In general, a tile is one square of the grid on which you build your maps for your Gather Space. When you are inside of a Space, a single, quick press of your arrow keys will move your avatar one tile in the direction of the arrow key you pressed.
All tile squares in Gather are 32 x32 pixels in size.
In our Mapmaker, we have special tile types that are used to create specific effects. Each type of tile provides a different function for your Gather space.
You can find and place the special Tile Types in the Mapmaker by selecting the Tile tab or pressing the hotkey [t].
Note that the icon at the top left of the screen will change based on the Tile Type you have selected.
The default Tile Type is "Impassible Tile" which is represented by an X. In the above image, the "Spawn Tile" type is selected and the icon in the upper left has changed to the corresponding matching map pin image.
You can only add or delete the tile type you have selected. This helps you edit the different layers of tiles you have placed rather than accidently deleting an Impassible Tile when you only wanted to delete the Private Space Tile in the same location.
Please feel free to check out our 2-minute walk through on how to place and use each of the tile types
Usually in Gather, you see and hear the people around you. For more flexible conversation dynamics, you can create "Private Spaces" also known as "Private Areas." Here's a short YouTube tutorial on how Private Areas work:
What are They and How do they work?
- Private tiles are areas in the map where users in the private areas can only see each other, no matter how far they are with no video/audio fading.
- Only other users in the same private area can see or hear you.
This is frequently used for one-on-one conversations, poster sessions, or sponsor booths.
Below is an example of what the colored check box does when creating private tiles. This is a great way to visually let users know how many available spots are included in that private area.
We recommend that you cover the entire area around a table or the entire carpet with the same Private Spaces Tile ID in order to reduce confusion when others walk up to the table and are unable to converse with those who are at the table.
A Neat Trick: Private Spaces with the same ID do not have to be directly adjacent. For those of you building complex escape rooms or obstacles in Gather, you can use private tiles to connect people from completely opposite ends of the map to chat with each other while figuring our different tasks to complete.
Private Area Highlights
To address confusion regarding who is and isn't in a private conversation area, we have added highlights and fading to clearly indicate who you are and aren't talking to.
Now, when you walk into a private conversation area, the connected private tiles will be highlighted and the rest of the map will darken.
Spotlight tiles are tiles that can be walked on and let you broadcast your voice and video to everyone in the current room, not the entire space. Spotlighting overrides private area connection limits. This means that you will still receive a spotlighted video broadcast even if you are in a private area.
Being spotlighted means having your video and audio broadcasted to up to 100 users in the same room. The spotlight feature is restricted to the first 100 users in that room, and any additional users over 100 will not be able to see or hear the speaker.
For presentations with more than 100 users, we recommend that you create a live stream and embed the live stream into a video object. For more information, click here to learn more about video objects.
Use an External Call Object to open any external link to a video calling platform. Using this object and clicking on the link button will automatically mute your microphone, disable your video, and open the link in a new tab. For more information on how this works, click here to learn more about external call objects.
When you are spotlighted, you will be able to see the other users you are broadcasting to, however, their audio will be muted for you unless they are in the typical connection range to see and interact with you. It can be helpful to think of spotlighting as a microphone - if you have a microphone, you can be heard by people in the room, but you can only hear them back if they walk up to you or if they also have a microphone (i.e. are also spotlighted).
Spotlight broadcasts override private areas meaning you will still receive spotlighted video broadcasts if you are in a private area. Attendees in private areas, playing games, or interacting with objects will be able to hear the spotlighted speaker.
Spotlighting can be accomplished by standing on a spotlight tile or by being spotlighted by a moderator. You can create multiple spotlight tiles in a room or you can have a moderator 'spotlight' multiple users using the menu option - both methods will allow the same functionality.
A moderator can spotlight participants by right clicking their name in the participant list and clicking the 'Spotlight' option.
We recommend that the number of spotlighted users stay under 20 per room, but you can have multiple rooms in the same space with multiple users that add up to more than 20 users, as long as they are not in the same room. For example, you could run multiple panel discussions with panelists, moderators, and audience members asking questions in the same Space, just not all in one giant room.
Here is what the spotlight looks like in action:
When you are spotlighted, you will be able to view the participants in the current room through your video carousel at the top. However, non spotlighted users will see your video first on the left, and then can only see the videos of the people in their current conversation interaction distance/private areas.
