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Subject: Where are the RftG Clones? rss

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Serge Levert
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It seems like most great board games get emulated, improved, cloned, re-themed, etc. Where are the RftG clones?

The one quasi-example i can think of is Eminent Domain, but that's waaaay more of a deckbuilder than an RftGer. It doesn't count to me.

Are there many but they all suck, so i've never heard about them? Please to be listing said clones even if they suck, for curiosity or posterity.
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Roger S.
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Never played it, but I believe Glory to Rome is supposed to be a RftG/San Juan-ish game.
 
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decadence20 wrote:
Never played it, but I believe Glory to Rome is supposed to be a RftG/San Juan-ish game.


GtR was inspired by San Juan, so if it's a RftG clone, it's an indirect/unintentional one...
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
decadence20 wrote:
Never played it, but I believe Glory to Rome is supposed to be a RftG/San Juan-ish game.


GtR was inspired by San Juan, so if it's a RftG clone, it's an indirect/unintentional one...


But weren't San Juan and RftG clones of each other? (e.g. developed at the same time in pseudo-cooperation between designers)
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looleypalooley wrote:
JohnnyDollar wrote:
decadence20 wrote:
Never played it, but I believe Glory to Rome is supposed to be a RftG/San Juan-ish game.


GtR was inspired by San Juan, so if it's a RftG clone, it's an indirect/unintentional one...


But weren't San Juan and RftG clones of each other? (e.g. developed at the same time in pseudo-cooperation between designers)


Yeah, both of them were kind of "Puerto Rico the Card Game," right?
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Are you curious which other games have cards that have multiple functionalities like roles, currency, buildings etc?

There are a few out there besides GtR & San Juan:
-Bruges (inspired by GtR)
-Uchronia (same designer as GtR)
-Innovation (same designer as GtR)
-Traders of Osaka
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In terms of:

euro-design pattern
7 Wonders
Puerto Rico
San Juan
Glory To Rome


role selection
Puerto Rico
San Juan
Glory To Rome


use cards to directly pay for other cards
Lyssan
San Juan
Glory To Rome
IIRC, Among The Stars

A bit rough around the edges...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/50909/card-games-where...
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Serge Levert
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To qualify as a RftG clone, a game has to have come out in 2008 at the earliest.

JohnnyDollar wrote:
Are you curious which other games have cards that have multiple functionalities like roles, currency, buildings etc?

Sure. Though mainly i'm looking to hear about actual clones / games heavily inspired specifically by RftG.

ackmondual wrote:
Among The Stars

The art of that game is quite impressive.
 
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Tim Alabaster Smitty
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entranced wrote:
It seems like most great board games get emulated, improved, cloned, re-themed, etc. Where are the RftG clones?

The one quasi-example i can think of is Eminent Domain, but that's waaaay more of a deckbuilder than an RftGer. It doesn't count to me.


I think you answered your own question here - deckbuilders became the craze, while the mechanics of RFTG did not take off. Deckbuilding games might not have the complexity and strategy levels that RFTG has in the same number of cards, but they are typically easier to explain and play with non-gamers.
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Glory to Rome may have been inspired by Race, but it has a very unique set of mechanics, so while you could put it into the same general class of card-based economic strategy games, I would never call it a clone.
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Ryan James
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didn't glory to rome come out several years before rftg, and only shortly after san juan?
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autoplectic wrote:
didn't glory to rome come out several years before rftg, and only shortly after san juan?

But RftG was designed at about the same time as SJ - essentially the same roots - but because of its complexity spent much, much longer in development and playtesting. Not sure about the timeline for GtR.
 
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Again, Glory to Rome was inspired by San Juan, not RftG. Any similarities to RftG are due to the similarities between San Juan & RftG.

Glory to Rome started as an argument.

When Erek Slater first showed him San Juan, Carl Chudyk was extremely unimpressed, claiming that it was hardly even a game.

Erek defended San Juan as simple, fun and playable; Carl disagreed strongly, and to back up his argument he put together a prototype (which he called "Be") to show the kind of mechanics he would use if he were to design a similar role based resource management game.
...
"Be" became Glory To Rome.


