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XCOM: The Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: Ok, so here's my issue with the App being required. rss

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Tigger Nicholson
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As an ipad user, i've no problem with having apps that support games, or make them easier to play. As a fan of Xcom ,the idea of a board game is very exciting.

HOWEVER, the current blurb on XCom says the app is REQUIRED.

I buy games not to just play today, but tomorrow and beyond.

So.... In ten years time when technology moves on and the App/web page is no longer supported and/or FFG goes out of business and/or I move to a desert island ...does this mean the game will be unplayable ?

The current advertising suggests this will be the case.
If true, that turns the game from a "must buy" to a "wouldnt touch with a bargepole", at least for me,


This strikes me as a really bad idea. so...either the application isnt "required" ,just "enhancing" and some sort of non-tech solution will be available.... or the game will have a life span after which purchasers are screwed.

Obviously I'm hoping its the former, because otherwise, thats going to turn away more folks than the tech will attract. I'm all for using apps alongside games, but making them "required" is a whole can of worms.

Does anyone have more solid info?
(i would have liked to ask FFG themselves, but their forums seem to be down atm)
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Dirk Meijer
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If the app does become unavailable, if the game is still popular enough, it will only be a matter of time before an open source replacement is created and posted on the Geek.
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Tigger Nicholson
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Still not a solution, I'm afraid... even an open source tech is tech.

Open source on what platform ? All of them ? Continupusly supported, even by the community ? Available offline? unlikely.

Also, not guaranteed (although I agree likely) .

Plus "if popular"... Ok, so likely to be popular, but what if its not ? Those who *do* buy it get screwed.

Etc.

The only solution I can see is there actually being pen-and-paper rules produced at some point, either by FFH (in which case the app is not REQUIRED) or by the fan base (in which case i still think FFG are shortchanging the gamers).

I'm usually a fab of FFG, but this strikes me as a big misstep...although let me emphasies thats If "REQUIRED" rather than just "REALLY COOL".
If pen-and-paper rules to simulate the app are available with the game, then I'd give it a thumbs up... But otherwise, you might as well stamp the game "unplayable after 2020"
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Richard Ham
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the app is a stand alone executable. software doesn't degrade over time. i still run programs that are over 20 years old, made for windows 3.1 on my laptop today (I can't convince me wife to give up cardfile.exe )

if you really love the game, and you're worried about it not working in 10 years, then make sure you don't get rid of the laptop or iphone or droid tablet or whatever that you can run the app on today, and you're fine...
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Andrew Pillow
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Plus you could always create a variant with a non-app based AI. It will probably be dumber than the app AI though, so maybe get rid of the AI completely and play the game as a one versus all game.
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Let's join hands and just rabble rabble rabble at innovation, even before we know anything specific and if it is a great way to improve gaming:

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Chris Allison
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I think you can make the argument for and against about the longevity of the app, whether in the future you'll have an Apple supported device or if the app itself may fade away. But here is my problem with this concept. Mind you this only applies if the app is 100% required to play the game. This being a FF game I will probably be paying (depending on on component content) $50-70 for X-Com but if it is "app required" then I am not getting the whole game in the box. Ok. The app may end up being free with the game purchase. But I am still not getting the whole game in the box!
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David Winter
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Tigger_mk4 wrote:

I buy games not to just play today, but tomorrow and beyond.
So have you also never purchased...
An audio cassette?
A VHS tape?
A DVD?
A computer game?
A Blu-Ray?
An e-book?

This game will come out and will REQUIRE an app, this much seems pretty clear, whining on the internet is not going to change that.

I'm also willing to bet that the game will be a commercial success, even if some refuse to buy it due to the required app.
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Alex

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I love Xcom on the PC.

I love the idea of a boardgame based on it. If an App is being required, I will definitely not buy it.

Make it either an app game or a boardgame.
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alexst wrote:
I love Xcom on the PC.

I love the idea of a boardgame based on it. If an App is being required, I will definitely not buy it.

Make it either an app game or a boardgame.
Except that almost everyone these days seems to have a smart phone at the table when they are playing a boardgame (and this trend will continue). So it does make sense to try to combine the advantages of the digital (AI, hidden information, rules enforcement)with the advantages of the physical (social interactions, better "meat AI" in competitive games, display of shared information).

Also Eric Lang is not an idiot and the problems pointed out so far are obvious so they were thought about. I think we should hold most comments until Gen-Con.
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I'm curious to see how this all plays out in the future.

With a company such as FFG, I wouldn't worry about the app becoming obsolete. If it's a requirement for the game, I'm sure there will be updates and maintenance done to the code to insure its availability. I realize that's assuming a lot, but I gotta think they had a plan in place to address this issue in order to release a boardgame with an app requirement.
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As others have said, my purchase decision for the game will come down to the depth of the tactical side, where you send your (hopefully persistent and upgradeable) troops in to a crash site.

