The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Review

Game Overview

Many games have emerged during the last decade with the words “Lord of the Rings” in their name from traditional board games to Monopoly: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition and Risk: The Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a Living Card Game (LGG). In Living Card Games, a system invented by Fantasy Flight Games, all cards of the game become available in packets, that contain all the cards published in the set in contrast to Trading Card Games in which expansions become available in small packages, called “booster packs” that contain some random cards from the set. That means that with TCGs one has to buy countless boosters in order to find specific cards and thus spend much money whereas on LCGs you just have to buy the appropriate expansions that contain the cards and that’s all. This system has proven to be quite successful taking into account the economic difficulties many countries have run to the last few years. This review is about the core set of the game which contains four 30-card starter decks and components for two players. Expansions of the game, called “adventure packs” come out every month and so far two cycles of expansions have been published, “Shadows of Mirkwood” and “Dwarrowdelf“, along with a deluxe expansion called “Khazad-dûm“. Adventure packs contain 60 cards that include a new scenario, a new hero, three copies of nine new player cards from all spheres and new encounter cards. But what are heroes, player decks, encounter decks and spheres?

The Lord of the Rings: The Card game is a cooperative game based on the renowned trilogy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. One to four players travel through the lands of Middle-Earth trying to complete dangerous quests and defeat the ancient evil Dark Lord, Sauron. Each player controls 1-3 heroes that become available from the start of the game and each has a deck of cards, that can be played by spending resources that belong to a specific sphere. There are four spheres: “Lore” which emphasizes the potential of the hero’s mind, “Tactics” which emphasizes a hero’s martial prowess, “Spirit” which emphasizes the strength of a hero’s will and “Leadership” which emphasizes the charismatic and inspirational influence of a hero. Each sphere provides a unique style of play and you can include in your deck cards belonging to more than one sphere, providing that you use appropriate heroes as well as they are the source of resources. The player decks comprise of Allies that come to aid your heroes, events influencing the course of the adventure, and attachment cards.

At the beginning of the game you decide which of the three scenarios included in the game you are going to play. Each scenario has different difficulty and is represented by quest cards that provide the storyline of the scenario. Each scenario consists of a sequential deck of quest cards and goes along with specific threats (unexplored locations, enemies, treachery and objectives) represented by specific encounter sets. Each scenario requires two or three encounter sets that are shuffled to form the encounter deck.

The game starts by setting the threat level of each player (depends on the heroes used) and by shuffling the player and encounter decks. In the course of the game the threat level will eventually rise and when it reaches level 50, the player is eliminated. The rest of the players continue the adventure and if at least one survives till the end of the quest, the whole group of players is considered to have accomplished the quest. The first quest card is revealed and each player draws 6 cards. Then the game continues in rounds, consisting of the following phases:

  • Resources are gathered from heroes and one card is drawn from the player deck.
  • Planning. Each player can use resources and play cards such as Allies and Attachments.
  • Quest. Each player decides which characters (heroes or Allies) they will send to the quest. Then cards equal to the number of players are revealed from the encounter deck and positioned on the staging area. Total willpower of the heroes is compared to the total threat strength of cards in the staging area and if willpower is greater, players have successfully quested and some progress tokens are placed on the quest card. A specific number of tokens are required in each quest for it to be completed.
  • Travel. Players may travel as a group to a location on the staging area, making it an active location and no longer contributing with its threat level upon questing. Progress tokens are placed there first after successfully questing until the location is fully explored.
  • Encounter. Players may engage enemy creatures on the staging area and then engagement checks are made to see if any enemies engage the players. Engaged enemies are moved from the staging area and placed in front of the engaging player.
  • Combat. Enemies then attack the players first and then players attack enemies. Characters may either commit to a quest, defend or attack enemies. Each of these actions require the character to exhaust (turn sideways). Characters may also exhaust when using an ability that requires them to do so.
  • Refresh. All exhausted characters become ready (moved to their normal upright position). Each player increases his threat by 1, and the first player passes the first player token to the next player clockwise on his left. That player becomes the new first player. Play then proceeds to the resource phase of the next round.

But enough with gameplay aspects. Now is the moment of truth. Does the game hold up to our expectations?

