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Subject: Cutthroat Caverns: the APP. Sound off on the features! rss

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Curt Covert
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Hey Cutthroat Caverns Fans,

Exciting news! We are looking into creating a mobile app version of Cutthroat Caverns – and need your help to make it the best experience possible. Specifically, we want to know what’s important to YOU as we translate the physical game onto a tablet.

We’ll be working with our talented technical team to make it as robust as we can, but since we’re not made of money, we want to make sure we focus first on the aspects and functions that are most important to you, the players.

So, please let your voice be heard and answer each question as fully as you can.

1. What are your must-have features? For example: A Full 9 Encounter Game and a Quicker-playing 4 Encounter Skirmish mode with 50 life points? Campaign Mode? Achievements? Solo play featuring solid AI Players with different play styles? Multi-player Network Play? Etc
What does they game really need to deliver on?

2. How configurable should the game rules and elements be made? For example: Edit Encounters in/out of the mix, toggle Event Deck on/off, toggle Bonus Points in Rounds 7+ on/off, etc

3. Should the pace of the game be faster so that experienced players find it more competitive, or slower so that it allows a bigger margin to think about tactics? i.e. Should playing Action cards be on a fast timer or have players manually decline to act?

4. How important is player interactivity and how would you like it done? Does your answer change from AI play to Network play? For example: Animated character avatars that change faces when good or bad things happen? A menu of character-themed smack talk options to select from? Live smack chat? Or is live smack too prone to abuse?

5. Is there anything you hope we DONT do?

This is the first of a number of discussions and polls that will help shape the game we produce. We couldn’t be more excited and thank you for taking the time to give us your thoughts.

More soon!

Best,
Curt
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Dominic InyokaMadoda
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Firstly, this sounds superb and you can definitely count on me making a purchase as soon as it comes out! I love this game and the opportunity to play it on my phone would mean I had far more opportunity to play it.

Personally, I would definitely want to see a 'game-save' option so that I could play a single game on a number of sittings.

In answer to your points:

1. Yes to all of your suggestions, except for Network play. Some people may want network play but I can pass on that. Solo play is vital, as is a pass-and-play mechanic. I'd love campaigns and achievements too!

2. I would suggest that complete configurability should be available, if possible. As we all have different expansions and so on, it is useful to be able to 'turn an expansion off' so that you can just play with what you have physically. New players may not want to include expansions while they are learning. Also, different people may house-rule so that encounters or relics or whatever are not used, so the ability to turn these off would be nice.

3. You should be able to decide at your own pace whether or not to play a particular action card, not feel forced into making a snap-judgement.

4. Personally I don't need the smack-talk or animations. This would obviously bump the cost up for you in developing the app and I'd rather save the time, effort and money on your part. There are no animations in the physical game, so I don't need them in the app as long as I can work out what each player has done in turn whilst we play a round.

And again, can't wait for this to happen. If you need anyone as a play-tester for it, you only have to ask!
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James Ross
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Make sure it is compatible with Android, that is all; I'm sure everything else will fall into place nicely. Don't back-stab me by making it an iphone/ipad only creation.
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Adrian George
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yetikeeper wrote:
Make sure it is compatible with Android, that is all; I'm sure everything else will fall into place nicely. Don't back-stab me by making it an iphone/ipad only creation.


This a million times.
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Tim Buckley
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1. What are your must-have features? Campaign Mode and Solo play featuring solid AI Players with different play styles


2. How configurable should the game rules and elements be made? As much as possible. This is where most of the design effort should be focused after the gameplay and AI itself.

3. Should the pace of the game be faster so that experienced players find it more competitive, or slower so that it allows a bigger margin to think about tactics? i.e. Should playing Action cards be on a fast timer or have players manually decline to act? This should be one of the configurable options as listed in #2 above.

4. How important is player interactivity and how would you like it done? Does your answer change from AI play to Network play? Not important to me at all. Focus resources elsewhere imho.

5. Is there anything you hope we DONT do? DON'T release it without a good tutorial and different levels of AI for solo play.
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Evan Gassman
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That's great news! Have you already talked with an app developer? This may be stating the obvious, but the folks at Playdek specialize in converting board games and card games into great iOS apps.

