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Subject: The future of board gaming? rss

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Marion Jensen
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I work at a university where one of the professors is involved with virtual reality. The idea is that you have a small, flat board with an image on top. When you put on some video goggles conected to a comput, the computer renders a 3-D image above board. You can move the board around, and the 3-D image goes with it. I saw this link (http://www.cv.iit.nrc.ca/research/ar/artag/), and couldn't help but think of the Duel of Ages, or ASL cardboard pieces. Wouldn't it be interesting to have animated, 3-D images above the cardboard?

A few other links...

http://gprime.net/video.php/totalimmersion
http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/technology/shelton.htm

What do you think?
 
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Philip Thomas
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Aargh, technology! Give me a real board with real wooden pieces!

I suspect the cost would be too high for me. And besides, many euro-games would have difficulty if they looked 'realistic'.meeple
 
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Mark Mahaffey
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Really cool work!
 
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David Rauscher
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I'll go with the Arghh! technology argument. Board games, by their very nature, are analog. There's an anti-technology aesthete to the who board game movement: it's about face-to-face time with friends, tangible movement of physical objects, etc. Not that I don't love technology - I play more than my fair share of video games - but I play board games specifically to counterbalance.
 
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Nasty McHaggis
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David_Rauscher wrote:
I'll go with the Arghh! technology argument. Board games, by their very nature, are analog. There's an anti-technology aesthete to the who board game movement: it's about face-to-face time with friends, tangible movement of physical objects, etc. Not that I don't love technology - I play more than my fair share of video games - but I play board games specifically to counterbalance.


Same for me. I don't want lights, lasers, holograms, projected images, electronic buzzers, timers, video images or any sort of technology associated with my boardgames.

I, too, love my videogames. I used to play PC games exclusively, but got tired of keeping up with the the latest and greatest hardware to play the latest and greatest games. Now when I want a videogame experience, I play the Gamecube with the kids or play my DS. When I want to play a boardgame, I want cardstock, dice, paper, wood and plastic.
 
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J. Green
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Very interesting thread!
I have mixed emotions about this. On one hand, I agree with the "boardgame as pro-analog statement" camp, in which the engaging aspects of gameplay are shared around a table, including a face-to-face social interaction impossible with computer games.

On the other hand, I can think of several games in which the intensive record-keeping required detracts from the fun of the game. I think a special table and 3-D glasses could enable a re-imagining of some of these games, in which player pieces could morph and change visually to indicate changes in the game state. These instant, at-a-glance changes would make playing complex games faster and more fun.

The only trouble would be the problem of translating the ease of moving physical objects around on a surface to a 3-D projection scheme. One solution to this could be having a board and pieces that were all monochromatic and act like a "green-screen" in a movie or television weather cast. That way you'd still be moving physical objects on a surface, but the appearance of those objects could be regulated by a computer and projected through the special glasses. The piece itself could be a cube or cylinder, which would appear to the user as whatever images the computer projects onto the surface of the object.

I think this would greatly enhance the possibilities for boardgame production, but I doubt anyone would be able to afford such a game due to the technology involved. I predict such games would be showcased in something like a "boardgame arcade", with comfy chairs, and waiters to bring you drinks and snacks. :-)

 
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Dane Peacock
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You ever watch when they show the virtual reality room in Star Trek? They use it to simulate climbing mountains or playing triple-decker chess and such. Yeah right, like that's what it's really being used for...

Virtual reality won't get the attention that it deserves until the porn industry is on board. Look what it did for movies and the internet.
 
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Skip Maloney
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Hands-on stuff for me, too, although I do think that the lasers added to the game of Deflexion (for example) are a good thing. It's still a hands-on pieces and board thing, but the technology layered on is pretty neat.
 
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Marion Jensen
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As a hard core video game player, who only recently discovered what many of you have mentioned, the refreshing fun that comes from board games, I still think that I wouldn't mind something like this. I can see several advantages.

First, it's not virtual reality, it's augmented reality. So you still have the face to face time, you still see everything in all of it's card board glory, but you also see a little more. Instead of just the cardboard tabs, you would see the little characters above them. You can still witness the pained look on your opponent when you trash his army, but you have the added glory to see his animated wizard beg for mercy from you hulking troll.

