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Subject: Forcing KSers to back a separate KS at separate company for complete game? rss

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Matt D
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Does anyone else see (and worry about) a trend towards distributing content to other avenues creating an interdependence for gamers on other companies?

I know we've had exclusive content released at cons as promos for years (heck, that's the premise for the currently running Worldwide Promo Math Trade). And I know distributors and other groups are getting in on the act (Dice Tower, etc). And eventually most of these make their way to the Geek Store. Annoying for a completionist (which I personally am not, btw), but understand.

What I think is starting to push it is seeing a Kickstarter campaign include content for a separate game, requiring people wanting that game to back a completely different Kickstarter to get everything.

In specific I am talking about Meeple Source 2.0. Admittedly I don't pimp out my games so I am not the target audience for their KS--I love Lords of Waterdeep but I am totally fine with turning in orange cubes and not warriors. I am however a backer of Yokohama, and got a KS backer update today with some images from the game and a pretty clear ad for the Meeple Source KS touting their exclusive KS Yokohama Meeple. I admit, I feel very little need personally to buy a pimped out Meeple for one guy. But curious, I went to their Kickstarter page, and found there are other games with content "exclusive" to their Kickstarter. Including an entire character for another game that you can't get with that game unless you back the Meeple Source KS.

To me, it is galling that to get content for a game, I have to back a company using KS for pre-sale (I find no reason to think that Meeple Source has any need to use KS to crowd fund anything because of specifically how they have their campaign set up), buy some of their stuff (which I might not want) to get something for a particular game.

Now, I am ok with TMG basically offering up permission to design a pimped out component to Meeple Source. I'm ok with them supporting a company they have a relationship with by advertising to their backers. Because I am sure to a lot of people this is useful cross advertising, and to anyone else they can delete it.

I think it is alarming though that we are finding so many different ways to provide "exclusive" content to new games in all kinds of places.

What do you all think? Am I being too much of a grumpy old man?

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NoFunAtAll
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You are being a bit grumpy, I find the meeple source material hideous and even then one could argue that without card sleeves and wooden organizer no game is "complete".

If the game is playable and there are tokens where needed, it's technically complete, anything other than that is bling bling which isn't necessary to play or enjoy the game.
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Chip Crawford
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I had to buy Bottlecap Vikings to get a promo for Gold West.

Have no desire to play bottlecap vikings at all, but I like Gold West. It is what it is.
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Scott O'Brien
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TMG has been doing this for a while...

Want to complete Eminent Domain? you'll need to buy a copy of ED: Battleships (which is a seperate standalone game) but has 6 promo's for the original game in the box.

The of course the promo's for ED Battlships are in the ED: Exotica Box and BottleCap Vikings box.
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Shaun Morris
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Yeah I just looked through the Meeple Source campaign and will not be backing. Those are terrible meeples.

I hate the "Dargon" for Yokohama and when I looked at the meeples for Near and Far, I thought they looked like caricatures of their representative card.

Promos are basically bling and while something like metal coins and wood bits can create a more pleasant tactile experience they aren't necessary. Further, if something is bling and I don't like the way it looks, then the bling ceases to be bling and is essentially junk and thus detracts from the game. At least in my own humble opinion.
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Josh
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To provide a milquetoast answer, I think it depends.

I can illustrate with an example of DLC for a videogame I own: Asura's Wrath.

It's an older PS3 game that had three 'categories' of DLC as far as I see it.

One was two 'lost episodes' bits of content that are obviously 'outside' the main story arc and only serve to be amusing guest appearances for characters from Capcom's other games.

The second were two 'half episodes' that did slot into the main game's story arc. However the fact the content wasn't provided in the main game wasn't a big loss for the story, AND the format used was wildly different from the main game. This felt like an experimental 'art' choice, a means for the creators to explore in a way that could be jarring if left in the main game.

Lastly there is the fact that to actually get the 'real' ending, you had to fork over for 4 more episodes(on top of the original 18). This is in it's own league. It's just more of the game, it continues the arc left on a blatant cliffhanger in the main game, it really IS just a section of the main game sold separately.

I feel board game promos fit into similar niches.

