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Subject: [WIP] Interstellar Incorporated rss

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Ryan Zentmeyer
United States
Colorado
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(Yes, the name is WIP too)
Hello everybody,
When I decided to figure out the plausibility of my game idea, I knew I wanted to get word out in BGG first. So firstly, thanks in advance for everybody’s contribution.

What sets this game apart: The glue that holds this game together is the concept of integrating electronics into traditional board games. Specifically, my primary idea is to embed the board (or parts of the board) with RFID technology that allows players to interact with a physical board while gaining the percs of computerization.
I have 2 specific questions that I need to answer in order to move on with development.

Are players interested in a game that infuses board-game tangibility with video-game-like mechanics?
How much would people be willing to pay for such a game?

The core difficulty is that the cost of materials will significantly increase compared to traditional games. I’m exploring mechanics (and definitely interested in feedback) that will limit the costs.

Concept thus far:
Theme: Space (exploration/colonization)
Objective: Reach a set population (or have the highest by the end of a time period)
How to reach objective: Construct buildings that improve population growth, colonize new planets, new or improved resource production, research technology, etc.
What about this Tech Stuff: a computer will keep track of population (which will likely use some sort of logarithmic growth), upgrades, resource production, and whatever else. The game pieces would have RFID tags in them so the Board (or multiple separate boards shaped like planets) can read what pieces have been played by what players. Another option is to use RFID embedded cards that can be played on an RFID reader.
Challenges:
1) I have not hammered out many of the mechanics of the gameplay.
2) I am struggling to maximize the value of digital computation in a board game.
3) I haven’t come up with a great way to display the game scores/data. My top pick is to include a Bluetooth chip in the computer and connects to a smartphone/tablet via an app. Then issues include app development and support.

I recognize there is a long way to go with this development, but, depending on how things go, things could start moving quickly. I welcome any and all feedback about any aspects that I have mentioned and I also welcome any ideas/modifications.

Poll
1. How excited would you be for a game that infuses RFID into a board game? (scaled 1-5)
Not excited at all (1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
Super excited! (5)
2. How much would you be willing to pay for a high-end game with RFID/Computer processing? (broad question)
Less than $40
$41-$50
$51-$60
$61-$70
$71-$80
$81-$90
More than $90
      9 answers
Poll created by blackbullet17
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James Arias
United States
Sanford
FLORIDA
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I don't like iPad or TV enhanced board games, but this sounds more like keep the board game experience just make the board and pieces "smart" which I think would be cool if done right.

Longevity would be another concern...this would be a "gadget" and how long would the hardware last till it died and needed a refresh. That would affect what I'd want to pay, or even to buy.
 
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Ryan Zentmeyer
United States
Colorado
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Thank you for the insight. That is definitely the direction I want to go: making the board game and pieces "smart". As for longevity, theoretically, they could outlast the cardboard. Yet, somehow, electronics do tend to fail. The current plan is to have the components somewhat modular, which would make it easy to replace a single piece. My larger concern is that the software may require relatively regular updates, especially if the game should interface with smartphones and tablets. The only reason I want to use the smart devices is so that each player can have a screen that keeps them up to date with the game data. I have yet to find a practical yet effective solution. One idea that I left out is that the game can be designed so that all players play at the same time (similar to 7 wonders). I particularly find value in keeping all the players engaged throughout the whole game.
 
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Don Sandbekkhaug
United States
California
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I like the concept and the game idea, but I wonder if it would be better suited to a full video game rather than a board game. If you like programming, I think this would be a great project!
 
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Ryan Zentmeyer
United States
Colorado
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That is an issue I'm struggling with. I feel like the idea has potential, but it's not quite developed enough to be as significant as I think it can be. I have some more ideas that would help define the game better, but I'm still putting them together before I update the project here.
 
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