First Impressions

Upon opening the game box, I realized that it was simply too big for what it contained. Actual contents require only the middle one-third of the box, while the two other thirds are covered with cardboard pieces. Overcoming the initial frustration I began opening the small packages containing cards and the cardboard sheets with tokens and the threat counters. Upon observing the components I realized how much attention to detail was given during design. Fantasy Flight has proven in the course of years that where looks matter, it can make the difference and this game is no exception. All cards are exquisitely beautiful and detailed.

And then comes the rulebook. I have to admit that it seemed pretty intimidating to read through the 32 page manual but taking into account that many pages are example illustrations, things have been a bit easier than anticipated. But let’s go through our usual rating categories:

Components:

As mentioned earlier, cards couldn’t be better designed. Images of all cards are awesome, tokens are sturdy and the threat trackers are just superb. The only complain I had is about the number of players that can play the game. While four 30-card decks are included in the box, allowing four players to play, only 2 threat counters are included. I think that it would be appropriate to give full components for four players as only two threat counters would be required. Of course one can easily track threat in a piece of paper but it still seems a bit awkward. Fantasy Flight preferred profit over efficiency stating in the rulebook that “a one to two player game can be played using only the contents of this core set. (Up to four players can play the game cooperatively with a second copy of the core set.)” 9/10

Gameplay:

Gameplay is well thought of. The game has a lot of depth and allows many different strategies giving players the privilege of adjusting their decks as they please even combining different spheres in them and play according to their style. The game provides absolute immersion, through the beautiful artwork and interesting text on cards, not only quest cards that describe the mission of the party of adventurers but character and enemy cards too. Players are constantly faced with important decisions such as: Which characters should I use to commit to quests, which to defend or attack? Maybe I could use the character’s special ability instead. I was really impressed by the duration of the first few games until all players felt comfortably regarding the rules. The game box states a playing time of 60 minutes but be prepared to play a lot longer in the first games. Everyone who is not intimidated by complex rules and long gameplay and is a fan of the book will simply love this game and never be bored to play it. 8/10

Learning Curve:

All that is required to learn the game is go once through the rules and play the game once. That could take a while though. It is recommended that one of the players who likes to read rules should just do that and then explain the game to the others while playing the first (easier scenario). Merely stating the game rules will be intimidating and won’t serve much as the rules are pretty extensive and will be soon forgotten without the in-game experience. The sequence of phases is shown in the last pages of the rulebook along with the timing when players can take actions which will prove quite useful. 6/10

Theme:

The game quests take place during a timespan of 17 years: from when Bilbo celebrates his 111th birthday (and Frodo’s 33rd) to days just prior to Frodo’s leaving the Shire. However the scenarios are not retelling the story of the books but instead they describe new adventures throughout Middle-Earth history. That may be seen as a positive or negative point to players and is clearly a matter of character. I personally find this idea refreshing and more intriguing. Game artwork along with detailed texting and the appearance of well-known heroes such as Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli makes the theme of the game always present in every action players make. 9/10

Replayability:

Replayability is another strong point of this game. While new adventure packs are released each month, keeping up the interest in the game, even the core set with it’s 3 scenarios is pretty interesting as you will always want to replay scenarios to achieve better scores (lower scores are better!) and accomplish quests in fewer rounds. So replayability is at its best here. 9/10

Fun:

The game is much fun, though not in a way that will amuse you or make you laugh. Most times you will be struggling to make the right decisions about what actions to take or talk to your fellow mates about the right strategy to advance in the game. I think most fun comes out of the fact that this is a cooperative game. This is accomplished with an intuitive way though, allowing enough space for player cooperation and allowing players to make their own decisions too. I had a lot of fun playing this game 8/10

Pros:

  • Beautiful artwork and high quality material
  • Each game is different as encounter and player decks are shuffled
  • Theme is implemented most efficiently
  • Full deck customization
  • All cards become available in adventure packs (LCG system)

Cons:

  • Learning curve is a bit slow (complex rules)
  • Playing time can be several hours especially for the first game
  • Components could be included for all 4 players with minimum additions

Overall: 8.2

Find out more about this game at:

http://www.boardgamemaniac.com/Games/By-Genre/Customizable-Games/LCG/The-Lord-of-the-Rings-The-Card-Game-l97.html

