Infected game platform (and player expectations)

The Infected game I’ve been working on is essentially a card game that will be played either offline (on real physical tables) and online (using “virtual tabletop” system I built).

The online version
The online version mimics a “real physical dinner table”. You have players, chat, and cards to play with. There’s no forced rules, but it’s up to the players to make the gaming session fun. To get little idea about the platform, I recommend you check out this page In this page you won’t see The Infected card game, but rather a normal virtual deck of 52+2 cards which you can flip, rotate, move etc. You can also invite your buddies to join the room – just give them your game room link – and you can continue playing. The system remembers the state of the game so the link always gives you the state where you left. That’s pretty slick.

In theory, you could play almost any board game with this system. I’ve successfully played remakes of games as Battle Lines, Lord of the Rings Confrontation and also some others.

The system is still very crude looking, but functions ok.

It’s quite server intensive, so no promises on anything about the system. Server stuff costs real money and I need to cover the costs. And that means somebody needs to pay something. We’ll see how that goes. It is very much possible that online version becomes available only those who purchase the offline version, or that the online version is only available on some monthly fee. We’ll see.

The offline version
The offline version is physical version. It has been my plan to try approach a board game publisher and see if they would be interested in helping publishing the game. Other option is self-publish, but I doubt I will want to go through the hassle of learning that trade.

Getting to publisher, getting accepted and getting game out takes like at least several months, so if this game is available for offline purchase during year 2011 (closer to the end I think), then it’s all ok.

If I don’t get physical version out, that’s okay too. Maybe I then will do a really small self-print and get the game out for those who really, really want it.

The plan
Right now I’m more focused on getting the game out, and I will re-think how to deal with selling side of things when I have more solid information about how people play the game, how server intensive it is and how well the game is taken by the potential publisher and players.

I started prototyping and planning this game about 6 months ago. I did spend more time on “building the engine” than I first anticipated, but won’t go into that stuff just yet.

This sort of “experimental gameplay” (I very much feel that doing a multiplayer cross-breed of an card game & “video game” is a quite new venture, and I’ve been exploring this quite a bit now).

Player expectations
Some players were very puzzled about this. I guess they were expecting to see online 3d shooter (or whatever) and this is very far from it. Some of these guys come from the video game world.

Luckily, there’s also some guys who were thinking that the system is totally cool. These came from board game world (who really liked the online system) but also, I believe, from video game world.

And I cannot cater for everybody, so by choosing this platform I’m also choosing my customers. (And hoping customers are choosing this game, *cough*)

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Thanks Jussi for the comments.

    One question, do you guys have url? I haven’t heard about “FBGDA” earlier.

  2. When it comes to the offline game, I think getting the game out in 2011 requires that you push it on hard this spring and get it as ready as possible. The stores want to choose their Christmas selection prior summer holidays and although getting games into game stores is more flexible I think most publishers would rather start promoting the game early. It is doable for a cheap game, but put some effort in getting in touch with the publishers and give them time to get to know the game. Also in Finland even the established publishers seem to more easily publish games if you’re willing to reduce the risk yourself which you seem to ponder. Also don’t forget to mention about the online game and that you’re writing a very popular game development blog that might attract some customers to your game.

    When it comes to other countries, I think the best place to contact is the German Adlung Spiele. They are focused only on games that require only the standard 55 cards and thus your game sounds like it fits their production line perfectly. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. That’s why we founded the Finnish Board Game Developer’s Association – to share info and tips to anyone wanting to get their games out.

    Jussi Autio
    CEO of Tuonela
    & Chairman of FBGDA

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