1. What are your must-have features? Gamecenter compatability to be able to play online. Also, single player with a strong AI opponent.

4. How important is player interactivity and how would you like it done? The Carcassonne iOS app gets it right. In-game chat, opponent matching based on experience, etc. I'd strongly recommend looking at their interactivity model.

5. Is there anything you hope we DONT do? Don't forget to include a tutorial. That can make or break a good iOS app.
 
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Dominic InyokaMadoda
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Curt, I've just seen in another thread that you are planning an iPad version first. Is this true? I would have thought that you would get far far more sales if you included iPhone and Android at the same time. Surely at least and iPhone AND iPad version at the same time would be sensible...?
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Dr. UDO
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This would be really fun!

1. A solo experience is defianately necessary. Network would be really nice, especially asynch but I'm not sure how well that would work with some of the interactivity. A Campaign mode where you unlocked more of the content would be nice and could also serve as a training ground for new players.

2. toggling in expansions and/or optional features like the event deck would be nice. If you have any sort of leaderboard though the ability to edit out certain parts would make it difficult to compare. I think the biggest thing that should be configuarable is the speed of play, that way experienced players can blast through things while those who aren't can take their time.

3. See above.

4. Smack talking AI is not that important. You will likely run through their whole store of phrases in a few games. Emotional reaction is more fun though not completely necessary. On a network, chat can be great. It could be abusable though.

5. Don't stray far in your choice of art. We don't need Anime characters or Chibis. the dark art of CC is a good thematic choice.
 
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Mr Bug
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Smirky wrote:


1. What are your must-have features? For example: A Full 9 Encounter Game and a Quicker-playing 4 Encounter Skirmish mode with 50 life points? Campaign Mode? Achievements? Solo play featuring solid AI Players with different play styles? Multi-player Network Play? Etc
What does they game really need to deliver on?

2. How configurable should the game rules and elements be made? For example: Edit Encounters in/out of the mix, toggle Event Deck on/off, toggle Bonus Points in Rounds 7+ on/off, etc

3. Should the pace of the game be faster so that experienced players find it more competitive, or slower so that it allows a bigger margin to think about tactics? i.e. Should playing Action cards be on a fast timer or have players manually decline to act?

4. How important is player interactivity and how would you like it done? Does your answer change from AI play to Network play? For example: Animated character avatars that change faces when good or bad things happen? A menu of character-themed smack talk options to select from? Live smack chat? Or is live smack too prone to abuse?

5. Is there anything you hope we DONT do?

This is the first of a number of discussions and polls that will help shape the game we produce. We couldn’t be more excited and thank you for taking the time to give us your thoughts.



1. Asynchronous Game Center play across iOS devices would be great. I play iOS games against people all the time, but ONLY if the games are async. A tutorial and/or comprehensive rules are a must.

2. It'd be nice to have a lot of configuration options as long as it doesn't make the AI completely impossible to beat OR too easy to beat.

3. The pacing should be dictated by a "confirm move" button. That's the only way that it will work with asynchronous play.

4. SHORT animations (like one card moving across the screen to another pile) are fine. Like someone else said, look at the way Carcassonne works for animation and communication. Text chat is the best and will work with async.

5. Don't make a regular and HD version. Make it a single universal binary. Release it for Android if you can. In multiplayer games, don't require all players to own the DLC if a game uses it as long as the host does. That's not how it works in real life.
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Samuel Hinz
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async for this game would be terrible, every single time someone plays a card, everyone would take a turn to interupt it, and if you do play a card to interupt it, everyone else gets a turn to interupt that one.

i just don't see that the game would flow all that well as an async game.

if you do make it async, turn it like playdeck , allow the host to set a timer, this ensures everyone who join knows the expected pace.

 
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Dante Pendragon
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1. First is Pass-and-Play. Then A-synch with GameCenter. Solo mode would be appreciated as well.

