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Subject: Electronic boards for boardgames rss

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Brice Feal
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Check this out, the future of boardgaming, electronic boards....

http://www.physorg.com/news9575.html

 
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Brad Miller
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WTF?

This is like the 20th time this has been posted. Does no one read the forum posts here or what...zombie
 
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T. Rosen
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My confusion is less over the fact that this has been posted many times, which always happens when there's a news item related to board games (e.g., recent NPR or New York Times articles), but more over why anyone thinks this will have any effect on our niche hobby? Yeah, you may be able to play Monopoly, Life, and Risk on an electronic table, but does anyone here really care about that? Maybe I'm the one who's confused (and if so, please let me know), but does anyone really expect to be able to play Princes of Florence or El Grande on this new contraption? ... been curious about that since this started getting brought up.
 
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Ed Sherman
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Windopaene wrote:
WTF?

This is like the 20th time this has been posted. Does no one read the forum posts here or what...zombie


With the new format, posts disappear off the front page almost immediately. I'm not suprised this is happening.
 
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Hammock Backpacker
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Thommy8 wrote:
My confusion is less over the fact that this has been posted many times, which always happens when there's a news item related to board games (e.g., recent NPR or New York Times articles), but more over why anyone thinks this will have any effect on our niche hobby? Yeah, you may be able to play Monopoly, Life, and Risk on an electronic table, but does anyone here really care about that? Maybe I'm the one who's confused (and if so, please let me know), but does anyone really expect to be able to play Princes of Florence or El Grande on this new contraption? ... been curious about that since this started getting brought up.


I look at it this way:

It's an example of what could be...maybe. Is it functional and/or useful to me right now? No. Can I envision how to play Power Grid on it...or Bohnanza with my parents over the internet?... no idea. But...everything starts somewhere.

"Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless."
--Thomas A. Edison

"Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats."
--Howard Aiken
 
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True Blue Jon
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Thommy8 wrote:
but does anyone really expect to be able to play Princes of Florence or El Grande on this new contraption? ... been curious about that since this started getting brought up.


Why not?

BTW, what is the game they're showing in the picture?
 
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Sean Ahern
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I don't think it will be econimical to play current board games on this device for a long time. It's be great for miniature based RPGs but I don't see myself breaking it out for a game where a regular board works just fine. However, if this thing ever gets signifigant market penetration, I think you could see some pretty cool games that take advantage of the medium.
 
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L Myrick
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Thommy8 wrote:
Maybe I'm the one who's confused (and if so, please let me know), but does anyone really expect to be able to play Princes of Florence or El Grande on this new contraption? ... been curious about that since this started getting brought up.


I wouldn't. But maybe that's just me. If I want to play games 'electronically', I'll play video games. As will most other people. My prediction is that our niche will remain niche and mostly made out of cardboard and a few bits of wood and plastic for a long time to come. And I think Phillips is throwing money away on developing their 'Entertaible' which will almost certainly flop.
 
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Ken Boone
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Wow, I'm surprised at how anti-change some of you are coming off. Of course this type of technology will affect our niche hobby. How could it not?

Even if this weren't used to change the actual gameplay, it might be nice if Power Grid could keep a tally of the number of powered cities or if Wallenstein could score automatically.
 
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T. Rosen
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edosan wrote:
With the new format, posts disappear off the front page almost immediately. I'm not suprised this is happening.


If you go to "MyGeek" at the top, then "Configure Front Page," you can change it so the front page of BGG displays the most recent 50 forum posts, which prevents them from disappearing too quickly.

matthew.marquand wrote:
I look at it this way: It's an example of what could be...maybe. Is it functional and/or useful to me right now? No. Can I envision how to play Power Grid on it...or Bohnanza with my parents over the internet?... no idea. But...everything starts somewhere.


Well, yes, I suppose it's technically feasible to make Power Grid playable on this "Entertaible," but we're such a small market, that I'm pretty sure Philips is never going to target our interests. They'll put out infinite different versions of Monopoly for the masses to suffer through, no? The only way I could see this contraption being used to play Power Grid would be if it was customizable to such an extent that users could program and create games themselves.

quozl wrote:
Why not?


