Running a Game via G+ Hangouts

edited September 2014 in Play Advice
I'm gonna try doing this for the first time next week. I've been in Hangouts as a player, and I'm loosely familiar with the Roll20 interface from that side, but I have questions about the host's/GM's side. What's the interface like? What are the best practices? What sort of prep is most useful? Is there a FAQ on this? Bonus Question: What do I have to do to archive the hangout session on youtube?

Comments

  • edited September 2014
    On G+ Hangouts videoconferences, there is currently a limit of 10 people.

    Hangouts automatically mutes you when you type (anywhere, not just in the chat window, so be aware of that if you try to talk while typing GM notes). You can turn this off but it's inconvenient because the option is only available briefly at the start of the session (iirc).

    There is a possibility of screensharing, so you could show people drawings or PDFs that you have open on your computer (I haven't used it yet though). I find the interface to be overall more convenient than Skype. A year ago or so I used Skype for running a game because it had better voice encoding (for a group spread out over several countries). Right now I'm using G+ Hangouts for work (for a group all in one country) and the voice quality is good enough that I'd try it for a game.

    More generally, for playing online, character sheets on Google docs are very useful. A template can be defined for Google docs spreadsheets which can then be used to make any number of character sheets, with validation, automatically calculating some fields etc. For a good example, look up a Burning Wheel character sheet template.

    There is a lot of integration between Google docs, Google calendar and Google sites - it's easy to create a campaign website with a game schedule, character sheets and extra setting information.
  • Holy crap, that BW template is intense! I played a lot of Skype BW, and used something quite a bit.. smaller. The approach I like is to use a single spreadsheet for the whole party (each PC on a separate tab), with a GM's tab that consolidates information I need to see.

    I found twiddla was all right for diagramming, but I didn't use it very often; we gradually adopted an audio-only gaming style.

    Do a sound check before the game - it can eat up a lot of time, and someone's going to have an annoying buzz on the line that needs addressing. (Sometimes it will be you!)

    To archive the output on YouTube, you need to start a "Hangout On Air".
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