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Subject: A wasted opportunity in the Wasteland. rss

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Christian Marcussen
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I tried Fallout this weekend, and I have a quite unique perspective on it. I have been working on a game inspired by the franchise for years, and while I was bummed that someone was doing it, I was also pretty excited. Afterall I was doing a version because I love Fallout so much and wanted to have that experience as a board game.

However, I can't help but feeling, that this is a wasted opportunity.


Narrative
The game focuses very narrowly on the narrative aspect of the game. I must say, that this works fairly well. You do end up with a story at the end, and that's cool. As different cards are resolved new cards that fit the story enter the game.

But the narrow focus on narrative - which is the games strong suite - is also its greatest weakness. Everything is geared towards these narrative quests, which are not personal quests, but one main quest and possibly a few sidequests for all players. So it has an overall plot, but most other aspects of Fallout are done away with.

Shallow
Fallout is so much more than narrative. You honestly have very little to do in this game. There are many narrative choices, but very few interesting game choices. Sadly, those looking for a post-apocalyptic sand box game should look elsewhere (although I don't know where honestly).

This is not a game where you have an entire world in front of you where YOU have to make your own way. But that is exactly what the Fallout computer game is. Freedom and choice.

Exploring, gathering and selling resources, crafting stuff and going on your own personal quests... none of that is really implemented here in any interesting way. Everything comes down to looking at the story card, and then pursuing the one that lets you score points. So no one really has an incentive to go in an entirely other direction.

Combat
The combat system, while basic, is ok. It’s one simple roll and then re-rolls based on skills and weapon. This determines if you kill the monster or not as well as what hits you receive yourself. Simple.

However, this simplicity comes at a price. Not a lot of weapon variety, and no system that takes into account for energy damage or ballistic damage. A pretty important part of combat in the computer game.

Once thing that is nicely translated from the computer game is the simple damage and radiation damage system. The more radiation damage you take, the less normal damage you can take. Exactly like the computer game.

There is no player vs. player combat however, which is a shame. No one can really threaten your lead (and no one even knows if you are doing well, since... it's pretty much random).

Victory
As has been mentioned elsewhere, and which has been attempted house ruled since release, winning is more or less random. Now I'm no stranger to randomness in games and can even enjoy it. But here the randomness turns into meaninglesness. It all comes down to which cards you are dealt, and if you happen to win, its not really by any doing of your own.

Conclusion
Fallout is a simple game that tells an interesting story. There are some smart design solutions in terms of mechanics. Looking at a game about to start I can really ger the sense of an adventure about to begin. However ultimately it's kind of flat.

But none of this translates into interesting game play. The story is being told for you, but not really by you. There won’t be much "can you remember the time where I did this, and then that, and you did this, and in the end I just made it"... lots of narrative but no exitement.

Rather than being completely demotivated from continuing my own post-apocalyptic game (as I expected, and kind of hoped), I still feel that there is a niche to be filled.








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Christopher Scatliff
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
Well FFG can certainly waste opportunities. Like when I bought their new Civilization game, tried it, and immediately said "nope, Clash of Cultures is still the best".

#blatantpandering
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Howard Massey
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
Fill that niche Mr. Marcussen !!
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Luke Heineman
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
Insta buy for me if you make that game, Mr. Marcussen! Merchants and Marauders is one of my group's favorite all-time games, so knowing you have this project in the works is pretty exciting.
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Jamel Rha
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
Nice written review, even if I disagree with all you did not like .

I think I will write a review so I can expose why I like this game so much. From the point of view of a solo player that being said.


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Michael Coniff
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
I just don't think a Fallout board game like a lot of people are after (complex and varied story driven sand box) will ever happen unless it's done in the same channels and in the same capacity as something like Gloomhaven.

To the OP, if you do decide to make a game in this universe, if you manage to achieve these things, I will certainly purchase it from you.
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Christian Marcussen
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
Jamelrha wrote:
Nice written review, even if I disagree with all you did not like .

I think I will write a review so I can expose why I like this game so much. From the point of view of a solo player that being said.




Thanks. I actually think it makes for a fun solo experience. Like reading good book or a choose your own adventure kind of book. There is no real benefit for playing four like I did.
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Jamel Rha
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
WisdomForWizards wrote:
I just don't think a Fallout board game like a lot of people are after (complex and varied story driven sand box) will ever happen unless it's done in the same channels and in the same capacity as something like Gloomhaven.

To the OP, if you do decide to make a game in this universe, if you manage to achieve these things, I will certainly purchase it from you.


Not wanting to hijavk the thread, but I think it can help me understand the situation. In a very few words, what does Gloomhaven do that is different from Fallout boardgame? I did not played Gloomhaven.

