Building your TTS mod
With lock down still ongoing (I’m writing this blog at the start of July 2020 in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic) more and more gaming is taking place on entirely virtual tabletops. There are a range available, but the one that I’m familiar with is Tabletop Simulator. Whatever the future holds though, TTS will remain a useful resource for the playtesting and dissemination of games for independent designers. All the tools you need to design a mod for your game are available for free providing you have the relatively cheap program (currently £15 on steam). When launching a Kickstarter anything that shows you are willing to let backers try before they buy is a huge benefit, even if they never take advantage of the offer it is reassuring that they know you’re willing to let them see the game, it shows confidence in your design. The traditional other method of getting across the same confidence is a review and considering the cost of creating a prototype and getting it in front of a reviewer this is a resource that most independent games designers should be availing themselves of. A TTS mod shouldn’t replace reviews or print and play versions, but it should be used alongside them, and when they are not possible can go some way to covering the gap. There are a few tools that will ease your entry into TTS, I’m far from expert in using it, but I can hopefully help you with a few early stumbling blocks.
Download a mod of a game that you’re fairly familiar with and give it a play through, it can be a solo game if you don’t know anyone else on TTS, there are a range of good ones out there (Perilous Tales has a beta test version up that I created, if you’re struggling). As with all game production putting yourself on the other end of the equation is a great learning step. Now, the first time you play TTS, it’s a bit like playing a game with boxing gloves on and a two-inch range of vision. Persist through though because once you get used to that side of things there really are a good range of options available. Play around with the options available when right clicking on objects, particularly locking objects in various forms.
The very basics
Many of the basic compo