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Subject: Would the developers call this better or just different than Terra Mystica? rss

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Bryle Cuff
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Does anyone have any information on how the developers feel about this new system of mechanics? The games are quite similar so I'm curious if they feel this is a straight up better implementation of Terra Mystica. Additionally I'd like to hear play tester's thoughts on this subject as well.
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K S
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My guess would be that, human nature being what it is, nobody involved in creating a reimplementation would be willing to straight-up call it "better" unless it was actually a "second edition".
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I disagree. One of the developers on the newest Key series game (Keyper) said it was better than Keyflower.
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Jonathan
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It would be foolish to call it straight up better since it could harm the sales of Terra Mystica (unless there's a reason for them wanting to sell more copies of this at the expense of damaging TS sales). I guess if they felt that most sales of this will come from people who already own TS then there's a case but, I'd be surprised.
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Well arguably they may just want to sell the better implementation of the game system and may not care about hurting sales. On a podcast I've heard Eric Lang mention which games he thinks are his better designs. Are the ones not mentioned going to have their " sales damaged"? My point is, it's happened before and we're debating semantics and hypotheticals here.

I'm just curious what if anyone heard anything from the developers and what the playtesters have to say. I imagine this must have been asked.
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Jan Kahánek
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I have played more than 500 games of TERRA MYSTICA and just about 20 games of GAIA prototype. For me GAIA is better than TM (for many reasons).

But if we speak about how succesfull will this be in general, I am little sceptical:
1) many players who do not like TM will not like GAIA and I know some people...
2) some people who like TM will not buy GAIA for its apparent similarity
3) for people who never played TM, this might feel slightly more complicated and first play can turn these players off. I know you need to play this game at least 3 times before you start to be fascinated...


I wish many luck to authors (TM was my no.1 ever and far ahead of other boardgames!).

GAIA will not be easy to sell, but I am already spreading the word ...
Is GAIA good? Definitelly YES, awesome!

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Didier Renard
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kahy wrote:
I have played more than 500 games of TERRA MYSTICA and just about 20 games of GAIA prototype. For me GAIA is better than TM (for many reasons).

But if we speak about how succesfull will this be in general, I am little sceptical:
1) many players who do not like TM will not like GAIA and I know some people...
2) some people who like TM will not buy GAIA for its apparent similarity
3) for people who never played TM, this might feel slightly more complicated and first play can turn these players off. I know you need to play this game at least 3 times before you start to be fascinated...


I wish many luck to authors (TM was my no.1 ever and far ahead of other boardgames!).

GAIA will not be easy to sell, but I am already spreading the word ...
Is GAIA good? Definitelly YES, awesome!



The big difference is that Gaia actually plays really well with two players and solo, so I wonder if this could boost sales? As a solo player I didn't get TM but Gaia will be an insta-buy!
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Frank Heeren
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I think it's more a question of complexity rather than better or worse.
GP has the Gaia Planets in addition to the seven player colors and the development board with the tech tiles, which is more elaborated than the cult tableau and the favor tiles. It is everyone's choice what they are seeking in a game...
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Bryan Thunkd
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wamsp wrote:
My guess would be that, human nature being what it is, nobody involved in creating a reimplementation would be willing to straight-up call it "better" unless it was actually a "second edition".
Really? Given human nature I'd say that people usually assume what they're doing now is better than what they've done before.
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Thunkd wrote:
Really? Given human nature I'd say that people usually assume what they're doing now is better than what they've done before.


Exactly. I would totally understand if the developers say that they feel both games are equal quality, I'd just like know they said it. When I heard about this project and how similar it was to Terra Mystica, my natural inclination was to think of Gaia as Terra Mystica 1.5. I think that's a fair quandary to have and want to ask about.
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Space Trucker
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Thunkd wrote:
Given human nature I'd say that people usually assume what they're doing now is better than what they've done before.

Of course you're right, obviously noone aims to make things worse and obviously designers will try to learn from earlier critique (and e.g. merge smaller slightly attached parts into one central tech board).

