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Subject: Where did the term crunchy start in the board game world? rss

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Mike Jones
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Thunkd wrote:
Eleon wrote:
I have heard (and then started using myself) the term crunchy
I've never heard that term before.


Multiple ditto.

Not a term I'm familiar with.
 
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Benjamin S.
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It's especially used in minis games like 40k, warhammer fantasy, Infinity, Malifaux, Warmachine etc.
 
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Mike Jones
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Dogfish_Head wrote:
It's especially used in minis games like 40k, warhammer fantasy, Infinity, Malifaux, Warmachine etc.


Funny, I demo'd, playtested, gmae design support, and ran a convention that focused mainly on miniature games for 10 years and never ran across that term.

So, it must be a VERY recent term as I've been mostly board gaming for a little while now.
 
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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Digging more into the past, it looks like the terms crunch and fluff were in use in RPG discussions for at least a decade to means "rules bits" and "setting bits", with the earliest explanation I've found from 2004:

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?138296-Special-language-...

The earliest uses I've found are from 2002:

http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?118201-Scarred-L...
http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?118094-d20-Call-...
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Bryan Thunkd
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It's a rpg term? Ick! It's got cooties! I'm not using it.
 
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Michael Dart
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How interesting. I'm surprised so many people hadn't heard it used like that before. And I'm not from an RPG or minis background. Maybe I did get it from SU&SD but don't remember it.

Before reading this thread I'd have said it referred to a game you could get your teeth into. Not simple or smooth, but in a satisfying way. A game with substance.

I like the parallels people are drawing with 'number crunching', but I'd have said it's more about decision crunching than numerical calculations. A game you can get invested in.
 
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Yours Truly,
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mjdart wrote:


Before reading this thread I'd have said it referred to a game you could get your teeth into. Not simple or smooth, but in a satisfying way. A game with substance.


I've always said (and read on BGG) "meaty" for that characteristic.
Also, "Gamer's game."
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Gregg S.
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I think of crunchy as a term describing food. So I would assume a game is crunchy if it has a lot of plastic pieces. Plastic pieces would crunch (like pretzel nuggets) while cardboard bits wouldn't (like brownies, assuming they are made correctly).
 
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Michael Iachini
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Like others, I'll agree that this is a term that has migrated in from the world of RPGs.

My feeling on the origins of the term "crunch" or "crunchy" in RPGs is that "fluff" came first. As in the "fluff text" describing the background world and character motivations and such in an RPG adventure.

If you're writing content for an RPG, you can write "fluff" if you want - setting material, straight-up fiction, etc. And my feeling is that "fluff" came about first in isolation to describe these elements that don't directly tie in to the rules of the game.

My guess is that people came up with the term "crunch" as a counterpoint to "fluff." So, if you read an adventure that's all stat blocks and character class rules and such, there's no fluff; it's all crunch.

Just a guess, based on how I've seen fluff and crunch used in RPG forums.
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Jesse Doe
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It just means a game that gets your brain crunching, like "crunch time."

I first heard the term on Shut Up & Sit Down.
 
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Eleon Forsht
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ChaosAndAlchemy wrote:
Like others, I'll agree that this is a term that has migrated in from the world of RPGs.

My feeling on the origins of the term "crunch" or "crunchy" in RPGs is that "fluff" came first. As in the "fluff text" describing the background world and character motivations and such in an RPG adventure.

If you're writing content for an RPG, you can write "fluff" if you want - setting material, straight-up fiction, etc. And my feeling is that "fluff" came about first in isolation to describe these elements that don't directly tie in to the rules of the game.

My guess is that people came up with the term "crunch" as a counterpoint to "fluff." So, if you read an adventure that's all stat blocks and character class rules and such, there's no fluff; it's all crunch.

Just a guess, based on how I've seen fluff and crunch used in RPG forums.


This is the origins I think best fits how it came into board games. I can totally see people saying "fluff" games, and thus was born a way to describe the inverse, and the term "crunch" game to be.

It is also likely that people have a memory of it from RPG as well, so the term would fit well.

I also like the RPG description of Fluff being for background and then Crunchy being used for mechanics.
 
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