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Subject: BGWS 045 - Video exploration of Puerto Rico rss

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Scott Nicholson
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » Gaming Related » Podcasts & Blogs
BGWS 045 - Video exploration of Puerto Rico
I decided to take on one of my favorite games and one of the most-requested games, Puerto Rico. I've been nervous about doing this one as it's hard to teach, but I figured I'd give it a shot.



You can enjoy this episode over at

http://www.boardgameswithscott.com/?p=80

(New)
You can also watch it right here through Vimeo:



(p.s. Do you like the Vimeo version?)

(p.p.s. The artifacts in there are from my old video camera not being too happy; I have yet to find my new one and am suspecting the worst... which is deflating.)

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Breno K.
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Brasília
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wow

I never thought I'd see this being taught in a video. Even though I don't really like the game, it's nice to see such a cool contribution. thumbsupthumbsup
 
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Game Night Games
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Salt Lake City
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This needed to be done and I am glad you found the time to do it right. Thanks!
 
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Asa Swain
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Thanks Scott! I'm really glad you got a chance to make a video of Puerto Rico. I have some friends who I'd like to give the game to, and I'll be sure to point them to your video first.
 
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Csaba Kiss
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Los Alamos
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Thank you Scott for the great video! I really enjoyed it. However, I have a comment on explaining the captain phase. As far as I understand the rules, when you have empty ships available and you want to ship, you cannot choose a ship, you must put your goods in the biggest ship available.
csaba
 
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László K.
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faffy wrote:
...As far as I understand the rules, when you have empty ships available and you want to ship, you cannot choose a ship, you must put your goods in the biggest ship available...

From page 6 of the Puerto Rico rulebook:

Quote:
Loading/shipping rules
When shipping, players must follow these rules:
- Each cargo ship will carry goods of only one kind.
- Players may not load goods on a cargo ship if goods of that same kind are on one of the other two cargo ships.
- Players may not load goods on a full ship.
- On a player's turn, he must load goods if he can. However, he may only load one kind of good.
- When a player loads goods of a kind, he must load as many of that kind as he can. A player cannot hold back goods when there is space on a ship carrying the kind of goods he has. If a player has a kind of good that can be loaded on several empty ships, he must choose the ship where he can load the most goods, leaving none behind, if possible.
- If a player has several kinds of goods that he can load, he may choose freely, which goods to load. He need not choose the goods that would allow him to load the most barrels.

The key rule is the 2nd half of the second-to-last bullet:

Quote:
...If a player has a kind of good that can be loaded on several empty ships, he must choose the ship where he can load the most goods, leaving none behind, if possible.


Therefore, if a player had to ship 11 barrels of corn with three empty ships, then that player would have to place his/her corn barrels on the largest capacity ship. If, however, that same player only had to ship 2 barrels of corn (again, with three empty ships to choose from), then he/she could choose any of the empty ships.

Does this make sense?
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Csaba Kiss
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Los Alamos
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I see your point. So if the goods do not fill the ship completely, then one can choose any of the available ships. Actually I like this way better, it makes shipping even more complicated. We even played it that way until I "discovered" that we did it "wrong", I guess we go back to the old way.


Thanks for the clarification.

csaba
 
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David Smidt
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Thanks for your efforts with this video, Scott! Well done.
 
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Bill J
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Thank you! I'm the local 'gamer guy' in the neighborhood and am frequently showing new games to my friends. PR has been a particular challenge because I was unsure if I understood the game mechanics correctly. After seeing this video and seeing how the game operates I have a lot more confidence about playing it among a group of newbies (including myself).
 
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TIm New
New Zealand
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thanks scott!

i love PR and its great to go back to the basics to see have a deeper look at how i play it myself.

i would also be interested in seeing a shorter extra video to build on this one, specifically looking at the PR expansion with the extra building, forrests, rules, and how that meshes with the origional. i have the expansion, but dont get enough play time with it because my freinds dont understand how it goes with the game so well... they just like the origional!
being able to point them to such an authoritative source would certainly solve some of my problems

thanks again
 
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Scott Nicholson
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Maksimov wrote:
Scott, I've enjoyed watching your videos, but I've been wondering about those little changes in audio quality. I take it you have had to record some bits afterwards, but I am a bit puzzled about why this causes such a significant change in audio quality.


