As we all know, the right minis and game board are essential elements of a perfect tabletop experience. They are more or less necessary unless you want to do a great deal of improvisation, and ultimately they add that material aspect to the games that makes them so valuable to begin with. Beyond having the right elements in place though, how can you really enhance a tabletop gaming experience to make it more immersive, more enjoyable, and more memorable?
We have a few ideas.
1. Cloak The Room In Black
The idea of cloaking the room in black made sense to us, so we looked up some color psychology. There, we learned that black evokes power, mystery, and calm, and can have a grounding effect. Thats a mixed bag, but all in all it sounds as if black has the power to focus the mind while maintaining an element of mystique. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect backdrop for your night of gaming? By hanging dark curtains over the walls, you can effectively shrink the room and zero in everyone’s focus on the game board, and nothing else. It’s a great way to make an atmosphere out of the game.
2. Make A Soundtrack
Here again the idea of the right sounds seemed to make sense, so we did a little bit of research on the idea of audio accompaniments for gaming. Most interesting was a piece on casino gaming examining musicals effects on the brain. There, the specific ideas were that music could be engaging, but also palatable, at holding peoples attention without being distracting. But were trusting the more general idea that the brain responds subconsciously to the right music. It may take a few tries and depend on the games you favor, but you might just find the right tunes to serve as psychologically sensible but not distracting background music for the occasion. This would obviously deepen the atmosphere.
3. Bring In Comfortable Seating
The whole concept of comfortable seating is changing and getting easier. Once upon a time this meant going to one or two prominent stores and spending a little too much money. Now, there are virtually limitless options. We read recently about a couch-in-a-box concept that has led to a multimillion-dollar company revolving around custom furniture, for instance. We’ve also seen ads for furniture that you can take apart and reassemble in whatever shape you like. Neither of these specific examples is necessary for your gaming space, but they speak to the variety and convenience that exists today. You can do better than old furniture you bought off Craigslist, and the more comfortable you and your group are the more relaxed you’ll be for the gaming session.
4. Adopt A Persona
This is a little bit more of a gimmick, and it’s not meant to be entirely serious. But if you and the people you play with adopt, dress up for, and stick to different personae, you can complete the atmosphere. These personae should be based on the games, and can even lead to costuming to mimic your minis. Done right, and in a comfortable environment with dark surroundings and haunting, game-appropriate music, they can really transform the experience. And if not, there at least be good for a laugh.