2. It would be neat to be able to configure the rules, but not necessary.

3. I would prefer a slower pace.

4. I prefer the interactivity that the game has. Cards and pieces moving on the board. I wouldn't be opposed to set themed smack talk that was triggered in game, but I don't want the player to have direct control over it.

5. Tutorial! I also enjoy having a guided play style tutorial that can be turned on again. If I only have played it once and then I go a few months, its nice to see that come up again. Or if I am playing pass-and-play and this is their first time.
 
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First, multiplayer is a must. Async, would be absolutely fantastic. Upon examination, I no longer believe ASYNC to work well for the amount of mid-turn options a player has.
I play board games with my wife and friends daily. No multiplayer support means no purchase for us. Multiplayer would mean 4 or 5 more sales day 1. (Multiplayer = networked, Pass and Play is a no go for me)

Second, I'll describe what I like about other games, take what you want from them.
-Ticket To Ride. Excellently done. Playing a full game doesn't take too long. Each turn is kept simple, and the game moves along nicely. Non-async games should keep the game moving. Too much time per turn = slow and boring games

-Ascension. Configurable game time limits. In async games, I can choose how long the game should last, and how fast play should continue. Some friends play slower, I'll set the game to 7 or 14 days. When I play my wife, I set the timer to 30 or 60 minutes.

The more configurable, the more varied the experience. That's a good thing. Keeps the constant and often replay value there. Give us as many options as you can code. Some things can come version 2. I'd give you my money tonight, if I could play this game with my friends that are hours away.


THIS IS A BIG ONE! - I hope you do not release 2 versions. 1 for iPad, another for iPhone. Universal apps for iOS are the best way to show customer appreciation. I don't mind paying for expansions if I can use them on both.
 
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M.J.E. Hendriks
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Smirky wrote:

1. What are your must-have features? For example: A Full 9 Encounter Game and a Quicker-playing 4 Encounter Skirmish mode with 50 life points? YES! Campaign Mode? YES! Achievements? SURE - IS FUN BUT NOT ESSENTIAL Solo play featuring solid AI Players with different play styles? YES! Multi-player Network Play? YES!

2. How configurable should the game rules and elements be made? For example: Edit Encounters in/out of the mix, toggle Event Deck on/off, toggle Bonus Points in Rounds 7+ on/off, etc NOT SURE - WILL GO WITH WHAT YOU THINK IS BEST

3. Should the pace of the game be faster so that experienced players find it more competitive, or slower so that it allows a bigger margin to think about tactics? i.e. Should playing Action cards be on a fast timer or have players manually decline to act? THIS IS FOR ONLINE PLAY - MAKE IT FAST! FOR OFFLINE PLAY NO TIMER

4. How important is player interactivity and how would you like it done? Does your answer change from AI play to Network play? For example: Animated character avatars that change faces when good or bad things happen? A menu of character-themed smack talk options to select from? Live smack chat? Or is live smack too prone to abuse? NOT THAT IMPORTANT - LEAVE OUT

5. Is there anything you hope we DONT do?
Make it too expensive. I want to play this game, try it out, but I don't know it... yet!



Oh, and I agree with the previous poster - make it Universal!
 
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Leon Durivage
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Cutthroat Caverns is one of my favorite games, and the idea of an iOS version sounds great. I am a huge fan of iOS board games, and would love to see this done right. I originally meant for this to be short but it ended up a small essay. I apologize for that.

I disagree with the previous posters who said interactivity is not important. Player interaction is 90% of the game. The name of the game itself implies backhanded politics. To minimize it would be a terrible mistake.

I would say that the number one thing you should do is focus very heavily on the social aspect. Some games work better with single player than others. Games like Hive, Neuroshema Hex or Tigris that have deep strategy work well as they allow you to hone your skills against an AI and eventually get better. Co-op games like Pandemic or Elder Signs work well because by nature it is everyone verses the game, so letting one person be everyone is an easy single player solution.

