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robertogreco : settlersofcatan   4

Finally on the same side — Board Games — Medium
"Board games don’t traditionally foster teamwork . From the cutthroat capitalism of Monopoly to the one-upmanship of Catan’s “longest road,” the tabletop is a battleground where friends become rivals and parents bankrupt their children. This has always felt a little off to me. We’re a social species… why do our games always pit us against each other?

It may be that we simply need something to challenge us, something as dynamic and unpredictable as a human being. Until recently, tabletop games had nothing like an AI opponent, and so you were forced to choose between a dull puzzle like Solitaire or a combative, winner-take-all game like Risk.

In the 1980s, a few cooperative games started to change this formula. In Scotland Yard, a hack was introduced that finally allowed players to work as a team: one person would play as the elusive “Mr. X”, an enemy with his own agenda and rules,while everyone else ganged up to destroy him.

It’s Mr. X (foreground) vs. every detective in London in Scotland Yard (1983)
The idea had promise, and led to other great “all against one” games of this era such as Fury of Dracula and Arkham Horror. These are all great fun, particularly if you have a friend who enjoys playing the asshole. But they still divide players; they aren’t fully cooperative.

This all changed in 2010 when Matt Leacock introduced a “virus” mechanic in his game Pandemic. The virus is your collective opponent: like an AI algorithm from a video game, it’s just a set of rules, but it’s simple enough that your teammates can run the program themselves."
boardgames  games  gaming  2014  patrickewing  cooperative  cooperativegames  collaboration  monopoly  pandemic  competition  settlersofcatan  risk 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Post by Robin Sloan: Thursday question 001: What's the future of offline role-playing games?
"had a fun Twitter back-and-forth…about Dungeons & Dragons…made me think about a few things:

* Board games like HeroQuest, which offered a sort of stripped-down D&D experience, played across a reconfigurable plastic-and-cardboard labyrinth.

* The fact that my friend +Robert Lavolette seems to enjoy the sourcebooks (detailing various monsters, locales, & lost civilizations) more than the games themselves.

* +Matt Penniman's love of new-school indie RPGs, many of which sport radically reduced rule sets—you can play some w/ just index cards.

So: What's the future of offline role-playing games?

Is the rise of a game like Settlers of Catan a sign that the mainstream is ready for nerdier fare? If there was going to be a breakout RPG (one played in person, around a table) what would it be? Do you have a dream RPG?

I'm interested to hear from folks who haven't played RPGs—who know them by reputation, or who have always been curious…"
robinsloan  games  rpg  arg  gaming  offline  play  cyoa  2011  settlersofcatan  larp  books  werewolf  mafia  interactive  fiction  if  interactivefiction 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Monopoly Killer: Perfect German Board Game Redefines Genre
"Settlers is now poised to become the biggest hit in the US since Risk. Along the way, it's teaching Americans that board games don't have to be either predictable fluff aimed at kids or competitive, hyperintellectual pastimes for eggheads. Through the complex, artful dance of algorithms and probabilities lurking at its core, Settlers manages to be effortlessly fun, intuitively enjoyable, and still intellectually rewarding, a potent combination that's changing the American idea of what a board game can be."
boardgames  settlersofcatan  society  games  play 
march 2009 by robertogreco

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