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Subject: Why all the gameplay changes between sets? rss

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Cyrus Tucker
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Just curious. It just seems anathema to me to have your first game be coop, your second game be a tactical "dungeon crawl" 1 vs many style game, and your third game be a semi-coop. These are all supposed to be part of the same series, so doesn't doing that just fracture your customer base?

I mean, after seeing Tom Vasel's review, I have no interest in Level 7 [Escape], but I definitely want to pick up [Omega Protocol]. Semi-coops are only a passing interest, so I will likely pass on this as well. I just don't see why they didn't pick a consistent gameplay style instead of changing it up for each installment.
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Pedro Pereira
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I think that's a great idea. I really like what they are doing. I quite like Level 7 [Escape].

I also quite like [Omega Protocol]

I think it's a great idea to develop different games around the same theme. If I felt that I wanted more games based on same mechanic, I would o for expansions. This way they are providing completely different gaming experiences on the same theme which I think is fantastic. The fact that you care more for game types (co-op, confrontational, etc.) doesn't mean that all others do too.

I am a sucker for overall concept. If I think the concept is great and well implemented, that the artwork supports the concept and core idea well, that the game mechanics reflect the concept (regardless of which mechanic or style that is), then I'm sold. That's the case with the Level 7 series.

1) Innocent civilians, weak and powerless, trying to escape an underground facility crawling with guards and aliens and where you can chose to either play as a team or to have other players serve as baits instead.

2) Badass commandos with hich-tech gear ready to clean up the nasty mess left behind after the lucky civilians escaped and this issue came to public knowledge.

3) Planet trying to withstand alien invasion after fiasco that was Government immorally collaborating with evil aliens.

That all sounds like a great story arch to me and the fact that it plays on different scales and how each iteration of the story unfolds into different playing experiences is just great. I'm totally sold. Got the complete Level 7 collection so far and can't wait to get my hands on this one.
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Boris Berger
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I wish they would have gone for an approach closer to the XCOM Series... Such a game would be really cool...
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Cyrus Tucker
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Pedrator wrote:
I think that's a great idea. I really like what they are doing. I quite like Level 7 [Escape].

I also quite like [Omega Protocol]

I think it's a great idea to develop different games around the same theme. If I felt that I wanted more games based on same mechanic, I would o for expansions. This way they are providing completely different gaming experiences on the same theme which I think is fantastic. The fact that you care more for game types (co-op, confrontational, etc.) doesn't mean that all others do too.

I am a sucker for overall concept. If I think the concept is great and well implemented, that the artwork supports the concept and core idea well, that the game mechanics reflect the concept (regardless of which mechanic or style that is), then I'm sold. That's the case with the Level 7 series.

1) Innocent civilians, weak and powerless, trying to escape an underground facility crawling with guards and aliens and where you can chose to either play as a team or to have other players serve as baits instead.

2) Badass commandos with hich-tech gear ready to clean up the nasty mess left behind after the lucky civilians escaped and this issue came to public knowledge.

3) Planet trying to withstand alien invasion after fiasco that was Government immorally collaborating with evil aliens.

That all sounds like a great story arch to me and the fact that it plays on different scales and how each iteration of the story unfolds into different playing experiences is just great. I'm totally sold. Got the complete Level 7 collection so far and can't wait to get my hands on this one.


I can certainly see your point. However, I would think most game designers would rather try to stick to the same formula if they're making a series of games that are interconnected through story. I mean, I can think of few examples in the gaming industry where a direct sequel ended up being a completely different genre from its predecessor. Improved mechanics, sure, but not like, say, an action/adventure game to a puzzle game. Usually, if a publisher wants to try a different tack with a series, they'll make the game a spinoff. That way fans of the main series who aren't into that kind of game can safely skip it. I just don't see much consistency between the separate releases in the Level 7 world and it gives me pause.
 
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Pedro Pereira
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SparkingConduit wrote:
Pedrator wrote:
I think that's a great idea. I really like what they are doing. I quite like Level 7 [Escape].

I also quite like [Omega Protocol]

I think it's a great idea to develop different games around the same theme. If I felt that I wanted more games based on same mechanic, I would o for expansions. This way they are providing completely different gaming experiences on the same theme which I think is fantastic. The fact that you care more for game types (co-op, confrontational, etc.) doesn't mean that all others do too.

