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Subject: Games in app form rss

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Jerry Schippa
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While playing a game of Castles of Mad King Ludwig on my phone last night i realized what it is that makes these games not feel quite right (other than the obvious loss of tactile enjoyment and playing by yourself).

Usually the decisions you have to make are presented to you with all the math done. If you take this bonus card you already have 5 points, that one gives you 3. To me this is part of the fun of playing games is figuring out how to score points.

How do you feel about this? Are apps just streamlining the monotonous calculations in order for you to spend more mental ability in making other decisions, or do these apps make half the decisions obvious for you in a less enjoyable way?
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Ji Dan
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I agree entirely!

When I've tried good boardgames that use dice translated literally to app form with electronic dice, I've never found the app versions fun. (In general, I tend to avoid these games in electronic form.)

I think it's telling that the classic game Risk has never really found much success in the app space, or the computer strategy game space in general, so far as I have seen.

You make good points about the tactile nature, and the inclination of many gamers to do the basic math.

However, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collectible_card_game" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Customizable Card Games seem to be quite popular in app form...
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dukane wrote:
While playing a game of Castles of Mad King Ludwig on my phone last night i realized what it is that makes these games not feel quite right (other than the obvious loss of tactile enjoyment and playing by yourself).

Usually the decisions you have to make are presented to you with all the math done. If you take this bonus card you already have 5 points, that one gives you 3. To me this is part of the fun of playing games is figuring out how to score points.

How do you feel about this? Are apps just streamlining the monotonous calculations in order for you to spend more mental ability in making other decisions, or do these apps make half the decisions obvious for you in a less enjoyable way?


It's a different way to play the game is all. I like "tactile" and "playing with others", but I'm not going to shun them and only do board gaming IRL.

Ditto with this site. Does the fact that each user being some avatar, with no facial expressions to go by, and no hand to shake, make us any less human? It's a different experience for sure, and no offense to this fine community... I'd MUCH RATHER talk with board gamers in person. However, much of in-person time with bg-ers is PLAYING the games, and BGG allows me to discuss board gaming that I otherwise wouldn't be able to.



Also, every now and then when I play Race For The Galaxy on PC, I do the mental math in my head prior to mousing over cards that give variable points (or otherwise, relative points) to see how much it'd score. It's still a fun exercise I can do
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chris thatcher
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I find no enjoyment in digital implementations of board games. I've tried a few and they all fell completely flat with me.

 
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CARL SKUTSCH
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I enjoy both Agricola (on the iPad and iPhone) and Polis (on Boardgamearena). I enjoy both more in person. It's the tactile thing, it's seeing stuff spread out over a table in an easier to understand pattern, it's having a human across from me muttering threats and damnations on my soul, it's all better. Still, sometimes you can't get the regular game going in person. I'm happy I have the option of going digital.

(Neither app makes any decisions for me. I can't think of any app that I've used that does that. I think I'd probably be ok with some mathematical streamlining but I'm not sure.)
 
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Steve Greasby
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I play a lot of app versions of games because I mainly play board games with my family which limits the complexity of what I can play in real life.

I use apps to teach me the rules because they strictly enforce all rules, even the ones I don't fully understand at first. Some have decent tutorials or help systems that also teach you strategy (Puerto Rico). They also have zero setup/teardown time, and most can be played in a fraction of the time. Plus the app is easily portable, and can be played where physical games cannot (car, plane, bed). Best of all, they allow you to play when other people are not available.

That said, you do lose the interaction of playing with others, the tactile response, in some cases the big picture of the game (ie seeing your opponents strategy). I still have fun playing. I just like playing in real life but want to win in apps, though a loss in the app does not sting much because I can quickly play another.

The two experience are not write the same but both are very similar and enjoyable in their own right.
 
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Caleb Bunch
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I just got the Friday app and played through three games. I gave it a shot, but I find it really 'un-fun.' I have a hard time understanding why I don't find it enjoyable, because I like the idea of the game and I think I would like it in physical form.
 
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Andrea Bampi
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It really very much depends on the specific game, IMHO. I mean - just a couple of "recent" examples: I tried the MYSTERIUM app and one single game was more than enough for me. No surprise: it's the kind of game strongly devoted to social interaction.

Other (types of) games are extremely fit for a mobile adaptation, two examples I really enjoy are Splendor and Jaipur. In fact, the apps are MUCH better than the physical games, IMHO - not only because of the solo campaign modes (exclusive to the apps).
The digital versions simplify the boring parts (like setup and scoring) leaving only the fun/challenging components. BTW, it's impossible to misunderstand or forget a rule.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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skutsch wrote:
I enjoy both Agricola (on the iPad and iPhone) and Polis (on Boardgamearena). I enjoy both more in person. It's the tactile thing, it's seeing stuff spread out over a table in an easier to understand pattern, it's having a human across from me muttering threats and damnations on my soul, it's all better.
More than anything else it's seeing stuff spread out over a table that makes a difference to me. It's just so much easier for me to take in a game when it is sprawled over a table than when I have to look at the same thing on a computer screen. Especially as games usually make compromises due to limited space.

But my brain is pretty funny and I often have issues trying to make sense of stuff. I can't process a board if I'm seeing it upside down... even for boards where there's no text or anything else that's obviously oriented the wrong way. If my brain thinks the board is upside down, it'll be twice as hard for me to make sense of anything on the board.
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Ryan Feathers
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I'm so used to playing TTR in the app with all my route's cities highlighted by green bubbles that I get a bit messed up playing in real life having to constantly keep track of my ticket cards.