CGF / GTR - October 2004 to June 2007
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It's interesting thinking about the genealogy of games and their development/inspiration.

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_____________________________ San Juan ___ Race for the Galaxy
_________________________________S
__________________________Glory to Rome
__________________________SW___S___SE
__________________Uchronia__Innovation__Bruges
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Daniel Honig
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Throw in El Grande and Twilight Imperium 2 on the right and you can pull arrows from Puerto Rico and the other two to TI3!

It's amazing how much influence Verräter has had on the development of eurogames for a game so few people know about. Unfortunately, it's not the greatest game...though it's got some great ideas and Meuterer is fantastic.
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Joseph DiMuro
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entranced wrote:
It seems like most great board games get emulated, improved, cloned, re-themed, etc. Where are the RftG clones?


I was expecting the first few replies to be along the lines of "RFTG isn't a great board game."
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TrojH wrote:
entranced wrote:
It seems like most great board games get emulated, improved, cloned, re-themed, etc. Where are the RftG clones?


I was expecting the first few replies to be along the lines of "RFTG isn't a great board game."


You don't think it's great, or you don't think it's a boardgame?

I haven't played it myself, although I'm eager to try someday. While I've heard good things about it, I also always hear about the challenging learning curve and iconography. Which may also explain the dearth of "clones".
I've also heard the iconography praised for being strongly "coherent," and interesting player interactions, both of which intrigue me.
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
It's interesting thinking about the genealogy of games and their development/inspiration.

Like


_____________________________ San Juan ___ Race for the Galaxy
_________________________________S
__________________________Glory to Rome
__________________________SW___S___SE
__________________Uchronia__Innovation__Bruges


BTW, you could've also used the "code" or 'c' tags to align text vertically.
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ackmondual wrote:

BTW, you could've also used the "code" or 'c' tags to align text vertically.


Never heard of that, I'll have to look into it!
I tried simply "center" but it didn't line up right with the arrows, that would've only worked if there was one game per row.
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
ackmondual wrote:

BTW, you could've also used the "code" or 'c' tags to align text vertically.


Never heard of that, I'll have to look into it!
I tried simply "center" but it didn't line up right with the arrows, that would've only worked if there was one game per row.
IIRC, there might be an actual programming and development thread here on BGG. Otherwise, you do get snippets of computer code every now and then, but yeah, it seems to be primarily used to align and format posts so you can create tables and charts without resorting to images.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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looleypalooley wrote:
But weren't San Juan and RftG clones of each other?

No. San Juan is a combination, by the publisher, of Andreas Seyfarth's PRCG (Puerto Rico Card Game) prototype and the pay-for-cards-with-cards mechanism (which Richard Borg and I came up with) taken from my PRCG prototype.

RFTG was done 1 year later when I revisited my PRCG design and combined it with an unpublished space CCG, Duel for the Stars, done back in '95-'96.

So, my unpublished PRCG (March-April 2003) is the common ancestor to both San Juan and RFTG. I designed RFTG in May 2004.

The diagram is missing two arrows from Puerto Rico to two PRCG prototypes whose ideas were combined together to form San Juan; and RFTG is missing an arrow from my PRCG and from the non-listed Duel for the Stars.

This is what happens when you try to trace design evolution only through published games and not the many unpublished prototypes that occur along the way.

(It's also missing The City, which I did after RFTG to see whether I could design a substantially simpler game using the pay-for-cards mechanism, and the Kosmos game Around the World in 80 days, which also riffed on the role selection idea.)
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Derry Salewski
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It's a good point, OP.

I don't know the answer. Because we've all been too busy still playing RFTG thousands of times to care if another game like it comes out?

I'll start designing a rftg clone tonight!!

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Tom Lehmann wrote:
So, my unpublished PRCG (March-April 2003) is the common ancestor to both San Juan and RFTG. I designed RFTG in May 2004.

It's the famous "missing link" of evolutionary theory!

