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Subject: ---- Biohazard Level 5 - Lovecraftian Horror Zombie CCG on Kickstarter --- rss

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Katja Heetland
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The main reason why this wont succeed as well as it would otherwise?

One word: Collectible.
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Will
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Hi, guys, do not know why there isnt still a press release on this but I have contributed on working on the graphic design of this awesome Zombie Game we are kickstarting right now:



I assure you its worth to take a look at if not only to see the artwork alone.

Its been very rewarding to create the identity of a zombie game in a way that it represents the genre but goes a step fordward into the post apocalyptic world its inmerse into.

Here is a sketch of the rules for anyone to see:
http://es.scribd.com/doc/193394740/Ravenous-Rules

We are working full time to create an entire new world to explore... and to work on a CCG is always a risky factor but I think it is a great way to develope this idea into new pathways along the time.

The artwork is fenomenal, just take a look at these:









And I ve seen a hundred pieces from the almost 400 comissioned artwork.

---------

I can assure you that if this goes well, there will be a whole new universe of things to come... more for the MYTHOS fan (but I am bound not to say more)

This is a great opportunity to help us create something different. A NEW MYTHOLOGY that is more than a Zombie game by FAR !!! With heroes, abilities, powers, enhancements, monsters as well as ZOMBIES of course... PLENTY OF ZOMBIES !!!

Just take a look and give it a try. It will definitely be something worthy of exploring

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Eurojuegos Buenos Aires
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Yep, the CCG format is scary, but an LCG could develop from this.
We shall see. So far, it looks neat!
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Johnathan Pritchard
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Hi My names John.

I am the Game Designer for Ravenous 5. First we all want to apologize for the lack of video, and for not having a press release sooner. We had hoped to already have the videos up but we had a power out for the past four days up in Ontario.

We will have those up very soon, and our project entered in the data base here I think. But i wanted to talk quickly about the CCG vs ECG (LCG) debate.

The first two planned releases are our first 4 faction starter decks, and than the next 5 factions. After that our first expansion will be an ECG, than followed by a CCG set. We have designed our system so that it is compatible and playable in both formats. We also have two play styles that let you have any amount of rare cards, and an ECG style that limits the amount of rares by points.

But even in our company we are split over CCG vs ECG. CCG means more money, to be honest, though i still myself have a soft spot for opening a random pack of cards. The ECG does have its own limitations, especially with new players against veterans.

So our final decision is to allow everyone who participated in the first two kickstarters to decide which direction we will go. CCG, ECG, or a blend of both.

Again thank you everyone for any support or just any word of mouth. We have had a few set backs at the start of this kickstarter, but there is still a long ways to go. Oh and bare with us please, this is our first launch.

IMI Game Studios.
John, Chelaine, Glenn.
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yeah? well… y’know, that’s just like, uh… your opinion, man…
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Ravenousfive wrote:
CCG means more money, to be honest

Hi John, thanks for your honest opinion. But to be honest myself, I doubt that. The CCG customer base and its acceptance for this marketing model changed a lot since Magic. While I'm sure there's is more money to be made per player, I'd expect WAY less players for a CCG.
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Will
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To add my opinion, I think money comes to a well made project regardless if its CCG or LCG. However, personally I think FFG hit the spot on their LCGs basically because you serve the two main buyers:

- The Collector (which will buy all the packs to have a full collection of cards)

and

- The Hardcore Player (which will buy extra packs to deckbuild his/her decks)

The LCGs make the company to keep bringing new stuff without giving advantage only to those that were lucky on the packs bought.

Of course, this means I am one of the members of the project that will push for the LCG, for sure. But being from south america where Magic the gathering, yuhioh, L5R, WOW TCG and some latin american CCGs are strong on the market I have to say it all depends on the buyers.

For an eurogamer CCGs will never work mainly because its a matter of control... you can see it on the games usually called Euros where no randomness, luck or surprise exists... For America (the continent) the surprise of a random pack still has its wondering sensation.



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Anselmo Diaz
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Really? A new CCG? At this time and age? yuk
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Paul Dale
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CCG = no support from me regardless of what the game is like or how good the artwork is.


- Pauli
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Will
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Guys, I think the feedback you are giving is great, so thank you very much for it.

This kickstarter is for the starter decks so please consider that we are listening also your concerns.

Ravenous 5 is a go as a card game. Its format will be subject to both the need of the stories and also the voice of the fans.

Just imagine if Wizards of the Coast would give you the chance to choose Magic the Gathering format... will you do the difference ?

If you think so, then support this kickstarter. We are listening to the community.