Purely fluff promos like the Lords of Waterdeep meeples, functional but fluffy promos like the WilWhit djinn for 5 tribes, and chunky gameplay promos like hero packs from Heroes Wanted, or any number of KS exclusives(though the practice seems to be waning). The first two I think you can get away with distributing almost any way you like. No one who does not have them is really 'missing' something from their game. The third I feel should be only distributed openly and free of entanglements.

More disturbing to me though is what Scythe has done.(Please put away the pitchforks!) Slapping the starting points for two factions to be included in a later expansion right onto the game board is a nasty psychological and marketing practice. It's a constant reminder that hey, you're missing this part of the game. It's something new players can bring up 'Where are these factions, can I play them?' 'No I don't own them.'

Some would argue that extra factions are a normal expansion route. There is a difference. Nominally extra factions are just that, extra. You had N factions, now you've got N+A, without A, your game would still seem complete. Scythe takes the route of giving you 5 of 7 factions with the game. It highlights the missing 2, and that's what they are, missing. I like Scythe, it managed to turn the bald efficiency engine I normally dislike into a fun experience. They should be rightly lambasted for that trick though. Oh, and did I mention the backside of the board has half a gorgeous map on it? Yeah, you can buy the rest of that too.

Imagine if you bought power grid and found out someone had removed the nuclear plants from the deck and also all the red wooden nuclear fuel pieces. You could buy it separately though.
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Generally speaking promos are far more likely to unbalance a game than "complete" it.
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Andrew Johnson
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Nofunatalll wrote:
You are being a bit grumpy, I find the meeple source material hideous and even then one could argue that without card sleeves and wooden organizer no game is "complete".

If the game is playable and there are tokens where needed, it's technically complete, anything other than that is bling bling which isn't necessary to play or enjoy the game.


I think it is an interesting principle though. In this instance I agree they are only meeples some may find more satisfying to play with than those included, not affecting game play.

However, and as some above have mentioned, if the extras are something which adds to game play (and some may make a game a better game) then I would be upset.
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James Wahl
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The goal is to pressure you to spend more money than you want to spend. They're preying on OCD completists. You should comfort yourself with the fact that a lot of the promos probably wouldn't even exist if they hadn't decided that they wanted to cross-promote. You can come up with that stuff endlessly.

In the year 2025, every game from every publisher will come with at least one promo from every other game by that publisher. To get every item available for a particular game will cost an average of $3600. Isn't that the basic concept behind CCGs and Pokemon? Gotta catch 'em all - Skinner is no joke.
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Considering that the meeple source create content that is neither official nor adding gameplay to the game, and therefore do not strip anything from the game, I don't see a problem here.

You do not miss out for not backing them, you do not have any gameplay content added to your game if you do back them.

Should you choose to back them, you would only add fan-made custom meeples of questionable quality to take the place of the ones being made for the game.

As for the BGG store, I really wish it would actually feature promos more exhaustively, as it currently sells only 2 promos for the games I have, and I'm having a hard time finding the rest when I don't already have it.

Like someone else said, promos tend to unbalance the game, and are more of a funny way to add replayability to a game you have played a lot and don't mind playing for fun.

That's of course no taking White Wizard Games into account, as their games' promo could very well have been included in the game at first.

Short answer: the thread is irrelevant to me. At least, for the meeple source.
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Chapel
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Meh.

Publishers can do whatever they want under the blue sky. I don't have to buy it, and probably wouldn't.

But if they think this is a successful way to trump up business, than more to them.

There is a lot of other games out there, you won't miss that much by not funding them.
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Charles Boyung
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infectedeggs wrote:
Nofunatalll wrote:
You are being a bit grumpy, I find the meeple source material hideous and even then one could argue that without card sleeves and wooden organizer no game is "complete".

If the game is playable and there are tokens where needed, it's technically complete, anything other than that is bling bling which isn't necessary to play or enjoy the game.


I think it is an interesting principle though. In this instance I agree they are only meeples some may find more satisfying to play with than those included, not affecting game play.

However, and as some above have mentioned, if the extras are something which adds to game play (and some may make a game a better game) then I would be upset.


Are you upset with the Dice Tower and Rahdo crowdfunding campaigns? They both have exclusive promos in them too. Along with countless other ways that exclusive promos are given out.
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Andrew Johnson
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hestiansun wrote:

What do you all think? Am I being too much of a grumpy old man?



No. You aren't. And if extended to elements which include gameplay is a naughty trend.
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M M
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Shadrach wrote:
To provide a milktoast answer, I think it depends.

