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Multimodal, Multitouch Gaming Gaining Traction

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the play-multiplayer-super-off-road-on-the-gps-screen-of-your-cars dept.

Cellphones 94

andylim writes "Several universities and commercial entities are developing multimodal, multitouch games, such as a card game using iPhones for individual hands and an iPad for public information, and an iPad Scrabble game that lets you use your iPhone to see your letter tiles. Of course, it's an extremely expensive setup right now, but over time it will become cheaper. It's also pretty cool, so why wouldn't you want to play board/card/strategy games like this?"

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wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757148)

This looks pretty cool. I'm actually impressed.

Re:wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757320)

This looks pretty cool. I'm actually impressed.

that's exactly what yo mama said when she saw this nigger dick

Re:wow (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31764228)

Hmmm... people slapping down touch screens for Magic?

Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (0, Offtopic)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757166)

I would not be interested since vendor lockin is not my bag. If you like that sort of thing go for it.

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757208)

Because you can't do this with android ?

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (3, Interesting)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757288)

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757666)

I hope the warranty hasn't expired on your sarcasm detector...

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757930)

Pro-tip: ? means they're asking a question, not making a statement.

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758992)

Advanced-pro-tip: Rhetorical questions are for making statements. He was pointing out there's no reason why this sort of game has to be limited to the iPhone.

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (2, Interesting)

Madrayken (1784838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758962)

Until Google does something wacky with Java allowing it to run at a reasonable clip (better support for float ops, better garbage collection), or makes using native code seamless (a long way from the horrific situation at the moment) developers like myself will be sticking to iDevices, if only to avoid pulling out our remaining hair.

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757218)

I would not be interested since vendor lockin is not my bag. If you like that sort of thing go for it.

There is nothing to stop an iPhone/iPad/iTouch app from communicating via BlueTooth with a device manufactured by an entity other than Apple. If the developers want to support multi-player gaming of this sort on a variety of platforms, then it's up to them to develop a new client app for each supported device (or operating system).

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (2, Insightful)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757584)

I've got $5 that says such a game would never make it past Apple's approval process.

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759000)

But games like scrabble have already made it past their approval process. They just need to make apps for other platforms that work with it.

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757340)

Wow weird world were obvious trolls contributing nothing ar ebeing modded insightful.

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757382)

Just because he is criticizing pathetic Apple fanboish, he is a troll? Weird is your pathetic fanatic pseudo-religious cult of expensive closed source devices.
Apple owners should be banished of all open source supporting websites.

Re:Because I have no interest in owning iDevices (1)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757594)

You must be new here...

RPGs/interaction games (4, Insightful)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757194)

You run the risk of ruining pen and paper games by increasing the speed in which encounters get dealt with. GMs need time to BS and slow mechanics enable that. I'm sure there are other games where being efficient will detract from the social aspects of the situation. Slot machines are probably one of the best examples of such.

Re:RPGs/interaction games (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757278)

Alternatively, you can do it online, and casually multitask (chat with other people, check up on Facebook, and stuff like that). It's highly effective.

Re:RPGs/interaction games (2, Insightful)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757764)

How about we give it a nice grahpical interface where I can see my character fighting alongside my friends? Ooh, and then give the monsters a little AI so that the GM has less work to do still?

It would be pretty.... Well, all I can say is:

WoW!

Re:RPGs/interaction games (2, Funny)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757984)

Pulling a Leroy Jenkins on your friends is simply not the same as having them attacked by rabid ninja gerbils. For one thing, they still have hope. [penny-arcade.com]

Re:RPGs/interaction games (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 4 years ago | (#31769314)

If your gaming sessions can be navigated by simply applying various powers over and over again to stacks of faceless monsters, you probably should just play video games...

For replacing actual pen and paper games I think I'd like a virtual whiteboard. Anything more than that and the players want to assume the art is reality, and not ask what their characters can see. As if they expect I'll start drawing in secret doors, just in a different style, or something. Their natural inquisitiveness is hurt by having too many canned props.