I am a sucker for overall concept. If I think the concept is great and well implemented, that the artwork supports the concept and core idea well, that the game mechanics reflect the concept (regardless of which mechanic or style that is), then I'm sold. That's the case with the Level 7 series.

1) Innocent civilians, weak and powerless, trying to escape an underground facility crawling with guards and aliens and where you can chose to either play as a team or to have other players serve as baits instead.

2) Badass commandos with hich-tech gear ready to clean up the nasty mess left behind after the lucky civilians escaped and this issue came to public knowledge.

3) Planet trying to withstand alien invasion after fiasco that was Government immorally collaborating with evil aliens.

That all sounds like a great story arch to me and the fact that it plays on different scales and how each iteration of the story unfolds into different playing experiences is just great. I'm totally sold. Got the complete Level 7 collection so far and can't wait to get my hands on this one.


I can certainly see your point. However, I would think most game designers would rather try to stick to the same formula if they're making a series of games that are interconnected through story. I mean, I can think of few examples in the gaming industry where a direct sequel ended up being a completely different genre from its predecessor. Improved mechanics, sure, but not like, say, an action/adventure game to a puzzle game. Usually, if a publisher wants to try a different tack with a series, they'll make the game a spinoff. That way fans of the main series who aren't into that kind of game can safely skip it. I just don't see much consistency between the separate releases in the Level 7 world and it gives me pause.


You are obviously not familiar with Friedemann Friese's "Fairy Fiona" trilogy:

1) Fische Fluppen Frikadellen (stock market game)
2) Fearsome Floors (race game)
3) Formidable Foes (dungeon crawler/resource management)


Or how about Klaus Teuber's famed trilogy:

1) Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons (tile laying game/exploration)
2) Catan (civ game/negociation)
3) Domaine (area control game)


Rainer Knizia:

1) Blue Moon (2-player card duelling game)
2) Blue Moon City (Family game of area control)

These are just a few and each of these trilogy's (or not) games couldn't be more different from one another...

Sorry, I don't get your point. I can get that you are disappointed because you were hoping for something different, yet saying that you don't get why a designer would chose to pursue a different path for each of his/her designs (aka being creative) rather than following the same path as his/her previous design (aka you know what I mean) goes beyond me.

As far as I'm concerned, that type of thinking is what ruined the Matrix trilogy if this helps you understand better what I mean...
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Hubert AMG
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athlim wrote:
I wish they would have gone for an approach closer to the XCOM Series... Such a game would be really cool...


Hmmm, isn't it something like x-com?
you have invation, you have global overview/control of your facilities (this is L7 Invasion), you have on-site action (L7 escape). Looks good to me
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Justin Alexander
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SparkingConduit wrote:
I mean, after seeing Tom Vasel's review, I have no interest in Level 7 [Escape], but I definitely want to pick up [Omega Protocol].


... seriously? You're asking why a company would release games that appeal to different audiences while admitting that their strategy is effective specifically for you personally?

In any case, this is far from unusual. Just off the top of my head I can think of the Twilight Imperium, Android, Pathfinder's Golarion, D&D's Forgotten Realms, Middle Earth, Game of Thrones, and AEG's Tempest all being settings supporting multiple tabletop board games with radically different mechanics.
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dorywalski wrote:
athlim wrote:
I wish they would have gone for an approach closer to the XCOM Series... Such a game would be really cool...


Hmmm, isn't it something like x-com?
you have invation, you have global overview/control of your facilities (this is L7 Invasion), you have on-site action (L7 escape). Looks good to me


Exactly. OP and Invasion are basically both sides of the X-COM experience from the squad vs squad kill-a-thons and the global response/resource management side, akin to the original X-COM games (UFO Defense and Terror from the Deep).

I also saw this, so if you're really jonesing for a "true officially legit just-like-the-PC-game-of-now" X-COM game, it's coming very soon:

http://www.polygon.com/2014/8/5/5971847/xcom-enemy-unknown-b...

I'm not a big fan of app-based board games though (because I don't own a tablet). Well, I guess that's one less mystery on what FFG has been up to lately.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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FFG announced it today too: http://fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4972

It's more like [Invasion] than [Omega Protocol], which is unfortunate. Best part of X-COM is the tactical game, and I would have thought that would have translated best into a board game...

