Continuing the discussion from Successful methods for play-by-post RPG:
I experimented a few times, years ago, with running RPGs by voice-over-internet chat. That didn’t work at all for parties of four or five players because it was so difficult to sort out the cueing. I think I might have made it work with only two character-players, except that scheduling trouble killed the game. There were still little hiccups when two people tried to talk at once, or when somebody stopped and neither other started up — but they weren’t enough to cause real difficulty.
I tried switching to play-by videochat, in the hope that the video channels would convey cues to speak well enough, but so far I have only got that going for a one-on-one campaign. Scheduling again; … timezones; … inadequate bandwidth of the awful Australian internet infrastructure. I backed the kickstarter for Roll20, but it didn’t help with the scheduling and bandwidth problems, besides going off very much in a direction that I don’t much care for: emphasising tabletop combat games and heavy and specific GM preparation.
I understand that a lot of people get RPG to work pretty well, and that there has been a bit of a boom for it with the global bans on social contact we have been enjoying lately. There must have been lessons learned. What have you figured out lately?
What physical equipment is the schnitz? Huge 4k and 5k HD monitors? Over-ear headphones? Headset pickups, lapel mikes, or table mikes? Graphics tablets?
What software facilities rock the house? Dedicated gaming services? (Which ones?) Virtual-conference solutions means for the corporate boondoggle? Video-chat services meant for home and family use?
How can we adjust our games for a better experience over internet videoconferencing? Are there perhaps changes to the ideal group size? Is there some sort of genre, content, or emphasis that minimises the problems and makes the most of the advantages of play over the internet.
- Are there particular RPG systems or rules mechanics that work particularly well or particularly badly in PBVC?