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Subject: Suggestions if this game ever gets reprinted rss

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Daniel Corban
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For the love of all that is good, remove the unnecessary "start turn" phase from the cards. Looking through posts on BGG and the FFG forums, my group wasn't the only one confused by the existence of this. As far as I can tell, it is unneeded and not even referred to in the rulebook.

Why the hell is there a wall of text on the destiny cards? Do we really need every single card reminding us of the very basic rule concerning drawing your own color? I mean seriously. All you need is a nice big colored icon. Instead we get two paragraphs of text on a plain white background with small colored balls in the corner. Apparently you are trying to break into the yet-untapped "Alzheimer's" market?

I'm sure more suggestions are forthcoming. I am willing to do playtesting or development work on any of your future games if you don't have the time to do so yourself.
 
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James
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I just played with my wife and mother-in-law and all that text really helped! Instead of running to the rule book every turn or phase to remember what happens, it was clear on the card that was just drawn. In theory you could know very little about the rules of the game and play. It makes it easy to just jump right in! Sure a pretty picture or simple icon would look slick, but I appreciate that the text made the game so easy to get into.
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Jack Reda
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Yes, I think you can probably just skip reading all the text every time a Destiny card comes up... once you understand what to do, there's no need to keep reading it. You don't HAVE to read it. Just don't do it! Please... don't read it anymore.
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Daniel Corban
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The text is pointless, distracting, and ugly. See the Mayfair edition for ideas of how it should have been. It's just a shame that most of the art is well done, but this aspect was disappointing.
 
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dcorban wrote:
I am willing to do playtesting or development work on any of your future games if you don't have the time to do so yourself.


Your idea of what is functional != well playtested and developed games.
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Jefferson Krogh
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The icons for turn phases in the Mayfair edition were better than nothing, but quite inferior to what FFG has done. For one thing, every alien power now has a very handy and useful turn order reference at the bottom! For another thing, this turn order is in text, which is far clearer than a list of icons. Frankly, I always had to keep the extra turn-order reference card handy just to remember what those icons meant. They weren't intuitive at all.

The "Start Turn" segment is indeed necessary, since that's the only time when the offense can flush its hand and get a new one if it has no encounter cards. I don't recall right now if any of the alien powers are used only in that segment, but if not, they may be in the future. Better to include that on all the powers from the beginning.

With the Mayfair edition, the biggest recurring rules confusion with the Destiny deck was "what do I do when I draw my own color?" Problem solved with this edition. It's also very nice to have the name of the color printed on the Destiny card, since the color-blind might have serious problems otherwise.

As a former graphic designer, I do appreciate what Mayfair was trying to do with its edition of Cosmic. I particularly liked the look of their Encounter cards. However, a game as freewheeling as Cosmic needs to be designed to minimize confusion and maximize utility as much as possible. This edition succeeds in that goal to a very high degree, moreso than any other edition to date. I'm willing to put up a bit of textual "clutter" if that means that my group is able to quickly and easily learn and enjoy the game (which they did yesterday).
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Amy Crook
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Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
I'm willing to put up a bit of textual "clutter" if that means that my group is able to quickly and easily learn and enjoy the game (which they did yesterday).


As one of the aforementioned group, I have to agree with this -- I found this game really playable, and the flow was easier for me than what I remember from playing previous versions. Unlike some other games we've tried to learn recently, the rules were well-written, and the cards had enough references on them that we could easily look down and figure out what was going on with minimal time spent pulling out the rules to clarify things.
 
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Tony Barber
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Why don’t you put your FFG edition up on eBay and play your Mayfair edition. Stop the Nitpicking.shake
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David Bell
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I do kind of miss the goofy names that the attack cards had in the AH edition, though.
 
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Jack Wraith
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Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
It's also very nice to have the name of the color printed on the Destiny card, since the color-blind might have serious problems otherwise.


Bingo. We have a regular in our group who has real problems with red and green. It's nice for him to just read the card.

I think the OP really needs to relax a bit.
 
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I like all the reminder text, including on the destiny cards. I don't find it distracting in the least. Like the others said: You don't have to read it every time!