Re:RPGs/interaction games (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757958)

True, but there's a point where you have to say the new thing is too different than what was old to be considered the same.

Re:RPGs/interaction games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31758272)

Slot machines suffer in this respect because the whole point is they're empty, non-interactive experiences anyway. The flashing lights and turning gizmos are there to lull you into spending more of your money. Slow RPG mechanics enable nobody to do anything better, they might be able to hide a GM's ineptitude for a while but otherwise have no redeeming qualities.

Re:RPGs/interaction games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759550)

I think you should take a look at Sleep Is Death [sleepisdeath.net] , which gives the story teller 30 seconds to revise his work if the player does something unexpected

"Multi" touch? (2, Interesting)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757206)

The only multitouch demonstration on any of the videos was rotating the playing cards (to little effect anyway).

Why is "multitouch" specifically such a buzzword, and not just "touch" on its own? Multitouch has so far had weird implications on what sort of appendage/stylus you can use on the surface, whereas single touch does not. Plus, you can effectively do pinch/zoom on a typically single-touch panel, just not rotations.

Re:"Multi" touch? (3, Informative)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759054)

The only multitouch demonstration on any of the videos was rotating the playing cards (to little effect anyway).

Why is "multitouch" specifically such a buzzword, and not just "touch" on its own? Multitouch has so far had weird implications on what sort of appendage/stylus you can use on the surface, whereas single touch does not. Plus, you can effectively do pinch/zoom on a typically single-touch panel, just not rotations.

simply, multitouch refers to a type of screen (capacitive in this case) that can track more than one point of contact simultaneously.

the other type of popular touchscreen is resistive, this is what is used on my htc touch pro2.

if you put three fingers on the surface of the screen, one after another (like how you'd press ctrl-alt-del), it would look like the following:

capacitive: _ _ _
resistive: _

on the resistive screen, whichever spot you touched first is "it".

Re:"Multi" touch? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31761156)

there are resisitive screens coming that allow multi-touch.

Re:"Multi" touch? (1)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 4 years ago | (#31814460)

i know next-to-nothing about the underlying tech, so i can't comment on how it works or what the advantages would be at that point. but i was aware of there being non-capacitive multitouch in the works, at least, which is why i was careful to say "in this case" in my gp post :)

Re:"Multi" touch? (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 4 years ago | (#31763070)

Yes, I understand all that. It's also the exact same thing I'm saying is completely unutilized here and many times in general, yet still carries the downsides of the material used to touch the display.

Plus, with a resistive screen, if you did the ctrl-alt-del experiment, first it would see a small point centered around ctrl, then a large point centered between ctrl and alt, then a larger point centered around all 3. This is how pinch/zoom is possible on simple stylus-capable touch interfaces.

Re:"Multi" touch? (2, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759926)

I fear the answer is basically because it's the one thing that Apple did first, therefore it's touted as important.

I do agree with you. Touch works fine on my 5800, and lacking multitouch has never been a problem (indeed, I find it easier - one mouse button is simpler, remember?), and a resistive touchscreen has some minor benefits to make up for this minor loss. A well designed UI doesn't need multitouch, it can simply use better paradigms instead.

There are plenty of other touchscreen tablets and phones out there, that would also make perfect boardgame platforms, but we're not going to hear about them here. Expect to see a lot more of these "Doing X on the Ipad" stories, just as we did with the Iphone.

Solitaire (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31761958)

The dirty secret of the computer industry and gaming in the 1990's -- by sheer person-hours Solitaire was actually the best game ever! (With Tetris a close second.) It was also the real "Killer App" for Windows.

Re:"Multi" touch? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31764328)

So... you'd need 10 iPhones to do a Celtic Cross Tarot layout?

