rwould
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Re: Review: Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Thu May 26, 2016 1:01 pm

Mirefox, I think comparing playing games online to playing as a social experience face to face is a poor comparison anyway as the two experiences are completely different. I have no problem with people who wish to play online, or with those who find it suits what they want from a social experience. But the two things are very far apart even for the same game. But it is a completely different experience. For me I find online playing is far too 'cold' and not sociable compared to the real experience.

And yes, turns out X-Com does have multiplayer! Just got strange looks as I turned it on in the office to check not realising the volume was up on the Ipad....

Rinelk it was more to do with the way I read your review it would appear that the whole reason it gets 4 stars is because of no online play. I constantly see here and on BGG the same voices complaining about multi player but then see not many people available to play a lot of games multiplayer, especially after the initial rush is over. In particular for our medium most games have a better interface on a PC than on an Ipad or smaller device. This is certainly own personal bias but the phone and Ipad have replaced the Game Gears and GameBoys of yesteryear as a portable gaming device.

Mirefox
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Re: Review: Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Thu May 26, 2016 1:35 pm

@rwould

I didn't mean to suggest that online play is the most social of activities, but it sure as heck beats board gaming all by myself. If I had the opportunity, I would always invite my friends over to gather around the table for a game. But life happens and getting all of my friends together is not always that easy. Online board games become increasingly valuable because of this.

On top of that, these games are designed, for the most part, to actually be played with people; that is he experience developed and marketed for. I just feel that stripping that out is a shame and I have seen iOS board games suffer and flounder for it.

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rinelk
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Re: Review: Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Thu May 26, 2016 6:18 pm

Rinelk it was more to do with the way I read your review it would appear that the whole reason it gets 4 stars is because of no online play. I constantly see here and on BGG the same voices complaining about multi player but then see not many people available to play a lot of games multiplayer, especially after the initial rush is over.
So your view is that even the people who claim to value multiplayer don't back that up with their behavior, right? That makes sense to me, and it's pretty much what I've heard from several devs, but here are two reasons to suspect that people available to play online may not be the ideal gauge. First, I suspect what a lot of people who want online multiplayer want to do is play with friends--these people aren't going to show up as seeking a game. Indeed, I imagine that those who've played against random opponents sometimes friend those opponents who suit them and then play against them preferentially or exclusively, so even if the number of online games were constant, you'd expect the number of available online players to decrease over time. Second, it might be the case that people play online rarely but value that experience highly.

Both of these are true of me. I very rarely play online against random people except when I want to check the robustness of online capabilities for a review. However, there are some folks I met on BGG and some old friends who've moved away whom I'd quite like to play a game with (indeed, one of them recently posted in a private Facebook group for BGG RSP participants that she was downloading this very game, and looking forward to playing online with the rest of us. She was crestfallen to learn there was no online play). I'd happily pay the asking price of most apps for even a single game with members of my various game groups over the years--that would be about the best I could hope for out of a digital boardgame experience (though I agree that it would be much less sociable than in-person play). I've also played in some tournaments here at Pocket Tactics, and for a long time after them would occasionally start games with the people I friended for the purpose. I still play Ascension every day, very rarely online, but it wouldn't have become my go-to five-minute game if it weren't for the online games I played in the past. Titan is an even more extreme example--I only played that online ten times or so, but they were so fun I haven't deleted off my iPad even though I haven't played in over a year. Heck, at this point I don't even remember how to play, I just like seeing the icon and activating my positive associations with it.

All of that said, I still think there's a lot of truth to the claim that many of the people who claim to really want online play are inaccurate predictors of their own behavior. I remember seeing a tweet a bit ago about people who vocally supported a boycott of some major game, juxtaposed with evidence from Steam that they not only bought that game, but played a ton of it. So it's absolutely true that skepticism of claims that multiplayer is necessary is justified. I just think that some of the evidence used to justify that skepticism reflects the values of the person making the argument more than they notice (as is true of science generally; this is not the sort of criticism which justifies dismissing science whenever it's uncomfortable).

currymutton2016
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Re: Review: Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Fri May 27, 2016 12:50 am

If the developer does a great job in implementing the port by putting multiplayer to a lower (okay, very low) priority, it is okay in my book. For the records, I play multiplayer games with Ascension, Ticket to Ride Europe, Lost Cities, etc on daily basis. My $.02

anto
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Fri May 27, 2016 7:14 am

Playboy Mansion-style grotto.
To be more precise it was inspired by the legend of Tannhauser as transposed into music by the great composer R. Wagner. The whole castle was actually built as a homage to the composer. Wikipedia has a very nice page about the castle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle

Back to original topic, good review, I agree on the fact that I'd rather have a game without multiplayer than no game at all. As it is, it works perfectly on my Android devices.

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rinelk
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Re:

Fri May 27, 2016 11:36 am

Playboy Mansion-style grotto.
To be more precise it was inspired by the legend of Tannhauser as transposed into music by the great composer R. Wagner. The whole castle was actually built as a homage to the composer.
This is all the commentary I'm ever going to need about my cultural competence. :)

Strangiato
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Re: Review: Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Fri May 27, 2016 7:41 pm

We've found that multiplayer is important to drive community engagement.

Given all of the noise on the AppStore, sales of these types of games are driven almost entirely by word of mouth, and a single player only experience doesn't have the same impetus to get people to ask their friends to come play against them. Even if the majority of players are offline only, it's the online connected players that create the most chatter about a game, and sustain that presence for a long period after the game is released.

Of course, we've also found that single player (either with solitaire rules or an AI opponent) is critical to give players the ability to learn the game at their own pace.

Adding multiplayer after the fact is very difficult to do if you haven't planned out your architecture in your initial implementation of the game. It is usually more work to retrofit it than it is to just incorporate it in the first pass. All of our games have started with an online implementation using a fairly simple interface and we usually don't add in the AI opponent until much further along in the development process.

    

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