Maria Panagou is the owner of http://www.boardgamemaniac.com website.
If you liked this article, feel welcome to read more articles about board games, plus find informative game presentations, strategy guides, a comprehensive sleeving guide and more by visiting the above link.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Maria_Panagou/1333024

 

Lords of Waterdeep: Board Game Review

Game Overview

Lords of Waterdeep is a strategy board game, for 2-5 players, designed by Peter Lee and Rodney Thomson. Players take on the roles of secret rulers of the city of Waterdeep, the most resplendent jewel in the world of Forgotten Realms. Each ruler is concerned about the city’s safety but also has a secret agenda and is willing to do whatever it takes to gain power and control the city. What can’t be gained with legal procedures, can always be gained through treachery or bribery. In order to succeed with their secret plans, rulers hire adventurers to take on quests on their behalf and earn rewards. They can also expand the city, by buying new buildings that open up new available actions in the game or play Intrigue cards that may hinder their rivals or advance their own plans. By completing quests and buying buildings, players earn victory points. At the end of the game, the player with the most victory points, is the winner.

The game uses a carefully designed board, depicting the city of Waterdeep and its various locations. There are special spaces reserved on the board for city expansions (new buildings that players can buy), the Quest Deck, Quest cards and discarded Quests, The Intrigue deck and discarded Intrigue cards plus available buildings to buy and the building stack.

At the start of the game each player chooses a color and takes the corresponding player mat in front of him. The mat has special places reserved for the player’s agents (the Agent pool), hired adventurers (the Tavern), completed quests and the player’s Lord of Waterdeep card.

Players are dealt a random Lord of Waterdeep card, which defines their character and secret agenta. It is placed at the bottom of the player mat, face down.

Each player starts out with a predetermined number of agent tokens (according to the number of players) which he can assign to different locations in the city and use them to hire adventurers. Hired adventurers are represented by wooden cubes of different colors, each one representing a different type of adventurer:orange (fighters), black (rogues), purple (wizards) and white (clerics). During setup, each player is also dealt 2 random quests face up, 2 intrigue cards face down and some gold. Each quest, in order to be completed, requires certain numbers and types of adventurers and sometimes also some gold and rewards players with victory points and sometimes gold or adventurers. After being completed, quests are placed on a special place on the player mat. Some quests have the notation “Plot Quests” which indicates that they have ongoing effects in addition to providing rewards. These are placed face up near the player mat to remind the player the ongoing effect. Intrigue cards can be of three types: Attack, Utility or Mandatory Quest. Attack cards hinder or penalize opponents while helping the player who played them. Utility cards just benefit the player who played them. Mandatory quest cards are given to opponents and must be completed before other active quests this way slowing them down. Intrigue cards may be played when agents are asigned to a certain building, “The Waterdeep Harbor”. After all agents are assigned by all players, Agents placed at Waterdeep Harbor are reassigned to another empty location on the board.

The game consists of eight rounds. In each round, players take turns and each turn can assign an unassigned agent to an unoccupied location in the city. The action of that location is immediately performed and then it is also possible for the player to complete a quest, providing he has gathered all prerequisites. There are 9 basic buildings in the city where agents can be assigned, but more can be purchased in the course of the game. Actions that can be performed in buildings include: hiring adventurers, gaining gold, buying buildings, gaining or playing intrigue cards, taking new quests, hiring an extra agent “The Ambassador”, taking the first player marker, gaining victory points and more. When buying a new building, players pay a cost in gold indicated on the building tile, gain some victory points, position the new building tile in one of the reserved empty spaces on the board and place one of their control markers on that tile in order to indicate that they own the building. Whenever another player assigns an agent to that building, its owner will benefit too.

First Impressions

The box of the game is quite big, with the front cover artwork depicting some of the famous Lords of Waterdeep (unfortunately the image can’t be described as very tempting). Opening the box, reveals a whole lot of beautiful components of high quality and a special storage tray, rarely seen in standard game editions.