Because the people interested in Princes of Florence and El Grande are too few and don't spend enough money to make Philips interested in gearing their "Entertaible" towards us. I doubt anyone working at Philips has ever even heard of eurogames or german-style board games. I'm confused, I don't understand why anyone thinks Philips could possibly be looking beyond electronic Monopoly, and maybe Cranium.

BookandGame wrote:
I don't think it will be econimical to play current board games on this device for a long time.


Agreed.

BookandGame wrote:
However, if this thing ever gets signifigant market penetration, I think you could see some pretty cool games that take advantage of the medium.


Hmm, I'm not so sure. Have you tried any of the games that try to merge board games with DVD techology? They're pathetic; in my experience they don't take advantage of the new medium whatsoever. While I agree it's certainly possible for something really innovative to be developed for this device, it seems unlikely when there are guaranteed dollars in the tried and true.

lmyrick wrote:
My prediction is that our niche will remain niche and mostly made out of cardboard and a few bits of wood and plastic for a long time to come.


Well, I'm glad someone agrees with me
I can't be the only one who actually likes the cardboard, wood, and plastic bits, right? I mean Carcassonne without the meeples or Samurai without the fantastic bits wouldn't be nearly as good. I think part of the reason I got into this hobby in the first place was because the game boards/pieces are so nice and to escape electronic forms of entertainment.
 
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anoni mouse
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yea Windopaene I know some people do not actually go to the forum or run a search, we are all guilty of that . I know when I searched yesterday I could not find any refences to this item anyplace so I posted a link to a different article on the same thing. But no matter which way you slice it this item is something that I like. It combines my love for tech with my even older passion for board games. But it does not mean I would stop wanting to play games the Old fashioned way

The interesting thing will to be seeing how this item (if it ever gets released) will impact the gaming community. I know right now I have a coworker that refers to games we here all like as "bored" games. yet I showed him the article last yesterday and he damn near wet himself with lust for it because it was an electronic device. Which in his eyes made it not a "bored" game but a kewl video game of a board game. so we will just have to wait and see what happens. then again this could be just another nifty piece of vaporware with the nice caption of "Hey, wouldn't this be neat!"
 
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True Blue Jon
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Thommy8 wrote:
quozl wrote:
Why not?


Because the people interested in Princes of Florence and El Grande are too few and don't spend enough money to make Philips interested in gearing their "Entertaible" towards us. I doubt anyone working at Philips has ever even heard of eurogames or german-style board games. I'm confused, I don't understand why anyone thinks Philips could possibly be looking beyond electronic Monopoly, and maybe Cranium.


I'm guessing that it will be like any video game device where you just plug in a cartridge and you're ready to go. I would think that if this thing takes off that somebody will make a Puerto Rico cartridge for the entertaible just like they made a Puerto Rico computer game.
 
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Hammock Backpacker
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Quote:
I'm guessing that it will be like any video game device where you just plug in a cartridge


Think outside the box in addition to inside. "i-Games" would be purchasable and downloadable by the device over the internet...

Of course for the cool bits like Samurai you could buy the tangible items with the embedded proximity chips so that the table can sense where you're moving them and also move your opponents matching set of bits appropriately 1000 miles away.





 
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Ed Sherman
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Thommy8 wrote:
edosan wrote:
With the new format, posts disappear off the front page almost immediately. I'm not suprised this is happening.


If you go to "MyGeek" at the top, then "Configure Front Page," you can change it so the front page of BGG displays the most recent 50 forum posts, which prevents them from disappearing too quickly.


Yes, this is an option, but I don't think a lot of people are doing it -- imagine the length of the page if you have the fifty most recent Geeklists, forum posts, trade lists... just to be able to see what people have been saying recently.
 
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Jeff Coon
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Thommy8 wrote:
Well, yes, I suppose it's technically feasible to make Power Grid playable on this "Entertaible," but we're such a small market, that I'm pretty sure Philips is never going to target our interests. They'll put out infinite different versions of Monopoly for the masses to suffer through, no? The only way I could see this contraption being used to play Power Grid would be if it was customizable to such an extent that users could program and create games themselves.


