Tips for Virtual Parties
A short summary of the "Tips for Running a Virtual Mystery" tip sheet we provide with all virtual games:
Tips for Host:
These tips are pretty light as the host has very little to do during the course of the party!
1 If the optional Pre-party Fun and Sleuthing (Initial Mingling in pre-party booklets) is played, then use a video call environment that permits multiple rooms. For example, with Zoom, create multiple breakout rooms, make everyone a co-host of
each breakout room and then they can join and leave each room as they please. With Google Hangouts, create multiple hangouts that people can join.
2 When playing the audio Introduction and Solution, mute microphones (or ask guests to mute their microphones). This cuts out background noise and enables the quality of the audio to be heard.
Tip: before the game, check that you know how to enable your device to share an audio across the virtual call software of your choice.
3 Optionally, share clues as and when needed. This is completely optional as players read the clues as part of the game. Some parties, however, like to study the information on the clues afterwards - if so, share the appropriate page of the Duplicate Clues document as requested.
Tip: it might be a good idea to check how to share a document in advance.
Tips for Guests - They Will Need:
To check that their cameras and microphones work and that they have a good spot for their wi-fi. (Great to do before the party!)
Have fully-charged devices - or a charger to-hand!
Party booklets and clues (if any) to hand. Alternatively, if booklets are to be viewed electronically, then an additional device is needed. Many guests find it easier to print the clues so that they don't need to keep flicking between different tabs on their device.
Display Name (the name that appears on the screen) set to the character name not their personal name. This makes it a lot easier to work out which character is speaking.
A microphone (if available) helps to guests move their device slightly away from themselves whilst still maintaining sound quality.
A rest for phones / iPads / Tablets saves sore arms.
Audio and camera turned on and display options (eg gallery and thumbnail) the way they wish.
Virtual backgrounds - if guests don't use some of the decorations printouts and ideas supplied by Maple Mystery Games, then software such as Zoom enables them to use fun virtual backgrounds. Great for setting the scene!
For convenience, these guest instructions are also given in each of our online invitaions:
View Sample Virtual Murder Mystery Invitation
General Host Instructions
We also provide a full set of host instructions specially tailored for virtual parties; these are clear, detailed and attractively laid out:
View Sample Host Instructions For Virtual Party