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Thread: Questions about the use of Tabletop Simulator

  1. #1

    Questions about the use of Tabletop Simulator

    I've only just discovered Tabletop Simulator. I've watched a few YouTube tutorials on how to create new games which is my interest. I would like to purchase Tabletop Simulator for the purpose of creating an entirely new game of my own. I have a few questions:

    1. Can Tabletop Simulator be used off-line just using the hard disk on the computer during game development and/or for use in playing solitary games. Or must the game content always be uploaded to the Internet?

    It's kind of important to me to be able to work with it without having to connect to the Internet when developing a new game.

    2. If I create a new game where I have created all of the content is it possible to then sell that game content online to be used by owners of Tabletop Simulator?

    This is extremely important to me, because if I can't get paid for my game development time there isn't much use in doing it.

    3. If it is possible to market a new game content for Tabletop Simulator, are there copyright free resources available that can be used for this so that I don't need to create all the content from scratch?


    Naturally, if I can use existing content there's no point in wasting time reinventing that part of the wheel.

    4. What are the legal limitations in terms of using Tabletop Simulator as part of my home-based business?

    A bit of explanation may be in order here:

    I'm currently writing a book on self-improvement. The book uses a fantasy story line that includes a labyrinth. The reader takes a journey through this labyrinth encountering various "stations" along the way. At each station they perform various exercises, projects, or meditation techniques. Currently the book merely shows this labyrinth as a static map.

    What I would like to do is create this labyrinth map on Tabletop Simulator, along with cards, etc., that will dynamically instruct the person (player) on various different things they might do at a particular station along their path. This could be done as a solitary exercise for self-improvement, or it could be played as a cooperative game with multiple participants.

    I have a lot of different ideas for how to proceed with the development of this labyrinth self-improvement concept. Right now all I need to know is whether I can use Tabletop Simulator for this purpose?

    From first glance it looks like the perfect tool. But I don't know what the legal options are. I guess my main question is to ask if I can create and sell a new Tabletop Simulator "game content". I realize that my consumers will still need to purchase Tabletop Simulator in order to run my game content, but that's fine.

    Anyway those are my questions. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    James
    Last edited by Robo_Pi; 11-01-2017 at 10:49 AM. Reason: Edited to Subscribe to the thread

  2. #2
    I'm not affiliated but these are my reactions to your questions.. you would need to contact them directly for real details I would suspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robo_Pi View Post
    1. Can Tabletop Simulator be used off-line just using the hard disk on the computer during game development and/or for use in playing solitary games. Or must the game content always be uploaded to the Internet?

    It's kind of important to me to be able to work with it without having to connect to the Internet when developing a new game.
    Yes, you can use physical location on your local drive during the creation of your mod. Though it will need a lot of reworking to move online for release.. but if you do it and pay attention using "find and replace" in notpad++ to change the links shouldn't be to hard. Though you might want to consider using a online cloud drive.. that way it works exactly like a local drive but it is also ready to deployment with out needing to change the urls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robo_Pi View Post
    2. If I create a new game where I have created all of the content is it possible to then sell that game content online to be used by owners of Tabletop Simulator?

    This is extremely important to me, because if I can't get paid for my game development time there isn't much use in doing it.
    It is possible.. but I doubt it. The guys that run the show do have deals in place with designers and publishers for official DLC.. though as far as I know they have no plans to make DLC for non-published physical games. You will need to chat to the devs themselves. I do not know what kind of split the other guys get from Beserk DLC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robo_Pi View Post
    3. If it is possible to market a new game content for Tabletop Simulator, are there copyright free resources available that can be used for this so that I don't need to create all the content from scratch?


    Naturally, if I can use existing content there's no point in wasting time reinventing that part of the wheel.
    Yes and no. There are no "asset libraries" as such.. Though there is a small fantasy miniature set I think.. .. This is not an "engine" like RPG Creator or Wintermute or w/e. It is just not designed as far as I can see (at this point in time) as a game development platform. It is really just a tool to use as a virtual tabletop to play analogue games online.

    TTS dose offer some inbuilt tools to aid in the making of mod. Like token creation and such, dice, bags and the like. Though if you are planning to design your own game, then you will probably need to produce most of the content, as in like 95% of it yourself.


    Quote Originally Posted by Robo_Pi View Post
    4. What are the legal limitations in terms of using Tabletop Simulator as part of my home-based business?

    A bit of explanation may be in order here:

    I'm currently writing a book on self-improvement. The book uses a fantasy story line that includes a labyrinth. The reader takes a journey through this labyrinth encountering various "stations" along the way. At each station they perform various exercises, projects, or meditation techniques. Currently the book merely shows this labyrinth as a static map.

    What I would like to do is create this labyrinth map on Tabletop Simulator, along with cards, etc., that will dynamically instruct the person (player) on various different things they might do at a particular station along their path. This could be done as a solitary exercise for self-improvement, or it could be played as a cooperative game with multiple participants.

    I have a lot of different ideas for how to proceed with the development of this labyrinth self-improvement concept. Right now all I need to know is whether I can use Tabletop Simulator for this purpose?

