Rough Draft
Please note that this thesis paper is just a rough draft and is currently a work in progress. The content on this page will probably be modified and may not be representative of the final version. Sources notes and references may not be final and placeholder text may be used and will later be replaced.
  1. Reasons for playing table-top games on digital devices
  2. Multiplayer vs. single player board games
  3. Gameplay mechanics of turn-based and real-time digital games
  4. Example Digital Board Games for Tablet Devices

Analysis of Digital Table-top Game Design

People play games for multiple reasons. Some play as a fun hobby or diversion, others enjoy the competitive or social aspects of playing games with other people, while some play games to challenge themselves by learning something new.  All of these reasons apply to both digital and table-top gaming but with table-top gaming, the social aspect, either casual or competitive, is one of the primary reasons why people game using cards or cardboard.  If social gaming is a foundation for table-top gaming can digital table-top games provide the same experience for the player?

Soren Johnson states that "if the physical components are not necessary, then what is the essence of a board game? Why do some games fall into this category and other games do not? Perhaps what defines board games is not their physical elements but their absolute transparency, a philosophy that all a game's rules should be visible." (1)

"The beauty of the iPad is that you could forget about it. Meaning that when you put an iPad between two players, the screen is so well done that you almost forget there are electronics behind that. When you sit down to play Small World on the iPad, you stop thinking about it as an iPad game and just think of it as Small World. In the future, the question of whether something is a 'board game' or an 'iPad app' or whatever it will be in the future becomes a meaningless question." (1)
-- Eric Hautemont, the founder, and CEO of the board game publisher Days of Wonder



  1. Johnson, Soren. "When Digital Versions of Board Games Surpass the Originals." Gamasutra. October 25, 2012. Accessed April 27, 2018. https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/180018/

Thesis Work

This section of the website is where I am documenting the work on my thesis paper and visual component.

About Me

My name is Mark Koberlein and I have been a professional web designer, app developer, and instructor for about 13 years. I live in a small town next to Allentown, PA with my wife 2 daughters. My wife and I are avid gamers and movie watchers. I am currently a tenure-track Instructor in the Communication Design department at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem PA, where I teach courses in general computer graphics, web design, mobile applications, interactive design, server-side programming, and animation. I started this journey as an undergrad at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. For the first 2 years, I studied Computer Science and then changed my major to Religious Studies to finish my under-grad studies with a Bachelor of Arts. After college, I decided to not pursue the reli... Read More