San Diego Comic-Con moved to online presentations this year. We missed the energy, wonder, and excitement of attending SDCC in person. In the months before the pandemic, we prepared and polished The Robot Battle League for another round of game pitches to distributors and panelists. SDCC did pull through and offered many of their panel talks online via YouTube, and the key takeaway this year was TableTop Simulator.
TableTop Simulator (TTS) is a sandbox tool for board and card game players and tabletop game creators. TTS allows players to enjoy playing virtual versions games such as Mahjong, Dominos, Yahtzee, Chess, Dungeons & Dragons, Deck Quest and Mr. Game over the internet. An even bigger feature is that it allows game designers prototype their games using the simulator. All that’s needed is a computer with an internet connection and a Steam account. The virtual platform includes a physics engine and player mechanics that greatly mimic the feel and joy of playing physical tabletop games with your friends. The simulator also includes a built-in chat service for those who might feel fatigued, arguing which video chat service to use (you guys want to FaceTime? Zoom? Discord?).
The SDCC game panelists explained how they are using TTS to play-test both in house games in development as well as indie game reviews. Upon hearing this, we spent that same weekend recreating RBL in TTS while streaming other SDCC panel talks. We didn’t get to relax on the beach, visit our favorite San Diego restaurants, chat with geek culture icons, or show off our custom Star Wars cosplay, but the weekend was very productive regardless.
So here it is for the world to discover. The Robot Battle League is available for any and all to play via TableTop Simulator. TTS is a one time $20 purchase on Steam and offers access to hundreds of classic and indie tabletop games. We’re excited to say for an (extended) limited amount of time, you can play-test our game there too.