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Subject: What is the Meaning of Overproduced? rss

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Kristijan Petrovski
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Hi BGG,

Honest question, I am not being sarcastic. I have seen this term pop up in discussions about some FFG games (DungeonQuest for example) and most recently in a lot of Mechs vs Minions ratings.

It seems to be used as a negative, which is what I don't really understand. High production usually makes components better... For example I love Robo Rally, but I find the boards and tokens very thin. In contrast MvM is called "overproduced" but I far prefer the boards in that game.

So long story short, what exactly is the meaning of overproduced?
Why is it used as a positive or negative term?

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Ken Lewis
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For me, it means there are things in the game that I just don't want/need to enjoy it, and I feel those things may be inflating the price of the game.
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Paul DeStefano
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When the cards have inlaid gold and the board is a three foot thick block of mahogany, it is overproduced.
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Greg
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Just to use an example from your collection, let's take Codenames. Now, let's say that instead of the deck of red, blue and white cards that you use to indicate which team each clue is for, the game comes with a pile of 25 red, blue and white, individualized miniatures. Imagine that the sand timer is carved out of wood all the cards in the game are thick tiles that comes in their own custom insert.

So, now you went from a $15 game to something that is going to be around $75. Also, think of the space this game is going to take on your shelf. But, the game plays exactly the same. I think most of us (although I know some people would still love this) could agree that is just too much for Codenames. That is an extreme example of overproduction.

To me, overproduced is when a game is more extravagant than necessary. It's when a game costs more money and takes up more space than the game requires to be easily playable.
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Kristijan Petrovski
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Giant_Monster wrote:
For me, it means there are things in the game that I just don't want/need to enjoy it, and I feel those things may be inflating the price of the game.


I agree... Artificially increasing the price of the board game would hurt the game itself because it limits the accessibility to players.

But certain types of thematic games would not be the same without high quality components, in my opinion. Dungeon crawls personally being my Achilles heel. I would take monster and hero minis over standees or adventure card games.
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Christian
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And it works with anything.

Cars, clothes, you name it.

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Kristijan Petrovski
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What if they used oak?? Still looks nice, but cheaper...
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It's a totally subjective saying and usually when someone says that about a particular game, what it really means is that they were not the target audience for the game in the first place. For example, FFG's classic Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition is chock full of minis and cards and markers of all sorts. Some people criticized all of the glitz and opined about how the game would have been better if it used cardboard counters instead of plastic minis. My response would have been that FFG knew that their target audience wanted exactly what FFG delivered, a box stuffed full of plastic, and if you didn't like it, then TI3 wasn't really for you. Same thing goes for War of the Ring and similar games.

"Overproduced" is in the eye of the beholder, but in general I think the publishers who produce these games know what their target customer demographic wants.
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Kristijan Petrovski
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s3kt0r wrote:
Just to use an example from your collection, let's take Codenames. Now, let's say that instead of the deck of red, blue and white cards that you use to indicate which team each clue is for, the game comes with a pile of 25 of red, blue and white, individualized miniatures. Imagine that the sand timer is carved out of wood all the cards in the game are thick tiles that comes in it's own custom insert.

So, now you went from a $15 game to something that is going to be around $75. Also, think of the space this game is going to take on your shelf. But, the game plays exactly the same. I think most of us (although I know some people would still love this) could agree that is just too much for Codenames. That is an extreme example of overproduction.

To me, overproduced is when a game is more extravagant than necessary. It's when a game costs more money and takes up more space than the game requires to be easily playable.


I agree in terms of artificial inflation of price.

But don't you think that some games need the nice components to take them to that "next step".

Going from my collection again I love zombicied. An expensive game, but one that I am happy to have spent the money on. I feel that the massive zombie hoard is better represented by the minis, rather than standees for example.

My point is why do people say "over produced" when the production fits.

Again artificial inflation sucks. If they replaced the standees in dead of winter with minis, that would be unnecessary because most of the game happens away from the board, between the players.
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Ken Lewis
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Slowmow wrote:
Giant_Monster wrote:
For me, it means there are things in the game that I just don't want/need to enjoy it, and I feel those things may be inflating the price of the game.


I agree... Artificially increasing the price of the board game would hurt the game itself because it limits the accessibility to players.

But certain types of thematic games would not be the same without high quality components, in my opinion. Dungeon crawls personally being my Achilles heel. I would take monster and hero minis over standees or adventure card games.


