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Subject: Nintendo Wii: best potential for digital board gaming rss

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Paul Bryant
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I recently picked up a Wii for my girlfriend's birthday and have been "testing" it to make sure it all works OK.... ok I played it.. a bunch but I told her I would be.. anyhoo..

The system seems perfectly suited to digital board games. You would be able to pick up and move your pieces grab, shake and roll your dice. Heck you could even make it so you can bang the virtual table if you get ticked off (I know very unsportsman like.)

I would love to see them do some online board games for this system. The Wii controls are the closest any system right now is to having a tactile connection with the games. That is a big part of why I enjoy board games so much. The moving around the bits and the tactile quality of them... that and the ability to easily change the rules if I find something doesn't seen to jibe with the group. (Unfortunately that part will never be able to translate to the digital world.)

Anyone know if there are any board games in the Wii's future (dont' say Mario Party) or is Microsoft the only group persuing this?

 
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Justin Heimburger
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Microsoft isn't the kind of company that would generally do a non-exclusive agreement, so I expect that, at least for now, settlers and carcassonne are theirs and theirs alone in the game console world.

But I agree with your assessment of the Wii controls. They're largely intuitive, fun, and they provide a higher level of immersion for the gamer than what you'd get from standard hand-held controllers.

So I don't know if there are any board games planned for the Wii, but I hope so.
 
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Mark McEvoy
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riledguy wrote:
Anyone know if there are any board games in the Wii's future (dont' say Mario Party) or is Microsoft the only group persuing this?


Even outside the realm of Mario Party and/or Xbox Live adaptation of existing board games... the most boardgamey game on the foreseeable horizon for consoles is "Culdcept Saga", already out in Japan for Xbox 360, and due out in North America this October.

The Culdcept series of games basically meshes Monopoly and Magic the Gathering (a roll and move game with territory acquisition, and collectible cards that invoke fantasy creatures, items, or abilities for the purpose of attacking or defending held territories).

While there was a Culdcept game for the PS2 (I have it), there was no online play... so the only way to play multiplayer was to have all players in the same room, at the same console.
 
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Josh Luub
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Couldn't agree less. The one system where you cannot accurately control what you're pointing to is the one system I do NOT want to play board games on. I can just imagine the hours of "no, I don't want to move that one! The one next to it! No! ARRRGHHH!"

Every game on the Wii is by definition a twitch game. Board games (ok, with the exception of dexterity games) are the opposite of twitch games. The Wii seems particularly UNsuited to board games.
 
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Sean Weitner
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squonk wrote:
Couldn't agree less. The one system where you cannot accurately control what you're pointing to is the one system I do NOT want to play board games on. I can just imagine the hours of "no, I don't want to move that one! The one next to it! No! ARRRGHHH!"

Every game on the Wii is by definition a twitch game. Board games (ok, with the exception of dexterity games) are the opposite of twitch games. The Wii seems particularly UNsuited to board games.


I don't think that's quite a fair assessment. A designer can do a lot to craft the user experience such that the remote's inputs are unambiguous. Something akin to "z-targeting" would allow you to manipulate boardgame bits with confidence, and with considerably more ease than other consoles, which basically offer you a broken mouse.

riledguy wrote:
The Wii controls are the closest any system right now is to having a tactile connection with the games.


I think a DS comes closer.
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Luke Morris
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As a video game store employee....

The DS does come closer. A LOT closer.
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Nasty McHaggis
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squonk wrote:
Couldn't agree less. The one system where you cannot accurately control what you're pointing to is the one system I do NOT want to play board games on. I can just imagine the hours of "no, I don't want to move that one! The one next to it! No! ARRRGHHH!"

Every game on the Wii is by definition a twitch game. Board games (ok, with the exception of dexterity games) are the opposite of twitch games. The Wii seems particularly UNsuited to board games.


I find that the Wii controls are very precise.
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Paul Bryant
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squonk wrote:
Couldn't agree less. The one system where you cannot accurately control what you're pointing to is the one system I do NOT want to play board games on. I can just imagine the hours of "no, I don't want to move that one! The one next to it! No! ARRRGHHH!"

Every game on the Wii is by definition a twitch game. Board games (ok, with the exception of dexterity games) are the opposite of twitch games. The Wii seems particularly UNsuited to board games.


I am guessing you either have never played it .. played it for an incredibly short period of time.. or may have shakey hands/mild CP.

The system is anything but a twitch system nor is it one by definition.

There are twitch games for sure and by that I think you mean ones where timing is key but actual pointer accuracy is not important. The tennis and baseball that come with it fall into this catagory.

There are also games where it is all about presice motion and control. The bowling is a very good example of this as it requires you to have very good control and the ability to use the same motions with accuracy in order to hit strikes each time.

I myself have fairly shakey hands yet have no problem navigating the pointer around the screen with accuracy and speed. I can actualy type faster on their little virtual keyboard with the, as you would put it, "twitch" pointer then I ever could with a virtual keyboard where I had to move the curser over each letter with a thumb stick or D-pad.

