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Subject: Revolutionary mechanics rss

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Tabula Games
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As the title says, what are in your opinion the most revolutionary or innovative mechanics in the board games you played?

One that comes to my mind is the introduction of smartphone/tablet app in order to enhance gameplay. It is a controversial topic, but I do remember getting really pleased with X COM: The Board Game and the way the app sped up and enriched the playing experience.

What are your thoughts?
 
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Olli Juhala
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fra_tabulagames wrote:
As the title says, what are in your opinion the most revolutionary or innovative mechanics in the board games you played?

One that comes to my mind is the introduction of smartphone/tablet app in order to enhance gameplay. It is a controversial topic, but I do remember getting really pleased with X COM: The Board Game and the way the app sped up and enriched the playing experience.

What are your thoughts?


It's a really broad question, but I think from the point of view of game design, app-enhancement and legacy systems are the two that probably offer most room for expansion in the future.

Most common game mechanics were revolutionary at some point, though - first worker-placement, drafting and deck-building games were really innovative in the past two decades. But I think individual mechanics aren't usually the revolutionary parts so much as the whole packaged or approachs - I'd say Catan was fairly revolutionary in the mid-90's, even if the content of the game wasn't that innovative.
 
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Adrian Schmidt
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You mean like this?



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"App enhancement" is not a game mechanism for the same reason that "wooden pieces" isn't.

I'm not just caviling. I mean to suggest there haven't been awfully many innovative game mechanisms recently.

(Tangentially, I won't accept the new lingo of "apps" either. Here I go rejecting another change in language that has come upon us... "App" treats a program as a commodity, removing any thought that the user of a computing device should have some agency.)
 
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marc lecours
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Card crafting. I'm surprised no one has made another game using it.
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Olli Juhala
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Kiraboshi wrote:
"App enhancement" is not a game mechanism for the same reason that "wooden pieces" isn't.

I'm not just caviling. I mean to suggest there haven't been awfully many innovative game mechanisms recently.

(Tangentially, I won't accept the new lingo of "apps" either. Here I go rejecting another change in language that has come upon us... "App" treats a program as a commodity, removing any thought that the user of a computing device should have some agency.)


Well, that's nice of you. But using readily available portable devices to expand upon the scope of a board game is a fundamentally interesting concept in the world of yo-ho direction.
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Kiraboshi wrote:
I mean to suggest there haven't been awfully many innovative game mechanisms recently.

Indeed, not lately, it seems. Perhaps legacy-type is the most recent groundbreaker.

App-driven games .. no thanks. There are video games for that.
 
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Matt Brown
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Worker placement, deck-building, multi-purpose cards, card drafting, co-op and variable phase order(lead/follow). One that doesn't get used nearly enough would be what I call order token placement. Seen in games like StarCraft: The Board Game, Forbidden Stars, A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition), and Strike of the Eagle. Gloomhaven and how it handles the mobs you face needs to be stolen even though I can't really think of a name for it.
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Edward Carter
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I think the battle board in cry havoc is a totally unique way of handling combat that I have not seen in other games
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I like the card action mechanic of Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition) and Concordia. It seems revolutionary to me.
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Jason
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Kiraboshi wrote:
"App enhancement" is not a game mechanism for the same reason that "wooden pieces" isn't.


The innovation is in streamlining existing (often fiddly) mechanisms, introducing real-time mechanisms that don't really work without the app, or replacing a player with AI.

The component upgrade allows for new mechanisms. It's like those clear plastic cards. These cards make the card crafting mechanism possible.

If you toss "app enhancement" aside, then each app enhanced mechanism is it's own innovation.
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SpecularRain wrote:
You mean like this?




I was thinking of this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Stephenson
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Walt
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Dominion but probably not for the reason that immediately comes to mind. Not for card drafting.

Dominion offers a huge amount of variability and a large number of expansions, but mostly the basic rules are so simple you forget them, the expansion rule(s) are simple and clear, and the complexity comes down to the ten random cards used in the layout. Unlike most games a Dominion expansion takes out as many rules as it put in.

So, Dominion for rules management.