Games that are harder to make work are games that are highly social, like Cutthroat Caverns. The faces on the AI characters is a good start, but it'll be very hard to replicate the trash talk that goes into a good game of cutthroat caverns. Perhaps you could implement a dialog system where you must choose built in trash talk options that effect hidden 'allegiance' meters. For instance, I may be nice to AI#1 and mean to AI#2, both in words and actions. Thus AI#1 is less likely to pick on me and more likely to help me, verses AI#2 who is more inclined to be a dick. Of course, the other AIs might get slightly angry that I am helping AI#1 instead of them, or slightly glad that I am picking on AI#2 the dick, so choices reverberate among the AI. Of course, different AI's should have different personalities... like one is easier to anger than others. Perhaps AI#2 and AI#1 have some sort of history you should know that will make AI#2 like you more if you pick on #1. This kind of system would make the game much more strategic.

In any case, without something to simulate the social aspect of CC in single player, much of the game's appeal is lost.

When you work on multiplayer, you really need to brainstorm on ways to promote the social aspect. A robust chat is an excellent start, but I think more is needed. Perhaps a private chat option where players can secretly plot against the others. If your task is to emulate the tabletop experience as best you can, the secret plotting and other social aspects of the game are essential.

Finally, I though I am not trained in business or anything, I think it is a good idea to put out the tutorial/rules of an iOS board game as a free demo. I kinda see that is the same as throwing the rulebook on the publisher's website. If I am interested in picking up a tabletop game, I read the rulebook to see if it is up my alley. A free tutorial kinda does the same thing. Furthermore, when I bring out a game for the first time to casual players, I work hard on making the rule teaching interesting and engaging. I feel like I need to sell the game to them to keep them interested and focused on learning the game. iOS boardgames need to follow the same procedure, especially if it is a more casual game like CC. You need to make sure that the tutorial performs the dual purpose of teaching and selling the game. This might involve hiring some outside writers, as internal testers who are deeply familiar with the game may focus on the wrong things.

No one, to my knowledge, has done a free tutorial but I think it is a great way to promote the game.
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Austin Boyle
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RustyKettle wrote:

No one, to my knowledge, has done a free tutorial but I think it is a great way to promote the game.


BohnanzaHD has Bohnanza Tutorial. I'm a big fan of this.. Save me from wasting space on a tutorial. Once I learn it, then I'll ditch the tutorial.
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Fergus Conolly
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Another vote for an Android implementation please!
 
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1. What are your must-have features? For example: A Full 9 Encounter Game and a Quicker-playing 4 Encounter Skirmish mode with 50 life points? Campaign Mode? Achievements? Solo play featuring solid AI Players with different play styles? Multi-player Network Play? Etc
What does they game really need to deliver on?


Definitely want a full game, and a solo-play with solid AI (different attitudes/play styles for various AI players). And it needs to be MP enabled. I agree - asynchronous isn't a great use case.

I'd love to see a variant play style ala scrabble on iOS: main-board on an ipad/Android tablet with each player's hand of cards/character on their iphone/android phone!

2. How configurable should the game rules and elements be made? For example: Edit Encounters in/out of the mix, toggle Event Deck on/off, toggle Bonus Points in Rounds 7+ on/off, etc

Very configurable! edit/swap encounters in/out before play, randomize the complete deck, toggle events, etc.


3. Should the pace of the game be faster so that experienced players find it more competitive, or slower so that it allows a bigger margin to think about tactics? i.e. Should playing Action cards be on a fast timer or have players manually decline to act?

I'd prefer to not have a timer, and since asynch play doesn't seem feasible, then a timer isn't too necessary. However I can see how the mechanics come into this decision... I think the "decline to act" would result in the smoothest, fastest gameplay most often (for as soon as everyone marks up manually decline, it proceeds). You could combine both, perhaps when starting the game: no timer, 20 seconds, 40 seconds, 60 seconds, etc.


4. How important is player interactivity and how would you like it done? Does your answer change from AI play to Network play? For example: Animated character avatars that change faces when good or bad things happen? A menu of character-themed smack talk options to select from? Live smack chat? Or is live smack too prone to abuse?

I like subtle animations across the board, with flashier "combat" animations that draw your attention (very briefly) to big hits. I like the chat system used in Carcassonne and find it a nice mix of unobtrusive but functional. I think animated avatars that change as they do devious/mean/silly things to other players (+ their response to such events) is great particularly in AI play. I'm less inclined to want that in personal play.

