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Subject: Pivit - new kickstarter abstract rss

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Martin Grider
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I saw this today, and of course immediately went to BGG to read more about it, but found nothing.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/913572758/pivit

Anyone want to share their opinions? I think it looks very interesting! The only thing keeping me from backing is the price... it's hard for me to justify $50 on an abstract that will probably not hit the table all that often. Those pieces are too fancy, they could do a basic diamond shape and just need two colors. Anyway, I would love to play it though.
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Russ Williams
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Looks potentially interesting, but indeed $50 is a lot for an untried abstract strategy game from an unknown designer & production group.
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Nick Bentley
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I've been following it. My thought so far is that the people running it don't know what they're doing and aren't connected to the online games community.

I was surprised that it was among the Kickstarter editor picks yesterday though. My initial prediction that they're never going to make it could turn out wrong because of it.

[edit] I have no particular opinion about the game itself, except that it looks at risk of being draw-prone.
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Kenny VenOsdel
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Quote:
Euro-games like Dominion, Agricola, or Race for the Galaxy are popular among my friends and the gaming community at large. At first glance, Pivit seems at odds with the current trends in board games. But there is something it has in common: it's a casual game for small groups.


Sounds like they are at least a little into the gaming scene.

I'm not sure why the high cost is necessary. Injection molded plastics shouldn't be required. They simply needed colored disks with arrows printed on them. This should be a relatively cheap game to produce.
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Chris Cieslik
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Again, not really sure why those simple discs need to be four-piece plastic.

At $20 this would be an easy buy. $50 is a real reach.
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Nick Bentley
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Looking at it from a pure seller point of view: the selling points they seem to be pushing are:

1. works as a casual multiplayer game.
2. we love emergent complexity as embodied by things like the game of life and Tetris (?)

The first one doesn't work as a selling point for me because it's so terrifically bland. There are a lot of casual multiplayer games.

The second one doesn't work for me because they don't convey a) why emergent complexity is so great; and more important b) they make no effort to convince us why their game is a particularly notable example of emergent complexity.
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Russ Williams
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milomilo122 wrote:
they don't convey a) why emergent complexity is so great;

In fairness, I would have assumed that most abstract strategy fans agree that of course emergent complexity is good, so that it would go without saying. "Simple rules, deep strategy", "A minute to learn, a lifetime to master", and all that jazz. That's why we like Go more than Tic-Tac-Toe, isn't it?
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Nick Bentley
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russ wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
they don't convey a) why emergent complexity is so great;

In fairness, I would have assumed that most abstract strategy fans agree that of course emergent complexity is good, so that it would go without saying. "Simple rules, deep strategy", "A minute to learn, a lifetime to master", and all that jazz. That's why we like Go more than Tic-Tac-Toe, isn't it?


I agree that's true, but if you limit the pitch to people who are already devoted enough to abstract games to have thought about emergent complexity, you're pitching to a really tiny audience. Or at least that's my assumption. Maybe it's wrong.
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Russ Williams
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milomilo122 wrote:
I agree that's true, but if you limit the pitch to people who are already devoted enough to abstract games to have thought about emergent complexity, you're pitching to a really tiny audience. Or at least that's my assumption. Maybe it's wrong.

Ah, OK, pesky ambiguous language. When you said "The second one doesn't work for me" I thought you meant that you yourself were not convinced that emergent complexity is good. I guess now that you meant that you didn't believe it would help sell the game generally to "ordinary people".
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Nick Bentley
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russ wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
I agree that's true, but if you limit the pitch to people who are already devoted enough to abstract games to have thought about emergent complexity, you're pitching to a really tiny audience. Or at least that's my assumption. Maybe it's wrong.

Ah, OK, pesky ambiguous language. When you said "The second one doesn't work for me" I thought you meant that you yourself were not convinced that emergent complexity is good. I guess now that you meant that you didn't believe it would help sell the game generally to "ordinary people".


Right. I'm just trying to think of the story they tell from a selling perspective. Watching their effort really makes me want to try kickstarting an abstract game. I think it's possible to be way more compelling than these guys are.
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Nick Bentley
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Right. I'm just trying to think of the story they tell from a selling perspective. Watching their effort really makes me want to try kickstarting an abstract game. I think it's possible to be way more compelling than these guys are.


Though I also think that an abstract game would be an uphill battle on kickstarter just as it is everywhere else, no matter what the story.

Games like this are the ones that do well on KS.

While I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into stuff like that, it's just not my thing. Maybe if I were still 13 years old.

[edit] the amazing thing is that the game I linked to above only asked for $35k, despite having like 4000x more/better components than pivit.
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Tyler Neylon
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Hey guys, Pivit game designer here.

You have some good points about our selling strategy. The game is fun - that's the most critical thing - but I care about the campaign, too, so I'll try to improve things.

