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More unnecessary tech in gaming?

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  blinky465 1 month ago.

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  • #1479945

    blinky465
    Participant
    7133xp

    Yeah, I know, the granddads are all going to moan about the loss of the simpler things in life, how tabletop gaming is supposed to be “an analogue game in a digital world” and all that…. (hey, just kidding).

    But I love these: https://hackaday.io/project/28377-electronic-dice

    Mainly because I made electronic dice years ago, and they were massive! These are regularly-sized dice – crammed with a battery, bluetooth, LEDs, a charging circuit…. and are still “normal” size. A feat of engineering if nothing else, they’re also a pretty cool idea!

    They can be configured to change colour/animation, based on the result showing on the top. For simple games, you could set the threshold/target value and have them display a “victory animation” (or failure one) depending on the value rolled.

    Yes, it’s pointless. Yes, there are more important things to use technology for. But for a bit of fun and frivolity, I think these look amazing. More frivolity please. After all, we’re playing with toys aren’t we…?

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1221551897896722433

    • This topic was modified 2 months ago by  blinky465.
    #1479958

    torros
    Participant
    15302xp

    Dice Towers. Completely unnecessary and extremely annoying

    #1479959

    flatbattery
    Participant
    4373xp

    Looks like a bit of fun. I’m sure they’d go great with the more fantasy centric games, and kids will love them.

    #1479980

    balginstondraeg
    Participant
    258xp

    With the latest Conquest releases, anything that was not in the starter box only has a QR code on the stat card. There’s no actual stats. Now personally I wish they’d just put the stats on the card and then they can have the code as an optional extra. However, since the cards are used for the game’s initiative system there’s not too much point needing to dig out a card from the deck for reference if it gets attacked (thus revealing it’s place in the initiative order to your foe).

     

    The game’s profiles are relatively simple. After you’ve played  a few games with the new figures you’ll know what their stats are. But having the stats on the card is a good mental shorthand and it’s really helpful for teaching the game to new players. You can look at a card and see most of the relative information at a glance.

     

    When all you’ve got on the card is the unit name, some artwork and a bloody QR code then it involves the extra effort of reaching across to pick up something to scan the code with (or, if you’re like me, going and looking it up in the book because you compartmentalise and have good spatial memory as opposed to being lazy), scanning, waiting while it processes etc. It’s a whole load of unnecessary bother and nuisance.

     

    This just feels like a really bad business model.

    #1479999

    torros
    Participant
    15302xp

    @balginstondraeg  my initial reaction to that was. Oh they haven’t playtested enough and its easier to change them digitally when they have to

     

    Certainly seems like a good reason not to get involved with the game

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  torros.
    #1480048

    phaidknott
    Participant
    3897xp

    @balginstondraeg WHOA didn’t know that, that’s just crazy. People these days are attached to their smartphones enough as it is (and our games are continually getting interrupted by the insipid beeps and whistles they emit demanding the human drop whatever they are doing to service it’s needs). Had Conquest on a possible backburner for a fantasy rank and file game, but if it going to mean we have to have smartphones ON the table I’ll be going for Oathmark instead. That’s certainly a case of unnecessary tech in gaming…..

     

    #1480079

    sundancer
    Participant
    19139xp

    This just feels like a really bad business model.

    I couldn’t agree more. Forcing people to use tech for something that simple is bad.

    #1480148

    kiranamida
    Participant
    1381xp

    Important Question: How do you change the batteries?

    Scratch that, if you scroll way~ way down it lists details of being an internal cell with an induction coil for charging.

    #1480171

    blinky465
    Participant
    7133xp

    That was my first question (and a reason why my own version a few years ago was so big and chunky).

    But induction charging, baby! I like these. A lot.

    #1480184

    marktarver
    Participant
    2197xp

    I don’t mind this, as their App is really good for you to build the list and prints out all the stats and abilities and everything you need.
    It allows them to easily balance the stats lines fairly promptly and means you aren’t having to always print out full art cards etc.

