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Mark Smith

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essex
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Just a little curious as to how this game got backers hooked or even put people off.
For me backing the game two reasons popped up.

1:Seeing the play through and Kickstarter videos showed a love for the game by people at the demo and the development team. That shows a lot about a game, no press meetings but people actually playing and enjoying the game.
2: I love Runebound 2nd and this game visually reminds me of it but obviously much more meat with the gang/group and post apocalyptic theme. It is like Runebound with ALL the expansions in one box.Thanks for the extra effort made to work out solo rules too.

While others give reasons I send a big thank you to all at fallen dominion for working through to the point where this game will be made available to us new fans.

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My name is
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I wanted to pledge for that game but I haven't for three reasons:

1) I really don't like the illustrations. According to my personal taste, they look too amateur (don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for a standardized look à la FFG, I just think it doesn't work for me). But I could have gotten over it as it works, somehow, with the theme.

2) I would have liked to know exactly how it works as a solo game as it's the only mode I would have played it (we were four of us to raise this concern during the KS in this forum but we got no response whatsoever, so...).

3) I would have liked to see some independent reviews for the game. Even one would have done the trick. The "official" play through and a pseudo-review made by a playtester on the KS website (who can't be independent in my book, especially when he only has good things to say) are not enough for me.

These three reasons are, more or less, deal breakers for me.
The fact that no one took the time to answer our question in the forum is the most decisive one. I'm not taking it personally. I just didn't have an answer to my most important question.

And in that official video, I must admit, I didn't get a word from what the guy with the deep voice had to say. English is not my native language so, it was really hard for me to understand him.
At the end of the day, this game remained opaque to me. We had to wait too long for a video and when it finally came out, I still couldn't tell if the game is good and if it's fun.
Some red flags, too much of a leap of faith IMHO and too many other games on the other hand that I can understand and assess before buy.

I'm sure I could have been convinced quite easily but it never happened.

If there was any issue, it was a communication one.
And maybe there was no issue at all as the game has been funded at twice the requested amount, after all.
Congratulations for that.
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John Bradshaw
United Kingdom
Newcastle Upon Tyne
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I liked the theme and was impressed by the fact that this is clearly a labour of love from the designers. Unfortunately, as far as I'm concerned, it looked like a labour to play. I tend to dislike dice rolling in games, and there was a lot here. The video gave me little indication of the strategic and tactical decisions I would be making as a player - everything seemed driven by dice and cards - the game would play itself without me! (That's my PERCEPTION from the video - I may well be wrong, but that was what the video conveyed to me.)

However, I'm sure this type of play appeals to many and I wish the project every success. Maybe in 12 months time I'll be regretting my decision and desperately seeking out high priced first editions!
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Mark O'Reilly
United Kingdom
Chester
Cheshire
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I share some, if not most of the doubts expressed here. The reason I backed it though:

I have plenty of great Euro games that we love playing, most in the collection have tight solid play mechanisms and are smooth to play . Some are a par above the others - dominant species , terra mystica, Agricola caylus..

We love playing these games but I am always on the look out for something "different" , something more, something that drenches me in theme and plays out like an epic, like Ben hur and not just the latest slick Bourne movie.

It's a punt I know, but fallen land just could be that satisfying, fun adventure I am looking for. I do like the artwork and the fact these guys have been playing with this game for a decade or so. They surely must believe in it.

I have in the past backed kick starters, that the usual suspects have lorded as the best thing since sliced bread and they have massively overfunded and yet the delivered game has been clunky, bloated and meh.

I have a feeling this game will break that trend. I envisage sitting down on a Wet and windy Sunday morning and breaking this game out for a fun and relaxing days play, stopping mid-way for some dinner and discussing our adventures so far and then carrying on afterwards. That's the plan.

This just could be one of those games I think about the morning after.
This is why I backed it.
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Philip Bolger
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Baylock,

I'd like to address something real quick-like-- I have no affiliation with Fallen Dominion, beyond being fortunate enough to live within driving distance of a playtest possibility.

I cannot speak to any other reviewer, but I don't like the idea of having negative things to say no matter what-- I don't have much negative to say because I didn't encounter anything I didn't like during the playtest. I actively like the art, because it reminds me of pulpy indie comics from the 80s and 90s, and I like that aesthetic. I cannot account for differences in taste. Likewise, if you play nothing but hex-and-counter wargames or medium complexity Euros, this game will likely not be a good choice.

That's not to say that the mechanics are 100% perfect--you can only see so much in two playthroughs. It is to say that in the two playthroughs I had, there were no major exploits (and only one minor one the designers have already fixed for the final version), there were no big balance issues, there weren't a lot of vestigial or "why bother" features, there wasn't a lot of downtime for players who weren't active... These are the kinds of things I generally mark down as negative. If I saw them, I might've written something like "The game could stand to improve on some of the inter-party dynamics" or "Many characters and spoils feel useless" or "You spend too much time sitting around when you're not active." However, I saw none of that.