I think of myself as a game designer, and many of the things I'm learning (could be doing better) are about being a publisher. I didn't realize there was so much less demand for abstract games than other types. The price is $50 mainly because it honestly is expensive to start building a game with custom pieces. We looked for pre-built options and everything we found wasn't good - I think the game would have been less fun. In the spirit of kickstarter, contributors are enabling something that wouldn't exist at all without them, and part of that idea is helping to cover costs that are washed out with larger volumes.

The real thing is the gameplay. Sounds like I can do a better job of appealing to abstract game players. How can I learn what abstract game players look for in a game description?

Here are a couple things I'll do to improve the campaign:
* Better bgg presence (my bad).
* Details about emergent complexity / cool properties of the gameplay. I'll add some as updates to the KS page.

I wish I could do this all right now, but I'm at home for the holidays, so some of my efforts will have to wait a few days (like a print-to-play version).

I know you guys weren't having a conversation directed at me, but I'm grateful because it's incredibly useful to know what people really think about the campaign so far. Thanks!


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Nick Bentley
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Phew! Glad you stopped by and grateful you don't mind the criticisms. Apologies for their unvarnished presentation. Your reaction is super cool - you're definitely doing that part right.

[edit] I love the logo, btw.

[edit 2] You mention you want to do a better job of appealing to people who already consider themselves abstract games players. I'm not sure if it's worth focusing on them, because there aren't many. It appears to me that commercially successful abstract games find success by appealing to people who don't consider themselves abstract games players. Examples: Blokus, Pentago, Kris Burm's Games.

tylerneylon wrote:
Hey guys, Pivit game designer here.

You have some good points about our selling strategy. The game is fun - that's the most critical thing - but I care about the campaign, too, so I'll try to improve things.

I think of myself as a game designer, and many of the things I'm learning (could be doing better) are about being a publisher. I didn't realize there was so much less demand for abstract games than other types. The price is $50 mainly because it honestly is expensive to start building a game with custom pieces. We looked for pre-built options and everything we found wasn't good - I think the game would have been less fun. In the spirit of kickstarter, contributors are enabling something that wouldn't exist at all without them, and part of that idea is helpin to cover costs that are washed out with larger volumes.

The real thing is the gameplay. Sounds like I can do a better job of appealing to abstract game players. How can I learn what abstract game players look for in a game description?

Here are a couple things I'll do to improve the campaign:
* Better bgg presence (my bad).
* Details about emergent complexity / cool properties of the gameplay. I'll add some as updates to the KS page.

I wish I could do this all right now, but I'm at home for the holidays, so some of my efforts will have to wait a few days (like a print-to-play version).

I know you guys weren't having a conversation directed at me, but I'm grateful because it's incredibly useful to know what people really think about the campaign so far. Thanks!
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Andy Leighton
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tylerneylon wrote:
Hey guys, Pivit game designer here.

You have some good points about our selling strategy. The game is fun - that's the most critical thing - but I care about the campaign, too, so I'll try to improve things.

I think of myself as a game designer, and many of the things I'm learning (could be doing better) are about being a publisher. I didn't realize there was so much less demand for abstract games than other types. The price is $50 mainly because it honestly is expensive to start building a game with custom pieces.


Well like a few others here I think that is part of the problem. The pieces looks over-engineered. As you said the tooling is the major part of your costs.

Also for me getting a software version doesn't help make the $50 level more attractive - I don't run Windows or Mac.
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Nick Bentley
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Quote:
The pieces look over-engineered.


I agree with this criticism but what could possibly be done about it at this point?
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David Fair
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milomilo122 wrote:
Quote:
The pieces look over-engineered.


I agree with this criticism but what could possibly be done about it at this point?


Make a non-deluxe version with wooden bits and stickers? Though that will likely reduce the number of people buying the deluxe version, so maybe not...
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Tyler Neylon
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It makes sense to try to interest people who don't think of themselves as abstract gamers. Blokus is a great example, and I like the stuff Thinkfun is doing even though it's aimed at younger players.

I will look into a non-deluxe version. I'll try to find something quickly, but I'm 95% sure I won't be able to get that ready before the campaign ends - we did already do some looking around and didn't find anything that was a great fit. We can look more.

As for a linux version of the software: I could distribute the source with the software. I wrote the AI engine in straight C, and I am trying to keep the GUI code decoupled from most of the game logic. In other words, I can try to make the code somewhat easy to port to linux, but I'm not committing to a full linux version just yet.

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Nello Cozzolino
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tylerneylon wrote:
It makes sense to try to interest people who don't think of themselves as abstract gamers. Blokus is a great example, and I like the stuff Thinkfun is doing even though it's aimed at younger players.

I will look into a non-deluxe version. I'll try to find something quickly, but I'm 95% sure I won't be able to get that ready before the campaign ends - we did already do some looking around and didn't find anything that was a great fit. We can look more.

