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Board Game: Love Letter
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Subject: Love Letter - Are people buying this AND making a custom version or is it just piracy? rss

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Daniel James
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Having recently bought two versions of Love Letter and bought some custom wooden hearts from a board gaming site I thought I'd come here to see if people had bought any customised hearts/letters/tokens etc.

What I have found is that there are plenty of people who have made a copy of Love Letter, with some really good themes and without a doubt there is some creative talent out there...but...without meaning to sound like a party pooper, people are still buying the actual game itself aren't they?

It is (for the money) one of the best games in my collection. £7.00 is all it cost me to buy entry to the AEG version and I picked up the Kanai Factory Limited Edition for £8.00, so there really is no reason to avoid buying a copy as it is so very cheap.

I usually see many additions to board games to alter the gameplay or fix a problem, the Fury of Dracula fan made screen is a great example, I have on the other hand not seen a game that is in print being copied in its entirety.

What do others think on this topic?
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Captain Murdercasket wrote:
What I have found is that there are plenty of people who have made a copy of Love Letter, with some really good themes and without a doubt there is some creative talent out there...but...without meaning to sound like a party pooper, people are still buying the actual game itself aren't they?
I assume not. Why would they?

Captain Murdercasket wrote:
It is (for the money) one of the best games in my collection. £7.00 is all it cost me to buy entry to the AEG version and I picked up the Kanai Factory Limited Edition for £8.00, so there really is no reason to avoid buying a copy as it is so very cheap.
Or maybe no reason to not buy 10!

Captain Murdercasket wrote:
What do others think on this topic?
I'm not sure what there is to think about. People want to make their own copy, and thus do so. If they were selling their reproductions, then maybe that would be something to discuss.
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The fan-made versions began when everyone wanted to buy/play LL and could not buy it. 16 cards is easy to replicate. I think it sort of took on a life of it's own from that point once everyone realized that with some Internet-sourced art and a few hours, they could create their own custom version.

I have really enjoyed seeing what everyone is doing.

My vote for oddest LL re-theme is the Soviet deck:

Board Game: Love Letter


Ugliest re-theme:

Board Game: Love Letter


Best pre-teen re-theme:

Board Game: Love Letter


and my favorite is the Adventure Time re-theme:

Board Game: Love Letter


In a recent interview, AEG stated that they are looking to do variant art decks now. I think this is a strong testament to our community. First, to AEG for tacitly allowing the variants and second, to the community for such an outpouring of creativity. Would AEG have considered re-themes if the community hadn't done all of this?

Also, I believe a thorough search of the message board will locate AEG's position that they are OK with people sharing their variants as long as they don't share their full card set so that other can just print them and play them. This is why most variant sets (at least early on) didn't provide flat art, but rather pictures of the resulting work.
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Daniel James
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bgriggs wrote:
Also, I believe a thorough search of the message board will locate AEG's position that they are OK with people sharing their variants as long as they don't share their full card set so that other can just print them and play them. This is why most variant sets (at least early on) didn't provide flat art, but rather pictures of the resulting work.
Ah!

I didn't spot that they had made a mention of copies on BGG forums.

Could you link me to that post as I would like to read it?

Thanks.
 
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I've made one custom version (still in files) and have bought three copies.
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curtc wrote:
Captain Murdercasket wrote:
[P]eople are still buying the actual game itself aren't they?
I assume not. Why would they?
Did you mean so ... wouldn't?
 
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I bought it first, then made and printed a re-theme (Firefly). We play both versions depending on the mood and other players. Definitely wanted to make sure AEG got their due for a great game!
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I bought it at Essen '12, then made a couple of LotR and GoT rethemes and will now buy the german pegasus edition
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Captain Murdercasket wrote:
I didn't spot that they had made a mention of copies on BGG forums.

Could you link me to that post as I would like to read it?

