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Digital Game vs Board Game

Last time, I told you about my feeling when people are not really pay attention because they are too busy with their smartphone while playing board game (see : Board Game versus Social Media). Yes, I hate it and I hate them. Now, I will tell you some informations about digital game versus board game.

Firstly first, in digital games, obviously you can’t literally “touch” any components that shown on the screen, you only “touch” the screen. You can touch board games, it has physical components. Digital games need electricity or battery. Board games are not and no cables are needed.

Digital games are independent, they can be played by itself, they don’t have a manual or rulebook. On some digital games, you can learn the game by selecting tutorial in the menu/in the options but some are not given any tutorial in the menu. Digital game that don’t have tutorial usually will teach you how to play, earlier in the game. The game will teach you step by step, and you’ll find yourself already get along with the game.Let’s say angry bird, who doesn”t know angry bird. The game teach you how to launch the red bird, yellow-blue-black-green-birds one at a time. Unlike digital games, board game can’t be played by itself. There is two ways playing a new board game : Read the rulebook by yourself or let somebody teach you the game. You can’t ask somebody who hasn’t play the game or read the rulebook. You can also search a video tutorial in youtube.

Let’s talk about adventure games. In digital games, adventure games always online casino have a story and an ending when you clear the game. You spent couple of hours finishing the game to see the ending. After you finished it, you might play it once more because it has multiple endings, if it’s not then you might only just played one time until the rest of you life. Board games are different, whether it’s an adventure themed or not. You might always want to play more than once, except you really doesn’t like the game or the theme or the mechanism. Why? It is not about board games also has different endings but because you’ll find different situations, different cases if you play one more time. You might win in the first game, but can you win in the second or later game using the same strategy or same patterns? I bet you can’t. You can’t precisely read your opponent’s move and action, can you? Eventhough you can, you still do not know what cards are your opponent holding in their hands, or what number will be shown after you roll the dice. Randomness of the dice, bad drafting of the cards, many decisions making will make you want to play board game again and again.

I still have more to tell you, but let’s call it a day. See you next month.

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Board Game versus Social Media

I like board game and I love to play it. But I hate when I played board game with people who can’t drop off their hands from their smartphone. On some games, especially in heavy euro games player need to focus about who is playing and what he do. Because his action may ruin my plan or maybe I can read the opponent’s plan from his action on his turn. The game run smoothly until I poke the next player and say “It’s your turn now” and “Oh, I’m sorry, what did you just do?” he answered. How would you answer or response? I’ll tell him what I did if he just got back from the toilet. But, I won’t tell him if he loses his focus because he was too busy with his smartphone while I took a turn. I know everybody love to share because I’m also active in social media, but I think it can wait.

I always tell myself not to ruin the game because I was too busy taking up the photos of the game and then share it to my social accounts. Yes, I also often take the picture of the game, but not while in play. I take the photo before the final scoring or just before the game ends. I post or tweet about the game after it is finished. But for the whole game I try to keep my smartphone in the pocket. I try to not get distracted. I try to be social… with people who sit with me at the table.

Board Game is tool for communication, I call it offline social media too. Players interact to each other and face to face. If the game has a coopertative mechanics then the players must discuss, share what is on your mind to the other players to win the game. You can also do a warm greetings and thanks, before and after playing. Trust me, people would feel more convenient if you say “Hello” and “Thank you” directly in front of him, instead saying it in your online social media.

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Who Are You in Game

Board Game is always interesting, at least for me. This time I would ask you a question, “Who are you when you play games?”.

Many Games has its story developed by its theme or mechanics. Some don’t have a story because it is an abstract strategy game like Chess, and Othello. You can create your own story while playing games. If you ask how? Then the answer is like become a commentator of a football match. They tell you what happen on the field, who has the ball right now, or who tackled who. You can create the story by game piece and its game board.

I’ll give you a brief example, put a custom theme and story before play chess. I like fantasy so the story is about me, controlling Humans (white) versus my friend with his Orcs (black).

“Once upon a time there was a King Orcs who wants to conquer the human lands. King Orc begins his plan, he send the a goblin (Black Pawn) to attack. The Knight moved into a trap, so he got slayed by the Berseker Orc(Black Rook). Humans are in pinch after the Queen is taken by the Orc Archer (Black Bishop). Humans are then fallen to the Orc because the kingdom is surrounded by Orc Warrior (Black Knight), Orc Archer and the King Orc itself.”

