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Subject: Introducing Paper Dragon Games rss

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Matthew Woods
United States
Massachusetts
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I posted a press release about my game Constellation, and there was some confusion about why I was posting a computer game to a board game forum.
I think its been resolved, but I wanted to write a custom message to introduce myself and my company and let you know why its important to me to post here.

Hello, my name is Matthew Woods and I'm a board game geek.

In my mind, nothing beats a good tabletop board game shared with friends, but board games on the computer can be fun too. In fact, I find certain board games work better on the computer.

Risk is a good example of this. I find Risk incredibly tedious to play as a board game with lots of superfluous dice rolling, and lots of counting little tiny tokens. I love playing Risk on the computer however. Most Risk computer game variants lots of different maps to play on, and a game takes 5 minutes as opposed to several hours. In my mind, Risk was meant to be a computer board game.

Sadly most computer board games are copies of tabletop games rather than being truly designed to take advantage of being on a computer. There are a few original computer native board games out there, but not many. I feel this is a much neglected niche. Paper Dragon Games was founded with the mission to remedy this.

I wrote my first computer board game Constellation earlier this year for the uDevGames mac game contest. It took second place next to a very well done side scrolling shoot em up.

Encouraged by the good reception from the contest, I decided to polish the game up, add a few new features, and release it as a low cost shareware title.

I have more ideas for computer native board games, and plans for networking and maybe making an iPhone version of Constellation. This is still a side gig for me at the moment however. Whether I make more games depends on how well this release does.

If you like the game and my mission, please purchase it and spread the word. I would like to release my games at low cost relying largely on quality gameplay and word of mouth for advertisement.

Cheers,

-Matthew Woods
www.paperdragongames.com
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Brad Miller
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Agreed. It still doesn't belong here. Yet. Make it PnP, make crappy homebrew DIY materials available, then it does.
 
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Dylan McNamee
United States
Portland
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Matthew -- good luck with Paper Dragon Games! I've already downloaded the demo of Constellation, and have enjoyed it very much. So far, have only won two of about 20 games, which has me pretty intrigued. I agree with the others here, though, that it's not a board game if the board's just on a computer. Cardboard, paper, PDF print-and-play all count. The main problem is that it's hard to get those pieces to stick to a vertical screen without inordinate amounts of stick-em.

cheers!
dylan
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Cody Hoffman
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So turn your monitor on its side....duh.
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Matthew Woods
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Does it count as a board game when played on a horizontal touchscreen? The game works great on a touch screen. My day job is creating museum multimedia and we have one in the office right now. Thats one reason why I'd like to make an iphone version. The iphone could be placed on the table in front of you, or passed around. That would better replicate the social feel of a board game. I need to spend time learning objective C though to make a port. Though it has a good AI, the game can currently be played by multiple players gathered around a single computer.

Are the 10 days in http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/5867 games board games when you don't actually put pieces on the board, just use it for reference? I like those games a lot. They have a simple clever gameplay that I admire.

If you guys like I can write up rules for a table top version, but I warn you the game isn't optimized for this, and it wouldn't be a fair representation of the game. You would also need a gazillion dice (one for each planet for each player) to keep track of players' influence. That might not be a problem for you guys though.

Thanks for trying my game Dylan!

Cheers,

-Matt
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José San Miguel
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Paper Dragon Games wrote:

Sadly most computer board games are copies of tabletop games rather than being truly designed to take advantage of being on a computer. There are a few original computer native board games out there, but not many. I feel this is a much neglected niche. Paper Dragon Games was founded with the mission to remedy this.


I agree with you. Congratulations for a great idea. I don't see why a board game can't be designed for computer play and still be a board game.
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Gabe Covert
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Looks interesting! Downloaded, and put in my DropBox for play at home later...

ninja
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Leo Zappa
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Aliquippa
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Matt:

RE a paper boardgame version of this: Perhaps you should checkout the boardgame designers forum and see if anyone would be interested in partnering with you to adapt your design to a boardgame format. I suggest this since in one of your replies you stated that the game as currently designed may have some issues when ported over from computer to physical boardgame. There are people who are good at taking ideas and developing/adapting them. One commerical example I'm thinking of is Age of Empires III. The boardgame was adapted from the computer game. The boardgame version is actually rather different than the computer game that spawned it, but is very good in its own right - it took a masterful job to take the computer game and understand what elements would translate to the boardgame medium and which elements would not translate successfully, and adapt the design accordingly.

