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  • Writer's pictureJason

Human Interaction

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Board games are meant to bring people together. They give us new ways to celebrate with family and additional battlegrounds for old friendly rivalries. Because of social distancing, tabletop gaming has had to adapt to accommodate real world problems. When board games are moved online, what essential qualities need to be preserved that differentiate tabletop from other forms of e-entertainment? We believe it is the type and quality of human interaction.

Planet Unknown with Friends

When reinventing anything online, take nothing for granted. One of the most critical, but elusive human interactions is human presence - the mutual acknowledgement of someone else being there. I am playing with other humans, we’re sharing this space and I am not alone. For Sovranti, this is more than just having built in voice and chat options in the platform. Each individual has their own perspective and place at the table, their 3D avatar is roughly proportional to the game and the seating order which is important in a lot of games is represented by “people.”

Sovranti Avatars

Selecting an avatar gives players some autonomy over their appearance and representation at the table, but to keep the experience “real” we also need to create structure on how the players can interact with the space itself. The platform’s UI is created with subtle intentional reminders of real life board gaming. Every play starts with selecting a game from the shelf and hosting a table. Your perspective at the table is not free floating; you have camera controls to zoom, look around, or change perspective but you don’t get to fly all around the space freely. Game pieces don’t magically disappear after use; they are put to the side. Though Sovranti is rules enforced and does all the “crunchy” bits of math for you, it does not give you a real-time total of scores unless that’s the designer’s intention.

To allow folks to focus on their friends and the game(s), we hope the platform becomes invisible to those who are familiar with it. Despite social distancing, we want everyone to still feel the love of their friends and family through gaming together. Our next blog series will cover UI philosophy and implementation for the platform. We have a big UI update coming later this year and we will give you insight into the “how and why” of our decisions trying to keep things real while trying to get the technology out of the way.


Release Updates

Publisher: Adam's Apple Games

Sovranti Developer: Paul

Planet Unknown Column Scoring

Paul has improved the scoring animation: instead of a single player’s whole board getting scored and then moving to the next player, all players get scored simultaneously by category. This creates more of a suspense/fun during scoring.

Things to look forward to:

  • Base game testing

Publisher: Gamewright

Sovranti Developer: Eric

Sushi Go Party Spoon Selection

Eric finished implementing the Spoon card and soy sauce pawn scoring. The soy sauce pawns move around the center menu board when a player earns points. The Spoon’s core challenge was to present the mechanic with as few steps as possible on the platform UI.

Things to look forward to:

  • Soy sauce pawn implementation

  • Spoon implementation

  • Solidify reconnection

Publisher: Fight in a Box

Sovranti Developer: Chuck

Hedgehog Hop Draw Pile

After hearing player feedback, we simplified chat messages. Chuck also added the draw pile and more animations such as backup dancers leaving the draw pile and a card count.

Things to look forward to:

  • Draw pile implementation

  • Clearer success and celebration visuals


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