Hey there, card game enthusiasts and those with minor crafting skills! Today, I want to go over how to, with your very own hands (or those of a parent, if you're very young – hey kid, ask your parents' permission!), create a webcam stand for the sake of remote tabletop Magic: The Gathering play with your friends and colleagues.
Normally, someone like me would be absolutely lost in the woods about this sort of thing, but thankfully we have the folks of Just Games Rochester to thank for this master-course in do-it-yourself ingenuity.
You Will Need:
a smartphone: It's kind of a given that without this you'll be stuck without any means of recording or transmitting the game to others. Unless you're Maximillian Pegasus from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, you don't have the power to play completely remotely before opponents can do anything to intervene. You'll need this.
A pair of scissors: How else will you cut apart the next component?
A Fat-Pack or Bundle box: Yes, I know that this is hard for some people to do. Fat packs for some are precious storage utility. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and besides – you can still hold cards in the Bundle without any real difficulty! If need be, you can find these at any local gaming store if they're operating, or ask a friend!
You'll want to measure the depth of your phone, and make two diagonal incisions in the inner box of the Bundle, facing the short edge, on both long sides\, as shown below:
While the diagram says to remove these tabs, I'd recommend not cutting them out completely – instead, bend them outward so that they can hold some of the weight of the smart device you're using. Also, always keep in mind that, for a snug fit, you can always cut too small, but you can't get back what you've taken away. Undercutting is far more forgiving than overcutting!
The next thing you'll want to do is, after measuring or eyeballing along the short edge that your previous cuts face, cut an open window along that short edge of your box, again as shown below:
This will allow you to get a better view of your smart device's screen. Note that the box needs to still be firm and support your phone, so again, don't overcut here – otherwise, you'll not have a supportive-enough frame for your smart device.
As seen in the first image of this article, proceed to assemble the stand. Put the smaller box into the larger box, perpendicular and facing away from you with the cut edges peeking out of the box. If you're concerned about weighing this contraption of yours down, this is where you can just fill the larger box with cards if you wish!
Furthermore, put the smart device where your cuts dictate.
I recommend using a chat-app like Zoom or Discord for the purpose of video chat for card games. Zoom seems even better than Discord in my personal opinion because rooms are open to many more people than Discord rooms are, and can be divided into sub-rooms (or pods, for those wanting to play multiplayer).
Also, if your device is mounted too low to the ground you won't see a whole lot of your setup. You'll probably want to have a laptop handy to check what is going on on the opposing tables, but, more importantly, in order for others to see your own board-states in your games you will want a way to raise your mount even higher than it already is.
Hopefully, this guide will help enough people to allow for more than a little extra gaming in these trying times. Stay safe everyone and happy gaming!