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Subject: How much will I be missing if I purchase retail? rss

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Rodney Somerstein
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I'm interested in this game, but there seems to be a lot missing from the retail vs. Kickstarter edition.

3 boss cards retail - 2 extra with Kickstarter (almost 50%)
45 chapter cards retail - 8 extra with Kickstarter
6 character dice retail - 1 extra with Kickstarter

These seem to be pretty big percentages of components that are Kickstarter exclusive. How much do these effect the variety and replay value of the game? This seems to be a pretty extreme percentage of exclusive components even compared to lots of other Kickstarters. (I back a lot of Kickstarters, but somehow missed this one.)

Thomas, the designer, replied to me on a Facebook thread that the game is complete without these, but I'm concerned that there is a lot missing here without the exclusives. Is my concern unfounded?

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Antonio Tang
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Like you, I was looking for the KS edition and not wanting to pay 100+ on eBay. Amazon.co.uk came to the rescue. Mine should be arriving in (probably less than) two weeks.

Edited: amazon.co.uk source (GamesQuest) seems to be out.
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Rich Bouselli
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rodneys wrote:
I'm interested in this game, but there seems to be a lot missing from the retail vs. Kickstarter edition.

3 boss cards retail - 2 extra with Kickstarter (almost 50%)
45 chapter cards retail - 8 extra with Kickstarter
6 character dice retail - 1 extra with Kickstarter

These seem to be pretty big percentages of components that are Kickstarter exclusive. How much do these effect the variety and replay value of the game? This seems to be a pretty extreme percentage of exclusive components even compared to lots of other Kickstarters. (I back a lot of Kickstarters, but somehow missed this one.)

Thomas, the designer, replied to me on a Facebook thread that the game is complete without these, but I'm concerned that there is a lot missing here without the exclusives. Is my concern unfounded?




The game is phenomenal. You don’t need those extra cards to have a complete game. There is enough replay ability here without those extra cards.
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Rye The great
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There is also the Golden Axe item card plus die not in retail. It isn't a deal breaker without it tbh. The expansion has no KS Exclusives.

I do somewhat agree that lacking the extra boss cards makes the end game a bit repetitive I suppose. I can't confirm this as I have the KS edition.

PS. Make sure you subscribe to their mailing list/ facebook page for future news.
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Rodney Somerstein
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Thanks for the replies. From just seeing the component list, I can’t make out how important having additional chapters and bosses actually is. The 2 fewer bosses raises bigger immediate concerns, I would think, for replayability.

For chapter cards, how often is each card seen? How much do they really add to the game?

Does the extra die mean an extra playable character? Again, how much difference does that actually make?
 
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Rye The great
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I think the KS exclusives bosses do add variety, personally I still think there should be a bit more even with KSEs,

As for chapter cards, eight isn't really that much more, it is hard to say how often they appear. As the random shuffling of cards obviously makes the odds difficult to predict. I don't know what actually are the KS exclusive chapter cards are.

Do you have the expansion on preorder? You get 15 more cards and a boss.


The die comes into play when you pick up the golden axe item card. I won't say anything else as I don't want to spoil it. Suffice to say it isn't absolutely neccersary to have. Depends if you are a completionist.

Maybe on the next run Themeborne's can do a rerun of the the first game or allow you to add the cards and die as an add on.
 
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Rodney Somerstein
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Thanks again for everyone's replies.

Based on the reply from Antonio (4ntonio), I ordered a copy of the KS edition from Amazon.co.uk. They still had a few copies left, so I was able to grab one. Thanks, Antonio! I guess I'll find out the answers to my questions for myself in a couple of weeks or so.

I'll have to wait to order the expansion, since it doesn't seem to be available for non-backers yet. Hopefully, that will change sometime soon.

I don't doubt that there is a good game here without the extras. However, like many others, I'm a completist and much prefer to get the whole experience. I don't think I will ever understand companies that make gameplay elements truly exclusive to a crowdfunding campaign. Why wouldn't they want to make those items available to everyone that gets the game?

I would much rather have seen them do something similar with the base game or maybe some non-gameplay exclusives for backers. I've been seeing a trend of more Kickstarters starting to avoid exclusive gameplay content or at least doing no more than delaying or making other people purchase items individually that are bundled for backers at a cheaper price. That way, backers get a benefit for backing and non-backers don't lose end up with a lesser game.
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Gabor Pivarcsi
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I'm a KS backer of this game, but as a game collector, I'm very strongly against KS exclusivity that can't be purchased later. I'm willing to pay a little bit more if I miss a kickstarter, but games with KS exclusives are a strict no buy for me at retail.

