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iOS Board Games

Among the best things in life is playing printed games in person with family and close friends. When those are not convenient we like iOS Board Games. News, reviews, previews, and opinions about board gaming on iPhones, iPads, iPods and even Android devices. (iPhone board games, iPad board games, iPod board games, Android board games)

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Three Years of iOS Board Games!

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:39 am
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My New Job and a Move

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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Hello Dear Readers,

In the process of full disclosure, I wanted to update you on my new job.

Since helping found this blog on BGG, I have begun to shift my career from its origin to a focus on gaming. This has involved doing several freelance projects, additional writing gigs, and now it is taking a fulltime swing. BGG has really provided me with some great opportunities and I owe a lot to you the readers.

As of today I am starting as Marketing Director at Shenandoah studios. My work will involve doing PR work for them but I will also be focused on better serving existing users through community building activities. This is a great opportunity for me and a good first step into this industry.

My intention is to continue to work on the blog in my same capacity. Aldie has agreed to this. I love this blog and I love this effort. I also will not be reviewing any of the games from Shenandoah, but will pass those on to others on our staff. Otherwise our coverage of them will be the same as other companies.

With this, I am just now moving to Philadelphia and so you may see a few blips in coverage. I am excited to be a new area and I think all in all these changes in my life will actually give me more time to make the blog better.

Thank you for reading and I hope we can keep serving you the content you want.
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Mon Jun 3, 2013 9:47 pm
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Tell iOS Board Games Blog About An App Release or Major Update

Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
California
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Tell us about the current or future release of a board or card game app for a mobile device. If it is a board game app release or major update we will certainly mention it in our news and will possibly review it as well.

Click Here to Submit News About a New Release or Major Update
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Thu Jun 7, 2012 5:22 am
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Ventrilo And Virtual Game Nights

Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
California
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We are Seeking Testers For Our Voice Server and "Virtual Game Nights"
iOS Board Games wants to experiment with a Ventrilo server. The idea is that we would like to provide a place where interested people can go and use their headsets to engage in push-to-talk voice chat in a virtual "game room" and at size-limited semi-private "tables" while playing iOS board games online in realtime. The idea would cover both organized events as well as more loose usage 24/7.

After testing, we plan to gradually open this up more widely to you all. If you are a reader of this blog and are interested in voice chatting with other interested iOS board game players online you will get to try it out relatively soon. For now however, we're just looking for testers who can put up with a rough testing environment and give us feedback on how we set up and manage what users see when they connect to our Ventrilo server.

If you are interested in helping out with the testing, please GeekMail me.
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Sat May 5, 2012 8:45 pm
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iOSBG at Gen Con 2011!

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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Hello Everyone,

Due to a series of very fortunate and unexpected events I now find myself attending Gen Con this weekend. I will be at the convention Saturday and Sunday. I have over 10 interviews planned and hope to pick up many others along the way.

I am very excited as this will be my first con. Look at me smile!


I will be updating Twitter constantly this weekend, so go ahead and follow us @iosboardgames. I will be posting impressions and thoughts about the convention as they happen.

I want to meet you, our readers. I will be in the exhibition hall most of the day and in the open board game hall in the evening. You will be able to recognize me by the dazed grin (oh and I will probably be carrying an iPad with me). Feel free to email (iosboardgames@gmail.com) or geekmail if you would like to meet up. If you see me, please say hello.


This is a great opportunity to get some firsthand news on the future of iOS board gaming. Stay tuned to the blog and Twitter over the next few days to get the latest scoop.

Thank you,

Brad
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Thu Aug 4, 2011 7:54 pm
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What About Android?

Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
California
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So What About Android?
It is a question that comes up a lot when we talk about iOS board games. And not to make light of their differences, but it's a natural question given the number of Android devices out there and the similar mobile device capabilities and basic user experience--that of a touch screen mobile device capable of playing boardgame-style apps. For reasons that have certainly been discussed in many places, board game apps on the Android are still catching up to iOS but have much potential. We think this makes for the perfect time for us to begin covering Android board games. And to be honest, we're just darn curious about them!


Let's Cover It!
So as of today iOS Board Games Blog will begin covering Android and eventually other tablet/mobile device board game apps as well, in addition to our main regular iOS board game app coverage. Some of our reasons for expanding a little into this coverage include:

• because there is a demand (as evidenced by the cries for Android whenever an iOS board game app is announced or released).