You can have high quality components without seeming to be overproduced. In your dungeon crawl example, these days miniatures would be expected over standees. Standees would be seen as going the "cheap" route. In order for me to call a dungeon crawler overproduced, it would have to have things like pre-painted miniatures, chest, doorways and other accessories or over-sized miniatures.
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Eric Nolan
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I agree with Greg's definition. I also want to add that 'overproduced' is not necessarily a bad thing. Some people probably think any extra production values above the minimum necessary to make the game work are a waste and for those people overproduced probably does mean bad.

However some people do appreciate luxurious production values sometimes and for them overproduced does not necessarily mean bad. The TTR anniversary edition is certainly overproduced, but that is the entire point of it and I'm sure most of the owners love it that way.

Pretty much every game with miniatures is overproduced, because you could replace the minis with counters, but that doesn't mean the people who buy them don't like and appreciate the over the top production values.
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To me, overproduced means that the quality goes above and beyond typical expectations for a game. To me it is generally a very positive thing. I am willing to pay a premium for quality components, usually. For others who are not so bothered by fancy components, it may be a negative as the game could have been produced to a lower price point.

I recently received Vinhos Deluxe and The Gallerist and they stand out for the quality of the components. I would call them overproduced, in a positive way. We have plenty of choice for games with average production and great gameplay, and even some great games with poor production quality.

What we don't have a lot of in my view is games with amazing components and amazing gameplay.

On the minus, I do feel for folks that want those games but the price is a problem. I guess I would love to see standard and deluxe editions, ideally!

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Kristijan Petrovski
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Thanks all for the great answers!

I'm pretty new to boardgames, so some of the language still has me confused...

Man the first time I read the word Ameritrash, had me thinking "why are they ripping on that game", when it was only used as a classification...
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Greg
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Slowmow wrote:
s3kt0r wrote:
Just to use an example from your collection, let's take Codenames. Now, let's say that instead of the deck of red, blue and white cards that you use to indicate which team each clue is for, the game comes with a pile of 25 of red, blue and white, individualized miniatures. Imagine that the sand timer is carved out of wood all the cards in the game are thick tiles that comes in it's own custom insert.

So, now you went from a $15 game to something that is going to be around $75. Also, think of the space this game is going to take on your shelf. But, the game plays exactly the same. I think most of us (although I know some people would still love this) could agree that is just too much for Codenames. That is an extreme example of overproduction.

To me, overproduced is when a game is more extravagant than necessary. It's when a game costs more money and takes up more space than the game requires to be easily playable.


I agree in terms of artificial inflation of price.

But don't you think that some games need the nice components to take them to that "next step".

Going from my collection again I love zombicied. An expensive game, but one that I am happy to have spent the money on. I feel that the massive zombie hoard is better represented by the minis, rather than standees for example.

My point is why do people say "over produced" when the production fits.

Again artificial inflation sucks. If they replaced the standees in dead of winter with minis, that would be unnecessary because most of the game happens away from the board, between the players.

Well, "when the production fits" is a matter of opinion. I've never played Zombicide, but I can make some guesses here.

I would assume that you say this because you enjoy the miniatures. I'm sure they add some sort of wow factor for you. You like the look of them on the table and they probably aid in your immersion.

However, none of that interests me. I would probably be just as, if not more content, if all of the zombies and characters were just cubes or cardboard tokens. I am not interested in miniatures. The game plays exactly the same for me without them. That's my personal opinion. To me, they actually make things harder to parse.

If Zombicide did not have the minis, the game would be much cheaper, have a smaller box and thus have a better chance of me purchasing it. Therefore, for me, Zombicide is overproduced. It is asking me to spend money on things I personally do not care about and I feel do not improve gameplay.

I understand that others enjoy that stuff though and more power to them!
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Martin Larouche
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Quote:
What is the Meaning of Overproduced?


A: Cthulhu Wars and Ogre






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Kristijan Petrovski
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s3kt0r wrote:
Slowmow wrote:
s3kt0r wrote:
Just to use an example from your collection, let's take Codenames. Now, let's say that instead of the deck of red, blue and white cards that you use to indicate which team each clue is for, the game comes with a pile of 25 of red, blue and white, individualized miniatures. Imagine that the sand timer is carved out of wood all the cards in the game are thick tiles that comes in it's own custom insert.

So, now you went from a $15 game to something that is going to be around $75. Also, think of the space this game is going to take on your shelf. But, the game plays exactly the same. I think most of us (although I know some people would still love this) could agree that is just too much for Codenames. That is an extreme example of overproduction.