That's said, I would be perfectly happy with Themeborne releasing the KS exclusive cards and dice as a purchasable mini expansion in retail. Those 2 boss cards does take away from replayability a great chunk.
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David Gotteri
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For the amount of times you actually GET to the Boss card, I wouldn't be too worried about replayability...
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Benjamin Kindt
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I’m interested in the game, but I’ll pass if the KS items aren’t available for separate purchase.
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Thomas Pike
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We are going to stay out of this thread after this one post, because it's really a 'Is the glass half full or half empty?' kind of question that cannot ever be resolved.

For what it's worth, we know that we didn't take anything away from the standard edition - what we did was add to the KS edition. So we are 'glass half full' on this topic. If you choose to see it as 'half empty', we probably cannot change your mind about that. We think it's ok to reward backers with something special just for them. If we then went on to make that special something available to everyone, even at a price, it would feel like something of a betrayal to the people who put us where we are today.

As it happens I did an interview the other day (with Giant Brain) which was just published last week and in that interview I inadvertently said something which I think applies here too:


Alongside delivering to backers you are ramping up to a retail release. Was it always your intention to make sure the game could reach people outside of the Kickstarter?


We always planned for this game to have a retail release. We knew our Kickstarter was just the beginning, that the ‘standard edition’ of Escape the Dark Castle is what would go on to represent the long-term future of this game, this range, and this publisher – it had to be excellent in its own right. When the Kickstarter first launched, there weren’t really that many stretch goals (and none of them added additional content) because the game was already done, already so complete – the best we could possibly make it. So, while the Kickstarter-exclusive stretch goals are very cool, when the game goes to retail without those extra things in the box we can still be very confident it will hold its own.

Make of that what you will.

I would close by saying that there will (all being well) be plenty of expansions for this game over the years and in the end more cards than you could ever wish for. If you choose not to buy this game at all because the (relatively few in the scheme of things) KS backers got some extra cards, we can only say that we are sorry to lose you.
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Andrew Bayley
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Kickstarter gameplay content exclusives in my opinion are always a very, very bad idea and i get the overall impression that a lot of Kickstarter campaigns are moving away from them.
A lot of people in this hobby are completionists and if they cannot obtain all gameplay content the game is cheapened for them.

I understand why Kickstarter exclusives are offered, but why does it have to be gameplay content.
Offer a fancy gold foil and platinum boss card if you like to Kickstarter backers, offer the Golden Axe card and corresponding dice, offer an extra 8 shiny hologrammatic chapter cards. People love bling and will pay extra for it.

However in the retail edition ensure that the same boss cards and chapter cards are included as plain normal cards and that an extra item card and corresponding dice is offered with the same mechanic, just call it the Scabby, Blunt, Rusty old Hatchet or something and everybody will be happy. People loathe missing out on gameplay content.

I am sure many more expansions and cards are planned, many more bosses and many more mechanics, but the issue is actually now and i fully understand the issues of people who see an extra 2 bosses (only 3 are included in retail) an extra 8 chapter cards and an extra dice giving an extra game play mechanic only included in the kickstarter edition. Again people loathe missing out on gameplay content.

Now, having said that, the game is fantastic.
I was lucky however, i missed this kickstarter completly but managed fortunatly to pick up a Kickstarter edition.

Hopefully for those who are missing the exclusive Kickstarter gameplay content, Themeborne brings out a small add on pack -- including the Scabby, Blunt, Rusty old Hatchet -- then everybody can read from the same page and everybody can play on the same level playing surface.

Can somebody perhaps design a MicroBadge please which says, Just say NO to Kickstarter exclusive Gameplay Content, it might be quite popular.
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Thomas Pike
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Thanks, Andrew. Very fair points.
 
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Matthew De Lorge
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So, as someone new to gaming, I had no opportunity to back this game on KS because, as I said, I am new into gaming. I saw this on the highest rated co-op games sheet on BGG (because my wife and i really enjoy co-op based games with our early experiences with them) and have been researching it on KS, youtube and here. We JUST missed the KS apparently!

I just scrolled by this and read the comments. What a shame that the designer feels the way he does. I get rewarding backers, but what about newcomers to the gaming hobby who would have, but just weren't aware this game existed? I also agree with Andrew 100% on his views.

I like games that are complete, and this is clearly not if purchasing the retail version. I was sold on buying this......until now.

