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What do we need?

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RookieDesign
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Joined: 12/31/1969

First for staring a software project a good thing is a list of needs. We can see if any other software can fill these needs or why they're failing to respond to them.

Needs should be in simple form.

I need a chat window.
I need multiple board.
I need secret cards for a players.
I need to have it run on multiple platform (PC, Mac, Palm, Nokia phones) ok just kidding.

Starting with this in a clean format we can collect them and later put them in a nice list. We could review them and decide of the most important one and the nice to have. If we keep the needs short and clean it will be easy to collect the information and compile it.

Have a good day.

Anonymous
stereotypical requirements for any collaborative system

Many of the required functionality of our product would be fairly stereotypic for any collaborative tool. These include:
(1) Ability to create project
(2) Ability for users to sign up, request membership, be assigned to roles within a project (~= "access control list")
(3) Ability to post rules (~= "documentation")
(4) Ability to post new graphics, cards, tiles (~= documents)
(5) Ability to automatically package latest version for download as PDF or other format, so people can test
(6) Version control

This is an incomplete list and represents extensive software "plumbing" that has been re-invented a thousand times over. As such, existing software should be leveraged to fulfill these more stereotyped & mundane tasks where possible.

So I suggest the scope of the "Let's Not Reinvent the Wheel" topic within this forum should expand to find open source, extensible collaborative systems we could leverage.

-Splunge

Anonymous
Cooler functionality: Game publishing pipleine

For me the real draw of a system like this is that it will allow me to overcome the barriers to bringing my game design ideas to fruition. In particular, the hard parts for me are
(a) playtesting/balancing a game (I do not have a group of playtesters nor like-minded collaborators at my disposal)
and
(b) graphical design + working with printers to produce tangible product.
(c) marketing/distributing

A tool like this could get designers over humps like these. Here is some proposed functionality.

(1) I think this system should help us bring a game from the idea stages to full production. It should help track credit/ownership of a game. The contributors should each have a stake in their game according to their contribution. When their game goes to production, they get a share in profits.
(2) Part of the product would be a pipeline of design -> testing -> printing -> marketing. Perhaps part of the workings of this system would be a printing company we have worked with such that we could pass a completed project seamlessly to thatg company, in a format they know what to do with.
(3) Game owners/originators can set up some initial ground rules for their individual project: what % of the effort belongs to which tasks (design/playtesting vs. graphical input vs. printing/publishing vs. marketing). Who is permitted to game test & make suggestions vs. who is permitted to make changes. Which types of decisions are subject to voting and which are not.
(4) Once set up, these ground rules cannot be changed. They are like the contract contributors sign before committing their time. Most later decisions should probably be democratic, and the system should support voting in this manner.
(5) the system keeps track of each contributor's status- which roles the owner(s) have assigned him, how much he has contributed, the overall value of his contributions (possibly w/ the assistance of other project memebers' polling). On the basis of this, each contributor has a % ownership of the final product and its later profits.
(6) Ideally, since this might be a fairly high profile product, we might have a channel set up with a marketing/distribution company who can get the games marketed. Eventually you might get automatic financing of a fully completed game which has come thru the "BGDF Pipeline" and has met the "BGDF Stamp of Approval".

Lofty ideas I know but that is the vision I have. I know it could be done.
-splunge

Trickydicky
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Joined: 12/31/1969
What do we need?

If I understand what Rookie was saying, these needs should be what I as a games designer want this project to have, not what I as a programmer want this project to have. If so

I want card/die randomization
I want multiple tile (i.e. Settlers)layout capabilities
I want a public Storehouse for resources/cards/etc.
I want a rules display window
My other wants seem self explanatory (as if the above aren't)

I guess you could see this is my wish list! (Please Santa program me such a program). lol

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Ok

Well I just realized this week that I have no time to commit to such a project, at all, period. So unless someone wants to jump on board to lead it it may be 100% Grade A Vaporware.

