This article offers a summary of what object types are with links to find out more about each individual object type. You can also watch the following YouTube tutorial for a quick overview of objects and a walkthrough of the Object Picker:
Objects are the images that appear inside of your Space, on top of your Space's background image. They can be uploaded as custom object images, or selected from the large variety of pre-generated objects inside of our Object Picker. Objects can be almost any size, but are often scaled to match your avatar's size and can be moved, edited, and deleted without affecting the main background image. There are two primary categories of objects:
- Decorative Objects: Purely aesthetic with no interaction
- Interactive Objects: Can be activated when your avatar is near the object
Note: It is possible to turn a chair, table, or other traditionally Decorative Object into an Interactive Object. Once an interactive effect is placed on an object, it becomes an Interactive Object, regardless of what the image originally was.
Interactive objects are further broken down into two categories:
- Basic interactive objects: View images or text uploaded to Gather.
- Advanced interactive objects: View or open a link external to Gather + Spotlight tiles.
Basic Interactive Objects
- Embedded image: Upload an image (.png, .jpeg, .gif) to display inside a Gather iframe.
- Note object: Display typed text or provide text links for users to open in a new window.
- External call / Zoom call integration: link to an external call (Zoom, Web-ex, Teams, etc.). Call will open in new window and auto-mute your Gather browser tab.
- Embedded video: link to any embeddable video or live stream to display inside a Gather iframe.
Advanced Interactive Objects
- Synchronized embedded video: link to any embeddable video or live stream to display inside a Gather iframe.
- Embedded website: link to any embeddable website to display inside a Gather iframe.
- Spotlight tiles: Allows the user standing on this tile type to broadcast their video and audio to everyone in the room.
All categories are listed on the left hand menu of the object picker. There's also a search bar at the top if you're looking for a specific object. Our design team adds new objects weekly so make sure to be on the lookout for those!
On the bottom left, there are two special options:
- Insert Text feature allows you to use plain black text to label your space. You can change the size of the text and set the x,y offset. At this time, you cannot change the font or color.
- Upload New allows you to upload any sort of custom object! Here's a short video on how to make use of this - https://youtu.be/2XjTLK6aNz0
Object Interaction Types
- Embedded Website: link to any embeddable website directly inside a Gather frame.
- Embedded Image: upload image (.png, .jpeg, .gif) to display inside a Gather frame.
- Embedded Video: link to an embeddable video from YouTube, Twitch, or Vimeo. Works for playlists and live streams as well.
- External Call: link to an external call (Zoom, Webex, Teams, etc.). Call will open in new window and auto-mute in Gather.
- Note Object: display lines of text or provide links for users to open in a new window.
You can control how close a user must be to interact with an object, which is called the Activation distance. From the Object Picker, in the Object Interactions section, enter the maximum number of tiles a user can be from an object to interact with it. This distance includes all diagonals and is measured starting from the outermost edge of the tile(s) the object is contained within.
If you do not set an activation distance for an interactive object, it will default to 3. If set to 1, the user can only interact with the object when they are in the tiles directly next to the object. If set to 0, the user must stand directly on top of the object to interact with it.
You can link any embeddable website inside of an object and have it open directly inside of Gather within an iframe. This includes individual Google documents, spreadsheets, and forms, but not Google Drive File Directories. Almost any site can be embedded as long as the website administrator allows embedding.
To embed a website, select a object and click on "embedded website" under the Object Interactions.
Embedded Website Not Working
To make sure the website you want to use can be embedded, you must make sure that:
1.) It is an HTTPS site. Unfortunately, HTTP sites will not work due to security concerns.
2) The website administrator allows embedding. If they do not, you will get a message saying "refused to connect" or something similar. You can test this here: https://www.w3schools.com/tags/tryit.asp?filename=tryhtml_iframe
Warning: Some sites might require that you allow 3rd party cookies to display properly.
