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Subject: Technology in games rss

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Abe Fouhy

Oregon
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Hey all,

I have designed a few card and board games and want to try my hand at implementing electronics or some aspect of technology into tabletop games. I am not looking for obvious or boring examples like the Monopoly bank calculator, something integrated.

I watched this video --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fL9a1bXeq8
and thought that's cool, I wonder if we could use smt ic/microchips and embed them into thick card stock and have the grids exposed on the edges to perform "things" in the game. So you could turn the card, flip it or whatever and have it change the circuit to do "things" in the game. At this point it is very conceptual, but smt's are tiny, small and relatively cheap, along with RFID. What do you imagine we could do with this?

Also bonus credit, do you know of a game I can playtest that uses electronics for entertainment and not solely edutainment?
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Oblivion Doll
New Zealand
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Have you seen Mansions of Madness? That uses an app as an integrated part of the game, not as an aid for a game that doesn't need it. For a more tech-oriented game, you could look up the old PS3 game Eye of Judgement. It's basically an AR game where you play cards that represent various monsters, and the monsters actually appear. Didn't do well because it had the disadvantage of a full-priced retail videogame starting price, and a TCG's ongoing cost to keep up with the release of expansions. It was a neat idea, though.

As for your idea, it also sounds like a cool concept if you can do it right. Having something that works consistently and reliably with just what comes in the box is one of the attractions of boardgames over most electronic gaming experiences. Keep that in mind and do your best to make sure anything that does need replacement will remain cheap and easy to replace if needed.
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David Brain
United Kingdom
London, UK
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Beasts of Balance is a physical dexterity game that uses RFID/NFC to identify the pieces and links them to an app that scores based on permutations and placements. An expansion is coming that extends the interaction beyond just "how long before it falls over?"
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Sturv Tafvherd
United States
North Carolina
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1966 : The Amazing Dr. Nim

https://youtu.be/9KABcmczPdg
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Laura Creighton
Sweden
Göteborg
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The_Chemist007 wrote:

Also bonus credit, do you know of a game I can playtest that uses electronics for entertainment and not solely edutainment?


Operation perhaps?
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Abe Fouhy

Oregon
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Just saw the playthrough of beast of balance, and it looks pretty neat. I am not sure how much replayability there is with it, but it has some hooks that makes me want to play. That said, Jenga can be played over and over, so maybe over a few drinks this game could really shine.

Dr Nims is sure interesting also. Very mechanical AI, cool stuff. I was thinking operation too, I built a large 4 foot operation game from a TV box for my daughters doctor themed birthday party, it was a huge success with the kids and the adults. That is what actually got me thinking about the idea of tech in board and card games.

I have a game lazer khet that is pretty fun too, uses a laser in a chess type game. It is pretty fun.

I guess I am thinking of a way to surprise the player with what the "hidden" technology is. Like I want them to think they are just playing a card game and the cards interact with each other to make unknown events happen in the game. I think it would be cool to have a bit of randomness to be happening based on what your doing or have them say "how does it do that" and have all the magic hidden in the background.

As I write this I am thinking of having some type of powergrid game where you would have power stations that you need to operate, so you would have powerplant cards that would have thin batteries embed in them with solar cells to charge them up while playing and they would interact with a board that has different rfid values of powerplant resource available in the board itself (that randomizes on startup of the game). So they could move the card over the top and if it was the same type of resource it would activate some surface mount leds on the card. Then have EL wire (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ2xGFfrND0) have lines to each square where a town is to illuminate the power line and which would illuminate the town (a hex card with leds) and as the game progresses more power is needed making it go dimmer. But how would you win? Thoughts?
 
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Antonio Rojilla
Spain
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The_Chemist007 wrote:
What do you imagine we could do with this?


The game I'm currently designing would certainly benefit from something like an interactive board where figures would have NFC chips and the board tiles/spaces would light and change color (there would be just a LED light beneath, nothing fancy) depending on where you position the pieces and indicating you things like where you could move next, where is something hidden, an obstacle... stuff like that.

But I don't even know where to begin. I mean, it'll be already hard enough to bring the game to life with just conventional chipboard tiles, so I won't even bother with such a complex -for me anyway- concept. But there there's an idea.

That video was cool BTW, thanks for sharing.
 
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Abe Fouhy

Oregon
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Antonio this sounds like a cool game, is it a dungeon crawler or what type of game is it? It would be fairly easy to implement, may not even need NFC unless different units move differently on the board. Can you tell me more about it?
 
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Antonio Rojilla
Spain
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The_Chemist007 wrote:
Antonio this sounds like a cool game, is it a dungeon crawler or what type of game is it? It would be fairly easy to implement, may not even need NFC unless different units move differently on the board. Can you tell me more about it?


Just received the prototype from The Game Crafter today!

It's nothing like a dungeon crawler, it's more like a simple, fast-paced and to-the-point wargame.

The big benefit of an interactive board would be that tiles could light up indicating possible direction and range of your shots, or when you are in the range of an enemy, or the damage of shots (think white, green, yellow, orange, red to denote increasing damage depending on distance and weapon of the figures), or a blast radius and stuff like that. I guess NFC would be required because units have different weapons, so their ranges and damages are quite different.

Another use could be for territory control, where each tile you step in lights up in the color of your team. I think there is a lot of possibilities.
 
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