Thanks.
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/901018/about-the-re-themes
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
curtc wrote:
Captain Murdercasket wrote:
[P]eople are still buying the actual game itself aren't they?
I assume not. Why would they?
Did you mean so ... wouldn't?
No.
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Daniel James
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jdanish wrote:
I bought it first, then made and printed a re-theme (Firefly). We play both versions depending on the mood and other players. Definitely wanted to make sure AEG got their due for a great game!
That is how I feel about it as well. I think it is fine to own a copy and make a custom version.

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hammermh wrote:
Captain Murdercasket wrote:
I didn't spot that they had made a mention of copies on BGG forums.

Could you link me to that post as I would like to read it?

Thanks.
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/901018/about-the-re-themes
Thanks for that link, AEG have been really very good here haven't they?

I guess they are hoping that people are actually buying the game and then making their own too, I hope that is truly what is happening as it is such a great game.
 
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curtc wrote:
Captain Murdercasket wrote:
What I have found is that there are plenty of people who have made a copy of Love Letter, with some really good themes and without a doubt there is some creative talent out there...but...without meaning to sound like a party pooper, people are still buying the actual game itself aren't they?
I assume not. Why would they?

Captain Murdercasket wrote:
It is (for the money) one of the best games in my collection. £7.00 is all it cost me to buy entry to the AEG version and I picked up the Kanai Factory Limited Edition for £8.00, so there really is no reason to avoid buying a copy as it is so very cheap.
Or maybe no reason to not buy 10!

Captain Murdercasket wrote:
What do others think on this topic?
I'm not sure what there is to think about. People want to make their own copy, and thus do so. If they were selling their reproductions, then maybe that would be something to discuss.
From gallery of Captain Murdercasket
 
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Captain Murdercasket wrote:

What I have found is that there are plenty of people who have made a copy of Love Letter, with some really good themes and without a doubt there is some creative talent out there...but...without meaning to sound like a party pooper, people are still buying the actual game itself aren't they?
Bought the Tempest version and preordered the Kanai version. Will probably skip the L5R version. I've also made a PnP version with some great artwork found here on BGG.

I've done a lot of PnP games, and I've found that making your own good version of a game usually costs more than just buying the damn thing. It's definitely more time-consuming. Most of the time I believe that people are making their own versions not to save a buck, but because it's fun.

Love Letter probably comes about even on cost if you want to do a quick and dirty version, but most of the custom versions I've seen around weren't quick and dirty. If it was about saving a buck people would be playing it with recipe cards with pencil drawings. They aren't.
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Good thread! I can't see a problem with people making their own copies of any game. They clearly do (and I am not referring to just LL here) - and in all sorts of ways. As someone else here has already said part of this is a combination of it being "fun" and a 'personalisation' thing. Also as someone has said it shouldn't be seen as a problem as long as people aren't profiteering. I had originally shunned LL in its Tempest form and it was only on seeing the re-themes (the Casablanca one in particular!) that I got interested. I started thinking about ideas of my own for some and half a dozen or so quickly came to mind - the first being 'The plot to assassinate Hitler' and others being 'Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy' and 'The Wars of the Roses'. Following this I went on to trying to identify a meaningful re-theme that I might be interested in and for each letter of the alphabet and for which cards (and artwork) might be easily assigned - the key criteria was interest to me - J for example is taken by Josephine as in Napoleon and Josephine and M is taken by Mata Hari. Some of the twenty six (actually I came up with a few extras) are in the personal production pipeline - the WOTR version includes brief character descriptions - so can play as a mini history lesson and my TTSS version includes quotations from the characters like one or two of the versions posted to the LL Images section. When some of these are finally complete I'll share some photographs. As to buying the game - I have three copies of the Tempest version on order - one for me and two for work colleagues. I also hope to snap up the original reprint that's now out.

I think the key message here is that we do it because it is fun and we are not doing it to save money or indeed rob the publishers/creators of their rightful due.

It would be more constructive I think to have a thread on rules variants - I have introduced an extra card into a couple of my sets. I wonder if anyone else has done similar or is thinking of doing so.

' hope some of this makes sense. (I loved the Lenin set too btw!)