Note: Not all websites are the correct format to be embedded within Gather, and it is also common practice that companies and website hosts block embedding or their URLs to avoid spam.
A workaround for websites that can not be embedded would be to paste the URL within the object as a note interaction. This will allow the participants to see a URL when they interact with that object, like in the screenshot below. If they click the URL it will open the website in a new tab.
To add a URL in a note, open the Object Picker, select an object, and under Object Interactions, click Note Object. Then add the URL in the Message field.
When a user is within activation distance, they can press "x" to view the Note. They can click the URL to access the website.
Embedded Image objects let you upload your own image or poster to Gather inside of an interactable object. When someone is within the activation distance of the object, they will see a small pop-up preview of your image. When they interact with those objects, the full images will open up inside of an iframe!
Here's a video that walks you through embedding images using our poster set templates, otherwise read on for more info!
Embedded Image Objects include a preview of your image that appears when you approach the object and are within its activation range.
In order to upload and embed an image, the image must be:
- in .png, .jpg, .webp format
- at least 1000px for the width
- at least 600px for the height
- max 3MB in size
We recommend a minimum DPI of 72, but this is not a requirement. All images will be enlarged to fill inside of the iframe, so exact dimensions and proportions are not required. Transparent backgrounds will be filled with a black background.
When you interact with the embedded image, the full image will open inside of an iframe.
You have the option of including a caption or short blub when you first create your embedded image object. This will appear when you interact with the image object when you mouse over the information icon on the right side of your image.
After interacting with an embedded image, you and anyone else who has opened the image may use the "Presenter Mode" tool on the right hand side to click and indicate specific areas of the image or poster that you are discussing. Everyone who has the image open will see the locations that you click on while in Presenter Mode. The indication will appear as a small colored circle that will disappear after a few seconds.
Here's a great article one university wrote up about their poster upload experience as well - https://photonicsonlinemeetup.org/virtual-poster-session-gather-town/.
If you'd like to show showcase a video or set up a livestream, you can embed video into an interactive object. The following platforms are great options for sharing video:
- YouTube live (livestreaming)
- Twitch (livestreaming)
- Or really anywhere with HTTPS and a video embed link.
You can manage interactive objects through the Build tool while you're in your Space, or you can manage your objects while in Mapmaker mode. Either way, you will need the URL of the video you wish to embed.
Note: Inserting the interactive object using the Build tool in your Space makes it easy to test your video, while using Mapmaker mode allows you to see the specific tile onto which you're placing the object.
Embedded Video Options
Using the Build tool in your Space, or the Object picker in the Mapmaker, select a tv or other object to interactively show your video. In the Object picker, in the Object interactions section of the right-hand panel, click Embedded video.
Copy the URL into the Video field. In Activation distance, enter the distance (in tiles) at which the user can interact with the object.
Return to your Space and test interacting with the tv. The object should be highlighted in yellow when you are within activation distance. Press "x" on your keyboard to play the video on fullscreen within your Space.
Note: A preview of the video shows in the left of the map when you are within activation distance. You can click the Play button in the preview to play the video outside of fullscreen mode.
Note: For more troubleshooting and advanced settings for YouTube videos, read their documentation.
Advanced Video Settings in Gather
You can fine tune settings for the embedded video from the Object picker by clicking Advanced options.
Prompt message - Enter text that displays at the bottom center of the page when walking within activation distance of an object.
Object image - Select a custom image that appears on the map when the object is not within activation range.
Active image - Changes the image that appears when the object is within activation range. By default, this is a yellow highlight around the object.
Synchronized start time - Select a time and date for the video to play to everyone within activation distance.
Warning: If you are using a livestream link, do not set up a start/sync time. This will prevent the livestream from playing.
Object active start time - Select the date and time when the object should appear on the map.
Object active end time - Select the date and time when the object should disappear from the map.
Here's a short video on how to place External Call Integration objects. The interface is outdated, but the functionality remains the same.
