OTTAWA – Traditionally, baseball board games involved trivia questions and throwing an object at a target to get the desired result. But two Canadians have developed a new way of playing a baseball game which brings the reality of the sport to life.
The new game is called Xtra innings and is described on the website (xtrainningsgame.com) as matching “wits with your opponent in a baseball card/board game that duplicates the classic confrontation between PITCHER and HITTER, or OFFENSE and DEFENSE.”
The new game is developed in a style of a brain teaser and its creator François Doré was looking to develop something that would keep players coming back for more.
“I wanted to create a baseball game while eliminating the dice from the equation,” says Doré. “The idea came when I saw kids play Warcraft and I saw how involved in the game they were.”
The game involves a unique “Pitch Sequence” where the player chooses every pitch. The game’s website describes it as “baseball chess with a touch of poker.”
A nine inning “game” can be completed in less than two hours and recreates the strategy and intensity of the real thing.
Doré would then approach Dwight Baird with the idea and he saw the potential in the game.
“François came to my house, sat down at my kitchen table and asked me to take a look at an idea he had for a baseball card/board game,” says Baird, who is now President of Xtra innings. “He showed me the idea for the basic ‘Pitching Sequence’, which I thought was pretty interesting, and asked me if I would be interested in helping him develop the rest of the game with him.”
The game is the closest thing to really playing baseball on the field than there is on the market and it can create a bonding experience between family members as Doré explains.
“When we were testing the game, we brought in a 12-year-old boy and his father to play. They had a great time and we asked them about the game and the kid said ‘it’s like playstation, you manage the game, you select every pitch but the difference is you’re not sitting in front of the TV.’ And his father was proud because now they have something they can share.”
But soon they came to realize during initial testing that the game they developed was missing a core part of the demographic they wanted to attract.
“At first, we developed the game to resemble as close as possible, the actual playing of a real baseball game; incorporating all the plays and strategies one would fine on the diamond,” says Baird. “At one point, we began to realize the game we had developed, because it featured every play possible in baseball, was perhaps a bit overwhelming for younger and more novice players.”
With that in mind, Doré and Baird developed the “Little League Edition” within the original Xtra innings game. The premise of the “Pitch Sequence” remains the same but without all the complications of “Check Swings”, “Hit ‘n’ Run”, “Squeeze Play”, “Foul Ball” and many others.
“This edition of the game involves a lot more action and excitement for kids- more home runs, triples and doubles - and less of the strategy of base-running,” says Baird.
When Baird and Doré came to the Baseball Canada offices to present their idea to Director General Jim Baba and Baseball Operations Manager André Lachance, they were impressed with the game and proceeded to strike a partnership agreement with Xtra innings.
“For us, it is great to have Baseball Canada's seal of approval and support for the game, because it gives us immediate credibility in the Canadian marketplace, and hopefully, easier access to a core group of baseball fans in Canada,” says Baird.
“We assume the members of Baseball Canada are all baseball fans and involved in some way, with baseball, so hopefully we can tap into this, get their interest. We see this as a great way to establish a primary test market for our new game.”
To find out more about this great new baseball game, go to www.xtrainningsgame.com.