Yes, I lose and I don’t really clever playing chess, but it was fun. It is like I just made my own Lord of the Ring story.

So, back again to my question earlier “Who are you when you play a game?”. I would answer I am the game itself. Create story while playing may also enhance your play. When teaching a game to your friend don’t forget to mention them to be character on game. Tell them that they are the one of the lords of the waterdeep, city of splendor if you’re gonna teach and play Lords of Waterdeep board game.

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When Game Taught About Life

Game should be fun when played. People are having a lot of fun when they play some games. If you think deeper, game can brings more positive feedbacks beside the fun. It can teach about winning, not just winning on the game but also in life.

  • Surround yourself with winners, success breeds success. In life, as well as in board games, if you create a group of friends around yourself that have a positive attitude and are driven to perform well and succeed, you are more likely to do the same. In board games, this translates to having a group that is competitive, but keeps the banter friendly and never takes anything too far.
  • Pick your battles. When you want to play game, in a split of second you actually think that you want to beat something and you prepared to do it. For example, you want to play adventure game you should consider that you might lose if meet the boss too early, you need to find strong weapon and armor first. Similarly, in real life, you might have to prioritize things in a bad situation- be sure to take care of the items that will have the biggest impact first. You can clean up smaller messes later.
  • Be gracious, no matter the circumstance. No matter if you’re losing horribly, or if you’ve snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, it is no excuse for being a poor sport. When you win, it’s okay to celebrate, but gloating, rubbing it in someone else’s face, or just going on about it forever will lose you friends. On the flip side, when you get pigeonholed in a competitive game, and there’s no way to come back, don’t sit there and complain or just mentally check out of the game. Play your best in the time left in the game- you owe it to the other players that made a commitment to sit down at the table with you and play.
  • If you don’t win, learn from it. There are times when you’re playing a game, that no matter what strategy you try, it seems like it goes worse than the last one. Don’t just write it off as a bad experience, or say that the game sucks and you won’t play again- learn from it, take notes, and endeavor to play better the next time.
  • Thank the people that helped you get there. This is the important one- win or lose, up or down, when you finish the game and start packing up, stop for a moment, shake their hands, and sincerely thank the people who sat at your table with you. I often catch myself forgetting this, especially in the middle of cons and it makes me feel awful in hindsight. You just spent an hour or more playing with these people. Thank them- for their time, for their trouble, and for anything you may have learned from playing the game with them. It means a lot.
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Luck and Randomness on Board Game

Dice

This can be fun because you never know what’s going to happen. This also become contradictive between players, one hate throwing dice, but one thinks it is needed. Luck is introduced to add variety and difficulty to the game. Sometimes it can ruin your perfect plan, maybe you’ll get angry because the die you have thrown saying no. You can also get boring, because you don’t have to make any decisions about how you are playing the game. You don’t have to think about it, so you never become invested in the outcome. Sure, you still want to win, but ultimately you’re just along for the ride.

But on the other side, luck keeps you on your toes and, consequently, keeps you more engaged and interested. They also keep the game from becoming repetitive and stale, meaning you are much more likely to play it again later. Most designer games also involve luck, but to a much lesser degree. In these games, you also have to make decisions about what you will do on your turn. So larger doses of strategy are involved if the game has more option of actions.

Randomness, while anticipating the occurrence of new tiles or cards in the game, be it the player or the opponent’s, is also connected with a special type of emotion, totally different than the ones that we feel while anticipating opponent’s move. We know what may come to the opponent and what may come to us. But we don’t know when. Prepare a certain situation on the board, calculating in our heads the chances for drawing and playing more or less fortunate elements of the game in the upcoming turns. So, luck and randomness are flexible machine to overpower the opponent.

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How Long to Publish a Game ?

People may have any brilliant ideas in their head and make it into a board game or card game and then sell it in local store. Pour your idea into paper, running a kickstarter campaign, and that’s it, done in 4-5 months.

