On Friday 07th May, we will have two games on CAVBC. We will have the normal Open game hosted by St Gabriel’s at 19.30 and we will also have a Video enabled game also at 19.30. The cost of both games will be 3BBO$’s. You and your partner can decide which game you would like to play in and then register as normal.
If you do decide to play in the video game there are a few things that you need to know:
- There will be a new feature on your screen where you will see the other 3 players at the table and yourself and the TD, if the TD decides to pay your table a visit.
- Your Laptop, Desktop Computer or Tablet must have a camera, microphone and speaker(s), either built-in or attached.
- You need to make sure that the “Split Screen” setting is set to on in your BBO account. This is the normal default setting, so I expect that it is.
- You need to make sure that your Sound Effects are set to off in your BBO account so that the other players at the table do not hear every click you make.
- The Video function and BBO runs as separate applications on your device. At the start of the game, you may receive a message requesting you to allow your browser to access your camera and/or mic. Once you allow this, you should be able to see the video functionality on BBO.
- We will allow 10 minutes for the 1st board, so that you can become familiar with the functionality and your TD will be available to try to help you if you have a problem.
- If a player at your table does not have their video enabled, they will appear as a black screen in the video section.
- Each players’ BBO name will be displayed along with their image.
- At the top of the video section, there are two icons.
- The first shows a microphone. You can use this to turn on and off your sound. When there is a line through the microphone, this indicates that your sound is off and the other players at the table cannot hear you. (There is a glitch with this. If you had your sound off when you are at a table and you move to the next table, your sound is automatically turned on, but the icon shows that your sound is off. We recommend that you set the sound option to your preferred status (on or off) when you move to a new table.)
- The second shows a camera. You can use this to turn on and off your video. When there is a line through the camera, this indicates that your video is off and the other players at the table will see a black screen instead of you.
- Some of us can be quite noisy, so we recommend that you keep your sound off while you play the boards and then turn it on when all boards at a table are complete, so that you can then chat with the other players until you move to the next table.
- Please continue to use the existing BBO Chat and Alert functionality to announce your system and alert your bids.
- If BBO crashes for some reason, your audio will still be on, so don’t start ranting and raving as the other players at the table are likely to hear you.
- If you find that BBO is very slow, then your device is not suitable for running the BBO video functionality. You should switch off both your Audio and Video functions on the BBO screen and play as normal.
As you know, we had a trial of the BBO Video option on Friday April 16th. The reaction from players was mixed and generally fell into two camps. Some players did not enjoy the experience finding it very slow and noisy, while others found it a very enjoyable experience. Personally, I found it to be a very enjoyable experience from both a playing and a TD point of view, but then I was using a two year old laptop, whose video and sound functionality was excellent. Here is what some of the other participants had to say:
“Thanks for giving me the opportunity to partake in Video bridge game. I didnt have any difficulties logging on. Your email was very helpful. Games were slow , noisy.” – Kaye Nolan
“Very enjoyable game with video this morning. However, I would strongly recommend that the TD instructs everyone to mute their sound after greeting their opponents and before the bidding and play commences, otherwise background noise and chat can be distracting. I also think we should continue with posting our systems to chat, in order to save confusion, especially if video is not available to everyone. I do think it added greatly to the social element around the game. I would also like to add that I had the opportunity to experience it from both sides of the spectrum. In the first instance I was using a low spec, 4 year old laptop and it was very sluggish, the second time I tried it on a borrowed Apple Mac and it was a totally different experience as everything worked like a dream and I had a really enjoyable experience. So, I guess my advice would be that it’s definitely much better when using a good modern machine” – Dick Kiernan
“I tried to get my mug on BBO Bridge this morning to no avail. I had camera switched on. but I was thinking should I have switched it to video mode? I also could not use audio, but I could hear my partner (muttering quietly what a muppet!)” – John Keenan
“I thought it worked well considering it was a trial video. A few runs at it and we will all get the hang of it. I especially enjoyed not seeing or hearing my partner. I could say what l wanted and he was silenced.” – Rose Burke (John Keenan’s partner)
“It didn’t work for me at all. Whilst I could hear and see everyone else at my table, they couldn’t hear me. My mic wasn’t muted. In addition to this I often couldn’t play the cards I wanted. I had to logout and login many times, and, in the end, I came out for good. I usually use an iPad for playing bridge, so I’m not as familiar with the laptop.” – Eva Kelly
“Having tried it twice now I have to say it would not be my favourite way to play bridge. It was lovely meeting, greeting, and chatting with the opposition but for me I found the card displaying very slow and somehow distracting.” – Anne Carroll
“Lots of delay getting people's camera and mic active (including my own as TD!). System lagging. People taking phone calls and forgetting to go on mute. People thinking they are on mute (mic struck through) but we could still hear them. Seems nice and sociable if we can get these things ironed out.” – Orla Murnane
“I was glad of experience and am sure would improve! I found the movement of cards extremely sluggish, and I think the time per round would need to be a bit longer if the purpose is to be more sociable.” – Aileen Corboy
“It was good putting the faces to the names. Whenever the game starts it would be great if the mute option automatically kicks in. If time allows after the games, we can unmute and chat.” – Dympna Craig
We hope you will give our video game a try and decide for yourself which camp you fall into.