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Star Wars: Rebellion» Forums » News

Subject: Digital news (no there will be none, dont get excited) rss

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Hi all,

Because I love Star Wars Rebellion and would love to play more, make playing more easy.

Therefore I contacted FFG to ask if there are any plans/news/thoughts on an IOS/digital/anything of a full game or at least a companion app.

Official response is that here will be none.



Thought I would share this terrible news... to soften my pain
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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You could always play the computer game it's based on, I guess.
 
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Tim Earl
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Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
You could always play the computer game it's based on, I guess.


How does that run on modern systems? I see it's available on Steam.

I have fond memories of that game, and I don't want to ruin them by downloading it and finding that it hasn't aged well.
 
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Saro Gumusyan

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cheng wrote:
Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
You could always play the computer game it's based on, I guess.


How does that run on modern systems? I see it's available on Steam.

I have fond memories of that game, and I don't want to ruin them by downloading it and finding that it hasn't aged well.


The Steam port runs fine on Windows 10 but it's crashed on me a few times before battles. Time has not been kind to the battle interface but hey, it parallels the sometimes clunky nature of battles on the board game.
 
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Tim Earl
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Darth Coupon wrote:
The Steam port runs fine on Windows 10 but it's crashed on me a few times before battles. Time has not been kind to the battle interface but hey, it parallels the sometimes clunky nature of battles on the board game.


If I remember correctly, you didn't actually have to fight the battles, and I played with that turned on, so they were just resolved.
 
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Saro Gumusyan

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Early on it's fine since most battles involve a Rebel retreat, but once you get some big fleets together you want to see the fireworks.

But that game is begging for a re-release, don't see why Lucasarts can't pick it up again and update the map, units and characters.
 
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David Hammel
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Darth Coupon wrote:
But that game is begging for a re-release, don't see why Lucasarts can't pick it up again and update the map, units and characters.


Because Lucasarts exists only as an entity that hands out the Star Wars license. They no longer make their own games.
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Justin
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Arontje wrote:
Official response is that here will be none.

Disappointed, but entirely unsurprised. I find FFG to be generally horrible in their whole approach to digital.
 
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Saro Gumusyan

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Well I sure as hell don't want EA getting their hands on Rebellion after they butchered my beloved SimCity.
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Clyde W
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astroglide wrote:
Arontje wrote:
Official response is that here will be none.

Disappointed, but entirely unsurprised. I find FFG to be generally horrible in their whole approach to digital.
..? They seem to be doing things most other publishers aren't.
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clydeiii wrote:
astroglide wrote:
Arontje wrote:
Official response is that here will be none.

Disappointed, but entirely unsurprised. I find FFG to be generally horrible in their whole approach to digital.
..? They seem to be doing things most other publishers aren't.

Agreed.

I don't really WANT a board game company getting too heavily into digital. Some game probably work well with it, and I'll admit to liking Road to Legend, but if I wanted to play digital games, I wouldn't be playing a board game.

I'm not really interested in having a bigger push for digitizing board games or adding companion apps to every game. That's not why I play board games.
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Justin
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clydeiii wrote:
..? They seem to be doing things most other publishers aren't.

Buying marginal properties like CardGameDB, sending cease & desist letters to amazing, non-profit properties like NetrunnerDB, separate iPhone and iPad app versions with big-app pricing, forfeiting desktop apps, etc.

It's standard OutOfTouchCompany attempts to protect IP and profits, through actions that ultimately harm profits via disenfranchising their own community. Volunteers like jinteki.net are running laps around their own apps.
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
I don't really WANT a board game company getting too heavily into digital. Some game probably work well with it, and I'll admit to liking Road to Legend, but if I wanted to play digital games, I wouldn't be playing a board game.

I'm not really interested in having a bigger push for digitizing board games or adding companion apps to every game. That's not why I play board games.

How is this something other than, "stop liking things that I don't like?" You can choose not to use digital. If it doesn't exist, those that do like it have no choice.
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astroglide wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
I don't really WANT a board game company getting too heavily into digital. Some game probably work well with it, and I'll admit to liking Road to Legend, but if I wanted to play digital games, I wouldn't be playing a board game.

I'm not really interested in having a bigger push for digitizing board games or adding companion apps to every game. That's not why I play board games.

How is this something other than, "stop liking things that I don't like?" You can choose not to use digital. If it doesn't exist, those that do like it have no choice.

Digital games exist, and have for many, many years. They are called "video games".

I don't mind some hybrid games - but I am opposed to it being the standard, rather than the exception. I play video games when I want that experience. When I'm playing a board game, often it's because I want to "unplug" a bit, play things to interact with friends and family.

There are times, like with Road to Legend for Descent, that a companion app can be fun and useful. But I don't think it should be an expectation that all board game companies should start providing digital options for EVERY game - that's a lot of resources required, and for some games, I'm not sure the payback is worthwhile (and would detract from using their resources in developing the physical product).