My only other observation is that there doesn't seem to be a clear cut idea of what the software package was intended to be used for. My understanding is that the software would be used SOLELY to playtest a game design over the internet for the convenience the interent affords; I.E. defeating schedule conflicts, distance barriers, facility problems, etc.

I'm not sure about Rookie Design and the others, but my vision for such a piece of software would be to take a game design and then convert it to a virtual prototype to be playtested on the internet.

Although I don't see why it COULDN'T be used for to actually design a game, I don't see it being designed to do such a thing.

As far as it being it being used as a development suite, I think that would be far outreaching the scope of the original project. Not to 'dis' your ideas Splunge, but I simply think they are too ambitious at the moment. As far as a version tracking/design collaboration tool, again, I think that it's just more complicated than the tool needs, or is intended, to be.

-Darke

Anonymous
What do we need?

Darkehorse,
I wish we could clone you. Then the whole project would be a chip shot. I too have seemingly insurmountable time pressures (2 jobs, 2 kids in diapers, etc.) I agree that incremental steps is the way to go. So what is the minimal set of functionality that you cooler, more experienced heads seek? What do we need that differs from any generic, off-the shelf collaborative/project management web tool?
-Splunge

phpbbadmin
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What do we need?

splunge wrote:
Darkehorse,
I wish we could clone you. Then the whole project would be a chip shot. I too have seemingly insurmountable time pressures (2 jobs, 2 kids in diapers, etc.) I agree that incremental steps is the way to go. So what is the minimal set of functionality that you cooler, more experienced heads seek? What do we need that differs from any generic, off-the shelf collaborative/project management web tool?
-Splunge

Splunge,

You give me too much credit really, but alas I have two kids in diapers also and my wife is school at night, so I think we have similar time constraints. I'm just curious, why do you think we need a collaborative/project management tool at all? I'm not sure if you are stating that we need one to complete the project or if you are inferring that that is the actual goal of the project. Perhaps you aren't envisioning the same things that we are.

-Darke

Anonymous
goal of project

Darkehorse,
Hmm. Well I thought this was to be a tool that allowed a game designer to

    create a new game (project)
    add collaborators (users)
    post rules (documents)
    create cards (documents)
    create tiles/chits (graphical elements)
    message other collaborators
    download the latest version of game components

Am I missing something?
Thanks,
-Splunge

[/]
phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Re: goal of project

splunge wrote:
Darkehorse,
Hmm. Well I thought this was to be a tool that allowed a game designer to
    create a new game (project)
    add collaborators (users)
    post rules (documents)
    create cards (documents)
    create tiles/chits (graphical elements)
    message other collaborators
    download the latest version of game components

Am I missing something?
Thanks,
-Splunge

Well sort of.. It's not a collaborative tool. It's just supposed to be a dumb client to emulate a virtual board game. That is all. Like I said, I guess you could add all that collaboration stuff, but initially I think it's not necessary and will only serve to complicate things further... Are you calling playtesters/players collaborators? Perhaps that's where I'm getting confused?

-Darke

[/]
Anonymous
What do we need?

Darke wrote:

Quote:
Are you calling playtesters/players collaborators?

Yes.

Darke wrote:

Quote:
It's not a collaborative tool. It's just supposed to be a dumb client to emulate a virtual board game.

I thought that the whole philosophy behind bgdf.com was bringing game designers together to help each other out (collaborate).

I assume the virtual board game you desire would be playable by people online? If not, then it would have little more use than the playtesting supplies that you sell.

Do you not envisage the people who playtest a game-in-development would have some desire to contribute to the rule changes and other design ideas? Does that not constitute collaborating?

To my mind, the ability for people to collaborate on a game is where the real benefit would be. Anything short of that would be better done with a desktop publishing tool + a printer.

-Splunge

phpbbadmin
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What do we need?

splunge wrote:
Darke wrote:
Quote:
Are you calling playtesters/players collaborators?

Yes.

Darkehorse wrote:
It's not a collaborative tool. It's just supposed to be a dumb client to emulate a virtual board game.

