What’s not to love about board games? You get to be around people you love and have a great time. However, even a board game aficionado such as myself can see why some people can’t stand them. Setting up the game and learning (then explaining) the rules can be tedious, and for some people, it’s not worth the effort just to stare at a piece of cardboard that holds none of your interest. I love board games, but I get it. Especially in the era of next-gen video games, I get it.
Introducing Interaction, your new favorite game.
Interaction is the upcoming second board game by Austrian indie developers Rudy Games, following their game Leaders. It is a a hybrid game, meaning that it is part app (to be played on mobile phone or tablet) and part board game. It is on Kickstarter until May 19th.
Interaction vanquishes all your pain points. Since the app walks you through the game, you can take it out of the box and play: no need to memorize or explain the rules to anyone. It is also personalized to match your specific interests and skill level. You want to play a trivia game, your friend wants to play a drawing game, and your brother just wishes you were playing video games? Put your preferences in the app and the game with tailor your experience to specifically suit what you are interested in. You can even play it with your kids – the game will adjust difficulty based on the player’s age, giving everyone an equal opportunity to win.
But how do you play?
The game is split into five categories: Knowledge, Creativity, Action, Social, Games.
- Knowledge tests how well you know general trivia about the world. Though the game is fully playable offline, you can sync it to the internet to ensure that the questions are always relevant, always up to date and different each time.
- Creativity tests your ability to sculpt and draw and craft.
- Action is a unique feature for a board game, testing your skill with push-ups and other physical challenges.
- Social tests how well you know each other, where the game draws from information it has learned about you while playing. Optionally, sync it to Facebook for added ammo!
- Games is app-based minigames, and tests your dexterity or flexes your gambling muscles.
You roll the dice and move your token (cute little monsters called “Meebs”) around the board, doing a challenge-type marked on the space you landed. You can play cards to make your tasks easier, while opponents can play “Joker Cards” to steal your task or “Nasty Cards” (acquired by failing a task) to make them more difficult for you. Once successfully completing a task, you move your marker in the center of the board one step closer to victory.
Easy enough, right?
A word from the creator
I had a chance to sit down with Manfred Lamplmair, leader of the “Rudy Gang”; the CEO and Head of Development at Rudy Games.
THE GAME OF NERDS: How did you decide to get into board games?
MANFRED LAMPLMAIR: It was with my two co-founders. We’ve know each other since childhood, and we were always addicted to board games. We’ve become older and we still play games. We also play computer games, and so one day we decided to create our own game to combine those gaming worlds: the digital gaming world with the physical board game world.
TGON: With your new game Interaction, what do you think will draw players to the game?
ML: One thing is our Meebs, because they look really funny. The other thing is the gameplay, because this is one of the first games with very high personalized content. I think this personalized content increases user engagement in the gameplay. The game is all about you and your interests and your living area. This becomes very interesting and fun with a higher interaction rate.
TGON: Interaction is your second game. What do you feel sets Rudy Games apart from traditional board game companies?
ML: I think the difference is that we are very digital-driven. All of the co-founders comes from a digital area, so we know a lot about social networks, about digitalization. That’s important, but we also have to sit together and have fun together in the offline world. This is our special benefit, that we can combine this offline board game world with the digital world. I think that’s a big advantage of our company, and we have a lot of know-how in this area.
TGON: How do you feel technological advances have furthered the creative possibilities of the industry as a whole?
ML: I think, in the beginning, the digital gaming world and the physical board game world were huge competitors. There was a long time where digital gaming got customers and grew while the market for board games was decreasing, but we’ve seen in the last few years that the board game market has grown with a growth rate of about ten percent. People are now coming back to the table to play together, and I think with our combined game, we have the missing link between the digital world and the physical board game world.
TGON: It does seem that board games are getting more popular in recent years. Why do you think that is?
ML: I think it’s because we are a very fast, globalized society that people now want time to get together. In former times, you automatically spent time with your friends because you didn’t have so much digital content. Now, with social networks, you’re online with mobile phones 24 hours a day. I think the time you can spend with your family and with your friends at the table, the social interaction becomes much more important for people. I think that’s a very important thing for the golden age of board games.
TGON: How valuable do you find websites like Kickstarter, as an independent game maker?
ML: I think Kickstarter is very important. I think Kickstarter is an element that gives us a lot of new board games. In former times, you needed a big publisher to bring your game to life, and now you can go directly to your community. You have a direct way to your customers, and you can find out if your game can be successful based on the market. Kickstarter supports that, so we get a huge variety of new games and new game mechanics, and I think it’s an important part of the board game market.
TGON: Aside from Interaction and your own games, are you playing any games at the moment?
ML: Yes, of course! After this interview we have our monthly board game session. We play a lot of different games. I think this is very important to get new impressions and to see trends. I’m not sure if you know the game of Legends of Andor, but it’s a co-operative game that I really like. I’m more of a strategy game player, so we have our own game Leaders for that. I also play the classics – Parcheesi, for example, with my family. It’s fun and it doesn’t take a long time, so we often play it in the evening with Mom and Dad.
TGON: What advice would you have for other creative minds looking to get into a rather unique industry such as this?
ML: I don’t think there is one piece of advice that is the right advice to become successful. I think the most important thing is to love and to believe in what you do; then I think you will become automatically successful. Yes, you will struggle. You will fail sometimes. The most important thing is to stand up and go on your way and listen to your community. Then I think you will make a good product and make a great game.
TGON: Lastly, Interaction is on Kickstarter right now. How long is that Kickstarter going for?
ML: It runs until the 19th of May. We already have 80% of our goal, so we still have a way to go, but I’m very optimistic that we will reach our goal. It would be great if you could support us! Thank you very much!
Interaction is on Kickstarter until May 19th. Check it out here and don’t forget to pledge!