In most ways, getting a group together for a night of board gaming is similar to getting a group together for a night of Overwatch or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. One major difference, however, is that everyone needs to physically be in the same room.
Unless you're playing with people who live within walking distance (or you live in the same house), getting everyone to meet up at the same location is a significant barrier to entry that most online multiplayer games don't have. Luckily, that's where Tabletop Simulator comes in.
However, for those of you who've played Tabletop Simulator, you may have noticed that the default backgrounds are a bit lacking. Most people don't want to play board games in a random, poorly-lit tunnel in Germany.
Sure, the board games may be simulated, but I think most board gamers can attest to the importance of setting and atmosphere during their gaming sessions. So even if the room is simulated, you may as well simulate a really awesome-looking room. And with these backgrounds for Tabletop Simulator, you can simulate the environments of some of your favorite video games while you enjoy an online board game night.
Star Trek Holodeck Background
While this one may not technically be from a game, the Star Trek universe's futuristic, multimedia simulation room makes a great backdrop for some simulated board gaming.
You could even ham it up and have the background change from the holodeck to a brand new one whenever you load up a new board game to play!
You may not need to do any thinking with portals during your board gaming sessions, but there's no denying that some board games and card games require a lot of thinking. And where better to do that than in one of Aperture Science's testing chambers?
My only issue with this background is that you can't see yourself through the blue and orange portals. Maybe in Tabletop Simulator 2.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Bridge Background
To be honest, I've never actually played The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but I have heard plenty of great things about the game's visuals -- and this background may very well be the reason I wind up giving that game a shot.
If you're looking for a nice, pleasant, realistic outdoor setting, this background blows all the default ones out of the water.
Myst III Tomahna Background
Tomahna from Myst III makes a great location for a board gaming session. It's bright, airy, and it's draped in greenery in a way that really enhances the mystical quality of the sunroom balcony. It is the perfect backdrop for any high-fantasy board game adventure, or if you're just looking for a charming, sunny location to lift your spirits.
Some might call board games the most retro games of them all, so why not set your table up in the low-resolution world of Minecraft?
Some might suggest picking an actual retro game background for this purpose, but Minecraft backgrounds have the advantage of being set in a 3D world, instead of just feeling like some blocky wallpaper. (Not that there's anything wrong with that).
Star Citizen Arena Background
Science fiction and space are pretty common board game themes, so it makes sense that there are so many backgrounds featuring galaxies, nebulae, and other cosmic formations. But if you're looking for some extraterrestrial action among the stars, Star Citizen has got the background for you.
As a huge sci-fi fan, I've always wanted to try out games like Star Wars: Armada or the Battlestar Galactica board game -- and if I ever get a chance to give them a run on Tabletop Simulator, it'll be to this background.
Skyrim Solitude Docks Background
There are plenty of Skyrim backgrounds on the Tabletop Simulator workshop, but this one is probably my favorite. Situated near the Solitude dock, the stone tunnel hanging over the river makes for a very striking feature in your game room. And like all the other outdoor Skyrim backdrops, this one has that very scenic and rustic look that the game is so well-known for.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Temple of Time Background
While there may not be any modern Legend of Zelda board game, one can always hope. In the meantime, you'll have to be content with the Temple of Time background. It may seem like an unusual place to host your board gaming night, but it's actually a pretty serene experience.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can drop a tablet into the game and put the Temple of Time background music on repeat!
Doom 3 Cafeteria Background
Surprisingly enough, there aren't many horror-themed backgrounds on the workshop given how many horror-themed board games there are (including, you know, the Doom board games), but the cafeteria from Doom 3 is exactly what I was looking for.
Say what you will about the game, it was absolutely dripping with atmosphere. You're gonna have a tough time convincing me that a Pinky won't come crashing through that door during one of our gaming nights.
Overwatch Eichenwalde Background
While playing Overwatch, have you ever though, "Hmm... this arena seems like the perfect place to play some board games"? Well, now you can!
There are several Overwatch backgrounds available for use in Tabletop Simulator, and it's easy to see why -- it's just a really good-looking game with a lot of varied locales. My favorite is probably the Eichenwalde throne room; though it's in ruins, it still manages to look quite kingly.
Magic: The Gathering Background
While this Magic: The Gathering background doesn't place you in some virtual game landscape like the others, it does take advantage of the card game's stellar artwork. And the way the bottoms of the panels fade into darkness almost makes it feel like you're sitting in some sort of dimly-lit art gallery.
If you're like me, you were pretty disappointed with the default Tabletop Simulator backgrounds -- I mean, seriously, a tunnel? But with this assortment of backgrounds at your disposal, you should be prepared to host board game sessions of any kind at any time on Tabletop Simulator.