• because we feel that what is essentially happening is that flat screen touch devices are becoming common and playing board game apps on them will become common as well. While this is a maturing activity on iOS, it is beginning to happen on other platforms, namely Android, as well.

• to simply cover iOS on the front page of a site dedicated to board games in general feels a bit parochial and we believe our placement somewhat obliges us to report a little more widely to benefit more than just those who choose iOS over Android.


We've Got Help
In our efforts to bring you news of Android board games, we've brought on some help in the name of Mark Webb who will be posting from time to time to keep us abreast of news related to Android board games. Mark is of course a fellow BGGer and an Android enthusiast who impressed us with his knowledge and understanding of Android and of course his willingness to share them with us and you.

Mark Webb
United States
Verona
Pennsylvania
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We'll let Mark introduce himself in his own words:

Mark Webb wrote:
Hi everyone, I am Mark Webb--wwwebb here on the Geek. In 1999 I bought a Palm 3 PDA. Since then, I have played board gaming programs on various mobile platforms, my most recent being iOS and Android devices. Gabe and Brad asked me to contribute news and information about Android board gaming apps. I thank them and BGG for giving this opportunity to share my passion for gadgets and games.


We look forward to hearing all about juicy Android board game stuff and expect Mark will be dropping in from time to time (and probably soon) to fill us in. Welcome Mark!


Related Blog Changes
You will probably have noticed that we have modified our categories. This is to better help our readers select what they would like to read from our blog. Additionally, it will be clear in our posts which mobile operating system we are covering. And for now the blog's title will probably remain.

Though they will be under the same blog, we do intend to keep iOS and Android blog posts clearly separated so that readers interested in only one or the other may easily ignore or click "mark read" in their subscriptions. We do hope, however, that a cross-pollination of interest can eventually grow on both sides because, after all, we are all united in board games!


iOS Board Games Wants You!
You will have no doubt noticed that we've lately featured some guest contributors. It's our intention to feature even more in the future. So if you feel that you have got something to contribute to the iOS Board Games blog (and please, no product promotion), we would love to hear from you! Send us a GeekMail!
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Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:30 am
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iOS Board Game Community: Player Matching Idea.

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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The Idea:

Through the establishment of the iOS Board Game Blog we have started to bring together a community of iOS Gamers. We are grateful for all of you and all that you contribute to this blog.

In order to more effectively and wholly use the online multiplayer tools provided us, we at iOS Board Games would like to use the community we have formed to create a system where fellow geeks can find players who are using the games they are using, add them as friends, and play online. The hope is to create a greater social experience around iOS board gaming, because of course board games are about social interaction. An online community of iOS board gamers would also allow for online tournaments and prize giveaways (yes, we may have prizes coming down the line).

The Problem as I See It:

Many of our favorite board game apps have excellent online multiplayer systems. Some use Open Feint, like Ra or Through the Desert, or Game Center, like Neuroshima Hex. Others have developed their own systems that work great, mainly Carcassonne and Samurai. All of these systems allow you to play with strangers or with friends. However, in many cases games you play with friends have more options. For example (correct me if I am wrong), in Carcassonne you can only play an asynchronous game with friends, all quick play games are 90 second turns. Also playing with friends allows you to track more stats in many games.

A greater online multiplayer base for these games will help the players and the developers. It will also encourage new developers to put an emphasis on online multiplayer in their apps. Currently there in most of these board game apps there is not system to find friends, there are no lobbies to meet in and in a sense there is a lack of community. In some cases, like Viking Lords, there are many stalwart fans of the game but the multiplayer lobby is almost empty. If I want to find friends to add to my online games where do I go? If I knew I could find friends online when I opened my app, it would encourage me to use the app more often.

StarCraft is a great example of a multiplayer system. In the latest version of Battle.net you can connect directly with Facebook to see which of your friends are playing the game and add them to your friend pool. You can chat with these people, party up, and play games together. Yes, I can and sometimes do play games with random people, but knowing I have friends I am familiar with online draws me to the game more often and I see it is a social gaming experience, rather than just a gaming experience.

To my knowledge there is no easy way to find BGG friends to add to your apps. There have been attempts to create forum posts for the particular games but there is no centralized location.

Many Ideas, No Solution:

We need your help. We have many ideas on how to do this but we have yet to stumble upon a great solution. I will share with you our current ideas and please give us any input you have in the comments below.