I thought that the whole philosophy behind bgdf.com was bringing game designers together to help each other out (collaborate).

I assume the virtual board game you desire would be playable by people online? If not, then it would have little more use than the playtesting supplies that you sell.

Of course this is what it is intended for.

Quote:

Do you not envisage the people who playtest a game-in-development would have some desire to contribute to the rule changes and other design ideas? Does that not constitute collaborating?

Collaboration is a possibility, but not a necessity. I think your definition of collaboration and mine are different. When I think collaboration, I think having a large stake in the design of the game. What I think you're referring to; rules change suggestions, ways to make the game better or more fun, I would call feedback. To me there is a huge difference between feedback and collaboration. For example, if Richard Garfield, Sid Sackson (just an example), or Reiner Knizia asked you to playtest one of their new designs, you wouldn't try to muscle in on their design and become part of the design team. No you would give constructive criticism about what you did or did not like, and offer ways to make the game better. The same holds true here.

Quote:
To my mind, the ability for people to collaborate on a game is where the real benefit would be. Anything short of that would be better done with a desktop publishing tool + a printer.

-Splunge

Again, I think we are just not on the same page with the definition of collaborate. Obviously, the benefit of such a program over standard DTP to create a prototype would be to playtest online. That is the key. To use the program to playtest when 'real' playtesting is inconvenient, impractical or impossible.

-Darke

Anonymous
What do we need?

Thanks, that clarifies things for me. Agreed on all counts.

It would be nice if a user who started a game could set up the ground rules for his particular game to suit his needs. E.g. if I have a basic game system but need much work on graphics, event cards, etc., I could christen my game w/ a sizable portion of the ownership of the game up for grabs. Otherwise where is the incentive for people to contribute? Thus the system would support a more "collaborative" model for game design than you have presented in your example. This could open up game design to dispersed groups.
-Splunge

sedjtroll
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What do we need?

splunge wrote:
Thanks, that clarifies things for me. Agreed on all counts.

I could christen my game w/ a sizable portion of the ownership of the game up for grabs. Otherwise where is the incentive for people to contribute? Thus the system would support a more "collaborative" model for game design than you have presented in your example.
I think there is still a miscommunication here. The purpose of the software we're trying to create here is to allow people to PLAYTEST a game. DESIGN of the game (collaboration, feedback, etc) would be done OUTSIDE the program. This program would allow someone to create an online version of their game so people could play it.

If they need or want help designing the game, or putting it into 'online' form with this program, that's a different thing alltogether, and outside the scope of this project.

Now, if you're suggesting that this software allow people to modify the game someone else makes and are calling that a collaborative design effort, then I have 2 responses:

1. That's not the point- this forum is exellent for sharing designs and offering comments.

2. That would automatically be opssible by simply inputting your own version of the game into the program (however that's done). Like taking a .doc file, doing a "save as", then modifying it.

- Seth

Anonymous
What do we need?

On the topic of a playtesting tool, I asked the designer of Vassal, Rodney Kinney, for his thoughts. Here is his reply.

Quote:

There are really two kinds of things that you're talking about. One is a collaborative tool to let designers discuss designs, upload and comment on rules, etc. VASSAL won't help with that at all. On the other hand, a web-based forum with a file-upload section works pretty well. I don't see any reason why you'd need to create specialized software just because the discussion happens to be about boardgame design.

The other question is how to playtest a design. This is what VASSAL could help with. All of the starting points that people have discussed on the forum: dice, cards, pawns, etc., could be assembled into a prototype using VASSAL in a matter of minutes. The fact that VASSAL can do much more is hardly a good reason to build a new tool from scratch.

Also, I can't over-emphasize the importance of VASSAL being an open-source project. You could make something ten times as good in 1/10 the time if you used VASSAL as a starting point instead of starting from zero. You might even get me to contribute!

