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Subject: OBG 106: Ever Increasing Quality rss

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Donald Dennis
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Ray Greenley, legendary podcast listener, joins Erik and Donald to talk about if increasing quality in game production will hurt smaller producers.

In the review-a-palooza, Don and Erik look at:

Zen Garden
Police Precinct
Road Rally USA
Clubs
Blood Bowl


http://traffic.libsyn.com/onboardgames/ong106_042813.mp3

RSS Feed: http://onboardgames.libsyn.com/rss
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Ray Greenley
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Thanks Donald! I'm guessing you must mean 'Legendary' as the Magic key word, where you can only have one of me in play at a time. I think in this situation we can all be grateful for that normally disappointing limitation. ;^)

And another round of huge thanks to both Erik and Don for having me on OBG. I've never podcasted before, let alone in such illustrious company, and I really appreciate their leap of faith on my behalf.

It was also fun to hear the Blood Bowl review. I picked up the digital 'Legendary Edition' last year and played a bunch against the AI with a Lizardman team. I never did get up the nerve to try a human opponent, though. I definitely enjoy the game, but I'm struck by how much using the PC helps keep the game moving. I'm not normally one to fear complexity or get scared off by some fiddly-ness, but the prospect of keeping track of everything going on in a physical game seems daunting.

I mean, say you have a small shifty player making a chancy dodge past several opponents, and at each step of the way you need to calculate a new target roll making sure to take into account all the abilities of the defenders that are being triggered. And then on the next square you're moving from you have to do it again with a new set of defenders and their abilities. I'm guessing you just have to get used to it!

EDIT - Oh, and I wanted to add that noticed I misspoke at one point in the podcast. We were talking about Kickstarter, and I mentioned Dungeon Dice as a success. I meant Dungeon Roll. Sorry for the error!
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Hey,

That's 1 vote from me for solo gaming, Erik. I really enjoy solo gaming. There are so many co/op games that work really well solo, with the added advantage that you have total control of each players actions and can really form some strong strategies.

I never understood why sitting at a table by yourself playing a boardgame tends to get looked at as sad and lonely (I'm looking at you Donald), but sitting on the couch playing a video game is perfectly fine. I just don't see the difference.
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Brian Counter
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Rather enjoyed the episode. A couple quick comments...

I am thoroughly with Don on Lords of Vegas minis. That would just be much added fun. Adding buidlings and the promo Skywalk in mini form, somebody get on that.

I've always stayed away, far away, from Blood Bowl, because I'm not a fan of GW and the way they do business, and seeing it played once, the people playing were quasi-rude, dismissive and 'hygiene-challenged'. However, your discussion of it heightened my interest. I know I can search for it myself, but listeners might benefit from having a direct link to the rules here for easy reference, and I'd be curious if you could point us to any secondary market sources to alternative minis that you mentioned during the podcast. I'm imagining some minis like Battleball but with fantasy flavor.
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Donald Dennis
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Droopy McCool wrote:
I never understood why sitting at a table by yourself playing a boardgame tends to get looked at as sad and lonely (I'm looking at you Donald), but sitting on the couch playing a video game is perfectly fine. I just don't see the difference.


Fair enough.

I've always found board games interesting because of the social aspect, as well as the challenge of pitting brain against brain. On the other hand they electronic pulses of light coming from my TV, and the capable computer juggling mechanisms and easing play, make for a more attractive experience.
 
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Honestly, @48:50 I had to rewind, because I thought ArykErik was wondering about an opportunity for a "Chia Pets type game company". (I'm pretty sure he was referring to "Cheap-ass".)

Chia meeples? Wood for Chia sheep?

I see that James Earnest / Cheapass trying out a tipping/shareware model on a 2011 release, Poker Suite. Maybe that's due to the nature of the package (card games, previously released, rules only), but they also say that older games from their line up sometimes get re-released online for free after generous donation (e.g., Button Men).
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Donald Dennis
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LurkingMeeple wrote:
Honestly, @48:50 I had to rewind, because I thought ArykErik was wondering about an opportunity for a "Chia Pets type game company". (I'm pretty sure he was referring to "Cheap-ass".)
If he said ChiaPass, then yeah, he meant CheapAss games.
 
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Esteban Fernandez
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Interesting topic on this episode, I want to add to the discussion the disadvantages that are going to have the small international companies.

Small print runs on small countries like Spain are going to have even harder now, where before you can have good games, with cardboard and cubes, now it's true that the quality of the games, components, graphic design, and extras like plastic minis, is higher that means more expensive games for those companies, less profit.

More so after this entry on the Tasty Minstrel Games Blog

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/18941/5-reasons-why-i-...

Check those numbers, and tell me if you agree with me, that the European market is gonna have a hard time the next years.
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Donald Dennis
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I don't remember if I mentioned it in the round table, but the evolution of the tabletop hobby is really, in some ways, following the growth curve of the video games industry.

Originally a small studio could put together a game, and if it were good there were a chance it could be a success. Then the AAA industry where large crews were required to shooting for blockbuster quality. Then XBOX Arcade, Steam, and iOs happened, allowing smaller groups to make fun games with smaller development scale. Now, the successful indie developers are also creating studios.

I'd say that with crowd-funding the hobby game industry has hit the iOS equivalent and before that we have hit some of the other benchmarks as well.

