a "proof of concept" game session which could lead to a campaign of regular sessions.

Preamble: This might have fit in the Character Acquisition Forums but I figure there will be more interest in discussing the feasibility/mechanics then there are interested players... that said, players (and a GM) would be ideal here.

This idea is not necessarily tied to a specific system so much as "systems for which being at a computer with internet access is sufficient to play". I was thinking "Pathfinder" would be a good bet but I've never actually played Pathfinder (though I played some D&D 3.5).

What is Google+?
Google+ is little like facebook and twitter and tumblr and live-journal all mashed together and shunted into the "Google" universe along with all those other Google Accounts services like google docs and YouTube.

It's basically free to opt-in to and (essentially) you only have to give your name to Google in order to sign up... otherwise its free and as anonymous as you want it to be. You use Google+ as yourself, so if you are someone who needs to hide their real name from the public eye like a victim of stalking, in witness protection program, political figure, closeted alternative lifestyle etc. you will need to be careful who you share with... because, while what you share may only be seen by the people you want to see it, those people will know who you are and could tell your stalker, former boss, news media, mother through some means outside of the system.

My Google+ Profile so you can add me to a circle is: William Benjamin John Davis 113468888266441429026

What is a Google+ Hangout with Extras?
A Google+ Hangout is a group video+voice+text chat for up to 10 simultaneous Google+ users... which already makes it a good bet for a way to communicate with the group during a remote role-playing

The "with Extras" part means that you get Screen Sharing, Google Docs Collaboration Integration, and a shared Notes and Sketchpad. This would allow players to share their character sheets with the GM, the GM to present maps, images, or even a Virtual Tabletop... perhaps players could make use of other external tools like random.org for roll sharing or whatever.

Ok. So what?
So, first off I don't have experience with real-time online roleplaying... does anyone have any and wants to suggest software that could be used to enhance this experience? know of a better option? confused or have other questions? have other suggestions or criticisms?

I don't really have a specific time frame in mind for a regular session but I know american thanksgiving is coming up so we should have plenty of eastern time zone people with a few hours to spare for an experiment like this.

I was thinking a good bet would be to start with Pathfinder, a couple boilerplate level 1 characters built in PCGen ( http://pcgen.sourceforge.net/01_overview.php ) and MapTools ( http://rptools.net/ ) for a Virtual Tabletop and a generic dungeon crawl to see if the concept is workable... any takers?

Feel free to discuss this here but if you are interested in playing add me on Google+ and contact me to let me know you are from ORP so I can circle you.

Last edited by SinbadEV; 23rd of November, 2011 at 09:07.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Unread 25th of November, 2011, 17:24
Lune's Avatar
Lune
Famine Spirit [Epic]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Member: #1510
Location: Missagain
Posts: 2,058 (0.43 per day)
I have been putting off setting up a google+ account for too long. Wasn't that by invite only? I have a friend that had an invite for me but I never took advantage of it as I'm still using my comcast email account. That is mostly because I have a lot of online accounts setup to use that email account and I didn't want to bother with changing them.

I guess my concern about the system would be handling mapping. Sharing of character sheets would be easy enough and I'm actually surprised they don't have a built in dice roller yet. Without having looked at Hangout with Extras though I don't know what is included. It sounds like an external mapping program would still need to be used though?

Merc, Treehouse and I tried to setup a mapping program before for this kind of thing but the software was having a conniption fit with working through routers. It required that a DMV be setup, which I did, and other software worked through it (like Teamspeak which we used while we played City of Heroes together), but I could never get it to work. Its probably gotten a lot better by now though.

I'd say to put me down as potentially interested but that is going to require me to setup my google+ account. This might give me the proper motivation to do so though. Lemme see if I get my shit together and finally do that.
__________________
"Plus, you know, robots. Pew-pew." - Benicus
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Unread 25th of November, 2011, 23:18
SinbadEV's Avatar
SinbadEV
Bodak [GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Member: #1798
Location: North And East, But Not Far Enough East to be French.
Posts: 901 (0.20 per day)
Quickly, Google+ is no longer invite only.

"Hangouts with Extras" handles all of the communication so routers etc. shouldn't be a problem between players (though I imagine there could be issues connecting to the Hangout in the first place... it really doubt it) and I was thinking the DM would "share a section of his desktop" instead of having to connect to eachother... the only software the players would rely on is their browser... the DM would be able to use whatever method he chose for the map display.

There is an open Hangout api out there so there is likely a dice roller too... but that part of things is relatively recent so I haven't seen any mention of it.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Unread 25th of November, 2011, 23:25
Lune's Avatar
Lune
Famine Spirit [Epic]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Member: #1510
Location: Missagain
Posts: 2,058 (0.43 per day)
When you say "share a part of his desktop" I'm not certain what you mean from a technical point of view. Do you mean file sharing from his PC over the internet? While I trust Google has done it's homework I'm not sure how comfortable I would be with that. Or do you mean share a file he is editing with others through a public (or potentially private?) forum so that others have access to it? If it is the latter then it brings up the issue of the DM having to have a grid overlay setup over the map so players can call out where their characters are moving to bingo style ("B-6 please!") rather than being able to just show you real time like is possible via other virtual tabletops.

Basically what I'm wondering is if it has a built in tool that could work like a virtual tabletop or not. Otherwise I'm not sure how much it would add to a game that simply using a voice chat client and other virtual tabletop would not.
__________________
"Plus, you know, robots. Pew-pew." - Benicus
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Unread 25th of November, 2011, 23:54
SinbadEV's Avatar
SinbadEV
Bodak [GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Member: #1798
Location: North And East, But Not Far Enough East to be French.
Posts: 901 (0.20 per day)
The DM would share the section of his desktop displaying the map and players would call out the location they are moving to in my scenario. That said, there is Google Docs collaboration integration which means you could have a map created as a shared document (probably the "Drawing" which is a vector based art program would be the best bet) and players could move their own pieces.

What you say about "Otherwise I'm not sure how much it would add to a game that simply using a voice chat client and other virtual tabletop would not." is valid. First and foremost it adds a video to the chat, which makes things more personal while also making it more clear who is talking at a given time. It also greatly simplifies the "talking to the group" aspect, no ventrillo server to connect to, in fact no server to set up at all... all hosted on google... and personally I had great difficulty setting up a virtual tabletop program to connect properly when I last tried to do so so that would be a feature for me.

Also, having the whole service tied to Google+ and Google Accounts in general means that all of the shared documents can stay shared between games, if you all add each other to circles you'll be able to communicate between games in the same context you play the games etc.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time now is 02:58.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Graphics by Koert van Kleef (T0N!C) and Lyle Warren