But a brilliant game like Terra Mystica does not need to be remade better.
I guess the goal here is much more to create another great game - that plays differently enough that fans want to play both games and have a lot of new stuff to explore.

As Frank said above, Gaia is - not much but still noticably - more complex than TM, also a bit longer. I'd also say that it's a bit less harsh (in TM it's easier to get really blocked). Gaia is perhaps a bit more thematic, TM more 'elegant'. Better/worse is pretty subjective here.

The question whether TM or Gaia is better is not the important one for me (as fan, TM is my favorite game), for me it's: Do I want to play both of them - and here the answer is definitly "Yes!!!".
 
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SpaceTrucker wrote:

But a brilliant game like Terra Mystica does not need to be remade better.


A matter of opinion.


SpaceTrucker wrote:
I guess the goal here is much more to create another great game - that plays differently enough that fans want to play both games and have a lot of new stuff to explore.


You could be right, but you are just assuming what the developers motives behind the game were. Considering a lot of the differences of Gaia seem to be in response to common criticisms of Terra Myistica, I think it's entirely possible the aim was to create a better version of Terra Mystica.

SpaceTrucker wrote:
The question whether TM or Gaia is better is not the important one for me (as fan, TM is my favorite game), for me it's: Do I want to play both of them - and here the answer is definitely "Yes!!!".


Well I'm glad to hear your excited for Gaia. I am too! My question is different though and I think still worth addressing.
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Robert
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GP is different for sure - whether it's "better" depends on the criteria. Those who always complained about TM's fantasy setting can rejoice, those who prefer bright boards and/or abstract wooden pieces might be disappointed, those who want a guarantee that no game setup is like the next should like it.

GP certainly is as enjoyable for me as TM. Whether I'll play several hundred games of GP (like I did with TM) remains to be seen.

GP does improve on some things over TM (my opinion of course) e.g. by offering a much larger variety of setups, by using a variable map (which also is less congested, so you can't get boxed in) and by replacing the fixed favor-cult-round bonus combinations of TM by random assignments of technologies to research tracks.

As I see it, a game of GP will take slightly longer than a game of TM (assuming similar experience with the rules).

But is longer also better? Or does it make it worse? And is more variety in setups better? I could argue that picking a faction in TM is easier because after 20+ games, players assemble some sort of decision library based on round scorings and bonus tiles, whereas in GP there's also the once-in-a-lifetime map to consider, and how the technologies are distributed. Which is better?

I do not plan to participate in the attempts to read the minds of the developers. One thing is clear: they put some of their learnings from TM into GP.
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Space Trucker
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Bryle wrote:
SpaceTrucker wrote:

But a brilliant game like Terra Mystica does not need to be remade better.

A matter of opinion.
Sure. Generally seen TM got pretty good reviews and there was not very much critique on game mechanics. So let's say one just fixes the main critique points of TM, one wouldn't get a very different game. From my perspective it's not a broken/unrefined game, that objectivly needs large scale fixes. So the "make something different" approach is much more promising than the "make the old game better" approach. That's what I meant.

Bryle wrote:

SpaceTrucker wrote:
I guess the goal here is much more to create another great game - that plays differently enough that fans want to play both games and have a lot of new stuff to explore.


You could be right, but you are just assuming what the developers motives behind the game were. Considering a lot of the differences of Gaia seem to be in response to common criticisms of Terra Myistica, I think it's entirely possible the aim was to create a better version of Terra Mystica.

SpaceTrucker wrote:
The question whether TM or Gaia is better is not the important one for me (as fan, TM is my favorite game), for me it's: Do I want to play both of them - and here the answer is definitely "Yes!!!".


Well I'm glad to hear your excited for Gaia. I am too! My question is different though and I think still worth addressing.

I guess I should have mentioned that I did take part in playtesting, so this experience is not pure assuming and excitement. After 28 plays of Gaia Project against roughly 20 different players, I know the game quite well. I know for sure that I'll want to play both games in future. For me the "different" part plays a much bigger role than the question wether the game is actually "better" - which is what you asked for, too:
Bryle wrote:
Additionally I'd like to hear play tester's thoughts on this subject as well.
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