The rulebook, very impressive indeed, stands out with its elaborate design, beautiful artwork and clear text. Next comes game setup, which doesn’t take too long: a little shuffling of the intrigue and quest cards, placement of cards and buildings, distribution of player mats and agents and ready we go! Gameplay is pretty simple and runs smoothly: Assign an agent, perform the action of the building, possibly complete a Quest. Next player please! I was much excited when I completed my first (2-player) game and eager to play many more games. That’s a pretty good first impression, isn’t it? Let’s get down to business and analyze individual aspects of the game:

Components

Components are of high quality as could be expected of a major publisher like Wizards of the Coast. The game board is huge and impressive with basic buildings drawn on the map of the city of Waterdeep and empty spaces around the board for city expansions. There are special locations on the edges of the board to place the quest deck and quests available for purchase, discarded quests, the Intrigue deck of cards, available buildings for purchase and future buildings. In general there is a place for everything and the board is very well organized and totally functional. The cards’ artwork is awesome (let’s not forget that Wizards of the Coast is the publisher of “Magic the Gathering), with elaborate designs and made of high quality, thick paper. However, sleeving the cards is recommended, especially for Quest and Intrigue cards that will soon suffer from repeated shuffling. The building tiles are made of thick cardboard and are cleverly designed, leaving a special place on their southeast corner for the player’s control markers to be put. This way the markers don’t hide the building text nor interfere with the placement of Agents. Agents have the shape of meeples which is most convenient and are made of wood. So are the first player token as well as the Ambassador and Lieutenant tokens. Score markers are also made of wood. A special mention to player mats must be made: Each player takes a player mat that matches his/her Agents color. The mat is beautifully designed and has separate spaces reserved to place Agents (the “Agent Pool”), adventurers (the “Tavern”), control markers, completed Quests and the player’s Lord of Waterdeep card. Awesome work! Adventurers are represented by wooden cubes of different colors. There is a sense of failure here, as players are used to think wooden cubes mostly as resources: wood, stone, gold etc. After a short while, you start to forget that cubes are adventurers and can easily be caught saying things like “I place an Agent here and get 1 orange and 1 white cube” and think of them as materials instead of saying “I place an Agent here and I hire 1 cleric and 1 fighter”. It’s obvious that some other kind of tokens could be used to represent adventurers, something that would at least have the shape of a human being. The use of miniatures would be great but I guess that would rise the production cost and subsequently the game price too much. 9/10

Gameplay

Playing Lords of Waterdeep is a very entertaining experience. The game has easy rules and runs smoothly. You can think about your next agent placement while opponents play. There is a huge amount of strategic thinking involved in your decisions about agent placement and luck only plays a small part in the game, mainly in available quests and drawing of Intrigue cards. There is also decent amount of player interaction, through Intrigue cards. The game scales excellently with any number of players and that’s a huge plus. When playing with 2 players, all 4 agents are available from the start f the game, plus one that comes into play on the fifth round. With 3 players, each player has 3 agents and with 4 or 5 players 2 agents. This is a clever way to bring balance to the game. The game’s duration is about an hour, which is an ideal duration for me. Not too fast, not too long. Without introducing something innovative, Lords of Waterdeep is one of the most interesting and entertaining games I’ve played this year. 9/10

Learning Curve

The rules of the game are simple in general and you won’t have to read through them again after the first time, except maybe for some clarifications on specific buildings or Intrigue cards. An official rules FAQ has been released with answers to most common questions players may have. Players will learn the game quickly within the duration of the first game, so it’s equally suited for experienced gamers and non gamers. 8/10

Theme

Wizards of the Coast is a publisher renowned for their emphasis in theme and Lords of Waterdeep is no exception to that. The theme seems present in every aspect of the game, from the illustrious analysis of the organizations in which Agends of each color belong to, in the rulebook, to the flavor text on Lords of Waterdeep cards and quests. The game board also promotes the sense of theme in the game. The only important objection regarding the implementation of the theme is the representation of adventurers with cubes. An important aspect of the theme is lost here: the hiring of adventurers. As mentioned earlier, players will eventually tend to forget what cubes really represent and will think of them as some kind of resource which has this form in most other games. 7/10

Replayability

I am never bored to play a game of Lords of Waterdeep and I think that tells everything about this scoring category. An ideal game for gamers and non gamers, for 2,3,4 or 5 players alike with no compromising on fun. Games are fun, challenging, with some player interaction and a lot of strategy and they last just about the right amount of time. What else could one ask for? 9/10

Fun:

Well, it won’t make you laugh but it will always make your time worth it. Some interaction between players through Intrigue cards is a plus for the fun factor. 8/10

Pros:

  • I want to play that game again and again. I’m addicted!
  • Scales perfectly with any number of players
  • Rich and deep gameplay
  • Much strategy, almost no luck
  • Excellent components
  • Very functional storage tray
  • Easy to learn

Cons:

  • Adventurers represented with wooden cubes!