To me, overproduced is when a game is more extravagant than necessary. It's when a game costs more money and takes up more space than the game requires to be easily playable.


I agree in terms of artificial inflation of price.

But don't you think that some games need the nice components to take them to that "next step".

Going from my collection again I love zombicied. An expensive game, but one that I am happy to have spent the money on. I feel that the massive zombie hoard is better represented by the minis, rather than standees for example.

My point is why do people say "over produced" when the production fits.

Again artificial inflation sucks. If they replaced the standees in dead of winter with minis, that would be unnecessary because most of the game happens away from the board, between the players.

Well, "when the production fits" is a matter of opinion. I've never played Zombicide, but I can make some guesses here.

I would assume that you say this because you enjoy the miniatures. I'm sure they add some sort of wow factor for you. You like the look of them on the table and they probably aid in your immersion.

However, none of that interests me. I would probably be just as, if not more content, if all of the zombies and characters were just cubes or cardboard tokens. I am not interested in miniatures. The game plays exactly the same for me without them. That's my personal opinion. To me, they actually make things harder to parse.

If Zombicide did not have the minis, the game would be much cheaper, have a smaller box and thus have a better chance of me purchasing it. Therefore, for me, Zombicide is overproduced. It is asking me to spend money on things I personally do not care about and I feel do not improve gameplay.

I understand that others enjoy that stuff though and more power to them!


If a game is meant to be about immersion in an artificial atmosphere created by the components themselves. I find eldritch horror does a great job of this. The artwork in the game sets a dreadful mood, along with some clever card text. Immersion would be broken if the cards were simple text on a solid colour background.

Quoridor on the other hand (a game I hope to play soon) is a game based solely on the mechanics of, where to move, and where to place a wall. No immersion of theme. Hence no need for multi colour cards or plastic minis and tons of counters. If these were added and then the game was sold at a 75$ price, then yes it is over produced.

But games that rely on components to add to the game play in meaningful ways (in terms of target audience), then I don't believe that a term like Over produced should be used.

What to you think about desertfox2004 response about target audience?
Do yo think you would enjoy a game of Zombicide for example, if you could attain a copy where cubes were implemented, and size was minimised?


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Kristijan Petrovski
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deedob wrote:
Quote:
What is the Meaning of Overproduced?


A: Cthulhu Wars and Ogre








Point well taken!
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Justen Brown
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There's a point where the components can get in the way of snappy gameplay. I think I have two perfect examples for this

Starfarers of Catan is my definition for overproduced. Go on and take a look at some of the images if you've never seen the game. So everyone gets a plastic miniature ship that gets put on the map, that's standard, but you also get a gigantic phallic plastic ship whose only purpose is to function as the random number generator and showcase your ship upgrades. It is the equivalent of a hood ornament, having no real functional value except aesthetic.



I can imagine the boardroom discussion.

"80% of the box is empty space. How do we create more perceived value?"

"I fished out a dildo mold from the studio next door. Let's use that to create a rocket ship that represents your ship upgrades instead of tokens and chits. Then charge them an extra 20 bucks."

On a different spectrum there's Francis Drake. You have big plastic boats that are nice, I can accept nice minis for the purposes of map movement. But you hide your victory points in these big, clumsy 3D treasure chests with a piggy bank coin slot on the top. Okay, that's thematic if unnecessary. What about your resources? Colored cubes, that's great and everyone's used to them and... wait... PALM SIZED TOP HEAVY BARRELS THAT AWKWARDLY ROLL ACROSS THE TABLE WHENEVER YOU SNEEZE. It's like they had a surplus of pieces from another game and needed to create something to squeeze in the excess parts. The other resources are cubes, this should have been a brown cube!



Ah yes, the three core elements of a functional Euro: beads, cubes, and... chunky flimsy barrels.
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Slowmow wrote:
Do yo think you would enjoy a game of Zombicide for example, if you could attain a copy where cubes were implemented, and size was minimised?

Maybe I'm weird, but to me that actually sounds awesome...
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Kristijan Petrovski
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jaybeethree wrote:
There's a point where the components can get in the way of snappy gameplay. I think I have two perfect examples for this

Starfarers of Catan is my definition for overproduced. Go on and take a look at some of the images if you've never seen the game. So everyone gets a plastic miniature ship that gets put on the map, that's standard, but you also get a gigantic phallic plastic ship whose only purpose is to function as the random number generator and showcase your ship upgrades. It is the equivalent of a hood ornament, having no real functional value except aesthetic.

