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Subject: OBG 069: Suck on My Big Deck Building Game rss

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Donald Dennis
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Scott and Donald answer listener questions, talk about Deck Building Games and Kickstarter projects, Donald talks about Flying Buffalo’s Decision Dice, Origins Poker Deck, and Blank Nuclear War Cards

Donald interviews A.J. Porfirio of VanRyder Games about their Kickstarter Publishing experience.
http://vanrydergames.com/
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1459655047/if-im-going-d...
http://www.purplepawn.com/2011/05/how-to-succeed-or-fail-on-...

Donald reviews Gridstone & Eruption
Giles talks about games that are bigger than they appear.

Games Donald wants to play at BGG.con
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/72813/bgg-con-2011-play-li...



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On Board Games » Forums » News
Re: OBG 069: Suck on My Big Deck Building Game
Excellent title for episode 69.
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Brad Brooks
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Walsfeo wrote:
OBG 69: Suck on My Big Deck Building Game


Really?
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Joseph Anderson
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Great episode again.

...And you're both still wrong about Dominion.
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Scott Nicholson
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beehive23 wrote:
Walsfeo wrote:
OBG 69: Suck on My Big Deck Building Game


Really?



Yeah, really.

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Donald Dennis
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knaves wrote:
Great episode again.

...And you're both still wrong about Dominion.


Thanks!

...And

Dominion has a unique position in my view of games. I rarely mind playing it, but I'm never "oh good, let's play Dominion", and when the game is over I feel like I've only played about half of a game.

It doesn't suck, but in the years to come I feel it will be better known for popularizing the deck building mechanism than for being a great game in and of itself.
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Jason Lott
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So now we know what kind of mischief you two get into while Eric's not around, right?

Hey Scott - I'm happy to hop on as a co-host sometime, just give me a shout! And although I don't have a British accent, I will be happy to fake it if it keeps you swooning.

Fiasco - noted and will have to check it out.
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Donald Dennis
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DancerInDC wrote:
And although I don't have a British accent, I will be happy to fake it if it keeps you swooning.


I'd bet nobody in the world has an accent like the one I used for that episode.
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Adam Daulton
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Just listened to this episode and enjoyed the different thoughts, especially the interview with Van Ryder Games. However, I was amazed that both Don and Scott have a problem with companies using Kickstarter to fund other items than their original campaign, should they raise more money than is needed.

I mean, it is a business right? The job is to make money. We don't require traditional startup companies to put all money they make on game A to be put right back into game A. In my opinion, I don't think it matters what companies do with their "extra" money from Kickstarter, just so long as they provide what they promised on the campaign.

Was curious what other listeners thought about this?
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Jason Lott
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Adam - I'd say it's more about how you represent yourself. If you represent that you're raising funds for this game and then apply extra to something else - that's bait & switch, to my mind.

Just be clear and upfront - if extra funds will go to fund additional designs, then fine - as long as you spell that out from the beginning.
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Joseph Anderson
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Walsfeo wrote:
DancerInDC wrote:
And although I don't have a British accent, I will be happy to fake it if it keeps you swooning.


I'd bet nobody in the world has an accent like the one I used for that episode.


Yeah, you have given Dick van Dyke a run for his money.
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An organization I work with recently faced this problem. We carefully created a goal that was both realistic and suited our needs. We thought we could exceed it, but not by a terrible amount. We met our goal within a week and closed at more than doubled our goal.

This was tricky because we were a community space, we weren't "selling" anything. We met and came up with further goals we'd like to achieve and where "extra" money would go. After posting about that we still received several thousand in pledges.

I believe this is the nature of using kickstarter, you want to both set reasonable goals, but also greatly exceed them.

My issue with kickstarter board games is the the lack of reinforcement of development. I'm not pointing any fingers (because I've never played a kickstarted board game), or saying every game on kickstarter is under developed, but I don't know how much testing has gone into a game, i can't receive honest feedback from the community about it, It feels like I'm gambling. I pledge some amount, forget about it, 5-8 months later a game arrives, and I sure hope it's good because I paid for it.

The appeal to me just isn't there, I like to research games and really find what I'm looking for. That said, there actually are two games up right now I'm considering pledging; Imperial Space Armada, and Z-Ward.
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Donald Dennis
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ooogene wrote:
Just listened to this episode and enjoyed the different thoughts, especially the interview with Van Ryder Games. However, I was amazed that both Don and Scott have a problem with companies using Kickstarter to fund other items than their original campaign, should they raise more money than is needed.

