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Subject: Are games becoming too simple??? rss

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Clay Stone
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This question would be for the wargamers who have been wargaming for years.

Has wargame design/mechanics become more simple in the last year to help grab the masses that are not in the hobby but try to bring them into the hobby?



...


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Keith Medlin
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
A few thoughts:
1 - If the objective of the game is achieved and it is fun, does the complexity matter?
2 - I'm not seeing that at all. Case in point is the new Batallion Combat Series from The Gamers / MMP AND games like MBT/Panzer and Next War from GMT which enjoy large followings and popularity.

To me, gaming is about the fun. If complexity is necessary to coax that out...great. If not, that's fine too.
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Clay Stone
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
gamesontables wrote:
A few thoughts:
1 - If the objective of the game is achieved and it is fun, does the complexity matter?
2 - I'm not seeing that at all. Case in point is the new Batallion Combat Series from The Gamers / MMP AND games like MBT/Panzer and Next War from GMT which enjoy large followings and popularity.

To me, gaming is about the fun. If complexity is necessary to coax that out...great. If not, that's fine too.


Hi KM

I never said simple is not fun, and why does complex (Deeper) games with chrome have to be un-fun. I have fun playing complex (deeper) games. I enjoy it so much more than simple games

I just wanted to know from gamers who have been in this hobby do they feel games are becoming more simple to grab the masses
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K A
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
Complex not equal to Deep
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Udo Schwalenberg
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
GamePlayer wrote:
Complex not equal to Deep


I would say the same:
Complexity is nearly never coming from complicatedness.
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Derry Salewski
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
If you can't even use correct grammar in your thread title where you start by insulting basically everybody . . . I'm not sure what to say!

I think it's undeniable that most people don't want what you say you want. So, it would follow that most games aren't that.

Pretty sure there are some, though. Good luck finding them.

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Rex Stites
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
claystone wrote:
This question would be for the wargamers who have been wargaming for years.

Has wargame design become more simple and dumb down for the masses to play???

Me I look for deeper game design/mechanics that give me logistic, command control, lots of charts and a lot of chrome and fiddliness in a game. I've notice not that many newer games are out there that fit this bill but more older games do, but I could be wrong. I let the PC gaming world be use I was experiencing a lot of games coming out being too simple and dumb down to grab the masses and I feel kill a hobby.




Operational Combat Series, Grand Operational Simulation Series, Battles from the Age of Reason (BAR), La Bataille series, to name just a few, seems to show that there's no lack of deep, complex games being made. I wouldn't let the the predominance of discussion on BGG of lighter games fool you.
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Matt & Laurel
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
Wargaming, like every other niche of gaming, needs a spread of different types of games, covering different periods / conflicts and at different levels of complexity. I don't think that the publication of simpler games is a bad thing and it certainly hasn't meant that more complex games aren't being published.

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Buy and play the games that you like. They're probably available. End of.
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Robert Wesley
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
scifiantihero wrote:
If you can't even use correct grammar in your thread title where you start by insulting basically everybody . . . I'm not sure what to say!

I think it's undeniable that most people don't want what you say you want. So, it would follow that most games aren't that.

Pretty sure there are some, though. Good luck finding them.

Perhaps, they'd meant upon the 'EUROgering' "higgledy-piggedly-BACH" with QM and "AGGRO"-clique-clucking? meeple
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Claudio Hornblower
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
claystone wrote:
Has wargame design become more simple and dumb down for the masses to play???

When I was a kiddo, I used to play this:


Now I'm playing this (v3.0):


So I'd say no - thank you In other words: there have been always complex and simple wargames, side by side. What I see now are more mixed designs: COIN series, weuros like Race to the Rhine or the recent The Fog of War, Polis, Quartermaster General, 1775 and 1812 by Academy Games; but also Triumph & Tragedy (somebody called it a "WW2 beer and pretzels"), Churchill and the upcoming Pericles, and so on.