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Tim Fowers
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Congrats on the game and the contest. We got started with a similar game contest. Boardgames are a huge untapped resource for video game mechanics. My only recommendation for business is make a flash demo. Flash games have so much free distribution, you'll be able to find your audience all over the world. It's worked great for us. And you don't lose the royalties to game portals.
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Matthew Woods
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Thank you guys for the positive feedback. I was starting to get a little bummed. It looks like a mod deleted my other post again. If anyone reads this and wants to try the game its at www.paperdragongames.com. Its free to try, and I just ask that you do try it before you bash it for not being printed on cardboard. It won't bite, and it does its best to overcome its celluloseless limitations.

I'll refrain from reposting my screenshots and game description. I emailed the mod who has deleted my thread to plead my case. We'll see if it gets restored.

What's your game site Tim? I'd be curious to check it out. I'm still finding my way in the indie game industry.
 
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Matthew Woods
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Okay,

I have permission to talk more about my game in this thread and post the screenshots without them being deleted. The game is kind of like go, risk, othello and minesweeper. If you're curious how this could be so, visit www.paperdragongames.com and try it for free.

Here are the screenshots:





Cheers,

-Matt
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Confusion Under Fire
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For me there are 4 things that a good "puzzle" type computer game should have.

1) Good graphics, just because the game is small the graphics should not be compromised.

2) Easy to understand

3) Lots of choices and decisions to make

4) Replayability, not just the ability to play it again but a need to want to play it again, or the "just one more time" factor

Your game has all of these qualities and even though I kept losing I wanted to go back and beat it, I know I am only one more game away from winning. This is the type of game that a few years ago I wouldn't of hesitated in buying. Nowadays I don't play these types of games too often.

For anyone who has doubts about the authenticity of a computer game on a boardgame website I would ask them to give it a try. The game has a similar experience to some euros. For some reason I keep thinking of Primordial Soup when I play this game and probably the thinking is the same for both games.

 
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Matthew Woods
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I wanted to give people a heads up that I received this last night from my e-commerce provider:

"Unfortunately, and not by our choice, our primary payment gateway provider has temporarily suspended our ability to process real-time transactions for the next 3-5 days while a review is performed regarding one of our clients. For legal reasons, I am not able to comment further on the client under investigation.

While this review takes place, we are still collecting all information for each transaction submitted via our order forms, and they are being placed in a queue which will be processed as soon as our primary service has been restored. We apologize for this inconvenience, and please know we are doing everything in our power to accelerate the process.

If you do have an alternative e-commerce you can use for this short period of time, please feel free to do so, and we will be keeping our entire client base aware of our progress with updates as we work with our payment gateway providers to restore service as soon as possible."

Yikes. This is not what I needed less than a week after releasing my game. I have no alternative e-commerce sites at the moment, but its looking like I should.

If anyone trys to order the full version, be aware that your order may be held up for a few days. In the meantime please download and enjoy the demo.

-Cheers, Matt
 
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Ken H.
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It's an interesting and fun game. I downloaded the trial version. Lost the first 3 games against the medium AI, and won the next 3. Then tried the hard AI, and won 2 out of 4. I'm debating whether I will buy the full version. It's certainly cheap enough, and I would like to try multiple players and special planets.

One suggestion: consider adding a highlight to the planet where the AI played. Once the board gets full, I sometimes miss what he did. It doesn't really matter since you can still see the complete state of the board, but I'm just curious. Also, I wouldn't mind having the option for a highlight on the neutral planets. Once we get down to only 2 or 3 planets left, you kind of have to scour the board to find them. Would be nice if they popped out more. Overall the graphics are great though, for this style of game.

Re/ whether it qualifies as a board game: Seems a pretty clear YES to me. It technically could be played with pencil and paper right now. There is no need to "publish" anything. By most definitions, that makes it a board game. Figuring the influence would be a significant chore, and I'm sure mistakes would be made, but that shouldn't take it out of the realm of board game. You obviously wouldn't need a calculator or anything. It is better as a computer game, though.

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Matthew Woods
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Hi all, I wanted to give people a heads up my e-commerce provider is back up and running with their real time credit card processing so no more transaction delays.

Also, I have redesigned my website (www.paperdragongames.com) with a blog style. I plan on chronicling my successes and failures as I try to market Constellation, create other games, and find my way through the world of indie game development. If anyone is interested in creating and marketing computer board games, maybe some of my experiences will be helpful.

Cheers,

-Matt
 
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