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Martians: A Story of Civilization» Forums » Rules

Subject: FAQ - in progress rss

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FAQ Link: http://martians.redimpgames.com/RULES/FAQ_v1.pdf
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Joe Pilkus
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Krzysztof,

Thank you for starting the much-needed FAQ. It is is definitely a move in the right direction and will hopefully repair some of the bad press over this affair. I will offer you as a fellow game designer and developer that it is probably in your best interest, not only for this project, but for any future projects to sacrifice some of your profits to make the game complete...not printed FAQs, but corrected rules. For those that already picked-up their game, they may be fine with a printed FAQ sent to them, but for those of us who were blind-sided by...the rush to Essen; no engagement regarding our waiting several more months for the game which was surprisingly available this month; and direct reports from individuals at Essen, and evidenced by an already lengthy (3-page!) FAQ, that there are numerous errors, you actually should do everything in your power to make this right.

If the publisher needs more time...fine. If the actual shipping date slips...fine. One of the fundamental precepts which separates a good from a great KS campaign is the level of engagement and communication between and among the designer and the Backers.
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François Mahieu
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I'd rather have a fully new pdf rulebook, rather than an incomplete one + several pages FAQ.

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philippe C.
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Something is better than nothing, i almost canceled my order to my retailer today, because : don't forget we want a lot of games at the moment, Essen time ! So we have to make choice, a great game without the rules... We buy something else ... So i'm happy RedImp did something, and i hope soon new rules, i'm french but i will be happy for english rules

Thanks for your work, don't stop !
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Claudio Coppini
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Quote:
It is is definitely a move in the right direction and will hopefully repair some of the bad press over this affair.


Yeah, bad press that you guys started for mostly no reason...lenghty FAQ? Wow, mostly minor stuff that anybody can easily assume from the current rulebook and a couple of misprints corrections. Clarifications are needed for any game released in the market, regardless of whether their rulebook is well written or not.

Also, I'm pretty sure the designers are fully aware of your availability to help them, since you've been saying that in various threads, so no need to keep spamming them imo (at least in public threads), let them work and they'll contact you if they deem it necessary.
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Joe Pilkus
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Thank you, Claudio. They sent me the material and I'll gladly assist them in this endeavor.

NEW INFORMATION


@ All Backers: Greetings from VA! Krzysztof and his team at RedImp have sent me the following items for review:

1. Rule Book
2. Mission Cards
3. Player Aids


As they're all in .pdf format, I'm able to place "sticky notes" on each page/at each location requiring an edit or a complete rewrite. Once completed (hopefully, by Sunday night) I'll send it back to the designer. If you're interested in seeing the final version, simply PM me with your e-mail address.

If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out to me, as well.

Cheers,
Joe
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Gunther Schmidl
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Drugo81 wrote:

Yeah, bad press that you guys started for mostly no reason...lenghty FAQ? Wow, mostly minor stuff that anybody can easily assume from the current rulebook and a couple of misprints corrections.


At some point in the past few years people lost the ability to assume and interpret. I still don't know why.
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Patrik Severinsson
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Wow, most of the things in the FAQ are minor. I haven't tried playing the game yet but if this is all, I really don't feel the need for a completely new rule book.
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Joe Pilkus
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Patrik,

It's good to hear from folks like Claudio and yourself that find only a minor list of issues. However, there's actually a difference between a FAQ and an errata. For instance, after my published game gets into the hands of our Backers and a couple hundred or thousand games are logged, I fully-expect to print an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) but I hope I won't have to develop an errata sheet. An errata indicates a list of rules that were just poorly written/formed which causes difficulty in play.

The rules, in many cases (as I'm on page 5 at the moment) require a complete rewrite which falls outside the scope of an FAQ. In short, I hope the designer takes the long view. He had some limited success among his other KS projects (several hundred Backers). This one garnered more than 3K. Failing to take the appropriate actions now may impair his ability to run a successful campaign in the future.

Cheers,
Joe

NEW INFORMATION

RedImp and I have corresponded during the past few hours and it appears as though they're financially willing to only produce the errata.
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Claudio Coppini
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Joe, I think we really have fundamental differences in our opinions...so I don't think it's worth continuing this discussion.