If it doesn't have that, or if it's just a "beat this card score to win" type of thing, I won't get the game. The app is far less a concern for me, since it's likely to be a graphical "here's when and where the UFOs arrive" device, possibly with a stopwatch, so there's not a lot of tech there to be outdated.
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mroobacke wrote:
Let's join hands and just rabble rabble rabble at innovation, even before we know anything specific and if it is a great way to improve gaming:
Well, he has a right to his opinion about whether or not to buy as you do (in your other thread on this, too). It bears pointing out that you also are making assumptions about the game before we know anything specific by calling it "innovation" and a "great way to improve gaming." To be clear, it is a change. If we must call it innovation at this early point, then so was "New Coke."

That said, I am more in your camp at this point. I like the experimentation and have been looking forward to a game doing this and it matches the theme in this case. I do hope it works and my appreciation for some genius Eric Lang games instills confidence that it will. I have reasonable confidence that FF will continue to support it though them losing the license and being unable to reproduce dice for Doom gives me at least a little pause (as others have said, I bet someone would have something downloadable on the Internet in that case).
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Re: Ok, so here's my issue with the App being required
If I buy a game and it 'only' works for 1 years I would still think my $60 was well spent.
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Big Head Zach
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Let's be honest here - this isn't going to be a small squad tactics game. FFG has at least 3 other properties that scratch that itch (Descent and Gears of War come to mind). This game focuses on the larger scale aspect of the license: global crisis management.

I'm seriously concerned people are simply writing this off because there is a component of its play that...

1) doesn't come in the box. Well, friends and beer don't come in the box either and I seem to do fine acquiring those. The requirements of the app are rather common these days (smartphone, tablet, or anything with a web browser). FFG isn't asking you to buy a whole new computer to run it (which some PC games these days are effectively doing). Resisting this by some "gameist" principle is silly.

2) Isn't completely transparent to the players. It's because they want a game that can play intelligently against human opponents, and that has algorithms/processes that, were they to be made physical activities that humans could carry out (like in Pandemic and most co-ops), would give away its secrets, and the players would effectively be precognitive. I'm guessing for a game of this complexity, simply "drawing a card off the top of the infection deck" is not comprehensive enough to be a formidable opponent. The description of the AI outright states that it picks 1 of 5 different strategies each time it plays. This is a straight up admission that there are people out there who will eventually figure out how the AI works, so it shakes things up by changing the algorithms every play. (Of course, this being BGG, there will inevitably be a forum thread dedicated to solving the game - I don't want to play with those people. What fun is a game you know the outcome of?)
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I will also not be buying this game if it requires an app.
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I will be buying it because it requires an app.
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blackhawk77 wrote:
I will be buying it because it requires an app.
Me too. I'm all about the novelty.

Do the people that are complaining about this complain about Risk:Legacy being a single-campaign game? They're not totally similar but I can see longevity argument as the same one.
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bhz1 wrote:

1) doesn't come in the box. Well, friends and beer don't come in the box either and I seem to do fine acquiring those. The requirements of the app are rather common these days (smartphone, tablet, or anything with a web browser). FFG isn't asking you to buy a whole new computer to run it (which some PC games these days are effectively doing). Resisting this by some "gameist" principle is silly.
The whole thing with people mad that they can't play out of the box but I've encountered multiple games where everything didn't come out of the box (Quirkle had no pen or paper). To be honest it's easier to find a smartphone when I game than a pen and paper.
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Tigger_mk4 wrote:
But otherwise, you might as well stamp the game "unplayable after 2020"
If you're playing this till 2020 then you more than got your moneys worth.
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Space alert (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/38453/space-alert) needs cd player to play the CD track with scenario and I see no deal with it. Even better if we will be looking on some cool graphic app than mediaplayer plaing the tracks.

There are other things to worry about than needed app (which could come on flash disc in the game - we do not know that).
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rahdo wrote:
the app is a stand alone executable. software doesn't degrade over time. i still run programs that are over 20 years old
I also run some programs that are over 20 years old. Some I can't.

Quote:
if you really love the game, and you're worried about it not working in 10 years, then make sure you don't get rid of the laptop or iphone or droid tablet or whatever that you can run the app on today, and you're fine...
Let me guess... you don't know a lot about the durability of hardware...
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Vodnyk wrote:
Space alert (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/38453/space-alert) needs cd player to play the CD track with scenario and I see no deal with it. Even better if we will be looking on some cool graphic app than mediaplayer plaing the tracks.
Apples and oranges. A soundtrack is a very different thing from a piece of software.
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Web version will likely be all js. Even if it's obfuscated, it won't be hard to reverse-engineer the logic and possibly implement new strategies. (X-COM The Board Game Long War Mod LOLOLOLOL)

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