-shnar
 
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Ben Thornton
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shnar wrote:
FFG announced it today too: http://fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4972

It's more like [Invasion] than [Omega Protocol], which is unfortunate. Best part of X-COM is the tactical game, and I would have thought that would have translated best into a board game...

-shnar


I'm inclined to disagree. If I want to play X-Com the tactical squad based kill lots of aliens with my single bad ass trooper then cry when he dies the board game, then I will play Galaxy Defenders. This is the type of X-Com game I've been waiting for. Don't get me wrong, I love all aspects of the X-Com games. There are plenty of options out there already for tactical squad games.

But to each their own I guess.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I really wanted both. A strategic game with a tactical game. Something similar to say Descent: The Road to Legend...

-shnar
 
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Doe Gibson
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A minimum of 3 players makes this one a hard sell. soblue
 
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niels s
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doelion wrote:
A minimum of 3 players makes this one a hard sell. soblue


Settlers of Catan has a minimum of 3 players, and has proven not hard to sell.
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Patrick Lindgren
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While I understand the argument, I disagree and actually love that they chose to develop the series in this way, expanding on the universe/lore rather than the specific game that it was first used in.

Our group has Level 7 [Escape] and enjoys it. While it does have flaws and could probably be improved upon in a "direct" sequel, I'm not sure if it would be possible to make several sequels to it without any dramatic changes to gameplay along the way.

Level 7 [Omega Protocol], on the other hand, while it does seem interesting, I'm not sure it suits our specific gaming group, at least not right now, so we've chosen to pass on that one so far.

Level 7 [Invasion] seems awesome though, and seems like it would suit our group perfectly, so it will be a must-buy

I also feel that they're really able to keep the feel as well as having enough references in [Invasion] for it to feel like a valid Level 7 game, even though most previously used game mechanics have been tossed out

So I definitely prefer having three different games set in the same universe rather than three different games with separate generic sci-fi plots or three identical games just to validate the use of the name "Level 7".
 
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athlim wrote:
I wish they would have gone for an approach closer to the XCOM Series... Such a game would be really cool...


Target Earth whistlewhistle
 
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Jarrett Dunn
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Um, hello .... One of the biggest of them all, the Terrinoth series from FFG are all completely different games. You have Runewars, Runebound, Descent, dungeon quest and Runeage... All part of the same storyline and all COMPLETELY different types of games from dungeon crawl, to card game, to overland adventuring, to strategic war game, etc.....

The only problem Escape had was it kind of sucked and didn't have enough theme and story through the cards.... Had they fixed that it too would have been a great game.
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Cameron McKenzie
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Escape is not a full co-op game. If you try to play it as one, you are missing it on what makes it great.
 
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Cyrus Tucker
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mltdwn wrote:
Um, hello .... One of the biggest of them all, the Terrinoth series from FFG are all completely different games. You have Runewars, Runebound, Descent, dungeon quest and Runeage... All part of the same storyline and all COMPLETELY different types of games from dungeon crawl, to card game, to overland adventuring, to strategic war game, etc.....

The only problem Escape had was it kind of sucked and didn't have enough theme and story through the cards.... Had they fixed that it too would have been a great game.


Whilst true, they do all have different names. In some regard, that helps distinguish them. If you had, for example, Runebound: Descent and Runebound: The Adventure Game, that would be sort of my problem that I have with Level 7. It's not bad necessarily, but someone new to the series wouldn't realize Runebound was just the setting and they were completely different games and systems. My feeling is Level 7 should distinguish itself more by maybe changing the titles and then putting "Part of the Level 7 universe" on the box like the Terrinoth series does.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Except for Descent and DungeonQuest, they all have "Rune" in their names. Runebound, Runeage, Runewars, etc...

There's also Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: The Card Game, Star Wars: Imperial Assault, Star Wars: Armada, and we're not even talking about the RPG yet...

-shnar
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Cameron McKenzie
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shnar wrote:
Except for Descent and DungeonQuest, they all have "Rune" in their names. Runebound, Runeage, Runewars, etc...

There's also Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: The Card Game, Star Wars: Imperial Assault, Star Wars: Armada, and we're not even talking about the RPG yet...

