Pandemic! FPV & The Botch

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Z-Man Games released a board game called ‘Pandemic’ in 2008 with the intention of 2-4 players in mind. This was followed in the first sitting of experiencing this completely new to me form of gaming. I’ve played the odd game of monopoly and solitaire but this game had real purpose and a sense of comradeship when playing as we were playing against the ‘outbreak’ within the game that seemingly increased in severity the further we progressed. “The game board depicts several major population centers on Earth. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. A deck of cards provides the players with these abilities, but sprinkled throughout this deck are Epidemic! cards that accelerate and intensify the diseases’ activity. A second, separate deck of cards controls the “normal” spread of the infections.” (



We followed a basic rules system that allowed 5 actions from a character pawn that could involve travelling from city to another, building a research center to curing a disease based on the cards available in our own hand and that of the deck. The mechanics of the game revolve around themes of an action point allowance system, co-operative play, hand management, point to point movement,  set collection, and variable player powers. These all influence the game and it’s up to the players to all know what their abilities are that could alter the effectiveness of anothers action.  Pandemic also has expansions such as “In the Lab, On the Brink, Promo Roles and  State of Emergency that would allow further developing the idea of co-operative containment of an outbreak. The relative online purchase price of the game is $40-$60 for the basic pack, there are expansion versions and extra features with more expensive types that would be up to the users discretion.

The second part of my game cultures introduction was observing the works of Richard Hall’s “The Botch”. A card based game that was an original work of his that he has released with his business from previous dealings within the subject. This game of deception and total bluff was an interesting account of what is possible within the concept of creating a game if you have a solid base idea and contacts re: graphics and materials. The game used wit and player special abilities to ultimately collect the most diamonds or be the last man standing. The Botch allowed players to pursue their own aspirations of wealth, or team up within the collective to fly under the radar. Which ever path the user decides to go down, it can change the course of the game, this also depended on what players identity were known and the types of players present out of the deck of cards present. A great showcase of what type of direction to head down if thinking about game development, in terms of age bracket, costs, marketing, availability and knowledge of what’s a popular board game to maintain interest.

Lastly, for a digital dossier i’d like to introduce formally an FPV inspired piece that breaks down the necessities and starting points for a racing league of my own. This will feature in the future however this opportunity is to express an interest in the way it is changing the RC racing culture and the exciting games/sports that are emerging as a result.



5 thoughts on “Pandemic! FPV & The Botch

    samnoakes responded:
    March 17, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Reblogged this on Digital Game Cultures.


    jessiccanaous said:
    March 21, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Pandemic and The Botch were probably two of my favourite experiences as of recently. In your blog post try and focus on what exactly was different about these games, and most importantly, why they are different. What the mainstream? How do these differ? Why are they differing, does it make them better? Did it make your experience better? Do you think you want to use these different type of game mechanics for your own digital artefact?
    Analyse a little deeper into why these games are new and different instead of simply realising that they are.
    For me the most crazy difference in Pandemic was the way the players had to co-operate. In almost every single game I play, specifically board games, the players are against each other for a win or lose scenario. This game forced us to verse the boar game itself, and actually work with our teammates. This made me think in ways I wouldn’t have, it made me consider the previous players moves and the next players moves. It made me want to pay more attention. I genuinely become an active involvement in curing these diseases. The fact that a game board can make me feel that into the game is extremely impressive and I think having that characteristic in a game is great.

    Liked by 1 person

    jakepascoe said:
    March 30, 2016 at 4:52 am

    I’ve always loved the game Pandemic! To be completely honest, I didn’t even realise there was a board game until Chris pointed it out after I was raving about the classic Pandemic pc game where you control the disease, rather than the scientists in the board game!
    I never got a chance to play Botch, but Richard did get the chance to explain the game to me, and the concept of the game sounded amazing.
    Both these games have pretty unique game mechanics, or have a unique spin about them, so they feel like a new game (which they are), and not a recycled corporate made game for the purpose of profit only.
    You’ve clearly done your researching regarding game mechanics!


    the_mcgill said:
    April 1, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Hi Sam,

    You’ve very carefully described what both “Pandemic” and “The Botch” are in this post, but I would’ve loved to have seen an evaluation on what you thought about them and an insight into your experience with each game! Let’s face it, we were both panicking when Jess kept increasing the threat of Diabetes in America and Pandemic was great at forcing you to play to each others strengths in order to succeed. But your perspective might have been entirely different to mine!

    I would argue, what you personally take out of a game is much more important than the game itself, as good games should leave a lasting impression, one of which I would’ve loved to see you explore.

    Having said that, your writing is extremely articulate and professional in this post, and gives the reader great insight into how each game is set up.

    Also, you’re proposal of pursuing an FPV racer is fascinating. I am very much interested to see how you adapt that into a game or proposal. Having recently come across this video which got me thinking about virtual reality racing (, the idea of you somehow incorporating Virtual Reality (i.e. checkpoints, collectables) for racers to complete while they race in real life, would be fascinating to see.

    Either way, a very informed post Sam! Good luck with your project!

    Liked by 1 person

    Pandemic! FPV – said:
    April 6, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    […] Source: Pandemic! FPV […]


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