Plaid Hat Games: Alone Together
Connecting people during quarantine and social distancing
Hi all! Joe here, Plaid Hat Games web guy and Forgotten Waters co-designer.
In the most recent episode of the Plaid Hat Podcast, Niki, Bistro, Isaac, and I discussed how our households are holding up, and how we're feeling in this helpless state as we watch healthcare workers and other heroes act and hope for world leaders who are up to the task.
So what role can those of us who make board games, produce board game media, and run game nights for our friends fill? We've always thought that what we do makes a positive difference in people's lives, but at this moment in history, our efforts are actually, for real, important. I'm not a health care worker, or a government official, or able to provide food for others, but when people NEED to stay home, I can help by entertaining them, connecting them to others, making them feel good about themselves.
So here are some ways that we hope Plaid Hat Games can make a positive difference by helping you game together while we're all apart.
Forgotten Waters Remote Play Assistant
Forgotten Waters (still available for pre-order!) will be in fans' hands soon. Our pirate adventure game goes from 3-7 players in the box and has a super fun solo and 2-player variant ruleset inside the app (see below). But it's killing me that people will miss out on the party atomosphere of those higher player counts for a while.
That's why we're hard at work on a Forgotten Waters Remote Assistant web app to help people play with their friends while physically apart. With this, you'll be able to:
- Play the game live with up to 7 people (or a GM and 7 players) using only a minimum of 1 copy of the game.
- Ship stats, objective cards, action selections, and treasure/story cards will be synced up between players automatically by the web app, with the game's normal app in the same window.
- Players will be able to print out their own copies of player sheets and ship logs using our replacement PDFs.
- Just one player will need to have the physical location book, map board, and a couple other things in front of them.
I'm working around the clock, hoping to have this available as close to Forgotten Water's release as possible. More than making sales, I want with all my heart for people to experience the fun and stories we've put our blood sweat and tears into with this game!
If this works as well as I hope, I'd love to try it with a couple more of our games as time goes by - Quirky Circuits seems like an especially perfect candidate!
Summoner Wars Playtesting Online
I've built an online playtest web app for Summoner Wars 2nd Edition. Colby and I have had a blast playing a few games and getting an initial slate of cards ready. It's a bit like playing on VASSAL or Tabletop Simulator - it doesn't enforce all the rules for you - but it is focused and refined toward making playing Summoner Wars as smooth as possible.
We're planning to make the Summoner Wars 2nd Edition playtest as open as possible. You'll still need to apply and sign an NDA, but we want to let a ton of people in because we think the playtest will be a great tool for connecting people to each other at this critical juncture when we need to stay home to slow down the virus.
Keep your eyes on PlaidHatGames.com for an announcement when the playtest is ready to go in the next couple weeks.
Plaid Hat Solo Modes
Don't love playing games online? Many of our games have solo modes:
- Abomination's official solo mode was just officially published here on PlaidHatGames.com!
- Raxxon (now with Asmodee) and Super Punch Fighter both have a solo mode in the box!
- Mice and Mystics, Stuffed Fables, Aftermath (all now with Asmodee) and Comanauts are all playable by yourself!
- Forgotten Waters, as mentioned above, has an official solo ruleset in the app! You can go there now and check it out in the variants section - www.fwcrossroads.com
In addition to ALL that, here's an official statement from Plaid Hat Games about Tabletop Simulator mods:
Plaid Hat Games approves of fan created modules of our games on Tabletop Simulator so long as the creator does not profit from the endeavor. We ask that creators communicate to users that Plaid Hat Games retains all rights to the IP being represented. Additionally, Plaid Hat Games asks that if you do enjoy playing our games on Tabletop Simulator, that you purchase physical copies of those games, if you have the means to do so.
Work from Home
ICYMI, our fiction writer Mr. Bistro sent all of us on staff with Plaid Hat Games a guide he wrote about working from home. We thought it was so great that we had him publish it on PlaidHatGames.com, and people have responded very positively! To those who are finding themselves working from home today, check out Bistro's advice!
All of that, and I've hardly mentioned the zombified return of the Plaid Hat Podcast for that "friendship from a distance" feel. We're also planning an in-office (from home) print and play contest to get you guys some free games to enjoy - more details on that soon.
The heroes of this crisis are medical professionals, government officials who are putting people's health first, those taking care of family members, and those working on the front lines. But we hope our efforts listed above can make a positive difference for you too.