 
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Ray Greenley
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To be completely open, the state of the video game industry is a large part of where I came up with the topic idea. I listen to a video game podcast (Giant Bombcast, if you're curious) where they've talked about how 'B' level games are disappearing. The larger players will barely touch anything that they can't blow out into a AAA, multi-million sales hit that they can crank out new versions of every year or two. The costs of developing for modern consoles is becoming so high that you either need to go budget or go all-out, and going all-out is expensive.

So why didn't I bring this up during the podcast, you ask? I actually feel like the comparison breaks down significantly in that the scale of increasing development costs are nowhere close. It takes many millions of dollars and years of work for teams of scores (or hundreds) to develop a blockbuster AAA video game these days. In the board game industry, things have gotten more expensive, but nowhere near to that extent.
 
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Esteban Fernandez
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Walsfeo wrote:
I don't remember if I mentioned it in the round table, but the evolution of the tabletop hobby is really, in some ways, following the growth curve of the video games industry.

Originally a small studio could put together a game, and if it were good there were a chance it could be a success. Then the AAA industry where large crews were required to shooting for blockbuster quality. Then XBOX Arcade, Steam, and iOs happened, allowing smaller groups to make fun games with smaller development scale. Now, the successful indie developers are also creating studios.

I'd say that with crowd-funding the hobby game industry has hit the iOS equivalent and before that we have hit some of the other benchmarks as well.



with iOs games you mean cheap games, that are no good?

I agree with you that board game industry and videogame industry are very alike, I'm starting to see lots more of medium quality board games, with awesome components, and lots of marketing money behind that sells way more than hard-core good board games, that are published by small studios.

As more games enter the fray, more money is expended on marketing, more risk means, safer games, which are family games, that have to sell a lot to be profitable. Some companies even claim to publish some games, more because they liked them, than because they are going to make a lot of money on that.
 
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Esteban Fernandez
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RMGreen wrote:
To be completely open, the state of the video game industry is a large part of where I came up with the topic idea. I listen to a video game podcast (Giant Bombcast, if you're curious) where they've talked about how 'B' level games are disappearing. The larger players will barely touch anything that they can't blow out into a AAA, multi-million sales hit that they can crank out new versions of every year or two. The costs of developing for modern consoles is becoming so high that you either need to go budget or go all-out, and going all-out is expensive.

So why didn't I bring this up during the podcast, you ask? I actually feel like the comparison breaks down significantly in that the scale of increasing development costs are nowhere close. It takes many millions of dollars and years of work for teams of scores (or hundreds) to develop a blockbuster AAA video game these days. In the board game industry, things have gotten more expensive, but nowhere near to that extent.


Yeah.. well, there is a saying now, that next gen games have to be more expensive, because they cost way more to be done, and then 50% or more or the budget goes to marketing.

Indie games (videogames) can afford to risk a lot, because if they hit the jackpot it can be waaaay profitable, for a small company. EA or Activisione doesn't care about that, is small money for they.
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Donald Dennis
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kabutor wrote:
with iOs games you mean cheap games, that are no good?


Cheap and small, but some of them are good.
 
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Erik Dewey
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heymondo wrote:
Rather enjoyed the episode. A couple quick comments...

I am thoroughly with Don on Lords of Vegas minis. That would just be much added fun. Adding buidlings and the promo Skywalk in mini form, somebody get on that.

I've always stayed away, far away, from Blood Bowl, because I'm not a fan of GW and the way they do business, and seeing it played once, the people playing were quasi-rude, dismissive and 'hygiene-challenged'. However, your discussion of it heightened my interest. I know I can search for it myself, but listeners might benefit from having a direct link to the rules here for easy reference, and I'd be curious if you could point us to any secondary market sources to alternative minis that you mentioned during the podcast. I'm imagining some minis like Battleball but with fantasy flavor.


Brian,

Excellent point. Here's the link straight from GW:
http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?catId=...

As for secondary minis:

http://blood-bowl-miniatures.de/bb/bb_links_manufactures.htm...

and

http://fumbbl.com/help:AlternativeMinis

Finally there is this article. It's a little old, but still useful:
How to play Blood Bowl without supporting GW
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Erik Dewey
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LurkingMeeple wrote:
Honestly, @48:50 I had to rewind, because I thought ArykErik was wondering about an opportunity for a "Chia Pets type game company". (I'm pretty sure he was referring to "Cheap-ass".)


Honestly, it is just my way of avoiding cursing while still using the company's name. It isn't perfect (in fact it is a little awkward), but it's the best I could come up with on short notice.

On the other hand, think of how fun a miniatures game could be that used chia plants in the minis. As they sprouted, the mini gained power, sort of a vegetable Samson kind of thing. devil
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Ben Wand
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Just about done with this episode and I caught Erik's reference to his guest post on my blog A Game of Marketing.

Thanks for the plug and it was great having you contribute.

Great episode as always, Don and Erik, and Ray did a fine job in 3rd chair.

All the best.

http://gameofmarketing.blogspot.com/
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Donald Dennis
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On Board Games » Forums » News
Re: OBG 106: Ever Increasing Quality
Benjow wrote:
Just about done with this episode and I caught Erik's reference to his guest post on my blog A Game of Marketing.

Thanks for the plug and it was great having you contribute.

Great episode as always, Don and Erik, and Ray did a fine job in 3rd chair.

All the best.

http://gameofmarketing.blogspot.com/


Wow, I'm quoted there. I approve of this blog post.

http://gameofmarketing.blogspot.com/2013/04/is-there-echo-in...
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