I mean, nowadays there is a very very simple (abstract, almost) game like W1815; but also the new chapter of La Bataille (Dresde).

I firmly believe that we live in great times to be wargamers. The choice is wider than ever. While we used to play World in Flames back then, now that the time is short, we have Blitz! thanks to Compass - but it's not that the former has disappeared, we can still play it if we want (and can bring a pint of coffee to bear)
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Barry Harvey
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
Maybe someone could produce a graph of average wargame weight by year? Very subjective I know.
 
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Clay Stone
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
scifiantihero wrote:
If you can't even use correct grammar in your thread title where you start by insulting basically everybody . . . I'm not sure what to say!



Derry, where in my post did i insult anyone????.. I was asking a question. If people can't post question because like you think its insulting then i can't help you. I'm asking about game mechanics how is that insulting...


...
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Ron A
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
Every era of wargames have a range of complexity to them.

Look at 1977.

Squad Leader.
Victory in the Pacific.
Air War: Modern Tactical Air Combat.

Squad Leader was considered far more complex than Panzer Leader/Panzer Blitz which came before it; and as for Air War, well, its rulebook was regarded with fear and loathing.

Meanwhile, you have VitP, sibling to War at Sea, one of the simplest games ever.

So, in 1977, were wargames becoming more complex, or were they dumbed down?

Same thing today, you have complex games: Last Blitzkrieg, for example, and simpler fare as well. I'm not enough of a data hound to declare that games are overall simpler to play/understand than the 70s (or vice versa), but for people that want more complex, deeper games today, they can certainly find them.
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Tony Doran
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
I just don't think there is a problem. To answer the question asked, no, I don't think games are being oversimplified or dumbed down. I've been wargaming for fifty years, and, in my experience, the hobby has always produced a mix of simpler games and ones with more complexity, of games with just surface fun and ones with more depth (these are not always the same).

In addition, there are the different systems which have led to huge debates about whether a particular game is a "true" wargame or not. I think it's mostly a matter of personal taste. And even that can vary in the same person from time to time. I do not care for cdg's at all, but lots of folks seem to enjoy them. Sometimes I am content to play a simple game like Golan from the SPI Modern Battles set. Sometimes I prefer The Next War. I have games with 6 page rulebooks and games with 200 page rule sets, and like them all. And they are from across my whole fifty years of gaming.
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Derry Salewski
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
claystone wrote:
scifiantihero wrote:
If you can't even use correct grammar in your thread title where you start by insulting basically everybody . . . I'm not sure what to say!



Derry, where in my post did i insult anyone????.. I was asking a question. If people can't post question because like you think its insulting then i can't help you. I'm asking about game mechanics how is that insulting...


...


"Dumbed down" is rarely taken as a very neutral way to describe something.
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J.L. Robert
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
Suppose the subject is raised in a different direction.

Were older games needlessly complex and bogged down in minutia that could be streamlined with more elegant designs?
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Clay Stone
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
scifiantihero wrote:
claystone wrote:
scifiantihero wrote:
If you can't even use correct grammar in your thread title where you start by insulting basically everybody . . . I'm not sure what to say!



Derry, where in my post did i insult anyone????.. I was asking a question. If people can't post question because like you think its insulting then i can't help you. I'm asking about game mechanics how is that insulting...


...


"Dumbed down" is rarely taken as a very neutral way to describe something.


Didn't mean to offend anyone with the use to that word.
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Hunga Dunga
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
GROGnads wrote:
Perhaps, they'd meant upon the 'EUROgering' "higgledy-piggedly-BACH" with QM and "AGGRO"-clique-clucking? meeple

Mic drop.
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Peter Collins
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
Hungadunga wrote:
GROGnads wrote:
Perhaps, they'd meant upon the 'EUROgering' "higgledy-piggedly-BACH" with QM and "AGGRO"-clique-clucking? meeple

Mic drop.


um...yeah. sure. i think?
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
I'm not sure what the benefit to generalizing is - there are so many games being produced nowadays that I think it's possible to find something that will suit you whatever end of the complexity spectrum you favor.

