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Subject: What's your opinion about app driven games? rss

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mortego
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Descent and recently Mansions of Madness (Second Edition) came out with an app that drives the game.

What's your opinion about games like these?

Idk about Descent but Mom2e is awesome for me, in MoM1e I was always the keeper (DM if you will) and it got old fast, no one wanted the responsibility of setting it up), now for MoM2e it takes about five minutes to get ready and play.
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chris thatcher
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I am not interested in apps in boardgames and i wont buy it if it requires it. yuk
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"Compared to You, I'm just a nighlight, against the Blazing Son." --Jimmy Needham
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My opinion:

A big part of why I like playing board games is the tactile element, and the lack of anything being plugged in, so to speak. To me, apps ruin that. If I feel like playing a video game, I will. If I don't feel like taking the time to set up a cumbersome game, I will play a different game until I feel like spending a bunch of time on set-up again.

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Paul DeStefano
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Done well, they are great.

Golem Arcana is fabulous because of it. The game would be incredibly tedious otherwise.
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Pete
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If my smartphone is occupied with in-game content, what am I supposed to do when it's not my turn?

Pete (baits the other posters)
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Kurt B
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I love them, they're the future of (some part of) boardgaming in my opinion.

They're not like playing a video game to me, they scratch the same itch as playing a board game. They just make it better, if done right.
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Jonathan A
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If done well, they are great.

An app is just one more tool in a toolbox of many tools, available for use by game designers. ninja
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Nibble Wut?
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Apps are handy for managing secret information (such as in Alchemists), generating random events with "flavour" without the need for either a massive deck of cards or too much repetition (Mansions of Madness) and removing the need for a GM, thus opening those kind of games up to fewer player counts.

Sure it's not to everyone's cup of tea, but it's not like anyone is being forced to play them. It's just a new genre of games that will have its fans and detractors and neither of them are wrong as it's all down to personal taste.
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killerjoe1962 wrote:

What's your opinion about games like these?

Hesitant.

On the one side, I really can't stand seeing how these 'screen' things are consuming our lives. A strange hypnotic gravitation toward them, whole groups of rational people in a trance-like state of...what exactly??

But then my lazy alter ego loves the idea of an app doing all the dirty laundry for me...

Promptly followed by "NO, stay pure, don't let this insidious trend worm its way into the..."

"But think of the possibilities!"

"But it should always play second fiddle"

...

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Greg
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I prefer not to play board games that heavily use apps. I like the tactility and clarity of board games and just want to get away from technology when I play.

However, I have no issue with app-driven games existing and wish them all the best.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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killerjoe1962 wrote:
What's your opinion about games like these?

Might be useful to improve the game's total UI (in order to reduce tedium, or provide hidden content to obviate the need for making permanent changes to game material in Legacy-type titles); but also has deprecation built-in. The moment the app is no longer supported or maintained is the moment you can kiss the game goodbye. Some developers promise to open source the code at some point, but that's just crazy talk for We can't be bothered with maintaining this PoS anymore, so if someone else wants to spend precious spare time doing so, it's fine with us. We promise we won't start C&D'ing the living daylights out of you.

Personally I think the former is the most interesting: an app doing tedious bookkeeping for you opens up all kinds of new avenues in game design. What was too cumbersome to do by hand is now handled in a few milliseconds. I know of a few older games which would profit greatly from an app... It's a shame that there is no easy, standardised, and platform-independent way of capturing game logic within program code.
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Maui Chris
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despise them. an app driven board game is just a really crappy video game. i tried out xcom the board game & hated it & i'll never buy (might not even play) another one again.
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Chapel
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I don't buy app driven games. Technology goes into decline quicker than my game shelf.
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Dianne N.
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I wouldn't want a game with an app that's there just to be there, but if it serves a viable function I'm OK with it as long as the game can still be played without the app.

One person mentioned Alchemists, and that's a great example. The app takes care of a role that someone not actively playing would have to take on, and anyone in that role would be bored since it's a very narrow role. However, if you don't have the app or don't want to use it, someone can perform that function manually (just can't be playing the game along with everyone else).

