Tabletop Simulator

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Tabletop Simulator
Developer(s)Berserk Games
Publisher(s)Berserk Games
Designer(s)Jason Henry
Artist(s)Kimiko (2D art/PR)
Henrique Lopes (3D art)
Lawrence Steele (Sound)
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Linux, OS X
ReleaseJune 5, 2015[1]
Genre(s)Tabletop game simulation
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Twilight Imperium Fourth edition as implemented in Tabletop Simulator

Tabletop Simulator is an independent video game that allows players to play and create tabletop games in a multiplayer physics sandbox. Developed by Berserk Games as their first title after a successful crowdfunding campaign in February 2014, the game was released in June of the following year.[2]


Tabletop Simulator is a player-driven physics sandbox, without set victory or failure conditions.[3] After selecting a table to play on, players interact with the game by spawning and moving virtual pieces, which are subject to a physics simulation. Online multiplayer is supported with a maximum of ten players. Aside from spawning and moving pieces, the game includes mechanics to assist with common styles of board game play, such as automatic dice rolling and hiding players' pieces from one another; other mechanics aid in administrating a game, for example saving the state of the board or undoing moves.[4][5]

Several games are included, including chess, checkers and poker.[3][6] Tables and pieces can be mixed and customized to create new games, which can then be saved to share and play with others. The game allows images and models to be imported to create entirely new pieces and tables,[7] allowing for the recreation of most real-world board games.[7][8] Over three-thousand games and custom assets are shared on the game's Steam Workshop; while there is original content, a notable number of these shared items are adaptations of existing games, including unlicensed derivatives of copyrighted works.[3][8] Berserk Games has also worked with a number of game publishers to offer officially-licensed Tabletop Simulator versions of their games as downloadable content, such as Cosmic Encounter.[9]


Tabletop Simulator was developed by Berserk Games, a studio consisting of Jason Henry and Kimiko. Before forming Berserk Games, Henry attended college focusing on engineering, while working on game mods in his spare time, including the popular Mana Warfare mod for Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.[3] Kimiko had been a community moderator for Chivalry and later a member of Torn Banner Studios. In an interview with Gamasutra, the pair described the game Desperate Gods as being an inspiration, though they wanted to expand the "free-form shared board game" concept to cover all tabletop games.[3]

In a crowdfunding campaign that began in February 2014, Tabletop Simulator earned US$37,403 on Kickstarter with the backing of 1,822 individuals.[10] On March 15, Berserk Games announced that they had successfully passed through Steam Greenlight, allowing them to distribute the game on Steam.[11]

January 2022 controversy[edit]

In January 2022, a transgender user was temporarily banned from the game's global chat for referring to herself as trans and gay. She then made a complaint to Berserk Games. On January 8th, they responded with a statement that "Tabletop Simulator supports the LGBTQ+ community", then issued a formal apology to the user. On January 9th, Berserk Games removed the global chat feature from the game. On January 14th, Berserk Games made a $10000 donation to the National Center for Transgender Equality. Berserk Games's moderation decisions in this incident resulted in review bombing on their Steam page.[12][13][14][15]


  1. ^ "Steam Database". Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  2. ^ Pearson, Craig. "Tabletop Simulator Makes Me So Happy", RockPaperShotgun, February 17th, 2014. Retrieved on 25 March 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Wawro, Alex (July 3, 2015). "Mod Mentality: How Tabletop Simulator was made to be broken". Gamasutra. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
  4. ^ "Tabletop Simulator Overview Video". Polygon. 24 April 2014. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
  5. ^ Nerd³ FW - Tabletop Simulator.
  6. ^ "Tabletop Simulator Officially Launches With Superfight DLC!". Retrieved July 8, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Tarason, Dominic (30 April 2015). "Best Tabletop Simulator Mods". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Dean, Paul (11 June 2015). "How Do Boardgame Creators Feel About Tabletop Simulator And Infringing Mods?". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
  9. ^ O'Conner, Alice (October 1, 2015). "Cosmic Encounter Officially Invades Tabletop Simulator". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  10. ^ "Kickstarter". Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  11. ^ Kimiko. "We did it! We're getting on Steam!", SteamGreenlight, March 15th, 2014. Retrieved on 31 March 2014.
  12. ^ Charlie Hall (2022-01-12). "Tabletop Simulator removes global chat, developers say moderation 'has failed' its customers". Polygon. Retrieved 2024-01-19.
  13. ^ Kyle Orland (2022-01-18). "Tabletop Simulator removes global chat amid LGBTQ moderation controversy". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2024-01-19.
  14. ^ Andy Chalk (2022-01-15). "Tabletop Simulator studio kills global chat for good, makes $10K donation to trans advocacy group". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2024-01-19.
  15. ^ Renata Price (2022-01-11). "Tabletop Simulator's Steam Reviews Descend Into Culture War Nightmare Factory". Kotaku. Retrieved 2024-01-19.

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