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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3 thoughts on “Kickstarter Alert: Play Board Games Online with Tabletopia

    1. Other than the dozens of licensed games they have, opposed to Tabletop Simulator’s public domain games? And Tabletopia has a rich feature set described above? Hmm, I guess Tabletop Simulator has a physics engine.

  1. I own tabletop simulator and have backed Tabletopia (and played 2 games on it so far – Keltis and Viceroy). Tabletop Simulator is a physics engine that sorts lets you play open source games and frequently get upset as you accidentally mess up the table.

    Tabletopia is a board game engine that seems to be exactly what I’ve been looking for. It’s clearly still a late alpha / early beta product – but it has been quite impressive. It does what it claims to do – lets me play a board game with a friend someplace else. We used a skype call during our games – no integrated audio/video client yet. The games we tried don’t have any rules enforcement, but that’s fine – it’s easier to get the games up and running without rules. You can read the manuals or watch a video from BGG to learn how to play.

    I’m very excited to see how this plays out – I’ve been waiting for something like this for years!

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