Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Advice on remote players
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
I've been looking for advice all over, but nothing seems to exist so I figured I'd ask the DSers. As the topic states, we have a face to face group that meets Saturday nights, but every now and again someone can't make it physically, but CAN play over ventrilo. It's easy for me to setup the interface with speakers and mic, but we have a problem with the functionality.

Whenever someone in our group speaks the words get to the remote player with a slight delay. Compound that delay with that player thinking about what to do and him talking and having THAT delay and we have a problem. I'll be describing a scene and ask if anyone wants to do anything, one of the local players will chime in and start to tell me what they want to do when the remote player will suddenly chime in over the speakers. It takes us a while to sort out who talks and who waits.

Has anyone else tried to do this and had any success? I suppose I could change my GMing style so that I ask SPECIFIC players what they want to do, but that's a bit convoluted. Any advice?
I have a similar situation in my monthly group. One player calls in on skype. THe one issue I constantly have is that the lag a noise level can drown them out. The chat feature is neat to use though when a PC in question is speaking another lanuage that no one else understands.

That being said, my best advice is to let every talk out amongst themselves, then ask each player what they are specifically doing once they are done planning.
Everyone is going to have to adapt, not just the GM.

Aside from the already mentioned tip of giving the aural cue of using names, one suggestion is to make sure the microphone and speakers are near the GM. If you have some way of hooking up a signal that lights up when the remote person is speaking, that helps everyone else recognize they need to keep quiet.

One radical solution is to have everyone on headsets. Could be fun, simulating everyone hooked up into the team matrix connections. Everything said into the mike is IC.

Co opt the remote player into doing fun things for the GM like play background music or noises to train the other players to pay attention to the person on the speakers.
I've skyped in to a few gaming sessions. One thing that really works well is to use something like maptools or google wave (my newest toy for gaming). People pay attention to the computer a lot more when you are using it for visual aids. My GM hooks his laptop up to his big flatscreen in the den. Using google wave I can throw up all sorts of extras when I am waiting my turn. I normally leave my photoshop program open so that I can draw quick maps or help the GM by grabbing the map he just put up and adding notations to it. I've also found that recording the game from my end by doing a live screen and audio capture make it so much easier for note taking purposes. The GM loves me when I send him the .avi of the last gaming session.
I've mentioned this in similar topics, but here goes again:

We have been successfully integrating one remote player into our group for three years. We use Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000's for video calls using Skype. For audio on our end we use the Polycom USB speakerphone. On his end, he uses a headset. The slightly pricey speakerphone has echo and feedback reduction and worked really well to enable the remote player to hear everyone in the room clearly. Yes, there are some cross-talk issues sometimes, but we've easily adapted. I plug a second monitor into my laptop and place it at "his spot at the table." We get him from the shoulders up and he sees all the players, but not me. When we get into combat, we suspend the webcam over the battlemat from the ceiling fan with string. A lot of times I forget he's not in the room.

The catch is financial. The cameras are $90 each and the speakerphone is $100.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012