Kingdom Builder, also by Donald X. Vaccarino, works the same way.
 
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Adrian Schmidt
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Tall_Walt wrote:
Dominion but probably not for the reason that immediately comes to mind. Not for card drafting.


I think you mean "deck building"? There is no card drafting in Dominion…
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Richard Irving
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SpecularRain wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
Dominion but probably not for the reason that immediately comes to mind. Not for card drafting.


I think you mean "deck building"? There is no card drafting in Dominion…


Yes, but you put them in your discard pile instead of your hand. BFD.

Somebody mentioned worker placement as some brand new thing. It is simply natural progression from:
- 1 action per turn/round
- multiple actions per turn/round
- Action points where different actions have different costs and you have so many to use on a turn/round.
- Instead using all the action points at once, you get so many per round and then you can use one or more to do a single action each turn. And once someone takes a particular action, it is generally locked for the rest of the round.

I believe in the Burkian (as James Burke) Theory of Innovation in games, he did in his TV Series "Connections". Invention aren't some revolutionary change, but rather build up of well known ideas that someone puts together in a slightly new way.
 
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Duncan Russell
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The gears in Tzolk'in are revolutionary. Literally, too!
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Ratimir Ismailobrat
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Before apps we had Atmosfear. Before Atmosfear we had Nightmare. Before Nightmare we had timers.

I don't see revolution, just evolution.
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Adrian Schmidt
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rri1 wrote:
SpecularRain wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
Dominion but probably not for the reason that immediately comes to mind. Not for card drafting.


I think you mean "deck building"? There is no card drafting in Dominion…


Yes, but you put them in your discard pile instead of your hand. BFD.


I didn't mean to step on any toes.

The difference, in my opinion, isn't where the cards go. To me, drafting is when you draw from a pool that is limited enough to make your choices limit the possible choices of your opponents. While that can happen in Dominion, it's far from the average case.

But sure, we all have different definitions of different words. I didn't mean to offend or put you in your place, I honestly just thought you had mixed the terms up.
 
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Barmybee wrote:
The gears in Tzolk'in are revolutionary. Literally, too!


Alright, I see what you did there
But yeah, those gears were surely something unseen before!

ratimir wrote:
Before apps we had Atmosfear. Before Atmosfear we had Nightmare. Before Nightmare we had timers.

I don't see revolution, just evolution.


I don't know about everyone else experience, but for me Atmosfear was a disappointment rather than something revolutionary. Maybe because the ads on TV hyped me and my friends too much, or maybe because the idea wasn't executed in the proper way.
Sure the concept of making the game also a visual experience was good, but... it ended there.
Smartphone apps on the other side help in speeding up the gameplay, and making it easier to follow and understand. Something like that surely didn't happen with Atmosfear
 
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Dan Bradshaw
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I have to add hidden loyalty/betrayer as a revolutionary mechanic. More knowledgeable folks than I could pick out the first instance of it. The simple addition of two aspects (you don't know who you can trust, and who you can trust might change) creates something unique.

A newer option: the patrol zone in Codex. Has any game done this before?
 
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GoodOmens wrote:
I have to add hidden loyalty/betrayer as a revolutionary mechanic. More knowledgeable folks than I could pick out the first instance of it. The simple addition of two aspects (you don't know who you can trust, and who you can trust might change) creates something unique.


Yeah, that's surely an interesting mechanic. Would be nice to find out what game introduced it first.

Had plenty of fun while playing Battlestar Galactica!
 
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Talmanes wrote:
Kiraboshi wrote:
I mean to suggest there haven't been awfully many innovative game mechanisms recently.

Indeed, not lately, it seems. Perhaps legacy-type is the most recent groundbreaker.

App-driven games .. no thanks. There are video games for that.


I don't see app support/enhancement or whatever you want to call it the same thing as videogames.
You are still playing a board game, possibly with your friends (or even by yourself if the app allows you), while the app takes care of stuff that generally are boring.
 
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Matt Brown
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rri1 wrote:
Somebody mentioned worker placement as some brand new thing.


Considering it started 20 years ago, it is rather new in the grand scheme of things.
 
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