When board wargaming was in its infancy the games were all quite simple, but new titles pushed continuously at the upper limits of complexity. 1914 seemed extremely complex in 1968. As the hobby exploded in the 70s that process accelerated, but we viewed games through the lens of their time. USN was seen as a highly complex monster game in 1971, but ten years later I think few considered it as either a monster or particularly complex; it was simply an interesting design that required a lot of time if you wanted to play the campaign.

The appetite for simple games never went away of course - while SPI was producing true monsters and truly complex simulations, they were also having great success with quads based on the Napoleon at Waterloo system and one of a kind gems like World War I. By the end of the 80s there was an extremely broad spectrum, one which I don't think has been expanded since. There are practical limits to what is manageable with paper and cardboard, and it had been reached.

That entire spectrum is still viable today, with the added benefit of new design techniques that continue to appear. Innovators innovate and tinkerers refine so worthwhile titles continue to appear, and we're in an economic climate where everybody and their dog can get something published. What's to worry about?
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Brandon
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
Also, in any form of modeling (going from the assumption that wargames are a form of models, which I think most of us can agree to), being able to accomplish the same approximate result with fewer parameters and an overall simpler model is regarded as a good thing. It's not necessarily dumbing down, so much as it's streamlining.

Now, with that said, part of what I enjoy about wargames is the procedural complexity, because it can often lead to some nuance that a simpler design can't capture, even if the overall result is similar. So it becomes a trade-off of how much procedure you're willing to enjoy/suffer to get the level of detail in the result that you prefer. And, as others have said, I think that the full spectrum of choices for that trade-off have been available all along. The only difference now, perhaps, is that some design choices are filtering from euro games, so the simpler designs look very different from the simpler designs of yore.
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Leo Zappa
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
I've been playing wargames since the mid-1970's. Those classic Avalon Hill wargames that I started with were pretty simple when you think about it - most had only 4-8 pages of rules. Certainly in the 70's and through the 1980's wargames evolved into more complex beasts, but that was not all for the good, and too many games became headaches to plow through. I think today there's a good mix of complexity available for wargamers, everything from Commands & Colors to OCS.

Bottom Line - no, I don't think today's wargames have become 'dumbed down".

Caveat - I will say this, I think the 'simpler' wargames are the ones that get most of the press here at BGG, which I think has a different demographic than say, CSW. Over there, the more complex, traditional hex-and-counter 'groggy' titles probably get more attention.
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Clay Stone
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???

My question came about through conversation with other wargamers talking about how to bring in new blood or younger blood into the wargame hobby since most younger people attention span is quick on to the next thing. So to bring them into a hobby maybe make games simpler with less rules to grab the new blood and allow them to work their way into more deeper games.



...
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Mo Caraher
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
scifiantihero wrote:
claystone wrote:
scifiantihero wrote:
If you can't even use correct grammar in your thread title where you start by insulting basically everybody . . . I'm not sure what to say!



Derry, where in my post did i insult anyone????.. I was asking a question. If people can't post question because like you think its insulting then i can't help you. I'm asking about game mechanics how is that insulting...


...


"Dumbed down" is rarely taken as a very neutral way to describe something.


While I truly do not believe that the OP meant any offense, I was very nearly overcome by the irony inherent in the thread title.
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Robert Stuart
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Re: Are games becoming too simple and dumb down???
Not from what I can see. But then, I distinguish between 'complexity' and 'rules-laden'. To me Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944 for instance, is more complex than Advanced Squad Leader, although it's far less rules-laden.

And, of course, new games are continually being produced at the low end of the complexity scale -- so even though the range, from the simplest to the most complex, may be widening, the distribution, in terms of games bought and played, may be shifting towards simpler games.
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