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Thread: Video chat

  1. #11
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    The devs have their own development priorities, based off their vision and feedback from users both old, new and potential. If lots of people were coming to these forums, social media or emailing SmiteWorks and saying they wouldn’t use FG because it doesn’t have embedded video then I’m sure the devs would reprioritize their dev tasks. But that is not the case.

    There’s no "resistance" as you call it - because there are not lots of people demanding embedded video, so there’s nothing being resisted.

    If spending 5 minutes to set up an overlay is undesirable for you and your group, and embedded video is the top priority for you (not all of the other amazing things that FG can do as a VTT) then perhaps FG isn’t for you. That’s fine, it can’t provide every single feature that everyone wants. It’s up to you to weight the pros and cons and make your decision.
    Last edited by Trenloe; April 13th, 2019 at 18:55.


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  2. #12
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lousancio View Post
    This resistance will continue to send people to Roll20 even though in my opinion it is overall an inferior product. This will particularly be true when the new version of FG comes out.
    To be honest I am as likely to use Roll20 or point my webcam at physical terrain as try to get players to go through this.
    I will say that I'm also (occasionally) a Roll20 user and I actively monitor their user community as well. And while Roll20 markets several significant capabilities that FG does not have, their own user community generally (80+%) feel those capabilities are near useless and not worth trying to use.

    For instance;
    - Integrated audio; Most long time Roll20 DMs that participate in the forums recommend it not be used because it is not stable and requires specific web browsers and settings that a DM does not have control of with their players.
    - Jukebox/Background Music; Same story. Their are severe file size limits that impact even their Pro subscribes plus it too often requires the browser to be exited and the game rejoined, plus the same issues with browser compatibilty.
    - Video/Webcam is just as notorious and requires numerous work arounds not just by the DM, but by each player as well.
    - Dynamic Line of Sight / Advanced Fog of War. Requires specific non-intuitive knowledge and just recently was "broken" for several weeks because of other updates the Dev team did.

    Pointing a webcam at a map and using voice is really easy. I've done it for months as a player in one campaign. Totally feasible and it works. And combat takes 3-4 times longer than it does in FG. Plus their is little to no visibility.

    Look, no body is arguing against desire to have integrated video and sound. But, we understand the limitations of the development team and in general agree with the priorities they chose to work on. Yes this only reflects current users that participate in the community (obviously a small minority of FG users), but you can also look at the growth of the FG community and the FG usage statistics since 2009 (when the current management took over FG) to see that the growth of FG has been very good. I think that is strong evidence that more good decisions than bad are being made by SW.

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  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    I will say that I'm also (occasionally) a Roll20 user and I actively monitor their user community as well. And while Roll20 markets several significant capabilities that FG does not have, their own user community generally (80+%) feel those capabilities are near useless and not worth trying to use.

    For instance;
    - Integrated audio; Most long time Roll20 DMs that participate in the forums recommend it not be used because it is not stable and requires specific web browsers and settings that a DM does not have control of with their players.
    - Jukebox/Background Music; Same story. Their are severe file size limits that impact even their Pro subscribes plus it too often requires the browser to be exited and the game rejoined, plus the same issues with browser compatibilty.
    - Video/Webcam is just as notorious and requires numerous work arounds not just by the DM, but by each player as well.
    - Dynamic Line of Sight / Advanced Fog of War. Requires specific non-intuitive knowledge and just recently was "broken" for several weeks because of other updates the Dev team did.

    Pointing a webcam at a map and using voice is really easy. I've done it for months as a player in one campaign. Totally feasible and it works. And combat takes 3-4 times longer than it does in FG. Plus their is little to no visibility.

    Look, no body is arguing against desire to have integrated video and sound. But, we understand the limitations of the development team and in general agree with the priorities they chose to work on. Yes this only reflects current users that participate in the community (obviously a small minority of FG users), but you can also look at the growth of the FG community and the FG usage statistics since 2009 (when the current management took over FG) to see that the growth of FG has been very good. I think that is strong evidence that more good decisions than bad are being made by SW.
    I guess it simply comes down to the type of game I want to play may be unattainable with any online system. I am certain that I would despise a voice only campaign.
    I may try shrinking the screen, using a layover and casting it to my television via my roku but I dont think all my players can do that and that would give them a lousy experience.
    I will have to use the basic rules for a fast one shot on a monthly subscription to see if I could make it work before I make the several hundred dollar investment.
    Either way I am already hating the experience of trying to switch from live play to virtual.

  4. #14
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Don't forget that if you buy from the FG store, their is a 30 day money back guarantee. So if you want to use the full books etc, you can buy, try and refund if needed.

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  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by lousancio View Post
    I am certain that I would despise a voice only campaign.
    I'm responding to this thread because of what you said above.

