After the success with the low / high tech Codenames word game last Saturday night I plan to keep with the winning formula but to improve the process. The goal is the same: To present games that can be played by many people without the need for specific or costly software or hardware. No need to subscribe to a website or to buy anything to take part. You will need Discord though.
We use Discord app for voice and text chatting. It is free to use and has clients for most platforms. This is the only tech requirement. Along with a phone, tablet, or computer to run Discord on, that is. you can obtain the Discord app in the Play or App store or from their website DiscordApp.com.
A link to our general gaming text Discord server is here. I strongly suggest getting a headset with a built-in microphone. Preferably one with a mute button. I usually run my headsets in push-to-talk mode using the F8 key on the keyboard. It’s best to use a key that does not clash with other software.
The online first Codenames session used my copy of the game and a webcam. The webcam image was then broadcast live via Discord. It worked but was klunky and time consuming for the host, i.e. me. It was fun though. Having a nominated member of each team as their team “card poker person” helped. In the future I plan to use the website Codenames.plus for the game presentation. The website has some rather obvious cheating functionality, therefore the game will still be broadcasted via Discord. Only the cluegivers will use the website in a password protected room. Update: We tried using the website but it froze on us, probably due to the amount of traffic on a Saturday night, so I am going back to the manual way that works.
Codenames: via a website.
Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition
Railroad Ink is a roll & write game. Dice are rolled each turn and stuff is written, or should I say stuff is drawn. The goal is to score points by connecting routes together, you actually have to draw them on a board. In my case I draw them very crudely but hey, it’s a game about network connecting and not art.
Each player needs a player board. You can download a scan of the image below or download is in PDF format: Railroad Ink player board (PDF).
Note: I am not responsible for providing ink and paper if you want to print out a player board or 99. I suggest uploading the image to an online whiteboard program and playing along online. Here is an example Railroad Ink board using a free online whiteboard such as WhiteBoardFox.com. In that whiteboard can import an image file in the Options menu using Add Pic.
The key part of Railroad ink are the dice. The host will still roll the 4 dice and present them to the players, as a photo and webcam feed, in Discord.
A Fake Artist Goes To New York
A game that is actually about art and drawing is A Fake Artist goes To new York. This is another game that does require the use of an online whiteboard. In this case we will all share the same whiteboard. Each player takes it in turn to draw ONE LINE on the white board. The players do that twice. The twist is that one of the players, the “fake artist”, does not know what they are drawing! The “fake artist” player is only known to that rounds cluegiver. It’s simple and fun.
Cards Against Humanity
Some of the more horrible people may be interested in playing a horrible party card game after the more family-friendly fare. There is an easy to use website where you can play Cards Against Humanity with up to 6/8 players. The website version of the game is now called Remote Insensitivity.
For a link to the 8 player (modified my me to handle 10 players rather than 6) see here. For a rejigged (family friendly version) see this 10 player version TBA.
Ted Against Wizard
Many of the VCSB group are familiar with the Wizard game that Ted likes to play. An Android app (called Wizard Cards Live) is available in the Amazon App Store. I prefer the snazy card art rather than the generic playing card suits. Therefore, I have modified a module at PlayingCards.io to include Ted’s card art. It is available at the following link. Note that only one game can be played at a time.
2nd April 2020; updated 18th April 2020