Take advantage of the unique possibilities Kickstarter offers. You are in contact with the team that is working on this project and I am not just a guy that has created an account yesterday... I am a huge geek that also wanted to make a difference that is why I am part of this project.

So if something called you attention enough to watch this press release... give us a chance. We are here to stay and for us the community is a pilar on the creation of any project.

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Will
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Here are the some of the cards:







Tell me if they dont look awesome ! (yes... I am biased... after all I created the design )

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It wont be backed as a CCG - Switch to the LCG format and there is a good chance it will get funded!

Despite all that, good luck, it looks realy realy good!
(But cause its an CCG I dont even think about backing it...)
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Kevin Eastwood
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I agree with what most have said here - there is 0 chance of me backing something in a CCG format (or a TCG for that matter). I regularly purchase LCGs and expansion packs for LotR because I love the play, theme, and artwork. With Biohazard I would probably back if I knew for sure it was going to be an LCG, although to be honest I'm fairly saturated with KS now. For both of those reasons - I'm out.

Best of luck to you and your campaign - I hope it succeeds and I see this available at my local FLGS or OLGS.
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Will
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Do not worry guys. I ve been talking with the designer and there is a HUGE chance it will turn out to be an LCG after all.

But I want this to be done propery, so I will let you know as soon as we confirm this.

It s great to be a part of the change... Thanks for the support! Intention is as valid as money to me.
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Johnathan Pritchard
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Hello again.

Well talking with Will and a few others, I am willing to change the format to pure ECG (LCG) format with story driven packs. The story driven ECG packs and some expansions had always been one of our focuses, but it seems there really is no support for the old CCG format, unless you are a billion dollar company.

I was, or am, worried about changing the kickstarter during the launch, or do we relaunch instead? I am more than willing to change the format to an ECG only, making a living creating games, allowing our bills to be paid, and being able to tell our story would be incredible.

My only concern is that we dont want to come off as changing at the drop of a hat, but the CCG vs ECG has been a huge controversy even among our own staff. So i am putting it to everyone here, is changing at this point to late? should we relaunch our kickstarter.

Thank you to all the BGG for their feed back, and a big thank you to Will and an extra thanks to Ed from Gamerati for all his patience, help advice and support during our launch. Oh and BGG and Purple Pawn for their quick response, and friendly service.

So again would love to have any feed back on this subject, thank you all.

John
IMI Game Studios.
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Matt Lee
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I'd cancel and redesign the campaign to focus on the choice. Making it sound like you haven't decided if it's a CCG or an ECG sounds confused and that game design hasn't been done correctly. I'd focu son making the choice now which direction you will go in and present the purchasing options in a more cohesive way.

The rarity factor of a CCG affects how many likely copies of a card you would have from some cards, while an ECG means you have all of the cards, but a specific number of them available to use. My expectation is that this affects the design and direction of the development but saying the cards work in both formats seems odd since the CCG disrtibution should mean that to begin with, fewer rare cards and their power levels are in the environment while an ECG should man each person can get all of the cards for deck building.

A CCG should have plenty more cards in a release (ie not just 4 starters, but some expansions as well) while for an ECG, the starter boxes should have additional cards to start customizing decks with, and not just the starter decks themselves. Even Magic sells starter boxes with extra boosters to get new players into the idea of customizing decks. Otherwise it seems like a game that is complete but limited in scope right away if it doesn't sell.

So if you go with a CCG format, you should have more cards available than the initial 240 (which would already say to me that you only have 150-200 different cards at best since commons would need to be plentiful and useful) with extra boosters/expansion packs available. As an ECG, starters with an expansion pack or two available and starters with more cards than the initial 2 pre-set decks would benefit that direction.

Just my 2 cents.
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David Boeren
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klz_fc wrote:
I'd cancel and redesign the campaign to focus on the choice. Making it sound like you haven't decided if it's a CCG or an ECG sounds confused and that game design hasn't been done correctly. I'd focu son making the choice now which direction you will go in and present the purchasing options in a more cohesive way.


I agree with this. Taking some time now to redesign your campaign a bit will pay off in terms of better backing and not confusing potential players about what the game is supposed to be.

Also, it's SUPER important to be clear what your intended schedule is for putting out expansions. When do they arrive, what will be in them, and how do we get them? This is probably the #1 thing LCG players will be looking for. If there is no commitment to regular expansions they will not join into the game. This is what's been going on recently with AEG's "Romance of the Nine Empires". I know a ton of LCG players who would love to collect the game and I'm sure AEG would love to sell it to them but it will never happen because neither side will commit. AEG will only print more expansions "if sales are good enough" and LCG players won't buy in unless they feel they're investing in something that will see continued support. So be sure to work this out ahead of time and be as open and honest as you can about it if you want to pick up support from the LCG crowd.