People might find this podcast episode informative:

The Long View: Tom Lehman Interview
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entranced wrote:
It seems like most great board games get emulated, improved, cloned, re-themed, etc. Where are the RftG clones?

The one quasi-example i can think of is Eminent Domain, but that's waaaay more of a deckbuilder than an RftGer. It doesn't count to me.

Are there many but they all suck, so i've never heard about them? Please to be listing said clones even if they suck, for curiosity or posterity.


Two things:

First, Dominion is HUGE. Super successful and easily milked for expansions. I don't know how successful RFTG is, but not so much that you could say "even if we get 10% of the player base to try our knockoff, we hit it big" like all the deckbuilder designers did.

Second: RFTG has two distinctive mechanics: Simultaneous action selection, (which was pretty established when it came out), and paying-for-cards-with-cards (a new mechanic, as noted by the designer above). If a knock-off used both, it would probably seem incredibly derivative (Sirlinesque?) and most designers would try to mix up the formula. But if you only steal one of the mechanics, it probably wouldn't feel like RFTG anymore.

That said, I have wondered the same thing. I'd like to publish a game some day, and many of the games I work on could be described as "RFTG Inspired"... And of course, there's also Patronage (fan expansion to Race for the Galaxy). But Dominion is super simple and self-balances (even if a card is too strong, it's equally available to all players); practically anyone could translate it to one theme or another. On the other hand, designing a card set for Race is a time-consuming process of playtesting and iteration. I knew RFTG was great, but designing a homebrew set took my appreciation for its balance to a whole new level. It's a perfectly tuned machine.

You can see this for yourself: Take fifteen cards at random out of the base deck and play a few games with what's left--I guarantee the games won't 'feel right', and you will probably end up with some really wonky scores.

And so, the real reason is probably just that Race is complex, and the card-sifting formula is just harder to design for.
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Voxen wrote:
entranced wrote:
It seems like most great board games get emulated, improved, cloned, re-themed, etc. Where are the RftG clones?

The one quasi-example i can think of is Eminent Domain, but that's waaaay more of a deckbuilder than an RftGer. It doesn't count to me.

Are there many but they all suck, so i've never heard about them? Please to be listing said clones even if they suck, for curiosity or posterity.


Two things:

First, Dominion is HUGE. Super successful and easily milked for expansions. I don't know how successful RFTG is, but not so much that you could say "even if we get 10% of the player base to try our knockoff, we hit it big" like all the deckbuilder designers did.

Second: RFTG has two distinctive mechanics: Simultaneous action selection, (which was pretty established when it came out), and paying-for-cards-with-cards (a new mechanic, as noted by the designer above). If a knock-off used both, it would probably seem incredibly derivative (Sirlinesque?) and most designers would try to mix up the formula. But if you only steal one of the mechanics, it probably wouldn't feel like RFTG anymore.

That said, I have wondered the same thing. I'd like to publish a game some day, and many of the games I work on could be described as "RFTG Inspired"... And of course, there's also Patronage (fan expansion to Race for the Galaxy). But Dominion is super simple and self-balances (even if a card is too strong, it's equally available to all players); practically anyone could translate it to one theme or another. On the other hand, designing a card set for Race is a time-consuming process of playtesting and iteration. I knew RFTG was great, but designing a homebrew set took my appreciation for its balance to a whole new level. It's a perfectly tuned machine.

You can see this for yourself: Take fifteen cards at random out of the base deck and play a few games with what's left--I guarantee the games won't 'feel right', and you will probably end up with some really wonky scores.

And so, the real reason is probably just that Race is complex, and the card-sifting formula is just harder to design for.


Among the practical advantages that Race has over Dom are:
--much more compact
RftG box is smaller than Dom, and even if you apply space saving measures, RftG still comes out ahead
--cheaper
Dom has tremendous replayability, but all of those expansions will set you back $250 to $360.
--non need to own Dominion, sort of
it's so ubiquitous in gaming circles that some folks will just play with other people's copies


Dominion is more modular, so unbalanced cards shouldn't hurt as much (although according to the designer diaries, many of the sets got designed with each other in mind)
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