Kickstarter Alert: Play Board Games Online with Tabletopia

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Tabletopia is a virtual game table, a sandbox where you can play existing, published games with friends or create your own games. The project, which runs until September 24 and has already met its funding goal, has an ambitious feature set list and is scheduled to be available for Mac, PC (via browser) soon after the project closes, and iOS and Android by next summer.

There will be public and private tables and rooms, player ratings, an automated matchmaker, text chat (audio and video to follow), tournaments and prizes, achievements, and leaderboards. You’ll be able to play remotely with your friends, no matter where on Earth they live (as long as they have an Internet connection). Like I said, ambitious.

Starting a game is simple. Find the game you want to play, choose the number of players, and create it. The files all load to your browser and you’re quickly off and running. Should you become disconnected, the system saves your seat.

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A game of Terra Mystica I created – easy!

Creating an original game at Tabletopia is as easy as dragging and dropping images from your desktop and filling out a form. There is a robust set of existing elements that creators can utilize to create their games. There are tokens and cubes and cards and pawns and the promise to be able to upload custom bits. Because it’s a sandbox, there’s no programming involved.

The platform is five years in the making and aims to be the premier online location for playing, creating, and showcasing board games. Among the publishers that have already signed up–Mayday Games, Grey Fox Games, Stonemaier Games, Portal, Arcane Wonders, Game Salute, Knizia Games, LudiCreations, and many more. Currently, there are 65 games in their library, with plans to have at least 100 at launch and keep growing and growing after that.

I’ve had access to the beta this week and the site is well on its way. Since it’s a sandbox, I haven’t had much of a chance to play an actual game against anyone yet, but tinkering around in games, drawing cards, and moving chits, everything seems to operate as it should. It looks great and interaction is pretty easy. There are already some good games at Tabletopia and I look forward to that library growing. I am hopeful that Tabletopia will be the platform that I go to so I can play games with friends in other cities. So hopeful, in fact, that I’ve already backed the project and think you should too.

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