surrealcouchuniverse

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." – Dean Martin


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Kickstarter Retrospective: Orcs Must Die and Boss Monster

So next on the list are two games with a distinct video game theme.

ORCS MUST DIE by PETERSON GAMES: So Cthulhu Wars is one of my favorite games of all time. Orcs Must Die is a game I really enjoy. Thought this would be a home run. Instead, it takes the worst of the Zombicide randomness but leaves behind all the little things Zombicide does right (tiered levelling, etc.) to give a game that is pretty random. Sold.

BOSS MONSTER by BROTHERWISE GAMES: Another game where it had video game routes. I really thought it looked good. However, it also felt very swingy with player elimination. The game was too punishing to account for the swinginess and, once again, I felt like the game was playing me. The theme kept it around for quite a few plays but eventually, it was sold.

So they are two games where the publishers and thems got me excited. In hindsight, I should’ve just left them alone.

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Incoming Kickstarter Games

So there are a few games that are incoming on Kickstarter that I am pretty excited about. I thought I would just run through sun of them:

DICE THRONE 2nd SEASON- I was really excited about this. But since they released the teaser for co-operative boss fights in 3rd season, I am less excited. Because I am all in for 3rd season.

HAND OF FATE ORDEALS: Really excited to try this out. I always like rule and makes stuff, although there last couple of games have left me a bit dry. They are no longer a company I get excited about but am looking forward to trying this meta-game-game.

BEASTS OF BALANCE 2nd EDITION: Mainly for the toy factor. Also looks like a pretty chill game in general.

COIN AND CROWN: A game where your currency is actually your bag-building giving incentive for smaller coins. Seems neat and minimal in its artwork so hopefully it ends up being more than just the one gimmick.

7th CONTINENT EXPANSION: An expansion for one of my top 10 games. Salivating at the thought of getting stuck into this.


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Overturn Kickstarter: Conjecture and Theories

So recently the Overturn Kickstarter has blown up with allegations of scamming, etc. Quite a few things came out that are well documented (company based in Canada had prior fraud; creators actually not from Canada; and rulebook was plagiarised). 24 hours (roughly) before the final funding goal Kickstarter has suspended the project. I just thought I would type out what I think may have happened, although it is difficult to know for sure based on what has been released.

Was it a Scam:

I can’t say for certain, but I think it was. They just copy-pasted a Kickstarter together. However, I think the scam went way bigger than they thought it would. When you think about it, without a rulebook released or any attempts to defend themselves, they probably would’ve gotten away with it. However, when the game blew past their expectations (maybe 60-70k) to 300k, they saw the dollar signs.

I think this made them greedy and they tried to salvage the KS to keep this money-pot going, including trying to pass off a rulebook as their own with a few days left to keep backers from dropping. In this way they were quite incompetent scammers and got blinded by a couple of extra dollar signs,

What I Think Happened with Kickstarter:

So Kickstarter got a report including a DMCA from CMoN. CMoN would obviously have allot of weight with Kickstarter. Unfortunately this came on the weekend so Kickstarter had few chances to review. I believe on Saturday (working overtime) or Friday/Monday, they investigated the matter and sent a list of queries to Foxtale Studios. With their response, they then sent a list of milestones and actions required to keep the Kickstarter going. This (being on a short time frame) may have included: Send a backer update addressing the plagiarised rulebook (done); provide the beta rulebook before the 24 hour mark; provide a manufacturing of financial plan to produce the game; etc. When they didn’t hit these milestones, they then cancelled the project.

 

So that is what I think happened for this.


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KICKSTARTER QUICK THOUGHTS: 27th JUNE 2018

So another big month of Kickstarters with allot of good projects coming out. Here is my thoughts on some of them.

KUNG-FU PANDA by MODIPHUS ENTERTAINMENT:  A real-time co-operative game where you are going through a board. Based on the Escape the Temple system, I am concerned with how much say the designer doesn’t have (similar to Orcs Must Die!). But I like the theme. I will have to check later to see whether the big box is worthwhile with the lack of content compared to normal. Backed for now.

HUNTERS AD 2114 by ALBRITCH: Looks like a cool game where you are hunting robots co-operatively. I really liked Exiled: Siege but hope some component and rulebook lessons are learned. Backed but will check the rulebook closely prior to deciding.

