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Subject: Seeking opinions on games with DVDs rss

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A Derk appears from the mists...
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A reporter from well-known newspaper is looking for information about games with DVDs in them. He's looking for positive or negative critiques of DVD-based games, but please try to keep it civil. Areas that he's looking to explore include:

goo Whether gamers or non-gamers regard them better/worse than standard boardgames. For instance, is the new Clue with an included DVD better than the original?

goo Have you experienced any technical problems with DVD-based games?

goo If you have access to non-gamers that have opinions on DVD-based games, he's very interested in feedback from them.

goo Other fresh ideas/theories about including DVDs as boardgame components...


Please post your reponses here. Based on those responses, selected users will be contacted via PM for follow-up.
 
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Mark Jackson
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Quote:
Whether gamers or non-gamers regard them better/worse than standard boardgames. For instance, is the new Clue with an included DVD better than the original?


Actually, it is. I had the privilege of playtesting the American version and find that it actually has less luck involved (though it's stil present) and the mysteries are more interesting. The animation isn't going to win any awards, but it helped put Clue back on my "playlist", so to speak.

Quote:
Have you experienced any technical problems with DVD-based games?


No, but admittedly I haven't played many.

Quote:
If you have access to non-gamers that have opinions on DVD-based games, he's very interested in feedback from them.


Some of the folks who playetested Clue DVD with me were non-gamers... and they liked it enough to ask to play again when it wasn't a playtest situation. That's a real positive.
 
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Daniel Karp
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I may just be cynical after your experience with that reporter writing on Monopoly, but I'd be afraid that this reporter is baiting you so that he can then write, "The snobs at Boardgamegeek don't like these games, but we say Bah Humbug to those Scrooges!"
 
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Karl Deckard
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I can only offer a general opinion; DVDs are annoying enough to use without combining them with a boardgame and many people play boardgames to get away from the TV, so I don't think it is a good pairing. Again, just my personal opinion.
 
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Pierre-Luc Thiffault
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You want an opinion ? Here is mine.

Games which includes dvds to play, I havn't played any. Personnally, am not eager to trying one anytime soon also. Seems to me that most, if not all games with dvds are the party, murder/mystery type of game, and theses kinds of games are not at all what am into.

I don't know, but from a first look seems to me to be a turn off more than anything and makes the game more expensive for nothing.
 
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J Boyes
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DVD games are interesting as boardgaming is a hobby best enjoyed with the television off. Yet people make DVD games as it works as a selling point for people who enjoy TV lots and wouldn't normally play a game.

I suppose some of this is thinking that the DVD will do the job of teaching the game so people won't have to do the boring act of learning the rules. This putting the rules in the hands of the TV is reinforced by video games as well, where all the rules are handled by an outside force, and people are used to that now. This makes the 'buy in' easier on DVD games.

Then there are the games that lend themselves to DVD, mostly this would seem to be movie or TV trivia games, where video clips can be integrated in with regular read aloud questions. This seems a more pure use of the DVD and not as much a gimmick.

All in all if the DVD games draw more people into the hobby, thats good!
 
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Bryce V
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Boardgames are meant to be a diversion/respite/reprieve from the mind numbing, non-interactive world of TV, movies and DVDs. The trend of movie themed and DVD centered games is a blight on the world of gaming. Didn't they learn from VHS Clue ??

The only hope is that people will tire of these weakly themed (movie trivia, TV trivia, zzzzz...), low replay DVD formats and hunger for some REAL gaming.
When boardgaming, DVDs are best used as coasters... or reflective devices for distracting opponents with random flashes of light. "The pretty plastic... it sparkles..."

Not that I get fired up about this or anything.
 
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Ryan Johnson
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I personally think that DVD based games are marginal at best.

I have Scene-It and on the second play, I had about a 50% repeat. It seems that there are so many differnt brands of DVDs that its hard to get full function unless you have a newer brand.