-Splunge

phpbbadmin
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What do we need?

splunge wrote:
On the topic of a playtesting tool, I asked the designer of Vassal, Rodney Kinney, for his thoughts. Here is his reply.
Quote:

There are really two kinds of things that you're talking about. One is a collaborative tool to let designers discuss designs, upload and comment on rules, etc. VASSAL won't help with that at all. On the other hand, a web-based forum with a file-upload section works pretty well. I don't see any reason why you'd need to create specialized software just because the discussion happens to be about boardgame design.

The other question is how to playtest a design. This is what VASSAL could help with. All of the starting points that people have discussed on the forum: dice, cards, pawns, etc., could be assembled into a prototype using VASSAL in a matter of minutes. The fact that VASSAL can do much more is hardly a good reason to build a new tool from scratch.

Also, I can't over-emphasize the importance of VASSAL being an open-source project. You could make something ten times as good in 1/10 the time if you used VASSAL as a starting point instead of starting from zero. You might even get me to contribute!

-Splunge

This is all well and good, but in my opinion, Vassal is just too difficult to use. Some might call me lazy since I can't take the time to learn a tool that someone else spent many hours of their life using. But, I'm in the IT field, if I think something is too difficult to learn, then imagine how non tech savvy people will feel. I agree, maybe we should start with vassal and modify it to meet our needs, perhaps make it more user friendly for playtesting board games. But I'm with Seth on this one, I really don't see this project as a collaboration tool. It's a playtest tool, plain and simple.

Now regarding modifying Vassal; this seems like a good plan. However, I'm not a Java programmer (to be honest I haven't written a program in over 5 years outside of automation scripts)., so I wouldn't know where to start. To be perfectly honest, to me, Java applications are not very user friendly. Just installing Vassal was a bit of a pain, not to mention trying to figure out how to use it. It's a great program no doubt, but we may want to create something a little more user friendly if we want such a tool to be actually useable by the general public.

-Darke

sedjtroll
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What do we need?

Darkehorse wrote:
we may want to create something a little more user friendly if we want such a tool to be actually useable by the general public.

We don't necessarily intend for this program to be used by the general public, but I see what you mean- we the people who will be using it are, for all intents and purposes, the general public ;)

I think the way to go is to take Vassel and make it more user friendly. I don't know how to program anything anymore, so I'm of no real help in that regard, but I assure you that starting from scratch will be more work and harder than modifying something that does a lot of what you want already.

- Seth

Trickydicky
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Joined: 12/31/1969
What do we need?

I will gladly claim "general public" status when it comes to understanding computers and programming. If a programmer thinks that learning a programmer is somewhat difficult then I would certainly need some help.

In fact I have had a hard time learning to use all of the functions on the BGDF. Many of you can attest to this since I have sent you messages asking for help. But that is one of the great things about this site, I've never been on without someone else online who could help me. Even if the program we build isn't 100% user friendly for the "general public" there are lots of nice people on this site who can lend a helping hand. aT least that has been my experience.

I guess what I am saying is that it doesn't have to be so simple that I (general public) can understand it immediately. But it should be simple enough that with a FEW suggestions about where to look, or how to manipulate something I (general public) would understand it.

By the way, thanks for helping those of us in the computer challenged "general public".

Anonymous
What do we need?

Great to see a focused discussion on this! I've been attempting to do playtesting online with various programs and none have done everything I've wanted so it would be wonderful to see something built that really pulls off what playtesters have in mind.

I've tried Vassal and coming from a non-programer perspective I can attest that it left me confused and eventually I walked away from it when trying to implement a boardgame. Cyberboard is infinitely easier to use in terms of setting up a virtual gameboard, Vassal however seemed to require too much technical knowledge to set up components.

An essential element for a program to be useful for me is that it does not require any knowledge of scripting to get a virtual enviroment working. I don't think scripting is necessary anyway unless there is some kind of automation that you would want conducted within the virtual enviroment to take care of counting items or other math. However most board and card games today aren't so complicated that you would need such automation.

I can't stress enough that it needs to be a "virtual tabletop". In real time, with chatroom, dice roller, card deck simulator (this has to be robust), game pieces that anyone can "pick up", and trays that let me organize the components to either add or discard them to the table.

