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Subject: Apps in games (again) rss

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F H
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1) If I have an app, I think why isn't the rest of the game in here?

2) If I have a board game, I think why do I need an app as well?

I've heard people say that the app takes all the fiddly bits of a game out and lets the computer handle that. But if you need an app for that, surely it's... a) bad game design, or b) rather fiddly, because now you need a device that you have to learn how to use.

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Joe Kundlak
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I think it depends on the game.

I agree for many games an app is an unnecessary nuisance (and it perhaps not faster than your manual hands and brains).

But for other games, especially those developed more recently and with the mindset of having an electronic gizmo involved for parts of the game's logistics, I think this can work.

For instance adventure games, that would otherwise have to have a ton of cards for random events, it is easier to put all of this into an app. Or games, in which the handling of the game assets takes literally more time than the actual play decisions.

Yes, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that what suits one might not suit the other, so I guess this also depends on how a bloke is keen on electronics (which I am).

AND, it is usually a case of "bring it on, I will check it and then tell you if I like the combination", so case by case.
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Jason
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Procedurally-generated, co-op adventure or dungeon crawl games with competent AI. I am all in on that idea. Especially, if it removes the fiddly bits.

I've had to play the overlord too many times. So, something that can offer me the player experience with a group of friends sounds pretty awesome to me.
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Joe Kundlak
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VaultBoy wrote:
Procedurally-generated, co-op adventure or dungeon crawl games with competent AI. I am all in on that idea. Especially, if it removes the fiddly bits.

I've had to play the overlord too many times. So, something that can offer me the player experience with a group of friends sounds pretty awesome to me.

Indeed. Give the player meaningful decisions to keep him entertained, but leave the fiddly bits to the app.
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Thanee
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Or c) It makes sense to use an app for the parts the app is used for?

i.e. real-time games (XCOM: The Board Game) or exploration/story-driven games (Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Road to Legend/Mansions of Madness: Second Edition).

Bye
Thanee
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Trevor Taylor
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Also, there are so many sprawling games that would be laborious to recreate entire in an app. I don't want to go zooming in and out and across multiple player boards in an app, when I can just glance at the table. But if the app can generate the procedural map, reveal encounters and maybe even set moves for an artificial opponent, then that's great.
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John
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If an app is the best solution the the game should have an app. I'm much less likely to buy a game where an app is an essential part of the game (and I'm guessing I'm not the only one) but not all games should be designed for me. I'm not going to buy a Munchkin, Disney Princess UNO, or Ligretto but that doesn't mean I think they shouldn't exist.
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Drew
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VaultBoy wrote:
Procedurally-generated, co-op adventure or dungeon crawl games with competent AI. I am all in on that idea. Especially, if it removes the fiddly bits.

I've had to play the overlord too many times. So, something that can offer me the player experience with a group of friends sounds pretty awesome to me.


+1. If an app can handle the DM/Overlord well and allows for the rest of us to enjoy the game than I am all for apps.
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Michael Debije
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If it needs an app it will not be on my shelf.
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Joe Kundlak
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Ok, let's try different genres:

Skill-based dexterity games - no question, without apps

Adventure games - many possibilities to reasonably employ an app, very well suited

Miniature games - depends... an elaborate system including RFID sensors in the minis and the tablet (game board etc. etc.) could work if implemented well... perhaps

Puzzle games - well, you either get one on your phone/tablet, or you get a physical one

Dice games - nope for pure dice-chucking games, a BIG maybe for dice games with other components (depending on mechanisms)

Group party/trivia games - apps not really needed, drawing on paper is just much more fun, doing pantomime is of course physical and why would you need an app to answer/guess verbal questions? The only thing an app could replace is a huge pile of cards and thus the game would have A LOAD MORE themes/subjects with regularly updated databases for increased replayability

Racing games - I see no area where an app would serve, but then I do not know THAT many racing games myself

Pure card games - not really useful IMO

Wargames with chits+board - not really useful IMO, unless you would need to keep track of many things besides moving counters (I look at you The Campaign for North Africa and OCS!), then perhaps...

"Regular" board + pieces boardgames - depends on the applicability of an app, theme, bookkeeping needs...
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wayne mathias
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If a boardgame can be played without the ap, having the ap as an option is a good idea. Just an alternate component.

If a boardgame requires an ap but is not suited to moving entirely digital then it depends entirely on the game. There are hidden movements that an ap could referee.

But if it requires a device (ap,computer,whatever) and makes sense to go all digital it probably should go all digital.

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Haters gonna hate. I personally haven't played any games which integrate both physical and digital components, but I'm open to the idea. And even if no good games exist today, I see no reason to suppose that some clever designer won't come up with a cracking design next year.
 
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Martin V
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I've only played one game with an app. It was... Defcon... Recon... something like that. I had a great time, but don't see myself buying my own copy. Maybe I'm just getting old...I'll let the young gamers figure all that out, HA!

One issue I have with games that require an app (mind you, it's MY issue...so each his own) is that I imagine that the support for the app will not always be there. Pick up a classic board game from decades back, and you can still play, but for a game requiring an app...what if I want to play it one day with my gradkids, no app support, then how can you play? Yes, you download the app, but then you need to save a copy and keep transferring it devices as your old ones get obsolete.

Like I said, it's my issue. I imagine that that Defcon, Recon (whatever) game I played will likely be "played out" and forgotten in a couple decades, but it still bothers me. Sort of like some people here don't like the Pandemic:Legacy issue of the game being "used up" during play.
 
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Darth Heisenberg
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Voice of Reason wrote:
I've only played one game with an app. It was... Defcon... Recon...


Hmmm, Xcom maybe?
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I use a score app for 7 Wonders. But that's the only app i use.

If i wanted to play a videogame, i would do that and not a boardgame. And vice versa. I want to handle the bits, cards and dices. I want to feel that stuff. Feel that i play a boardgame.

Boardgames that have a tie-in app like XCOM do not appeal to me at all. And i am really into gadgets and videogames.

I am a huge XCOM fan for example, but i have absolutely no interest in the boardgame the way it is. I would buy it instantly if there were a version without the app.
 
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wayne mathias
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I can absolutely envision an ap that quickly cross references several tables that otherwise take a minute or more to do by hand and gives you the adjusted final table to roll against.

But in that case you also want the tables and charts in case your battery runs down.
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Jason
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Voice of Reason wrote:
One issue I have with games that require an app (mind you, it's MY issue...so each his own) is that I imagine that the support for the app will not always be there. Pick up a classic board game from decades back, and you can still play, but for a game requiring an app...what if I want to play it one day with my gradkids, no app support, then how can you play? Yes, you download the app, but then you need to save a copy and keep transferring it devices as your old ones get obsolete.
This doesn't really bother me. Gamers tend to be pretty resourceful. Having one (or a group) hack the code or reverse engineer it to continue support long after the company stops supporting the app seems pretty likely. I imagine it would be about the same as video game emulation.
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Christian K
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GodzillasTodespranke wrote:
I am a huge XCOM fan for example, but i have absolutely no interest in the boardgame the way it is. I would buy it instantly if there were a version without the app.


Have you taken a look at how XCOM works? A version without apps would need like 20 different sand timers or some unique, manufactured exclusively for XCOM:The Board Game, stopwatch. XCOM:TBG does not happen without the app. The app exists to keep the players under the gun in a way that physical components can (most likely) never replicate. I swear that people that say stuff like this don't even take the time to see why the game has an app.

I'll take the $50 version of the game with an app over a $150 version with a custom made piece of battery powered machinery any day.
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