Well, you need to think deeper, idea alone. There’re so many aspects that you should consider if you want your game get published. A great board game is art, all the way from the mechanics that the designer spends hours poring over and tweaking, to the elements on the card, to the feel of the wooden bits in your hands as you play, to the actual art on the cards. A board game is created to induce an emotional reaction within its user. Let’s break down what you should do and think (and its the timeframe).

  1. Design : 3-6 Month

You got your great idea. You get some paper, make up some cards, construct a prototype, and on your first playtest, your players break your game. Lather, rinse, repeat. A good designer will be able to come up with a pretty good design that is not broken within about 6 months. This stage is a game that has been played with friends and family, usually close gaming partners. The designer has gotten about as much feedback from this group as will happen.

  1. Development  : 1-2 Years

You now have your game in front of people. How many people? Where? What do you do next? Development is that process where to get people you don’t know to play test. You will be modifying the game play and mechanics quite a bit. You could be working with a publisher during this time period or doing it yourself in preparation for self-publishing. Looking for and hiring artists is also part of development. It is basically the process of taking a good game design and fine-tuning it to get it ready for public consumption. Take the time, build the following, listen to what they say, modify the game appropriately, and you will ensure your success.

  1. FUNDING : 3-6 Months

Now, all you have to do is build the Kickstarter and watch the funds roll in. You will need reviews. You will need a sleek, professional looking Kickstarter page. It’s always a good idea to ask for feedback from your following for your page. It keeps them engaged and can make your project better in the end. Do not rush this process, make sure you get it right.

  1. Production & Delivery : 6-8 Months

This would only get longer for a heavier Euro game and shorter if it is just only a light card game.

In the end, making games is a marathon not a sprint. You have passion; you have energy and that is good. Don’t let that go to waste. But keep in mind that it’s not done yet when you think you have found a printing machine.

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5 Things That Makes a Game be a Good Game

There are thousand or more title on boardgamegeek.com, but have you think one game and say “what’s good about this game” or “how can this game more popular than the others”. Let’s break down how a game can be called as a good game.

1. Continuous Challenge

To be a good game, the game itself should gives the players continuous challenges, each of which leads to another challenge, to keep them “hooked” on playing a game. This can be done by setting clear, short-term goals appropriate to the level of the player and the context within the game. Each challenge should satisfy some kind of learning objective. For example, answering a question, identifying a sample or completing a measurement or a portion of a map could be a challenge, part of a larger game.

2. Interesting Storyline

This isn’t essential to every kind of game, especially when players are competing against each other. In that case, the excitement of the competition is likely to engage them. However, a good storyline can liven up a competition still further.

A good plot or storyline is cited as essential to a good game. Oddly enough, a fantasy context makes players more motivated to succeed at a game. So instead of having students memorize types of ores, have them play as miners prospecting for minerals and needing to identify profitable sources.

3. Flexibility

Make sure that there are many different ways to accomplish each goal. Simply plotting out a step-by-step progression through the goals can be stifling. As much as possible, let each player (or team) work out their own strategy to the endpoint while still keeping the game challenging and achieving the learning objectives.

4. Immediate, useful rewards.

Instead of just points towards victory, successful can be rewarded with new capabilities, a new part of the board to explore or even a new task. These are surprisingly motivating, as the point of the game is not just to win it, but to keep playing.

5. Combining Fun and Realism

Many so-called games are actually simulations without goals and challenges. Excessive realistim can also be boring. But even good games often incorporate incorrect assumptions (i.e. Sim City favors public transportation) or reward unrealistic behaviors, such as giving players too much time to make decisions (Prensky, 2002b).

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Publishers and Spiel des Jahres

spiel-des-jahres

Spiel des Jahres is well-most anticipated annual award event for tabletop games (board & card game) on German. Spiel des Jahres literally mean “Game of the Year”. Created in 1978 with the stated purpose to promote games as a cultural asset to encourage gaming amongst family and friends and to provide an aid to selecting the best games from a wide range of products on offer.  It is thought that the existence and popularity of the award is one of the major drivers of the quality of games coming out of Germany. A Spiel des Jahres nomination can increase the typical sales of a game from 500-3000 copies to around 10,000; and the winner can usually expect to sell 300,000 to 500,000 copies.