Yes, if Philips made this open source or gave out an SDK to develop games, it would be something I (and many others here at the Geek) would definitely be interested in. It may be a longshot, but it's an neat idea. For that reason, it's an interesting topic worthy of discussion on the Geek. If people don't want to talk about it, don't click on it.

Personally, I think it's a fascinating product. Doomed to fail, probably. But fascinating nonetheless. It would be interesting to see interactive board games that enforce the rules of the game programmatically, thereby eliminating the player's ability to screw up the rules. Of course, if it did enforce the rules explicitly, that would virtually eliminate house rules.
 
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Jeff Watts
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The machine featured in the article is essentially a standard industrial touch screen LCD panel laying on its side. I've worked with scores of them in production plants, though the one shown is much bigger than the 15"-17" standard panels.

There is a high probability that the panel shown is embedded in the table and hooks up to a standard computer. In which case almost any computer game could be configured to run on it.

The HMI's (human-machine interfaces) I've worked with ran Windows 2000 on an industrial grade computer, but the panels themselves could be hooked up to any computer. They have a cable that runs to the computers mouse port that controls the touch screen.

The downside is the cost. The panels I've worked with were GE Industrial Versaviews and were in the $1-2K range.

Another engineer and I set one on its back and played checkers with it. Worked fine.

According to this link:
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=7676

The model in question uses a 30" screen. That's nice, but it's bound to be expensive.

This panel also features multi-object position detection, which is unique. Most touch screens I've dealt with can only handle one touch at a time. If you touch them in two spots the panel treats it as if it had been touch halfway in between the points of contact.

arrrh
 
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Neil Carr
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As I said in one of the other threads, this is the holy grail of gaming for me as far as I'm concerned. Philips will probably make this into a console like system and thus it's going to be really limiting unless someone cracks it so you can use it as just a standard computer peripheral.

Still, whether it's Philips or someone else, eventually we're going to have cheap large flat screens of one sort or another. It might be the digital paper that is under development, or perhaps the LCD technology will get cheap enough that 30" screens can be made for pennies. Touch technology is also under development so at some point we'll be able to set up a digital game board.

One of the inevitable issues with it is going to be copyright infringment. If you can set up a vassal or cyberboard type program that has been tweaked for a digital game board then as with music and movies it will be rather simple to just pirate a digital version of the game. At that point publishers of games are going to need to figure out a new pricepoint for their games, which might not be all that hard if they don't need to spend the huge sums of money printing out game components.

This would have a huge impact on the industry. FLGS might take a real hard hit, as would discount online stores as the sales sink for physical content and a larger share goes to digital content.

What would be irritating would be if publishers really cranked up the multimedia aspects of boardgames to the point that a large chunk of the budget went into eyecandy, but hopefully the nature of boardgames would keep this from happening.

Some of the real perks of such a device though would be having a large selection of games without taking of a lot of space in your home. You could play really long and complicated games and save them for later play... but at the same time a lot of long complicated games are long simply because of the recordkeeping and so perhaps you could get the complexity you desire, but also get that game in under two hours.

You could have it hooked up to the net and be able to have remote players in addition to people playing face to face. This would be great to have as then I'd be able to have old friends play in the same game that my local friends are in.

You could have some reasonable eye candy for a game. Imagine a game of Settlers in which, in a subtley designed way, you see the island before you becoming active. Little animations of quaint settlements and bustling cities, the robber scurring about, etc. It could be annoying but it could also be done in a very effective way.

You could also have a well laid out explaination of the rules. Just start the game, hit "Rules" and then everyone just watches it with lots of great animated visuals of examples.

The computer driven games could allow for much more complicated games. All sorts of tedious record keeping could be handled by the computer and thus you could get a real fusion of the euro game with a simulation game. The computer could handle the complicated simulation aspects behind the scenes and then elegantly offer up a decision tree to players that is managable.

