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Subject: Feels like a beta game rss

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Jeff Molander
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So, umm... this game isn't very good. Played it last night and my group was thoroughly disappointed.

The basic bones of a great game are present, but it seems to be missing finishing touches and there are some glaring holes in the game design. One large issue to me is that it's riddled with spelling and grammar errors. A lot of people don't mind this kind of thing, but to me it just seems unprofessional. The designer couldn't take ten minutes to do basic proofreading? Come on. Maybe that's nitpicky, I just feel like it's not a good impression and puts a crappy foot forward when people first look at the game. I find it embarrassing to put this game on my friend's table, tell everybody it's a good game, and then hope nobody notices all these errors.

On to game design/mechanical issues... There are no divergent strategies. A big deal in gaming, for me, is that any game that's gonna take a decent time to play should have divergent strategies. By this, I mean that each player should have difficult decisions to make about what they should be doing each turn and throughout the course of the game. For example, in a deck building game, each player chooses what cards to put in their deck at the expense of other cards. If I buy A on my turn, that means I'm not buying B or C. What this does for players is get them to invest in their strategies and get them excited to play again so that they can try something different. Without divergent strategies, there's no reason to play the game twice. Of course, lack of divergent strategies can be forgiven in a simpler and much shorter game. But in a big, long game like this one, it's a gaping hole in design.

In Blueshift, every player is trying to do exactly the same thing in mostly the same ways. Different factions have powers that nudge the players toward doing one thing more than another, but they're still all ultimately pursuing the same goal: get planets and hold them. This is boring. Our group didn't even actually finish, we just gave up on trying to find the fun and went home after 3 hours of going back and forth, taking turns being in the lead or trying to hurt the person in the lead.

Like I said, this game feels like it's stuck in beta. There are some good ideas, but it needs a lot of work and isn't near ready to publish. Too bad it's already published.
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Martin Gallo
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i have not had time to even read the rules to this so keep that in mind...

Typos. Proofreading is tougher than it looks. It takes a LOT more than 10 minutes to do a good job and it "cannot be done" well by anyone closely involved with the rules - too close, too much forest to see the trees.

Given the "focus" of the game (get planets), maybe it is not the right game for your group?. In the olden days, when TI3 was king and we all had 10+ hours to play, games were longer and more diverse. Lately, it seems, games tend to focus more and take less time to play - I fid that I miss the complexity/diversity but cannot fid time to play the longer games. It is a conundrum.

So Blueshift might work perfectly for me. The world is getting simpler and more complex all the time.
 
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Brandon B
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I agree with the criticism of the proofreading. There are really stupidly obvious errors. In the rulebook the word action is ACtion. On each player board one sentence is use one die to invade and immediately under it is use 1 die to invade. Just lazy honestly. I can't believe that made it to the final game. It's on each player board. The rulebook I can more easily forgive. Anyway, the game started off boring but got tense and fun at the end so I'll be giving it more goes I think. The worst part is tribute. It's such a pain the in ass figuring out how much to get every round.
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Jeff Molander
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Proofreading is by far the easiest thing to do in game design/publishing. Read some text. Know the language in which you're printing. Find errors. It requires no decision making capacity at all, and an eighth grade child should be able to do it. The fact that it clearly hasn't been done in this game shows utter laziness.

My group had no trouble understanding most of the mechanics of the game, although some things are vague for no reason (for example, there's nothing differentiating space stations from planets even though they're worth different amounts of victory points). I just feel that it's a disappointing game because it presents itself as a complex war and resource management game and actually plays out more like Munchkin.
 
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