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Subject: Mandatory smartphone usage rss

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Xenothon Stelnicki
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I am all for the usage if it enables something special like this. The other (not mandatory, but imo essential) usage of an app in "board" gaming that I've encountered is the narrator app for One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Without that app, the game would not have risen to be my runaway favorite game of all time.
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Nicola Bocchetta
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You can do without the smartphone, but you'll need a "game master"; it can be done if you have one more person than the maximum number of players allowed by the game, but anyway it doesn't sound to me a nice role to cover.

As long as it adds to the boardgame and doesn't detract from it, I find it a good idea.

In this game it adds as all the players have the same goal (discovering potions) and it's not asymmetric (e.g. Mansions of Madness).

I would feel it would detract from the game if the app was not an instrument, but a game by itself (there was a kickstarter project lately based on this, but I don't remember the name).
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Jason Reid
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xen911 wrote:
I am all for the usage if it enables something special like this. The other (not mandatory, but imo essential) usage of an app in "board" gaming that I've encountered is the narrator app for One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Without that app, the game would not have risen to be my runaway favorite game of all time.


Exactly. Firstly, think of Alchemists as a game that requires a moderator. Moderators make a whole new class of games possible, but it's not a very fun role (usually), so we don't see them in boardgames so much.

Providing an app to replace the moderator makes those games more possible to play, but it's still an extra hurdle. Still, I'd rather see this than those games not made at all.
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Paul Grogan
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I've demoed this game many times now, acting as GM when the phone I had died or came up with some strange messages I couldn't decipher.

But I get more enjoyment from teaching games than I do from playing in them, so it isn't too much of a surprise to say that I really enjoyed GMing the game.
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Thomas
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I am glad to see the incorporation of new technology to be honest. I hope to see more games doing similar things.
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S. R.
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Well, I am with Prince Corum - at least up to a point.
There is a reason I don't enjoy computer or console games, and also a reason why I prefer setting up a game on my table to playing the selfsame game with Vassal etc. Well, I prefer the analog experience, too.

That said, what I do not like about this game is that you need a phone that can use Apps. Being notoriously klutzy, I don't own a smartphone, and will continue to not do so as long as I can help it. Which means that this game will probably not be for me...


However, better a game was made than it was not made, if it is fun, a great idea, or innovative. So that at least others can enjoy it.

On the other hand, if games would branch out into digital media more and more, that would be a development that would certainly put me off. Games like this should be part of the development, but should not take over...

...at least that is my opinion...
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Thomas
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What's great about this hoby is if someone doesn't like the theme, mechanic or other facet of a game there are plenty of options to choose from so move along if you don't like the idea of having to use a smart phone.
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George Breden
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Fortunately, the use of a phone in this game is *not* mandatory, so long as someone (like me) would be willing to take the role of moderator once in a while. So it's all good.
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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Although I am generically interested in a game about alchemy, the smartphone requirement is one of two points where this game actively repels me.
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Ryan R

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I absolutely LOVE the app component idea -- it allows the game designer to incorporate systems that would otherwise be impossible, or extremely tedious at best.

I very sincerely hope more game developers latch onto this trend. Just because we like board games does not mean we have to be Luddites!
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Vadim Medvinskiy
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Krychek wrote:
I absolutely LOVE the app component idea -- it allows the game designer to incorporate systems that would otherwise be impossible, or extremely tedious at best.

I very sincerely hope more game developers latch onto this trend. Just because we like board games does not mean we have to be Luddites!


The moment app becomes mandatory, board game becomes computer game.
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Brian M
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Absolutely hate the like the app inclusion. Means it will eventually be obsolete, means you can't houserule or add your own content. Why even bother making it a boardgame if you need to play a video game anyway?
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Nicola Bocchetta
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It's not like a video game. The app just shows to you and only you the results of the mixed ingredients.

Otherwise you would need a game master that could not participate in the game.

I could understand if your objection to apps rose from seeing the XCOM or Golem Arcana, where the app has a similar role of a Game Master, but is also needed to keep track of bonuses, scores and so on.

 
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Brian M
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Quote:
It's not like a video game. The app just shows to you and only you the results of the mixed ingredients.

Yeah, but if you MUST have the app, and all the downsides that come with it, why bother with the board at all?

It's CGE, so I'll try it though.
 
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Jason Reid
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StormKnight wrote:
Quote:
It's not like a video game. The app just shows to you and only you the results of the mixed ingredients.

Yeah, but if you MUST have the app, and all the downsides that come with it, why bother with the board at all?

It's CGE, so I'll try it though.


Well, first of all, I think capitalizing MUST is a stretch, because you can play without the app if you have a moderator. This is in contrast with, say, X-COM where it doesn't (yet) seem possible to exactly replicate the app with a human.

