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Subject: Any chance we will see this re-themed? rss

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Matt Halowell

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I have really enjoyed playing this game and think that the dice allocation mechanic is brilliant. However, I feel like the theme does limit its audience a bit (some people I've played with were pretty turned off by it).

Any chance we might see this re-themed at some point? I think that would be awesome. Maybe a forest/jungle setting with elves and goblins? I feel like there are a lot of ways this game could be expanded and become more accessible as far as theme goes.
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Randall Shaw
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"Maybe a forest/jungle setting with elves and goblins? I feel like there are a lot of ways this game could be expanded and become more accessible as far as theme goes."

Sounds good (tho the current theme doesn't bother me in the slightest). Get to work.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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mhalowel wrote:
I have really enjoyed playing this game and think that the dice allocation mechanic is brilliant. However, I feel like the theme does limit its audience a bit (some people I've played with were pretty turned off by it).

Any chance we might see this re-themed at some point? I think that would be awesome. Maybe a forest/jungle setting with elves and goblins? I feel like there are a lot of ways this game could be expanded and become more accessible as far as theme goes.

No goblins and elves for me, thanks. And before somebody suggests it, I'll pass on zombies and cthullu too. Everything has its place, but I truly appreciate a theme that isn't beaten to death in 400 other games.

And if by re-themed you mean one of those projects where somebody makes print-and-play materials that people can download and play instead of buying a copy, I'm not in favor of that either. Without CROC there is no such game, and he deserves to be rewarded for his efforts.
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Alex Brown
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I play this game because of the theme. For me it is an adult distillation of the puerile fantasy settings that dominate the market.

*builds a world that is both menacing and self-effacing
*is distinctly European in its religious fatalism - much preferred to the sanctimonious American-style Christianity that the curse-fearers are closer to
*short and blunt - immerses you briefly and doesn't pretend to be an allegory or anything larger than a game.

I'm happy to wear flak for these opinions - I am down to a 10-game collection and Claustrophobia is one of the few archetypal iterations I STILL think is a masterclass in board game design after being a gamer for 20 years.

Essentially, if tastes vary, but the complaints about this game are among the most myopic and frigid I've ever heard (PS witches aren't real!).
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Thom Goodsell
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Belmont
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My feeling is that if you're going to re-theme it, you should try to get away from fantasy entirely. The marginal increase in audience going from demons to orcs is probably fairly small, though might be worth it if there's a license to tap into.

In that spirit, here are my re-theme ideas:

- zombies, because everybody but me loves zombies (judging from game store shelves)

- minions of the Elder Gods (see above)

- Zerg, if the StarCraft license is available; generic, swarming aliens, if not

- beetles vs ants

- Vashta Nerada (Dr. Who)

- cats vs rats (perhaps with dogs in place of larger demons)
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Thom Goodsell
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Galego wrote:
In that spirit, here are my re-theme ideas:


I was really trying to think of a theme involving lawyers, but I couldn't decide if they were the humans or the demons and who their opponents would be.
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Thom Goodsell
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Sphere wrote:
And before somebody suggests it, I'll pass on zombies and cthullu too.


Sorry, Sphere. I didn't see this because I was busy coming up with zombie and Cthulu theme ideas.
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Matt Halowell

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts guys!

And maybe I should've clarified that I'm not saying anything is wrong with the game as it is. I think it's a great game. I was just wondering if there was any chance the game might be re-themed by CROC, possibly to suit a broader audience that this particular theme doesn't appeal to as much. And yeah it definitely wouldn't even have to be fantasy at all. It's just something I've been thinking about. The mechanics are so elegant. I'd love to see maybe a new game from CROC that was inspired by this game and still used that clever dice allocation mechanic.

No complaints here guys, just sharing some thoughts. I'm not sure how active CROC is on the forums, but would love to know if he has ever thought about making another game inspired by Claustrophobia or with similar elements.

If that never happens though, we obviously still have a fantastic game as is.
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Jacob Casper
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Pflugerville
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Alex Brown wrote:
I play this game because of the theme. For me it is an adult distillation of the puerile fantasy settings that dominate the market.


This is the perfect concise statement regarding how perfecting the theme is.
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Fabio Calzolari
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Oh, one could reverse the theme entirely and make the actual humans as invading Terminators/Androids/Mechs where the dice allocation represent different devices/programs/modes available, and the actual demon is the boss of a human colony in a tiny planet sending poor, weak soldiers and some mechanized infantry against them.
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Chris Schafer
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mhalowel wrote:
Thanks for sharing your thoughts guys!

And maybe I should've clarified that I'm not saying anything is wrong with the game as it is. I think it's a great game. I was just wondering if there was any chance the game might be re-themed by CROC, possibly to suit a broader audience that this particular theme doesn't appeal to as much. And yeah it definitely wouldn't even have to be fantasy at all. It's just something I've been thinking about. The mechanics are so elegant. I'd love to see maybe a new game from CROC that was inspired by this game and still used that clever dice allocation mechanic.

No complaints here guys, just sharing some thoughts. I'm not sure how active CROC is on the forums, but would love to know if he has ever thought about making another game inspired by Claustrophobia or with similar elements.

If that never happens though, we obviously still have a fantastic game as is.


Not sold retheming it would do so for a broader audience. I think people who have a problem with the theme are in the minority and any theme you pick would have it's detractors. Rethemeing wouldn't be worth the effort because most people who would buy the game don't have a problem with the theme and thus already own it.
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Matt Halowell

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Yeah that's definitely possible that it might not make business sense to make a re-themed version. I don't really know how big the market would be for it.

