In these unprecedented times (I’ve heard that phrase a lot lately) of world wide lock-downs and quarantines, there is no better time to get yourself online for a game of Dice Masters.
We’ve said it before at the Ministry of Dice and will say it again: we are MASSIVE advocates of pointing a webcam at our play-mats, hopping into a Google Hangout and getting a game on the go. Andy & I play every week using this method and can’t promote it enough. We can not recommend it enough.
At present; some of you out there who have felt a little tentative and unsure of stepping into this way of playing may be considering it more strongly without the option to hook up with your gaming club at your FLGS or stroll over to your mate’s house for a few quick games. There’s certainly a lot of Online Dice Masters stuff going on.
There are lots of useful “Getting started” resources out there. Here are some links to few to take a peek at before I move on to the “few extra hints & tips” bit that this article is being written for. You may even be a bit uncertain about what it is I mean by “Online Dice Masters” so these should definitely help out…
Useful Links to Get Started with Online Dice Masters play
**Since this post originally went live we have expanded the range of advice & guidance we offer at this site for getting started with Dice Masters play online. We have drawn together as much information as we can from around the online community to provide a more comprehensive view of equipment, set ups, expectations and services used by those who play virtually. You can find the guide at this link here:
We’ve already seen a bit of an uplift in new faces (new… hands?) around the Online play scene, but the Dice Masters Online play community is wide open and happy to welcome many, many more. Here’s a few extra hints & tips I’ve been thinking about lately…
My Webcam is Rubbish
Someone said this to me the other day, and I confessed that I was initially worried about this when I first started exploring playing Dice Masters online (particularly because I record my games and post them on YouTube) Things could not have been any different: I rarely had complaints about my camera quality.
So I would not be concerned about your webcam AT ALL. A generally good view of your field and half-decent audio and you can get into a game, and I have yet to meet a community member who isn’t willing to work through it. I used to get asked all the time “what level is that Black Manta on?” and it was always asked warmly and amicably. I was using a REALLY awful camera too, very old, very outdated, and not one complaint. Just polite requests to clarify some stats now & again.
You have to believe me: you will be OK with your rubbish webcam. We’d rather get you playing and have to squint a bit than not have you play at all, especially in this time of social distancing. And, who knows, when the world returns to some version of normal you’ll have hopefully enjoyed your Online Dice Masters Quarantine experience and maybe you’ll upgrade. Just get stuck in for now though – no one minds. Honestly.
I Don’t Own a Webcam – and Can’t Get One!
Yep – another something someone mentioned to me the other day. It’s true – the rush to Online alternatives for everything in this quarantine age has definitely created a shortage and the “Temporarily Out of Stock” tag is on many a webcam retailer’s catalogue. Or your toilet roll & snacks budget for a self isolated family of four has increased to the point you can’t afford one. In either case; you can actually get set up without one. You can use your phone.
There are a few apps around that let you use your smartphone as a webcam alternative. One I’ve been tinkering with lately is called EpocCam. It’s early days of trying it out, but so far it seems alright. With your phone and computer on the same network you can make a Google Hangout call on your machine with the video piping through from your phone just like you would with a “normal” webcam. And you don’t need to be running 2 Hangout profiles in the same call, which I know some current phone players do.
Here’s a screen shot of a rather handsome & impressive figure using his iPhone X with the EpocCam app on Google Hangouts – it’s pretty decent quality.
You can grab the app (or an equivalent, it looks like there’s a few about) from your respective app store and then you’ll need to get a few drivers off their website. It seems to be working well – although what I haven’t encountered yet is what happens if you get an incoming call mid-game. I’m sure the developers thought of that…
We’ve all got a phone, and with a free app you’re away, so all you need is a comfortable way to mount the phone. A cheap bendy arm phone clip thing-y will most definitely do it, but if you’re a more hands on, creative sort you might want to look at this MoDCribZ vid to see what you can do with some piping and an elastic band, or this MoDCribZ to see what’s possible with some mechano.
It’s Easier Than Ever to Find Someone to Play
If you click on the Discord invite link in the Useful Links section above you’ll be taken to the Dice Masters Online Discord group. It’s generally a great place to get into conversations about Dice Masters, ask rules questions, and stay up-to-date on the latest meta-chat with players from all over the world.
In addition to all of that, of course, is the numerous channels that are designed to support a player getting a game over Online means. It has never been easier to find someone to play a game of Dice Masters online using this Chat service.
For the ad hoc, casual game there is a “Looking for Game” channel, where you can throw a message up and see who’s about looking for a rolling partner. Then there is a channel for the organisation of all regular weekly/monthly online play get togethers.
If you’re not in the know – here’s a list of all the weekly/monthly Online Dice Masters events currently taking place on a regular basis (To help out with the International flavour of this list here’s a link to a Time Zone Converter):
- The Weekly Dice Arena, by WDA Takes place every Tuesday at 9pm EST
- Dice Fight, by Dice Masters with James & Zack Takes place every Thursday at 10pm CET
- Team of the Month, by DM-North Takes place on the last Saturday of the Month at 7pm MT
- Monthly One Shot, by CR Game Room Takes place on the first Saturday of the Month at 12pm CST
That’s just the scheduled opportunities to play, and the beauty of the Discord channels is that not only do they help the TOs organise things, they also allow you as the player get involved in conversations about formats, maintain relationships with the players outside of the event itself, and get instant advice on team building for the events too. (Like rules queries etc)
Discord is the place to be, and is a welcoming place that makes it exceptionally easy to get an Online game of Dice Masters.
There we are then folks – a few thoughts on playing Dice Masters online and some further evangelising on the approach as a way to play. I hope they were useful to some.
Drop us a line or pop a comment below if you want any further help or advice, if it’s in our power to do so we will (although, to set expectations, we are not great at tech support). Alternatively – why not dip your toe in the water on Discord and start a conversation – there’s lots of people ready & willing to help over there.
Check out our game play using the Online approach on the MoD YouTube channel to get a peek at it really in action. (maybe subscribe while you’re there too) it will give you a real flavour of how it works.
Thanks for reading – see you later 🙂