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Subject: Make or break for Donald X. Vaccarino? rss

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Jake Fernandez
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I mean no disrespect to DXV. I think his design of Dominion was brilliant and the acclaim it had received was well-deserved. That being said, his next 2 designs: Kingdom Builder and Nefarious hasn't been as popular. I haven't played either of the latter but one can conclude from the ratings that people simply didn't find it as good as Dominion.

Infiltration seems like it could be a big game in terms of DXV's game designer rep. Putting his name on a box has been a very effective way to get people excited about a game up to now but if Infiltration turns out to be another so-so game, he'll have a 1-3 Win-Loss record (to speak in sports terms) and people may start thinking that Dominion was a one hit wonder. But if it turns out to be a hit, it puts him back at .500 levels at 2-2.

To note, I'm not saying that any of his designs are bad. I'm just saying he hasn't made a Dominion-level game, since.. well.. Dominion. And Infiltration should give us a clearer sign of whether that was a one hit wonder, or a more accurate (and deserved) expectation from his designs.

EDIT:
Right. It possibly is quite unreasonable to expect so much from him. That's true. Rather than let this thread get out of hand with "You're unreasonable!" comments, I'd just like to clarify and say that I was merely talking from the perspective of how his name has become very marketable due to his success with Dominion. Anytime you say, from "Donald X. Vaccarino, the creator of Dominion!" you are basically trying to send across the message that this game is probably very good. So you can't say that expectation is not there. It's there, but some people like you can see through that

And why not utilize this kind of marketing? Others have had multiple gaming hits under their belt, others being the Jensens, the Wallaces, the Rosenbergs and the Chvatils. Yes they've had their duds too, but they've had hits come more often than their misses. So yes, sometimes this marketing is justified.

So going back to my point, with DXV still not having those multiple hits under his belt, if Infiltration turns out to be a dud, is Dominion that popular that it will still afford him some leeway to market a "From Donald X. Vaccarino" marketing line effectively?

Good discussion everyone! Try not to burn me too much. Haha.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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It's an unreasonable expectation. I don't expect any other games he creates to be remotely as successful as Dominion, and that's not a reflection on the quality of the games at all.
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Matt Davis
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Joseph Heller, who wrote the classic WWII novel "Catch-22", often had it pointed out to him by interviewers and such that he hadn't written anything as good as Catch-22 since. His response:

"Who has?"
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Chuck Jordan
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coolpapa wrote:
Joseph Heller, who wrote the classic WWII novel "Catch-22", often had it pointed out to him by interviewers and such that he hadn't written anything as good as Catch-22 since. His response:

"Who has?"

Exactly. If everyone who designed a game that didn't go on to become as popular as Dominion had to consider it a "loss," then I can't imagine why anybody would want to be a game designer. Hits are rare, Dominion-level hits even rarer.

And for the record, I like Kingdom Builder a lot.
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Mathue Faulk
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Kingdom Builder has done well enough. No, it's not the next Dominion, but as others have pointed out, chances are that he won't have another Top 10 game. I haven't played the game, but it has a rating around 7.1 or so....very respectable.

And Nefarious, if I remember correctly, was a game he developed well before Dominion...but it just recently reached publication. In other words, it's not fair to judge him for a game he designed in his designing infancy.... Plus, it hasn't been a disaster.


His designer rep is just fine, and I don't think Infiltration is going to "make or break" him. That's just silly.
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Jake Fernandez
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Right. It possibly is quite unreasonable to expect so much from him. That's true. Rather than let this thread get out of hand with "You're unreasonable!" comments, I'd just like to clarify and say that I was merely talking from the perspective of how his name has become very marketable due to his success with Dominion. Anytime you say, from "Donald X. Vaccarino, the creator of Dominion!" you are basically trying to send across the message that this game is probably very good. So you can't say that expectation is not there. It's there, but some people like you can see through that

And why not utilize this kind of marketing? Others have had multiple gaming hits under their belt, others being the Jensens, the Wallaces, the Rosenbergs and the Chvatils. Yes they've had their duds too, but they've had hits come more often than their misses. So yes, sometimes this marketing is justified.