Overall: 8.3

Find more about the game at:

http://www.boardgamemaniac.com/Games/By-Genre/Strategy-Games/Lords-of-Waterdeep-l115.html

Maria Panagou is the owner of http://www.boardgamemaniac.com website.
If you liked this article, feel welcome to read more articles about board games, plus find informative game presentations, strategy guides, a comprehensive sleeving guide and more by visiting the above link.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Maria_Panagou/1333024

 

5 Reasons Games Can Improve Your Life

Playing games can seem to some people like a waste of time. Others think that it is only the really young, or really old who like to play games. Yet others view gaming as the realm of the social rejects of the world. There are however, some great hidden benefits to playing games.

#5. People who play games have improved mental functions

Yes, games like Brain Age have shown us that exercising your mind can improve your mental capacity. When you have to think about strategy, or plan moves before you make them, your brain has to expand its thinking process. You are engaging the most complex computer on the planet, and in the process making it better. (This is exactly the opposite of what you do when you are watching T.V.) Your mind is more active, less prone to wander, (if you are focusing on the game) and you achieve greater mental clarity. (Much like the monks of old).

#4. People who play games have improved social skills

Wait, what? Gamers are the most socially inept people on the planet and now you tell me that their social skills are improved over mine? Yes, people who play games with others have the ability to interact in many different settings with others (as many different settings as there are games). Each of those settings can train us for the realities of life away from the game. Gaming has the potential to make us better winners… that means you won’t do the victory dance when you get the big promotion at work thus alienating everyone in your office. Gamers also learn to become graceful at losing; although hopefully you don’t have to learn this skill too often. This prepares you for a lifetime of ups and downs and can prevent a person from mentally snapping on those around them.

#3 People who play games can save money

But games are expensive you say? Yes, some games can cost $100 or more just to start with, but ask yourself how much did you spend on your cable this month… plus the power to run the T.V. or game console… plus the cost of the T.V. and game console… plus the cost of the game? As you can see, the initial cost of other forms of entertainment can be just as expensive, if not more expensive than the social get together games. Then you must take into account the recurring costs of running all those systems. Last time I checked my Monopoly game didn’t need a plug in. So, board games and the like really don’t cost as much as other forms of entertainment, plus there are some additional benefits such as…

#2. People who play games have more friends

Ok, this is just going against everything high school taught you about social interaction! Yes, you may have 500 “friends” on your social media site, but can you really call the guy you said “Hi” to next to your locker 20 years ago a friend? Playing games with other people requires by definition for you to go out and MEET other people! It would get old to play games with the same person day in and day out… Just ask my wife… So it is beneficial to go out and meet other people who have the same interest and game with them just to mix it up a bit. But where do I find these reclusive gamer types you ask? Check out your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). These stores many times will host tourneys for different types of games. There are also conventions all around the country where you can meet a whole range of people willing to game with you!

#1 People who play games will live longer

Yes, when not exposed to the harmful rays of the sun you do have less of a chance to develop wrinkles and skin cancer… but when playing games, you also develop mental abilities to keep you brain young, thus reducing the likely hood of alzheimer’s disease. This can be useful when trying to remember the names of your 100 great grandchildren when you are 120 years old. Also, people with active social lives, and who have more money… (see points 2 and 3), typically live longer than those who have neither of those things. Social games also have the side benefit of not placing the player in physical danger, unlike more active games such as football or Nascar racing. So gamers have less of a tendency to obtain concussions or die in a flaming car!

See, there are many reasons that playing games can improve your life. Unfortunately, television has viewed gamers as social outcasts and nerds… But don’t worry, we will have the last laugh! In the meantime… Happy Gaming!

Michael Flanagan

For more fun game articles visit [http://www.d4andmoregames.com]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_R_Flanagan/1360647

 

How Do We Setup Workplace Games And Gamification To Motivate And Win New Business?