If you were manually spotlighted by a moderator and you no longer wish to be, you can unspotlighted yourself by clicking on your name from the Participants List.
How do I place a Spotlight Tile?
Spotlight tiles can only be placed in our mapmaker. They can be placed by selecting the "Tile" option in the mapmaker and selecting the "Spotlight Space Tile".
Spotlight tiles show up as an orange tile in the mapmaker but note that the tile is invisible when you are in your space. For this reason it is recommended to put an object in front of it such as a podium to show that there is a tile in front of it.
You are also welcome to add multiple spotlight tiles in your space, if you plan to have multiple simultaneous speakers during that session.
If you have concerns about users abusing the spotlight tile, you can alternatively just place the podium object and having moderators manually spotlight speakers instead.
What are Spawn Tiles and How to Use Them
Spawn tiles are used by the mapmaker/host to designate where new attendees spawn in your event space! These spawn tiles can be placed directly near the entrance door of your space if you have guiding materials in your space for new users. They can also be placed throughout the room if you'd like users to enter in a specific area of your entrance.
Spawn Tiles are designated by these green highlighted tiles in the Mapmaker.
For larger conferences, we recommend creating multiple spawn areas within your entrance room so that users will more easily spread out in the space. You want to limit the number of simultaneous connections a person will encounter to less than 25 when they first arrive in your space in order to have the best experience within Gather.
To determine how large of an area you would need to cover in spawn tiles, take the max rate of expected guest arrival per 5-minute interval, multiply by 144 (or 12 squared, which is the total area you need to not be connected to anyone else) and divide by 25 (the maximum number of connections you would like an individual to have when they first arrive in your Space). This is the area, in tiles, you should ideally cover in a checker-board pattern of spawn tiles.
You are hosting a 200 person event. Your event has some arrival flexibility, but you're also having a keynote speaker at a very specific time. You decide you want to open the space roughly 30 minutes before the talk and expect that roughly half of your attendees will arrive 10 minutes before the talk. This gives a very rough estimate of 50 attendees per 5-minute interval. You can determine the area to spread spawn tiles over in the following manner:
- 50 simultaneously spawning attendees x 144 square tiles / 25 attendee connections = 288 square tiles ( As in the total area to cover with tiles in a checkerboard pattern will include 288 tiles)
- square root (288) ~ 17 tile lengths --> Spread spawn tiles in a checkerboard grid across a ~17 x 17 tile area
- Or to use easier numbers: Round to 300 and spread spawn tiles over a 30 x 10 or 20 x 15 tile area
- Alternatively split the spawn area into two locations, both covering a 15 x 10 tile area.
These are all recommendations and are not hard and fast rules.
Portal tiles are used by the mapmaker/host to connect various rooms within your space, as well as connecting separate Gather spaces together.
Please note that portal tiles are ONE-WAY only, so you will need to place portal tiles from both sides of the origin room as well as the destination room.
When you select the portal tile option, you will be able to place a blue highlighted tile and the following two prompts will show up.
Portal to a Room (Same Space)
The option to "Portal to a room" will allow you to place portals in the same room or a different room within the same space you are currently working in. When you select this option, you will see a drop down list of all rooms in the current space. Select the designated room you'd like to connect, then place the portal tile in the destination room. Please remember to then switch to the destination room and place another portal tile linking back to the original room. Best practice is to place portals at the back end of a door way, as indicated, and the exit destination as in front of the door way.
There will not be an indicator for the destination tile chosen. Unfortunately origin and destination information is not available at this time. You can manually check your portals from within the space (Just remember to set a return portal!) We apologize for the inconvenience!
Portal to Another Space
This will allow you to link your space to a different space. When users enter these types of portals, they will be prompted to "Press Enter" to confirm that they are comfortable leaving the existing space to enter an entirely difference space.
When you select "Portal to Another Space," you will be prompted to enter the destination Gather space URL. This option will automatically spawn your user into the default spawn location of the linked Space if it is the first time they entered the space. Otherwise, they will spawn in the last location they were in when they were last in the linked Space.
Portals to other Spaces will lead people to the default spawn point of that Space unless they have visited the Space before. If you have been to the Space before, you will appear where you last were.