Vorpal Board | Play Any Tabletop Game Online With Friends
Never miss another game night.
Vorpal Board | Play Any Tabletop Game Online With Friends
Never miss another game night.
Vorpal Board Will Return
To get the latest news and sign up for our monthly newsletter, please visit us at VorpalBoard.com. You can also connect with us on Twitter @VorpalBoard or on our Facebook Page and find our video content on our YouTube Channel or catch us live on our Twitch Channel.
See you all soon!
-- James, Mike, & Thad
Vorpal Board is the platform that enables you to play your favorite tabletop games with friends online using the actual pieces. Whether you live halfway around the world or two doors over, we know how hard it can be to get your gaming group together. With Vorpal Board never let life or distance get in the way of playing the games you love.
Vorpal Board has been built from the ground up as a solution to play as wide a variety of games as possible. For more examples of full game sessions being played live on the platform, please visit our YouTube Channel.
Game hosts use our smartphone app and mounting arm to stream anything on the table in high resolution. The card scanning box is used to privately scan cards or tiles for remote players. The Vorpal Board web application includes integrated video chat and a shared virtual tabletop so everyone feels like they are sitting at the same table.
Check out our demo site to see what it feels like to be a remote player in a Vorpal Board session!
During the campaign, join us on our Twitch channel Monday nights to chat about the campaign and see us play Vorpal Board live!
Phone Mounting Arm
As part of developing the Vorpal Board platform, we tried every phone mounting arm we could find on the market and none met the requirements that we had to enable a simple and flexible board streaming setup. Our mounting arm attaches securely with a padded clamp to protect your table. It can stretch to a maximum length of 43 inches allowing it to be positioned to stream even the largest game layouts. The phone cradle supports 360 degrees of rotation and tilt enabling unlimited view angles. Fine adjustments to the phone position can be easily made to ensure optimal board alignment.
Card Scanning Box
Our card scanning box is made from laser cut, aircraft grade walnut and birch plywood. Each unit is hinged with leather and rivets to fold down for easy storage. Together with the Vorpal Board app, the scanning box uses computer vision to enable game hosts to scan cards for remote players face down to maintain secrecy. No game assets need to be pre-built; everything is scanned in real time.
Vorpal Board Web Application
The Vorpal Board web application can run on virtually any browser capable device. Remote players can manage their own hands and game components as well as communicate via integrated video chat to make it feel like they are sitting at the table. Use a laptop, PC, tablet, or even smartphone to connect to game sessions wherever you are.
Common Game Setups
Vorpal Board is designed to be a flexible platform that can be used to host a wide variety of tabletop games. Depending on the mechanics of the game being played, hosts may require card scanning as part of game setup, while the game is being played, or not at all. Some games require only a single smartphone during play (Cryptid, Carcassonne, Gloomhaven, Sub Terra) while others require a second phone for real time card scanning (Root, Pandemic, Zombicide).
Board Streaming and Zooming
The game host's tabletop is streamed via super high resolution photos. This enables remote players to read the board clearly, even zooming and panning the board image as well as saving a significant amount of bandwidth.
Integrated Video Chat
We believe a key component of tabletop games is social interaction with other players. The Vorpal Board platform lets you see and hear your friends to better experience the game together via integrated video and audio chat.
Video chat windows can be resized and repositioned to best fit the game and number of players. Players are assigned colors that clearly associate their videos with their cards and game components.
Game Search and Lobby
Want to host a game but none of your friends are around? Interested in trying a game before you buy it? Designing a game and want to test it out with some players? No problem, just use the game search and lobby built into Vorpal Board. Get from looking for game to playing in no time.
The card scanning box and smartphone app can scan any cards needed in real time for use by remote players. Scanned cards appear face down until claimed by a remote player, allowing the card to remain a secret to everyone other than the player it is intended for. For games that require it, cards can be tracked locally using the included card index sheets and the card IDs supplied by the smartphone app. Additionally, components that are larger than can fit in the card scanning box can be scanned in handheld mode using the included scanning sheet.
Mouse Pointer Sharing
Whether you're playing a relaxed round of Catan, a white knuckle Pandemic: Legacy mission or planning your next big heist in Burgle Bros., you need to be able to clearly communicate with other players by pointing at the table. Vorpal Board will broadcast your pointer positions to other players so you can clarify rules or strategize.
Retaining the tactile nature of playing tabletop games has been a key focus in the development of the platform. Vorpal Board supports the use of static and dynamic game components from meeples to cubes to health trackers.
Remote players can track their health or experience, hoard their own resources, and place their own workers. In addition to pre-populated components, hosts can bring any image files they choose into the game as a component for remote players to interact with.
Remote players can roll their own dice using integrated functionality. Dice results are visible (and audible!) to all players and a log of roll results is stored. If the pre-populated dice options don't work for your game, players will be able to build their own dice from a collection of icons and color options.
Need to take a break? No problem. The Vorpal Board smartphone app will save the state of all scanned cards and virtual game components so you can pick up right where you left off later, just like when you are playing in person. Games are saved with a unique name, last play date, and names of what friends you were playing with for easy lookup later. Have a common game setup or set of character cards? Create a saved game with just those items to make starting a game a breeze!