Shout about movies is nice, but there are only a maximum of 3 plays, and then the game is useless.

AtmosFear is the best DVD game I own, as it has more interaction with the players, but even then it gets old after a couple plays.

IMO having a DVD as part of the game is like making sure that there is a player that's bad at Analysis Paralysis playing.

Tell him that they should include DVDs as rules... and that's about it.
 
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Vickie Watson
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We had a chance to playtest the Clue DVD game with 5 people in the game. The DVD certainly made it different. All were gamers, but varied from light gamers to serious gamers. One person did not like the game (he would be considered one of the more serious gamers), but it wasn't because of the DVD, he just doesn't like Clue, period. He did comment that the DVD was interesting in itself.

We have also play quite a bit of SceneIt, the TV and the Movie Version, both with non-gamers and gamers. But in all of the times we have played we have turned it into a 'party game' (which the TV version has the option to do) and everyone just plays and shouts out an answer. So we don't really keep score, we just 'watch the TV'.

I have to agree with those that say keep the DVD and TV out of the games. Though I did enjoy the Clue game, I don't think I would buy it. I mostly enjoyed the interesting extra features such as the clues given by the Butler. I would probably agree to play it if everyone else in the group insisted. I am a light gamer. Funny, I was asked to rate the game at the time, and I think I remember giving it a decent rating, but as I think back on the game and playing it, I don't know that I really enjoyed it all that much.

 
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Randy Cox
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I sure hope he pans the whole genre. What the hell is it with folks these days assuming everyone has a DVD player? I think I read somewhere (last week, in fact) that 11% of Americans own one. Yet, you get instructions to new devices with DVDs included and now games. Leave technology out of the games.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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Randy Cox wrote:
I think I read somewhere (last week, in fact) that 11% of Americans own one.

I would be very surprised if the number is that low.

A quick Google finds: http://members.ce.org/publications/vision/2005/julaug/p33.as...

which shows that 11% is the change from 2004 to 2005. As of 2005, 81% of households have a DVD player (up 11 points from 70% in 2004). Interesting to note that the percentage of households with a DVD player is greater than the percentage of households with a desktop computer.

 
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Ben Harris
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The only DVD game experience I have had was with one of the early versions of Scene It.

Experience: The DVD did not work correctly in my friends newer player, so we didn't play.
 
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Bob
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Ryno8 wrote:
I personally think that DVD based games are marginal at best.

I have Scene-It and on the second play, I had about a 50% repeat. It seems that there are so many differnt brands of DVDs that its hard to get full function unless you have a newer brand.

AtmosFear is the best DVD game I own, as it has more interaction with the players, but even then it gets old after a couple plays.


I have also played Scene-it (Regular & Disney), Atmosphere, and Trivial Pursuit. I thought they were fun for 2-3 plays, then too repetitive. Everyone making comments like, "No fair we've had that before," "Hurry, it's almost time for the Crpyt Keeper to ...." So not much replay value for your money.
 
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J Jacy
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Here's my thoughts having played SceneIT regular & Disney. Those games were good for light filler fun. IE good party games to play with those that like party games.

I'm also going to note that I've played Trivial Pursuit on a video game console (xbox) and found that to be a LOT better than pulling out the board and playing the "normal way". Why? Because you didn't have to roll dice, and counting the spaces was eliminated. I know it sounds dumb, but just counting in one direction, and then in the other when you make 50+ rolls a game takes time, and having the spaces highlighted automatically made the game faster.

I think DVD games should be expanded out of the realm of just party games, and into strategy games that have all open information.

"Just play on your computer then" you might say... if you didn't realize that sharing a computer screen isn't a very social experiance, and works fine when doing it online with others who are solitary in front of their screens, but I say that having 6 or more people crammed around your computer screen is less engaging and social than 6 people sitting comfortably on couches and such. Plus, I'd guess that more people have a large TV screen size than monitor size.