    From first glance it looks like the perfect tool. But I don't know what the legal options are. I guess my main question is to ask if I can create and sell a new Tabletop Simulator "game content". I realize that my consumers will still need to purchase Tabletop Simulator in order to run my game content, but that's fine.

    Anyway those are my questions. Thanks in advance for any feedback.
    No idea. That sounds like a cool project though. Good luck with it. My guess would be that if you buy it you can make what ever mod you like for it. As I said this is not a "game development platform" and I really do not think any of that applies. As far as I know there is no way to "sell" a mod. Not with out making it an official DLC and that takes coordination with the devs themselves. Also mods are open, as in once one person has it there is no DRM or anything to stop them copying it to another person in seconds. So it would be hard to sell a mod anyway.
    My Boardgame uTube chan - Tragic's Table Top
    BGG Guild of BoardGame uTubers - Tube Tables

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robo_Pi;20714
    [COLOR="#0000FF"
    4. What ... of using Tabletop Simulator as part of my home-based business?[/COLOR]
    Don't. You won't make anything. I'd start with making a physical copy if anything (eg: kickstarter). Good luck though.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tragic View Post
    My guess would be that if you buy it you can make what ever mod you like for it. As I said this is not a "game development platform" and I really do not think any of that applies. As far as I know there is no way to "sell" a mod. Not with out making it an official DLC and that takes coordination with the devs themselves. Also mods are open, as in once one person has it there is no DRM or anything to stop them copying it to another person in seconds. So it would be hard to sell a mod anyway.
    One thing that got me thinking about this was the Steam site where Tabletop Simulator is being sold. You pay $19.99 for TTS but then if you want the DLC of say "Darkest Night", you have to pay $6.99 to download that DLC.

    What I was thinking is that if I made a game then I should be able to sell my game for $6.99 as a DLC to anyone who already knows Tabletop Simulator.

    If that's not possible, then there would be no way to get paid for the content I create. Bottom line for me is that there's no point in me doing it for free. If I can't make something from having done it, I'd be far better off spending my time doing something more worthy of my time and effort.

    Also if a DLC can be legally shared among users then why would anyone pay $6.99 for the Darkest Night DLC when they could just ask someone who has it to send them a copy?

    I was thinking about buying both Tabletop Simulator and the Darkest Night DLC just to see what all is in the DLC. My game will be similar to Darkest Night only in the sense that it will be a cooperative game where the goal is to make improvements rather than competing with other players.

    In any case, I was excited about the possibilities. But if there's no profit in it I'll have to go back to my home planet of Ferenginar.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Flolania View Post
    Don't. You won't make anything. I'd start with making a physical copy if anything (eg: kickstarter). Good luck though.
    I was thinking that if there's no way to get paid for my work via Tabletop Simulator I might just go ahead and create an actual physical board game and sell it that way. In that case though I would either need to manufacture the physical game myself, or have it manufactured by someone else.

    At that point I'm still wondering whether Tabletop Simulator might still come in handy during the design process since I could create the game on TTS and experiment with it, even have some other people actually use it to get some feedback, before diving into the physical manufacture of the actual board.

    I only just recently discovered Tabletop Simulator and thought it looked like it could be useful. But if there's no way to get paid for my work, then that pretty much puts a damper on things immediately.

    I just can't afford to put a lot of effort into creating a new game without financial compensation. I'm not looking to get rich, but I'd need to get some financial compensation for the work, otherwise it isn't worth doing it. I just can't afford to work for free as much as I would like to.

  6. #6
    The DLC is obfuscated a little more than a mod. It is the mods that are "open".. not the dlc.
    My Boardgame uTube chan - Tragic's Table Top
    BGG Guild of BoardGame uTubers - Tube Tables

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tragic View Post
    The DLC is obfuscated a little more than a mod. It is the mods that are "open".. not the dlc.
    I confess to not knowing much about this. But from some of the tutorials I've seen on YouTube you can create an entire game from scratch, starting with designing your own board. Then you make your own cards, etc. So it appeared to me that you could design the entire content required for a complete game. That would surely be more than just a "mod".

    Designing a whole new game from the ground up is hardly a "mod" is it?

    What would you be modifying?

    I want to create a completely new game. But there's no way I'm going to do that if I won't be able to reap some financial reward for my labor. Surely there must be a way to obtain financial compensation for having created a brand new game from scratch? If not, then Tabletop Simulator is of no use to me to be sure.

  8. #8
    Well a DLC is just a an official "mod".. as far as the application is concerned they are identical. Lots of people use TTS to prototype I think... but I've not got anything to do with Beserk. Though when i first started modding I asked them if they would be interested in content packs as DLC.. as in I make high quality textured generic scifi and fantasy miniatures and stuff to sell as DLC.. they told me that at this time they are only interested in making DLC for published physical board games. They may have changed their mind, and you need to contact them about it.. but I suspect this is still the case. To make DLC you ned to coordinate with them.. you can not produce it yourself.
    My Boardgame uTube chan - Tragic's Table Top
    BGG Guild of BoardGame uTubers - Tube Tables

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tragic View Post
    To make DLC you ned to coordinate with them.. you can not produce it yourself.
    Ok, that's basically the core of my question. I though a DLC (downloadable content) would be nothing more than the content you had created when you designed a new game. In fact, I don't understand why anything more should be required other than the obvious need to then run the content on Tabletop Simulator.