As for a linux version of the software: I could distribute the source with the software. I wrote the AI engine in straight C, and I am trying to keep the GUI code decoupled from most of the game logic. In other words, I can try to make the code somewhat easy to port to linux, but I'm not committing to a full linux version just yet.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Uno) If your project get funded 50.000 buks you got no issues at all;just deliver the best quality board game you can possibly produce(people always enjoy quality durable stuff)
------------
Due) If your project does not get funded -> the next time you try to kickstart reduce the amount you need to fulfill the project -> a no frill version -> see suggestions above

Buon Natale
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Daniel Danzer
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First, you did very well by presenting the complete rules in a great way, so people can give the game a try!
Many game designers don't want to do this, because they are afraid of
a) ideas getting stolen
b) people just printing their game and don't buy it.

To me, located in Germany, the shipping (+ 15 $) are adding up to 65 $ for 40 plastic pieces and a 2-sided board. From a customer's point of view, I say: Why didn't he ask nestor for being part in nestorbooster? This would make the game half price!

It depends on the (target) group: Are there enough people who would enjoy this kind of game AND looking for cool-looking industrial plastic pieces? In your position, I would have asked people BEFORE, here and on other sites on the internet about abstract games, how they would like to have their pieces. "Cheap", but affordable? Wood, engraved? Wood, painted / printed? I would have made some rumour first, and then think about the manufacturing process.

But who am I to tell you? Sorry for harsh sounding words, at Christmas!!!

The worst case scenarios is to fail with your current vampaign, but learn and improve your contacts, your market, "your" people. Then go ahead and check out publishers who might be intersted in a game like this. Checj successful abstracts of the last decade - where are the differences? How can you make the whole game more attractive. Not for you (you are NOT the target group), but for the largest group of people possible? Then go ahead!

Please, IMMEDIATELY submit the game using this form here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/item/create/boardgame
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Anybody will help you here, including myself.
If you don't have time right now, I could submit it for you within 10 minutes, too.

Done. It is waiting in the submission queue and may need a couple of days (or weeks) until in the database.

EDIT: Whoa-hah! Done! Already! In a couple of hours! On Christmas! Whoever Admin this was - Thanks!

Pivit
Edit ctd.: I had submitted the kickstarter link, designer, and so on, but this was somehow missed or is just not included. Well, time to get the game into the geeklists, and so on, and to add something to the pics and info.

I printed the rules and will make my own pieces just cutting squares and draw arrows on them or create something in a graphic program in another 10 minutes time usind my chess board. If it is a GREAT game (and I mean, as good as Arimaa, Kamisado, Octi, Blokus or Ramses), I will get the game, when it is affordable for me.

In the meantime, I backed the project with 10 $ for the strategy guide.
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Tyler Neylon
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Thanks for adding the game! Thanks to you plus whoever approved it so quickly.

The next time I release a game, I think I'll try to work with someone who has experience understanding the market better. I'm learning a lot, but I can see that having years of experience is hard to replace. Looks like about $20 would be a great price, although I don't know how to achieve that right now.

Merry Christmas! and Happy Holidays to non-Christmas-celebrating-peoples!

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Daniel Danzer
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Two geeklists with thoughts and hints about kickstarter projects (how to do them properly) show exactly the things, you did right and the things, you maybe did not sooo perfectly. We'll see!
Fierce Competition >> What Makes a Kickstarter Kick Ass?
So you want to start a Kickstarter campaign. Here's what you need to get me.
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Martin Grider
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Hey Tyler, welcome to BGG!

I think, from a game design perspective, there are a number of reasons Pivot is interesting to me. I don't follow the modern abstract scene closely enough to know if they are actually new ideas, but the moving to opposite-color squares was definitely new to me, and I can't think of an example of a game that uses the Pivot mechanic, (or kingmaking in the corners, for that matter).

I also really love the way the game scales up for more players. I'm always looking for good abstract games that play more than two. I know the strictest abstract players aren't into them, but for me, it's a way to exercise the "abstract muscle", while still feeling like, if you loose, it wasn't entirely because of your tactical failures.

Someone on KS had a decent suggestion to offer the pieces alone, since we all have chess boards laying around. I'd second that!

I'd also ask you to reconsider putting out an iOS version. Yes, the AI would suffer, but the possibilities for multiplayer are so much more compelling, IMO. I'd love to play this game asynchronously.

Anyway, thanks for kickstarting, and for being so open with your ideas. Congratulations on making a compelling game!
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milomilo122 wrote:


Games like this are the ones that do well on KS.


Oh, boy...so, maybe Pivit designer(s) should put some overgrown boobs on those round pieces? Guess that would drastically increase game popularity...
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Nick Bentley
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Arendil wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:


Games like this are the ones that do well on KS.


Oh, boy...so, maybe Pivit designer(s) should put some overgrown boobs on those round pieces? Guess that would drastically increase game popularity...


Probably so, sadly. Look at how much money that project got. That's insane for a game whose theme is basically "Adolescent Boy Wet Dream". That's the market though.

Actually, it would be fun to do a satirical game for KS called "Adolescent Boy Wet Dream". That would be therapeutic for me.
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Daniel Danzer
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How about a "White Speaker Nico" Starting player pawn?
Something like this:
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