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Thread: Evolution of your Gaming Space
Thursday, 12th July, 2012, 06:46 PM #1
Defender (Lvl 8)
Evolution of your Gaming Space
After this week's gaming session, as I was cleaning up, I thought about the evolution of our gaming space.
We've always played at my house, but have moved and changed quite a bit. We started on my back porch, when 4E was released. That worked well for a little while, but we played too late and were getting too loud. So I moved us into the garage. We used the same patio furniture.
That worked well until it got cold. Then we finally moved into the family room. I don't think my wife was thrilled, but she understood and didn't complain.
At first we dragged the patio furniture in, but after we added another player, we outgrew that. So we moved to 2 fold up rectangular tables and folding chairs. To this point, we had used a gridded whiteboard and some maps I drew in Dunjinni and printed out.
Then I wanted to make it easier for myself, so I found an old LCD projector and mounted it from ceiling projecting down on the table. That worked fairly well, but then I was spending too much time setting up and taking it down...we are playing in my family room.
Next stop, move the couches, setup the tables, and project on the wall. This, along with laser pointers and a migration to maptools worked well for us for a long time. But setting it up and tearing it down was getting annoying, especially after getting a new couch set.
We wrapped up our 4E campaign(lvl 30, thank you), and have been playing a little savage worlds, D&DNext, and now AD&D. We don't need a big table anymore. So I hooked a PC up to our 50 inch family room TV, everyone sits on the couch, and we're good to go. Setup is simply cleaning the coffee tables and setting up a couple tray tables. Cleanup is the same. The players are much happier sitting on the comfy couch for hours instead of hard chairs.
So, how has your gaming space evolved?
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Friday, 13th July, 2012, 12:03 AM #2
Superhero (Lvl 15)
Friday, 13th July, 2012, 06:31 AM #3
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
We started in my brother's basement. He moved.
We played in my living room. It was not convenient to drag out all the minis and scenery - so I repurposed an unattached garage as a game room. Then I moved to a bigger house - with no dedicated gaming area.
One of my friends soon thereafter bought a house with a dedicated gaming space.
We outgrew that and he then had a huge garage built and made half of it or so into a gaming room. We have a 16' x 22' room surrounded by cabinets full of figures, miles of master maze, and custom scenery.
Friday, 13th July, 2012, 06:41 AM #4
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
Friday, 13th July, 2012, 02:41 PM #5
Hydra (Lvl 25)
Friday, 13th July, 2012, 04:58 PM #6
Lama (Lvl 13)
I play over at a friend's house and when he bought his house and moved, we game over there. Not much as changed in the past 12 years of gaming in the SF Bay Area other than his new place has more open space, but is significantly hotter.
As for my place, gaming is verboten and I know I'd be divorced if I did half the stuff the OP did.
Friday, 13th July, 2012, 06:13 PM #7
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
I started playing at lunch in grade school; 1 hour a day on benches or out in the grass. If we got lucky during PE and they were playing football (the only sport I refused to play, even if it was tag), we talked the coach into letting us do laps instead and did a walking game.
In high school, still at lunch but we'd play at the library. Had to be real cautious about keeping the noise level down. Shhhh!
Once I reached college, I did all my prep for D&D between classes. We'd play at a friends on the weekend on a big oak dining table. As my group evolved and players rotated in or out, we'd be playing at some sort of dining table at someone's house - or in the Spare Oom where we also did our Battletech games.
Eventually, when I got married and we went house shopping, I purposely selected a house with a room that could be a dedicated game room (in this case, a converted garage).
For a short time, when I was also playing in Mechwarrior tournaments, I'd have my game at the FLGS - it was a great place to get new gamers and the "table rental" helped support the store. When it became too cumbersome to carry minis back and forth during the 3E era (and Mechwarrior went bust), we switched back to playing at my house, and we have been playing there ever since.
"If it has stats, we can kill it." - T.G. Jackson, intro to 3rd ed Hackmaster
Friday, 13th July, 2012, 06:19 PM #8
20+ Years of gaming have resulted in many changes.
1. One player's dining table in their 2 bedroom apartment.
2. He moved, we moved to same table in larger 2 bedroom apartment.
3. He moved outside of the city, we moved to basement apartment of another player.
4. 2nd player moved, we stopped playing for about 1 year.
5. Started playing when 3rd edition came out in my 2 bedroom apartment in the living room.
6. I bought a house. Set up spare table and chairs in the basement. We've mostly been there ever since. Occasionally we'll travel to Player 1's house north of the city to play there, but since all the minis and maps and what not are in my basement, it's usually easier to game there. All the players now live at least 20 minutes from each other (by car) and my house just happens to be the most central.
Oddly enough, nothing else really has changed. We don't have a projector, I don't own a flat screen TV, and laptops/tablets have only just begun appearing at the table. Even then, it is usually just the DM with his netbook and myself with an older HP Elitebook (laptop that the screen swivels to tablet mode). All other players have notebooks/tablets but we prefer to haul around physical books and papers.
Friday, 13th July, 2012, 07:38 PM #9
Defender (Lvl 8)
Over the many years, the real elements that changed have been location and the group (which happens when you move around a lot). And with each location, the space was in turn, different.
To start, in highschool, we'd play over the kitchen table at a friend's house, not too far from school.
After highschool I went off into the military. It was a few years before I found a group to game with, and at that time I was stationed in Panama. Our available space was very limited, so we ended up gaming on the floor in one of our barracks rooms. (We hadn't space for such fanciness as a couch or chairs.)
After Panama, I was sent to Hawaii. Again, barracks space was limited, and my new group started out playing on the floor. When one of our friends got hitched, we then started playing at his place out in town - again, on the floor (newlyweds tend not to have much furniture). And even when they got furniture, half of us were still on the floor.
Once I was back in the real world, there was a long gap before I played again. Once I started gaming with my brother's group, we'd play in the living room of our rented house, but we had no table to sit around, it was couches and chairs. And it was here that I first used any electronics (this would have been circa 2001) - I used a laptop for my DM Screen; had a campaign website set up; and used an extra 20" CRT monitor for displaying maps, calendars, and bits for the players.
After a few moves, and another group (sorta), I had a couple false starts with games, which also ended up being on the floor.
Yeah, I see a pattern there... However, our groups were often too large for the table, or we didn't have a table to game around. Heck, even now, while I love our dining room table, it's not large enough to house gamers and their books and a battlemat and everything else that goes along with a game. But then, I'm also not currently gaming... (But when I am able to start again, I haven't a clue where it'll be.)
Friday, 13th July, 2012, 08:19 PM #10
Magsman (Lvl 14)
My evolution in gamespace to some extent matches my evolution in gametaste. I've come to dislike needing or relying (or playing games that need or rely on) tactical battle maps, so even having a table at all is now kinda optional... and in fact, I prefer not to. I also dislike the modern paradigm--encouraged by very fiddly systems like d20 derivatives--where having a laptop is a handy alternative to good old fashioned paper character sheets. The laptops also drove us to the table, even without a battle map. Of course, tablets alleviate some of that need. As I've migrated towards more cinematic and rules light preferences, tables, battle maps, miniatures, and laptops have all become either superfluous, or specifically not wanted, meaning that there's really no such thing as a dedicated gaming space. Any place that's comfortable and quiet enough for us to play without being distracted, with the capability of having some mood music in the background, is my ideal gaming space. I prefer comfy, cushy couches and chairs around--maybe--a coffee table for the GM to set some stuff up on, with a quietly playing stereo in the background. The table's still handy to roll dice on, but since you otherwise don't really need it, it's OK to lean back away from it normally.
"I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care." Dave Barry