Last year, when the first details about the release of highly anticpated video game BioShock Infinite were revealed, people took note that one premium edition came with a miniature for a BioShock board game. Since then details on that board game have been released. We spoke to Colby Dauch, President of Plaid Hat Games, about BioShock Infinite: Siege of Columbia.
The board games finds the players taking on the role of either the Founders of the floating city Columbia or the rebellion called the Vox Populi. The two sides battle, earning points as they control areas of the city or fulfill missions. In an interesting twist, the two main characters of the video game, Booker and Elizabeth, are in the background, complicating the game for the players. Colby Dauch, President of Plaid Hat Games, said, "The theme is so evocative and people's connection to that theme is so strong that it serves to stimulate the imagination of the players and make the game experience go from pushing guys around a game board and rolling dice and playing cards to an epic battle in the mind's eye."
Fans of the video game will feel a connection to the city and characters they encountered before. And beyond that? "We put a lot of original art into the game. I think it serves as this beautiful artifact as well as a quality game," said Dauch. "That is one of the appeals to the fans. I think another is experiencing the world of Columbia from a different perspective." Details such as the neighborhoods of Columbia, the use of the Skyline rails, and the other particulars from the game are given new context as part of the board game's mechanics, will draw in BioShock aficionados.
But what about casual players? "One of our biggest challenges as a board game company is introducing new people to the hobby," said Dauch. "We try to create games where the complexity runs deep instead of wide. By that, I mean the complexity is in mastery of several core concepts and not in having to learn a 50 page rulebook." To lower the barrier of entry, Plaid Hat employs a digital solution to aid their physical games. Daush said, "Our games have begun coming with stop signs on their covers with the note: 'If you'd like us to teach you this game visit plaidhatgames.com.' Then on our website we have video tutorials teaching players how to play. We feel like that visual medium is a much more effective way of teaching games."
BioShock Infinite: Siege of Columbia will be released this Summer. Plaid Hat Games are taking preorders on their site .