If cyberboard were made into the above, and not just a pbem client, then it would do everything needed and be at a user level that most people could figure out. It does everything required already, save that it isn't real time and multiplayer.

In the end if I have a pile of jpeg files for all my components I should be able to set them into the program and get virtual representations of them and then toss it out onto the virtual tabletop. For cards I'd set up a list of each card to define the decks, but make this so streamlined that it can be reworked on the fly in mid game, as many games can require messing with a deck during the game.

As for the "collaborative" discussion in this thread. I'd have to agree that what I'm looking for is a playtesting tool. The collaborative talk makes it sound like my game is an oper source project rather than my design which needs to be playtested. I don't want to get into contractual relationships with people, I just want them to try my game, give me feedback and then let me think about my design and modify as I wish.

phpbbadmin
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What do we need?

Quote:

I can't stress enough that it needs to be a "virtual tabletop". In real time, with chatroom, dice roller, card deck simulator (this has to be robust), game pieces that anyone can "pick up", and trays that let me organize the components to either add or discard them to the table.

If cyberboard were made into the above, and not just a pbem client, then it would do everything needed and be at a user level that most people could figure out. It does everything required already, save that it isn't real time and multiplayer.

I agree with all of your points. Does anyone know if cyberboard is open source? If it does all this stuff already perhaps someone could just add the real time Internet stuff to make it suit our needs?

-Darke

RookieDesign
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Joined: 12/31/1969
What do we need?

Darkehorse wrote:
Does anyone know if cyberboard is open source?
-Darke

From the reading on the Cyberboard page I don't think so. I wish it is I could slap a network communication layer for playing life on this.

Challengers
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Devil's Advocate

I just discovered this thread. As a programmer and game designer, let me assure you that you will have a prototype no sooner than 2020.
Seriously, though, I have an idea to bounce off you:
Is there any reason that the play testers have to consist solely of the membership of this forum? Why not set up a controlled forum where designers can post the specs for their game? Members who are interested in a particular game can set it up with their own playtesting group, play it and record comments for posting later.
The designer gets valuable feedback and can update the specs and solicit another round of testing.
The amount of work required to maintain this would be distributed (thus being less of a burden on our small group of BGDWBIDs*):

    Forum maintenance = existing moderators Content Submission = Designers
    Play-testing = lots of little subnets all over (real people, no crashes!)
    Feedback = Moderators (sort of like polls, to keep it focused)
    Updates = Designers
Okay, I'm done. I have no idea if this is feasible - I just like challenges.
(By the way, I design my games and software the same way: theme first, mechanics come later)

Mitch

* Board Game Designers with Babies in Diapers!

[/]
jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Re: Devil's Advocate

Challengers wrote:

Is there any reason that the play testers have to consist solely of the membership of this forum? Why not set up a controlled forum where designers can post the specs for their game? Members who are interested in a particular game can set it up with their own playtesting group, play it and record comments for posting later.

I don't see why this couldn't be done, but I don't know that it gains anything either. I'm willing to bet that 95% of the initial usage of this will be "play-dates" between users here. I think you have to keep in mind what the motivation for this project is: we live all over the world, and would like to playtest each other's games. I think just creating an application that can facilitate that will be a tremendous accomplishment, and having that, we can then move ahead and do things like make the games available to outside groups or whatever. But the point of this thread is, the application is the thing. It sounds like RookieDesign is making good progress. He will likely be hailed as the hero of BGDF if and when he can pull this off!

-Jeff

phpbbadmin
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Re: Devil's Advocate

Challengers wrote:

Is there any reason that the play testers have to consist solely of the membership of this forum? Why not set up a controlled forum where designers can post the specs for their game? Members who are interested in a particular game can set it up with their own playtesting group, play it and record comments for posting later.
The designer gets valuable feedback and can update the specs and solicit another round of testing.
The amount of work required to maintain this would be distributed (thus being less of a burden on our small group of BGDWBIDs*):
    Forum maintenance = existing moderators Content Submission = Designers
    Play-testing = lots of little subnets all over (real people, no crashes!)
    Feedback = Moderators (sort of like polls, to keep it focused)
    Updates = Designers

Mitch

Mitch,

I guess I don't understand your question. You are asking why we don't just post our games and let people create prototypes themselves and playtest them in real life, and then post feedback of how the game went?