And the politics get started again (4, Informative)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757224)

In the interest of truth, how about the commenters in this thread start by telling us if they own or have used at length an iPhone, Ipod Touch, or an iPad. I think that if we pay more attention to the people who have something that they know to add we might discover something useful here.

I mean, sheesh - if you want to see people holding forth on things they know nothing about you can always tune in the Fox channel. We're better than that here, aren't we? This "I heard it was bad so it must be" nonsense isn't doing anyone any good. It's a product, not a philosophical statement - so get down off of those high horses and let's discuss this like men and women.

Re:And the politics get started again (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757400)

In the interest of truth, how about the commenters in this thread start by telling us if they own or have used at length an iPhone, Ipod Touch, or an iPad. I think that if we pay more attention to the people who have something that they know to add we might discover something useful here.

That would exclude the people who don't own those and believe they have good reasons for this. Truth is not served by discounting them. Even if you could never agree with them, consider them an important contrast.

I mean, sheesh - if you want to see people holding forth on things they know nothing about you can always tune in the Fox channel. We're better than that here, aren't we? This "I heard it was bad so it must be" nonsense isn't doing anyone any good. It's a product, not a philosophical statement

It's possible to know something about an object that you've still chosen not to purchase. In fact I'd recommend knowing something about it before you decide whether or not to purchase it. There actually are philosophical aspects to this. Your own might motivate you to dismiss the opinions of anyone who hasn't patronized Apple. They could also motivate you to understand an alternative viewpoint and why a given person holds it. Either way you are reflecting a philosophy, worldview, set of priorities, values, whatever you wish to call it. Is it therefore an offense when others do the same?

so get down off of those high horses and let's discuss this like men and women.

That's a related but different subject, easily conflated with your first. This one is about the style with which something is expressed, not the nature of what is being conveyed. It's really about how the tone that is used can affect the quality of discourse but not the subject.

Re:And the politics get started again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757660)

The biggest problem with these devices is that they cost way too much. I don't need to own one to know that.

Re:And the politics get started again (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757982)

Add in the cost of each game for each device and things start to get expensive. If the electronic version costs much less per copy, it's not a problem. It'll be just like the ebook market.

Re:And the politics get started again (1, Troll)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758138)

Fair question.

I just spent the past 2 hours playing with a new iPad.

I think the gaming potential is going to be phenomenal.

Stratergy, a pretty good Risk-type game with random hex boards was ported over day one from the iphone, and it looks great.

There's now an online option, but I see sitting at a table with the iPad between players as the way games like this will be played.

(Wipe the cheesy-poofs from your fingers, rob.)

In cases where you need to keep something secret in the game, yes, individual devices or iphones to hold your cards is OK, but that's going to happen after the wave of "sharable" games. Checkers, chess, D&D, Monopoly, Risk. That stuff will happen right away.

Re:And the politics get started again (2, Interesting)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759454)

I think the gaming potential is going to be phenomenal.

Except for the price.

Re:And the politics get started again (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759962)

In the interest of truth, how about the commenters in this thread start by telling us if they own or have used at length an iPhone, Ipod Touch, or an iPad.

And let's also hear how many of those people have also used every other phone, mp3 player, tablet, e-reader and netbook on the market.

You make a fair point, but why is the "But you haven't used this product" only directed towards critics? It works both ways. And given the free advertising given towards the Iphone and Ipad, and the way that such devices are often presented as the default, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of people who have an Iphone/pad/pod without having owned alternatives, is far higher than vice-versa. Indeed, many owners don't even seem to be aware that alternatives exist. "Nokia? Who are they? No one was allowing Internet access on phones or making tablets before Apple did it, were they..." Few people have used every product on the market, so the best we can do it comment on the advantages of products we have used.

Re:And the politics get started again (1)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31767418)

Since we were discussing the iPad, experience with the multi-touch interface is relevant. What we're seeing far too much of is people trashing a product that they don't know anything about. And it'd make it more real to have people who know the product trashing it, right?