I mean, it is a business right? The job is to make money. We don't require traditional startup companies to put all money they make on game A to be put right back into game A. In my opinion, I don't think it matters what companies do with their "extra" money from Kickstarter, just so long as they provide what they promised on the campaign.

Was curious what other listeners thought about this?


I'd also like to hear more about what other folks think about this.

I have to admit, my knowledge of the Kickstarter process was non-existent before Scott and I started talking about it. When the chance arose to interview AJ, I leapt on it. My thoughts now, with time and education, are a bit different than whatever I said in the original discussion I had with Scott.

Companies can use the Kickstarter process for one of several reasons. The three primary reasons I see as Publicity, to judge interest, and funding. In any of these the best case for the company is to get lots of people talking about, and supporting the production of, a new project.

Ideally all of the funds generated would be used towards the project in question. And by that I mean extending the print run, enhancing component quality, hiring a professional proof reader for one last proof read of rules and cards, that kind of thing. In other words, all the stuff an established professional game company would do because it has the resources to do it.

Additional printed copies could be sold into distribution just like any other published game. (Without the special kickstart supporter bennies.) However, once a project has reached a certain level of funding then it might not be worthwhile to print more. (Non professional companies really don't want to start storing large inventories of games.)

By the same token, not every penny earned in a kickstart program has to go towards printing the project. Designers, artists, editors, layout monkeys, are all necessary expenses when creating a game. There is also nothing wrong with the company as an entity earning something as well. Ideally a company will end up better off than when they first started developing a game.

Companies don't owe the supporters any more than promised in the kickstarter plan, but they should try to get the quality as high as it will be in future printings because they shouldn't punish your early supporters for helping out when it was really needed.

Even considering all of that, I think it's kinda silly and disingenuous to start pushing an expansion, or a second/third/fourth game from a well funded first project. Unless it is a large enough corporation it tells me that the company isn't really focused on making the original project as good as it can be, but has instead moved on to selling vapor ware.

Edit to add:
In other words, I won't ever support a project because they say "we will use extra money to develop something else". I may still support a project that makes such a claim - but it will be because I am interested enough in the original product that I want it and want to see it succeed.
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Doug Faust
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I agree more with the VanRyder Games guy. When you sign up for a Kickstarter project (which is really just a fancy dolled-up preorder system), you know exactly what you're paying and what you're getting for that money. You are not (as Scott implies) investing in the company, or making a charitable donation, you are paying for a product. What the company decides to do with the proceeds of that sale is up to that company--and what company doesn't use part of their revenue to fund future produce development? And heck, a lot of gamers decry that game designers are not reasonably compensated--why complain when they get to take home a little more? What Kickstarter does is provides a little more transparency in the business of making games; that doesn't mean that companies need to spend 100% of their profits on improving products that they won't turn another dime on.
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I feel my last point wasn't as clear as I wanted to to be so I'll elaborate. Typically when a game is published the publisher (company, person, whatever) believes in it enough to put money into it. They see a game and are impressed enough with it's development that they say "Let's spend some money and produce this!"

Now with kickstarter it seems the people taking the chance are the consumers, who really get little knowledge of how developed the game is, never get to play it or talk with the designer and really the the games are marketed in a way published board games are not marketed.

Typical board game marketing is pretty classy. A game gets published, the designer does a few interviews, the publisher sends out some copies for review and the public is privy to all of this before or shortly after the game comes out.

Marketing a kickstarter campaign is much different, its about being the flashiest rock in the pan, grabbing peoples attention through more traditional marketing means of a slick write up and attractive video. It's much similar to selling yourself to a publisher, but you're instead selling your design directly to the public at a smaller risk/investment per head.

I don't think that's bad, I just prefer the more traditional method of game publishing, of course if after a game is kickstarted and does interest me, i don't hold anything against it by how it got there, a good game is a good game.
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Donald Dennis
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While you may not be investing you are not exactly purchasing. When you purchase something you give money then get a product. With the kickstart process you pledge, then pay, then eventually get a product with some extra bonuses for being an early adopter.
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Donald Dennis
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schwarzott wrote:
I feel my last point wasn't as clear as I wanted to to be so I'll elaborate. Typically when a game is published the publisher (company, person, whatever) believes in it enough to put money into it. They see a game and are impressed enough with it's development that they say "Let's spend some money and produce this!"

Now with kickstarter it seems the people taking the chance are the consumers, who really get little knowledge of how developed the game is, never get to play it or talk with the designer and really the the games are marketed in a way published board games are not marketed.

Typical board game marketing is pretty classy. A game gets published, the designer does a few interviews, the publisher sends out some copies for review and the public is privy to all of this before or shortly after the game comes out.