Well there are some obvious reasons.

1) Creating a prototype can take considerable time. An electronic prototype playtesting tool would only need to be setup once by the designer. After that it would be 'instantly' available to anyone who had access to the electronic prototype.
2) Sometimes it is difficult to get enough people together at the same time to playtest. With an electronic prototype playtesting system, this could be done at everyone's convenience, from the confort of their own home.
3) I think the model we proposed would make it much easier to maintain changes to the prototype. The designer could be the only one with access to the prototype file as well, making it more secure for them.

There's nothing to say that we couldn't do what you proposed. As for not restricting it to just members of BGDF, I have to question why? If we set up a forum to do your proposed playtest system, we'd have to set up a seperate user database. Why not just use the existing BGDF user database? The last time I checked it was still free and relatively easy to sign up for.

-Darke

[/]
Challengers
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Devil's Advocate

Darkehorse wrote:
Challengers wrote:

Is there any reason that the play testers have to consist solely of the membership of this forum? Why not set up a controlled forum where designers can post the specs for their game? Members who are interested in a particular game can set it up with their own playtesting group, play it and record comments for posting later.
The designer gets valuable feedback and can update the specs and solicit another round of testing.
The amount of work required to maintain this would be distributed (thus being less of a burden on our small group of BGDWBIDs*):
    Forum maintenance = existing moderators Content Submission = Designers
    Play-testing = lots of little subnets all over (real people, no crashes!)
    Feedback = Moderators (sort of like polls, to keep it focused)
    Updates = Designers

Mitch

Mitch,

I guess I don't understand your question. You are asking why we don't just post our games and let people create prototypes themselves and playtest them in real life, and then post feedback of how the game went?

Well there are some obvious reasons.

1) Creating a prototype can take considerable time. An electronic prototype playtesting tool would only need to be setup once by the designer. After that it would be 'instantly' available to anyone who had access to the electronic prototype.

That is short-sighted on my part: I assumed that board game designers would be more tolerant of creating prototypes from specs. I love making prototypes! (got a closet full of them, in fact. Comes from making games to entertain and motivate my kids.)

Darkehorse wrote:

2) Sometimes it is difficult to get enough people together at the same time to playtest. With an electronic prototype playtesting system, this could be done at everyone's convenience, from the confort of their own home.

Well, if you are considering real-time interactivity, you'll still have to deal with scheduling: "Awright, who's going to be ready to play Friday 8pm?"
A decentralized, off-line cluster of play-testers would eliminate that. That is part of the distributed model. You have many BGDF members, which translates to potentially many clusters. Of course, not every BGDF member has a play-test group, which is why this project is commendable.

Darkehorse wrote:

3) I think the model we proposed would make it much easier to maintain changes to the prototype. The designer could be the only one with access to the prototype file as well, making it more secure for them.

Keep in mind, I am not disputing the viability of this project. I think it is wonderful, actually. I wanted to propose an interim solution, since there seemed to be some concern about being able to bring this project online and maintaining it.
Darkehorse wrote:

There's nothing to say that we couldn't do what you proposed. As for not restricting it to just members of BGDF, I have to question why? If we set up a forum to do your proposed playtest system, we'd have to set up a seperate user database. Why not just use the existing BGDF user database? The last time I checked it was still free and relatively easy to sign up for.
-Darke

I just meant that the play-testing population available off-line could be used, while the BGDF members would be the "liaision" to the designers. I hadn't inended to imply that the non-members would comment directly on the forum. the setup I was referring to was to control the submissions from designers as well as the responses from the "liaison" members.
If you've been to eBay lately, you may have seen that they have tons of "tools" to help buyers find what they want. However, the sheer volume of information makes this a daunting task. Here at BGDF, I noticed how the Monthly Design challenge was set up. It looks managable. That's the kind of control I think is required for an undertaking of this magnitude.
Reviewing some of the earlier posts on this thread, without some kind of posting control, I can see where members will be tempted to cross the line from feedback into collaboration (or be misconstrued as having crossed that line).