1. Individual Game Forums: We can make a post in each forum where fellow geeks can list their usernames. This gets the information out there, but does not centralize it or create a community feeling. This is not a good idea, but I just included it because this is more or less a brainstorm.

2. A Geeklist: Each item on the geeklist would be a separate game. Players would then comment on the items in the geeklists with their usernames. This would centralize all the information but could become hard to handle. Also geeklist owners do not have the options of deleting comments, therefore if someone posted something silly that wasn’t a username, it would be hard to clean up.

3. Separate Blog posts for each game: We could make a post for each game, then those interested could comment with their username. It then gives us the power to manage and delete comments if needed but does not make the data very centralized. It also may required some digging through blog posts to find the game you want.

4. A Guild: We could set up a BGG guild for iOS Board Games. There could be posts in the forum for each game, players would then list usernames on those posts. This could also be a great place to set up and run tournaments. Also because Guild runners must approve people who join, this provides a good gate keeping system.

5. A Spreadsheet (Google Doc or non-cloud excel based): This can be combined with one of these other methods, maybe the blog or guild. In my mind a google doc spread sheet is great way to organize the usernames for many people. You can list your name. BGG username and then there will be a column for each game. It would be nice if there were a way to tie this in with BGG.

6. iOS veiwable, maybe an app: Whatever the method it should be viewable and usable on iOS devices. Many of these methods would be through the safari browser. If there were an app that could be programmed it could be useful as well, though this would take more planning and development.


These are some of the ideas we chave come up with. There are many tools available to us on BGG and other sources. We want to hear your ideas. What would be the best way to implement a player matching tool into the community? What ideas have we overlooked?

Let us know in the comments below.
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Fri Apr 8, 2011 3:11 pm
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Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself...

Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
California
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Hello. My name is Gabe Alvaro (bgg username: blindspot) and I'm the other half of this blogging team. I'm a big fan of board games and Apple's iOS platform and devices, the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Brad approached me about doing this blog and since it's on a topic that I am wildly obsessed with, I was very excited by the idea! It's my hope that through our collective efforts we can regularly blog about all things related to the iOS versions of the board games we know and love.

Here's a little bit more about me. I've been on BGG since December 2005. I "discovered" it after an old friend introduced me to Settlers of Catan and told me about BGG. I then used it to begin acquiring a number of quality board games that were totally new to me at the time and to kick a nasty World of Warcraft MMORPG habit. I've never gone back to video games since...until the iPhone came out.

Like many who come to BGG, I soon began acquiring board games by the online-retailer-free-shipping-box-load. I soon sadly learned, however, that my closest friends were all too busy to get together and play board games. So in the middle of 2006 I started local public board game group out of a local FLGS. It became the Berkley Board Gamers. That effort eventually attracted many local gamers and all was well in my gaming world. The game group is still going strong and flourishing better than ever, even after I pretty much handed the reigns over to one of our great fellow organizers.

I got an iPhone in December 2007 and in June 2010 I picked up an iPad. My wife gave birth to our beautiful daughter in August 2010. While it was a tremendous and life-changing experience, our daughter's arrival in my life had the effect of severely curtailing my game group activities. Though I was somewhat disappointed, I have simply shifted my interest a bit from cardboard to iOS versions of board games. I am, however, still trying to make it out to the game group once in a while. That's my board game group in the picture to the left, toasting the birth of my daughter on a night when I was unable to attend. Awesome group!

Since picking up my iPad last year I have been discovering all of the benefits to tablet board gaming. I have a very large list of these benefits which I will perhaps share in a future blog post. It should suffice to say that I have been devoting lots of my energy toward finding and playing all kind of iOS board game apps. I have also been thinking quite a bit about that activity and how it will change not only my gaming habits, but the gaming habits of others.

And of course I did not need a blog to begin chronicling trends that I have seen in the iOS board game app entertainment space. So far I have done a few living GeekLists including a list of Multiplayer (human) iPad games, some classic games clone lists, a list of games with asynchronous multiplayer features, a list of games that would benefit from asynchronous multiplayer features, and a list of unofficial "clone" iOS implementations of popular board games. I am attempting and mostly succeeding at keeping them all up to date when new games are released.

I look forward to using this blog as a central place to write about those trends and many more topics related to iOS board games. I'm excited to work with Brad and together share our observations and read the observations of others who are enthusiastic about iOS board games. So without further ado, let's get blogging!
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Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:14 pm
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Coming soon!

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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Watch this space. Next update on 2/14...
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Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:46 am
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