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Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery» Forums » General

Subject: A good enough game to stand on its own? rss

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Ken Lee
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I recently posted this as a comment on a geeklist about Origins, but I thought I'd get a better response from making it a forum thread.

From what I read about this game from all the Origins reports, is that it's a really good game. But I'd like to know if the game is good enough to stand on its own without association with the AoE3 label.

It just seems to me, from reading all the reports about it, that the game is well-designed, but doesn't exactly invoke the feel of the PC game. And if this was so, should the game be given independent standing, and not tied to the PC game franchise?

I mean, if I hadn't heard about how good the game was from the reports, I probably wouldn't have wanted to pick the game up. I'm not too keen on getting a boardgame implementation of the PC game. And in the same vein, a person who liked the PC game and was looking to relive that experience on a boardgame might not find what they're looking for.

So I just wonder if it would be better to seperate the boardgame from the PC franchise, and have it stand on its own, provided that it is as good as everyone says it is.
 
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Angus the Bull
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Looking back at Eagle's past games:

Age of Mythology. I played the PC game to death and I've played the boardgame several times. Did it envoke the "feel" of the PC game? Some. The biggest key - different civs and the different units. In this case they may have been over-emphasizing what worked in the PC game and melding that to what currently worked in the boardgame world (I've always thought that AoM has a slight PR feel to it, not that that's a bad thing). The result was a pretty good game.

Railroad Tycoon. I can't comment here on the PC game but I do have Age of Steam and everyone recognizes this as a redevolpment of that system. How well does this one invoke the "feel" of the PC game? From the comments I've read from other BGGrs - Not at all. From my understanding there are virtually no commonalities between the PC and boardgame. RRT the boardgame was a success for Eagle anyway (IMO) and the RRT boardgame title likely brought in some additional sales through name recognition.

So now we get to your question. Could it stand on it's own with another name? Quite possibly but if the title has some name recognition and will sell some additional units, more power to them. Perhaps they will create some cross-over gamers, as PC strategy gamers are a good target for strategy boardgames. (IMO) It also provides the all important theme that is critical.

I'm REALLY looking forward to this game's release BTW.
 
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Miguel
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Name recognition = more sales through less advertizing.

Whether the game COULD stand up well with a different name is irrelevant.

Honestly, I'm not sure what you point is here. Are you suggesting they stop doing video game tie-ins? If it helps sell their games, I doubt they'll do anything different.
 
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Todd Sweet
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I would say absolutely YES!
I have not played the PC game nor really know anything about it, but I have had the priviledge of playtesting the boardgame and I would buy the game whatever it is called
 
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Darrell Hanning
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IMHO, the boardgame-videogame symbiosis is, in general, at best misleading (AoM, Civ) and at worst disingenuous (RRT). But I don't worry about it too much, because I think it will also be short-lived.
 
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Glenn Drover
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The idea of doing a PC game licensed game appealed to me so that we could:

1) Gain extra PR and exposure for our games

2) Start reversing the process of gamers flocking to electronic entertainment while abandoning traditional social games

Since most PC gamers are truly "gamers" and would enjoy a good boardgame, my hope was to broaden the audience.

Whether the boardgame is the "same" as the PC game seems unimportant. Much more important (IMHO) is that it be a truly great gaming experience. I believe that we nailed this on Railroad Tycoon and even more so with Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery.

If, as a boardgame purist, you want to refer to it as "The Age of Discovery" (The subtitle), feel free. A rose by any other name...


 
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John Harley
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it should be called age of civilization
then it would both be
not directly tied to an ip...
and yet would be somehow...
at the same time.
 
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Ken Lee
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I guess you're quite right when you say that I'm thinking of this from the perspective of a "boardgame purist", Glenn.

I definitely understand the need to widen your game's appeal to a larger audience, and a familiar franchise helps. And I'm not saying that's wrong at all. From a business standpoint, that makes perfect sense.