Quick but kind regards, RIII
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Knyfe wrote:
I had originally shunned LL in its Tempest form and it was only on seeing the re-themes (the Casablanca one in particular!) that I got interested.
Casablanca is one of my all time favourite films. I think I may knock up a version with that theme myself !

I am finding it so interesting reading other gamers take on making a copy of a game. It really does seem that people do own a licensed copy AND also make fan edits, which is just amazing.

I work at a company that designs educational software and we have problems with piracy, we don't release demo software any more as it can be cracked and then shared on the torrent scene. It would seem that board gamers know that pushing the industry that they love into a critical position isn't a good idea. Video gamers on the other hand seem to be fairly OK with ripping games with no hard feelings.

I guess board gamers are just a cut above?
 
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I am shocked at the suggestion that someone might "pirate" game mechanics. Surely nobody here would copy someone else's game mechanics wholesale, slap on a more popular theme, denigrate the original game as "a tech demo" or "a mechanic looking for a game", and then promote their new game as "{Game Mechanic} With A Purpose".
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Still waiting for a localized version so for now its my own deck or nothing. This is a game for non gamers. Cannot bother them with a foreign language.
 
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Captain Murdercasket wrote:
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Not sure if condescending or just very closed-minded.
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I made a copy before I was able to actually buy it... Made it low ink and with random wacky characters (Paul Blart was a guard, the Count from Sesame Street with a bow was the Countess)...we still use my fan copy with newbies due to the lightened silly theme...draws them in.

This game is excellent and its that embracing of the community that will help it along... My non-hardcore-gamer friends would never sit and make their own, but almost everyone wants to buy an actual copy once they've played it.

As long as these fan-versions don't get sold or put up for others to PnP than its all in good fun!
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curtc wrote:
Captain Murdercasket wrote:
From gallery of Captain Murdercasket
Not sure if condescending or just very closed-minded.
The former devil
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PooEater wrote:
I made a copy before I was able to actually buy it... Made it low ink and with random wacky characters (Paul Blart was a guard, the Count from Sesame Street with a bow was the Countess)...we still use my fan copy with newbies due to the lightened silly theme...draws them in.

This game is excellent and its that embracing of the community that will help it along... My non-hardcore-gamer friends would never sit and make their own, but almost everyone wants to buy an actual copy once they've played it.

As long as these fan-versions don't get sold or put up for others to PnP than its all in good fun!
I had noticed that there is an 'Adventure Time' version available in full for download on BGG. Which is a shame.

After doing a search on Google for Print and Play Love Letter I can see a few other places to download full sets too.

Having only got back into board gaming in a meaningful way in the last twelve months I wasn't sure if the fan versions were a big deal or not.

Having said that, I think if I ever make a game I'll make one with more cards !
 
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I designed and made the Dr Who version, and also purchased a copy of the Tempest edition at my FLGS.

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Stormcow wrote:
I am shocked at the suggestion that someone might "pirate" game mechanics. Surely nobody here would copy someone else's game mechanics wholesale, slap on a more popular theme, denigrate the original game as "a tech demo" or "a mechanic looking for a game", and then promote their new game as "{Game Mechanic} With A Purpose".
Hahaha !



Yes, I had noticed that the same mechanics are rinse and repeated ad infinitum in board games. I think that is why I am so bowled over with Vlaada Chvátil games, they seem to be unique, although don't flame me as I haven't played everything!

The same thing has been happening in video gaming for ages with endless FPS's with the same mechanics, it is part of the reason I left that hobby behind a while ago. The success of a type of game dictates what will be released in the future.
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overtheboard wrote:
I designed and made the Dr Who version, and also purchased a copy of the Tempest edition at my FLGS.

YES !

I saw that version, it is great. I am a huge Dr Who fan so it very much caught my eye.

I wonder if a Dr Who monsters version is viable.

Given the popularity of Cthulhu being pasted onto many board and card games I am amazed that nobody has done one, if even just for a good parody. Who would be closest to Cthulhu though? goo
 
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