I feel things like this hinder a game's success. How many are like me and won't touch this game, or it's expansions, knowing there is a better version of the game that was sold, and the copy I would be buying is the "B" version?

Many people on KS I see want to back games, but shipping costs or simply designers not shipping to their area prevents them from backing. So those that want the game, but cannot afford it or get it at all, deserve less?

Game looks great, but everything has it's limitations in terms of cost, and getting a game in it's entirety. I'll keep my eyes open if someone trades or sells it at a reasonable price, but otherwise, there are a ton of other games out there, all fighting for my money and attention.

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Thomas Pike
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Thanks, Matthew and Andrew.

Our point of view is always open to change, and feedback like this is what might change it.

So let me ask you this: Leaving aside what you think we should have done differently in the past, how can this be addressed from here? What would we need to do to make you (and others who share your point of view) interested in the game again?

For instance, as part of the next Kickstarter we could sell an “upgrade pack” containing the KS content. This way, we don’t break our promise to the original backers that those items are KS exclusives, but anyone who missed out first time around has a second chance to get them.

Any other ideas? If there is a way to do this which is realistic for us as a business, we’ll seriously consider it.
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Gavin White
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Hi, I am a kickstarter backer for this game and I certainly have no issue with the kickstarter exclusives being made available for those who want them. I don't mind people being able to buy what I got for free. I understand why these things exist but disagree with them. I backed the game before the exclusives were offered and they played no part in my decision to back.
There was some speculation that the PDF book of back stories was to have a printed, physical release, perhaps the extra cards could be bundled with this as an extra incentive to buy the book. This would mean if I bought the book (which I would) I will get these for a second time. Doesn't bother me as I said,I got them free the first time.
This is a great game and it would be nice if everything was available to everyone.
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Riki Lovatt
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Having played the KS edition, I can tell you they make a BIG difference. I didn't realize there were different editions since I ordered a copy immediately after playing a friend's. My disappointment when it arrived today was immense. Source the KS off eBay, there are still some copies on there. I just bought one and my copy is going on eBay to recoup some of the cost.
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Andrew Bayley
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Themeborne wrote:
For instance, as part of the next Kickstarter we could sell an “upgrade pack” containing the KS content. This way, we don’t break our promise to the original backers that those items are KS exclusives, but anyone who missed out first time around has a second chance to get them.


It's a rock and a hard place now i think.

I don't want to criticize you or your game or your past decisions and i definetly don't want to come across as harsh because at the end of the day you designed and published a good game and you have future interesting plans for it. You deserve respect for that.

I think the Kickstarter exclusive gameplay content was a mistake, i always do think that whenever i see it in any Kickstarter campaign.
You may or may not agree .... and even if you do agree, you cannot come out and openly say so anyway ..... however it doesn't matter, you are acknowledging that others are maybe not happy with past decisions and you are trying your best going forward to find a solution. That deserves respect too.

The "upgrade pack" idea in the next Kickstarter though, when you come right down to it, that is still Kickstarter exclusive gameplay content isn't it.
Granted anybody can obtain it, IF they notice the Kickstarter and IF they back the Kickstarter but it will only be obtainable through Kickstarter and not included in retail editions. You will have the same complaints again from your future retail customers down the line perhaps.

The "upgrade pack" really needs to be obtainable through retail but is that profitable. Also as you say, you don't want to break you promise to your original backers - there's that rock and a hard place.

I presume eventually you will want or hope to reprint the base game. The easiest solution i can see is to rename the 10 Kickstarter exclusive cards, perhaps give them new artwork too but keep the same gameplay mechanics on them. Rename the Golden Axe, the Scabby, Blunt, Rusty Old Hatchet(TM), ink that dice a muddy brown colour then include these items in future retail editions as standard plus offer them as your "upgrade pack outside of the Kickstarter to those with the first edition who may want them.

I wish you luck, whatever you decide.

One last question, in any future Kickstarters you do, will there be any Kickstarter exclusive gameplay content -- You don't have to answer that of course ninja



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Matthew De Lorge
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I sort of echo most of what Andrew said. I really don't see a way to make this right without upsetting some of the original backers, seeing some will be mad they aren't special anymore.

I do thank you for asking, which means you definitely do consider other opinions. Outside of contacting me thru email and selling the KS edition on the sly, I really don't see a resolution.(feel free to email)

Kickstarter exclusives are terrible, which is why I am happy most things I see don't have them at all, or they are simply upgraded cards i.e. foil or alternate art.