If you've played eurogames online you've probably noticed that they are decidely faster to play online than with bits and cardboard. With the computer handling rules enforcement and recordkeeping a lot of these games wiz on by. It would be interesting how this would affect game design. Would desingers make games more complicated so that you could have that robust 90 minute game, or would the culture shift from "90 minutes or under" down to "30 minutes or under"?

One way or another these things will come about, whether it's the entertaible or just standard computer technology. I look forward to it!
 
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L Myrick
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echoota wrote:

If you've played eurogames online you've probably noticed that they are decidely faster to play online than with bits and cardboard. With the computer handling rules enforcement and recordkeeping a lot of these games wiz on by. It would be interesting how this would affect game design. Would desingers make games more complicated so that you could have that robust 90 minute game, or would the culture shift from "90 minutes or under" down to "30 minutes or under"?


I'm not disagreeing with you, nor denigrating online play, but for myself, I enjoy the slow give and take of a face-to-face boardgame. It's one of the many reasons I play boardgames. I like to see my opponent, I like to see the pieces and touch the pieces (you could even say fondle the pieces if you're refering to something like Settlers 3-D) and enjoy the conversation. Just me maybe, but that's what separates boardgames and video/computer games.
 
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Neil Carr
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lmyrick wrote:

I'm not disagreeing with you, nor denigrating online play, but for myself, I enjoy the slow give and take of a face-to-face boardgame. It's one of the many reasons I play boardgames. I like to see my opponent, I like to see the pieces and touch the pieces (you could even say fondle the pieces if you're refering to something like Settlers 3-D) and enjoy the conversation. Just me maybe, but that's what separates boardgames and video/computer games.


Likewise, I don't really care for online boardgame playing. I normally only do it with old friends on occasion who I'd just like to be able to do something with them despite being thousands of miles away.

That's what's great about a digital gameboard is that you get face to face play but also all the benefits of a digital format.

I doubt I'd toss all my cardboard games out, as I do enjoy the tacticle quality of bits, but these would only be the best of the best that I'd keep on only a shelf or two, but the rest of them would be handily stored on the hard drive.
 
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anoni mouse
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I put a link in my thread here http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/754484#754484 on the Entertaible, for those of you that are interested. the new link I added has video
 
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Mario Lanza
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I for one would want to try out a table as this, esp. with Power Grid, Puerto Rico and the like. I don't know yet how much this would impact my game purchasing decisions.

What I like about boardgames most is sitting around the table with people I enjoy spending time with. I do truly like the tactile bits as well, but the savings of computer bit administration might prove to be a good selling point. The Entertaible certainly will still allow us to play just the same sort of game with friends around a table. (I'm sure we'll begin to see Eurogames... and if they're smart they'll open up the API to those who would like to develop on it.) Plus being able to save house space in storange NOT eaten up, might pay for the device.

Besides, I'm sure I won't have to look at it for a few years as it matures.
 
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Eric Brosius
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If you take a look at the Vassal website, you'll see that volunteers have done a prodigious amount of work implementing dozens of Eurogames and wargames in the Vassal engine. See

http://www.vassalengine.org/community/index.php

If, as Mario suggests, they were to open up this product to hobbyist developers, it's hard to see that they wouldn't draw a similar level of participation.
 
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Mark Crane
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The really interesting changes will come when everyone has 3D fax machines that can generate scores of detailed plastic bits in different colors.
 
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All I can say about this is... I can think of some really awesome interactive features that could be employed with my own boardgame design.


I can easily see this thing blowing up - and game houses developing for it... I don't think it will kill boardgames in their current form, but it will open up a whole new medium for interactive "board" gaming.
 
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I think a real potential for this type of product is to make games
with complicated rules and/or setup more easily playable, and therefore
available to a wider audience.

The obvious example is Euro-games. Learning all the rules and special
cases for Puerto rico takes a long time, and the mechanics of counting
and distributing goods takes a chunk of time. There's no question you
could learn a game like Puerto Rico in half the time, and be able to
play a lot faster too.

A less obvious examle is that abstracts with complicated rules become
more playable with a computer supervising the rules. My favorite
example of this is Tantrix, which is great online, but which suffers
as a table game because half your energy has to be diverted to just
making sure you're playing legally.
 
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