Personally, I would love to see more companies embrace the LCG model which is a type of game that I really enjoy. FFG does a great job, but they can't do it all alone!

Edit: one more thing to add… I just finished reading the Kickstarter page and I honestly can't find anything even vaguely Lovecraft related on it. It's a zombie game. That's the theme, zombies. I'm sure there are unique twists and all that, but I definitely don't see anything about cultists raising up great ancient beings or whatnot. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I can definitely get down with a zombie card game. I just wouldn't advertise it as being "Lovecraftian" if it actually isn't.

Something I originally wondered was whether this was an asymmetrical game like Netrunner or Star Wars where you'd have a Zombie deck and a Survivor deck, or whether they stood alone and you could play Zombie vs Zombie and Survivor vs Survivor, and whether you could mix factions, etc… LCG players want to know this sort of thing up front. Anyway, it turns out that your deck is a mix with roughly half the cards being your survivors and half the cards being zombies that you send against the other guy's survivors (if I understand this right). I can't tell whether you can mix factions or not.
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Will
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AWESOME FEEDBACK !! Thank you so very much for taking the time to contribute with out project !!

Definitely we are taking into consideration all the suggestions made.

The system works perfectly whether it is a CCG or LCG because it is based on the deckbuilding strategies an not on a certain set of possibilities derived from the exclusive owning of powerfull cards.

The exclusive cards offered on the kickstarter are not "I WIN, YOU LOSE" cards... just a token of appreciation for backing the project. A signature of any kickstarter and something a collector will always love.

This is above everything a project of love. It took us several months to have the last elements ready and years to create the world. And we believe its going to be a great experience that we hope you all can share with us.

And even if this doesnt go as expected to have the starter decks of a well made game that can be played on teams, competitive and even solitary with such impressive artwork is worth the backing.

Remember that kickstarter is used for that purpose: TO KICKSTART a project. We will work so this goes up HIGH but we will need your support in order for this to happen.

And as always be sure your voice is being listened
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Will
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About the lovecraftian part, well, be sure there will be plenty of Cultists and familiar Monsters and if everything goes as planned an entire set on the mythos universe.


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Johnathan Pritchard
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@Matt Lee.

Thanks for the comments, we are actually going to have a meeting on the relaunching of the kickstarter tonight actually.

As for the Rarity system; the design of the game is that every card has a point value printed at the bottom which ranges from 0-5. Which means that what we consider common, or uncommon or rare, whether it is in the ECG format or CCG means that we can give any card a value. Even in an ECG designed expansion there would be cards that might have a value of 5, this works with the card deign and building structure we have created and use.

How these point values work in actual game play is as follows.
Open: any amount of point values, no cap on the total value in the deck. You could have as many or as few rare "valued" cards.
Limited: You pick a total point value, 5, 8, 10 etc... than players build their decks according to the point value. So in a 5 point game, if commons are 0, uncommons are 1, and rares are 2. In the 60 card deck 5 cards could be uncommon, or 2 rares and 1 uncommon etc.

In a CCG driven expansion you would actually see the standard rare distribution among the packs. But you could still collect a handful of packs and make a competitive deck simply by limiting the overall amount of points you play with.

In an ECG driven Expansion you would be given 4 copies of all the cards, could pick and choose any combination in an Open system, and you could still limit the amount of good, or rare, cards by putting a cap on the point values in each deck.

I do really like the idea of having additional cards available at the start for some customization right away.

Thank you for that, its actually something I had not thought of but is extremely obvious.

Joh
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Johnathan Pritchard
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@David Boeren

We have a long term commitment with planned expansions but initially the advice was focus solely on the launch at hand, i had argued the other way. It is interesting to note though that i agree 100% with that. Planned expansions, and a suggested date for their release, rather than vague promises of future expansions. That is an easy one to rectify and fix, but thank you for bringing it to our attention.

We were hoping for three major expansions a year, and three smaller ones. Single sets of 60 some cards.

The Lovecraft elements work into the game through several of the zombie pictures, you will find numerous tentacled tings around them, and inside of them. Part of the story that is being released will feature just that. In fact a major part of the story arch in the "week one" expansions focuses on the rise of the Black Goat in Roswell New Mexico, the Goat of a thousand young. The effects of such a creature on the resident infected population and the heroes attempt at shutting down the project.

We were going to add some of the more Lovecraft inspired zombies, and Survivors, which we will post some either on the Kickstarter by tomorrow, or on our Facebook.