Vorpal Board fully supports switching between themes and will have a number of options available at launch. Whether you're a night theme maven or rather the full felt option, we've got you (and your virtual tabletop) covered.
Every backer at the $75 level and above will get 12 months host access on the Vorpal Board platform when launched ($5 per month anticipated price). Backers will also get access to any open beta period prior to launch. There is no limit on number of games or number of players. Remote players are always free and won't even be required to have an account to join games.
Depending on pledge level, backers will receive a mounting arm, table clamp, phone cradle, card scanning box, light and (not pictured) card scanning backer sheet and three card index sheets. All components will be packaged in a custom travel box with handle. Everything that you need to get started playing tabletop games with friends all over the world is included. The Vorpal Board smartphone app is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
Each card scanning box will have "Kickstarter Edition" engraved on the back of the box. If you would like a custom message engraved on your card scanning box, you can supply us with you own text for a $25 fee. Just select one of the CUSTOM tiers when making your pledge. Messages will be engraved over 2 lines of text with each line being no more than 17 characters and must include only letters, numbers, and spaces.
Our goal in building the Vorpal Board platform is that you can go to your shelf and pull down any game and play it online with friends easily. Between board streaming, card scanning, virtual game components and integrated video chat, we are confident that we can supply a fantastic play experience across a wide variety of game mechanics and complexities.
Gloomhaven is a team favorite and was a huge driver for us building the platform
James sat down with Jack at the Cardboard Herald to discuss Vorpal Board
The Vorpal Board team plays Cryptid together live on Vorpal Board
Steve Finn of Dr. Finn's Games joins James to play his game Cosmic Run: Mining Colony
Software engineer with years of experience designing and delivering complex software products in multiple industries. James built the first version of Vorpal Board to play the types of games he loves with his far-away friends and family. Currently working through the Gloomhaven campaign and loving every minute of it.
Software architect based in Madison, WI who brings his expertise building and managing dynamic web applications. Mike and James have collaborated for more than a decade building production software. Likes to play Sushi Go! while eating sushi.
Experienced design engineer and entrepreneur with a focus on building manufacturing businesses, ensuring product quality, and on-time delivery. Thad’s company IMC developed the Manufacturing Incubator and helped build the Prototyping Center at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy, NY. To his credit, he didn’t laugh at the first homemade version that James showed him. Still wishes he hadn't traded that Black Lotus.
After moving from Madison, WI to Albany, NY in 2012, James found himself almost 1000 miles from his gaming group. Even worse, he had just received a Kickstarter backed copy of Zombicide and wished he could play with his friends. As a software engineer and stay at home dad at the time, James cobbled together some prototypes over the next few years that worked well enough to use personally, but he never considered anything more than that.
In 2017, two key events happened that supercharged the development of the platform: James pitched the idea to long time friend and collaborator Mike and a copy of the second printing of Gloomhaven arrived in Albany. Over the next year, Mike and James improved upon and streamlined the software portion of the platform while James tinkered with the hardware. Many games were played and the potential of the platform came into focus.
Realizing that they needed help and guidance on the hardware front, in 2018 James entered into the Manufacturing Incubator at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, a makerspace in Troy, NY. Working in the Prototyping Center, James met and was coached by Thad as he designed and built the first production ready prototype. After finishing at the incubator Thad joined up to run the manufacturing side of the platform.
The Vorpal Board platform has been a nights and weekends project for our team for more than a year. To take it to the next level, we need to be sure that the product resonates with the board game community. The funding from this campaign will enable us to purchase raw materials at quantities that make manufacturing feasible. Additionally, we will be able to dedicate the software development time required to finalize that portion of the product.
We are extremely passionate about building the Vorpal Board platform and making it available to board gamers everywhere. As an extension of that, we are hyper focused on our product meeting the needs of the hobby's most dedicated players. We see Kickstarter as a way to connect with, get feedback from, and involve the players who are looking for a product like ours and would be early adopters. Our intention is to involve backers in our development process as we finalize features and plan for future enhancement. We look forward to working with the Kickstarter board gaming community through this campaign.
In order to be as transparent and fair as possible, we will be charging for shipping in a pledge manager after the campaign concludes. We have worked with a number of carriers to generate what we feel are accurate shipping estimates to the following countries. Please note these are only estimates.
If your country charges import duties, taxes, or VAT, you will be responsible for these upon delivery. Backer is responsible for all duties and taxes associated with the import of the products into your destination country. Vorpal Board is manufactured in the United States and that will be the country of origin on shipments.
Special thanks for all the support during the development of our campaign go out to Chromoscope Pictures for our campaign video, Engine 7 Design for art and design, and Bard and Baker: Boardgame Cafe for hosting us many times (and feeding us!). Support these folks!
Risks and challenges
There are a number of risks inherent in the development of software and hardware products. We have done our best to mitigate these risks by following an iterative design process and testing over numerous cycles. The software is currently in a playable state and the hardware has a production ready prototype. We have already identified our suppliers, manufacturing process, and done a mini production run to verify our assumptions.
Our team has decades of experience in shipping production software and manufacturing complex products. We are confident in our timelines. However, unexpected delays can occur due to manufacturing issues, component shortages, and unanticipated events. We'll do our best to be as transparent as possible during the production process and resolve any issues as they may arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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