Admittedly there are those board gamers (and non board gamers) that have painfully poor physical coodination who I am sure would find the Wii's system to be a true burden. They probably have very strong minds though which is why they probably got into board gaming over say pick up basketball.

I was able to play the Wii with a 5 year old who could manage the controller and a 65 year old who had no trouble with it either. So I would say that for a "twitch" system it seemed to work pretty well with two age groups not always known for their spot on manual dexterity.
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Paul Bryant
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sean.weitner wrote:
I think a DS comes closer.


DS is Ok.. but no way closer. For one there is a little rumble feature built into the Wii controller that could go off as you "shook the dice" and turn off as you released. For a video game that is a pretty directly coralating tactile experience. Heck you could even show it as a cup of dice and have the rumble in the controller gain strength with the strength of your shakes.

The DS would also be a great system for board and card games I am not saying you are at all wrong on that. Just saying I think the Wii because of the full 3D spacial recognition and the rumble make it a better one in terms of tactile emersion.
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Mark McEvoy
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Is rumble supposed to be new? Rumble's been a pretty standard videogame controller feature since the PSX's mid-life introduction of the "Dual Shock" controller, and the 'rumble pak' periheral for the Nintendo 64. There's a Rumble Pak peripheral for the DS, too.
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Matthew M
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Not new, but I agree that it coupling it with the motion of "picking up" and "dropping" things adds to the experience a bit more than a rumble-pak in a standard controller does.

If I hit a button to swing a golf club and the controller rumbles when my game-self strikes the ball it's still not quite as in-the-moment compared to when I swing the controller and it rumbles when I strike the ball.

-MMM
 
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Josh Luub
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Quote:
A designer can do a lot to craft the user experience such that the remote's inputs are unambiguous.

I'll admit it's possible. I can't imagine a system that uses the Wii remote that would be quicker and more accurate than a mouse, however, so why not just use that?

Quote:
I am guessing you either have never played it .. played it for an incredibly short period of time.. or may have shakey hands/mild CP.

Well, your guesses are all wrong. I have played several games on it, for a total of probably a couple of hours. And I have no problem playing games on other consoles, or on the PC.

But the point of the post is not my Wii ability, it's whether the Wii is more suitable for board games than other consoles. Since you have less direct control on the Wii, I would say it is not. You might have great skill with the Wii and therefore might think it would be great for board games. Well, good for you, but since board games aren't about dexterity, I will probably always think that a controller that gives you more direct control, rather than less, will be a better controller for board games.
 
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Paul Bryant
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thatmarkguy wrote:
Is rumble supposed to be new? Rumble's been a pretty standard videogame controller feature since the PSX's mid-life introduction of the "Dual Shock" controller, and the 'rumble pak' periheral for the Nintendo 64. There's a Rumble Pak peripheral for the DS, too.


Not new but still there and adding to the tactile experience.

I guess it is not for every one though as sony did not figure it was worth putting in their PS3. Guess a lot of PS1 and PS2 folks didn't really care about the rumble.
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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um... I think they have you beat already... for about 5 years ago. I was playing Mario Party and then realized that it's basically an AT board game digitally done. Then I was thinking about how to translate that into a board game. It would be interesting.
 
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Matthew M
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squonk wrote:
I can't imagine a system that uses the Wii remote that would be quicker and more accurate than a mouse, however, so why not just use that?


It couldn't possibly be that you have years upon years of practice with the mouse and only a couple hours with the wii-mote, could it?

Not to say I agree in the first place. Everyone I've used the Wii with had no difficulty controlling it, and in some cases they were more skilled with their first attempt using the Wii-mote than they are with a PC-mouse. If you think about it, the mouse actually requires an additional level of abstraction - you need to map movements on one plane with a response on a separate plane. The Wii-mote is literally point-and-click.

-MMM
 
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Mark McEvoy
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riledguy wrote:
I guess it is not for every one though as sony did not figure it was worth putting in their PS3. Guess a lot of PS1 and PS2 folks didn't really care about the rumble.




That's the exact same decision Nintendo made when they introduced and marketed the WaveBird controller for the GameCube. They figured that the rumble capability was disposable, an acceptable sacrifice.

 
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Matthew M
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Rappak wrote:
um... I think they have you beat already... for about 5 years ago. I was playing Mario Party and then realized that it's basically an AT board game digitally done. Then I was thinking about how to translate that into a board game. It would be interesting.


Paul already said in the very first post:

Quote:
dont' say Mario Party


...and with good reason.

-MMM
 
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Matthew M
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thatmarkguy wrote:
riledguy wrote:
I guess it is not for every one though as sony did not figure it was worth putting in their PS3. Guess a lot of PS1 and PS2 folks didn't really care about the rumble.




That's the exact same decision Nintendo made when they introduced and marketed the WaveBird controller for the GameCube. They figured that the rumble capability was disposable, an acceptable sacrifice.



Sony initially wasn't going to include rumble features in the PS3 due to a dispute between them and the creators of the rumble technology. My understanding is that it has been resolved, though I don't know if rumble options will be added. In either case, it was never due to Sony believing the feature was disposable - they simply didn't have the option.