So, I'm sorry you didn't think my review was independent, but I'm not getting any money for this, and my only preferential treatment is a stack of promo cards and a t-shirt, which is pretty common con swag.

That being said, I'm confident I'll write and publish more reviews, and you seem like a forthright guy with solid insight. What would you say is a good way to make these reviews authentically independent?
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Mark O'Reilly
United Kingdom
Chester
Cheshire
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Phil,
Do you have any spare promo cards?.
I have contacted Fallen Dominion 4 times now without reply ( not a good omen).
 
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My name is
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Thanks Phil for your post.

I'm not accusing you, really.

Just put yourself into my shoes for a minute:
You need to know more about a game and all you have is an official play through and a tester who says only good things about it.
It doesn't mean that someone is trying to con me, it just means that I can't learn anything relevant from this.

I understand that you don't like to say bad things about a game. I do.
But then, it is not helpful for me in order to make up my mind about the game.
Reading you is cool but it will just not influence my opinion about the game.

By independant, I mean someone who has absolutely nothing to do with the product. Being a play tester is already too much of a link (provided that I understand the word play tester well: someone who's asked by the company to give a feedback on the gameplay in order to correct issues.)
If this is the case, you are part of the family. Which is great.
But then, your comment on the game is not independent, even if it is a honest comment.

It's like the quotations on some movie posters, you know? "Marvelous", "The best movie ever", "a masterpiece".
It might be true.
But you will never see, among these quotations: "This movie is crap".

That's why I want to read independent reviews. Those which are posted on a website or blog which has nothing to do with the company owning the game.
Written by someone who has no string attached to the company and who can say whatever he wants about the game.

How can I know for sure that the reviewer is independent?
I can't.

But the best hint I can get is when I read at least one default about the game.
When the reviewer says that there is some room for improvements, it usually means that the guy is independent for sure.

So, in a nutshell:

- Do I think that someone who says only good things about a game is not reliable? No, I just say that I can't tell if he is or not.

- Do I think that someone who makes some critics about a game is reliable? No, he might be biased too for whatever reason. But the chances he's independent are definitely bigger.

That's all.

It's not about you and your integrity. Believe me.
It's just about the confidence I have about the game.

This is a kickstarter project, don't forget that.
People are more cautious there than anywhere else.
For a reason.

Nothing in my post is a complaint against anyone.
My post is about the reasons I didn't go for it.
 
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Philip Bolger
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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No worries. I wasn't taking it as a personal attack. I would still like to address a few points.

From a systemic standpoint, though, some of my reviews in the future may be Kickstarter efforts that I get to play before they hit market. There's really only two ways to do that:

1. Get a review copy.
This only really works if you're already a big name in reviews. As I mentioned, my reviewing audience at the present is my Facebook community, which are overwhelmingly people I know personally, so I'm basically nobody. To put it in perspective, I'm trying to polish up my small-scale reviews before I even try to post on a larger or more dedicated forum.

2. Playtest.
Many indie firms find this easier, because it's a way for them to get both reviews and mechanics feedback. I'm specifically referring to open playtests here-- all comers welcome. In the case of Fallen Land, I walked into an open playtest at their local game store. I received no special invitation-- several others also came through to play. I was simply the only one who wrote a review. That does mean I'm now associated with the game... because I've played it. Appropriately, since i played it in beta, my name will be going in the playtesters area, along with just about everyone who stopped by the booth at GenCon. In my mind, no, that does not bind me to the company. I see zero profits if this game succeeds. My welfare, or improvement thereof, is in no way tied to this game.

So from a reviewing standpoint, if I'm trying to offer something distinct, playtesting is really my only option for offerings like this. I generally do not review games I do not own, and I generally do not purchase games I do not enjoy. This will create an overall positive skew, and most reviewers on BGG are similar.

I do appreciate the feedback, though, and the ability to learn the logic behind your decision-making process.

I certainly understand I am not the focus of your post (and I apologize sincerely if this comes across as hijacking the thread), but consider that I am trying to improve my position and make sure I'm reaching a wide audience, as this is my first review that has spread beyond "people I know."

The biggest thing I'm taking away, though, is to anticipate critical readers. I have no doubt that folks like you compose a sizable chunk of a potential audience. I would be a fool to not attempt to take that into account.
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Jon Lonngren
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Mark O' Reiley

Not sure what happened, but we'd be happy to send you some cards ASAP!

Simply follow the link below:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1086556541/fallen-land-...

Thanks,

~Jon Lonngren
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baylock wrote:


2) I would have liked to know exactly how it works as a solo game as it's the only mode I would have played it (we were four of us to raise this concern during the KS in this forum but we got no response whatsoever, so...).




This. I can't stress this enough. I backed it, but it's a complete "flip-a-coin" as to whether or not I will keep it or resell quickly. It ALL depends on the solo play, and we still have heard nothing definitive about that.

 
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