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Subject: Lack of Buzz? rss

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foldedcard
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This game doesn't look super innovative, but mechanics look good, the game is attractive, and it has garnered some good reviews, so I am surprised it isn't getting more attention. Comparative games like Rococo, Grand Austria Hotel, Orleans, which are also dry Euros with idiosyncratic themes have done a lot better. Any thoughts on why? Are those other games just stronger? Better promoted by their publisher? Better thematic integration?
 
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Josh Wood
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Hmmm I don't actually think Rococo and Grand Austria Hotel got a lot of buzz, or at least not more buzz, especially, Grand Austria Hotel.



 
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David Baum
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With the number of games coming out these days, it's hard to generate a lot of buzz. Sure, Pandemic Legacy, 7 Wonders Duel, and a few other games got it last year. But Shakespeare is not all that exciting, and doesn't offer a lot of new things. I have the game, and like it very much. But there are now so many games that are doing very similar things, it's hard to get excited about any of them. Today, getting buzz requires something truly innovative, and with thousands of new games coming out every year, many of which are very good, doing something innovative gets harder and harder.

Just this morning, I was thinking about the 2015 games I played this week: Shakespeare, The Bloody Inn, and Signorie. All three are excellent games, but they are not adding much to other games in my collection. 10 years ago, all three would have really impressed me. Today, all three are just average.
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foldedcard
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TheOriginalJwoo wrote:
Hmmm I don't actually think Rococo and Grand Austria Hotel got a lot of buzz, or at least not more buzz, especially, Grand Austria Hotel.


I see them being recommended a lot more often than Shakespeare here and on reddit. Maybe Grand Austria Hotel is benefiting from its similarity with Castles of Burgundy. Although Shakespeare also features action selection...
 
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foldedcard
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da baum wrote:
Just this morning, I was thinking about the 2015 games I played this week: Shakespeare, The Bloody Inn, and Signorie. All three are excellent games, but they are not adding much to other games in my collection. 10 years ago, all three would have really impressed me. Today, all three are just average.


I guess it's a nice problem to have.

Do people really think 7wonders Duel is innovative? Seems more hype driven to me (spin off of hugely popular game by well known designers.)
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foldedcard wrote:
This game doesn't look super innovative, but mechanics look good, the game is attractive, and it has garnered some good reviews, so I am surprised it isn't getting more attention. Comparative games like Rococo, Grand Austria Hotel, Orleans, which are also dry Euros with idiosyncratic themes have done a lot better. Any thoughts on why? Are those other games just stronger? Better promoted by their publisher? Better thematic integration?

Buzz is also generated by advertisement and availability. Orleans was published in both the US and Europe. Shakespeare was published by a daily small European company (Ystari).
Its appeal is in its looks, theme and the new take on the worker placement genre.
Rococo got very little buzz a few years ago. GAH was definitely not the big complex euro hit in Essen (even Mombasa, which seemed to be that hit, has received fairly little buzz when compared to Pandemic Legacy, Blood Rage, Through the Ages 2nd edition, 7WD etc). Orleans, by the way, is actually from 2014

Are the aforementioned games better?
Well, minis are hot, hotter than "dry soulless euros". Pandemic Legacy hits on the cooperative level, the (for most people) new element of a Legacy game, shared with friends no less plus that theme of saving the world.
Orleans offers a new take on that deck building mechanics we seem to love. And then some.
7WD can build on the love that its bigger brother had already generated.

But, Shakespeare has on average received a 7.65/10. There are, however, only 805 votes. So far. Zee Garcia is enthusiastic, I am Maybe we need some more patience before it really hits with a larger public. The expansion due this summer might help in that respect.
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Lawrence
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foldedcard wrote:
I see them being recommended a lot more often than Shakespeare here and on reddit. Maybe Grand Austria Hotel is benefiting from its similarity with Castles of Burgundy. Although Shakespeare also features action selection...


I'm one of those who recommends GAH (and Rococo to a lesser extent) fairly often here. I've played Shakespeare and while it's a solid game, it's fairly AP prone. In the 6 games I've played, each of them simply dragged, even with all experienced players. In my experience, it's almost as bad as Five Tribes (which is saying a lot). And although I love how tense it is, I can't really recommend it personally.