To make components that improve gameplay (which we now have someone saying it's a huge difference with it) a kickstarter exclusive means you are not putting your best foot forward for the retail version. So even if people don't know about the added content, the base game could be seen as bland without the extra components to lift replay-ability or gameplay in general.

I do think that is a big thing seeing how many games are out there. If the replay factor is low, that effects ratings, sales etc.. With more content you actually heighten the experience of your game. You can say expansions will do that, but some people don't buy expansions, don't believe in them, or will not invest if the base game isn't good enough to pull the trigger.

The worst part is, I have looked all over for a KS version that isn't $150 on Ebay (awesome backer btw)and come up dry seeing I live in the US. Being in the US has severely limited my resources.

Being someone that LOVED "choose your own adventure books", it's really sad all the way around about this.

I wish you the best going forward!

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Derek Sorensen
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You can't please everyone.

If you stick to your principles, and keep backer-exclusive content exclusive, you might upset some latecomers.

If you go back on your original pitch, and make backer-exclusive content available to latecomers who didn't back the game when you were just starting out, you might upset some backers.

Stop worrying about it. Make a choice, and stick to it. Whatever you decide, it'll turn out OK in the end.
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Bob
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Per the earlier comment, GamesQuest on UK Amazon has the KS edition back in stock. I'm in the US and it only cost me $50 including shipping once converted to USD and it arrived with in a few days....do NOT spend $150.
 
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Dheyrdre Machado
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TheAdmiral wrote:
Per the earlier comment, GamesQuest on UK Amazon has the KS edition back in stock. I'm in the US and it only cost me $50 including shipping once converted to USD and it arrived with in a few days....do NOT spend $150.



Thank you so freaking much!
I was quietly reading this thread, I was late to the party so I don't have the KS edition.
Well, now I have, thanks to you!

It was 5x more expensive
But I'm happy!!!

laugh
 
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Matthew De Lorge
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It was 35 pounds with shipping to the US in the original Kickstarter. SO you did not pay much more than the original cost. You paid 38 pounds.
 
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Dheyrdre Machado
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mattyd777 wrote:
It was 35 pounds with shipping to the US in the original Kickstarter. SO you did not pay much more than the original cost. You paid 38 pounds.


I'm not sure if it was for me, but I'm Brazilian, the money here worth less.
cry
 
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Thomas Pike
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Thanks everyone.

We have taken this on board and decided to move away from Kickstarter exclusive content in future. You are an amazing community and it's a real privilege to be able to engage with you to help steer the company in the right direction.

However, since this is a public forum we have to go on record and say that it is absolutely not right to claim that the standard edition of Escape the Dark Castle is somehow sub-par or B grade. It was already a great and complete game before any of the KS stretch goals were met, and that remains true.

People reading this may not know that when we first launched the KS there were no content stretch goals whatsoever. We were very happy with the base game and ready to take it to market long term. In reality, what is now the standard edition WOULD HAVE BEEN the KS edition if the funding level hadn't been so good. As it turned out, half way through the campaign and due to popular demand for more content, we added a few content stretch goals and now here we are with two editions: A and A+.

As we suggested in our first post on this thread, for us it comes back to the classic psychological question of 'glass half full or half empty'. Think of it like this: If you have the standard edition, you have something great. Whatever anyone else might have does not materially affect the great thing you have. It's purely psychological. We would never dismiss this psychological effect - it's perfectly valid and powerful in some people. But for others, if you can put it out of your mind, you will realise that it does not impact the substance or quality of the standard edition you have on your shelf. The SE has tons of replayability and variety already, and our feedback suggests most people agree.

Does adding more cards make the game better? Of course, and that is true of most games. That is what expansions are for and our KS backers effectively got a free expansion included with their set. We now realise that expansion should not have been exclusive, and we accept that, and next time we won't do it. But this fact doesn't suddenly make the standard edition a bad game. To suggest that is very unfair, and you don't need to take our word for it - all our press reviews are based on SE copies, as are many user reviews, and they are overwhelmingly positive. We stand behind the SE 100%, and readers of this thread should not be put off by 'glass half empty' comments. That is just one point of view, and we urge you to make up your own mind.

We know we can't please everyone but this discussion was very useful and generally good natured. It will shape how we move forward, and we want to thank everyone who commented, positive or negative, and also everyone who bought the game in whatever format. We hope you will all come along for the ride as we take this fledgling company forward into our second year. Aside from supporting the Escape the Dark series, we've got some really cool games in the pipeline that we know you are going to love!









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