I sometimes think some people are looking for a tabletop RPG when thinking of Fallout... but i do not have as many experience in board games than most people here.
 
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Jamel Rha
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
marqzen wrote:
Jamelrha wrote:
Nice written review, even if I disagree with all you did not like .

I think I will write a review so I can expose why I like this game so much. From the point of view of a solo player that being said.




Thanks. I actually think it makes for a fun solo experience. Like reading good book or a choose your own adventure kind of book. There is no real benefit for playing four like I did.


That is a good point! It seems this game has the same situation than Mage Knights: solo game is praised by many but multiplayer is not.

That difference actually helps me better undersstand your review, because I can imagine how a 4 players game could be seen as flat. 2 wouls still be good (not a lot of downtime) but I see problems with 3 and more.
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Tim Kelly
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
kskato wrote:
Fill that niche Mr. Marcussen !!

A M E N !
 
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Chris J Davis
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
Smoo wrote:
Well FFG can certainly waste opportunities. Like when I bought their new Civilization game, tried it, and immediately said "nope, Clash of Cultures is still the best".

#blatantpandering


I couldn't agree more! Had exactly the same response.
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Matt Price
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
kskato wrote:
Fill that niche Mr. Marcussen !!


Wow, are you really planning on still making a post apoc Fallout-type game?

I would buy that in a heartbeat, I'm a fan of Clash of Cultures and Merchants and Marauders. Go! Go finish it! Now!
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Chris J Davis
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
Considering the quality of your past games, Mr Marcussen, I would buy that in an instant.
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Patar Absurdus the Shananigator
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
WisdomForWizards wrote:
I just don't think a Fallout board game like a lot of people are after (complex and varied story driven sand box) will ever happen unless it's done in the same channels and in the same capacity as something like Gloomhaven.

To the OP, if you do decide to make a game in this universe, if you manage to achieve these things, I will certainly purchase it from you.


This is exactly what I was thinking. The Gloomhaven designer needs to make a similar game in the fallout universe. That would be ridiculously amazing.
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Joe Donnelly
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
 
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Christian Marcussen
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
Sunray11 wrote:


Are those sour grapes. Because if that's the point, then I can assure you, that this is really not the case. ☺️

I wanted to love this game. I enjoy parts of it. It's ok, but I was hoping for sp much more.
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Howard Massey
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
Sunray11 wrote:

If he bought the game, he has as much rights to
'sour grapes' as anyone here on BGG.

And there has' been plenty of mixed assessment of the game.





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J P
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
marqzen wrote:

Fallout is so much more than narrative. You honestly have very little to do in this game. There are many narrative choices, but very few interesting game choices. Sadly, those looking for a post-apocalyptic sand box game should look elsewhere (although I don't know where honestly).





I know where. Fallout the PC game. Or Wasteland 2. Honestly, I played through all 4 scenarios and whenever I think of playing again (or think of playing the Modiphius game) I keep coming to the same conclusion: I’d rather just play the actual Fallout PC game, which is usually $2-5 on GOG. The best aspects of Fallout can never be reproduced with a board game IMO. The miniatures game may capture some of the tactical combat, but at 1000x the cost.
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Re: A wasted oppurtunity in the Wasteland.
...And this makes me so sad!

I want to see a post apocalyptic adventure board game with meaningful, interesting choices. Is this not possible? Too hard?
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Al Mok
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sounds like I am indeed better off playing the fallout tabletop that I've been playing all this time with my group.
 
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Aaron Day
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Writing a game review trashing a game while shilling your own competing game is pretty low.
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Hedgehobbit wrote:
Writing a game review trashing a game while shilling your own competing game is pretty low.


Good thing that's not what happened here! (you did read the review, right?)
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Jamelrha wrote:
I think I will write a review so I can expose why I like this game so much. From the point of view of a solo player that being said.

That's what's so disappointing about this game though - it's really best enjoyed solo to mitigate arguably questionable design choices.

I love solo gaming and generally prefer it that way, but I bought this game specifically to share my love of fallout with others
 
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Bill Allison
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I recently purchased a post-apocalyptic sandbox game, it's called Fallen Land.
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Christian Marcussen
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Hedgehobbit wrote:
Writing a game review trashing a game while shilling your own competing game is pretty low.


Thats an interesting take. First of all because I have no competing game. Its half a prototype which has a very low chance of every materializing (if I had a competing game, I would never do a review, as I agree with in principle).

Secondly I can tell you what this is about. I felt it was a pretty interesting experience playing a game based on the exact same material that I had worked of off - and spend hours and hours thinking about - and thought that maybe, this perspective could be of value to someone else.

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