Good thing anyway that RedImp decided to address some of the super minor issues you and so many other people seem to have, this way everyone will hopefully be happy
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Mark etwell
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The Professor wrote:



NEW INFORMATION

RedImp and I have corresponded during the past few hours and it appears as though they're financially willing to only produce the errata.


Very sad news.
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Joe Pilkus
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Mark,

I agree. I'm concerned for them, as they've produced some good games in recent years, and while the Backer-levels proved low, they ran otherwise successful campaigns. This one, having managed to attract ten times the number of Backers from their most successful, previous campaign, should be the one they get "right" in every way. I'm afraid that not printing an accurate, complete rule book may come back to haunt them in future efforts. Backers will remember them if they were to print a new rule book...on the other side of the issue, they'll definitely not forget that they didn't print a new one.

Cheers,
Joe
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Claudio Coppini
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Ok Joe, that's enough don't you think?

I haven't really seen any game designer (as you mentioned to be so many times already) going around to publicly criticize other designers work and tell them how everything should be done as you've been doing.

I'll assure you that backers will remember RedImp for the great game they created. On the other side many backers will probably remember your pedantry as well, I know I will.

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Chris Seidler
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retrowiz wrote:
The Professor wrote:



NEW INFORMATION

RedImp and I have corresponded during the past few hours and it appears as though they're financially willing to only produce the errata.


Very sad news.


Very good news! The rules are not that bad and an errata sheet is more than enough. It's all minor stuff, printing new rule books would be too expensive for a few needed corrections.

@Redimp: As I said at your booth in Essen! Very well done. I already had the chance to play and it was really very much fun (even without errata...)!
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Mark etwell
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Very Good news?!?!?!

They screwed up..Thats clear and undeniable. They are fixing it in a less than ideal manner. Again...Not Very good news. including errata as a cheaper fix...functional yes. Optimal no.

but they wanna save money instead of even offering us the option to buy a corrected rulebook.

I hate being disappointed in something before I even receive it.
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Joe Pilkus
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Drugo81 wrote:
Ok Joe, that's enough don't you think?

I haven't really seen any game designer (as you mentioned to be so many times already) going around to publicly criticize other designers work and tell them how everything should be done as you've been doing.

I'll assure you that backers will remember RedImp for the great game they created. On the other side many backers will probably remember your pedantry as well, I know I will.



Claudio,

Mark etwell referenced my comment to which I provided a response. You're certainly free to engage in the dialogue or not, but please understand that I enjoy the conversation. If my comments to the designer have in any way been insincere, than my apologies to Krzysztof. He has an amazing game and as Backer it pains me to see something released that doesn't have to be sub-par. I fund dozens of activities on KS and Indiegogo to show my support. With this game, however, I became a Backer because I absolutely love the immersive theme, the evocative art, and the compelling game play. So, no, I don't think it's ever enough to put out the best possible product.

I can only hope that designers who value a great game and rules, coupled with Backers who acknowledge my support, remember me.

Cheers,
Joe
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Joe Pilkus
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Chrisback79 wrote:
retrowiz wrote:
The Professor wrote:



NEW INFORMATION

RedImp and I have corresponded during the past few hours and it appears as though they're financially willing to only produce the errata.


Very sad news.


Very good news! The rules are not that bad and an errata sheet is more than enough. It's all minor stuff, printing new rule books would be too expensive for a few needed corrections.

@Redimp: As I said at your booth in Essen! Very well done. I already had the chance to play and it was really very much fun (even without errata...)!


Chris,

While I don't know if you're a native English speaker or not, as you display the German flag above your avatar, I can tell you that there are numerous errors with the rules and its readability is exceptionally low. That's not to be taken at all as an insult, but merely a critique of those who provided the translation. I've been engaged with foreign language translation for the Air Force and the FBI for nearly 20 years. It's a fair translation, but requires native-level editing to make it shine. Again, if you're reading the German rules, they may be great...I speak Russian, not German, and even then, I would hardly trust myself to provide a critique of Russian-language rules. In short, it's not "minor stuff" when it comes to rules...it needs to be crisp, clear, and free (if possible) of confusion.