-MMM
 
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Paul Bryant
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squonk wrote:
But the point of the post is not my Wii ability, it's whether the Wii is more suitable for board games than other consoles. Since you have less direct control on the Wii, I would say it is not. You might have great skill with the Wii and therefore might think it would be great for board games. Well, good for you, but since board games aren't about dexterity, I will probably always think that a controller that gives you more direct control, rather than less, will be a better controller for board games.


Ok here we simply have a difference in what to us makes up a board game. It sounds like for you the aspect of play that really matter is the flexing of mental muscle and the challenge that provides. Maybe for you the bits are just a way to play that out but really nothing more then components to facilitate the desision making.

For me part of what makes a game is the physical. It is the moving things around and or throwing dice and all that goes with having to hold touch and move things.

Example:

They make computer backgammon. It is good .. works very well.. plays just like the real thing as far as desisions go. I personally would much rather play a real game of it with someone. I know it will take longer then the computer version as that speeds everything up by cutting away all the physical motions and simply skipping to the outcomes. Problem for me is I like throwing dice and I like moving the pips around. That is a pig part of the game. Computer backgammon is just that.. computer backgammon but it is not really backgammon.
I feel that with the Wii something like backgammon could be as close to playing it in real life with someone as any comerical technology right now is going to let us. I can see how the Wii controller would make it so I could pick up and shake dice then throw them and move all the pips myself by actually picking them up and placing them down where I want. Rather then just clicking a button that rolls the dice. Choosing the pip start location and then choosing its end location. This minds eye version of Wii backgammon will take longer to play for sure and that is just fine with me.

I would play Heroscape any day over final fantasy tacticts. FFT is much faster to play. The computer does all the rolling in the background I never need to. Also the movement is very precise everyone goes just where they are supposed to every time.

Heroscape takes longer to resolve combat. When I place people I like that I pick them up and put them down. I like that I dont' have to place them perfectly dead center in the hex. I can nudge them over a bit turn them and such to try to get out of someones line of site. I enjoy picking up the order makers .. holding them in my hand while I decide. This is what makes it a board game to me.. all this.

I know there are deeper more presice and efficient turn based battle games on the computer I used to play a few. None of them are as fun for me though.

The Wii really can bring into digital board gaming a lot of what I like about board gaming in a way that no other system can.
 
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Paul Bryant
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Octavian wrote:
Sony initially wasn't going to include rumble features in the PS3 due to a dispute between them and the creators of the rumble technology. My understanding is that it has been resolved, though I don't know if rumble options will be added. In either case, it was never due to Sony believing the feature was disposable - they simply didn't have the option.

-MMM


Ahh.. well that explains it. Very cool it will make it's way back in then.
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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um... Missed that part. Then what about Advance Wars? That's nearly a war game without using dice and has resource management...
 
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I've got a Wii, and I think the controllers would be fine. The problem is lack of Internet multiplayer.

I don't see any need to play a digital boardgame with people in the same room...I'll just play an actual boardgame (and most likely it won't cost $50).

I do not expect to see Internet multiplayer anytime soon. Sure, the capability is there, but given Nintendo's take on Internet use, which seems to be more of the "remove anything that could possibly be viewed as something bad people could do bad things with" (for example, you can exchange your Mii's -- avatars -- or e-mails with your Wii friends, with whom you must have traded 24 digit coeds in real life), I don't think they have any intention to add it.
 
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KnobDoctor wrote:
I've got a Wii, and I think the controllers would be fine. The problem is lack of Internet multiplayer.

I don't see any need to play a digital boardgame with people in the same room...I'll just play an actual boardgame (and most likely it won't cost $50).

I do not expect to see Internet multiplayer anytime soon. Sure, the capability is there, but given Nintendo's take on Internet use, which seems to be more of the "remove anything that could possibly be viewed as something bad people could do bad things with" (for example, you can exchange your Mii's -- avatars -- or e-mails with your Wii friends, with whom you must have traded 24 digit coeds in real life), I don't think they have any intention to add it.


The online multiplayer was a given I did not mention. Without that you are absolutely right you are better off just playing the games with the people there. I figured taht nintendo was going to start bringing this in as they have with the DS and it has done very very well as you can ask any Mario Kart fan.

I would not assume that Nintendo has no intention of rolling some multiplayer online in though I think it is safe to say they will never do it to the level that Microsoft has or that Sony plans on.

As you said just playing a digital board game in the same room with the folks you are playing with would be very silly unless you added some physical mechanics to the game that were not there to begin with that make it a more hybrid video game/board game.
 
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riledguy wrote:
I guess it is not for every one though as sony did not figure it was worth putting in their PS3. Guess a lot of PS1 and PS2 folks didn't really care about the rumble.


I've played a handful of games that used the rumble to great effect, but the vast majority of them just made the controller buzz loudly and shake randomly making them much more irritating than 'tactile'.

As with any other feature of a game system, just turning it on isn't the same as implementing it well.

 
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As anybody who follows the tightly-focused ramblings on Spielfrieks (and Peter Sarret's blog, possibly) knows, the best potential for digital board gaming is that of Microsoft's SURFACE. Remember, even if you heard it here first, I didn't.
 
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