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Subject: The moment where it coalesces into "That! That's what I don't like!" rss

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Bryan Thunkd
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Well, the thread title pretty much says it all. I was reading something on BGG and a designer's name popped up. It was vaguely familiar but I couldn't place it immediately. So I looked them up and there it was... a list of games he designed. A list of games that I really don't like.

They're all games that many other people like, and I'm sure there's a fair number of people who love them. But they had all been misses for me. Not horrible games, but things I just hadn't cared for. As I stared at them as a group, it suddenly dawned on me that they were all dry, mechanical slogs where I felt like I was going through the motions rather than doing anything fun. A few of them I had wanted to like, and had told myself weren't so bad after all. But looking at them all together, I realized that if I was being honest, I intensely disliked them all. And that this designer was just doing things that were bad (For me. There's obviously a lot of people who like his stuff.)

I'm curious if this has happened to anyone else. Has finding out that a bunch of games you don't like were made by the same designer made you see the similarities between them that eluded you before?
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April W
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Now we're all curious as to who this designer is... (but of course, stating it would start his big debate and deter from the original topic).

I haven't had this happen to me that I recall, but I've had the opposite, where I've realized a certain designer really "clicked" with me.
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Andrew J.
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I'll say Feld hasn't done it for me, at all, though I've really appreciated most everything Antoine Bauza (and Reiner Knizia) has put out. It's just different strokes for different folks, and some designers tend to follow a pretty consistent feel for all their games.
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Eric Gergotz
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Yes and no. There are times where I see similar aspects to how the game is designed, but I think that's just how designers stick with what they know. But when I do think about it, I do occasionally see what I don't like with a certain designer's games.

For example, I've come to realize that I absolutely hate Eric Lang games. All of his games are focused on you having an action board and you may or may not have to pay attention to a main board. This isn't a flaw necessarily, just a common aspect to his games. What I don't like about his games are that every time I play one there's always a runaway leader that's helped out by pure randomness and it just keeps building.

Quarriors, Arcadia Quest, Blood Rage, Bloodborne. I've had terrible experiences with them (yes, even while winning them occasionally). I'll never buy Quarriors or Bloodborne because of them. I've sold Blood Rage because it was not fun for me at all. And I'm only keeping Arcadia Quest because I painted those damn minis and they were my first.

The above is just a small example and I could probably come up with more, but I'd rather not.
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Kyle
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I suppose there is one whom shall remain nameless, that i feel life that about, although I've not played a few of the titles. They are euro style with odd chance injection. Do your action culminating with draw a card or roll dice. Effectively games that would normally have deterministic outcomes being changed to random by some extent. I wouldn't want to play Caylus if the resource I get wasn't my choice.

But I'll sit down and wargame or play trash (dudes on a map style please). So it really isn't a random elements thing.
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Tomello Visello
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More likely, I recognize a good trend when coming upon additional pleasant ones from an unplayed designer.

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Tahsin Shamma
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Thunkd wrote:
I'm curious if this has happened to anyone else. Has finding out that a bunch of games you don't like were made by the same designer made you see the similarities between them that eluded you before?


It was the opposite for me. Discovering what I liked because of the designer. But yeah, I get what you mean.
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Sean Tompkins
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Different designers definitely have a "flavor" that they impart to their designs. Even if you don't know entirely what it is, it's nice to have that warning flag (or alternately, know you're probably going to be interested) just based on the designer.
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Tomello Visello
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Thunkd wrote:
Has finding out that a bunch of games you don't like were made by the same designer made you see the similarities between them that eluded you before?

Each title beyond the 2nd is further evidence that you're a slow learner.

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Chris Knight
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Yes.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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TVis wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
Has finding out that a bunch of games you don't like were made by the same designer made you see the similarities between them that eluded you before?

Each title beyond the 2nd is further evidence that you're a slow learner.
Eh... I like trying new games even if some of them aren't that great. A couple of these were things that "on paper" I should like. And all but one of them were games other people in my group had bought and were itching to get to the table.
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Ben Rubinstein

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I feel the same way about Feld. Lots of people love him. I just haven't liked any of his games. That said Oracle of Delphi intrigues me a bit, as I much prefer race games to point salad games.
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Mike Cooper
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TVis wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
Has finding out that a bunch of games you don't like were made by the same designer made you see the similarities between them that eluded you before?

Each title beyond the 2nd is further evidence that you're a slow learner.



A little harsh, dude. Not everybody pays attention to the designer's name on the box - if it's there at all.
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Tomello Visello
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Thosw wrote:
A little harsh, dude. Not everybody pays attention to the designer's name on the box - if it's there at all.

A poke offered less seriously than you read it, taken at someone witnessed giving pokes himself upon occasion.

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Bryan Thunkd
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Thosw wrote:
TVis wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
Has finding out that a bunch of games you don't like were made by the same designer made you see the similarities between them that eluded you before?

Each title beyond the 2nd is further evidence that you're a slow learner.



A little harsh, dude. Not everybody pays attention to the designer's name on the box - if it's there at all.
There were four games in particular that I didn't like. They were played over a 6 month period during which I tried about 25 other new-to-me games (that's on top of the games I played in that period that I already knew).

I only tend to pay attention to a designer's name when I like the game. So I just didn't put together that these four games were all by the same guy, much less that all of his games were things that I don't like.
 
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Matt Brown
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Thosw wrote:
TVis wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
Has finding out that a bunch of games you don't like were made by the same designer made you see the similarities between them that eluded you before?

Each title beyond the 2nd is further evidence that you're a slow learner.