DVD games have the potential of being far more advanced than just the "basic" games that now seem available, where all they are used for is clips and timers. Why not let them take up more advanced "book keeping" functions and have enough variations on them to do away with the "I've seen this before" feel?

Maybe the DVD player isn't the best format, but with DVRs having hard drives, maybe that technology could/should be used to enhance the game playing experience. (BTW, I played the VCR Clue version years ago [haven't tried the DVD version, but I don't much care for Clue anyways], and the main problem was the fast forwarding and rewinding being a pain, which is eliminated w/DVDs.)

Sorry for the long-winded ramblings... I say if people will try DVD games, and they have fun, then it is a good idea, I say push the envelope. Oh, and I don't think I'd pop in a DVD to listen to instructions, just print the manuals in a simple to understand way with a few examples and that's good enough for me (unless making a DVD is cheaper than actually printing the instructions by a notable amount).

-jjacy1
 
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mrbass
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I absolutely abhor any mini games on dvds that are slapped on. I doubt I'd ever purchase a game with a DVD because I don't see any longterm replayability in it. On top of that are these SCENE-IT DVDs ARcoSS copy protected and RPC enhanced? I certainly hope not.
 
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Shawn Low
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See, in my mind, DVD games will be like the video games of yesteryear. In 5 years, it will look horribly dated.

DVD technology has still yet to come to be what the pundits say it was supposed to be. Just look at movies: hardly any movies feature alternative angles, interactivity, etc. No one has really made an effort to produce a well designed DVD.

I've played several versions of Scene it and whilst the technology worked, having to wait for the scenes to load and run gave it an overall clunky feel.

Also, I find it strange that the DVD in a regular game of Scene it would only be used 20-30% of the game. The rest is still dictated by traditional gaming mechanisms (trivia cards, die rolling, chance cards, etc).

I would love to have a game that's fully interactive in integrating the DVD and boardgame aspects of the DVD.

On a different (yet similar note), I find that Sony has successfully incorporated dexterity interaction with the Eye Toy. In my mind, this is a good example of combining two different sorts of mechanism successfully.

The current crop of DVD games haven't yet made the cut.
 
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Chris Kice
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A lot of DVD-based games seem to be what we used to call "Shovelware": They just piled crap onto a DVD so the game could be "interactive".

I played the SceneIt TV edition at a party recently and it was kinda lame. The DVD had some cool general features like 10, 20, 30, and 60 second animated countdown timers (I'd even use those in other games).

The video questions were really dumb, however. There were a few dozen TV clips with a bunch of questions for each. The problem is, the questions were not about the shows and were all generic stuff like "What was the first line someone said?", "What was the color of the sofa?", etc.

All-in-all, the non-DVD portion of the game was better.

 
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Games with DVDs have a place and that place is most likely in the mass market as gifts is my gut feel.

The biggest problems I see with Games with DVDs are:
d10-1 Very limited replayability compared to what I would expect or like from a game - with the possible exception of trivia type games
d10-2 The element of choice is very low, usually just a do you choose a or b at this point, i.e. door 1 or door 2, the high road or the low road etc. The choice is usually just a binary one, although it could be, and possibly has been in some games, made to be more.
d10-3 You are restricted to playing the game somewhere where you can play the DVD. Realistically this means a TV and DVD player. Yes I accept that most modern laptops would suffice, but it is hardly a pleasant experience trying to get four or more people watching something on a single laptop.

For a certain segment of the market, none of my issues are a problem. For me they would be, but I don't claim to be representative of a large segment of the market.
 
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Kevin Bender
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derk wrote:

goo Whether gamers or non-gamers regard them better/worse than standard boardgames. For instance, is the new Clue with an included DVD better than the original?


