Chenier La Salle
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I've been working on my game for close to three years now.
Unpublished Prototype
www.facebook.com/ny1901

Right from the start I've wanted it to be a true 'gateway' game. On other words I want it to be pleasing to 'gamers' of course, but simple and intuitive enough that it has a shot at broad 'gateway' appeal.

I have the option of including two options: a basic game and a - slightly - more advanced game option in the box.

Is offering two options in the box anathema to 'gateway'? It might please true gamers to have an 'advanced' option however, having many levels of complexity in the box might scare away the 'masses' that can make the game a true gateway success?

Your thoughts?
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Rich Shipley
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Settlers has a beginners version with a fixed setup and an "advanced" variable setup. It seems to sell OK.
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Ricky Cantrell
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Fresco is an example of a successful game that includes basic family rules and expansion modules that can add depth and replayability for gamers.

Personally I think the idea makes games like this serve as even better gateways. With non-gamers or new players you can start with the basic rules and move up as they get more comfortable.

Edit to add: I've taken a look at your game before, and that board is gorgeous my friend. Well done!
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Patricio Mendez
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Fresco! The basic game is very beginner-friendly. The game also comes with 3 "modules" you can add that increase the complexity (but never becoming heavy).









You can see the run-through of the game by Rahdo

http://bgg.cc/video/31021/fresco/rahdo-runs-through-fresco


Maybe you can add modules to your game?
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Toms Leikums
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I actually think that some games (for example, Ticket to Ride) does the thing without having simple and advanced versions.
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Austin Andersen
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Forbidden Island has different difficulty settings as does Pandemic. Settler's of Catan as another person mentioned does as well. Even Ghost Stories which I wouldn't consider a gateway game has different levels of difficulty. I think it is very possible and often times implemented.
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Brian Franzman
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Heck, even Agricola has a basic version. Not that I would suggest it for non-gamers, though.
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Jeremy Lennert
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bbblasterfire wrote:
Forbidden Island has different difficulty settings as does Pandemic. Settler's of Catan as another person mentioned does as well. Even Ghost Stories which I wouldn't consider a gateway game has different levels of difficulty. I think it is very possible and often times implemented.

Difficulty levels are extremely common in cooperative games, but that's not the same thing as having a more complex version of the game. Ghost Stories on high difficulty isn't any harder to teach than on low difficulty, it's just harder to win.
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Josh Sauer
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Antistone wrote:
bbblasterfire wrote:
Forbidden Island has different difficulty settings as does Pandemic. Settler's of Catan as another person mentioned does as well. Even Ghost Stories which I wouldn't consider a gateway game has different levels of difficulty. I think it is very possible and often times implemented.

Difficulty levels are extremely common in cooperative games, but that's not the same thing as having a more complex version of the game. Ghost Stories on high difficulty isn't any harder to teach than on low difficulty, it's just harder to win.


Flash Point, though, definitely has a true distinction between the beginner version and the advanced version, with the advanced version adding in the role cards, HazMats, Hot Spots, etc.
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Chenier La Salle
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Thank you all for the good advice.
Indeed a lot of popular games have different versions/scenarios. But if we make abstraction of Catan which came out many years ago and almost single-handily changed the market, it seems that the most successful recent gateways - TTR, Zooloretto, Carcassonne- are all out of the box one size fits all games. maybe I'm thinking too much...
 
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Aaron Yoder
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shocko wrote:
Thank you all for the good advice.
Indeed a lot of popular games have different versions/scenarios. But if we make abstraction of Catan which came out many years ago and almost single-handily changed the market, it seems that the most successful recent gateways - TTR, Zooloretto, Carcassonne- are all out of the box one size fits all games. maybe I'm thinking too much...


Agricola is at least as successful as all the mentioned games (er...save Catan), and it comes with a "Family" variant for teaching new players. So, no, what you've said isn't necessarily true. The games you mention are just simple games, not games that offer a lot of depth. Not so with Agricola, which is why it is so highly regarded.
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Sicaria Occaeco
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shocko wrote:
maybe I'm thinking too much...


You are. Just make a fun game. A gateway game is just a game that causes a person to become interested in the hobby. Make a fun game and the gateway part will come naturally.
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Gregg Jewell
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I would say that En Garde has basic and slightly more advanced rules and could be a gateway game.
 
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M. B.
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Offering two versions in a game is fine and encouraged in my books. In a lot of ways, sticking the gateway version into a game (along with an advanced version) allows some players an easier grasp of the basic concepts/rules on first playthroughs before moving onto the advanced game mechanics.

Having dual function/purpose in a game to please either gaming/non-gaming crowd is always a bonus as I see it. In theory I would think it should increase your target audience size, and thereby, lead to more sales.

If you're worried about it, just look how successful Agricola has done as others have pointed out. Anyhow, it's food for thought. Good luck with your decision.
 
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Aditya C
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Formula D is awesome this way. The basic wear rules are simple to understand. The advanced wear rules really add flavor and encourages more decision-making.
 
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