5. Is there anything you hope we DONT do?
Not sure... need to noodle this awesome idea further!
 
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One of your expansions included an actual sort of "choose your own adventure" for a group. I think if you did something like this with a tablet format, you have a real opportunity to create a new type of gaming experience for your gamers. In single player it would be pretty fun.

As for multiplayer, I've often thought of a tablet/board game hybrid where both elements were used. Maybe a little agressive for what you're trying to accomplish, but I do think you should think about what having your game on a tablet will really do in terms of selling to existing customers and capturing new market share. I think that Cutthroat Caverns could benefit from this kind of hybridization perhaps more than any other type of game. Enter in the number of players, choose the scenario, and have the tablet guide you through the encounters. New, neat, and fantastic.

I think you need a strong single player with a reasonable but fair AI.

As is, Cutthroat Caverns is one of my favorite "punch your friend in the mouth" games.
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Curt Covert
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Thanks for the comments thus far everyone. If you are reading this thread, please leave your comments --- even if they are very similar to others already posted --- because we are definitely looking for volume of opinions and 'pools' of consensus.

Keep posting!
 
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Stefan Tymoshyshyn
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Take a look at some recent iOS games that are a pleasure to play....Carcassonne, Ascension,Ticket to Ride, Nightfall. If it is as good as these I will certainly buy it and any IAP available
 
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For me, the thing that would make me want it most is things in the game that are 'App Only Exclusives'. So perhaps some Attack Cards, Relics, Potions or better yet some runner up Encounters could be thrown in. Playing the game on an app whenever you want is awesome, but just having that something that the board game itself doesn't have would really sweeten the deal
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Dave Hamson
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Dingleberry wrote:
For me, the thing that would make me want it most is things in the game that are 'App Only Exclusives'. So perhaps some Attack Cards, Relics, Potions or better yet some runner up Encounters could be thrown in. Playing the game on an app whenever you want is awesome, but just having that something that the board game itself doesn't have would really sweeten the deal


That would certainly be neat. I would personally love to see the cards that are only online make it into the game itself.

Other things I would expect to see
AI
Multiplayer
Pass and Play

Things I would want to see

Card effects
Sound effects
Music

 
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RedPorper wrote:
One of your expansions included an actual sort of "choose your own adventure" for a group. I think if you did something like this with a tablet format, you have a real opportunity to create a new type of gaming experience for your gamers. In single player it would be pretty fun.


Kevin Wilson of FFG said that, when they designed Doom: The Boardgame, they didn't want a direct port of the video game. Rather, they wanted to design a game that played to the strengths of the boardgame format.

One definite advantage OS games have over boardgames is that you can change the variety of an OS game, while you'd have to release a new expansion to add variety to a boardgame.

Thus, for regular CC games, you could add a new monster every two weeks or so. For CYOA games, you could add or tweak the adventure every month. This keeps content fresh. Players could even submit designs -- and monsters -- of their own adventures for you to evaluate.

I see trash talk and other social aspects of CC as a liability that an OS cannot reproduce (when players play OS games solo), but different AI opponents sorta make up for that. AI opponents who are up for making deals (and are somewhat reliable!) would be an interesting twist.
 
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Christian Tancredi
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Solo play with interchangeably difficult AI is one of the features i'll be looking for most.

As far as animations go, just above the bare minimum. Like the way Magic does attacks for Steam, with some simple pvp animations for those cutthroat action cards. Cards that gently place themselves into the appropriate piles.

For the game pace i feel as though the timer should vary per game setting but there needs to be a timer otherwise people will decide to wait for someone else to use an action card first. This happens all the time in my physical games since no one wants to be the jerk and therefore a target for later negative effects. 10, 15, or 25s should do for those who aren't 100% on the card's effect.

IF you are including adventure modules as a part of the app, and you are by no means required to, it would need at the very least some landscapes and NPC icons. Having the adventures voiced would be great.
 
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Nathan McCullough
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Riseeeee from the dead! 6 year old thread, got me interested for a second.
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