TANG GARDEN by BISI: A game that looks really pretty and promises a relaxing stroll, which sounds like Tokaido or that game where you are painting the emperor. Nothing in it really grabs me too much. It looks nice and I am on an early bird, but I predict a few people will be dropping off at the end. It does have a solo mode, which keeps me more interested. Backed (for now).

CARD CITY XL THE CRIME EXPANSION by VIARD: This seems like a cool game but it is in a crowded genre of grid tableau builder (or that is what it seems like). The original game didn’t get much buzz, but it seems allot of people came back for the expansion, which gives my more confidence. Reassess later.

SOLOMON KANE by MYTHIC GAMES: The concept looks interesting. But it seems like Unicornus Knights. Unicornus Knights does it better in my opinion, with you all having your own physical character rather than collectively just influencing the one character. I was excited but didn’t seem too interesting playing it long term for the price. Passed.


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Kickstarter Retrospective: Softer World and Strife

So this is a new series where I look back at my Kickstarters (2 at a time) and give a retrospective on where are they now.

 

A Softer World 4- Lets Do Something Wrong: So the first Kickstarter I backed (and how I found out about Kickstarter) was due to a webcomic I was reading (A Softer World). This is a great comic which seems to set up a normal scenario then twists it via a few photographic panels. This kickstarter gave me a flask and a book. The Kickstarter was cool, although you miss the alt-text (what you get when you leave your mouse cursor over the comic) if memory serves me correctly. All up, a good Kickstarter, although I think I eventually wore out the flask (I drank cordial from it because it looked cool, not alcohol).

Strife- Legacy of the Eternals: This was a perfect information game where the conceit was that it was like war (play a card to beat the other), but your champion inherits traits from your last champion (i.e. bonus power, an ability, etc.). It was a better idea than it was in execution. The rulebook needed more examples and the special ability rules needed to be a bit clearer. There was a follow-up Strife that could be combined, but it didn’t interest me too much. I did sell this off eventually as better games for 2 players were available.


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Kickstarter Board Game Thoughts (27 November 2017)

It has been relatively quiet on the Kickstarter front. Well, apart from Too Many Bones and 7th Continent’s second wave Kickstarters just finishing and the general bunch of really succesful Kickstarters going along. Here are some that have caught my eye:

Folklore: The Affliction (2nd Printing): This has got me interested in that there is now a review of the game up on Dice Tower. The review seemed to be quite positive and it looked interesting.

Sorcerer: A duel-type card game from the makers of Star Realms. It seems good but I already have allot of these duelling type games that I can play. So this is probably a pass for me but it seems good if you need a game like this.

Galactic Warlords Battle for Dominion: This is a relaunch. The first game cover looked unique. The relaunch… Not so much. It looks like a nice little area-control game that relies on card-interaction. It does look interesting and I backed the first launch. However, since that time I got Kemet, 1754 and a couple of other semi-area control games so I think this is a miss for this launch.

Dawn of Peacemakers: A quasi-war game with legacy and campaign elements. It has a pretty cool theme of trying to stop an animal-type war. The company seems to have done good games (Dale of Merchants 2 previously) that have been reviewed well, but the games advertising doesn’t quite pop on the Kickstarter page.

Ravine: This seems to be going well. The creator made the Space Team card game and the game looks kind-of bleak and simplistic for my tastes. I hope it goes well as it seems like a Robinson Crusoe or similar style game but much lighter.


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INFURIATING THINGS IN BOARD GAME RULEBOOKS

The following thing I find infuriating in the rulesbooks for board games:

Multiple Gameplay Walkthroughs- Having more than 1 gameplay runthrough, with the rules split between them, makes it extremely hard to look-up rules. It also confuses people as they are trying to go through the rules to learn the game. Have all the rules in one spot in a logical order. See Portal Games for the worst examples.

Missing Significant Rules- If something is in the game, it should be defined in the rulebook. This is a problem with Kickstarters, with terms defined (oftentimes not intuitively) on cards that are just missing from the rulebook. See Endure the Stars (1st Edition).

No Player Aids or Rules Only on Summary- The summary should give you the rules that have been explained in depth elsewhere. If your game has 11 different actions (with effects that aren’t indicated anywhere) and an action only fully defined on a summary, you need a decent player aid and blind test. See In The Name of Odin.

Wall of Text- This is self-explanatory. Things should be set out with headings, examples, etc. Having just a wall of text to try to find rules and definitions is a nightmare. See Ravens of Thrh-Sahari.