    I felt the same way when I started looking into online VTT gaming almost 20 years ago... one of the things I felt my games *required* was video.

    I still have my D-Link DVC-1000 cam that we were using at one point (didn't even need a computer to use it!)

    And I still remember gaming with low rez 4-5 frames per second webcam video using Yahoo Messenger. Kinda sucked.

    But today, you have a *lot* of great video conferencing options. Options I can almost guarantee will provide a better video conferencing experience than the developers at Smiteworks could shoe-horn into Fantasy Grounds itself.

    I also agree with your observation that using a second program would work best with a second monitor. But, honestly, for $5-$15 your players can pick up used LCD monitors from Craigslist or Goodwill that would be perfect for a dedicated video conference monitor. But if you really want a close face-to-face experience in a VTT game, it's really the best way to do it and worth the small investment. Little postage stamp sized videos eating up the limited space you and your players will have to work with in FG (or any VTT) will pale in comparison to treating your game like a true video conference with a digital map on the side.

    Oh, and one other option you and your players may not have considered for your video conferencing needs is using a cheap tablet alongside their computers. Run FG on the computer and your VC software of choice on the tablet. Many non-tech people have a tablet already.
    Last edited by Full Bleed; April 15th, 2019 at 05:27.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Full Bleed View Post
    Oh, and one other option you and your players may not have considered for your video conferencing needs is using a cheap tablet alongside their computers. Run FG on the computer and your VC software of choice on the tablet. Many non-tech people have a tablet already.
    Solid gold advice. Just ask them to invest in a decent headset that has the appropriate mic/audio jack for their phone/tablet (or splitter jack or Bluetooth headset)

    This has the advantage of continuity if anyone needs to restart PC or FG.
    And players can jump ingame even if they haven’t yet got round to booting pc/putting kids to bed/chores/public transport commute home at time of session start XD
    Last edited by Thete; April 16th, 2019 at 00:33.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Thete View Post
    Solid gold advice. Just ask them to invest in a decent headset that has the appropriate mic/audio jack for their phone/tablet (or splitter jack or Bluetooth headset)

    This has the advantage of continuity if anyone needs to restart PC or FG.
    And players can jump ingame even if they haven’t yet got round to booting pc/putting kids to bed/chores/public transport commute home at time of session start XD
    Yeah, having a video conferencing app that will work on a phone and tablet independently of the VTT gives players a lot more freedom during an online game.

    And, btw, Amazon is having a sale on their 3 tablet bundle for Easter: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G7YZRS6/

    $60 each. Not bad.

    A 3 pack of the 7" fire tablets can be had for $110: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GEW27DA/

    ~$37 each.

    And, frankly, if you don't already have a tablet, once you have one for online RPGing you'll likely find some other things to use it for (browsing, picking up email, etc.)

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by lousancio View Post
    I guess it simply comes down to the type of game I want to play may be unattainable with any online system. I am certain that I would despise a voice only campaign.
    I may try shrinking the screen, using a layover and casting it to my television via my roku but I dont think all my players can do that and that would give them a lousy experience.
    I will have to use the basic rules for a fast one shot on a monthly subscription to see if I could make it work before I make the several hundred dollar investment.
    Either way I am already hating the experience of trying to switch from live play to virtual.
    As a post-50 gamer myself who started with the original D&D in the 70's and having continually run campaigns since then, I have to say that while you do sacrifice some things by not being around the table, having an online campaign with a VTT like FG can bring significant benefits to players and GMs alike. You can easily do things that you would have great difficulty doing in person.

    The experience of FG has caused two of the people in my face to face group to each start building their own custom gaming table with an integrated large-screen TV display to try to bring the amazing benefits you get from online play down into face-to-face play. And personally I never want to run another face-to-face game without using FG minimally as a DM aid, and preferably using FG for driving an integrated gaming table display for maps, minis, and visuals.

  9. #19
    I’ll go out on a limb and say I prefer voice only via VTT to video or live. It’s far more practical for a working dad like me to link up with friends online vs host in person; I can do it at odd hours, and I’m making friends on different continents.

    The no live video thing? The medium is different, like a radio drama or audiobook. I’ve found it more immersive and freeing for RP purposes (maybe I’d be more self conscious about playing a character if someone was watching me).

    What’s better, an audio book or a movie? A sculpture or painting? They bring different strengths and flavors to the fore, so you can’t really compare.

    I’m sure people who prefer video have a reason for that preference, so I get that they’ll want the video. I just say you might find that voice only is more enjoyable than you think.

    PS the cheap tablet solution for video also sounds smart to me.

  10. #20
    Good video conferencing software is really difficult to develop. I'd rather have it external and work well than have it built-in and work badly.

    That said, perhaps there are already good solutions that make it possible to do in the Unity version:
    https://medium.com/agora-io/how-to-c...y-26780b479a78

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