Tabletop Simulator is sandbox software for Windows and OSX. It lets you play different board games without pre-defined rules. This may be great for some people and a turnoff for others, as there’s not much from stopping your opponent from flinging the pieces around and ruining the game.
You have to imagine what you could do if the game was physically in front of you. You could pick up the pieces, shuffle cards, place the pieces wherever you wanted, throw the dice off the table, and even flip the table over in disgust. These things are also possible in Tabletop Simulator. However, if you’re playing a game with friends online, they probably will want to play the game correctly and not just throw the pieces around.
The main reason I purchased Tabletop Simulator when it was on sale is because you can actually build your own games. There is a custom mode that lets you upload your own artwork and 3-D models. You can set up the environment, table type, place all of the pieces needed, and type up the rules. When you’re satisfied with the look and gameplay, you can then upload it to the Steam Workshop where people can begin to download and play your game.
When you visit the Steam Workshop, you’ll find that the community members have already made their own versions of popular games like Catan, Cards Against Humanity, Uno, etc. You can download them and begin playing with your friends online or sitting next to you. One thing I noticed is that your computer may not be powerful enough to handle some games. For instance, I have a 2012 MacBook Pro with 8gigs of RAM and the factory graphics card. However, I was only able to partially download Istanbul, before it fully loaded and then it crashed my software.
Regardless, there is an immense amount of potential. Even if you’re playing an existing game like chess, you could open up the treasure chest full of game pieces, and make your own version. You can design your own cards and upload them into the game or even create your own 3D models to have in there. For you RPG fans, their 3D models actually have animations you can use as you play (e.g. walk, attack, die, fly, etc.). Overall, once I figure out everything it has to offer, I think it’s going to be amazing.