Mitch

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jwarrend
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Re: Devil's Advocate

Challengers wrote:

Well, if you are considering real-time interactivity, you'll still have to deal with scheduling: "Awright, who's going to be ready to play Friday 8pm?"

Sure, but that's still way easier than "and by the way, we all have to be in Albany, NY at that time to be able to play."

Quote:

A decentralized, off-line cluster of play-testers would eliminate that. That is part of the distributed model. You have many BGDF members, which translates to potentially many clusters. Of course, not every BGDF member has a play-test group, which is why this project is commendable.

What you're proposing is a sort of play-test swap. I see that as something completely separate from the online project we're proposing. Such a thing could perhaps work. But speaking only for myself, there's no possible way I'd get involved. I have at most one opportunity per month to playtest, and that's a good month, and there's simply no way I'm going to squander that playtesting someone else's game instead of my own. That may sound selfish, but it's just reality.

But if there was a way to playtest virtually, then all of a sudden, my interest in trying out games of other members goes way up, because it doesn't take away from the limited amount of "face-to-face" playtesting time I have.

So while individual playtesting swaps may work, my guess is that on a
systematic basis, it won't really take off, because the few members of the site who are magnanomous enough to playtest others' games (and there are some) are already doing so, and those who aren't probably aren't looking to start.

-J

Challengers
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Devil's Advocate

jwarrend wrote:

What you're proposing is a sort of play-test swap. I see that as something completely separate from the online project we're proposing. Such a thing could perhaps work. But speaking only for myself, there's no possible way I'd get involved. I have at most one opportunity per month to playtest, and that's a good month, and there's simply no way I'm going to squander that playtesting someone else's game instead of my own. That may sound selfish, but it's just reality.

But if there was a way to playtest virtually, then all of a sudden, my interest in trying out games of other members goes way up, because it doesn't take away from the limited amount of "face-to-face" playtesting time I have.

So while individual playtesting swaps may work, my guess is that on a
systematic basis, it won't really take off, because the few members of the site who are magnanomous enough to playtest others' games (and there are some) are already doing so, and those who aren't probably aren't looking to start.

-J

Point taken. Let's end this and stay on track.

Mitch

sedjtroll
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Off topic reply

jwarrend wrote:
I have at most one opportunity per month to playtest, and that's a good month, and there's simply no way I'm going to squander that playtesting someone else's game instead of my own. That may sound selfish, but it's just reality.

This isn't really on topic for the thread, but the point of a 'playtest swap' would be that another group would be playing your game in a blind playtest while you play their game. So in theory your game would be getting the same playtest time as it would if you didn't swap.

Speaking as one of the people who have been happy and even eager to play some of the games on here (and having done so), I know exactly what you mean about spending time playing, say, Disciples rather than All For One. But I think the feedback from a 'swap' can be more valuable than the time you get to play your own game yourself.

Which brings us back to the topic at hand... an online tool to playtest games means more people can play without having to do the work involved in creating the prototype. It's a win-win situation... people who want to play, can, and designers get feedback. We did say one of the items to include is a log, right? So one can record and read back a game?

See? Not entirely off topic. Now I wish I had something more substantial to add to the project itself. Alas I am useless when it comes to programming. :(

- Seth

RookieDesign
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Devil's Advocate

jwarrend wrote:
It sounds like RookieDesign is making good progress. He will likely be hailed as the hero of BGDF if and when he can pull this off!

That's no pressure for me. Man. I have the chance to like game design an be a decent software developer for my living. I have access to some ressources hard to fin to other.

Passionate, maybe, Hero, Sure not.

Have a good day.

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