So to allow me to test Watermelons with more players, who will hopefully be more honest in their comments and more willing to try something silly, I decided to port the game over to Tabletop Simulator. If you are not familiar with Tabletop Simulator, it is a program that simulates a boardgaming environment, including things like cards, boards, counters, dice, etc. You can grab a dice and roll it, draw cards from a deck, place tiles on the table, and so on. The possibilities are manifold. The really cool thing is that you can download all manner of tabletop games for Tabletop Simulator, as well as make and upload your own games.
Now, while I know my way around a computer, I'm not a particularly technically adept kind of guy, so I was pleasantly surprised to find Tabletop Simulator quite easy to use. The program doesn't have to ability to enforce game rules - this, like real life, is done by the players - so there is no coding to be done. You just need to import your games components and give players the rules.
First up, I had to create card faces and paste them all into a giant image, which Tabletop Simulator will tear apart when it loads up. I also needed images for card backs.
|Ugly, but it does the job.
Then, I simply had to go into the game, input the parameters for the deck, duplicate cards as required, save the workspace I had created and upload it into Steam's Workshop - a database that allows players to download modifications and expansions for any particular game. Shockingly easy. Within a couple of hours, fourteen strangers, with no prompting, had downloaded my Watermelons game. I put a request into the game, asking that they provide feedback - I'll see if that comes to fruition.
|How it looks in-game.
If you want to try Watermelons yourself, and you already have a copy of Tabletop Simulator, you can find it here. Alternatively, you can get the Print-n-Play copy, available here.