You've been logged out of GDC Vault since the maximum users allowed for this account has been reached. To access Members Only content on GDC Vault, please log out of GDC Vault from the computer which last accessed this account.

Click here to find out about GDC Vault Membership options for more users.


The Number One Educational Resource for the Game Industry

Session Name:

Board Game Design Summit: Making Sense of Digital Tools In Modern Board Games


This session presents an overview of the use of technology in boardgames. First, it identifies the ways in which digital tools are used throughout play, from teaching and learning through to logging and tracking plays, and the diversity of tools both official and after-market that are used. Focusing on Hybrid Digital Boardgames, which combine physical pieces with smart digital technologies, it breaks down 41 different functions which digital tools perform. We classify these across eight core domains timing, randomising, housekeeping, informing, storytelling, remembering, calculating, and teaching. Published games are used to highlight how these functions contribute to gameplay. We will also report on how players and industry professionals feel about combining technology and boardgames. Issues include the definition of a boardgame; existing attitudes towards digital and hybrid technologies; the relationship between digital tools and game design; the costs of digital tools; and their impact on player experience.

Did you know free users get access to 30% of content from the last 2 years?

Get your team full access to the most up to date GDC content

  • Game Developers Conference 2021
  • Melissa Rogerson
  • The University of Melbourne
  • free content
  • Board Game Design Summit
  • Design