FDG2019 | 2nd Workshop on Tabletop Games

August 26-30 | San Luis Obispo, CA, U.S.A.

1 Introduction

Tabletop games have seen an increase in sophistication, and a desire to explore new themes, mechanisms and play complexity, and even innovate technologically. Tabletop games have also been consistently popular over the years, with ever larger conventions, publicity, and community involvement. Finally, there is a broad range of research interest in tabletop games from the functional aspects of board game play (abstracted for artificial intelligence play) to anthropological studies of role-playing or historical studies of proceduralism on the tabletop. However, much of this research occurs in isolation, without sufficient interaction between researchers in this broad application field. The goal of this workshop is to advance knowledge in tabletop games by bringing together researchers and fostering discussion about the current state of the field. Moreover, it serves to establish connections and link research topics and researchers in this highly interdisciplinary field.

You can see the programme and accepted papers of the 1st Workshop on Tabletop Games (FDG 2018) here.

2 Important note on scope

We define tabletop games here to include any game played by a group of players (or one player, in niche cases) on the tabletop: this includes board games, role-playing games, technology-enhanced board games (e.g. ​Mansions of Madness or ​Alchemists), and so on. Computer simulations of tabletop games are also included, e.g. for simulated board game play for the purposes of artificial intelligence or other computational tasks. Importantly, the topics of this workshop do ​not ​​include playground activities or urban games, pervasive games (e.g. played throughout the day during other activities), and games intended to be played exclusively on the computer (e.g. digital card games such as ​Hearthstone). Therefore, while a computer-based generator which outputs a map and description which can be played on a tabletop role-playing game such as ​Dungeons & Dragons is acceptable, should the same generator only output dungeons played on the computer it would not be acceptable. Similarly, a computer simulation (interactive or not) of Chess would be acceptable provided that it simulates a board game (in this case Chess) which can be played on the tabletop. If you have any questions on whether a topic is within scope of this workshop, please contact us at tg2019@easychair.org for the specific case.

3 Submissions

We welcome submissions as either full papers describing novel research (5 to 8 pages, excluding references) as well as short papers (2 pages). Note that full papers may be published at the ACM Digital Library under circumstances (depending on the number of accepted papers), but short papers will not.

Tabletop games span a broad range of applications, but indicative topics for papers include but not limited to:

Ethnographic studies on playing or designing board game play.
Comparisons between specific board games or a study in a game’s historical evolution in case of multiple editions and remakes.
Studies in design patterns, taxonomies or other elements of board games.
A procedural reading of board game design.
Board games for a purpose (e.g. education, psychological support, training).
Artificial Intelligence for playing board games, card games, or tabletop role-playing games.
Automated generation of board game elements (rules, pawns, board setups, cards, tabletop role-playing dungeons, ...).
Technology-mediated board game play, e.g. as game master, time keeper, or audiovisual stimulus.
Lessons learned from commercial (or otherwise) board game design (including post-mortems)
Critical analysis of board games.
Board game design informed by game studies research.
Proposals for sharing and community building (repositories, youtube channels, ontologies, jams).
History of tabletop games (or a subset thereof) and current trends.

4 Programme

The workshop takes place on August 26, 13:00-17:00 at the California Polytechnic State University, Building 192 (Engineering IV), room 106.
13:40-13:05You Have my Sword; and my Bow; and my Axe: Player Perceptions of Odd Shaped Dice for Dungeons &asp; Dragons by Kamilla Borodina, Hamna Aslam and Joseph Alexander Brown
14:05-14:30Dice Design Respecting Player Preference for Colours and Contrast by Hamna Aslam, Joseph Alexander Brown and Ecaterina Baba
14:30-14:55Towards a game-independent model and data-structures in digital board games: overview of the state-of-the-art by Luiz Jonata Pires de Araujo, Mariia Charikova, Juliano Efson Sales, Vladislav Smirnovand Ananga Thapaliy
15:30-15:50I Now Pronounce You…: Utilizing Critical Gameplay to Question the Institution of Marriage by Alexis Pulos
15:50-16:15Operationalizing Conflict Strategies in a Board Game by Sarah Harmon, Remington Maxwell and Arnav Jhala
16:15-17:00Group Work

5 Important Dates

April 5 May 6Paper submission deadline
May 15 June 3Notification to authors
May 31 June 21Camera-ready submission
August 26-30

6 Submission Guidelines

We welcome full papers of 5 to 8 pages in length. We also welcome short papers on positions, visions and work in progress on topics that are relevant to the topic of tabletop games: short papers should include some key references. We also encourage the submission of demonstrations of research prototypes and various interesting tabletop designs, which can be accompanied by a long or short paper (of 2 pages). Note that full papers may be published at the ACM Digital Library under circumstances (depending on the number of accepted papers), but short papers will not.

Papers submissions will be subject to double-blind peer review, and each submission will be peer reviewed. Authors of accepted papers will be invited to give an oral presentation of their paper at the workshop. All submissions should be anonymized, as the review process is double-blind. All submissions (short and long papers) should be in PDF format and comply with the ACM SIGCONF format and need to import ACM CCS 2012 concepts. Both LaTeX and Word ACM SIGCONF templates are acceptable for producing the PDF file.

Papers should be submitted through EasyChair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=tg2019

7 Organizers

  • Antonios Liapis is a Lecturer at the University of Malta. He has organized numerous workshops at FDG, AIIDE, and other conferences. He is the general chair of the EvoMusArt conference (2018-2019), the general chair of the Games and Learning Alliance conference (2019), and has helped organize the Computational Intelligence and Games conference as a demonstration chair (2019) and a local chair (2016). He is a chapter author for the book Procedural Content Generation in Games. His research interests include the mixed-initiative design of game content, procedural content generation, digital aesthetics and human-computer interaction. He has received several awards for his research contributions and reviewing effort.
  • Fernando de Mesentier Silva has worked as a substitute teacher at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and in the game development, consumer research, and biometrics industry. He was a member of the program committee for the Computational Intelligence and Games conference, Foundations of Digital Games conference, and reviewer for the Evolutionary Computational Journal and the IBM Journal of Research and Development. His game, Awkward Date, was selected to be part of the 2015 NYU Game Center Summer Incubator and nominated for Best Student Game at the 2017 Bit Awards. Fernando is also the co-founder of Asterism Games Studio LLC.. His research interests include artificial intelligence for game design analyses, automated game playing and generation of game playing heuristics.

8 Program Committee

  • Staffan Björk, University of Gothenburg
  • Joseph Alexander Brown, Innopolis University
  • Cameron Browne, Maastricht University
  • Michael Cook, Queen Mary University of London
  • Mehmet Kosa, METU
  • Phil Lopes, University of Geneva
  • Emily Short, Freelance
  • Björn Strååt, Stockholm University
  • Anne Sullivan, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Henrik Warpefelt, Uppsala University
  • Joe A. Wasserman, West Virginia University
  • Jose Zagal, University of Utah