I still think it could be cool if a new game was made using similar mechanics with a new theme though. If it was different enough it might be able to attract both Claustrophobia fans and new fans.

Seems like a lot of good games get new printings, second editions, or re-themes after a while. Not that Claustrophobia needs one per se, but I think it would be really cool to see what else could be done with this system.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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mhalowel wrote:
Yeah that's definitely possible that it might not make business sense to make a re-themed version. I don't really know how big the market would be for it.

I still think it could be cool if a new game was made using similar mechanics with a new theme though. If it was different enough it might be able to attract both Claustrophobia fans and new fans.

Seems like a lot of good games get new printings, second editions, or re-themes after a while. Not that Claustrophobia needs one per se, but I think it would be really cool to see what else could be done with this system.

To me, a truly new design using borrowed mechanics is an entirely separate discussion from re-theming.

Great ideas get borrowed all the time, going back to banging flints together to make tools. 99% of all new games borrow from existing titles. The best designers are copied most and should accept that as the sincerest form of homage.

The thread title made me think you were talking about the other thing, which led to my initial reaction. It sounds as though the two ideas are bound together more closely in your mind than in mine.
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Matt Halowell

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Sphere wrote:
mhalowel wrote:
Yeah that's definitely possible that it might not make business sense to make a re-themed version. I don't really know how big the market would be for it.

I still think it could be cool if a new game was made using similar mechanics with a new theme though. If it was different enough it might be able to attract both Claustrophobia fans and new fans.

Seems like a lot of good games get new printings, second editions, or re-themes after a while. Not that Claustrophobia needs one per se, but I think it would be really cool to see what else could be done with this system.

To me, a truly new design using borrowed mechanics is an entirely separate discussion from re-theming.

Great ideas get borrowed all the time, going back to banging flints together to make tools. 99% of all new games borrow from existing titles. The best designers are copied most and should accept that as the sincerest form of homage.

The thread title made me think you were talking about the other thing, which led to my initial reaction. It sounds as though the two ideas are bound together more closely in your mind than in mine.


Good clarification! That's definitely how I've been thinking about it. I didn't really understand the initial alarm, but it makes sense to me now. Probably wasn't the best choice of words in my title. Glad we're on the same page!
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Sylvain Hebert
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Granby
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Space Hulk has the same mechanic,so you Can get a sci-fi theme!
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Luka Kovač Plavi
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I certainly hope it would never ever get rethemed.

Crybabies
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Neil Logan
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I feel OP is being treated a little harshly haha. A re-theme doesn't destroy any enjoyment of the original game/theme for you as you play it, but might sell more copies or make someone else discover the wonderful mechanics.

I think given the current design, especially considering the box art, the type of people to overlook this game on a shelf likely aren't into the realism of it. Therefore, if any re-theme was to take place, the best targets would probably be the Chibi type crowds (e.g. Krosmaster Arena). I think that would hit the largest demographic that the current design doesn't as it's such a polar opposite to what the game is now.

It still allows for fantasy based, dungeon crawling elements as well, so backstory and abilities would barely need altered; not too difficult to come up with a story to have a cleric character leading a group of bad guys even in a "cute" setting (pirates/thieves and... whatever the equivalent chaotic good brute character typically is). Then the sorcerer commanding his minions that stole something the townspeople need back.

As many people in the thread have already mentioned, this game wouldn't be for me. I enjoy the game as it is. But if there was a re-theming to hit a wider target audience, I reckon you'd have to do something like this.
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Code Virus
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Sphere wrote:
mhalowel wrote:
I have really enjoyed playing this game and think that the dice allocation mechanic is brilliant. However, I feel like the theme does limit its audience a bit (some people I've played with were pretty turned off by it).

Any chance we might see this re-themed at some point? I think that would be awesome. Maybe a forest/jungle setting with elves and goblins? I feel like there are a lot of ways this game could be expanded and become more accessible as far as theme goes.

No goblins and elves for me, thanks. And before somebody suggests it, I'll pass on zombies and cthullu too. Everything has its place, but I truly appreciate a theme that isn't beaten to death in 400 other games.

And if by re-themed you mean one of those projects where somebody makes print-and-play materials that people can download and play instead of buying a copy, I'm not in favor of that either. Without CROC there is no such game, and he deserves to be rewarded for his efforts.


Vikings, railroads or farming anyone?
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Calvin Hobbes
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Well lets break the gameplay down to a hunt and pure survival. How many will survive? Will anyone survive? What other theme is there who fits that like a glove?




I would love an Alien retheme of the mechanic and think it would do fantastic. Much better than the released Alien board game.

Just think about it instead of exploring hell you are exploring the USS Sulaco..etc. There could be tiles for a space station or the planetary installation or just the original ship and if you are unlucky you flip tiles with a creepy alien built tunnel that could lead to their nest.

You can encounter droids face huggers, are hunted by aliens and somewere on the ship there is this diabolic player who commands the queen into battle devil

Or you find a hidden storage /treasure and find the flame thrower arrrh

reminds me that I have to play Legendary Encounters Aliens again.

PS: I love the original theme of Claustrophobia as a adult dark fantasy setting. No need the retheme but if well that would be my choice.
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I love this game and would be happy to buy it again with a new theme, as long as CROC gets his cut though.
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