Part of that Lovecraft element we talk about is also in the underpinnings of the story, the same bleak hopeless overwhelming sense of dread and despair. Its not just in whipping out the most tentacles, though that actually can be fun, but also in how the infected and the world they inhabit are portrayed.

So in our deck building usually half your deck is made of zombies, drawn from any combination of 9 major strains (each strain has a slightly different style and powers). Than you add 30 Faction (Survivor cards), from one of the 9 and 1/2 factions we have in the game. The factions generally stand alone, but within each faction, at the start, there are one or two cards that can be allied with other factions. One of the 9 can usually mix with any deck. This allows for a more versatile play and deck customization.

The 1/2 faction is actually a hidden faction. where each of the big 9 have their own color and "home" faction, such as the colors in magic, the 9th exists in cards drawn from each of the other factions.

Each Survivor has a Faction symbol, in the case of the this card if you look in the middle row to the left, looks like a dog collar, that is the Home faction symbol. In this case 7th Column. To the right this card has a second symbol, dog tags for Military. This means this card can play Military and 7th Column cards.


Thanks guys for the comments.
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Andrew Rowse
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I guess the most important question to ask (and I don't know the answer to this) is whether ANY of the Kickstarter/independent CCG/ECG projects have achieved the critical mass necessary to maintain a constructed deck game? I can't think of any, but admittedly I tend not to follow them closely because they're not something I especially enjoy any more.

The distribution method is not really relevant to me - I'm at a point in my life where I can generally afford to get the cards I want regardless of how they're distributed, but also at the point where I don't have enough time to devote to deck construction. Ho hum.

These paragraphs concern me:

Quote:
As for the Rarity system; the design of the game is that every card has a point value printed at the bottom which ranges from 0-5. Which means that what we consider common, or uncommon or rare, whether it is in the ECG format or CCG means that we can give any card a value. Even in an ECG designed expansion there would be cards that might have a value of 5, this works with the card deign and building structure we have created and use.

How these point values work in actual game play is as follows.
Open: any amount of point values, no cap on the total value in the deck. You could have as many or as few rare "valued" cards.
Limited: You pick a total point value, 5, 8, 10 etc... than players build their decks according to the point value. So in a 5 point game, if commons are 0, uncommons are 1, and rares are 2. In the 60 card deck 5 cards could be uncommon, or 2 rares and 1 uncommon etc.


It sounds here like 'rarity' correlates with power, which is an incredibly backward design decision typical of most CCGs back in the 90s. In my opinion, it's a bad road to go down, and you should balance your cards properly instead. If you choose to have rarity in the game (whther randomised distribution or relative numbers in the ECG packs), I urge you to follow the trend of more modern CCGs and base rarity on difficulty of use - so that cards you'd see in every deck would be common, and cards that you'd only ever use one of OR cards that only work in a small subset of decks are rare.

Now, I'm not a customer for your current product, and maybe you're comfortable enough with your target demographic that you're okay with that

However, if you DID want my money, this would be the easiest way to get it: borrow Smash Up's shufflebuilding mechanic, so that a group of people can play from a single copy of the game, and there's no need for one guy to build decks for everybody else (which I suspect is what happens lot of the time with niche CCGs). Break each of your starter decks up into 2/3 modules of human cards and 2/3 modules of zombie cards (or goodie/baddie, or whatever), and create a randomiser card for each module, and let players instantly create a custom deck by randomly dealing them 2/3 human randomisers and 2/3 zombie randomisers.

That way you'd still be able to have the constructed deck experience by using any cards, or you can have a casual game experience. That would get my money - just make sure that you commit to releasing all your cards using the modular format.

Also - on your heavy machine gun, the minigun is not only firing from all six barrels, it is also shooting from the axle around which the barrels rotate. Having all the barrels lit up is not an especially big deal, but the axle definitely doesn't work like that!

Edit - on closer inspection, the heavy machine gun seems to have seven barrels, making it a GAU-8 anti-tank cannon rather than a minigun. It will certainly make short work of zombies, but carrying it by hand would be quite a feat!
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Johnathan Pritchard
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@Andrew Rowse thanks for the feed back.

Though there are many interesting alternative methods for deck building we think that we have many unique elements already contributing to the game. We have multiple different play modes that can be used with just the starter decks. Play modes that allow for very different game play and experience, from several variations in game play, to little alternative methods such as three different way to use Reserve decks (Side board cards.). We have tried to create a card game that is comfortable with traditional games, but also building a game that has its own direction and path.

We thank everyone here for their feedback. We will be adding a list of expansions coming up, rough dates for their release, as well as a more in depth look at the CCG ECG game mechanic and how it effects game play.