“Germany is the biggest market for board games worldwide” said Tom Werneck, a board game designer who also one of the jury for the Spiel des Jahres Award.

It is true, a game award like Spiel des Jahres can strongly influence a market by adding pull to sales’ and industries’ push activities. It could be a momentum for publisher, so how publishers can submit their game to get nominated in Spiel des Jahres. Publishers should consider this criterias:

  • Rules and any additional texts relevant for gameplay must be available in German.
  • The game must have been published in the current year or in the previous year. Broadly unchanged new editions or anniversary editions of existing games are excluded.
  • The game must be available at retail at the time of the award selection in May. The jury will not consider prototypes, mockups, or short runs.
  • The game must be distributed and sold in German-speaking countries.
  • The game must be playable as a standalone game. Expansions, extensions, and supplements to existing games will not be considered.

Then how do the jury would get the game? In their capacity as games reviewers, the members of the jury receive review copies of new games just like all other reviewers, or they may request them themselves. It is not up to the publishers to decide which games will be eligible, but rather a matter strictly for the jury members themselves. Therefore there is no point in sending games to our jury office address. This is not where games are reviewed. Playing and judging games is a matter for the individual jury members living in German-speaking countries. Publishers are however free to make jury members aware of their new games via email.

 

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Publishers Challenges, Survive at Saturated Market

Boardgamegeek’s database has around 100,000 games in it, and they’re not all dreck. Large and increasing numbers of published games are good, and they’re all competing for limited attention. The rest are not really good.

Board game publisher are competing in a saturated market that only admits a minuscule number of games into the charmed circle of mass-market success.

Then how to create good games? It seems obvious that, whatever the answer, quality isn’t enough, and is probably best thought of as a prerequisite rather than a determining factor. Surely level of quality is needed to compete, but beyond that quality isn’t decisive.

If quality isn’t enough, what else do you need?

Strong Brand and Companies that invest heavily in promoting those brands, or have otherwise found some way to get them broadly into the public eye (such as by winning the Spiel des Jahres).

Lady Gaga may not be the greatest musician in the world, but she she has a unique, attention-getting brand and she’s one of the best promoters alive.

Publishers can be Lady Gaga by creating a brand and doing everything you can to promote that brand.

Publisher can compete in a saturated market by eliminate all but their top-selling games from their lineups, and put everything into promoting the few that make the cut. Make a few products amazing and then do everything you can to make sure the whole world knows about them and thinks of them fondly, and get them into every conceivable retail outlet.

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The Importance of Game Publisher

Some people may not really know what Game Publisher do when the Game Developer makes a game. Game Publisher is the one who will bring the game to the market. Game Publisher is the one who will introduce your game into public.

Let’s say a big company like Square Enix (called Square Company, Limited back then). What is your first thought when you heard about Square Enix? I bet many will say “A company who develop Final Fantasy Series”. Yes, it is true, but there’s something more. There must be some great ‘key’ beyond the successful history of Final Fantasy. So, what do you think, what makes final fantasy a great game. The graphic? Not Really. The first series of First Final Fantasy was realeased NES in 1987 . The Story? The Gameplay? Yes. These are the some success key of Final Fantasy back than. Then you can give a conclusion, Square, Ltd was doing such a great thing by developed and made Final Fantasy series. But again, there is more. So how come Final Fantasy could be sold more than two million copies worldwide on 2003. You still think it because of the story and gameplay of Final Fantasy itself? If you think so, then you must be seen Square, Ltd only as a developer. You forget, or may you do not know that Square, Ltd is also a publisher.

Let’s make this clear. How could Final Fantasy sold in all over the world. Is there any regulation so Final Fantasy could enter the global market so freely? That’s is not possible without a help of Publisher. While the game was being developed, the publisher did the market research. Remember, the first Final Fantasy was the last project of Square, Ltd because they were in a ditch position and they gambled their last project. And marvelously they made it into the market. Yes, they gambled but not without a research.

The publisher also made a strategy to bring the game go global, worldwide. Made a teaser, trailer to attract the audiences or consumers and promote the game. Publisher needs to see what the market want and need. If publisher can forecasting that, the developer who works together with the publisher will lead the market.

Making a good game is not enough and it will never make to  the market without a help from publisher.

 

 

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