So going back to my point, with DXV still not having those multiple hits under his belt, if Infiltration turns out to be a dud, is Dominion that popular that it will still afford him some leeway to market a "From Donald X. Vaccarino" marketing line effectively?

Good discussion everyone! Try not to burn me too much. Haha.
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Tiago Nunes
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People overrate dominion. It's good but not that good and the expansions just detract from the initial experience that for me was very well designed.

I haven't played the other games too (kingdom builder sounds interesting) but I see this game more of a chance for DXV to distance himself from dominion or else he'll be designing dominion expansions for a very long time ( which may be good in an economical sense but as a designer must suck).
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Steve Walker
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I think it is very rare that any designer creates a game that spawns a new genre in gaming - just look at the proliferation of deck builders now on the shelf. Dominion was that extremely rare occurence of innovative and able to grab the mainstream.

I have both Kingdom Builder and Nefarious. I would put Kingdom Builder in a similar class as Dominion and am looking forward to the new victory conditions and boards promised in the upcoming expansion. Also KB is a very good gateway game and one that we play with less hard core gamer friends and the kids on occasion.

Nefarious has not grabbed me as much - it is a good quick filler and the twist cards add some longevity but I don't see this having a lot of plays - more to be pulled out to close a long session of games. There is some great humour and with some twist combos some tactical play choices which are rewarding.

To sum up if Dominion had not been released I would have been happy to have purchased both follow DXV games. Nefarious I would have picked up for the theme no matter what. I think both are very credible game designs and the mark of an emerging talent in the industry. I am looking forward to many more games from Donald over the years based on this starting trio.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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ghosthack wrote:
People overrate dominion. It's good but not that good and the expansions just detract from the initial experience that for me was very well designed.

I haven't played the other games too (kingdom builder sounds interesting) but I see this game more of a chance for DXV to distance himself from dominion or else he'll be designing dominion expansions for a very long time ( which may be good in an economical sense but as a designer must suck).


Or you underrate it.
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boardgamemuse
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ghosthack wrote:
People overrate dominion. It's good but not that good and the expansions just detract from the initial experience that for me was very well designed.




I haven't played Dominion nor any of Donald's other games. I am not a big many-decks-of-cards fan and the Kingdom Builder artwork - to me - is not too captivating. soblue


I hope that his new game is more appealing to me. I know I will try it one day!! I have great respect for designers and Doanld is no exception.
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Tiago Nunes
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rickert wrote:
ghosthack wrote:
People overrate dominion. It's good but not that good and the expansions just detract from the initial experience that for me was very well designed.

I haven't played the other games too (kingdom builder sounds interesting) but I see this game more of a chance for DXV to distance himself from dominion or else he'll be designing dominion expansions for a very long time ( which may be good in an economical sense but as a designer must suck).


Or you underrate it.


I rated it a 10 initially, but as time went by I felt that the game had nothing more to offer and the expansions added too much clutter to what was a fun and simple game to play. I still rate it a 7 for being the first of its kind (or at least most prominent).

As always this is obviously a matter of personal opinion.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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ghosthack wrote:
rickert wrote:
ghosthack wrote:
People overrate dominion. It's good but not that good and the expansions just detract from the initial experience that for me was very well designed.

I haven't played the other games too (kingdom builder sounds interesting) but I see this game more of a chance for DXV to distance himself from dominion or else he'll be designing dominion expansions for a very long time ( which may be good in an economical sense but as a designer must suck).


Or you underrate it.


I rated it a 10 initially, but as time went by I felt that the game had nothing more to offer and the expansions added too much clutter to what was a fun and simple game to play. I still rate it a 7 for being the first of its kind (or at least most prominent).

As always this is obviously a matter of personal opinion.


Well you were right initially. The expansions make it a better game not a lesser won. I rated the base 10 right after I played it, which was a mistake because I couldn't give it an 11 after playing it more and adding expansions.
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Tiago Nunes
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rickert wrote:
Well you were right initially.


Or you are wrong.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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ghosthack wrote:
rickert wrote:
Well you were right initially.


Or you are wrong.