What is really troublesome to me (and many others) is that some of these wank-fests are being started by shills from competing corporations. So somebody posting from an IP address assigned to HP said that the iPad has an overheating problem - and another from Microsoft says the Wi-Fi doesn't work right. There's undoubtedly more of them out there and they're using Slashdot and other forums to do a little ratfu(king. Convince people to "wait and see" and maybe X corp will get their competing product out the door and it'll score a sale instead.

What the iPad is - it's the multi-touch interface on a bigger screen. The OS and apps are designed to work by touch - it's hard to describe the experience but it's pretty slick. It's a little frustrating, too and after I've had some more time with the iPad I'll discuss it honestly. I wish others could do the same...

Why stop there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757234)

Design something that requires eight iPads and thirteen iPhones to be playable.

Are they really getting traction? (2, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757250)

All this article seems to claim is that some people are making them. And most of the ones the article mentions aren't even out yet. It remains to be seen if they'll "get traction".

The overall trajectory of hyper-realistic computer versions of traditional games reminds me of an old SNL parody of virtual reality: you put on a headset, and engage in an immersive story world, consisting of a 3d-rendered room exactly like the one you're sitting in. You pick up a 3d-rendered book from the 3d-rendered table beside you, and can read it, turning the pages in beautiful virtual reality. Unfortunately only about 5 words fit per page, due to technical limitations.

Why not just play the actual games (2, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757314)

Why not just play the real games, rather than an electronic version of the game?

Re:Why not just play the actual games (3, Interesting)

yotto (590067) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757724)

Pick one:

* You're not in the same room as the person or people you're playing with (for the network games)
* You don't have room for 100 (board) games, but one iPad with 100 games is small.
* The game is difficult to score (or easy to score incorrectly) but otherwise fun (example: Carcassonne)
* You don't have time to complete the game so would like to easily save it to continue another time.
* You own a pet, or have children and are afraid of them disturbing the pieces.

I'm sure you can think of more.

Re:Why not just play the actual games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757830)

* You need an excuse to drop over $1400 on an iPad and 4 iPod touches, and "Think of the children" + these games will work on the wife.

Re:Why not just play the actual games (2, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759030)

Also: The game takes an hour and a half to set up, like Axis & Allies.

Re:Why not just play the actual games (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31768728)

So I'll pick up an iPad when Axis & Allies comes out for it (ie never).

Re:Why not just play the actual games (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759094)

* You're not in the same room as the person or people you're playing with (for the network games)

This. I've drooling at a chess board a guy made for his thesis, which can detect the pieces' positions and provide visual feedback (leds) to show the opponent's moves. It only provides an AI opponent, but connecting it to my computer or phone and developing a internet chess gateway would be peanuts.

I thought about building it, but the cost of all the LEDs, magnetic sensors, magnets, electronic board, etc. would easily surpass 150, just for chess, while a multitouch tablet (not necessarily the iPad) can provide any number of games (plus many more uses, of course).

Re:Why not just play the actual games (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758506)

Why not just play the real games, rather than an electronic version of the game?

Because packing (e.g.) fifteen board games for you car trip is inefficient.
Fifteen games in 15 cu. ft., or fifteen games in <0.25 cu. ft.? HMMM.
(Also, convenience. Say you're with friends, and want to play a game. You probably didn't bring Scrabble, but you brought your iPhone/iPad/both. Which can you whip out?)

Re:Why not just play the actual games (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758734)

What friends?? I don't have friends you insensitive clod. Knight to E6, your move..

Re:Why not just play the actual games (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31760198)

Oh really? I can pack more than 15 in my pocket. It's called a deck of cards and it needs no energy; which everyone seems to be worried about but yet they keep plugging things in.

Re:Why not just play the actual games (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 4 years ago | (#31767666)

True, but you'll eventually get tired of card games. You can't play Scrabble, Monopoly, etc. with a deck of cards.