You say my post is saying "stop doing things I don't like"? That's not what I meant at all, but I could turn it around and saying that your post about how "horribly" FFGs approach is to digital is the same as saying "I demand that FFG focus on doing things that I want", which is an equally unfair and untrue characterization of what you were saying.

Yes, I know there are people who like games like X-Com, and I've heard good things about them. For me, I'll mostly stick with board games that are board games, not video games that have board game components. FFG has options for digital games for those who want them, and I'm sure there will be more - I just don't think Rebellion is one of those that needs such a thing, or would really even benefit from it other than to allow for a solo option (which, to me, defeats much of what makes the game interesting - the back-and-forth cat and mouse chase between two people)
 
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Jeff K
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sigmazero13 wrote:

I'm not really interested in having a bigger push for digitizing board games or adding companion apps to every game. That's not why I play board games.


That depends on the implementation.

Wargames have been doing this for decades, through use of tools like VASSAL and cyberboard. These are mere digital representations of physical games. In fact, a good case could be made that this trend has saved wargaming from the brink of extinction.

ASL maintains a thriving community, largely supported by the implementation of the VASSAL (VASL) engine, almost 13 years ago. This has allowed the community to grow and thrive, despite fewer gamers having the luxury of immense spans of gaming time.

Digital representations such as these solve the "no time, no opponents" problems that plague this type of strategy game. They are just as huge a boon to folks who would like to find time to play a 3-4 game as they are to folks who like much longer games that require several weeks to play and have a very large footprint.

Some game companies have been resistant to this phenomenon, usually citing the possibility of pirating or loss of sales due to the digitizing of cardboard components. FFG seems to fall into this camp, and it is unfortunately all too common a view. However, the evidence suggests the contrary. While not equaling the number of participants in its 70's heyday, games such as ASL have a much larger following today than they did just before the advent of such tools (when board wargaming was in a steep decline). The same can likely be said of all board wargames.

Similarly, the online tourney has in no way dampened sales, nor enthusiasm, for the beloved War of the Ring, which is due not only to release the second of its three planned expansions, but a second, mega-expensive collectors edition celebrating its tenth anniversary (which has sold out, by the way). This is not to mention the popularity of sites such as boiteajeux.net, Yucata.de and the like.

All this is to say that the digitization of boardgames has helped the community to connect and stay connected. I can see the concern that a boardgame should never become a video game, and I agree with you completely. But these tools have not served to convert the hobby to a videogaming-like experience, and have actually spurred a much greater growth and enjoyment of the hobby overall, especially for those who unfortunately cannot find opponents. And this segment should not be underestimated. There are a great many people in this position. I know for a solid fact I have enjoyed many, many games that I otherwise would never have gotten to the table by taking advantage of their digital representations.
 
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Josh Roberts
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If they created an app to allow you to play solo, they would double the sales on this game.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
I play video games when I want that experience. When I'm playing a board game, often it's because I want to "unplug" a bit, play things to interact with friends and family.

I don't doubt or question your preferences, and it would be perfectly valid of you to hate digital for any reason at all. No need to explain!

However, not using digital fully addresses your preference, whether or not digital anything exists. Those with preferences for digital, however, need it to exist in order to enjoy it.
 
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Xookliba wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:

I'm not really interested in having a bigger push for digitizing board games or adding companion apps to every game. That's not why I play board games.


That depends on the implementation.

Wargames have been doing this for decades, through use of tools like VASSAL and cyberboard. These are mere digital representations of physical games. In fact, a good case could be made that this trend has saved wargaming from the brink of extinction.

...

All this is to say that the digitization of boardgames has helped the community to connect and stay connected...

Good points, and I think there's a lot of validity in that. I don't use VASSAL a lot, but have on occasion - it works well for allowing games to be played when you can't play in person. In some cases, things like RealmSpeak (for Magic Realm) help keep a game viable today because it can reduce a lot of the tedious setup.

Those implementations, though, aren't really what I'm getting at - those are more just different platforms for playing the game, rather than a true hybridization of the physical/digital formats. I have very little problem with making physical games available via digital play - they really are still, in the end, the same game, just with a digital "board".

It's more the games like X-COM, and even Road to Legend that I'm referring to - board games that REQUIRE a digital app to play. I have less problems with Road to Legend because it's really more an extension, as Descent itself doesn't require any such thing, RtL just allows for solo/coop play where it otherwise wouldn't be feasible. And I don't think tons of resources were needed, since they based a lot of the mechanics for the AI off the various physical coop expansions.

I like the idea of people being able to play remotely, even if I do personally prefer the face-to-face nature of board games (because I know some people don't really have that option).


Cubsnextyear17 wrote:
If they created an app to allow you to play solo, they would double the sales on this game.

While this may be true (though obviously just a guess), the question of viability would be in how much it takes to develop the app. If they double the sales, but it takes 3 times the resources to make, then it's a loss for FFG to do this.