Secondly, on various fora, I keep seeing various forms of this argument:

Quote:
if you MUST have the app, and all the downsides that come with it, why bother with the board at all?


I think the simple answer is the right one: because the board makes some things better / possible that an app does not. And these are all many of the same things that make us prefer board games in the first place. Face-to-face gaming. Tactile interaction. The ability to view more than 1024x768 pixels of information at a time.

A similar argument, looks something like:

Quote:
As soon as you make any sort of app mandatory, it's a video game. Not a boardgame.


Meanwhile I bet that if someone else was a huge fan of video games, and had a board introduced to one of their favorite titles (think X-COM), they'd say something like, "Bah. As soon as you introduce a board, it's a board game. Not a video game." So who's right?

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Neither. And both. It doesn't matter. It's just a game.
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Massimo Campolucci
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Nice potions to all
I wonder if the app need a network connection or if it is a stand alone application.
I mean if it need to use internet connection
Thanks
 
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Brian Eggert
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The app use in Alchemists sounds reminicent of the 1970's and 1980's electronic devices in games like Stop Thief and Lost Treasure. Essentially, those electronic devices were just fancy randomizers, allowing all players to play the same role (investigator, explorer, etc.), without needing a game master. At least the app use is optional for Alchemists; most retro electronic games were dumpster-bound if the electronic gizmo died.
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If an app or moderator player is required, it needs to be a new item at the top of the game page under Information. Maybe "Extras Required" and this item could list what is needed to play a game that doesn't come with the game. In this case, it would be a moderator or app. Other games may require pen and paper or a stopwatch/clock. 2 Room and a Boom requires "2 physical rooms"
 
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Justin Hallam-Stephens
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As far as I'm aware, the only use for the smartphone app is the random selection of alchemicals reaction from ingredients into potions. Right?

I'm certain there is an alternative by having several different decks of cards, with the ingredient combinations displayed on the back and the result on the front.
When you make a potion, simply search through the deck, looking for the two ingredients on the back and then checking the front for the result and putting the result to your reference as normal.

At the start of the game you simply randomly select which deck to use.

Sure, it may add more components to the game, but when the technology becomes obsolete and unusable, the extra components will remain in the long run.

But again, this really depends on what the app will be used for in the game.
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Jason Reid
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JustinBoy24 wrote:
At the start of the game you simply randomly select which deck to use.

Sure, it may add more components to the game, but when the technology becomes obsolete and unusable, the extra components will remain in the long run.


There are 8 alchemicals, each of which can be one of 8 different properties.

If I'm modeling this problem correctly, I think that would require about 40,000 decks of 28 cards each to cover every possibility.
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Itai Perez
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It might still be done with 28 cards with all the ingredients combinations of 2 cards, and enough cards to represent the different potions which might be obtainable with one set.

Someone who isn't playing could randomly attribute an alchemical component to each ingredient, figure out what each 2 ingredient combination makes when combined and then put the right ingredient combination card and the right potion card in the same sleeve.

This would enable a group to play without needing a moderator during the game. Of course, being able to do this work before the game will require a good understanding of the rules and quite a bit of thinking.

Maybe someone could do an app to help with that ? Oh wait...
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Jason Reid
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Itai wrote:
Someone who isn't playing could randomly attribute an alchemical component to each ingredient, figure out what each 2 ingredient combination make when combine and then put the right ingredient combination card and the right potion in the same sleeve.

This would enable a group to play without needing a moderator during the game. Of course, being able to this work before the game will require a good understanding of the rules and quite a bit of thinking.


True. A moderator before the game would work almost as well as a moderator during the game. Still, you need an extra person, the setup would take some time, and if the mod makes a mistake it sounds like they won't be around to fix it and the players would be left floundering.

How about that? A person stealing a job from a computer.
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I think I got it. Go back to old timey cash registers. Do a plinko thing and drop the given number of marbles of each color, which drop into plus, minus, large and small slots. Then when you want to test a combo, you press the register key for each and see what displays up top for potion (instead of numbers). maybe?? that should cost under $100 at a good quantity, right?
 
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Nicola Bocchetta
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toober wrote:
I think I got it. Go back to old timey cash registers. Do a plinko thing and drop the given number of marbles of each color, which drop into plus, minus, large and small slots. Then when you want to test a combo, you press the register key for each and see what displays up top for potion (instead of numbers). maybe?? that should cost under $100 at a good quantity, right?


Wow! This would be awesome!
 
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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jasonwocky wrote:
There are 8 alchemicals, each of which can be one of 8 different properties.

If I'm modeling this problem correctly, I think that would require about 40,000 decks of 28 cards each to cover every possibility.


Or maybe a few custom 8-sided dice?
 
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