Recommend
36 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Nations» Forums » General

Subject: Designer report from Spiel 2013 (long) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Rustan Håkansson
Sweden
Norrköping
flag msg tools
designer
bgdev.club is really a site address, no www or .com needed :)
badge
Join the Board Game Development Club, see behind the scenes, participate in development, add the games you are working on
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Warning: This is long and rambling.

First: Thank you to everyone who played the game! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

On Wednesday before Spiel I was promised the games brought to the fair would be enough for all days. I was still a bit worried as I had been asked many times about availability and possibility of preorder, and I had promised that there would be enough games.

As Thursday came around I had some trouble getting into the halls on the planned time as I only had a business ticket, not an exhibitor ticket. This meant less time to prepare and talk through the demoing with my Asmodee demo friends Manfred Bittmann and Uwe Aust (a big thank you again to both of you!). I came in at 9.20 and I think all 3 tables we had were occupied by press-pass-wielders about 10 minutes later (which was to be repeated every day).

Getting the first games going, I then had to rush over to demo for the live stream at the BGG booth, the worst possible time to be away from the booth I now realized. I have not been on camera often (6 hours of filming this for my Drupal game being almost all of my experience) so except for the reaction to the game this and the other video interview were what I was the most nervous for.

The video seemed to have gone well, and Aldie asked me to arrange for 2 extra copies for the library. This means that 4 copies will be available for BGG.CON (thanks Carol!).

Everything had gone smoothly at the demo tables. However, we soon realized the plan to have demo games cover half the game (4 rounds) needed to be revised. Several games were ended early by players after just 2 rounds, after which the players went to buy the game and came back to have me sign it. Together with the many players who wanted to try the game this made us change the demo to only cover 2 rounds.

However, soon players who went to buy the game came back empty-handed. In just 1.5 hours the Asmodee store had sold out all English Nations copies, the delivery that was supposed to last the whole fair. The rest of the stores held up a bit longer, I think they lasted 30 minutes or so more before they sold out as well based on players who searched for copies. No Italian or French versions were available, but the German version held out until Thursday evening when 6 copies remained at Asmodee and some few copies at retailers.

8.00 Friday morning saw 5 pallets of Nations delivered to the fair, including both English and German. We kept demoing, learning better ways of explaining things in the loud environment. We were spared the absurdly loud and shrieking loudspeaker announcements in the other halls but were close to both Werewolf demos and Repos (thanks for the food guys, you kept me alive in sausage-land!) so there were other distractions now and again.

The switch from teaching to play the game with a prototype to the real, shiny, awesome production copies actually decreased the learning time significantly, which I had not expected at all. Before most new players took about 2 rounds to fully understand the game. Now most players fully understood it after about 1 round.The most common things to misunderstand in my demos were how stability and strength worked and that the workers stay on buildings and military until you move them (not moving away at the end of the round).

Nations is not a game for everyone, no game is. One aspect that I was asked many times during the fair is how long a full game takes. My short answer was 2-3 hours, but this number varies wildly, and almost as much with the type of players as the number of players. Some demo games were short, some were much much longer, despite all playing 2 rounds on 4 players. As players take so many small actions, reacting and competing with the other players on many levels, the game will take a long time to play for the gamers who needs to analyze all options for all players every time they take an action. If you can prioritize, think and plan at least a bit on the other players turns your games will be shorter. And if you can take an action immediately when you see it is critical for your current situation and plan without having to think through everything else just in case, you might be very happy with the very short down-time.

One of my most memorable moments from Spiel this year was when a group of Polish gamers each took a single turn each (might have been slightly more, but I think it was just one) and then they paused to go and buy 3 copies of the game, ask me to sign them and then play the two rounds. Of course they were very experienced gamers but that they grasped the game that quickly and understood it was a perfect game for them was amazing. After the demo game both they and I had very wide smiles. All the revisions during development were worth it. Einar, even the major revision in 2011 was worth it.

On Sunday 11.00 I finally took one hour to walk around a bit on my own, checking through my list of interesting games and exploring the new halls. I saw a few Nations in some stores and many more being carried. The latest English Spielbox (containing the Nations promos) had sold out. By 12.00 I checked the Asmodee store, 20 English and 8 German copies remained. I continued demoing and then had to say farewell to the friendly and helpful Asmodee crew, checking a final time with the store at 14.00 before leaving for the airport. Only 8 English Nations remained, nothing left in the storage, nothing left in the container! I have not heard anything more but I guess the 5 extra pallets fully sold out as well from both Asmodee and retailers.

I will remember Spiel 2013.
50 
 Thumb up
5.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
François Mahieu
Belgium
Rhode-Saint-Genèse
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great review for a mind blowing game. zombie

Probably the best release of 2013.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Hammond
United States
League City
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I can't believe you didn't grab a copy for me Rustan . I am glad you had much success. I think it is a great game and you deserve to have it do well. I plan on playing it at BGG.con and might be able to do some demoing of it.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Einar Rosén
msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
I for one am also itching to receive and play the printed versions and perhaps I even feel a bit jealous to the ones who already now own it modest. I am also very glad that even you seem to have had a very hectic schedule had many memorable moments. For me your daily phone calls was much appreciated and we were all eager to hear how it was going.

About the designing process I'm not sure exactly what I said or which change it was now . To me this has actually been the most beneficial of having four people working together. Even though at this time perhaps it was me at other times it has been you or another challenging purposed changes. I think that it is through this process not in spite of it that the game has developed to the point that it is not only a darling for us but that even other people can enjoy it. This is because every change (especially major ones) needed to be well thought out and argued for.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rafael Hannula
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
The probabilistic nature of being
badge
Truthful speech, proper understanding, unselfish action
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm happy to hear that the game was well received

I hope that people will think this game as an individual design and not simplified TTA which it clearly isn't. Very different game, very different feel.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thanee
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like you had a great (and surely exhausting) time in Essen.

Got a copy of the game on thursday (bought it sight unseen, I only know a little I read on BGG before going to the fair, which was more than enough to know that I would like this game ).

Bye
Thanee
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Githens
United States
Piedmont
South Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
We sold them all.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rustan Håkansson
Sweden
Norrköping
flag msg tools
designer
bgdev.club is really a site address, no www or .com needed :)
badge
Join the Board Game Development Club, see behind the scenes, participate in development, add the games you are working on
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I checked with Barbara at Spielbox and she says the English version of the latest issue actually did not sell out. Sorry for the confusion, I heard it from gamers I met who had tried to buy it and failed.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.