AI apps in general are NOT easy to make, and it often depends on the experience you want to provide. RtL works, because it's not having to do exact "space-by-space" determinations, just gives rules to follow that the player does. I think an AI for Rebellion would involve a lot more complexity because I think in general, people would want it to simulate a human being. I think in this case it's a difference between a tactical skirmish hack-fest (which can be a little more loose and still be fun), and a more hardened strategy-focused battle-of-the-mind.

That's not to say a decent AI can't be made, but if the cost to make it outweighs the extra sales they could get, it's not worth the tradeoff.
 
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astroglide wrote:
Those with preferences for digital, however, need it to exist in order to enjoy it.

True, although if the idea is just to make a digital platform for the game that functions like the game as-is, FFG doesn't necessarily need to be the one to do it. With things like VASSAL and Tabletop Simulator, the possibility is there.

FFG is generally pretty friendly with allowing for those - their biggest thing has always just been "don't include the card text", with the reason being is they still want people to purchase the game. So in VASSAL, for instance, removing the card texts would still allow people to play the game if they own it, but it does hinder those who don't have desire to purchase it.

Sure, FFG could monetize it and make their own that can be purchased, but as mentioned above, it would depend on how much more they get out of it vs how much it costs to develop. Thus far, for most of FFGs games, fans have created the modules, and I think that has generally worked fine in accomplishing the task its trying to do, if the goal is to just allow people to play the game in a digital way. And I have no problem with that approach, even if I don't prefer playing that way. I don't mind the options being there.

My issues comes more in games that become "video games with physical components", like X-COM strikes me as being.
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
My issues comes more in games that become "video games with physical components", like X-COM strikes me as being.

Since Rebellion is already a full-fledged board game, there is no apparent risk of this in adding digital companions and/or implementations.
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astroglide wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
My issues comes more in games that become "video games with physical components", like X-COM strikes me as being.

Since Rebellion is already a full-fledged board game, there is no apparent risk of this in adding digital companions and/or implementations.

Other than taking resources away from other development

However, if they make money off it, and it supports them, perhaps it would be worthwhile. I just don't see it being profitable for them to do this.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Other than taking resources away from other development

However, if they make money off it, and it supports them, perhaps it would be worthwhile. I just don't see it being profitable for them to do this.

They could have saved a boatload by not licensing Star Wars and calling Rebellion "Space Battle Deluxe," but I imagine the ROI was great for licensing. Similar to the way that licenses increase the market size, so can digital, which can lead to a net gain for the producer - also meaning, more and better board games. As above, though, I have little confidence in FFG's ability to execute well on digital. They've gotta get their reps in somewhere to learn and improve, though!
 
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astroglide wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
..? They seem to be doing things most other publishers aren't.

Buying marginal properties like CardGameDB, sending cease & desist letters to amazing, non-profit properties like NetrunnerDB, separate iPhone and iPad app versions with big-app pricing, forfeiting desktop apps, etc.

It's standard OutOfTouchCompany attempts to protect IP and profits, through actions that ultimately harm profits via disenfranchising their own community. Volunteers like jinteki.net are running laps around their own apps.
Ah. I see. You're criticizing the company's lawyers, not their digital efforts. The Mansions of Madness app is really good. I'd assume the Descent app is similar quality. Not many other publishers are going to these lengths.

I do agree that their stance towards the amazing netrunnerdb.com was shameful though. I'm glad to see they've reversed that.
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astroglide wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
Other than taking resources away from other development

However, if they make money off it, and it supports them, perhaps it would be worthwhile. I just don't see it being profitable for them to do this.

They could have saved a boatload by not licensing Star Wars and calling Rebellion "Space Battle Deluxe," but I imagine the ROI was great for licensing.

That's true, but at the same time, would it have generated nearly the level of interest without the license? I don't know if I really would have given it the same look without the license - I already have several space-themed games. While if the rules would have looked poor I wouldn't have bought Rebellion either way, the theme was part of what pushed it to me adding yet another Space Game to my collection

Granted, the license alone isn't enough (at least for me) to sell me on a game, but the Star Wars license has piqued my interest in several cases, enough where I took a second look. There's something to be said for a blend between theme and mechanics, and I think FFG does a very good job on that front, for the most part

Would "Space Battle Deluxe" be ranked #7 on the list, even if all the mechanics are exactly the same? (And a question does come up - could the mechanics have been the same? Obviously there is a lot of theme in the mechanics, and while it could be painted away to another "theme", things like the Death Star would be hard to cover up without being obvious, and that could have caused issues).

Interesting discussion
 
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clydeiii wrote:
Ah. I see. You're criticizing the company's lawyers, not their digital efforts. The Mansions of Madness app is really good. I'd assume the Descent app is similar quality. Not many other publishers are going to these lengths.

I do agree that their stance towards the amazing netrunnerdb.com was shameful though. I'm glad to see they've reversed that.

Perhaps more accurate to say, I'm criticizing the company's digital policies and strategy, not the applications they've had developed for them.
 
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