     

    #1480262

    limburger
    Participant
    11662xp

    The one answer any maker will give you when you ask them ‘why’ is inevitably something along the lines of “because I wanted to know if I could (do it)”

    I do kind of wonder if those dice are balanced, because I suspect there’s a slight bias to them.
    The idea is still very cool and it really shows how tiny electronics have become.

    https://www.pixels-dice.com/

    Looks like this might be an interesting kickstarter when it launches with an estimated 20-30$ pricetag per die.

    //

    @balginstondraeg it’s only ‘bad for business’ from a consumer point of view because finding ways to ensure the user is forever linked to their business is what (a lot of) companies do. That doesn’t make it any less inconvenient though.

    I can understand it as a nice feature (quick access to up-to-date stats) and I’ve been thinking of using QR codes or RFID tags for something similar for my own use.

    However it does get a bit silly to need an app for such a basic feature of a game.

    The worst aspect isn’t the need for the app itself (people being glued to their phones as they are won’t mind).
    It is that it is unlikely to be supported for as long as you need/want it to be. I can still play a boardgame from a few decades ago if I want to. I might need to replace bits and pieces, but nothing is actively stopping me from playing.

    Mobile phones get a few years of (active) support at best … and that’s with big companies like Samsung & Apple.
    Smaller developers can’t afford to maintain support for a decade like MS does.
    Even if they were to go open source in order to extend the life of their app you still need dedicated volunteers willing to make the effort.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  limburger. Reason: found homepage of pxiel dice
    #1480286

    totsuzenheni
    Participant
    4112xp

    Re: (Conquest) QR codes.

    I also wonder if, when stats are updated, the old stats will still be available. I could see a few gamers suddenly finding that the game they liked, stats and all, has been updated out of existence and replaced with something they don’t like.

    #1480333

    ced1106
    Participant
    2685xp

    IIRC, Golem Arcana’s pitch was that it was partially electronic, and the game’s now dead. Boardgame reception to the electronic tabletop Zombicide was meh.

    OTOH, FFG uses apps as game masters since Mansions of Madness and Descent, and these games and LotR have been received well. “Nobody wants to be the GM” has always been a problem with RPG boardgames. The app is a solution that fixes a problem, rather than looks for one.

    Personally, I think some wargamers would like an app that lets them play solo games, and mebbe fog of war. Or at least one that paints their miniatures for them. 😀

    #1480343

    kiranamida
    Participant
    1381xp

    I think the key to a game with an app that’ll have longevity is in the app being an enhancement, rather than an essential core of the game.
    Lots of people play war games with just rule books and old fashioned pen and paper but a lot of players have apps to build and display their lists for convenience.

    Likewise I feel like games that are going to see longevity are those where a human being could be the GM and run everything or you could use an app to feed in some info and let it run the opposition if no one wants to fill the role. At least if the app ever does go away, the game is still playable with a willing host.

    #1480402

    balginstondraeg
    Participant
    258xp

    Something I did not mention in my original post was the fact that I do not possess a mobile phone and have no desire to own one. I omitted that fact because one of my opponents is likely to have one. It still feels like a really dumb decision ‘though as they put the army lists up online months before releasing the figures and then you get a card with a QR code on it……

    It might be nice if the QR code had something extra like the special rules of the unit or it’s equipment options etc. But for it to be required to gain access to the core stats (unless you went and printed them out from the internet) feels like they’re desperate for internet traffic. Now the army lists for the Hundred Kingdoms and the the Spires are in the back of the rulebook but the lists for the Dweghom and the Nords aren’t. I wonder if their starter sets have a printed army list in.

    I’m really tempted to just write the stats on the cards. It’s a nice low tech solution but it would work. There’d still be that ugly square full of black and white static in the corner of the card spoiling the nice artwork with it’s eye – grabbing presence ‘though.

     

    Honestly, has no-one else covered this QR card situation? I almost did a youtube video about it. I was going to put them side by side with the full stat line cards from the starter box and explain why the cards with more information on them are worse than the cards with less information on.

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