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Coinciding with the launch of our website at www.battlepawn.com , Board Games Online is proud to announce an online PC version of "Descent - Journeys in the Dark". This translation of the popular boardgame features 3D graphics and animation, sound and music, and the ability to play against friends and enemies over the Internet.

Descent has been under development for over a year and is getting close to release. The game will be released through the BattlePawn game engine which lets us produce new, high-quality online boardgame titles rapidly.

Our goal is to convert a lot of popular boardgames to BattlePawn, and we're accepting suggestions for games that you'd like to see. Titles that are already available for free online won't be considered.

For more information and the chance to talk to the developers, please visit our site www.battlepawn.com . We're looking forward to hearing your impressions and opinions.
 
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Marc P
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Wow, that sounds pretty cool. What other games do YOU envision on the site? Also, what do you expect to charge for use, and is there any supporting software required?

Best of luck, and congratulations on the launch!
 
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Well, we'd like to focus on games that have some kind of overarching theme that makes them suitable for the 3D treatment. Descent is excellent for this. Anything works though as long as the game is good.

We're not ready to announce any pricing yet. You don't need any supporting software except our own BattlePawn client, which is free of charge. The requirements are similar to other standalone PC games.

Thanks for the well-wishes!
 
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John Lopez
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Not to take away from what you are doing, but I'm going to guess that I'm not the only person who cruised over to the site expecting a down-loadable client. Barring a down-loadable client, perhaps some screen shots. Barring that, at least so details, such as:

* What is the expected pricing?
* Does the person "running" a game have to be the only paying client, or does every player have to pony up for the fees?
* Will all the scenarios be preloaded, and will custom scenarios be possible for end users?
* Will the game be faithful to the original, or is this an "adaptation"?
* Well... just about *any* information.

I fear that you have launched announcements a bit prematurely for my taste. As a developer myself, I'm all too aware of the potential snags that could delay the delivery of a workable client and replace any buzz you might create with vaporware blues.
 
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If you click on the Descent banner on the front page or go to it through the "The Games" button, you can learn a lot more about the product, and you can even see a couple of screenshots. As to your specific questions:

* Pricing has not been announced. The only thing we've said so far is that it'll be significantly less than the original boardgame in Descent's case.

* Everyone has to pay if they want to play the full game, but you're free to use the limited version even if you don't pay anything. The specifics of the limited version haven't been 100% decided yet, so we don't want to talk too much about those yet.

* All the quests from the boardgame will be included, and a quest editor will be available for those who want to try their hands at that. Any quests created by the users will be available for all to play. We hope to see a large database of custom-created quests over time. Downloading these quests is handled automatically by the game system and won't require any effort from the players.

* This is a faithful recreation of the boardgame.

* More than just *any* information is available at www.battlepawn.com if you look at the Descent page. We'll release more information regularly in the time to come. We can't just reveal everything at once, you know.

 
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John Lopez
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Well heck, I clicked on the forums, faq and just about everything else, but for whatever reason I felt no inclination to click the large graphic at any point. I guess I spent too much time at the command line yesterday and forgot how the web works.

The only thing I would wonder about pricing then is if "significantly less than the board game" meant per player, or for enough copies to actually play with a full crew.
 
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Per player. Our intention isn't to compete with the regular boardgame, so it would most likely be cheaper for a whole group of people to buy the boardgame.
 
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David Cronkite
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Can I assume that Mac users are left out of this equation?
 
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That would be correct, I'm afraid. We use DirectX and some Windows-specific libraries that make a port very hard to do.
 
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John Lopez
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TiLT wrote:
Per player. Our intention isn't to compete with the regular boardgame, so it would most likely be cheaper for a whole group of people to buy the boardgame.


Hmmm. My whole group is spread across several states. Which is why I find Laser Squad Nemesis appealing: only I have to own the game to invite friends to play.

Oh well. The flip side is Laser Squad Nemesis has a subscription, not a flat fee.
 
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Robert Martin
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Cool, now you just need to make an online version of World of Warcraft.
 
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I'm curious if you anticipate any copyright issues with the rights owners for the games? I know that Cyberboard and VASSAL have their modules for boardgames, but I think it starts to go beyond a simple translation when you start adding full 3d effects.

Also, would you say that this game engine fits primarily fantasy based gaming or could you see it working with historical wargames?
 
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We will only convert a game if we can get a license for it. Descent has been developed under license from FFG.

The engine is very flexible. In theory we could even make third-person action games or realtime strategy games with it, although that's hardly what we designed it for. We should be able to convert just about any boardgame out there, be it fantasy, sci-fi, historical or anything else.
 
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Take a look at the latest news at www.battlepawn.com to learn about how we're dealing with boardgame house rules in our computer translations (with special focus on Descent). We'd appreciate if any suggestions for house rules or related comments are posted in our forums. I hope you'll like our ideas for this stuff.
 
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Wow, that's quite an undertaking, and I can't think of a more fitting game to start with, as it's super expensive and extremely complicated, so I can definitely see people wanting to try it out on the computer before they buy it, or maybe even use your version as a replacement if they don't have a big group to play it with to make the purchase worth it, which is my case. I'm looking very much forward to checking this out when it is done. Is there going to be any kind of public beta???
 
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Thanks for the encouraging comment and sorry for not responding faster. There will be a beta, but it's not going to be public. More information will posted on www.battlepawn.com in the near future.
 
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TiLT wrote:
* Pricing has not been announced. The only thing we've said so far is that it'll be significantly less than the original boardgame in Descent's case.

* Everyone has to pay if they want to play the full game, but you're free to use the limited version even if you don't pay anything. The specifics of the limited version haven't been 100% decided yet, so we don't want to talk too much about those yet.

Sounds interesting, although I'd much prefer to see something like the Days of Wonder model. ie. If someone has bought the game they can invite anyone to play it. Makes it much more like a real board game.
 
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JonnyG wrote:
TiLT wrote:
* Pricing has not been announced. The only thing we've said so far is that it'll be significantly less than the original boardgame in Descent's case.

* Everyone has to pay if they want to play the full game, but you're free to use the limited version even if you don't pay anything. The specifics of the limited version haven't been 100% decided yet, so we don't want to talk too much about those yet.

Sounds interesting, although I'd much prefer to see something like the Days of Wonder model. ie. If someone has bought the game they can invite anyone to play it. Makes it much more like a real board game.


I thought this sounded interesting until that detail crept in. I'm the guy who buys all the games around here (and I can afford to do so). Having to buy everyone else a copy of software just sticks in my craw in a philosophical way that I just don't see myself overcoming.

Sure, the game might be $30... but that will be per seat. To get my crew playing, that will set me back $150. (Price hypothetical, but if it is *more* than $30 my point stands even stronger.) What I find odd about that as Descent *specifically* needs an Overlord anyway, which would seem to be the perfect control point: sell the Overlord software and allow him to run games.
 
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I wish that was possible for us to do, but the fact is that in order for a venture like this to even have a chance of succeeding, we need some form of revenue. BattlePawn isn't owned by FFG, so it doesn't make sense for us to offer it to owners of the original boardgame for free.

The price for a single copy of Descent will be significantly lower than the price of the full boardgame. BattlePawn is designed for individual users to play against friends or random people online, not as a replacement for playing the regular boardgame with your local friends. If you're in the situation where you need to buy a copy of the software for all your other players, you're better off just getting the real boardgame instead.

On the other hand, Descent online will allow you to play a demo version without paying a dime. That's usually hard to arrange with normal boardgames.
 
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