Board Games

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.” (BoardGameGeek.com)

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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.

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