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Gather Town Crash Course
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Gather Town Crash Course

Introduction

One-time setup

Technical requirements

Signing in to gather.town

Basic usage

Entering a space

Viewport and navigation

Common features

Action bar

Side bar

Getting help and troubleshooting

Tips and tricks

Overview of the space

Introduction

Welcome to the virtual venue for the IK 2022! In this online space we will meet throughout for lectures, events, group activities, and more generally to communicate via video chat. The service provider is called Gather Town, which is how the space is often referred to.

In case you encounter technical problems, please contact us at vik-tech@interdisciplinary-college.org .

One-time setup

Technical requirements

*Please note: While Gather Town also works on mobile devices (smart phones, iPads, etc.), it is highly recommended to use it on a computer/laptop with the Google Chrome browser, as this combination generally works best. If you have a choice, please consider switching to either hardware/software or ideally both.

Signing in to gather.town

You will receive an access link to the virtual IK gather.town space by Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022. When you click this link, you should see the following screen. Click on Sign in (1).

Now, gather.town should ask you for your e-mail address (2). Please provide the same email address that you used during registration! Then, click on ‘Sign in with email’ (3).

Next, open your e-mail program. You should have received a new e-mail by gather.town with a six-digit code. Please type this code into your browser window (4).

Congratulations! You should be signed in now. Whenever you open gather.town (via the link we sent to you), you should now have direct access to the virtual venue. (note: if you want to use another browser or device later on, you need to do this entire procedure again)

Note: On your first access, gather.town might present you with a tutorial. You can either enjoy this tutorial or skip it by clicking ‘Skip tutorial’.

Basic usage

Entering a space

You can enter a space in Gather Town by opening the respective URL of that space in your browser. The URL of the space of the Interdisciplinary College is being sent via email a few days before the start.

When opening a Gather Town space, you are presented with a dialog window to enter a few technical details. Usually, your browser will ask your permission to use your webcam and microphone. If you do not provide it, you can still use the system but others won’t be able to see or hear you.

  1. A preview of your avatar (representation of you in Gather Town).
  1. Click “Edit Character” to customize and continue when you are ready.
  2. Your name will be based on the name you entered during registration.
  1. Select the webcam, microphone, and speakers that Gather Town should use.
  1. Most of the time you don’t have to make changes here.
  2. If you cannot select any device, make sure that your browser has the correct permissions or check the section on getting help below.
  1. When you are ready, click “Join the Gathering” to enter the Gather Town space!

Viewport and navigation

After you enter a Gather Town space, the biggest portion of the window will look like the following, containing a few special elements.

  1. your avatar (at the center of your screen)
  2. avatars of other participants
  3. one or more videos of other participants, if your avatar is close to one or more other avatars

Common features

Action bar

The horizontal bar on the bottom of the viewport provides access to a few features.

  1. customization of your avatar
  2. user settings, where you can change e.g. audio/video settings, or your status message (which defaults to “Online”)
  3. minimap to get an overview of the current map
  4. share your own screen (“screenshare”)
  5. send quick feedback to other users, which appears over your avatar
  1. With the hand-emoji you can signify you want to speak up (“raise your hand”). A small hand-icon will be shown next to your name in the user list.
  2. Each emoji can be selected by pressing the key on your keyboard with the respective number. E.g. press the 6-key to raise your hand.

Side bar

In the sidebar on the left (see screenshot), you have a couple of icons. Only the relevant ones are explained here, but feel free to explore yourself.

Getting help and troubleshooting

Tips and tricks

Overview of the space

The whole virtual space is divided into a couple of connected maps. A few maps and what landmarks they contain are listed below, but this list is not exhaustive. Feel free to explore the space. It is not dangerous to go alone, but it might be more fun to do it in company!

Map: Outside

Map: Inside

Multiple maps: Lecture halls

Map: Library

Map: Basement

Map: Forum