Nyles Breecher
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Milwaukee
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I'm working with a publisher right now to develop a game, and I was wondering how people felt about something. For the game there are a bunch of different objective cards, of which players typically use three per game. The game easily supports a solo mode, where your score is how many rounds it took you to complete the game. The objectives would be numbered so that you can record what combination you played with.

Since the game is aiming for a low retail cost ($15-20) including paper for high-score tracking is likely to be too great of a cost to include in the game box. As such, I was wondering if a companion scoring app might be a better alternative. In fact, it would function better anyway because recording different victory card combinations (e.g. cards 1-14-30, cards 4-10-27, etc.) would be rather cumbersome on paper. It would be tough to go back to check if you've already completed a level combination.

How do you guys feel about this issue? NOTE: The paper's only function is to give you a place to record your high scores.

Poll
How would you feel about an app to record your best scores for different setups of a game? This would be instead of including paper in the game box for the same purpose.
I wouldn't mind at all.
I'm neutral on this point.
The game should include paper to track high scores.
      36 answers
Poll created by nbreecher
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Luke Jaconetti
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Simpsonville
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Re: Solo mode: Include paper for tracking long term high scores, or is an app okay?
I have an Android tablet which I am constantly using, so I don't mind an app. But a suggestion: instead of including a physical scoresheet, why not provide a template in the rulebook and give the user rights to photocopy or scan the page for personal use? That way they can use a physical sheet if they want, or use the app.

Just a suggestion -- good luck!
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Jacob Schoberg
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Elkhorn
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Re: Solo mode: Include paper for tracking long term high scores, or is an app okay?
Pretty sure most people have some of these, so not having a score sheet doesn't sound like a huge deal.



That being said, the photocopy idea is a good one.
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Nyles Breecher
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Re: Solo mode: Include paper for tracking long term high scores, or is an app okay?
Photocopy is an interesting idea. That might be a nice compromise. Putting it in the rulebook is pretty easy too, since that will be paper that's already included in the game.

One of the reasons I'd be hesitant to include the paper, is that it's so basic. Basically it would just have some columns to record the combination of cards used (by card number), and another column to record the high score. Of course, board gamers do like their games to include everything if possible, which was why I wanted to get some input.
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Phillip Harpring
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Re: Solo mode: Include paper for tracking long term high scores, or is an app okay?
I honestly wish a lot more board games had companion apps like the one you're suggesting. I even purchased the fan-made Legendary Randomizer app just to help streamline setup.
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George P.E., PMP, DM
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I'm just as likely to keep track of scores and similar simple data using the notepad function of my phone, so I voted Neutral. That way I don't have to mess with downloading an app and what information it demands. I think the photocopy option is nice.

An app is an investment for you with, in my opinion for this instance, poor potential return or ROI. Plus, you have to worry about negative impact from people who don't like the app for whatever reason(s). A percentage (which may be 0%, but I doubt it) of your customers will downgrade the game's rating just because there's something about the app they don't like.
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M Jenkins
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Me neither.
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You could always make a nicer template and post it online, that way if people care enough to get it they can download and print out as many as they need.

Hope this helps! Best of luck!
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Hampus Ram
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GeorgeMo wrote:

An app is an investment for you with, in my opinion for this instance, poor potential return or ROI. Plus, you have to worry about negative impact from people who don't like the app for whatever reason(s). A percentage (which may be 0%, but I doubt it) of your customers will downgrade the game's rating just because there's something about the app they don't like.


I couldn't agree more. An app is potentially a lot of hassle and of course costs quite a bit of money too.

The "photocopy" option really seems to be a good middle ground.
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Nyles Breecher
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It's true that an app could potentially be a lot of hassle. The publisher I'm working with has a lot of experience and confidence in making apps, so I don't think it would be a huge issue. (Of course, this is something we'd discuss.)

Thanks for the input about down ratings because of an app that they don't like, I hadn't considered that before, but it makes sense. I'm not sure if the negative ratings would be worse vs. not having an app at all, but that's pretty hard to gauge.

As for having a photocopy-able scoring sheet available, would BGG be a valid place to host a direct link to printing for that sheet? (In the files section for the game.)
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Eric Miller
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mperiodjenkins wrote:
You could always make a nicer template and post it online, that way if people care enough to get it they can download and print out as many as they need.

Hope this helps! Best of luck!


Isn't this what the files area of BGG is for?

And an "app" would need to be available to every type of phone- or you risk leaving some folks out. Like George said, it's got a low ROI especially if your game's price point is low.

Think about Catan Dice Game: It comes with a score pad, and there are several alternate score sheets here on BGG. If I want to track my progress, I just put a date/time on the sheet and file it away.
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L S
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I hate to be that guy, and holy cow am I feeling old typing that, but I don't like companion apps for board games. Mind you, I'm not saying that I'd automatically refuse to play a game with a companion app, but I would definitely prefer one without.

At work, I sit in front of a computer all day, and when I get home, I play video games, look at news sites and BGG, watch some streams, and so forth. In short, I spend almost every waking moment in front of an electronic screen... except for board game night.

Also, you guys should all get off my lawn. zombie
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I'm an avid Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations player in which you have to record all sorts of info for your campaign. Something this detailed I would not suggest an app for but from what you are describing I think an app would be just fine. And as someone else said, pencil and scratch paper is something anyone can round up if they didn't feel like using the app. Just one suggestion though If you go the app way, please make it available for both Apple and Android.

-zombie
 
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Nyles Breecher
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To be clear, it's not really a companion app in the usual sense. It's just a convenient way for people to keep track of their high scores when they play the solo version of the game. Maybe people wouldn't even care that much about such a thing, I'm not sure.

Thanks so much for the insightful feedback. I had no idea what people thought about things like this, so this discussion has been very helpful.
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B C Z
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Phones/Apps are about a decade old (circa 1995). What works today may not work in five, ten, twenty or fifty years because of changing standards, coding languages, hardware, etc.

An App will need to be coded, published, maintained and supported. It can only be run on expensive machines that not everyone has access to at all times.



Paper is about 1900 years old (circa 105). It still works today.

Paper requires designing a layout once and printing it many times. It requires no additional support, maintenance, electric power or additional equipment aside from a writing implement, which are ubiquitous.

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Tony C
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I like companion apps that add value.
- ONUW - tons of value and atmosphere
- Sentinels randomizer - value and odds of success

I would not download an app whose only purpose was to track scores of a game. I would stick a little notepad in the box before doing that. An app seems like major overkill.
Recording something like this

Date Cards Score Comments
2/17/16 1-4-10 17 Close victory
2/18/16 4-7-13 24 Landslide!

on a piece of paper doesn't seem too difficult or crowded.

My vote is for making the back cover a photocopyable page, and putting it up as a File here as well for people who just want to download/print. (Along with that, don't add a lot of dark background or graphic to the template.)
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Phillip Harpring
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dtcarson wrote:
An app seems like major overkill.


While I support the idea of an app from a consumer standpoint, I am somewhat inclined to agree here. It seems a little hard to justify from a development perspective. However, it seems like your publisher is the one doing the heavy lifting on this and it wouldn't take much effort from you. If that's the case, I still say go for it.
 
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John Breckenridge
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What kind of production volume makes creating an app cheaper than a piece of paper?

Anyway, I likely wouldn't buy your game if the only way to play solo was to use an app. I don't have a smartphone or tablet.
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