It has already been proven in industry and in government, that adding Workplace Games, also called Gamification, to your business will both motivate and unite your business towards maximizing new opportunities. In an interview, Tom Kalil, (Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology) made the point that NASA’s use of Gamification had a Return on Investment 5 to 10 times higher than the costs associated with the rewards that the game generated. He shared insights where DARPA and the DOE used prizes and challenges to reward and incentivize. He provided examples of various government organizations as using Gamification successfully that included NASA, DOE and DARPA.

To begin the process of adding Workplace Games to your business you should start by performing an assessment of your business strategy, vision and goals. This will help your company update and align your business priorities so that the game directly supports your business and the necessary activities that can best be rewarded through the game. There are different ways to setting up but we believe that you should keep it simple and directly aligned to your business. We setup many of our games using a Project Management format that initiates the game in much the same way any project should be started. Simply stated, projectize your game so that you follow the same steps in starting your game as you would properly start and manage a new project. Follow the example of others who have already added games to their business to avoid mistakes.

There are many innovative examples where games were used to motivate and unite businesses for success if you look for them. Diverse companies, large and small, public and private, have used Workplace Games to motivate and unite their stakeholders across a wide range of industries that includes: NASA, DARPA, DOE, UPS, Deloitte, Bunchball Inc., Warner brothers, Comcast, Adobe and others. Industries have included the health and insurance industry, science and technology, law enforcement and many others. Don’t start over when it isn’t required; lessons learned and best practices save time, money and other resources.

Knowing your key competitive factors and comparing them with your peer and competitions may be a good way to look for differentiators. Your own strategies, tactics and the use of best practices are then aligned with your company’s existing processes into the game. Look for goals, schedule, desired wins, past business results and so on for possible reward milestones and corrections or changes to your current processes. The best milestones are deliverables of various maturity and specific events in a schedule where activities are completed to move onto the next activity. These deliverables and schedule milestones, when recognized and rewarded for timely completion encourages repeatable best practices in your business. These can be tailored to your specific needs and desires.

One important recommendation is that you remember you should keep the game straightforward and aligned to your vision. Make the game a public competition based on measurable results that align to the desired results that move your business forward. Avoid meaningless rewards as this distracts from the real purpose of the game. This purpose should be aligned to taking advantage of opportunities, new innovations and improving products and services of your business. Expect measurable improvements in innovation and business efficiency. Critical success factors and key performance indicators are good examples for identifying most reward and recognition points where improving the quality, direction and innovative quickness is the focus for both your business and the game. It is most important that the game aligns to your business so that the business and your business results are the clear focus of the game. If the game does not align to the purpose of your business, it will be hard to gain support for playing the game.

The actual steps in setting up the game are associated with initiating the game, planning out how the game will be run and what platforms or tools are needed to implement the game. The preferred tools are cloud, mobile, social media and analysis based tools that leverage Leaderboards or similar score boards where public viewing of awards, progress and innovation are occurring in real time. The need for real time recognition speaks for itself if you desire innovative improvements to your business and the realization of opportunities as fast as possible. Prior to rolling out the game, we recommend that an impact test be done of the features, functions and operation of the game to mitigate risks that may be unknown to your business and it’s operations prior to testing. This should involve key stakeholders and subordinates within your company at the level you feel will result in recommendations and forward thinking. You will receive many improvements and recommendations from these stakeholders during this initial testing, but set a deadline to implement the best of these recommendations and then proceed to roll out the game after ensuring the game passes testing. The game will improve as the business improves. Business communication and collaboration improves as recommendations are implemented into the game.

Using Workplace Games and the resulting rewards will encourage your companies to self-motivated towards innovation and improvement. This motivation and self-improvement in turn results in individual and organizational behaviors that are based on self-leadership, knowledge, communication, individual experiences and best practices. These powerful organizational and individual attributes then result in product and service differentiation, value and efficiency that save time and other resources.

Once the game is rolled out, expect questions. A Frequently Asked Questions list prepared during planning and implementation should be shared on the game. The game will promote workplace collaboration and the building of unity by engaging workers in team-building activities that mirror their jobs and the necessary communication between business entities required to excel in the business. Your aim is to bolster the development of relationships in your workplace and to amp up efficiency. Game activities should be tailored to meet this aim. This will promote the development of your teams while increasing efficiencies between entities of the business.