Other games like the Agricola app make it far easier to determine how well my opponents are doing during the game since I can quickly look up their score--in real life that would be a several minute calculation to figure out everyone's standings as of round 9 or whatever.

These little touches are mostly neutral to me though. I enjoy the app and like playing that way and find the additional help alright, but I think I'd be quite fine without them as well. I prefer to play games in real life as the look of everything and the tactility is a part of why I enjoy games. But apps largely do a better job of providing me top notch competition which I also really like in the case of Agricola and Terra Mystica.

So overall real life gaming and app based board games do give me slightly different experiences and there are pros and cons to both. I prefer real life gaming, but app based gaming isn't all that far behind for me.
 
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Larry L
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dukane wrote:
While playing a game of Castles of Mad King Ludwig on my phone last night i realized what it is that makes these games not feel quite right (other than the obvious loss of tactile enjoyment and playing by yourself).

Usually the decisions you have to make are presented to you with all the math done. If you take this bonus card you already have 5 points, that one gives you 3. To me this is part of the fun of playing games is figuring out how to score points.

How do you feel about this? Are apps just streamlining the monotonous calculations in order for you to spend more mental ability in making other decisions, or do these apps make half the decisions obvious for you in a less enjoyable way?


I'm pretty good at the mental arithmetic stuff, and don't object to it, but it doesn't enhance my enjoyment of games either. So that part of the app is fine.

I still prefer actual boards and face to face interaction over apps, but not for the arithmetic part of the game.
 
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Andrew
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I recently picked up Star Realms physical and loved it enough to get the Steam "Full Version" for $5. It's a good implementation that doesn't have a ton of polish (acceptable), with very few differences. For those who don't know, Star Realms is a deckbuilder.

While it does automatically calculate and display some numbers for you, that's not a big deal because the numbers are typically pretty small unless a haymaker is being delivered. It's quite nice, saving time and freeing up some mental space for decision making.

However, the major difference I've noticed is that I can click on my and my opponent's deck and discard pile to see what's there. (You can search the discard pile at any time in the physical game, but that's a bit of a hassle.) Perfect knowledge of what's in both decks (but not order of cards in deck, to clarify) makes a huge difference.

This alone changes the game enough that it's considerably easier to play well in the app than it is in physical. I still enjoy both.

edit for clarity
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Bill Cook
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I'm a big fan of playing board game digitally. As for your math question... it depends.

When I play on a cribbage app, I turn off the feature that counts points automatically. To me, figuring out how many points you have is part of the fun.

I recently got the Camel Cup app. One think I hate about the app is that the scoring at the end of each leg happens automatically and instantaneously. The round ends and suddenly you have x more points. What's weird is that for end of game scoring you have the option of going through it card by card if you want.

On the other hand, there are games where there is a ton of math and adjustments going on. I like the computer doing all the math in Suburbia or Rosenkoenig.
 
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Bill Cook
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ad2017 wrote:
However, the major difference I've noticed is that I can click on my and my opponent's deck and discard pile to see what's there. (You can search the discard pile at any time in the physical game, but that's a bit of a hassle.)


I've played hundreds of games and never knew this. Thanks.

Note - regardless of all the other pros/cons of game apps, I don't think anyone misses the shuffling in deckbuilder apps.
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Andrew
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I don't know if there are any limitations on when this can be done, but I noticed it in Quick Play/Quick Match mode.

Nope, don't miss deck shuffling ever.
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EMBison wrote:
ad2017 wrote:
However, the major difference I've noticed is that I can click on my and my opponent's deck and discard pile to see what's there. (You can search the discard pile at any time in the physical game, but that's a bit of a hassle.)


I've played hundreds of games and never knew this. Thanks.

Note - regardless of all the other pros/cons of game apps, I don't think anyone misses the shuffling in deckbuilder apps.
I am of the opinion that ALL DBG should also be available in digital format.

The shuffling, setting up, more shuffling, and tearing down. It can be a nuisance. Ascension for iOS, with the first 10 sets, plus 5 Promos, yields 1229 cards in the Portal deck! That's not counting the stack of Mystics and Heavy Infantries! That's an ideal way to pile on the expansions!

Dominion is a MUCH MORE portable and quick game vs. AI on my phone!


Not to mention Carcassonne with 5 to 7 expansions gets around many constraints of table space and scoring. I can always save and suspend the game for a later time. No worries if it takes 2 hours!


Another game that's nice via digital version is Innovation. IRL, half the dang game is just keeping up with the number of icons. You pretty much need to keep recounting them periodically. I'd say use a slide rule tracker, but ppl forget to update it, which is EXACTLY the thing a software program is tops at doing.
 
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Thunkd wrote:
skutsch wrote:
I enjoy both Agricola (on the iPad and iPhone) and Polis (on Boardgamearena). I enjoy both more in person. It's the tactile thing, it's seeing stuff spread out over a table in an easier to understand pattern, it's having a human across from me muttering threats and damnations on my soul, it's all better.
More than anything else it's seeing stuff spread out over a table that makes a difference to me. It's just so much easier for me to take in a game when it is sprawled over a table than when I have to look at the same thing on a computer screen. Especially as games usually make compromises due to limited space.

But my brain is pretty funny and I often have issues trying to make sense of stuff. I can't process a board if I'm seeing it upside down... even for boards where there's no text or anything else that's obviously oriented the wrong way. If my brain thinks the board is upside down, it'll be twice as hard for me to make sense of anything on the board.
It depends for me. For some games, I need to stand up, walk around the table just to see what's on the other side. Or ask folks to pass me their cards played onto the table so I can read them, without accidently peeking at their hand.
 
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