Second, I can also see methods by which this could add to the strategy of a game. For example, I put out my tabs and the computer knows what they are and shows me the proper image. But my opponent just sees the cardboard tabs until his tabs are within two hexes, and then they are reveled to him. You would have a true 'fog of war', without having to mess with the blocks (ok, ok, the wooden blocks have a nice feel to them).

 
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Brian Morris
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I for one would love to play games virtually. It could be used to create more realism for historical simulations.
 
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Keith Anderson
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This thread combined with the "Pimp my Game..." geeklist at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/13619 make for some interesting reading in gaming preferences.
 
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Dave Kudzma
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I like the idea of some technologies being integrated into our boardgames, like this virtual imaging, and even the entertable....but I also like the simplicity and the tactile reality that the cardboard and bits bring to the games we play.

That is why I had come to truely appreciate boardgames as a whole. The face to face gaming and the human element is so much more valuable to me than online and virtual or simulated gaming.

I have always played digital games, and will continue to do so for years to come, but real world gaming has a place in my heart that continues to grow and will never die.
 
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Jason Sadler
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I want to play that chess game in Star Wars. Give me that technology for my Great Battles games and I would be in heaven.
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Sky Knight X wrote:
Virtual reality won't get the attention that it deserves until the porn industry is on board. Look what it did for movies and the internet.


Amen.

And there's nothing wrong with technology. VASSAL has saved me from my lack-of-board-game college life. However, there is absolutely NOTHING that will replace the real deal, and we all know this deep down.

Very cool work, though
 
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Skip Maloney
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As I stated previously, I'm all for the boards and bits, but given a choice between not playing a 'board' game because you can't find someone to play with and playing it on BSW (et al), I'll play it on the technological screen.
 
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Neil Carr
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This would be perfect for miniatures games. Rather than having to buy and paint zillions of figures you could just get some special counters that match up with 3d figure files. Then you could vast and inexpensive armies lined up on the tabletop. Other tricks could be done to make terrain look vibrant and realistic.
 
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Sifu
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David_Rauscher wrote:
I'll go with the Arghh! technology argument. Board games, by their very nature, are analog. There's an anti-technology aesthete to the who board game movement: it's about face-to-face time with friends, tangible movement of physical objects, etc. Not that I don't love technology - I play more than my fair share of video games - but I play board games specifically to counterbalance.


QFT!
 
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Marion Jensen
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Quote:
This would be perfect for miniatures games. Rather than having to buy and paint zillions of figures you could just get some special counters that match up with 3d figure files. Then you could vast and inexpensive armies lined up on the tabletop. Other tricks could be done to make terrain look vibrant and realistic.


Exactly. I see this as a nice 'hybrid' experience. You still have the face to face, you still have the dice and the maps and the pieces, but technology just enhances the experience a bit. Duel of Ages would still be Duel of Ages, but instead of just the cardboard bits, you would have animated figures above them, when wearing the glasses.
 
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Nick Avtges
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There is something like this at the Star Wars exhibit currently at the Boston Museum of Science. Same idea, minus the special headset. Instead there is a large monitor facing you that acts as a mirror. The playing area in front of you rotates (it has a coded square painted on it's center) and rotates the scene in the monitor. You have several other squares which represent different objects. There were three different games you could play, all involving running some aspect of a jawa community. The one I tried involved adding moisture collectors and warding off bantha stampedes. The moisture collector efficiency varied depending on location and distance from other collectors, so you had to move around the squares to optimize things. It was pretty cool and had the feel of a real-time strategy computer game. The mirror aspect was cool, as well...you could hold a card in your hand and in the monitor it would look like you were holding a minature desert crawler. Pretty interesting stuff...I highly recommend that exhibit.
 
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Dave Dyer
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For some games, the computer can add just enough to push a good game
into a higher class. My favorite example of this is Tantrix, which
is a good game played with real tiles, but is much better as an online
game. Tantrix problem as a physical game is that at least half the
energy required to play is simply to make legal moves. With a computer
in the loop, that part becomes trivial and you can concentrate on
strategy.
 
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Steen Bang-Madsen
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We've got at least one company working on the prospect of using this for boardgames. That is combining boardgames with computer technology, to get the "real life" experience of sitting in front of your opponent, and using the computer technology to improve the experience.

http://www.augmentedmedia.net/
 
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