You're right though that GAH benefits from it's similarities to COB. A lot of recommendation threads start with something along the lines of "We liked Castles of Burgundy, and are looking for something else...". To me, GAH does pretty much everything Castles does, but with more interesting mechanics and better application of theme. It's a replacement game, and is more likely to be recommended. I don't really have or know anything that Shakespeare would really replace.
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The Board Game Goat
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I think the theme is really strong in this game and doesn't feel pasted on the mechanisms, which is really enjoyable. It's very solid. I do wonder if the theme itself (which I like) just doesn't draw as many people to it, then again who would have thought that so many people wanted to play a game about making wine? Maybe there's also a question of what it's up against in the Euro section at the time it's released. I do really like it. But yeah, I didn't "hear" about it. I saw it on a shelf and looked up Tom Vasel's review of it. And then bought it.
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I'm sure it didn't help that two of the major positive reviews (Rahdo/Tom vasel) came out months before the game was widely available. At least in the US.

I think Shakespeare plays well across all player counts where as Grand Austria is interminably slow with four. Shakespeare and GAH's stats are fairly similar. GAH, 1200+ owners, 773 ratings, rank 647. Shakespeare, 1400+ owners, 805 ratings, rank 658. Unrelated, Shakespeare's art blows GAH away.
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mavericklancer wrote:
foldedcard wrote:
I see them being recommended a lot more often than Shakespeare here and on reddit. Maybe Grand Austria Hotel is benefiting from its similarity with Castles of Burgundy. Although Shakespeare also features action selection...


I'm one of those who recommends GAH (and Rococo to a lesser extent) fairly often here. I've played Shakespeare and while it's a solid game, it's fairly AP prone. In the 6 games I've played, each of them simply dragged, even with all experienced players. In my experience, it's almost as bad as Five Tribes (which is saying a lot). And although I love how tense it is, I can't really recommend it personally.

You're right though that GAH benefits from it's similarities to COB. A lot of recommendation threads start with something along the lines of "We liked Castles of Burgundy, and are looking for something else...". To me, GAH does pretty much everything Castles does, but with more interesting mechanics and better application of theme. It's a replacement game, and is more likely to be recommended. I don't really have or know anything that Shakespeare would really replace.


I play Shakespeare with 4 in under an hour. Always.
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foldedcard
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dodecalouise wrote:
I do wonder if the theme itself (which I like) just doesn't draw as many people to it, then again who would have thought that so many people wanted to play a game about making wine?


Maybe a game about winemaking in the Shakespearian era would be the ultimate combo

Anyway, I just gifted this game to myself for my birthday. Look forward to playing.
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Karis Shem
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You are probably right, there is no "big buzz" about Shakespeare. The truth is that there's no big explanation for this. The reviews are good, the sales are good, the ratings are good (it was 5th on the Fairplay ratings in Essen). Sometimes it just doesn't buzz...

We're certainly not helped by the fact we're still a small company (but not a new one, which help sometimes) and by the big releases like Pandemic, Mysterium, Time stories or 7W. That's a lot of hits in a short time and the other games are in the shadows a bit.

That said, i'm totally proud of Shakespeare. Maybe you can argue there's no novelties, but i think it's a really good and tense game, with great artwork and finely tuned mechanisms. Novelties are certainly a good thing for the buzz, but i think several mechanisms of Shakespeare like the initial auction and the Rest phase are used in an original fashion. Ok, it's not a revolution, but it's interesting.

Now, that's for sure, the industry has changed and you'd better communicate a lot about your new mechanism if you want to generate some buzz. I'm not a communication guy. I don't blame those who are able to do that, but my true passion is to make good and interesting games and not to sell a lot of them.

We could have exploited Caylus a lot more, there was plenty of options to do this, but we wanted to make different games, so we did them. Shakespeare is the last entry of this list and if only one people appreciate it, then i'm happy. So maybe i won't sell 100.000 Shakespeare, but it's not that important.

Anyway, the sales are good like i said. You can't certainly compare them to the "big hits" but i imagine we're in the same area than GAH for example. And more than 800 notes on BGG is not that bad too...

Regards,
Cyril



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