Me too, actually. I do use the same equipment, yet the things I re-record later never sound the same. I try using the equalizer tool to fix it, but I don't have the audio engineering skills to make this work out.

The sounds I record when I've been talking for 30 minutes are different than the sounds I record when I'm doing 10 seconds, even in the same space with the same equipment. This is my due to lack of skill and training as a voice artist. A good audio engineer could fix this using the tools built-in to the video editing tool, but to me, it's just a bunch of sliders. But, when I mess with the sliders, add in reverb, etc. to try and make my voice match, it adds in new noises.


Maksimov wrote:
As for those artefacts in your video are quite easy to remove, because at least most of them appear over the background which doesn't move and the lighting stays the same. Not sure what what you edit your videos with, so I'm not sure if it's possible to fix them with the editing software, but at least if you've got some effects software, it would be fairly easy to remove those artefacts.


Part of this is the fact that I'm not using professional-level tools, part of this is my lack of experience as a video engineer. I find it very difficult to try and edit minute things like this in the video, and the time it would take to go through, frame-by-frame, and clean this out frightens me.


With any editing project, you hit a point where you have decide if the time it takes to fix things is worth the effort. You can do editing forever continually fixing things, and it seems like it takes that long.

I probably spent 30 hours editing this episode, between all of the cuts, manually splicing in audio, etc., etc.

The other thing to consider is that this is being mushed and squished for Web distribution, so trying to work at a very fine level just isn't worth it, as the compression is going to ruin things anyway and add new artifacts. If it were going to DVD or TV, that would one thing, but when most people are going to watch it streamed in a small window with compressed audio, there's a point where it doesn't really matter much.


To take this show beyond what it is, I would need a revenue stream. The reality of that is that as much as people appreciate it, most wouldn't pay for it. (I found that out when I did spend an incredibly long time making high-quality videos for a DVD and couldn't even sell 20 of them to the community - http://www.createspace.com/Store/ShowEStore.jsp?rtnPt=0&id=2... has the videos.)


How much would users be willing to pay to view an episode? Very little to nothing, I would predict. I would guess that it would generate more bad will than profit if I put a charge on an episode. I do appreciate the donations I've gotten over the years, but in total, they probably come up to less than $1500.



Would it be worth it for this final 10% boost in quality if I put in 3 minutes of commercials of gaming products throughout the show? I don't think so; commercials would annoy everyone, and the minor flaws that I have don't bother everyone. This specialty boardgame industry is a poor industry. The amount I could make from commercials would certainly not be enough to cover someone's time that it would take to take the videos to the next level. If I went outside the industry with AOL and Pepsi-Cola ads, that would annoy people much more than some quality issues.


I'm burning out on doing the shows, to be honest. I'm trying to put out one a month, but am even finding that difficult. Having my new camera lost/stolen in the move really poured a buck of cold water on my fire, as it means I'm back to manually dubbing sound with video. My passion for them has waned; I had no inspiration for a funny intro for this episode, for example.


Also, since I started these over 2 years ago, I've now become a department chair at a University for one of the top-ranked programs in Library and Information Science in the US and also am the head of a Gaming Lab in the department (http://gamelab.syr.edu). While I'm spending more and more time looking at gaming, I'm doing so as a researcher and as a gaming advocate to the library community. The impact I can have on the hobby through libraries is far greater than anything I could do with these videos; if I can help libraries to see games beyond Chess, DDR, and Guitar Hero, they will then expose thousands of users to the variety of game types out there. (From 2006 alone, I've documented over 30,000 users that participated in gaming in libraries, and that's only from the librarians who responded to a survey!)


In my future plans, I'm going to be doing fewer of the heavy games and more of the games that would be appropriate to run as a service in libraries. That's why I finally stepped back and planned out Puerto Rico, as that has been one that I wanted to do for a while, but knew that if I shift my focus, PR would be too complex. This way, my shows can serve my research focus as well as my hobby.