Hearing how good the game is, I just wondered if this would have been a great oppurtunity to create a brand new franchise. And if the game is as good as I think it to be, maybe it could have been just as successful without having the PC game tie-in.

But I really don't know what's good or bad in this case. This game is definitely on my radar now after all the positive things that's been said. I believe that it's a good game, regardless of the tie-in or not.
 
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Glenn Drover
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I wonder if it needed the tie-in as well. However, I received some of the inspiration for designing it as I did from the team at Ensemble who wanted a pure "Euro" - style game. So, it might never have been what it became without the association.

G
 
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Luca Iennaco
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kracken wrote:
Hearing how good the game is, I just wondered if this would have been a great oppurtunity to create a brand new franchise. And if the game is as good as I think it to be, maybe it could have been just as successful without having the PC game tie-in.

On the other hand, it is very interesting to (finally!) have GOOD licensed games rather than obscenities trying to sell just because of their name.
I won't care about the name as long as the game is good.
I'm going to check this...
 
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Daniel Corban
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Being associated with Age of Empires III would actually turn me off of the game. After being a huge fan of Ensemble's games Age of Empires 1 & 2 and Age of Mythology, AoE III was a crushing letdown. After their competitor's awesome game Rise of Nations, I was expecting more than a game that felt like AoE2 with immersion breaking "cards". Even the name itself is uninspired. I hate the industry's obsession with colons and subtitles, but they really could have done better than re-do AoE2 with someone else's graphic engine and not even think of a new title.
 
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Nate Merchant
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Wow, Dan, I could not disagree more. True, AoE3 (the computer game) is not as good or as elegant as I would have hoped, but I think it still is extremely innovative and shows flashes of brilliance. Comparing it too much to AoK is only going to end in tears; need I remind you that AoK remains wildly unbalanced even now?

The problem, as I see it, is that a bunch of the fans screamed bloody murder when Ensemble published AoM and AoM:TT. How dare Ensemble innovate to such an extent, and that awful auto-queue! So, this is what we get: a still innovative RTS that is bound to a micromanager's idea of what RTS's should be. But it is still a far cry from just AoK with cards.
 
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Arcadian Del Sol
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Question:

How does this compare to Civilization in the "your unlucky starting position loses you the game" category?

For those who do not know, Eagle Games published an absolutely HORRIBLE board game called Civilization that was based on the PC game. Fans of the PC game will tell you that sometimes you have to abandon a game four turns in when you realize that your starting city is in the middle of an expansive wasteland. Unfortunately, the board game does this to you as well, only the other players generally arent interested in starting over just for you.

Anyone who has playtested this game: do all players have a reasonably even handed chance of winning or is it just dumb luck?
 
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Todd Sweet
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Arcadian Del Sol wrote:
Question:

How does this compare to Civilization in the "your unlucky starting position loses you the game" category?

For those who do not know, Eagle Games published an absolutely HORRIBLE board game called Civilization that was based on the PC game. Fans of the PC game will tell you that sometimes you have to abandon a game four turns in when you realize that your starting city is in the middle of an expansive wasteland. Unfortunately, the board game does this to you as well, only the other players generally arent interested in starting over just for you.

Anyone who has playtested this game: do all players have a reasonably even handed chance of winning or is it just dumb luck?


There is no "starting" position and as such no home for each player. The 1st turn is started with and auction that let's you discover the Carribbean, but since it is an auction if you think that is an advantage you can bid them up. If the person bids too much for getting the Carribbean, then they won't have enough money to bid on the Capitol Buildings which are very important. Also, as soon as an area is discovered, then EVERYONE is allowed to send colonists over to that area. On the 1st turn the only area that will be discovered and available will be the Carribbean, so that starting player won't have a huge advantage (1 extra colonist). I haven't played Civilization, but there is nothing close to the problem you described in this game. There is also a mechanicism for switching around turn order every turn.
 
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