A little harsh, dude. Not everybody pays attention to the designer's name on the box - if it's there at all.


I didn't even realize I owned three Alexander Pfister games until the last couple of days.
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Pete
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Thunkd wrote:
Well, the thread title pretty much says it all. I was reading something on BGG and a designer's name popped up. It was vaguely familiar but I couldn't place it immediately. So I looked them up and there it was... a list of games he designed. A list of games that I really don't like.

They're all games that many other people like, and I'm sure there's a fair number of people who love them. But they had all been misses for me. Not horrible games, but things I just hadn't cared for. As I stared at them as a group, it suddenly dawned on me that they were all dry, mechanical slogs where I felt like I was going through the motions rather than doing anything fun. A few of them I had wanted to like, and had told myself weren't so bad after all. But looking at them all together, I realized that if I was being honest, I intensely disliked them all. And that this designer was just doing things that were bad (For me. There's obviously a lot of people who like his stuff.)

I'm curious if this has happened to anyone else. Has finding out that a bunch of games you don't like were made by the same designer made you see the similarities between them that eluded you before?
I had almost literally the exact opposite epiphany about 2-3 years ago. There were a number of games that surprised me...I really liked them in spite of the fact that the were dry and mechanical with thin, pasted on themes. One day I noticed that all of them were the same designer, and figured out that was probbly the common element that made me like them, even though the BGG community does not appear to consider this designer a favorite.

Pete (follows your lead and leaves off the designer's name)
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Bryan Thunkd
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matthean wrote:
I didn't even realize I owned three Alexander Pfister games until the last couple of days.
It's funny you mention him...
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Iori Yagami
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There's literally nothing surprising about this. While some people can astound us with wide endless talent, most do a couple of things exceptionally good and capitalize on that. In my case, Feld's creations are quite liked by me as good puzzles with low theme, Bauza's not too much (too puzzle-like, feeling really suffocated in terms of game action freedom), and Knizia not at all (too lean flavour cover). All three are outstanding designers, though.
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Matt Price
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It took me multiple plays of multiple different games before the lightbulb slooooowly turned on over my head (see e.g. OPs slow realization that a single designer was the common thread in a series of games he didn't care for...)

I really dislike games that use decks of cards to simulate the fog of war. Some really excellent games (well liked on the geek) that really fell flat for me:

Combat Commander
Command and Colors
Battlelore first ed
Earth reborn (tokens instead of cards, but same idea)

I just didn't like the hand management aspect of those games. I would frequently get stuck with a poor hand, and be driven crazy as my opponent ran roughshod all over my forces...

Paradoxically, I love Up Front. I also love games that use random elements to enhance or alter your choices (just not dictate them), e.g., Saga (sort of), Deadzone, Rivet Wars. So this doesn't appear to be a universal dislike of this mechanic - just for some reason it didn't work for me with those aforementioned games.
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Derek H
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mattprice wrote:
It took me multiple plays of multiple different games before the lightbulb slooooowly turned on over my head (see e.g. OPs slow realization that a single designer was the common thread in a series of games he didn't care for...)

I really dislike games that use decks of cards to simulate the fog of war.

Really OT I know (apologies to OP), but its more than just the "fog of war". This approach is meant to help overcome the "god-like" approach of the older all-in-the-open style hex-and-chit games. Its also about simulating "out of the picture" events and people that you literally have no control over. So, to my mind, those games offer a more life-like experience of commanding a battle. As to whether those types of games are more enjoyable - that is very much up to the player!
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Bryan Thunkd
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gamesbook wrote:
Really OT I know (apologies to OP)
I invite you to join the threadjacking club! I'm not just the founder, I'm also a member.

mbThreadjacker - I go off on tangents!
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Sychosymatic wrote:
For example, I've come to realize that I absolutely hate Eric Lang games. All of his games are focused on you having an action board and you may or may not have to pay attention to a main board. This isn't a flaw necessarily, just a common aspect to his games. What I don't like about his games are that every time I play one there's always a runaway leader that's helped out by pure randomness and it just keeps building.


Not an EL fan, either, but it's clear he makes games people enjoy. I own some of his earliest games, such as Senator and Dragonball Z. I've played Quarriors, Chaos in the Old World, and the Dicemasters (?) games. I would say he's clearly creating hybrid games, which, I think, is good for the hobby, but prefer more thematic games and the EL's mechanics, for me, get in the way. Still interested in The Others, though!
 
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David Janik-Jones
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For me, it's a small number of specific mechanics that turn me off a game, rather than a specific designer.

Despite being a 40+ year wargamer, I tend to intently dislike: 1) bluffing/betrayal social games (Coup, Werewolf etc); 2) games that feature absolute choice denial (Agricola); 3) games that require betrayal, meanness, or spite (Tammany Hall, Diplomacy) to win; and 4) abstracts.

Yet I will try almost any game once or twice. I've been surprised in the last five years to find that I enjoy some heavier economic-themed games, and wargames that don't really model realistic command-and-control structures at all.
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Andrew Watson
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Iori_Yagami wrote:
There's literally nothing surprising about this. While some people can astound us with wide endless talent, most do a couple of things exceptionally good and capitalize on that. In my case, Feld's creations are quite liked by me as good puzzles with low theme, Bauza's not too much (too puzzle-like, feeling really suffocated in terms of game action freedom), and Knizia not at all (too lean flavour cover). All three are outstanding designers, though.


Similarly, I usually admire the designs of Wolfgang Kramer more than I like them.

Knizia is my favorite designer, although I agree that he tends to be thin on theme.
 
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