It's like the land cards for Magic:The Gathering:
Forest:Tap to gain 1 green mana

I know what mana a forest or an island provides, but it's nice to have for people who are new to the game.
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Daniel Corban
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You must be joking. You seriously expect that there will be MTG players who forget how to tap a land? Anyone old enough to read wouldn't forget such a basic concept.

Besides, Wizards switched to just having a big mana symbol on the basic lands a long time ago.
 
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Joel Joslin
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Reminder text is a good thing. It's quite helpful to new players. It's good to make the basic rules of a game like Cosmic Encounter as easy as possible for new players to get. The amount of exceptions and special cases and unique powers in this game can already be intimidating to a new player without the basic rules being hard to grasp.

And I haven't played the Mayfair edition, but I've seen the icons. They're ridiculous and unintuitive. Seriously, you'd need a separate reference just to remember what the icons are for your first few games. FFG's readable and functional phase listing is much better. It's also nice to have the turn order listed right on your alien card instead of needing another reference.
 
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Ryan Wheeler
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Jack Reda
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Yeah yeah, everyone hates the icons... except that everyone doesn't hate them. True, you definitely needed to have reference cards, which they did provide. Having played every version of CE out there, I can tell you that Mayfair got more right than they did wrong. And I have had to teach CE to a lot of people, and newbies found the icons helpful (all they had to do was look at their reference guide).

That said, FFG has improved it. It's easier to follow, and it's readily accessible. However, it isn't perfect. For a game like CE, you probably can't have a perfect system. And I find that new people still need a reference guide to understand what things happen in the different phases (and I made some, and they will hopefully be available in the files section soon).

The accompanying text on cards and aliens is a good thing that won't be going away. To be honest, in all the games I've played with the FFG version, I haven't had to read the normal Destiny cards at all... at a glance I can tell what color to attack.
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Daniel Corban
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Ryan Wheeler wrote:


You, sir, are the only one in this thread who seems to have actually read my posts! I tip thee!
 
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Daniel Corban
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It is what you would get if you applied the new Cosmic Encounter destiny card design to Candy Land. In case you have never played Candy Land, the cards are simply a colored square icon. You draw a card and move your man to the next square of that color. Something Cosmic Encounter could have just as easily used since the destiny mechanic is equally simple.
 
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Daniel Corban
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I'm sorry, but I have tip him again for that. It's pure genius.
 
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Daniel Corban
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And it worked for 30 years.
 
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Daniel Wilson
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Ummm, Hello?
This post is not meant to be an attack, but I just believe you maybe didn't think of certain things when you created this thread and I would like to address those.

dcorban wrote:
For the love of all that is good, remove the unnecessary "start turn" phase from the cards. Looking through posts on BGG and the FFG forums, my group wasn't the only one confused by the existence of this. As far as I can tell, it is unneeded and not even referred to in the rulebook.


First, the start turn phase is explained in the rulebook on page 7 as starting the turn. Besides the fact that future aliens may use their abilities exclusively on the start turn phase we can clearly see that the Remora alien who can draw cards when others draw can use his ability on the start turn phase when many players happen to draw a new hand.


dcorban wrote:
Why the hell is there a wall of text on the destiny cards? Do we really need every single card reminding us of the very basic rule concerning drawing your own color? I mean seriously. All you need is a nice big colored icon. Instead we get two paragraphs of text on a plain white background with small colored balls in the corner. Apparently you are trying to break into the yet-untapped "Alzheimer's" market?


As previously mentioned there could be color-blind players who need at least the name of the system they need to attack at which point you would also need color tags on the planet, but that is for another time. I have definitely benefited from having the text on the card since when my home planet has an invader on it, but I'm one away from winning I like having the reminder that says I can redraw a new card.

No I don't have dementia, it's just that sometimes people can be forgetful. It's also strange that you get upset that they are catering to the "Alzheimer market." Does catering to someone with a disability upset you? Do you get mad when you see a snaked ramp instead of a stairway? If so I directly question your compassion towards fellow man.


