Board Games, Board Gaming Life

How to Use a Second Monitor With Tabletop Simulator in Three Easy Steps.

I’ve been doing more gaming online during these last six months. Heck, I’ve even started streaming games with friends on Twitch. Spending more time at the digital board game table has me constantly looking for ways to make digital board gaming a more pleasant experience for myself and my needs. In particular, I really have trouble scrolling back and forth in games, and keeping track of various board states can be exhausting.

Luckily, I have access to a second monitor from time to time so using a two monitor setup to keep an eye on different parts of the gaming table can be useful. I dug around online and found that there’s a way to get Tabletop Simulator use a second monitor to display a different camera angle and create on screen buttons that let us change which camera is active on your secondary screen.

WARNING

I am not responsible for any weird things happening to your computer. Please proceed at your own risk. Also, I am not sure if this works on macs (let me know if it does, please).

Step 1

Open up Tabletop Simulator and bring up the command console with the tilde key– that’s the little squiggly line that looks like this ~.

You’re now ready to enter console commands (sounds cool doesn’t it?)

Type the following:

edit autoexec

A small screen should appear. Here you’ll be adding commands that’ll be run every time Tabletop Simulator boots up.

Step 2

Copy and paste the following:

spectator_screen 1
bind keypad1 spectator_camera_load 1
bind keypad2 spectator_camera_load 2
bind keypad3 spectator_camera_load 3
bind keypad4 spectator_camera_load 4
bind keypad5 spectator_camera_load 5
bind keypad6 spectator_camera_load 6
bind keypad7 spectator_camera_load 7
bind keypad8 spectator_camera_load 8
bind keypad9 spectator_camera_load 9
bind keypad0 spectator_camera_follow_player 1

alias next_camera add spectator_camera_load_zero 1 9
alias prev_camera add spectator_camera_load_zero -1 9
bind right_shift next_camera
bind alt+right_shift prev_camera

ui_button 1 600 0 spectator_camera_load 1
ui_button 2 600 -30 spectator_camera_load 2
ui_button 3 600 -60 spectator_camera_load 3
ui_button 4 600 -90 spectator_camera_load 4
ui_button 5 600 -120 spectator_camera_load 5
ui_button 6 600 -150 spectator_camera_load 6
ui_button 7 600 -180 spectator_camera_load 7
ui_button 8 600 -210 spectator_camera_load 8
ui_button 9 600 -240 spectator_camera_load 9
ui_button FOLLOW 600 -270 spectator_camera_follow_player 1

Step 3

click “OK” and the close and restart Tabletop Simulator.

That’s it!

Ok, But What Does it Do?

Well, whenever you start up Tabletop Simulator, you’ll be able to use your second monitor!

You’ll notice however, that when you start up TTS, the spectator cam (that’s the one on your second monitor) will follow you around, essentially mirroring your primary monitor. This is fine, after all, we want to set up different cameras. So go ahead and save some cams using the standard method (CONTROL+NUMBER).

The commands we entered into the autoexec changed some of the key bindings, so now the 1-9 keys on your keypad change the spectator camera to the saved camera slots you’ve assigned using the CONTROL+NUMBER key combo. If you don’t have a keypad on your keyboard, don’t fret, the commands we entered also created some nifty, on screen buttons that will change the spectator camera to a corresponding saved camera slot.

The RIGHT SHIFT key on your keyboard lets you cycle through your saved spectator camera slots and ALT+SHIFT is for cycling backwards.

The 0 key on your keypad makes the spectator cam follow you again, which is useful when adding additional cameras. If you don’t have a keypad, the onscreen FOLLOW button does the same thing.

In Taverns of Tiefental for example, you can set up cams for the main board and the cards on offer, and your own player board, saving you some scrolling and possibly some whiplash from going back and forth. Bonus: you can move components between screens, making it easier to take cards form the main board or even advance your token without having to change your pov.

Deactivating the Spectator Camera

if you need to return to a one monitor setup follow step 1 to edit the auto exec and either change the first line from:

spectator_screen 1

to

spectator_screen 0

hit “OK” to save changes and restart the game.

If you want want to get rid of everything we changed (the spectator cam, the new key binds, and the buttons) repeat STEP 1 and delete everything you copied and pasted in STEP 2. Reload.

Easy!

Do You Stream Tabletop Simulator games on Twitch?

I do! I’m really excited about unlocking the spectator cam and using it as a source in OBS to make streaming Tabletop Simulator games a more streamlined experience! I can have the spectator camera focus on preset areas of the table with the press of a key, while keeping my own screen wherever I want.

Want to focus on the green player’s tableau on their turn? just hit the on screen button to load that cam on the spectator screen which is being captured by your broadcasting software. While they’re taking their turn and viewers are watching their tableau, you can still plan your own moves and do your own thing! Hopefully this leads to a better experience for viewers, as cameras can be loaded on the fly and pretty quickly.

Credit

Credit to the following guides which I cobbled together to understand and execute what I wanted to accomplish in terms of using a second monitor to stream Tabletop Simulator games. Give them a look as they are filled with useful info which might help you modify the commands to fit your own needs.


Utilizing a second monitor with Spectator_Screen

Easy Cameras for TTS is Particularly useful if you’re only using a single monitor and want on screen buttons that load saved cameras.

Let me know if you found this guide useful! I’d also love to hear from you if you make any improvements or changes to what I have here.

See you at the digital game table.

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