    What you seem to be saying is that there's more to it than this.

    If that's the case, then this answers my question. It's not a problem. It just appears that Tabletop Simulator won't be of much use to me then. I was hoping to use it to create a new game that I could then sell as a DLC. But I'm certainly not going to create a new game if I can't sell it after I've created it.

  10. #10
    Well, you should contact them directly through email on the contact page of their website to be sure. I am not affiliated with TTS in anyway. I just make mods for fun.
    My Boardgame uTube chan - Tragic's Table Top
    BGG Guild of BoardGame uTubers - Tube Tables

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tragic View Post
    Well, you should contact them directly through email on the contact page of their website to be sure. I am not affiliated with TTS in anyway. I just make mods for fun.
    Ok, I'll do that. I thought this forum was associated with them? Where is their website contact page? I don't even know. It is "Berserk Games"? Or "Steam". I'm not even sure how to find their official website.

  12. #12
    This is their forum, but it's mostly to support players and modders, not for business deals and support. Direct contact is probably better for that.

    That said; if you're writing a self-help book that includes a game, you might not need to enforce paid downloads over TTS. As long as the game isn't fully playable without the book, they'll still need to buy the book. You can make the game available for free and mention on the Workshop page "Requires this book in order to be played". That way you might even entice people to get the book when they like the workshop mod but can't play it.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Pluisjen View Post
    This is their forum, but it's mostly to support players and modders, not for business deals and support. Direct contact is probably better for that.

    That said; if you're writing a self-help book that includes a game, you might not need to enforce paid downloads over TTS. As long as the game isn't fully playable without the book, they'll still need to buy the book. You can make the game available for free and mention on the Workshop page "Requires this book in order to be played". That way you might even entice people to get the book when they like the workshop mod but can't play it.
    I did email them directly, but thus far they have not replied.

    Actually, your right about the free DLC. I don't necessarily need to be paid when people download the DLC. As long as I could make the DLC available to my readers that would be cool. In fact, it would be nice if it was a free DLC actually. They would still need to buy Tabletop Simulator in order to play it though.

    So is it possible to upload free DLC's on the workshop page for other people to use? I've only just discovered Tabletop Simulator. I haven't even purchased it yet. So at this point I know very little about TTS. All I know is what I've seen on some YouTube tutorials.

  14. #14
    Yes, everything you upload to the Steam Workshop is freely available for everyone to use. There's only a handful of paid DLCs, but you can play just about any board game out there for free. It's just regular users (or publishers) uploading stuff to the workshop for free use.

    Your users will need to buy TTS itself though.

  15. #15
    Ok, this sounds like it might work out well as a free workshop DLC. I'll have to purchase TTS and check it out.

  16. #16
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    Just a note - You cannot sell content outside of Tabletop Simulator for use with Tabletop Simulator. So you can't create something in Tabletop Simulator and sell it on your personal website or anything like that. However, you can use TTS to create games from scratch and then get them created as physical copies and sell those. Most definitely you can do that. You just cannot sell digital files which requires TTS to use.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Kimiko View Post
    Just a note - You cannot sell content outside of Tabletop Simulator for use with Tabletop Simulator. So you can't create something in Tabletop Simulator and sell it on your personal website or anything like that.
    Ok. That was my original question and idea. I thought that might be allowed because people would still need to purchase TTS in order to run that content. So TTS would still be making out. But if that's not permitted that's fine. I was just asking because I didn't know.

    By the way, Berserk Games did reply to my question about selling a DLC through them. They already do this for large game companies, but they don't yet do it for individuals. Although they did say that they are looking into that possibility as a possible future option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimiko View Post
    However, you can use TTS to create games from scratch and then get them created as physical copies and sell those. Most definitely you can do that.
    Yeah, I might go that route. I actually have a wood-shop so I can make game pieces out of wood and then either buy a fancy industrial printer to print out the artwork to be laminated onto the wood, or hire a local print shop for that part. TTS would still be useful to give the prototype game a shake-down run before manufacturing it.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Robo_Pi View Post
    I confess to not knowing much about this. But from some of the tutorials I've seen on YouTube you can create an entire game from scratch, starting with designing your own board. Then you make your own cards, etc. So it appeared to me that you could design the entire content required for a complete game. That would surely be more than just a "mod".

    Designing a whole new game from the ground up is hardly a "mod" is it?

    What would you be modifying?

    I want to create a completely new game. But there's no way I'm going to do that if I won't be able to reap some financial reward for my labor. Surely there must be a way to obtain financial compensation for having created a brand new game from scratch? If not, then Tabletop Simulator is of no use to me to be sure.
    I know this thread is long old, but I'd like to clear something up that might be confusing you, and many others as well.

    When we speak the term "mod" around here, it's short for "module", not "modification".

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