-shnar


How about Android and Android:Netrunner? Totally different, incompatible games, connected only by characters and setting.
There is also Infiltration. Although it doesn't have Android in the title, it does appear on the box cover.

Side note: I was really hoping FFG would announce a new Android game this year. Given Netrunner's success, it would be a sensible move. They seem to be really milking that Star Wars license instead...
 
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Jarrett Dunn
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Also this game isn't a semi-coop, it's a co-op with player elimination from the AI which you, from my reading, generally don't want to happen anyways as that means access to less resources. I actually see zero reason that someone couldn't solo the entire thing as there is always going to be repercussions to some coalition on the event cards.... It's all about minimizing the repercussions to keep all the coalitions fighting as long as possible.... Losing one too early or at the wrong time could mean everyone loses.
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Pedrator wrote:

You are obviously not familiar with Friedemann Friese's "Fairy Fiona" trilogy:

Or how about Klaus Teuber's famed trilogy:

Rainer Knizia:


Don't forget AEG's Tempest: Shared World series. All Euros, but very different games, each.

Personally, I expect that releasing multiple games that all use the same or similar mechanics would draw fire for being "too much the same."

Expansions, yes they should be the same, obviously. Multiple editions of the same game that progressively expand the story (like Twilight Imperium), sure they can be similar mechanically.

However that's not what the level 7 series (and these other examples) are doing. They are building a franchise of different games that are thematically linked. The idea being to unite customers with the theme, not fracture them by gameplay.

I mean, yeah, I'm sure there will be some people who will only buy some of the games because they don't like the mechanics of the rest. There will probably also be some people who get confused about what's happening and just skip the franchise all together, rather than try to figure it out. But I think there's enough interest in this sort of thing to bear it out.

And then, of course, there will be those who buy all the games even though they don't really like one of them, just to have the whole set. =P
 
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Cyrus Tucker
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Stewi wrote:
Pedrator wrote:

You are obviously not familiar with Friedemann Friese's "Fairy Fiona" trilogy:

Or how about Klaus Teuber's famed trilogy:

Rainer Knizia:


Don't forget AEG's Tempest: Shared World series. All Euros, but very different games, each.

Personally, I expect that releasing multiple games that all use the same or similar mechanics would draw fire for being "too much the same."

Expansions, yes they should be the same, obviously. Multiple editions of the same game that progressively expand the story (like Twilight Imperium), sure they can be similar mechanically.

However that's not what the level 7 series (and these other examples) are doing. They are building a franchise of different games that are thematically linked. The idea being to unite customers with the theme, not fracture them by gameplay.

I mean, yeah, I'm sure there will be some people who will only buy some of the games because they don't like the mechanics of the rest. There will probably also be some people who get confused about what's happening and just skip the franchise all together, rather than try to figure it out. But I think there's enough interest in this sort of thing to bear it out.

And then, of course, there will be those who buy all the games even though they don't really like one of them, just to have the whole set. =P


I think you sort of hit on the point I was trying to get at when I started this thread. If Level 7 were already an established series, it wouldn't matter so much if they developed spinoffs. But since it's brand new, it would make more sense to develop some sense of identity first. When I think of Sonic the Hedgehog, I think of fast-paced platforming gameplay with cheesy voice acting and groan-inducing cutscenes. That's a consistent image. Now, Sonic Boom, the latest game, will actually be more of an action-adventure brawler like Ratchet and Clank, but that's okay because it's just a spinoff. I still know what the basic identity of Sonic the Hedgehog is.

For Level 7, though, what is that basic identity? Is it the universe? Maybe, but then there's not too much drawing people together other than that. If I meet someone who says they're a fan of Level 7, is it because they like the universe, or do they like the semi-coop but hate the full-coop, or do they like all of them but hate the theme? It just feels like the fanbase is being unnecessarily fractured from the get-go because there is no real defining characteristic of what a Level 7 experience should be. Contrast with Warhammer 40K, which has a huge amount of spinoff titles from RTS PC games to a Talisman clone, but still feels consistent because the base game and its universe is so tightly developed. Even if the fanbase is fractured, you can at least all agree on why you like Warhammer 40K in some shape or form. I fail to see how someone could say the same for Level 7. It's too much change too soon.
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