Lack of communication is one of the major concerns we hear in our consulting business and we agree that this hinders workplace efficiency. The game’s public rewards are geared towards efficiency, deliverables, innovation and so on and will help correct communication issues. Cooperation of meeting objectives is necessary to excel and is promptly rewarded in the form of team or individual rewards. This process improves, unifies and motivates the stakeholders in the game. Expect and reward communication between entities for completing activities, using innovation to find new markets or solve problems or by maximizing opportunities and efficiencies.

Start the game by dividing your employees into teams that are mirrored in the business. The game facilitates the business. In all likelihood, messages between entities or the lack of cooperation between the entities will deliver an important lesson every time collaboration expedites or delays an activity and the impacts are shown in the game by performance changes or met and unmet objectives. Lessons are learned that are associated with your business for both winning and losing, for being the best or not in the game.

Turn some of the completion of the game into daily tasks as well as your more strategic goals. Use relay style races or similar activities where workers must complete tasks on a daily or weekly basis if possible. Divide your workforce into teams, preferably that meet a business need, and allow them to move through this race, completing the tasks as fast as possible while still producing quality results that exceed expectations.

A benefit of the game is that the efficiency of activities that produce the best results will become the best practice of your business. This increased efficiency will in turn build employee knowledge of your best practices and processes. Important procedures within your workplace will quickly become more efficient as the importance of more quickly completing job-related tasks rises and becomes the individuals and teams who do this become known.

Have fun with your gamification and remember to always reward and recognize for the results you are looking for and watch the improvements and innovation begin to roll out of your business. I am excited to hear about your business, your game and most importantly, your results!

Absolute Consulting Solutions is a highly qualified Business and IT Professional Services company experienced in value innovation and engineering. We keep our promise to our clients and have earned their trust for delivering “Maximized Results that Exceed Expectations.” We turn strategic vision into real results while improving services and customer satisfaction. Visit us to read our testimonials or for more information on the topics that matter most to you. We welcome your comments and opinions and will exchange a 1-hour free initial assessment for them. For more information or to offer your comments, connect with us at http://www.absoluteconsultingsolutions.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/James_E_Fogarty/1277993

 

Endangered Species: One Player Games

For the purposes of this article, I will not be acknowledging games for young children. The one player games and gaming discussed here will refer to games for ages 13 and up.

While there are a large number of high-quality video games hitting the market every year, there is one ‘genre’ that is on its way to being forgotten. One Player Games. Or even, for that matter, non-PvP (Player vs Player) games.

Lately, the vast majority of new games have one purpose, and one purpose only, Player vs Player combat. While these games do have their place, there is more to gaming than simply running around shooting at each other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the violence, far from it. But the fact is that the bulk of these games all share a number of common problems.

For starters, the unofficial (and often hidden) “teams”, which are really more like gangs. Groups of friends that band together in-game to hunt down and harass new players. Often to the point where the new players have no chance of progressing and simply quit playing out of frustration. If the people doing this stopped and thought about it for a moment, they would see how they are ruining these games for themselves as much as anyone.

Another problem is the lack of originality. The majority of these gamea the weapons, does not make it an original game.

The third major problem with the flood of PvP games, is the real-world affects of them. These games create an enormous amount of competitive behavior. We are all aware of the ‘gaming addictions’ that can affect people. Competition is an addiction in its own right. The combination creates something akin to digital crack. I would be willing to bet good money that if a survey was ever done, it would reveal that the vast majority of gaming addicts are hooked on multiplayer FPS games. I personally know many people that spend nearly every waking minute glued to the screen trying to climb from #375 to #374 on some leader board.

So why not some one player games? Take the newer Fallout games for example, great graphics, cool environment, and intense game play (at higher difficulty levels). And you get it all without being chased by packs of teenagers you’ve never heard of, or the constant flood of infantile remarks in the chat. Just straight up gameplay without the garbage. Games such as Fallout, Skyrim, Anno, Civilization, Final Fantasy, they all prove that there can be great, innovative, one player games.

Many people are only interested in these games. Myself, I have spent many hours playing many multiplayer games. But after a time I found that the garbage out weighed the play. I’ve since sworn off multiplayer. I know a number of people personally that have done the same, or had no interest in multiplayer to begin with.