This feature currently works for any pre-set meeting link; Zoom, Google Meets, Teams, Webex, etc.
Joining the Call
User enters a Gather room that has a press 'x' to enter zoom call button.
- They see this text
- Click on the zoom link and open the zoom application ins a separate window, Gather will auto-mute the user's video and audio output.
- Enter presentation is hosted on Zoom directly
- They exit the zoom call, and head back to Gather to see this message. They click the green button to enter the Gather space exactly where they last left off.
Tips and Tricks:
- Make sure to increase the activation distance (found under the advanced options for the external call integration object). This will guarantee that anyone who walks into the entire room/area that you designate for the external presentation will be able to press 'x' to interact. Otherwise, you will have too many people crowded in one small area.
- We also frequently see hosts create larger custom objects rather than using our blank object image, so it is visually obvious to users that there's an object to interact with.
- We also frequently see hosts place multiple instances of the same external call object around the room (or in multiple rooms) so more users can interact easily with the object.
If you choose to rotate zoom links throughout the day, you will need to either:
a) designate someone to enter builder mode in the space, erase the object with the old call link, and place a new one (with a new link) during the period of time between speakers, or
b) create visually different objects or places (eg: signs) in the room where people can walk to to get the next zoom link.
Both of these might be trickier than hosting one big zoom call for the room, depending on what you are comfortable with; by default, the 'zoom call integration' object is invisible, and so it will not appear to either participants or builders visually on the map.
If you expect less than 100 participants, using Gather's spotlight feature (and screenshare for slides) might also be an option, although that 100 is a fairly hard limit.
You can place messages inside of note objects. This is handy if you are designing a game or encouraging exploration of a Space, or if you want to let a co-worker know you stopped by.
Add a Note
In your Space or the Mapmaker, open the Object Picker and search for "note." Select the Note object. In the Message field, enter your text. (Example: Hey Riley! Just missed you. \n \n Let's meet in the coffee bar at 2pm. ☕️ \n - Bob) Select your Activation Distance (how close you need to be to interact with the note).
Note: To add a line break, use \n or \r. (Example: Hey! \n Just missed you!)
Tip: Add emojis using your machine's native emoji picker! (Windows: Windows key + period; Mac: Ctrl + Cmd + Space)
If you want to change the message of a note, you must use the Mapmaker. With Objects active in the Top Nav Menu and the Select tool active in the Left Nav Menu, click the note object you wish to edit. Update the text. Click Save in the Top Nav Menu when you're finished.
To remove a note quickly while in your Space, click Build in the Left Nav Menu. The Build panel opens. Select the Erase tab. Move the red rectangle to the note object and double click. The note will be deleted.
Our team has incorporated several pre-set games in our Object Picker. These games are set up so that you can join private games within your Gather space, so you can play while also video chatting with friends! You can add any of these games into your pre-existing Space, or you can use a Game Room template to create a Space full of games!
Add a Game to Your Space
To quickly and easily add a game in your Space, just click Build in the Left Nav Menu. Type the name of the game you want to use, or just type "game" to see a full list. When you've picked the game you want, place it in your Space.
Existing Game Integrations
The following is a list of games that are available for you within Gather. You can find out more about the games and how they work on their respective websites below.
- Tetris: https://jstris.jezevec10.com
- Codenames: https://netgames.io/games/codewords/
- Poker: https://lipoker.io/
- Set: https://setwithfriends.com/
- Skribbl: https://skribbl.io/
- Sudoku: https://sudoku.gather.town/
- Survive: https://surviv.io
- Catan-esque game: https://colonist.io/
- Dominion: https://dominion.games
- Crosswords: https://downforacross.com/
- Fishbowl: https://fishbowl-game.com
- One Night Werewolf: https://netgames.io/games/onu-werewolf/
- Draw Battle: https://drawbattle.io/
- Piano: https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Shared-Piano/#pTf9y7kT6
- Witch Dice: https://witchdice.com/simple/gather-RAmKIsRU70jQ0U9itable2
Note: We don't own any of the games in the object picker. If you are interested in reaching out to us to develop a possible integration for your website or game, please e-mail email@example.com with "Game Integration" in your subject line!