It needs a catchier name. (5, Funny)

s-gen (890660) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757370)

"multimodal multitouch gaming"???? Sod that. How about... "Two pods, one pad".

Re:It needs a catchier name. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757528)

"multimodal multitouch gaming"????

Sod that. How about...

"Two pods, one pad".

Catchy. I like mine better though: WPG

Stands for Whole Paycheck Gaming.

Re:It needs a catchier name. (1)

dorre (1731288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758660)

We can make a verb! Podspadding! No, to wait for it to catch on.

Why wouldn't I want to play board games like this? (1, Troll)

sahonen (680948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757454)

Uhh, because I don't need to charge a board game? And so that if my board game runs out of batteries I still have a usable phone? And because a physical board game can be larger than an iPad so everyone doesn't have to crowd around it? There are countless reasons.

Re:Why wouldn't I want to play board games like th (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759118)

Where is the law that says we can't have both? If I buy something like this, I won't throw away my board games, but it can be a nice complement for certain occasions when I don't have them handy or in games through the interwebs.

Re:Why wouldn't I want to play board games like th (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759796)

Yes, but your complement costs 20 times as much, for just one pad. It's a great idea, but the economics aren't flattering, even if the price drops to $200. Unless the iPad(s) or similar become ubiquitous, but I don't see that happening.

Re:Why wouldn't I want to play board games like th (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31761972)

Just like I don't have to throw away my physical boards, I don't have to keep a tablet just for gaming. This is just one more advantage.

Re:Why wouldn't I want to play board games like th (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759986)

And because a physical board game can be larger than an iPad so everyone doesn't have to crowd around it?

Coming soon ... the iBoard. Offering a massive one metre square multimodalmagictouch screen, at only twice the price of the iPad. It's bigger, so everyone will want one. It'll be even more popular than an iPad!

Re:Why wouldn't I want to play board games like th (1)

Jer (18391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31760024)

Microsoft has prior art [microsoft.com] on the big ass table computing [youtube.com] concept.

Randomness (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757458)

Maybe it's because computers with 32-bit random number generators (pseudo or otherwise) can only generate 2^32 different permutations, which is a tiny fraction of the possible permutations of a deck of cards or a set of Scrabble tiles.

Re:Randomness (2, Insightful)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757536)

If only there were some way of combining two or more 32-bit numbers together to form a 64-bit or greater number. This is a solved problem.

Re:Randomness (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758038)

Well, it's true that I haven't taken the time to sit down and figure out whether or not that works. But if it does, perhaps you could correct the Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] page? Or am I misreading something.

For example, the built-in pseudorandom number generator provided by many programming languages and/or libraries may often have only 32 bits of internal state, which means it can only produce 2^32 different sequences of numbers. If such a generator is used to shuffle a deck of 52 playing cards, it can only ever produce a very small fraction of the 52! ~= 2^225.6 possible permutations. It's impossible for a generator with less than 226 bits of internal state to produce all the possible permutations of a 52-card deck. It has been suggested that confidence that the shuffle is unbiased can only be attained with a generator with more than about 250 bits of state.

Re:Randomness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31758558)

The Wikipedia page is correct, but nobody is forcing you to use the standard libraries, they are known to have bad randomness, try Mersenne Twister [wikipedia.org] instead.

Re:Randomness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31758922)

Argument: broken generators can be worked around. (but this means that you're dealing with a new generator with different properties)
Wikipedia: broken generators exist. (and here's a theoretical proof of what a certain class of generators can and cannot do)

There's no contradiction and nothing to correct. Move along.