You also mentioned Descent, and I've played co-op with the app and really enjoy the experience. It gets rid of the need for the Overlord, so the game can be played 100% co-op right out of the box without needing to buy the co-op expansions. However, if you prefer not to use the app you can still play the game right out of the box, but someone needs to play the Overlord (or you need to get a co-op expansion). For this game, I'm all for it since the app provides real functionality for the game.
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Pauly Paul
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I think it's pretty cool actually. Or more specifically I think it can be cool, but having one doesn't automatically make it cool (or feel necessary).

Your Mansions of Madness: Second Edition is a perfect example. I have played games that require a GM, but I don't have as much fun in them as I do in fully co-op games. So I had passed on any interested of the first edition of MoM because of it's GM requirement. In addition I heard that set-up was involved with the potential to mess up the game if a mistake was made.

The app completely eliminates both of those concerns, which I think is pretty darn cool.

Specter Ops has an app in development to help the agent reduce potential errors. I think this is great because I have a friend who is not so hot on the details. His understanding of the finer points of a game can be foggy so I wouldn't feel comfortable with him ever playing the agent. Not because I didn't trust him but because it would be impossible for the hunters to double check his work (so to speak). The app would help with that.

Now that example is different from the first as with Specter Ops it's optional and not required. And I absolutely understand the concerns people have with an app dependent game. I have childhood copies of Talisman and Heroquest still and I can break those out and play them despite their age. Whereas if they needed a VHS to play, then it would be trickier. So I do get where those folks are coming from.

I guess for me it becomes a situational case of whether the pros outweigh the cons. Like with MoM second edition, if it was a GM required game I wouldn't be interested so it becomes moot. And if having an app allows me to get into the game faster, and have some of bookkeeping taken care of, while allowing me to play it fully co-op, then perhaps it's worth it for some of the enjoyment I'd get (that may not last beyond 5-10 years), than getting no enjoyment period.

After all, while I can play Talisman and Heroquest today, it doesn't mean I actually do. So maybe I shouldn't be so attached to that idea.
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Steven McKinney
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Mansions of Madness (Second Edition), might be the only exception to the rule for me, even then I am going to wait a few months see how it turns out before I purchase it. Otherwise, I can't imagine getting a game with an app.
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Arvid Alfredsson Grahn
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To me, board gaming is a way of getting away from computers and phones and such. The limitations of the physical components is part of what I like about board games. For these reasons app driven games don't appeal to me.

The app-enchanced games I've seen so far actually wouldn't have appealed to me without the app either. When a really dry, mediaval farming game with an exciting app appears, perhaps I'll change my mind...
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kbieb wrote:
I love them, they're the future of (some part of) boardgaming in my opinion.

So were games that used video cassettes.
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fides wrote:
My opinion:

A big part of why I like playing board games is the tactile element, and the lack of anything being plugged in, so to speak. To me, apps ruin that. If I feel like playing a video game, I will. If I don't feel like taking the time to set up a cumbersome game, I will play a different game until I feel like spending a bunch of time on set-up again.



yeah, that's why I prefer talking to gamers in person. Over the internet, you can't really get to know them on a personal level, and you can't really gauge their facial expressions, body language, shake their hands, share a drink, etc.
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James Lautermilch
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I believe they have their place in the board gaming world. I had no desire to play the original Mansion's of Madness but with the app I will now. There is still plenty of tactile feel to games even with an app.
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Keith B
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Geosphere wrote:
Done well, they are great.

Golem Arcana is fabulous because of it. The game would be incredibly tedious otherwise.


Agreed. Xcom is another example of an app integrated very well. And it's only for the first of the two phases.
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wayne mathias
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Quote:
It's a shame that there is no easy, standardised, and platform-independent way of capturing game logic within program code.


PHP/MySQL/Javascript kinda qualify.
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TTDG
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When the gamebox contains the phone with app already loaded, like dice come in other games, then I'll consider it in the category of BOARDgames. Otherwise it is a VIDEOgame, requiring hardware that not everyone has. I can give a boardgame to anyone that can read the instructions and they can play it. The same is not true of an app. I can play a boardgame from 20 years ago, the same is not true of computer games from 20 years ago without jumping through hoops. ETC.
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wayne mathias
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I actually like that definition - a video game does not include all the hardware and a boardgame includes all the hardware. Not happy with the term video vs board so perhaps a tangible vs intangible? But it is an actual clear method of division and represents a branching in the gaming evolutionary tree.
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bort
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If an app can simplify some tedious aspect of a game (like Alchemists), then I'm all for it.
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