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Subject: Board Games with Required Apps rss

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David Griffin
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Regarding tabletop board games which require Apps to play.

Question 1: How long should a publisher maintain the app after the game goes out of print?

Question 2: How quickly could a publisher stop maintaining the app and not cause prospective buyers of their new games to reconsider their purchase?

Question 3: As a buyer of such a game, would you support a "subscription" model, similar to the Office 365 model from Microsoft, where you would pay some minimal charge a year to fund the maintenance of that game's app?

I'm curious what the BGG'ers will say about this. What is "fair" or "reasonable" on the part of game publishers. This doesn't include games like Myth where there is an app, but it is only a convenience, not critical to play. You can talk about games where the app gives you a new feature (like solitaire play) but is not actually required to play as well, but I suspect there will be less strong feeling about these kinds of games.

Thanks.
 
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Steven McKinney
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1. As long as they can.
2. 5 years.
3. No
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A board game does NOT require an app.
An app game does NOT require a board.
Any game that requires both will NEVER get my money.
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wayne mathias
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I believe a game that requires an app should include the needed hardware to run that app (making it a physical game with some electronic components) - otherwise it is essentially a digital game with some physical components.

On the other hand, if you buy a digital game you should already know that you might need legacy hardware to play it someday.

Most likely, to be fair to distributors, you would provide updated digital for a full year after final wholesale distribution or specify operating systems / required hardware as part of the distribution.

 
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Boaty McBoatface
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Question 1: How long should a publisher maintain the app after the game goes out of print?

As long as I want to play it, or gt some kind of refund.

Question 2: How quickly could a publisher stop maintaining the app and not cause prospective buyers of their new games to reconsider their purchase?

My life time.

Question 3: As a buyer of such a game, would you support a "subscription" model, similar to the Office 365 model from Microsoft, where you would pay some minimal charge a year to fund the maintenance of that game's app?

No, if I buy game I do not expect to pay to play it as well.

This is why I do not buy games with apps, if I cannot play the game in 10 years time I do not want to own it. To illustrate.

This year I have played,

Thunder Road.
Fury of Dracula (GW edition)
History of the world (last night)

If any of these games needed an app that is no longer supported I could not have played them.
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Mike Jones
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Question:1

If it's a 'required' app, then it should be maintained as long as the estimated life of the components of the rest of the game.

If it's not required, who cares?

Question: 2
I would say about 10-15 years.

Question 3

NO, if I buy a game, I expect to be able to play it until I get tired of it or it falls apart.

I still wouldn't subscribe, but a subscription service could work if it's for expansions only.
 
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David Griffin
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That last one, the subscription model (which no game maker has suggested as yet) was suggested to me by a couple of recent developments in the software world. One was Office 365 which I did buy and Adobe's Developer system, which I did not.

I felt the same as many above that I wanted to buy the software and then just use it at least until it no longer ran on my current computer. Yet I found my resolve weakened depending on how much I was being charged per year.

I'm not promoting this idea. It just occurs to me that if our board games become half software, there might need to be some way to encourage the publishers to keep the programmers on staff.

Anyway, keep those answers coming, and though I am skeptical of board game/app hybrids, I recognize that I might just be a curmudgeon so it's good to get some other viewpoints.
 
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1. I don't know exactly what OOP means, but I wouldn't expect a boardgame publisher to pay for much upkeep after they run out of their stock. I think it's especially unlikely for app-enhanced games that involve more than one company, like seperate programmers and printers.

2. Beats me.

3. I am unlikely to pay into a subscription model, but it would have to promise new content -- not just assurance that the game would keep working.

I guess I'd like to see open source apps for this type of hybrid game. I strongly prefer buying to licensing, and I dislike having my purchases depend on a specific platform.
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If a game that requires an app goes OOP, there ought to be a final edition of the app that will be downloadable on the games' web site while the company is around. Afterwards, a fan community will always exist to carry the app and maintain its compatibility.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Paradox Games wrote:
If a game that requires an app goes OOP, there ought to be a final edition of the app that will be downloadable on the games' web site while the company is around. Afterwards, a fan community will always exist to carry the app and maintain its compatibility.
LOL, i could just thias working with some companies cease and desist mentality.
 
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CARL SKUTSCH
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lucky henry wrote:

A board game does NOT require an app.

Just a helpful heads up, there are a number of board games that DO require apps: Alchemists and XCOM: The Board Game, for example. Glad I could clear that up for you.
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David Griffin
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skutsch wrote:
lucky henry wrote:

A board game does NOT require an app.

Just a helpful heads up, there are a number of board games that DO require apps: Alchemists and XCOM: The Board Game, for example. Glad I could clear that up for you.


Don't forget Mansions of Madness 2nd edition.

Even if the game doesn't require the app to play, some (Descent I think) use it to give the game a solitaire mode. For most people this isn't near as big a deal but a solitaire player *might* disagree.

Still lack of a solitaire mode might not damage the resale value much.
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skutsch wrote:
lucky henry wrote:

A board game does NOT require an app.

Just a helpful heads up, there are a number of board games that DO require apps: Alchemists and XCOM: The Board Game, for example. Glad I could clear that up for you.


Then they aren't board games.
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Dave Peters
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Carl wrote:
Just a helpful heads up, there are a number of board games that DO require apps: Alchemists and XCOM: The Board Game, for example. Glad I could clear that up for you.


Alchemists is a good deal more careful than that. It provides bits so that one could play it without the app: but it's much easier with.
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David Griffin
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lucky henry wrote:
skutsch wrote:
lucky henry wrote:

A board game does NOT require an app.

Just a helpful heads up, there are a number of board games that DO require apps: Alchemists and XCOM: The Board Game, for example. Glad I could clear that up for you.