In conclusion I hope you decide that these things were needed and maybe you should ease up a bit and think about why FFG did certain things (like spell "before" as "bfore")

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Robert Taylor-Smith
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MrSkeletor wrote:
Dear FFG,
Please don't let Daniel Corban anywhere near the playtesting and development departments.
Thank you.


Seconded

I bought the new edition because my old EON version encounter cards have worn out. Plus the new plastic saucers seemed to be an answer to my minor EON annoyance with tiny cardboard circles. But when I first opened my FF version of Cosmic Encounter I had the same reaction as the OP ('what's with all the text on the cards!').

But gosh darn it when I recently played the new edition with 4 newbies all of them used the additional text on the encounter and destiny cards (even reading em aloud) to aid them in learning the game instead of asking the 'rules guy' (ie. me). The additional text greatly speeding up play and let the newbies concentrate on strategy. The timing strips and the colony markers on the warp also seemed to help the new players. Got to say my first reaction was wrong. Shows I'm not an experienced game developer.

As suggested in the rules we didn't use flare or tech cards that first game and limited the powers to green. The new edition seems designed to be new player friendly yet has enough of the great CE stuff to keep the game exciting for replay.

Remembering back over a quarter century ago I did have problems explaining all the rules to new players using the EON version. Not too many, but just enough to make the first game confusing (and maybe turning off a few new players). Certainly distracted them from concentrating on proper strategy/gameplay during the first few games.

Is all this new 'text' going to be annoying in the long run. I don't believe so. The text is limited and the numbers on the encounter cards is big enough to dominate the visual image. The 'candy land' example is overblown. Anything that helps get new players interested in CE is a good thing in my book. The plastic flying saucers are fantastic and for me made the new edition well worth getting.

I do have one minor beef with the new encounter cards in the Fantasy Flight edition. They are a bit too small to shuffle easily, at least for me. Why, don't game publishers make cards POKER sized. You know, the standard ccg size with readly available after-market card sleeves. Remember the tiny cards in Ticket to Ride? Soon to be replaced with bigger versions in the expansion set 1910. Don't game publishers learn from example. sigh.... Oh, and I miss the fold up alien power cards as well. Hope the new FF 'dune/clone' game retains the old Dune game's 3D power shields.
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Daniel Corban
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The only card I had beef with was the destiny cards which could simply have an icon telling you which color to attack. Do you guys make player aids for Settlers of Catan saying "ROLL THE DICE. ADD UP THE AMOUNTS." etc? I'm not sure how so many people managed to extrapolate this inside their head that I was complaining about any other aspect of the design or components. When I said "see how Mayfair did it", I was only referring to the destiny cards and how they had one large colored icon representing the color you are commanded to attack. Of course, some people just saw "Mayfair" and set their phasers to kill in valiant defense of their beloved employer of Chinese plastic factories.

I did find the alien that has a power during the start turn phase. This still doesn't change the fact that I had two separate groups of players confused by the start turn phase being listed on the cards. It also doesn't change the fact that the rulebook only refers to it in general as "starting your turn". It is not listed in the "phases of an encounter" (rightfully), which is all players care about. I feel the cards should have simply listed the phases of an encounter. This would make it easy++ to explain having two encounters in one turn.

What started as an intentionally over-the-top post made for fun has been turned into a circle jerk of people who didn't even read the OP. By all means, continue to "enjoy" yourself.
 
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Daniel Corban
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flapjackmachine wrote:
I do have one minor beef with the new encounter cards in the Fantasy Flight edition. They are a bit too small to shuffle easily, at least for me. Why, don't game publishers make cards POKER sized. You know, the standard ccg size with readly available after-market card sleeves.

This has always mystified me as well. Publishers like Days of Wonder and FFG have always used the bridge sized cards. Maybe this is the only size available in the nice linen finish at the factories in China? The old Avalon Hill also liked to use the bridge size. Maybe it is simply a matter of the bridge size being cheaper to manufacture and ship?
 
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I think people complain too much.
 
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Daniel Corban
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SanguinousRex wrote:
I think people complain too much.

Are you complaining about people complaining?
 
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