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Subject: Poll: Attitudes to games "best played" with an app rss

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foldedcard
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Poll: Attitudes to games "best played" with an app
I recently watched rahdo's run through of Alchemists, a new game that makes innovative use of an app to facilitate in game research. After I had some back and forth with him on his final thoughts it made me wonder about the BGG community's attitude to apps as a required add-on to boardgames. So I thought I should create this poll to find out. I added a couple of extra questions to get a sense of how the responses line up with BGGers gaming habits. Please answer all 3 questions. For those of you thinking "well it depends on the game", imagine that, assuming you didn't know about the app requirement, it's the type of game you would normally be interested in.

Thanks for participating! Comments on the poll are welcome, of course.
If a boardgame was designed to be best played with a phone or tablet app, would that affect your willingness to buy it?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
I would be more willing to buy it
1.6% 2
I would be less willing to buy it
61.2% 79
The app requirement would not affect my willingness to buy it
29.5% 38
Unsure
7.8% 10
Voters 129
On average over the past year, how often did you play video games (including electronic versions of board games)?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
More than 10 hours per week
28.9% 37
More than 2 hours per week
32.0% 41
Occasionally but less than 2 hours per week
19.5% 25
Very infrequently
17.2% 22
Never
2.3% 3
Voters 128
On average over the past year, how often did you play board games (excluding electronic implementations of board games)?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
More than 10 hours per week
20.9% 27
More than 2 hours per week
61.2% 79
Occasionally but less than 2 hours per week
14.7% 19
Very infrequently
2.3% 3
Never
0.8% 1
Voters 129
This poll is now closed.   130 answers
Poll created by foldedcard
Closes: Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:00 am
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Krawhitham B
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Napier
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Having played a bunch of One Night Ultimate Werewolf (ONUWW) I can say that an app can be a great addition to a board game, but in the case of ONUWW it does not have any impact on the actual gameplay.

I'm not familiar with the example of Alchemists, but if the gameplay would be clunky without the app then I'd be against it. I don't have a device that plays apps and it would exclude me.

I'm fine with things that enhance a game, such as a scoring app. But if you make the game harder to play without it then I'd rule it out.

Luckily there are tons and tons of great games out there, so it is no big deal. There is plenty of room for the app and app nots.
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foldedcard
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In the case of Alchemists, without the App you have to bind someone who isn't playing to a chair and get them to announce the effect of card combinations for two hours. Serious.

And yes, I probably should have made clearer that what I have in mind is not an optional helper app, but something that's an integral part of the gameplay and would be a pain to be without.
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T. Dauphin
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Krawhitham wrote:
if the gameplay would be clunky without the app then I'd be against it. I don't have a device that plays apps and it would exclude me.

I'm fine with things that enhance a game, such as a scoring app. But if you make the game harder to play without it then I'd rule it out.

Luckily there are tons and tons of great games out there, so it is no big deal. There is plenty of room for the app and app nots.


Agreed.

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C Bazler
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All I have to do is look at all the games I own that are 15+ years old to know that I am very, very glad that none of them were released with required software.
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Susan F.
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My tablet is neither Android nor an iPad, and I don't have a "smart" phone. If I need to have an app to play a game, I'm not playing it.
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Patrick Simmons
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Rusty567 wrote:
My tablet is neither Android nor an iPad, and I don't have a "smart" phone. If I need to have an app to play a game, I'm not playing it.


I'm in a similar boat - my phone is a Firefox OS phone, so it's unlikely any game's app will work on it. If a game needs an app to play, I'm not that interested.

When my brothers and/or game group and I play ONUWW, though, we do tend to get the app on someone's phone because it's just easier. And a few people I play with use the Betrayal at House on the Hill app to track character scores, as it's a bit easier that way. But those, like has been said, are optional helpers, not needed.

The only thing I don't think I get is people who use automated dice rollers - I mean, in a pinch, sure, but doesn't it kinda take the fun out of things?
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Jeff Wood
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My worry is the inevitable in-app purchases in such apps as an additional revenue stream, possibly even requiring an eventual periodic fee to play. I can see Munchkin doing so and we can laugh knowingly about such, but that just spreads the expectation to other potential 'gold mines'
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Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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If it has an app, I will not use it.
It it needs an app, I will not play.
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Michael Dillenbeck
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Like a lot of board gamers, I play all forms of games but am gravitating towards board games to get away from electronic devices.

Currently I work in IT and stare at a computer screen all day, and I interact with online forums to communicate with other gamers. At this point, I don't want to come home and play a game that has me looking at a screen.

Also, I have concerns about digital hybrid games. Long term support, resale, and so on are all concerns. Perhaps it works on Android 4.3.3, but will it support Android 12.7.2? Will it support iOS? Will it only work on android devices of version 4.0+ with a 5" or larger screen? Will the app be blocked on Verizon? Will it auto-update, preventing me from using the earlier version of the app that I enjoyed in favor for the new living rules update version that I hate? Will I panic as my battery alarm sounds mid-way through the game and I am looking for a charger and outlet to keep playing?

Sorry, no. I don't want a hybrid game. I love digital games in terms of print-and-play games. You want to sell me a digital copy of Pillars of the Earth: The Expansion Set where I can print out my own board and cards then have to buy my own cubes? Sure. I love that - I can print out my game and print out damaged card replacements. However, not an app. I don't want that. I don't even really want a PC version of the game - I have some, to try out or to play solo.