But there is a problem for us lovers of solo games. Each year there seems to be less and less good games made for us. It doesn’t have to be that way though. There are a couple things that we can, and should do. First, don’t pirate your games. If you’re a lover of one player games, buy them! Show the game creators that there is still a market there. And if you’re really passionate, do what I do. Whenever a new multiplayer-only game gets released, I email the company that made it and say something like,

“Can you please, please please make this playable in single-player?”

Try it! You likely won’t get a response. If you do it will be a brush off. But if enough people do it, for enough games, it just might get these companies to reconsider releasing these games as multiplayer only. So take a few minutes and do your part. No one else will.

Happy Gaming!

You can find more info and game suggestions at [http://www.bestoneplayergames.com/]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/John_C_Raine/1373979

 

Massage in Bucharest

Recognize it! You’re busy! And so must be! That’s what life is like! But you want more than that, you want to do more for yourself and massage can help. Because massage makes more than a simple relaxation of the mind and body. It keeps your body in shape and gives you enough energy to make you enjoy a longer life better than you do it today.

Massage releases stress. At the moment, stress is a universal evil. Every time you are late, every time you avoid a car in traffic, every time you have trouble working, stress is doing his job. Each time adrenaline increases heart rate and cortisone levels and organs respond to the measure. You will be in a state of nerves and constant agitation.
When there is no release of stress, serious problems such as an upset stomach, hypertension, sleep disturbances, chest pain, or existing illness may worsen.

Some of the changes that may occur are: Anxiety, lack of concentration, depression, permanent fatigue, muscle or bone pain, sexual dysfunction, excessive sleep or insomnia

All these stress-related problems can be diminished and some can be totally eliminated by massage. The researchers concluded that a massage session can lower heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase endorphin production. The massage also releases serotonin and dopamine and the result is a general relaxation, both physical and mental.
Our body care must be at the top of the priorities.
By adding the massage to your routine you will look much better and you will be much healthier and relaxed. Massage can improve your vitality and mood. Massage can prepare for a long and beautiful life.

Our masseuses personalize each massage session according to the needs of the individual.
Our massage parlors offer a variety of relaxation styles and techniques to help you. Apart from relaxing, massage can be a powerful ally in reducing pain, increasing energy levels, improving mental and physical performance

We recommend : HotAngels , VipZone , JadePalace , ThaiPassion

After a massage session, you will see how the mental prospects are enriched, the body allows easier handling, better pressure resistance, relaxation and mental alertness, calm and creative thinking.
When you have the impression or force yourself to stay straight, your body is not actually aligned properly. Not only does the posture look bad, but it forces some of the muscles to go muddy all day, while others become weaker. After a long time, the incorrect position may cause other drops. For example, internal organs press on what affects digestion, breathing ability is also diminished, which means that much less blood and oxygen reaches the brain and hence all sorts of other complications.

Massage allows you to return your body to the track. Allowing the body to make healthy and accurate movements is one of the greatest benefits of massage. Massage can relax and restore muscles injured by bad posture, allowing the body to position itself in a natural, painless position.
Apart from posture, there is also anxiety. One of the signs of anxiety and stress can also be heavy breathing. When the body begins to breathe too little and deeply instead of breathing at a natural rithm, it is impossible for one to relax. One reason may also be that the chest muscles and the abdomen get tightened and the air gets harder.

Massage plays an important role in learning the body how to relax and how to improve breathing. Respiratory problems such as allergies, sinuses, asthma or bronchitis are a group of conditions that can benefit from massage. In fact, massage can have a positive impact on respiratory function.

Many of the muscles in the front and back of the upper part of the body are breathing accessory. When these muscles are tight and shorten they can block normal breathing and interrupt effective breathing natural rithm. Massage techniques for stretching and relaxing these muscles improves breathing function and breathability. Massage leads to an opening of the chest as well as structural alignment and nerve dilatation that are required for optimal pulmonary function. A good way to treat respiratory problems with massage is the taping made in Swedish massage. When done on the back, along with vibrations, it can detach the mucus from the lungs and can clean the airways for better later function.

Massage not only relaxes muscles, but helps people become aware of daily stress levels. Once the body recognizes what really means relaxation, the mind can rest easily relax before the stress becomes cornice and harmful. This will help you enjoy a balanced life. Massage controls breathing, allows the mind to re-create relaxation before the occurrence of chronic and harmful stress and increases the level of energy.