Hate to be that guy, but personally I always like knowing when I'm doing something wrong to be correct in the future. It's milquetoast.
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Charles Boyung
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hestiansun wrote:

But curious, I went to their Kickstarter page, and found there are other games with content "exclusive" to their Kickstarter. Including an entire character for another game that you can't get with that game unless you back the Meeple Source KS.


What character is this? I didn't see anything in the campaign about that, but I didn't read every single word of the campaign. But nothing game-specific I saw mentioned any sort of content other than meeples.
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Josh
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Mat628 wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
To provide a milktoast answer, I think it depends.

Hate to be that guy, but personally I always like knowing when I'm doing something wrong to be correct in the future. It's milquetoast.


Corrected!
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M M
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Depends on your definition of complete really. Promos are add-ons that a game is certainly complete without. Vasel does his fundraising every year with little promos for different games. Doesn't hurt me any to go with the game I have. Even official expansions are lots of times worth it or at least not worth spending the extra money. Does that make your game incomplete? Nope.

Now, if a game was really incomplete that you couldn't fully play it because you're buying puzzle pieces from different places, sure. Something wrong in that. But then I wouldn't get the first piece of the puzzle in the first place.

But seriously, you should ask yourself. If you buy a game, and then later an expansion comes out, do you feel like you absolutely must buy the new expansion or your game is incomplete? Does it make you no longer buy what you bought? Some are worth it. Many aren't. Same thing with these. With the difference that these are very rarely worth worrying about. If I'm buying a game that's out and there's a KS or whatever version that has more stuff, I'll look to buy that one instead. But if I can't find it, or can't find it at the price I want, then whatever.

You're buying what you're getting. What you're getting isn't defined by what you're not.
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Sarah Brennick
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I think it's pretty common with TMG, for example I bought Cthulhu Realms and it came with a promo card for Harbour. It's a neat way to advertise over the usual insert a piece of paper with info about the game. I looked at the promo and it spiked my curiosity about the game. I didn't buy it, and have added the promo to the items I will be giving away during my Extra Life marathon, but still...they got me to look, and I may not have otherwise.

I don't think they intend to drive completionists bonkers. I think it's just cross promotion. People tend to tune out advertising, so I think this is just a way to try to get past that issue and drive customers to look at their different games.

What bugs me more than this sort of cross promotion, are the sharks that capitalize on it...nabbing as many as they can and then marking it way up. Like, I found the Felicia Day Tokaido promo tile on ebay for something like $138.00. Good Lord. I paid just $5.00 for mine. Granted, people charge what others will pay...but ugh, it still bugs me.

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James
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Mat628 wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
To provide a milktoast answer, I think it depends.

Hate to be that guy, but personally I always like knowing when I'm doing something wrong to be correct in the future. It's milquetoast.

By the way, thanks for this, M M. I had no idea myself and am glad to know now.

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I personally find the cross-promo trend wasteful. I've gotten games with promos for games that I do not have and I don't like that they are just sitting around doing nothing. The creators wasted resources to make them and created waste when they are not used. In a way, I see them being almost as bad as printed advertisements.

I like promos but I like it best to choose to get them individually, without some other unrelated game or content attached to them.
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Dave Lartigue
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Anything that makes completists begin to question being completists is a-okay in my book.
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Robb Melenyk
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So how do you feel when publishers offer Con only promos?

It's just promos to generate interest and frankly it is kind of cool that different publishers to cross-promoting.

I'd wager you can find the promo stuff after the game gets published on BGG or Ebay as well.
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Tor Iver Wilhelmsen
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They are not required to get extras for the game. Do you feel the same about expansions as well? I mean, Scythe and Cthulhu Wars has starting spaces fornfactions that do not come in the base game but in later expansions. Are the games as sold complete despite this?
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Matt D
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My non-specific reference was to the game Royals, which has a King character exclusive to Meeple Source. I could be wrong but the way it is represented in the Meeple Sourve KS campaign is that the CHARACTER is available only in the campaign. So it's not a replacement for the retail Meeple, it is added content.

Of course the game in question is part of the "Dice Tower" line, so maybe they have more to do with this problem than Meeple Source themselves.

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Kirk
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Isn't this how DC got people to buy Wonder Woman comics way back when? The dreaded "Cross over".
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