I have noted over the last year my video game playing dropping and my board game playing increasing, and I like getting away from electronics.

However, I agree with the statement that there is room for both in the hobby. I just hope it doesn't take over the hobby, much like smart phones and large screen phones have in the cellphone market. Just as I wish flip phones were still a mass market option today for those who want a small portable phone, I never want to see traditional board gaming die - but I am fine with both existing side-by-side.
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Kerstin
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Krawhitham wrote:

I'm not familiar with the example of Alchemists, but if the gameplay would be clunky without the app then I'd be against it. I don't have a device that plays apps and it would exclude me.

I'm fine with things that enhance a game, such as a scoring app. But if you make the game harder to play without it then I'd rule it out.

Luckily there are tons and tons of great games out there, so it is no big deal. There is plenty of room for the app and app nots.


To me it's the opposite. I find scoring apps usually quiet unhandy. I much prefer pen and paper.

To me if there is an app it has to add something to the game that would not be as easily possible without it.

In ONUW you would need someone that narrates while handling his own role or someone that sits out, both to me just is much better with the app, which takes over that role.

Even more so for Alchemists. I would not want to play the person that just looks up all the stuff for other people, but without this the game would not be possible easily (or you maybe would need something like in Tales of Arabian Night, where you have a giant reference table and then people would have to start browsing through it every time).

That said, I also want it to be a part of the game not THE game. If there are parts of the game that can be done without the app: let me do them without the app. That probably refers back to the scoring app also. I much rather write the stuff down than type it in, so: no, thanks, I really don't feel the need for that. But randomizing a reference table so we don't need an extra person: yes, please.
 
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Marco
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I won't buy it if it needs an app. It might be odd, because I have a galaxy s5(which will probably be widely supported for the app) and I study software engineering. But I play board games... because they're board games!

I like playing with real material that you can actually touch and move. You can feel the structure of the miniatures. Games like legends of andor look so awesome, because it is all real and not virtual. And on the screen it's just "ok, there is an app for that...", it's just not as good as real stuff.(maybe that's the reason why 3D movies have become so popular) And I guess that is what I'm missing when I play a digital implementation of a board game. For example Dominion. When I play it online, I have less fun in it than when playing it with real cards. Even when playing online with other people. I also have less knowledge about how the game is currently going... Where are which cards? Did I just shuffle, or was it already 3 turns ago? etc. When playing with real stuff you see what goes where.
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Kerstin
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DraedGhawl wrote:
I like playing with real material that you can actually touch and move. You can feel the structure of the miniatures. Games like legends of andor look so awesome, because it is all real and not virtual. And on the screen it's just "ok, there is an app for that...", it's just not as good as real stuff.(maybe that's the reason why 3D movies have become so popular) And I guess that is what I'm missing when I play a digital implementation of a board game.


But that's actually kind of what I mean, when I say, I don't mind as long as it's only a part of the game.

I played Alchemists quiet a few times now and the tablet or phone is used such a small portion of the game that it does not feel like I'm playing something virtual. I still spend way more than 90% of the time playing with cubes and my vial markers and the ingredients cards and the helper cards and there is not even just 1 board but 2 and I have my own little board and screen and chits and coins and my sheet with pen and paper. There is just so much "stuff" on the table, that sometimes it's hard to even find the phone.

In a weird way, the smartphone in this game is used in a way how I would prefer some people would use it in real life: as an accessory for a veryx specific task. So you use it when you really need it and then you put it away again to deal with all the other stuff and the people preferably. It's a helper not a replacement.

But I can see all the scepsis. For me XCOM and how heavy the app is needed might be something that is then over my personal comfort line as I have the feeling the app in there is much more "omnipresent".

So in the end it does (as almost everything) come down to personal preferences.
 
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Richard Ham
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foldedcard wrote:
I recently watched rahdo's run through of Alchemists, a new game that makes innovative use of an app to facilitate in game research. After I had some back and forth with him on his final thoughts it made me wonder about the BGG community's attitude to apps as a required add-on to boardgames. So I thought I should create this poll to find out. I added a couple of extra questions to get a sense of how the responses line up with BGGers gaming habits. Please answer all 3 questions. For those of you thinking "well it depends on the game", imagine that, assuming you didn't know about the app requirement, it's the type of game you would normally be interested in.

Thanks for participating! Comments on the poll are welcome, of course.


Excellent! And as per our discussion, I've just put an event in my Hotmail calendar for Oct 27th, 2024 to create a follow-up duplicate poll to see how (or if) attitudes will have changed a decade from now. See you in 10 (we'll have to get together to celebrate and enjoy a game of my still playable copy of Alchemists!! )
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Kerstin
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I'd join and I could even bring a copy of Electronic Dream Phone, which I'm still arguing is the first game with a "smart phone" before they even existed.
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foldedcard
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rahdo wrote:
Excellent! And as per our discussion, I've just put an event in my Hotmail calendar for Oct 27th, 2024 to create a follow-up duplicate poll to see how (or if) attitudes will have changed a decade from now. See you in 10 (we'll have to get together to celebrate and enjoy a game of my still playable copy of Alchemists!! )


Sounds good rahdo, maybe at rahdocon in Malta? I am sure someone will have come up with an elegant all cardboard implementation by then anyway!
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