Then they aren't board games.


Isn't that like saying no cars have leather seats, and then when someone shows you one, you say that YOU call such vehicles spaceships? No fair redefining a commonly used term

Most people would look at a game with a box and board and pieces which also uses an app and say that it is SOME species of board game. You could perhaps call it a hybrid board game but I think they are still board games.

Granted now we might have to talk about what a "board game" is. Here's what webster's online definition reads

Definition of board game
: a game of strategy (as checkers, chess, or backgammon) played by moving pieces on a board

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CARL SKUTSCH
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lucky henry wrote:
skutsch wrote:
lucky henry wrote:

A board game does NOT require an app.

Just a helpful heads up, there are a number of board games that DO require apps: Alchemists and XCOM: The Board Game, for example. Glad I could clear that up for you.


Then they aren't board games.

Or maybe someone who doesn't admit that games widely considered to be boardgames ARE boardgames isn't a boardgamer?
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Rich Shipley
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carbon_dragon wrote:
Regarding tabletop board games which require Apps to play.

Question 1: How long should a publisher maintain the app after the game goes out of print?


What kind of maintenance would a boardgame app need? One any bugs are worked out, it should keep working without extra cost. If you are talking about some sort of multi-player server maintenance, then you are getting outside the realm of a boardgame.

Quote:
Question 2: How quickly could a publisher stop maintaining the app and not cause prospective buyers of their new games to reconsider their purchase?


I wouldn't buy a boardgame that required an app to play because I could lose access to the app at some point. I have a couple games that have helper apps for setup or scoring and I've used them, but it wouldn't be a big deal if they went away. I want to be able to open a boardgame in 30 years time and still play it. That's one of the main features of a boardgame.

Quote:
Question 3: As a buyer of such a game, would you support a "subscription" model, similar to the Office 365 model from Microsoft, where you would pay some minimal charge a year to fund the maintenance of that game's app?


Hell no. I subscribe to Office 365 because my family and I use it on a regular basis. My taste in games wanders around and I may not play a game for a few years at a time so subscriptions won't work for me. I don't do digital games that require subscriptions either. I'm happy to pay a non-trivial amount once for something I'm interested in, but I expect to be allowed to play it as long as I want.
 
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Trent Boardgamer
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I'm not clear under what circumstances the OP believes an App needs to be maintained? Most new hardware is fully backwards compatible, so as long as the app actually worked as required in the first place and a new OS system doesn't take over the world which fully ignores compatibility with all existing software (Not going to happen), this is an irrelevant question.

You might as well say, how long should a game publisher update the language in the rulebooks. It has about as much relevance.

In reading the rest of the questions I can only assume the OP is referring to a server side app with a client app used at the customers end. Apart from offering online multiplayer or locking access to the game for subscription there would be no reason to do this, and currently no commercially available game that uses an App goes this route.

Once you go that route your actually offering a computer game, not a board game in any event and I'd be curious to what board game model could even work like that? As with all things I could be surprised in the future, but I can help but think this would simply be a computer game with physical component aids.

Anyway to answer the questions directly;

1) No maintenance required. Just make sure the app works as intended and is available on all popular OS's at launch of the game.

2) At launch, if it was released on sufficient platforms, and they ensured it would be available to DL from an online source that is likely to be around for quite some time. (Most third party storage sites or app stores would take the burden of hosting these for free in reality, so it's a non-issue).

3) No subscription model... I simply refuse, because this would mean that the game needs a server which then negates my answers to questions 1. and 2. I'm curious to see how anyway could find away for a Board Game to benefit from a subscription to an APP. I would happily buy app expansions or add-ons separately however.
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I.M. Jeremic
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I will never buy a board game that needs an app and this is another excellent reason.
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Ryan Morency
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Is it wrong that I read these threads just to enjoy how worked up people get about apps?
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I'll boycott anything that requires an app, period.
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Boaty McBoatface
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skutsch wrote:
lucky henry wrote:

A board game does NOT require an app.

Just a helpful heads up, there are a number of board games that DO require apps: Alchemists and XCOM: The Board Game, for example. Glad I could clear that up for you.
Just to be helpful, that is not what he meant. He meant no board GAME SHOULD REQUIRE AN APP, hope that clears it up for you.
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Boaty McBoatface
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lucky henry wrote:
skutsch wrote:
lucky henry wrote:

A board game does NOT require an app.

Just a helpful heads up, there are a number of board games that DO require apps: Alchemists and XCOM: The Board Game, for example. Glad I could clear that up for you.


Then they aren't board games.
But maybe I was wrong.
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David Griffin
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Why would an app need to be maintained? Two possible reasons I could think of:

1. Apple and Google periodically change the operating systems of their mobile devices (not to mention Apple and PC computer OSs if the app is there too). This typically requires some repairs or in some cases redesign (when some OS features are removed or replaced with something better -- hopefully).

2. These apps are often sold as a way to deliver new content. This new content would naturally require updates.

NOTE I'm not an Apple developer. I'm responding based on a couple of decades maintaining applications on PCs changing over time as a result of new PC OS's as well as new versions of Visual Studio. That and the fact that it is often the case that after a new IOS update, one or two of my apps no longer work till they are updated.
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Vince De Zutter
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I don't think any company would remove an app for a game before a new "edition" has been out for quite some time, because without the app, they're effectively telling people they don't want their product to sell anymore. This is only economically feasible if there's a newer and better product on the market. If for example Mansions of Madness: Third Edition gets generally awful reviews, FFG would be stupid to remove app support for Second Edition (which is unplayable without the app).

It's a bad business practice and I highly doubt any developer would make such a mistake (twice).
 
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