Non-gamers seem to really enjoy the new crop of DVD based board games like Scene It! Serious gamers tend to see the flaws in this format (limited playability, possible technical issues, etc) quicker and tend to dismiss DVD based boargames as gimmicky. However, price is a bigger concern for Non-gamers then gamers when purchasing a boardgame and there is certainly a segment of the non-gamer population that would never buy a boardgame with a DVD because of the higher cost, while a gamer that bought into the concept of a DVD based game would be more likely to spend more money on a board game with a DVD in the box.

derk wrote:

goo Have you experienced any technical problems with DVD-based games?


I played the new DVD Clue game recently and there did seem to be some technical issues. However, in fairness to the manufacturer this was a play test copy and they were still working out the bugs before they went into full production on the game.

Anytime you introduce technology into a board game experienc (DVDs, VHS tapes, electronic parts) you have a greater opportunity to lose some customers due to incompatibility with their playback equipment or other technical hurdles that prevent them from getting the product to work correctly. A game that is simply composed of a board and some wooden pawns doesn't fail to operate correctly, but DVD players can.

derk wrote:

goo If you have access to non-gamers that have opinions on DVD-based games, he's very interested in feedback from them.


My wife works at our local game store and I've heard many conversations at the store from people I would classify as non-gamers who really like the Scene It! games. I can't give any feedback on specific opinions about DVD based games from non-gamers, however, because I don't think they generally look at their purchases in that fashion. Typically, if they played a game and enjoyed it or heard about a game that is popular, then they will purchase it. I do not beleive that most non-gamers even weigh the DVD game vs. Non-DVD game issue when deciding their purchases.

derk wrote:

goo Other fresh ideas/theories about including DVDs as boardgame components...


DVDs should be included with a video explanation of the rules of a game that show the game being played and the rules being explained with examples. Some people learn better by seeing something then by reading it in a rulebook, and this would be a better interactive way of teaching the game. You would still include a rulebook, but the DVD video instruction could serve to teach the game faster and easier if the game purchaser has access to a DVD player.
 
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Jerry McVicker
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Just another gimmick like all those dusty VHS boardgames you see sitting on shelves at thrift stores. DVD games will suffer the same fate....
 
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Charles Smith
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You know, I may be totally insane (well at least no one has tested this in court yet) but I would like to see DVDs with games. However, not as a component. Rather I would like to see a rules/instruction DVD.

How nice would it be if along with the rule book, you could watch the DVD and the rules and basic game play would be explained. On top of that a company could include several different games on the same DVD. That would be sort of like advertising for other games.

I suppose the cost and effort of this would be too high for most companies, but it would rock my socks.
 
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david funch
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I see the DVD boardgame market as a sad, misguided, attempt at competing with video games.
 
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For me and my non-gaming friends, the DVD games are very popular and I enjoy playing them very much. The main advantage is that the pace of the game is determined very much by the DVD. In other words, they hold people's attention better. Plus, the DVD usually explains how to play which is usually much better than any person could do. A DVD allows game elements that could not normally be incorprated into a game such as music and video as well as scoring memory and automatic timing.

As far as technical issues are concerned, there was one occassion a non-gamer friend of mine had about twenty people gathered to play a DVD game and the DVD player wouldn't read the disc, even though it had read that same disc before. We eventually ended up playing off of a small laptop screen as a last ditch effort to get something underway. It still worked well, it was just really frustrating on the part of the host.

I generally save DVD games for the end of the night because it is hard to play real board games afterward. Once you are used to the pace of a DVD, staring at a board is much less exciting for people.

But there is a point where a DVD can not better duplicate a well designed board game. It has a niche, and I'm glad its filling out well.
 
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The DVD version of Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit is outstanding. It was one of the first games my wife and I played with our boys together. Everyone, even my wife who doesn't play many games, liked it and felt the DVD really added in a positive way to the game. Even I, grognard and all that, thought it was well done.

That's the only game with a DVD I've seen.
 
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Christopher Taylor
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Based on this thread, I gave my wife Disney Scene It DVD for Christmas. We'll see how it goes shortly.
 
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