Marketing a kickstarter campaign is much different, its about being the flashiest rock in the pan, grabbing peoples attention through more traditional marketing means of a slick write up and attractive video. It's much similar to selling yourself to a publisher, but you're instead selling your design directly to the public at a smaller risk/investment per head.

I don't think that's bad, I just prefer the more traditional method of game publishing, of course if after a game is kickstarted and does interest me, i don't hold anything against it by how it got there, a good game is a good game.


I really wish typical board game marketing behaved in the way you suggest. Most designers don't have any kind of interview cycle, advertisement placement is nearly non-existant except on industry related sites like BGG, and many game companies don't know how to market their products.

If game publishing companies were a bit more professional in their marketing they'd be much easier to interface with as a podcast.
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From my perspective that is how board game marketing works. I see interviews on blogs and podcasts popping up and generally there's a week or two where a game might receive a few reviews from some of the more prolific game reviewers, but as you say that might just be how I see it.

Obviously every game doesn't get this attention, but I can't fathom why a publisher or a designer wouldn't take advantage of this way of marketing as it seems so simple to do (a few hours of your time, a few copies of your game), and connects DIRECTLY to the people you want to connect to.
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Puerto Rico : I'm with you on this one, Don. Sort of. I like the game. I DON'T like playing with anyone who LOVES the game though.

Deck-Building : There are two games out that have deckbuilding used more like Scott was talking about. With Blood Bowl Team Manager, there's deckbuilding when you get new players, but it's only an aspect of the game, it's not THE game. With Mage Knight, the deckbuilding is used to customize the actions that your Mage Knight may take while walking around the board and having adventures.

Fiasko : Did Scott say THREE hours to play? I'm interested in it, but I don't know if I have three hours of interest...

Small That Are Bigger : Innovation! I love this game. Playing with two is always great, but playing with four players and partners really adds another element that makes the game great then too.

Kickstarter : I have a low opinion of the offerings there, but it has nothing to do with the business end. I just don't see it as being any different than selling your game via Game Crafter (just for example). Without any quality control, it's just nuts to buy into these projects. If the game actually ends up being any good (like Alien Frontiers) then it'll become available. If I see a project that's sponsored by an actual game company, then I might take a second look because I'm assuming that company is willing to stand behind the game and has a look at it and refined it if it needs it. Again though, the game will be available to all so I don't see any reason to invest now.
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I have to say that episode came out better than I feared, what with no me and all. devil
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Trump wrote:


Small That Are Bigger : Innovation! I love this game. Playing with two is always great, but playing with four players and partners really adds another element that makes the game great then too.


I've only played one game of this - it has to be one the best and most satisfying game experiences of my life - and not for any good reasons probably.

I was playing with my brother and James (Out of this World co-host) - it was extremely late at night (early in the morning) after much imbibing of amber liquids had been done by all.

I fell asleep at the table, and every turn I had to be woken up to play my cards and honestly didn't understand what was happening in the game at all.

Something must have clicked somewhere. Right at the end of the game, in the last one or two turns, as I woke up, I suddenly felt everything fall into place - somehow I just knew exactly what I needed to do. I played my turn out and won the game just edging out James (who owned, and had explained the game). Loud celebrations ensued on my part, much to the good-humoured chagrin of James (very understandable).

I have told him it was the best game ever, and that we shall never play again in order to retain the sanctity of this momentous event.


And while it might seem a small package, it is certainly a much bigger game once you start playing with it...

Cheers,

Giles.
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Donald Dennis
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caradoc wrote:
Trump wrote:


Small That Are Bigger : Innovation! I love this game. Playing with two is always great, but playing with four players and partners really adds another element that makes the game great then too.


I've only played one game of this - it has to be one the best and most satisfying game experiences of my life - and not for any good reasons probably.


I think perhaps the fewer players the better. I've played it twice with four players and found game play less satisfying than the concept led me to expect. I still have high hopes that Innovation will be a great two player game.
 
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Does Fiasco have a BGG page? If it does, is there a unique spelling I am missing?

Fiasco is a six-suited Trick-Taking game.

Fiasko Is a press-your-luck set collecting card game.

Any other spelling options?
 
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Doug Faust
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Fiasco perhaps? They mentioned it's an RPG.
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Walsfeo wrote:
I think perhaps the fewer players the better. I've played it twice with four players and found game play less satisfying than the concept led me to expect. I still have high hopes that Innovation will be a great two player game.


Did you play four player with PARTNERS or every man for himself? There's too much chaos in a free-for-all.

Here's a link for Fiasco : http://www.bullypulpitgames.com/games/fiasco/
 
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