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Subject: Wanted to see if people were interested in board game idea. rss

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David Hayter
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I had a great idea for a board game that I’ve occasionally worked on for three years. When I started working on it, the main game play idea was probably very original, but I bet there are many games like it out there by now. I just wanted to share the idea in case someone wanted to work on it with me, I could really use an artist and programmer because I’m very amateur at both, or if someone wanted to create something like it on their own. It would be something I’d enjoy playing and I’m sure my friends would to.
Anyway, my idea is to create a board game that would have the same theme as Monster Squad or Zombies Ate My Neighbors, where horror movies come to life. The game would be played on an actual board with player pieces and dice to move. The rest of the game would be played on an IPad or smart phone. Player’s health, cards, and objectives would all be stored on the IPad and passed around during turns. The IPad would also allow random events like monster attacks or could give certain players hidden objectives like sabotage. This would allow for a varied game play each time it was played. The board itself would be set as a large town with different generic horror movie locations. Players would receive a main objective in the beginning of the game and have to search locations for items and survivors. An example would be they would have to search cabins in the woods, so they would have to roll to land on those spaces. To search the space, they would select that space on the IPad and possibly receive an item, survivor, or Jason might pop up and you would have to fight him (or a made up character if the game were to actually go public). Players would also have homes they would use to store survivors and other players could attack these homes or the players themselves, depending on that player’s objectives.
I have an interesting game story that ties everything in and a good board layout, and I have game programming experience on software like GameMaker and some with Flash, but I own a PC, so any IOS programming for me is out of the question, which sucks because I have an IPad. My inability to test the game on a device has hindered my work on the game. So I just thought I’d throw the idea out there to anyone interested. I’ll post the board design I have or anything else if anyone is interested. My own interest in playing the game compels me to eventually see it completed.
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B C Z
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I, for one, would be unwilling to commit to a $400+ expenditure to play a board game.

I would be further disinclined to encourage anything that was Apple Exclusive.

Is there any reason you need the electronic device component?

Good luck on this regardless, it sounds interesting.
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David Hayter
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Well it would work on any tablet or smart phone. I happen to only have an IPad which sucks cause if I had an Android I could probably work on the program since software like GameMaker supports Androids. And most people have either a tablet or smart phone nowadays, so it would be easy for them to download it. I wouldn't expect them to buy that stuff for for the game.
 
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B C Z
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Jerboa28 wrote:
...most people have either a tablet or smart phone nowadays...


This is a very incorrect assumption.
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Matt Epp
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Neat idea, but I don't use the devices.

(Another neat idea is formatting your wall of text)
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Liam
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I'm not sure what the iPad adds?

Why wouldn't this work as a board game?

Can you tell us about the board? - What does it look like? How does it function?
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mike
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Board games and apps are different markets and by combining the two you’re not doubling your customer pool you are actually making the pool smaller by assuming all board gamers have a smart phone or tablet.

You really should focus on one or the other, probably best to work on the board game first and if that is a success and sells, then you develop the app version of the game, then down the road consider adding some sort of mobile feature for extras for the board game version.
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David Hayter
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The device would add a level of randomness to the game and makes the game easier to play. You could have a few decks of cards for events, objectives, and items, but by having it on a device you not only have all those cards but you also have random events. For instance, a player could be searching a carnival, and might be attacked by a specific movie monster associated with carnivals like Ghoulies or Killer Klowns from Outer Space. To accomplish that with cards, you would have to have a deck for every location. The device could also have a random attack on someone when it is not their turn. Like an alarm randomly going off and saying Player 3's house is being attacked by zombies and they have 3 turns to get there and save their survivors. So not only does the device store all the cards and stats, but it also can serve as an enemy AI against the players.

And sorry about text format. Trying to figure it out.
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Shawn George
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byronczimmer wrote:
Jerboa28 wrote:
...most people have either a tablet or smart phone nowadays...


This is a very incorrect assumption.


Depends on how you define "most people". If you're looking at the global population, then no, most of them don't own a smartphone or tablet.

If, on the other hand, you're looking at American adults, then yes, I'd say it's safe to say that the majority of them own either a smartphone or a tablet.

http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Smartphone-Update-2012/F...