It seems that you're discussing about programming things with programmers while not being one yourself. Nothing wrong with that, but be careful out there. ;)

Re:Randomness (1)

jibster (223164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759204)

This only applies to the Fisher-Yates method for fast shuffling cards. In this method a number is selected at random and that number corresponds to a random looking (but deterministic and repeatable) sequence of cards. Its fast but its far from perfect - just use a slower method (I'm sure on mondern hardware you would never notice anyway) and you will get back the full state space of the deck. Even still you would have to play a lot of hands before you notice. Note: I'm sure Fisher-Yates is not used on the Poker sites. If it were the sites would be open to statistical methods for mining money out of them.

Re:Randomness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31773470)

It's impossible for a generator with less than 226 bits of internal state to produce all the possible permutations of a 52-card deck.

Bullshit. I can do that with mere 224 bits and a trit.

Re:Randomness (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758046)

Whoops, meant to quote this one:

Also, of course, no pseudorandom number generator can produce more distinct sequences, starting from the point of initialization, than there are distinct seed values it may be initialized with. Thus, a generator that has 1024 bits of internal state but which is initialized with a 32-bit seed can still only produce 2^32 different permutations right after initialization. It can produce more permutations if one exercises the generator a great many times before starting to use it for generating permutations, but this is a very inefficient way of increasing randomness: supposing one can arrange to use the generator a random number of up to a billion, say 2^30 for simplicity, times between initialization and generating permutations, then the number of possible permutations is still only 2^62.

Re:Randomness (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758570)

That's only a problem when you use time() as you seed, you should simply use /dev/random instead.

Re:Randomness (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759048)

Yeah, something like a modern phone with all its accelerometers, magnetometers, and touch inputs has absolutely no shortage of real random data to work with.

Re:Randomness (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758150)

I, for one, would like to see your Scrabble game with 2^32 tiles.

Re:Randomness (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758180)

Well let's see... There are 100 tiles in a Scrabble game, which means there are 100!, or about 2^524 different permutations. Which is, of course, 2^492 times greater than 2^32.

The duplicated tiles will take that down quite a bit, but nowhere approaching a number as low as 2^32.

Re:Randomness (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759944)

Sit down with your favorite language and write this one out.

It is actually much easier than you are making it.

Each player gets 7 tiles.

Re:Randomness (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#31761238)

That's why it's a better idea to generate 52 32-bit integers, assign them to each card in the deck, then sort according to the generated numbers. It's probably clear why this is an adequate method, even for quite large card decks. I'm sure something similar works for Scrabble.

Little Nerdy, but hey THIS IS SLASHDOT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757484)

Despite the fact its a little Apple heavy at the moment; I don't see how this could be done with an eventual android tablet or OSS "Surface like" environment, with peoples platform of choice (phone/netbook/media device that has the ability to run programs). Yes its a little expensive to set it up but it can be kind of an interesting idea for gaming. Yes some of these games are easier to just do with the real objects, but I never discount someone trying to make it just to see if they can do it. This IS Slashdot right, I mean here people try to get DOOM to run on ancient ATM hardware.

Re:Little Nerdy, but hey THIS IS SLASHDOT. (2, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757806)

This IS Slashdot right, I mean here people try to get DOOM to run on ancient ATM hardware.

Why would you run Doom on an old Sonet card?

Your games are bad and you should feel bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31757678)

"Multimodal, Multitouch Gaming Gaining Traction, Unfortunately"

Re:Your games are bad and you should feel bad (1)

Traze (1167415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757956)

While I think the idea is good, I agree. Why would I want to pay for one providers games list, when I will just be changing hardware in 2 years, and per the usual, it will probably be locked to one device forcing me to repay the premium to play the same games I already "own".

Clever idea; requires clever design (1)

FatButNimble (1784718) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758468)

It would seem like this form of geeky board gaming would be of great benefit to games that require a large number of identical pieces of several kinds, or games that require the player to remember math frequently. Settlers of Catan has a couple apps out for the iPhone that attempt to aid board game players.