I feel comfortable considering the number of people who have rated it highly, reviewed it and play it regularly to this day. So I can easily overlook your dissension.
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Leslie Taylor
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I think Uwe Rosenberg and Vladachivatskfddklnfslfjnsfdl create big expectations. Rosenberg has two games in the top ten that are original designs, and possibly soon a third (Ora et Labora). Chivatilsidsldfjdf is supposed to have the entire top ten apparently, which is why people seem to be trying to rate Mage Knight and Dungeon Petz so highly. When I read about Chdsfjifsidftil games I think he is creating a job for me to do instead of a game for me to play.

DxV is not trying to crack the top ten again. He simply wants to make a game that will sell copies, so he will continue to be paid to make games. It is what he enjoys. I think that is what all designers want.

I also think some of the hate on Dominion has been applied to his other games. Though Kingdom builder offers varying play experiences, these new games are not Dominion. Some people are annoyed he didn't make Dominion again, or that he made a game too much like Dominion. Damned if you do, Vaccorinoed if you don't.
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Tiago Nunes
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rickert wrote:
ghosthack wrote:
rickert wrote:
Well you were right initially.


Or you are wrong.


I feel comfortable considering the number of people who have rated it highly, reviewed it and play it regularly to this day. So I can easily overlook your dissension.


Good to know you base your comfort in the assumption that a subset of a subset of a subset people (gamers in bgg that rate games), that have in general the same opinion as you, represent a reliable figure.

Anyway, last post on this matter as it's becoming increasingly off-topic.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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ghosthack wrote:
rickert wrote:
ghosthack wrote:
rickert wrote:
Well you were right initially.


Or you are wrong.


I feel comfortable considering the number of people who have rated it highly, reviewed it and play it regularly to this day. So I can easily overlook your dissension.


Good to know you base your comfort in the assumption that a subset of a subset of a subset people (gamers in bgg that rate games), that have in general the same opinion as you, represent a reliable figure.

Anyway, last post on this matter as it's becoming increasingly off-topic.


Since you are only reading a third of my post, I think it is time you quit.
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Chad Weaver
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coolpapa wrote:
Joseph Heller, who wrote the classic WWII novel "Catch-22", often had it pointed out to him by interviewers and such that he hadn't written anything as good as Catch-22 since. His response:

"Who has?"


Off-topic: I like everything by Joseph Heller except Catch-22.
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Jason
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This is great DXV is getting signed by multiple publishers. It looks like he is branching out into multiple genres as well. Go DXV. That's a dream situation for a designer. Anyway, it's Scifi and not specifically a 4x wargame. That is a very good thing and I will for sure be checking this out!
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Jason
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QuintMorrison wrote:
Vladachivatskfddklnfslfjnsfdl , Chivatilsidsldfjdf ,Chdsfjifsidftil, Vaccorinoed


Loved this. thumbsup
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Ronnie
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I don't expect Dominion because IMO Dominion is the most well crafted game I have played ever.

On the other hand Kingdom Builder and Nefarious are great games. I own and enjoy KB greatly and have played Nefarious multiple times and look forward to purchasing it first thing when I can.

DXV's name is Going to continue to sell games and he will continue to have a following even if his designs end up having an average rating barely over 7.
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Big Head Zach
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//knizia'd?
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QuintMorrison wrote:
Rosenberg has two games in the top ten that are original designs, and possibly soon a third (Ora et Labora).


All three of the games you speak about: Agricola, Le Havre, and Ora et Labora are very similar. I wouldn't call them original. All are worker placement games with several overlapping mechanics. Hell, even Ora et Labora has such a similar look to Agricola that I thought it was an expansion, at first notice.

Also, about Dominion being overrated, I agree with this. While it is a fine game, it is not deep enough to scratch my itch.
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Guillermo Hernandez
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That's pretty strong to think this will be a make or break game. I mean, Reiner Knizia makes ho-hum game after ho-hum game and he still gets plenty of press, traffic and sales for any game he pops out.

Dominion isn't that fabulous of a game, but it's idea was pretty amazing. I don't anticipate this game have the same affect as Dominion or even be anything fabulous, but I wouldn't hold it against DXV's reputation unless it was god-awful.

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Gustavo Vazquez
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Kingdom Builder is number 422 on the rank. That's VERY good. goo
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