On a different spectrum there's Francis Drake. You have big plastic boats that are nice, I can accept nice minis for the purposes of map movement. But you hide your victory points in these big, clumsy 3D treasure chests with a piggy bank coin slot on the top. Okay, that's thematic if unnecessary. What about your resources? Colored cubes, that's great and everyone's used to them and... wait... PALM SIZED TOP HEAVY BARRELS THAT AWKWARDLY ROLL ACROSS THE TABLE WHENEVER YOU SNEEZE. It's like they had a surplus of pieces from another game and needed to create something to squeeze in the excess parts. The other resources are cubes, this should have been a brown cube!


I can see your point to this too... lol... The star ships are so horribly awesome...

Components that deter gameplay, is another good characteristic of overproduction...
 
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Kristijan Petrovski
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wamsp wrote:
Slowmow wrote:
Do yo think you would enjoy a game of Zombicide for example, if you could attain a copy where cubes were implemented, and size was minimised?

Maybe I'm weird, but to me that actually sounds awesome...


Patent it before CMON reads it... Poket edition lol...

But I see that you like zombicide in general, would you prefer this type of version with the same rules over the version you have played?
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Excess quality and quantity for little purpose. I find Eagle Gryphon games guilty of this a lot.

Their "deluxe" games are loaded with tiles that are extra thick. They just add weight and cost. While thickness is important, the industry standard tile weight used by FFG, Zman, PHG, Rio Grande, and others is already great enough. Ravensburger is the only company who's chits were obnoxiously too thin I have owned a game from.

Another issue with a specific eagle game empires: age of discovery. It is a 6 player game with 9 different factions. And 9 sets of minis. All minis are identical other than color. That is just excess without purpose. FFG has several games like Twilight Imperium and Civ where you have 8 or 5 sets of figures. Enough for the amount of players. You can choose whichever race with appropriate powers and select a set of figures. No need to make 13 sets of space ships, because there are 13 races when they game only plays 8.

That is why overproduced is a negative to me. Some deluxe stuff is cool. Blood Rage's figures are amazing and it is only marginally more expensive than similar games.
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Slowmow wrote:
wamsp wrote:
Slowmow wrote:
Do yo think you would enjoy a game of Zombicide for example, if you could attain a copy where cubes were implemented, and size was minimised?

Maybe I'm weird, but to me that actually sounds awesome...


Patent it before CMON reads it... Poket edition lol...

But I see that you like zombicide in general, would you prefer this type of version with the same rules over the version you have played?


Once you you start using cubes, the whole zombie theme kind of goes down the drain.
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Greg
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Slowmow wrote:

If a game is meant to be about immersion in an artificial atmosphere created by the components themselves. I find eldritch horror does a great job of this. The artwork in the game sets a dreadful mood, along with some clever card text. Immersion would be broken if the cards were simple text on a solid colour background.


I understand where you are coming from, but what is immersive to you isn't necessarily immersive to others. For me, I can immerse myself into the world just fine without the minis or pictures even. If there was just a cube to represent the zombie, I would still imagine some zombie in my head. To top it off, it would be a zombie of my own creation and I guarantee you, they would be way cooler than the zombie that the miniatures' designer created. My imagination zombies are awesome like that.



Slowmow wrote:

But games that rely on components to add to the game play in meaningful ways (in terms of target audience), then I don't believe that a term like Over produced should be used.

What to you think about desertfox2004 response about target audience?


I agree with what desertfox2004 said. A large percentage of people who enjoy these types of games expect certain types of components and I agree that they are just marketing to their target audience.

But, again, what is considered overproduced is subjective. The production levels of Zombicide prevent me from even considering to buy it. It's overproduced because I would have to buy something I'm not interested in. It would be no different than if they sold Codenames just the way it is, but also threw a blender in it and charged that much extra for it and made the box that much bigger. What is overproduced is just personal opinion. Maybe I should say, Zombicide is overproduced for me, but probably not for it's target audience.


Slowmow wrote:

Do yo think you would enjoy a game of Zombicide for example, if you could attain a copy where cubes were implemented, and size was minimised?


Even though I haven't played Zombicide, I am familiar with it and I have watched a playthrough. Yeah, I think I could enjoy a game of it, miniatures or not. It seems like a lot of fun. However, even though I would gladly play it, I would probably never purchase it for the reasons mentioned above.
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