One of the keys to these kinds of apps in the majority of board games (read: social board games; games that are determinable only to a few moves due to probabilistic influences), is that they should be helpful up to the point where the game's social aspect is affected. I've played games of Settlers of Catan with an iPhone application, and have found that the quickness of rolling dice on the device can quicken the pace without causing any social problems. But I would worry, again using Catan as the example, if we were to enable all forms of interaction to be represented in the application, that the social aspect would be gone and it would be no different than playing clever (or not so clever) AI in a video game version of the board game.

Some other considerations could be how making the game faster will affect how long people take on their turns (due to less time to think while it is not their turn), how much does the application allow players to cheat (Scrabble word completion, for instance; perhaps calculating probability may take a way what makes someone clever at a game (Catan, StoneAge, etc.), etc..

However, some games rely too much on complexity (Agricola, perhaps?), and having quicker turns (I suspect a simple digital aid won't be of much help for this game, but still) and removing complexity may reveal the good game that exists at its core, or the terrible game that was hidden by complexity.

My two cents, smothered in parenthesis.

Re:Clever idea; requires clever design (1)

FatButNimble (1784718) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758502)

*)

My two cents, smothered in one too few parenthesis.

Wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31758712)

Ghey

One step closer to the one-button computer! (1)

WSOGMM (1460481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758742)

So I've owned an iTouch and a Macbook pro for about a year now, and I've gotta say, I'm *very* impressed with the touch capability and quality that these have. The responsiveness of the iTouch is great, which I'm sure everyone knows, but the multi-touchpad on the macbook pro is phenomenal to me. I don't know how I ever lived without that thing. It makes scrolling down pages, 'right clicking', going back or forward between pages, and tabbing to other programs a lot faster and a lot smoother. I never thought the biggest redeeming quality of a macbook would be the touchpad, but I'm just too impressed by that.

... Maybe this multitouch, multimodal crap will make things even simpler, smoother, intuitive and faster than the current UI of a laptop or hand held device. I can do a lot more with one finger than I could before (anyone think of the 'one button' mac thing on reuters? :P ).

Not to mention, I also saw some windows laptops were coming out with multitouch pads... I'm very excited about those.

Re:One step closer to the one-button computer! (1)

montibbalt (946696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758800)

Not to mention, I also saw some windows laptops were coming out with multitouch pads... I'm very excited about those.

Just about any new-ish laptop with a Synaptics touchpad (all of them) supports multitouch, even netbooks.

Re:One step closer to the one-button computer! (0, Troll)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759052)

omg! right clicking is such a great feature now!
dumbass.

Multimodal living room tables (1)

Notnasiul (1783946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758852)

Weren't Monopoly, Trivial, Pictionary, Scrabble and all those board games already 'multimodal, multitouch games'? Will fanning yourself with an iPod feel so good as doing it with Monopoly's fake bills, when you win? :) Anyway, multitouch tables will for sure be used as what we know today as board games (among many other uses). I'm not sure if they will replace them, but at least they will offer new ludic experiences. And I can easily imagine my living room table being a multitouch table where I can read, play games and control my electronic devices.

bad examples (0, Redundant)

k8to (9046) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758908)

What's the advantage of four players with an iphone showing virtual cards and an ipad showing the display vs real cards in people's hands that they lay on a real table?

For typical games, nothing. In fact, the real cards are vastly superior. They are easily adjustable. They require low investment. They're lighter. They're more readily replaced. They are easier on the eyes. It's easier to adjust their layout to fit the set of people in the playing space. It goes on and on.

The only real reason to do this is to invent games that CANNOT be played with traditional equipment.

To pull an arbitrary selection out of the air, you can't play world of warcraft with some cards and tiles. So there could clearly be new games invented that took advantage of this, but traditional games are going to fit poorly.

Why wouldn't you? (2, Insightful)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758990)

why wouldn't you want to play board/card/strategy games like this?

Because then they're no longer board games. Part of the fun factor of these games comes from the physical board and pieces. The components can be quite beautiful in some games (Euro-games especially). The tactile nature of the game is part of its appeal.