Cheers,
Joe
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Mark etwell
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For comparison purposes...if you thought the original Robinson Crusoe rules were wonderful, then we have different definitions of not many errors.
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Helmut Apel
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If you are new to the game, the rulebook is not the clearest one. But i have seen worse. The clarifications in the FAQ are very helpful. As soon as everything clicks together, you don´t need the rules anymore because the iconography is very well done and once you understood how to play it´s pretty self-explaining. IMO there´s not really a need for a reprint of the rules.
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Mark etwell
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fair enough...I will be patient and when it finally arrives I will dive into it and then hopefully be really happy!
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Joe Pilkus
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Thank you, Helmut!
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Claudio Coppini
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Well apparently in these days in the board game industry translators don't get paid most of the time, which is shocking (as I'm a translator myself), so I guess that if people want to have rules properly translated by a native translator, then it's time to change this situation and make publishers aware that translation work should be remunerated in the same way as any other professional work related to a game release. Too many people willing to translate rules and not getting paid nowdays..and that's a problem for the entire translators community.
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Pierre
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Drugo81 wrote:
Well apparently in these days in the board game industry translators don't get paid most of the time, which is shocking (as I'm a translator myself), so I guess that if people want to have rules properly translated by a native translator, then it's time to change this situation and make publishers aware that translation work should be remunerated in the same way as any other professional work related to a game release. Too many people willing to translate rules and not getting paid nowdays..and that's a problem for the entire translators community.


As one of the translators of the German edition I can assure you that the quality of this specific translation has nothing to do with the payment or reward received for it.

The biggest obstacle for us was the tight deadline for submitting the files to the printer (and the lack of a finished ruleset with images), so we had very little time for corrections and proof reading. Not enough, considering the flaws it has. In any case it will have most of the flaws the English edition has since it is based on that one.
Bringing the game to Essen was very important to REDIMP and I will not judge them for that.

We're not fully happy with the result either, but we learnt the game from scratch using our own printed translation and we managed to understand it and play by it. Admittedly there are a few ambiguities, but nothing one could not overcome with a bit of common sense. It has its flaws, but none of those I'm aware of are game breaking.
We are in contact with REDIMP regarding the issues and have planned to give the German edition of the rules an overhaul as well once the English edition is done.

I agree with the point you made. However, professional translations are expensive. An expense that would keep smaller companies from bringing their games to locales other than their own (Polish in REDIMP's case). Without the help of "low cost" enthusiasts (we didn't do it for free) you most likely would not have gotten the opportunity to play the game in your language.

If you find issues concerning the German wordings you can PM me and we will consider your findings for the updated rulebook.
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Claudio Coppini
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Fair enough, I was just considering the general situation for translators in the board game industry, not necessarily specific to this game.

In regard to this game, I was mainly focusing on the English rules (I don't speak German...even if I live in Germany! lol), which yes have some errors here and there but are still understandable and clear enough to play the game.

Sure professional translations are expensive, but if you consider a language independent game with say a 10 pages rulebook, is that really that much of an expense even for a small publisher? Of course it also depends on the language though. A relatively small investment that could prevent situations where customers are unhappy with the final result.
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Peter Gysemans
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I finished my first game today and I agree with Helmut. Yes, the rulebook is clearly not written by a native speaker but the only thing I needed the faq for was the missing 'under construction sign' for the greenhouses.

There are, however, hundreds of rulebooks that are way worse than this one. Big games are released every year that need errata once a few thousand people play it. Caverna and Orléans come to mind as recent examples. People don't cancel their preoders or demand refunds for those. Why would you do want to be so harsh for a kickstarter game? Why would you even demand the same quality as from a big publisher?

The comment section for the Martians: kickstarter is quite hilarious in that sense. Some people keep complaining about the 'terrible quality' of the rules without even having played the game!

Yes, Redimp could've handled things better with more frequent communication and some more professional 'sincere' apologies, corporate style, but do you really need to scare away potential customers on a public forum?

A message for the potential customers out there: I read the rules, encountered one problem with the setup, played the game, had to consult the rulebook a few times during the first cycle but the other 3 I didn't need it at all. The iconography is very clear and the last page of the rulebook and the little player aid explain them all.
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