I’ve completed a touch-table version of the board game Village.
Village has an interesting mechanic where you manage the life and death of your workers. All your workers start as farmers and can be trained as specialists. Actions take “time” to perform, and when enough “time” has passed, a worker dies. A limited number of each type of worker is rewarded with fame and victory points upon death while the rest get an anonymous grave. The key is making the best use of your workers and their time while trying to arrange a good death.
I’ve completed the touch-table version of Age of Discovery and this article compares this project to my previous project which was Medici.
For both being touch-table conversions of board games, they were very different projects. Medici was small and took less time than I expected it to. Age of Discovery was a large project, and it ended up being even longer than expected.
Medici was an interesting project because of how simple it was. It is my first conversion project that has taken significantly less time than I thought it would and is also the quickest that I’ve been able to make a new game.
I’ve completed a touch-table version of Castles of Burgundy. In the board game, players build up their estate with tiles drawn from a common area. Each turn, players roll two dice and use the results to pick tiles, place tiles or sell goods. Placed tiles give the player victory points, extra actions, or advantages in later turns. Each player manipulates their own estate and only interacts with the other players through competition for the tiles in the center.
We were interviewed by Distract-O-Vision at Conclave of Gamers this year. We talked about the games that we’ve been making and the basic ideas behind the touch table. They put together a great video that shows off the touch table and games.
I’ve completed a touch-table version of Concordia. We saw the game at Essen last year. They were promoting the Salsa expansion, but we weren’t familiar with the base game. The game has relatively simple rules but it takes many steps to achieve your goals.
The game was a good candidate for the touch table because is no hidden information, there is a decent amount of setup time and piece twiddling, and I felt like the game could be improved with a real-time scoreboard.
A couple of months ago I started a project to convert some card games for play on the touch table. I started this project because I wanted to convert the card game “Linko”, but I’d also been planning to convert “Turn the Tide”.
I’d done one card game (Wizard) in the Torque engine and I used the web interface to keep player’s card’s on their device. I wanted this implementation to be more generic and support multiple card games.
I planned to use Unity’s built in networking and have the server run on the touch table with an Android application that players would download to their phone to show their hand of cards.
I’ve been playing “Shop Heroes” for about a month. It’s a bit embarrassing because it isn’t a serious computer game. In fact it’s a casual browser/mobile game and it even has micro-transactions where you can pay money to speed up progress in the game. It’s the reality TV or soap opera of the computer game world. But it has managed to distill the addictive elements of casual and role playing games into a very appealing form.
Late last year I finished a real-time game for the touch table that I called “Muck”. It is an economic game for two to six players that plays in a half hour. The game is modeled off the board game Brass. I’ve considered converting Brass directly, but it only plays four people, it has hidden information and we really aren’t playing it much anymore.
I’ve finished converting Caverna for the touch table and PC. This was the second game that I’ve made using the Unity engine. It is also my first Unity game that used touch for input and it is probably the largest game that I’ve ever converted. Space was very tight and I spent a lot of time laying out the graphics:
Caverna is a game for one to seven players by Uwe Rosenberg. It is a worker placement game where you manage the farm and cave dwelling for a family of dwarfs. The game is similar to Agricola where the occupations and improvements are replaced with rooms which are available to everyone and there is a new expedition mechanic.
The game is a lot of fun to play, but it takes 30-45 minutes per player and there are lots of pieces to move around. My goal for this conversion was to speed up the play time as much as possible. I’m also hoping that the single player is as much fun as the single player version of Le Havre.