Eric Etkin
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Ok - so I have this game, AstroSmashers. It's a mid-weight, quick-play game that's got some 4X elements combined with flicking and design influence from the old Atari Asteroids game.

During the majority of development, I avoided adding a dexterity element, despite the fact the design and components were perfect for it. Why? Because as my game buddies pointed out, once you add a dexterity element to a game, it's perceived SOLELY as a dexterity game. Catacombs? Dexterity. Ascending Empires? Dexterity. It really doesn't matter how little the dexterity mechanic might make up the rest of the game, if it's got flicking, it's a flicker.

So - Is that a founded assumption? What could I do to change that? I'm REALLY happy with how my game works with the incorporated flicking mechanic, but I hardly view the game as a "flicker." If I ever get further along the development cycle so that I might publish this, what could I do to change this perception? Should I minimize the flicking component in the "sell?" or emphasize that it's just one mechanic in a larger bucket of goods?
 
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John Drake
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I think it's going to be perceived as a dexterity game for two reasons. First, it is rather rare and that mechanic will stand out. But secondly, some people are absolutely horrible at dexterity games and will feel like that element will mitigate whatever decision they make in the game; thus, the most influential mechanic in the game is the dexterity element.

But from a marketing stand point... I would highlight the dexterity element. Yes, there are quite a few games that add dexterity with other mechanics... and there are fans/haters of those games... but the game themselves are few in number and stand out in this overcrowded marketplace.
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Alfred Wallace
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Since Catacombs and Ascending Empires have ratings around 7.3 and are highly sought-after, I'd do whatever it is they're doing.

ADD: More seriously, when people pick up the back of the box they want to know what's in there, and if flicking's in there they'll want to know that. Like every other mechanic, that'll turn some people off and attract others (hi!). I assume the same is true of publishers...but they see that Ascending Empires has a 7.3 and is going for $150, too.
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Eric Etkin
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Thanks, John.

I need to playtest it out more, but the dex mechanic, while making the game more fun, IMO does not prevent a more strategic player from still doing well through good planning and decisions.

I've essentially structured the game so you can do one of the following each turn:

1 Lean more heavily on the flicking mechanic to screw with other players, at the cost of doing less to further your own resource development.

2 Lean more heavily on the non-dexterity elements in order to build a steady progression of resource income.

3 Split your actions 50/50.

It's tough to explain in a marketing pitch, but I'm pretty confident that multiple styles of play could lead to victory for different player strengths.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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MOTHDevil wrote:
So - Is that a founded assumption?


Yes.

Mainly because of the way it has to be handled when dealing with someone with a handicap.
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Darrell Hanning
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MOTHDevil wrote:

Thanks, John.

I need to playtest it out more, but the dex mechanic, while making the game more fun, IMO does not prevent a more strategic player from still doing well through good planning and decisions.

I've essentially structured the game so you can do one of the following each turn:

1 Lean more heavily on the flicking mechanic to screw with other players, at the cost of doing less to further your own resource development.

2 Lean more heavily on the non-dexterity elements in order to build a steady progression of resource income.

3 Split your actions 50/50.

It's tough to explain in a marketing pitch, but I'm pretty confident that multiple styles of play could lead to victory for different player strengths.


My suggestion would be to leave the dexterity element out of the "standard" game, and include "optional" rules for adding it in.

If you can't envision the game as being successful while leaving the dexterity element out, I think you have the answer to your question.
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Eric Etkin
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DarrellKH wrote:
MOTHDevil wrote:

Thanks, John.

I need to playtest it out more, but the dex mechanic, while making the game more fun, IMO does not prevent a more strategic player from still doing well through good planning and decisions.

I've essentially structured the game so you can do one of the following each turn:

1 Lean more heavily on the flicking mechanic to screw with other players, at the cost of doing less to further your own resource development.

2 Lean more heavily on the non-dexterity elements in order to build a steady progression of resource income.

3 Split your actions 50/50.

It's tough to explain in a marketing pitch, but I'm pretty confident that multiple styles of play could lead to victory for different player strengths.


My suggestion would be to leave the dexterity element out of the "standard" game, and include "optional" rules for adding it in.

If you can't envision the game as being successful while leaving the dexterity element out, I think you have the answer to your question.


Yep... I tried that for the first phase of the design... The "manual token move" approach just didn't work within context of the game. The concert of mechanics was greatly improved by the flicking element. I tried supporting both mechanics, using the flicking as an optional swap-in mechanic, but it really made no sense from a gameplay standpoint after we played it further.
 
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Jim Hansen
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One game that comes to mind is Space Cadets. The weapons officer has to flick a disk to fire torpedoes, and the sensors officer has to feel in a bag and grab specific shapes. But, I don't really think of it as a "dexterity game" because only those two people have to use any dexterity. If there are other people that don't like it or can't do it for some reason, they can take a different role and they aren't forced to do it.

So, like Darrell mentioned, if you want to avoid it being labels as a "dexterity game" you should make it so at least some players have to option to avoid the dexterity aspect.
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Leonardo Martino
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I tried to propose Ascending Empires but it was dismissed as a flicker
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Eric Etkin
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kalevi1999 wrote:
I tried to propose Ascending Empires but it was dismissed as a flicker


Amazing game. Exactly. And there's no way I would personally classify it as one, despite having that element.
 
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Chris Willett
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I think you would be flagged as a dexterity game. At least in mechanics much like if a game uses worker placement or action point allowance. I mean for example, Space Cadets is a "Thematic" game under its ranking category. I has Action/Dexterity on its mechanics due to the 2 (3?) stations that use Dexterity specifically.

A strategy game can totally have dexterity elements. Sure, people may reference the dexterity, but I feel like that's referencing deck building or worker placing.

Like other commenters have said, I would highlight the flicking or whatever. No one says "Let's play that game with the dice," but you would hear people say "Let's play that space game where you flick the disks." I don't mean to sound like that's all your game would have, but some people are bad with names (like my parents) and they will grasp what they can about a game.

My parents reference Lords of Waterdeep as "That fun game with the cubes that you won from that website" as I won it here and immediately brought it to my parents house excited to play it. That's all my parents have for Lords though. They like it, but at some point the distilled substance of that game sounds a lot like the substance of a lot of games. Example: "That game with the dice and the seasons..." I took to mean Seasons, but my dad meant Kingsburg.

PS: I haven't found a game with dexterity involved that I haven't had fun playing. So that's not an issue with me. I may suck at those games in general (Maximum Throwdown was a class by me on how to do a very bad job of getting a card to land on a table in front of you), but I have fun with them. I'll try anything once, and I still associate dexterity with fun (that I might be terrible at).

Who wants to be on my Crokinole team?
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Sam Cook
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The way I see it, if your game is really deep, but every play is contingent on getting a good flick, I would label it as a dexterity game since someone with a great strategy but sucks at flicking is probably going to lose against a player that always lands their flicks but is executing mediocre actions. Basically you need to ask yourself if physical skill trumps mental skill in your game.

I don't think labeling something as a "Dexterity" game implies lack of strategy or depth, though. I love these types of games.
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Eric Etkin
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Donkler wrote:
The way I see it, if your game is really deep, but every play is contingent on getting a good flick, I would label it as a dexterity game since someone with a great strategy but sucks at flicking is probably going to lose against a player that always lands their flicks but is executing mediocre actions.


The game most definitely cannot be won purely be someone with good flicking skills. It would take someone with either great strategic skills and lousy flicking ability, or someone with decent sets of both.
 
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