Embed an External Game
You can embed a game from outside Gather if the site allows embedding. You'll need to head to the Mapmaker, so click Build in the Left Nav Menu, then Edit in Mapmaker. With the Objects mode selected in the Top Nav Menu, click the Stamp tool. Then click More Objects in the right panel. Search for an object (e.g., Game Box) and select Embedded Website. Then copy and paste the URL.
Tip: You can embed a game in Gather that (a) is available online at an https:// URL and (b) allows embedding. You may need to create a private game ahead of time and use that URL.
Use a Game Room Template
You can also easily spin up one of our Game Room templates at gather.town/create/, which come in three sizes: small (2-25), medium (25-50), or large (50-100). These templates feature tables set up with our integrated games throughout the Space. Typically the tables are private areas, so you've got to take a seat at the table to see and hear each other.
Note: Keep in mind the integrated games may have their own limits of number of players. The size of the templates are relative to the number of guests they can accommodate.
Gather's default collaborative whiteboards are powered by http://tryeraser.com/. Eraser has a great interface for note taking, a canvas for drawing, or both!
You can choose the exact color you want for your pen by entering the color code
How can I save a copy of my whiteboard to share with others?
- Click the Share button the share the link to your whiteboard
- The best way to generate a hard copy would be to "copy as PNG" by right clicking on the canvas and then pasting it into a file editor or image editor then saving as file. That's obviously a lot of steps – we are working with the Eraser team to try to streamline this and support PDF download.
There is not a quick uploader for PDFs like there is for images, but it can still be done. If you would like to add a PDF rather than a png or jpg, you must upload it to a public site (such as Google Drive). Then in your Space, open the Object picker, select the desired interactive object (e.g., projector screen or file), and select Embedded website. Copy the publicly shareable file link from Google Drive, altering the URL to end in "preview". For instance:
You can also copy any public URL of a PDF and paste that URL into the Embedded website field of the Object picker (e.g., you can upload a PDF to a website you host, then copy the URL, like "www.example.com/file.pdf").
In order to share your PowerPoint, you first need to upload it to a site that will create an embeddable link.
One place you can upload your PowerPoint (.ppt or .pptx file) is to Google Slides. Once you have your presentation open in Google Slides, in the File menu, select Publish to the web. In the Publish to the web window, select Publish. Confirm that you wish to publish. A URL now displays for you to copy and paste, as seen in the screenshot below.
Delete everything from the original link that begins with "pub?" and replace it with the word “embed” so it looks like this instead: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vSbaMdqLEgO0CjXPzEahfQm4mJIDhaGjU2waSy6DJz4m1hRXQNOBsRaoR74hYwH8s6atXylVla2ODM8/embed
Copy the modified link. In your Space, open the Object picker. Identify the interactive object you wish to use, then click Embedded website. Paste the modified URL into the field. Save the changes and test that you can view the slides.
You can embed Office 365 documents into Gather using the following process:
- Open OneDrive in your file browser or in your web browser. ( https://onedrive.live.com/ )
- Right-click the file you wish to embed.
- Click Embed.
- In the panel that appears on the right, copy the text from the Embed field and paste it into a text editor.
- Extract the embed link from the IFrame text. What the link will look like is highlighted below (it's everything between the quotes that comes after 'iframe src=').
<iframe src="https://onedrive.live.com/embed?cid=[NUMBERS]&resid=[MORE NUMBERS]%[NUMBERS]&authkey=[NUMBERS AND CHARACTERS]&em=2" width="402" height="346" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
6) Paste that embed link into the 'Website (URL)' field.
You can link any embeddable Google Form or make a poll inside of an object and have it directly inside of Gather within an iframe. Almost any site can be embedded as long as the website administrator allows embedding.