There's no denying that multi-touch screens are cool, but (shock, horror) the real world can be even cooler! I happen to like holding cards in my hand, and dragging a bunch of wooden pieces around an expansive, beautifully artistic board.

This might be an odd claim to make on /., but not everything can be improved by putting it on a computer.

iPods and iPhones as game controllers on iPADS (1)

usdoj (887102) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759406)

Wow. This brings back memories of the old Atari 800 games that used four plug in controllers to play. I remember one of their greatest was a four player game FIRST FOUNDER. Very competitive bidding game where no one knew what the other players would do each turn that accounted for hours of fun in the old days. I could see how a porting of some of the war games onto iPAD with such controllers would also be a big hit. I would spend the money to get such a system and await one of the iPADs with AT&T internet connection later this spring. (We now own a 32GB and 64GB iPod touch between my wife and I enjoy reading Amazon & public domain books on it where ever we are as we voyage on our boat)

Gamecube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759858)

Some of the games on the GameCube that took advantage of the GBA linkup were awesome. There was a free Pacman game that was one of the best multiplayer GC games out there; 3 people controlled the ghosts on the screen and each had a limited field of vision, and 1 person controlled pacman on the GBA and could see the whole screen. It was an awesome game!

Can't remember if it was even released outside of Japan (or maybe it was bundled free with something else...)

You mean besides the obvious? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31760010)

  1. Cost. US$50.00 for a board game vs. around US$1000.00 for the iGameSetup.
  2. Availability. What if the user does not have or want an iGadget? I am perfectly happy without any iGadgets.
  3. Power. What happens when the "board" or one of the controllers runs out of power?
  4. Visibility out doors. I do like to see the daystar sometimes and playing a game out back on a nice day is great.
  5. Cheating.

It may have a niche market now, but it isn't going to be The Next Big Thing, at least not for a while.

You need to think long term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31761300)

This is similar to the first ebook readers. It's a good concept that can provide a number of advantages, but the technolgy isn't mature enough for widespread adoption and it will never completely replace the analog version. If you happen to have any of: iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch and a high enough percentage of your friends have similar, than you could implement this right now for effectively the cost of the software (using hardware you bought for other reasons in a new way). Furthermore in the future when the multitouch device market is more diverse and mature than it will be both more common for people to have a compatable device, and less costly to buy a "complete" setup. Not to mention the posability for bord games with increased complexity being able to appeal to a wider market (complex scoring systems, physics based movment, etc).

I can imagine there are a number of old-school cardboard chit and hex-grid era wargames that would be loads of fun if a computer can do all the calculations for you. There are also CCGs that are streamlined by a virtual tabletop, and Diplomacy would benefit from every player using an instant messanger during the discussioin phase.

This model of gaming will only get better and become more widespread as technogy improves to meet it's demands.

CCG's as a killer app (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#31761934)

After seeing the scrabble demo I couldnt help but think that cards games especially CCG's like Magic, Pokemon or whatever else is popular now could be a great use of this. Sort and manage your deck on the handheld then play the cards by "flicking" them towards the slate. Add in some animated "battles" and you could really have a cool new way to play without loosing the traditional gameplay elements. Booster packs could be sold online so you could customize the deck.

I really want to see an archon/battle chess refresh as well. Kinda weird to think of a slate as being a social object but now that its out there I can see the possibilities . I had always figured MS's surface would be the first out of the gate with something like that, but it looks like HP, Apple and Archos are beating them to the punch with the added bonus of portability.

Finally (1)

Randlaeufer1998 (738199) | more than 4 years ago | (#31762610)

I tried to love iPhone gaming. Unfortunately the touchscreen display has many problems [gem-session.com] when game controls are ported to the iPhone unchanged. You will want to eat babies as you're trying to control your character using a virtual d-pad or the built-in acceleromater. I'm glad touchscreen devices might finally get more games designed specifically for them.
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