Blog Archive

On this page you will find 2 things: updates on PlayTable and thoughts on game design.

3 Things I Hope the PlayTable Will Do in the Future
By
James Taylor
February 22, 2017

Here are the 3 things we like to think about.

What is a Soft Sytem?
By
James Taylor
February 1, 2017

The phrase “soft system” has come into common usage at PlayTable. But what is a soft system? And why is it a valuable concept for us?

Screen Fatigue (VIDEO)
By
James Taylor
January 11, 2017

Screen fatigue was a tough issue we faced in our early port of Catan. In fact, the issue is still not resolved. It haunts us. It haunts us to the very marrow of our bones.

Private vs. Public Tutorials
By
December 14, 2016

Over the course of making several games, I’ve determined that it is necessary to distinguish between public and private tutorials.

Laying the Ground for New Media
By
James Taylor
November 23, 2016

Michael and I spoke for a while last night about the cultural circumstances that would need to coalesce to make this device a standard item in people’s living rooms.

A Short History of Pieces for the PlayTable
By
James Taylor
November 2, 2016

Here’s a short evolution of company thinking for the pieces that might come with a PlayTable. I’ll walk through a few of the design parameters for these to get us started. It would be great if some generic set of pieces that came in the box could somehow be changed in order to be used in any app that you download from the PlayTable Store. Why is this advantageous? Because it’s hard to ask players to purchase a new set of pieces for each game they download. Most games should have a standard digital-only version, or should be playable with some standard out-of-the-box pieces.

The Emmissary
By
October 12, 2016

What if the PlayTable were not so much for games, but were like a palette, where you can put down devices (ie. a remote control car, a cell phone, etc) and open up the source code, or somehow peer into the specs of the electronic device? In this conception it would feel more like an electronic dash board, or operating table, where you can open up and dissect the device on top…

What to Do with a PlayTable When it’s Not Game Night
By
James Taylor
September 21, 2016

I’m setting up a space to brainstorm some ideas for what people do with this device when they are not using it for Game Night.

The Habit Loop
By
James Taylor
August 31, 2016

I’ve just finished reading a book called The Power of Habit. I picked it up on a whim, but I find that it’s relevant to the PlayTable. After all, the device is a new piece of hardware to introduce into people’s lives, and in some ways a new form of media consumption. So we need to help people understand the new routines for integrating it into their lives.

Board Games and the Evidence of Decisions Over Time
By
James Taylor
August 17, 2016

This is a concept that’s come up in many conversations with Michael G., so it’s worth writing it down. Many board games unfold over the course of hours.During the course of play, multiple people make many small and large decisions. Many little tiny pieces are placed on the board. Hundreds (if not thousands) of little adjustments are made to the play area. Items are gained and lost. Properties are built. Money and valuables change hands. Swaths of land and territory shift.

A Meeting with Moms
By
John Dempsey
July 27, 2016

Today my mom was nice enough to schedule me a meeting with 3 other moms from her work. In this meeting, I wanted to see what a typical mom would think about the PlayTable as well as what was important to her. I learned three big things from this meeting: creativity is extremely important, socialization is getting out of touch, and moms are constantly looking for new ways to educate their kids.

What is a “mixed-reality” console?
By
John Dempsey
July 6, 2016

The PlayTable is a tabletop console unlike the world has seen before. It isn’t quite augmented reality and it’s definitely not virtual reality — everything you see, feel, and touch on the PlayTable is 100% real. Therefore, we are something different.