According to that article (based on a poll taken in February 2012), 46% of American adults own a smartphone. It is now 6 months later, so that percentage has likely cropped up even higher since then. And that article does not account for tablet owners, particularly those folks that own a tablet but not a smartphone. I'm sure that accounts for at least another percentage point or two.

Based on this information, I'd say it's safe to say that at we're definitely approaching the 50% mark for smartphone or tablet owners among American adults. Other developed countries likely aren't far off. So no, I wouldn't call it a "very incorrect assumption". Perhaps a "slight exaggeration" but nothing more.
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There are ways to cut down your card count. Mansions of Madness combines two different effects into each species of attack card. Arkham Horror has different cards for each event type, but the original used a booklet with a table of results in it and a die roll.

And Dark Tower... that wonderful game from our childhood. I still remember the story (I wasn't there) where a Dark Tower set was summarily destroyed during one play session when it ran out of battery power and got thrown overhand into the wall.

Board games shouldn't require batteries.
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David Hayter
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But there are a lot of games that do use battery operated pieces. I used to play a game when I was a kid that had this box that made lab noises and Dracula spoke to you during turns. Or even games that my sister had like Mall Madness or Dream Phone used electronics. To play Nightmare you had to use a VHS or even to play one of the many Scene Its you need a DVD player.
The next logical step would be to have a game use a device. And you are probably right that most people around the world do not have devices yet. I just think there are a good portion of people that can get together and one of them have a smart phone or tablet or even an Ipod touch. Having a game use that device adds a whole new layer to a board game.
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We actually have a rule about 'no electronic devices' at our game table. They are distracting, they detract from the experience.

Good luck on this.
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Brian
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Quote:
The IPad would also allow random events like monster attacks


You mean like a deck of cards?

Quote:
The device would add a level of randomness to the game and makes the game easier to play. You could have a few decks of cards for events, objectives, and items, but by having it on a device you not only have all those cards but you also have random events


Quote:
Player’s health, cards, and objectives would all be stored on the IPad and passed around during turns


So, I'm guaranteed down time, AND I can't see my info/details during it? Don't get to have cards in my hand, or to play, especial during another players turn? Sign in to your 'info' every time? Or trust/no accident other player does see?

All to reduce the number of decks?

There is a hassle with using a device, is it less than the one you are removing?

At the moment it sounds like you have a boardgame that doesn't really need the device, or an App that doesn't need the board.

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Joe S
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Jerboa28 wrote:
The device would add a level of randomness to the game and makes the game easier to play. You could have a few decks of cards for events, objectives, and items, but by having it on a device you not only have all those cards but you also have random events. For instance, a player could be searching a carnival, and might be attacked by a specific movie monster associated with carnivals like Ghoulies or Killer Klowns from Outer Space. To accomplish that with cards, you would have to have a deck for every location. The device could also have a random attack on someone when it is not their turn. Like an alarm randomly going off and saying Player 3's house is being attacked by zombies and they have 3 turns to get there and save their survivors. So not only does the device store all the cards and stats, but it also can serve as an enemy AI against the players.

And sorry about text format. Trying to figure it out.



I think this could work in a similar fashion to Space Alertyou may see something like this implemented in the future where clues may be sent to one player but not the others. Or possibly better with Microsoft Surface.
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Andrew Rowse
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You could also consider that the game sounds like it doesn't need a device per player - so all you need is for one person in your play group to have one. Given the over-representation of well-paid tech nerds in the boardgaming hobby, the odds should be getting pretty good.

If you initially do your app in java or html5, you can make it platform independent (though reliant on an internet connection), even for people whose device is a full size computer off to one side. If you do it in Flash, you should be able to publish for iOS without having to make more than a few minor changes.
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David Hayter
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Brian Beaupre - You make a good point about not having the device and other being able to look at. I thought of that and it would be each players choice to have a three number code to access there stuff each turn. Some players might not care to have that. or the app could not allow back tracking once a player finishes their turn, so it automatically starts the next players turn.

You could also include an inventory and stat sheet with the game or players could just write down their own stuff on a pad. Again that would be there choice.

You probably could have the App without the board, but having the board and pieces allow people to sit around and interact with each other. It also allows people to feel like they are part of the game while not holding the device. I personally would have a hard time getting a couple of friends to sit around and play with just the device.
 
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David Hayter
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"If you do it in Flash, you should be able to publish for iOS without having to make more than a few minor changes."

