I’ve completed a touch table version of the board game Notre Dame. In Notre Dame, players add influence to different sections of their city by playing action cards. Some sections give the player additional influence or money which can be used later while others are better for generating the prestige needed to win the game.
In Broom Service, the players compete to gather resources, move around the map and deliver potions. The interesting mechanic is that in each round, players select four of ten cards to play. When you play a card you can play it bravely, betting that other players haven’t selected that same card, and get a bonus. Or you can play it cowardly.
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.
Overall 2016 was a good year for us. We remain healthy and are enjoying making touch table games. We did less traveling than we did in 2015, but we made more games. We went to New York to visit my brother and his two kids. We also took a trip to San Carlos with our friend Doug. Between the two of us, we made 13 games for the touch table bringing our total to 62. I am still playing violin and got a new five string electric violin this year.
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.
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.
We attended PAX East with Mesa Mundi again this year. We had a lot of fun and got some good feedback about our games. It was great to see Toby, Rebecca, Matt and Laura again and nice to meet Liz and the guys from Lifeform Entertainment. It was also exhausting and stressful, but it is worth it to see people enjoying our games.
This year we stayed with the rest of the Mesa Mundi team in Norwood (about 25 miles out of town) and rode with them to and from the convention. We got to spend a lot more time with them this year and even met Toby and Rebecca’s kids. It felt more like we were members of the team.
See all the pictures of the Mesa Mundi booth.
After completing the AI for Pickomino I wanted to play against it and watch it in action. So I decided to create a version of the game for our touch table. I wont be trying to sell this game since I don’t have the rights from the creator of the board game. So it will just be for our own use.
The game came together pretty quickly. I spent a day or so learning Photoshop and creating graphics. Another couple of days building the game logic and integrating the C++ AI. Another day adding “simultaneous” mode. And a final day to add animations and work out bugs. Here is a screenshot of the final product.
On the advice of a friend, I am starting a blog. I am well aware of how late I am joining the blogging scene. And I have very low expectations of the level of interest that the rest of the world will have in most of the things that I am doing.
However, the multi-touch table we just got is still a fairly new technology, and there may be some interest in our experiences with the hardware itself and our attempt to convert board games to play on it.
I have started this blog by creating a bunch of back-dated entries. These entries come from things that I have written on my web site, Facebook, and Google+. There are also some new entries that I created just for this blog.
I expect most of the entries to be about my programming projects and the multitouch table. But I will also create entries for trips that we take and other things that interest me.
The title of this blog comes from the business cards that William and I created when we left Solidyn. Lacking a “title” to fill in, William became the Lounge-About and taking a cue from “The Office,” I chose Assistant to the Lounge-About.