So, what's the point of all of this? Where one chapter ends, a new one begins - The door is open for you!


It's time for people out there with fresh enthusiasm, good editing skills, and the time and passion to join in the need to create good educational videos for board games. There are a few other board game video creators out there like http://bookshelfgames.com/ and http://obsessedwithgaming.com/ and there's certainly room for more.

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Thomas Schwendemann
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Hi Scott,

thanks for the new episode. As always, it was well structured and explained. But you went at a very fast pace. I know PR, so I had no problems following. But I'm not sure if people who don't know the game can keep up. Sometimes, you just need to give the brain a chance to process all the new information before it can take in more.
Then again, I see that you have to keep an eye on the total lenght of the show. Maybe if you just paused for a second or two at some points. Or say something like: "That was the mayor, now for the captain". Well. Just minor nitpicking. Your shows are still the best out there.

snicholson wrote:

I'm burning out on doing the shows, to be honest.

That's understandable and very alarming at the same time. Please keep it up! We love your shows! They are the best!
Hearing about how much time and effort goes into a show, it's understandable that you should feel burned out. But please know that your shows are viewed and appreciated around the world and it would be a great loss if there was no more BGWS. Nobody does it quite as well as you do :-)

Thomas
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Ken Dwyer
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Hi Scott,

I haven't watched the entire video yet, but I just wanted to point out that your 'let the folks at Rio Grande Games know' link is broken (I think there's an extra 'l' at the end).

Yes, I do like the quality of the Vimeo version -- and it's nice to be able to stream it instead of downloading the whole thing.

Keep up the great work!

Ken
 
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30 hours! That's shockingly long. That's like one hour for every minute of the video!

I'm sorry to hear you are getting burned out because your videos are very useful. When I teach PR it usually takes me about 5 minutes, but I don't really explain the buildings beyond the production buildings and the complicated ones (like factory or small warehouse- if I did it would probably take about twice as long).

I teach rules just by stating them in plain English as simply, clearly and concisely as possible. You tend to teach by example and you are very thorough (which is good of you), if perhaps too thorough if that makes sense? This adds time and therefore effort on your part to the explanation. Observation: your videos seem to be a combination of review, rules explanation and strategy guide.

You might find it easier on yourself if you cut back to the bare essentials needed to play competently. At the table if people don't 'get it' they can just ask me during the game. On video they can pause and rewind it. (I do use examples to teach the captain phase however because it's just easier that way.)

I appreciate the effort you've made and look forward to your future videos. Happy gaming!
 
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Dale Moore
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Winston-salem
North Carolina
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Scott.

I am a noob when it comes to these higher quality games. I have always played AD&D (showing my age), Party games, and typical Boardgames.

Your video series has really expanded my horizon, and let me know what games I might like.

Your Puerto Rico video was well done. I did watch it twice because I was getting overwhelmed, but I feel that I could sit down with experienced players and could muddle my way through with just a few friendly reminders.

I would understand if you stopped making your videos, but they have been very much appreciated. Thank you. And you remind me so much of a good friend of mine in both appearance and manorism that I will feel a void.


Dale
 
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jeff hallett
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arlington heights
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Thank you very much, Scott. I had invited a couple of my non-boardgaming friends over this week and pained greatly over what game to play. There were only three of us and a quick scan of BGG revealed Puerto Rico as a good choice. I had never played it myself and I wanted to have as much advance knowledge of it as possible before the lads arrived. Fortunately for me I found your podcast just by doing a Google search on "Puerto Rico, game, podcast". I skimmed the rule book first, then listened to your excellent show 3 times (audio only) while driving, then sat down with the rulebook for 30 minutes. Everything fell into place in my head. When my buds arrived, we sat right down and I was able to get us going within a few minutes. I only had to check the rulebook a few times for little details.

They had a GREAT time, and I'm hoping I created some converts to gaming.

Thanks again for the show. It was perfect and gave me just exactly what I needed. I'll be listening to all your shows in the future. Please keep up the good work.
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