I wish, but since I have a PC instead of a Mac, I can't put anything on my IPad from it.
 
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Sequella Deville
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Jerboa28 wrote:
"If you do it in Flash, you should be able to publish for iOS without having to make more than a few minor changes."

I wish, but since I have a PC instead of a Mac, I can't put anything on my IPad from it.


Use UDK, then, it will let you publish onto Mac from PC.
Unity as well. If you were uncomfortable with 3D, you could incorporate a 2D plug-in in Unity to simplify development.
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Andrew Rowse
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Jerboa28 wrote:
"If you do it in Flash, you should be able to publish for iOS without having to make more than a few minor changes."

I wish, but since I have a PC instead of a Mac, I can't put anything on my IPad from it.


Prove it works on PC/Android first, then follow these instructions (which I just found, and cannot speak to the accuracy of!) when you're ready to roll out for iOS:

http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2011/09/22/creation-of-an-ip...
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Josh Durham
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Hey David, I think you have an idea that is just a couple years ahead of the industry. I don't think many would argue that more and more boardgames are cropping up as apps, or that (at least in developed countries, which is pretty much your target audience for boardgames anyway) more and more people are buying smart devices and playing boardgames on them. I personally believe that as the tech gets cheaper and the boardgame market booms due to electronic proliferation (fingers crossed) designs like yours are going to be much more prevalent. I would suggest you develop what you can now, so that when the market catches up with you, you're one of the forerunners.

Good luck with your idea! I'll defintely be checking it out when you have something to look at...
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David Hayter
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Sequella Deville - Thanks for the advice. I remember messing around with Unity because I knew a lot of Apps used it, but I think I ran into the same problem where I needed to have a Mac to put into on the IPad, but I haven't looked at it in at least a year, so maybe its been updated.
 
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David Hayter
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Andrew Rowse - Thanks. My problem is I don't have an Android yet, so when I try to work with software like GameMaker, I'm supposed to plug in the Android to the PC to do a test. Otherwise I can't see how the program runs or is controlled. I probably could get a lot of the program work down, but working blindly deters me. My phone is ridiculously old, so when I eventually can afford a new one, I'm def going to pick one up.
 
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Andrew Rowse
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Jerboa28 wrote:
Andrew Rowse - Thanks. My problem is I don't have an Android yet, so when I try to work with software like GameMaker, I'm supposed to plug in the Android to the PC to do a test. Otherwise I can't see how the program runs or is controlled. I probably could get a lot of the program work down, but working blindly deters me. My phone is ridiculously old, so when I eventually can afford a new one, I'm def going to pick one up.


Gamemaker also publishes for PC, doesn't it? My point is that you're currently in the design/prototype phase - use the tools you have available. Use a laptop for your device if you have one, and use a desktop if you don't.

Part of my job involves writing code in Flash that will be run in Unreal, under Scaleform, and has hooks into and out of UnrealScript for game functionality. When adding a new feature, I generally get it fully up and running in Flash before even bothering to import it. Similarly, you can design and test your tablet app on a desktop for almost all of the dev cycle, and not worry about publishing on a portable device until you're shown that the idea works.

If you learn languages quickly, you can also consider implementing with html5 or java and then putting it on your website - then you can browse there and run it on your iPad.
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Jerboa28 wrote:
Andrew Rowse - Thanks. My problem is I don't have an Android yet, so when I try to work with software like GameMaker, I'm supposed to plug in the Android to the PC to do a test. Otherwise I can't see how the program runs or is controlled. I probably could get a lot of the program work down, but working blindly deters me. My phone is ridiculously old, so when I eventually can afford a new one, I'm def going to pick one up.


Eclipse + the ADK have a simulated Android Device that runs on your PC.
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David Hayter
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Here are some of the early stages of the board just to give you an idea of the set up.



Here is what the board would look like together.



Here are the 5 pieces separated. Each outside piece has 2 unique locations, and is double sided so there would be different set ups each game. The inside piece would contain stores and players home.



Each location would have its own search spots. The player could be given an objective to search the cabins at Camp Crystal Lake for a specific survivor or item, and as I said earlier the device allows the four cabins to have their own unique loot and traps. One objective might be to find Ms. Voorhees body to defeat Jason. So searching both for her body and then trying to find him would be location restricted.
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