To be fair we will stick with our course till the end of our kickstarter, and allow our supporters to make their voice heard at the conclusion.

A final note about the rarity. First I apologize if these messages are not as clean and concise as they could be, I prefer working on mechanics and story rather than this, but i am doing my best here. Thanks for the patience.

No the system is not built on the idea that the rarer the card the more powerful. Some will be designed that way, its not something to be easily gotten away from. There will be a few cards that will have a lower cost for equal powers, but as listed below we have tried to find balance for these cards. This however is offset in two ways in the game. For Survivors and Zombies as their power increases so does the following.
1. The point value of the card, for Limited ECG mode play, is increased.
2. In the case of Survivors and Zombies Special and Unique tags are added, making them far more limited in game play, restricting how many can be in a deck, and how many in play at once.
3. Finally though, in many cases, the cards may seem to have an increase in power based on rarity, there is also a balance in the cost of the card. Generally any increase in power is followed by an increase in cost. Not always but most of the time there will be an increase.

John
 
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Will
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And that is why Jonathan is our project leader

Guys, I know there will always be CCG haters... many of us came to the boardgame industry because of empty pockets on CCGs we were hooked on But lets face it: no matter the name you want to put into an addiction (EXPANSION, ECG, LCG, CCG) the collector in us tells us that if it looks good its worth the try.

For the moment this is a KICKSTARTER for a great ZOMBIE-MONSTERs game... THAT IS WORTH THE TRY.

Most people are afraid they will be hooked on a CCG and that is why they hate it... but that fear is based on the fact that a CCG wakes up the collector in all of us.

I also see that there will always be people that like to talk and do not support anything... that do not understand they can do the difference if they support something instead of just bashing it.

As I said before the game will LIVE ON beyond this kickstarter and we are open to the suggestions of our BACKERS. So if you want to make a difference BACK THIS PROYECT UP and let us know the direction you want this to go.

We have all the tools necesary to make this a GREAT EXPERIENCE, but just taking about hate of the CCG genre is not helping it s simply trolling.

This game is AWESOME... the art in this game is AWESOME... so why not supporting the project ? Come on people !! Stop the badgering and help us help you

 
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Kevin Eastwood
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Quote:
Most people are afraid they will be hooked on a CCG and that is why they hate it... but that fear is based on the fact that a CCG wakes up the collector in all of us.


You're off the mark here... I'm a completionist for most of my games, but this isn't the reason I wouldn't back a CCG as you stated above. If we look at the evolution of MtG we all know that if we are to compete with others there is a correlation to the expense put into the cards. If I want to play with others and be able to have a level match of wits, why should money (the expense of a deck) come into play? Yes, it's true that LCG formats also make me purchase more cards to compete, but again, anyone that has those cards can play on a level playing field - and it's likewise easy to separate them from the core cards if needed to make it a fair game.

It's the same reason I didn't purchase Serpent's Tongue (TCG) - which I was on the fence with for a while. While I loved the artwork, theme, gameplay, etc., I just couldn't justify the format - even if they had mechanisms to keep this in check during gameplay and offered an alternative method of obtaining the rare cards.

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We have all the tools necesary to make this a GREAT EXPERIENCE, but just taking about hate of the CCG genre is not helping it s simply trolling.


It's funny that you think our discussion about the format of CCG is derailing the Kickstarter and is "trolling". We are being honest about what we expect as gamers and I would hope that you understand the value in our statements. Many people above have also stated it may be good to relaunch when you've sorted out everything. So be patient and take it as constructive criticism.
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So, Kevin... lets say we switch to the ECG format... would you back this project up ? I am not saying this is happening but just asking if this would be the case in order to difference the trolling from the constructive critiszm.

I personally think the constructive critiszm demands some compromise of the parts that critisize the whole. Because it is easy to sit down and chat of this things when you have no intention of participating other than by speaking out loud on detriment of something.

That is why I call the CCG hate, just badgering. Mainly because it didnt come on a form of constructive critiszm but on the form of a negative feedback: "i do not like CCG is not the same as CCG is the Devil, lets kill it"...

I like debates as any other guy but I am on a possition I am compromised on the project I am building so at least I expect ideas to come on the shape of possibilities not just negative responses on the format... that can ALWAYS change as I said before if the BACKERS feel it will serve them and the project.

We are at the beginning of the path and we can turn on several different directions that will make this game to grow and mature. To back this project is to have a voice on the direction to follow and that doesnt mean we are not prepare to compromise with the model we are working into.. but that we are a growing company that listen to its buyers.

 
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