I play Marvel DiceMasters, I love the game. I love the theme (Marvel superheroes!), the collectable aspect, the rolling of dice, the tactics/team building, basically everything about it. It's as if they specifically targeted the game at me (although FFG seem to have done that also with the X-Wing miniatures game too, am I that easy to hook in?)
Now my local gamestore (The Rift) runs organised play ( competitions with prizes) and has a few players there. However being 26 miles away not always the easiest most convient to get to or stay long enough to play lots of games ( parking also costs in Peterborough – or as I call it a shopping tax to push shoppers to out of town stores).
So what is so marvelous about DiceMasters is that it works so well as an online game using a webcam! So I now play regular games online with folks in the US and England ( I know there are one or two down under who are interested in playing but not played them yet).
Those playing use a variety of setups, using inbuilt webcams, mobiles/tablets, external webcams. Every now and then we get asked about what setups we use, and software. So I thought I'd write this post to answer that question from my side.
As the photo above shows my setup is the following:
- A MacBook Pro
- A Logitech C920 USB webcam (Amazon link)
- An IKEA Tertial desk lamp (http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/40370283/)
- iglasses (http://www.ecamm.com/mac/iglasses/)
- Google hangouts
The desk lamp gives me that nice overhead shot without getting in the way of playing. Basically when I got the lamp I stripped it down to what you see in the photo. Removed the shade and power cable, they aren't needed. I used the hitech solution of elastic bands to hold the webcam in place.
However the image from the camera is up side down and flipped. So that people can see the play area as I see it, ie it looks correct I needed to mirror and rotate the image from the webcam. Sadly the Logitech driver software doesn't allow you to do this. Luckily I found a solution in an app called iglasses. It's an amazing little app, which allows me to flip and mirror the image, zoom, set focus, even add filters. It's not free, but not that expensive and works great.
We use Google Hangouts to play the games. So people need a Google+ account to play. Nice thing is about Google Hangouts there can be multiple people on the hangout. But from time to time we use the on air side which broadcasts the session live, and then saves it on YouTube. So it allows us to put games up for others to watch at their own leisure.
When using Google Hangouts with this setup, instead of accessing the webcam directly you tell it to use the iglasses app as the webcam. Which then means you are getting the correct image being used in the hangout.
I hope people find this post useful in setting up their own webcam and join us soon in an online game of DiceMasters. There is a really friendly community of online gamers got DiceMasters and new comers are always welcome.
My next steps with this setup is to get picture in picture working using the built in webcam, and to make use of lower thirds. The lower thirds is apparently easy to do using hangouts. So will probably be the first to be done.