The Playingcards.io website has a number of traditional card based games. It also has a card game engine that the users can modify, adding there own card based games. Here are some card based games that I have hacked together on Playingcards.io:
- High Society with a topical theme in this module.
- For an 8-player family friendly version of Cards Against Humanity see here.
- For a very family unfriendly 10-player version of CAH see my expanded module here.
Keep It Simple Stupid (Online)
For the past 3 weeks I have been running an online party game session on Saturday nights. The audience are friends & members of my local boardgaming meetup. Our regular F2F group gaming sessions have been cancelled which means that online events are required. Keeping in contact with the group is important to keep the group alive and to maintain in contact. Some group members are living alone so I want to keep in touch and to organize some fun group activities for all of our mental health. The goal was also to run online events that anyone can play; regardless of their available tech. Phone, tablet, computer etc is all that is required. No need to purchase hardware or software to take part. Definitely KISS. Keep it stupidly simple!
Discord is used for voice & text communication. It’s free and works well enough. Especially once people have overcome obvious tech issues with feedback, background noise etc. Get the Discord app; the Discord website does not provide as good a quality as the native app.
Codenames was the obvious game as run first. After 3 sessions it is going much faster and easier. We have found a method that works well. We tried using a website for the word grid but the website was not reliable on Saturday nights. Some players also have tech issues so I went back to the DIY image posting method. KISS once again.
The players get a image of the words in Discord via a still picture and via a webcam feed. Most use the still picture as the words are clearer. The clue-givers receive a picture of the word grid via a private message. To make the word grid easier to visualize I use red/blue & a black wooden pieces.
One player per team is the nominated “pokey person” who nominates which card is being poked by their team. The game runner (I.e. me) responds with the correct/wrong/neutral/Assasin answer. This does mean the game runner cannot play the actual game. I don’t mind. It’s worth it.
It is useful to use both text and voice communications when clues are given. Repetition is useful too. This is key to ensure that all of the dozen plus players comprehend the clues given. This is not required in a F2F game but paramount in an online situation. The typed clue would be something like “red (team) – metal 2”.
Other games that I want to run include some roll n writes like Railroad Ink & Welcome To. The idea is to post pictures of the dice or cards and let people have their own sheet. They can either print out the sheet or use an online whiteboard. Using an online whiteboard would also work for “A Fake Artist goes to New York”. That online whiteboard would have to be shared amongst all the players. Each player would need to use a different coloured pen. Some folks are interested in playing these but I have yet to force them on such a large group. Some of the horrible people end the evening with an online game of Cards Against Humanity. Fun but horrible!
Online board gaming in the age of Corona
The current “shelter at home” strategy, in response to the COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic, has put the dampeners on my regular board gaming activities. My weekly calendar was firmly punctuated with Monday and Tuesday board gaming nights with the VCSB meetup group.
Several weekends a month I would also meet with the lads of the Socal Wargamers group for historically themed wargames. A full day at Game Empire in Pasadena with the lads is a great way to spend a Saturday. A definite bonus was having some pub grub washed down with a tasty adult beverage at the nearby Lucky Baldwins Trappiste pub. Good comforting food, like a good board game, never gets old. These regular gaming sessions now seem like a dim and distant memory.
My current board options are solo gaming, games with my (long suffering) gf, or playing online. My gf is able to put up with some of my board game choices but I cannot hope, nor should I expect her, to enjoy long and involved games centered on an obscure historical period, It is obvious that I will need a tech based solution to this problem. Using Vassal, apps, and websites; I am now regularly holding and hosting online board game sessions. More of that in another post.
The weekly F2F (face to face) board gaming sessions with the VCSB meetup group were a major part of my social calendar. I know that some of these people are sheltering at home alone. People are feeling distanced from each other. People need the social aspects of playing board games. People need to to be distracted from the current events. People need to stay connected even though we cannot easily and safely play games with each other. Hence I have been running online party game sessions on Saturday nights for as long as we are sheltering at home. Stay safe. Stay home.