Here are the steps to embed:
1) Make a Google Form (ex. "Test Form") - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc8HSBu242_ZAusIsW_ik9oAHeam31Jyq_fKqVC-UGrMJ5L1Q/viewform?usp=sf_link
2) Search for the Document Object in the Object Picker and select it.
3) Paste the Google Form Link in the Website URL Text box
4) Click Select, and place the object where you would like it.
5) In your Gather Space, interact with document and the Google Form will popup.
When you are in Mapmaker you can select the grid space using the "select mode" tool in the upper left hand corner. From there you will see the "edit stack" menu on the right hand side. This would act as a stack in real life and you would just click and drag the objects above/below one another in the stack. If you'd like the rug to be on the bottom you would want to make sure the rug is below the table and chair within the stack.
Bulletin Board Object
The Bulletin Board is an object in Gather that you can select using the object picker. This is a good way to display information such as birthdays, holidays, game nights, meetings, lunchtimes, etc.
It's as simple as embedding a Google Document, Miro Board, or any other collaborative application into the Bulletin Board object. If you would like a more formal bulletin board that's not collaborative we recommend using a Google Doc that is not editable.
Here's an example Gather Bulletin Board for reference:
Gather has a collection of pre-generated instructional text objects you can use in your space to teach your users how to use Gather.
Using these objects can help your events run more smoothly, and they are formatted and designed to 'fit' Gather's aesthetic.
How to Use Wayfinding Objects
You can use wayfinding objects to point your guests to a specific space or area, to teach them to use Gather, and more!
We would recommend putting these objects near your spawn areas, and making a big enough floor space that users can spawn in, read the text, and walk past it without blocking other users. Here are a few images from our demo conference space:
Wayfinding Objects In the Object Picker
To change which text you're putting down on the floor, use the rotate errors to switch between different messages. In order, these messages are:
- Use arrow keys to move
- These are private spaces
- Press X to interact with Objects
- Walk up to someone to share Video
Unfortunately, all of these messages are pre-generated and cannot be changed. To insert your own text, you can either use the "insert text" feature which will insert black text with a transparent background, or you can create your own text in a image editing program and upload it as an image. The font we use is Amatic SC.
Ambient sounds can be added to your space by placing sound objects! Currently, there are two kinds of sound objects that you can find in the object picker:
Sound Emitters: Sound emitters are designed to emit sounds to a large area- they look like speakerphones.
Localized Sound Objects: These objects emit sounds to a small area. The sounds are paired with localized sound objects that look like they would emit the sound in question (Fountains, Fire Pits, Streams, etc.)
Sound Emitters are designed to cover large maps and we highly suggest only placing one; however, if you find that you are not getting enough coverage, you can place several at various intervals.
When deleting Sound Objects, remember to have everyone in the Space refresh their browser for the changes to take effect.
Adjust Ambient Sound Volume
At this time, the sound objects themselves cannot be adjusted. If you find the pre-set volume distracting, you can adjust how they sound to you in your User Settings:
If you don't hear any sounds and you're on a Windows computer, click here to find out how to adjust your Call Settings.
Sound Objects are still in development and we plan to continue exploring the possibilities and adding customization options! If you have thoughts, comments, or questions on these Sound Objects, please feel free to send us an email to Feedback@gather.town with "Sound Object Feedback" in the subject line or post them on our public Q&A board found here: https://feedback.gather.town/ask-a-question.
On October 1, 2021, Gather will discontinue support for Cocreate whiteboards.
Cocreate whiteboards may be found in older Gather Spaces (created before April 2021).
If you have data stored on a Cocreate whiteboard that you don't want to lose, please save your whiteboard's contents as an .svg file using Cocreate's built-in tool.
After our support ends, interacting with a Cocreate whiteboard will result in an error message. You can erase these whiteboard objects from your Space like any other object. Placing new whiteboards in your spaces will create whiteboards powered by Eraser.