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Subject: Board Layout rss

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JMJimmy
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A tip for designers:

If you're doing a scoring ring around the outside of the board, start in the top left and go counter clockwise.

Why? Reaching across the board to score points can be hard on the back - if people are hurting early/mid-game they'll have a less positive view of the end game.
 
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Brendan Riley
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JMJimmy wrote:
A tip for designers:

If you're doing a scoring ring around the outside of the board, start in the top left and go counter clockwise.

Why? Reaching across the board to score points can be hard on the back - if people are hurting early/mid-game they'll have a less positive view of the end game.


Aren't people usually seated around the table such that as the pieces move around, different people are closer to the pieces at any one time? I don't understand the physics of your advice.
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JMJimmy
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wombat929 wrote:
JMJimmy wrote:
A tip for designers:

If you're doing a scoring ring around the outside of the board, start in the top left and go counter clockwise.

Why? Reaching across the board to score points can be hard on the back - if people are hurting early/mid-game they'll have a less positive view of the end game.


Aren't people usually seated around the table such that as the pieces move around, different people are closer to the pieces at any one time? I don't understand the physics of your advice.


In our experience people usually try to see the board straight on if they're able. Larger games you're absolutely correct, whoever is closest can move the scoring. In smaller games (2-3, sometimes 4) they'll try to view the board right side up. Which means a clockwise design will always be furthest away until you're in the ~63-100 area.

This obviously doesn't apply to every situation, but in the situations it doesn't apply to the direction won't matter. In a standard [couch][table][entertainment unit] living room people will congregate on the couch for this type of thing, as an example.

Using Terraforming Mars, 2 player as an example - players start at 20 which is close to the top left and go clockwise. All the small point movements along the way require reaching to the far side. Usually ending around ~50ish at the top right of the board. Then final scoring is done in big leaps along the closer par to the scoring track when people are leaning over the board counting their tile points/etc.

If this was flipped and done counter clockwise, it would have no change on larger games as the person closest would move the scoring, while for smaller games the scoring would be on the near side of the board for the entire game. Less reaching = less back strain = more enjoyable experience.

Terraforming Mars' board was particularly bad for this. If you flip the board so the awards/standard projects are on top and the O2/oceans/special cities were on the bottom 54% of the non-scoring reaching would be eliminated in 2 player games.

 
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Robbert Vervuurt
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So when you are 4 people and play a (small) game, you are sitting next to each other?

I really don't see how this "idea" would benefit anyone?
 
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JMJimmy
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rvervuurt wrote:
So when you are 4 people and play a (small) game, you are sitting next to each other?

I really don't see how this "idea" would benefit anyone?


Depends on the game but look at this as an example:

https://youtu.be/iw2zq5VfAIA?t=5m17s

They put the board upside-down and ~2/3rds of the game board is comfortably within reach of either of them. In that 2/3rds the ocean tiles, O2 tracking, the bulk of the thermometer would be if it were oriented to them, and the portion of the scoring track used during the bulk of the game (~20-50) would all be within reach. The least used portions (awards/medals & end game scoring) are in the furthest 1/3rd which would require them to stretch to reach that far.

It's a small change but makes a noticeable impact on "board gamer back"

Here's another example (2 player):

https://youtu.be/c_YcKlyxqSA?t=32m34s

Going clockwise around the board with a start of 20. You've got the first ~35 (70%) scoring slots that are out of comfortable reach with ~15 (30%) within comfortable reach before end game scoring going clockwise. Counter clockwise, with 1 in the top left, the first ~44 (88%) would be within comfortable reach with only ~6 (12%) out of comfortable reach.
 
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Robbert Vervuurt
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These are example games, where they try to show you, the gamer at home, the best angle of a game. Nobody in his right mind would sit next to each other while playing a game, always across.
 
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JMJimmy
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rvervuurt wrote:
These are example games, where they try to show you, the gamer at home, the best angle of a game. Nobody in his right mind would sit next to each other while playing a game, always across.


I guess my wife and I are not in our right minds? (entirely possible )

The purpose of the example videos was to show reach vs the layout of the design; not the substance of the video.

Answer me this: why would anyone want to sit on the floor and look at an upside down board when there's plenty of room on a comfy couch for both to see the board upright? It's all anecdotal, however, in my experience a lot of people like to congregate in the living room to play on a coffee table if it's large enough. 4+ player games usually get moved to a dinning room (if one exists) for more seating and that's not the situation this would apply to.



 
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marc lecours
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When I play 2 players with daughter (adult) we often play on the same side of the table. It works fine.

But when playing 3 or more players we spread out around the table. Even in a coop game, we don't sit 3 people on one side of the table.
 
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Ken Bush
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JMJimmy wrote:
A tip for designers:

If you're doing a scoring ring around the outside of the board, start in the top left and go counter clockwise.

Why? Reaching across the board to score points can be hard on the back - if people are hurting early/mid-game they'll have a less positive view of the end game.

Using your own logic Why not start in the middle of the right side and progress clockwise so that most in-game points are in the lower half closest to you and end-game points are farther from you. Couple things that I don’t like about your suggestion: 1) clockwise is more common and therefore likely intuitive for more players 2)having the scoring chits in the players normal reach zone is often a board bump problem with chits getting bumped off their track.

My suggestion, get a comfortable gaming station 😜
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JMJimmy
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klbush wrote:
Using your own logic Why not start in the middle of the right side and progress clockwise so that most in-game points are in the lower half closest to you and end-game points are farther from you. Couple things that I don’t like about your suggestion: 1) clockwise is more common and therefore likely intuitive for more players 2)having the scoring chits in the players normal reach zone is often a board bump problem with chits getting bumped off their track.


Middle right goes to your "intuitiveness" suggestion. It's more intuitive to start in a corner.

With LTR-UTD languages, like English, you look top left first for the starting point which would make it more intuitive to start the count there. Since half the board will always be "counter intuitive" that aspect becomes less important. This design just changes it from LTR-UTD-RTL-DTU to UTD-LTR-DTU-RTL which is still intuitive enough, especially since it's obvious sequential numbers.

As to the bump suggestion, bumping the board is bumping the board; chits will move regardless of where they are on the board. Bumping the individual chits while you're reaching to something else on the board I could theoretically see. Not sure how common it would be.
 
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secoAce -
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I know what you mean about having to reach across the board to move a score marker around the board. It just bothers me that doing so would jostle other pieces on the board. But no matter which corner you start the track, you still have to reach around and across the board, which is why I hate tracks around the board. A track border also destroys the aesthetics of the board too. I much prefer a separate area for score tracks.

 
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