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Subject: Poll: What Gets You To Buy a Game? rss

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Jackson Pope
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If you've seen my recent posts about my games, you know I'm trying to raise awareness about my games and get more people playing (and hopefully buying) them. Being fairly new to this game publisher lark, I'm interested to know what is the main factor that influences you to buy a game?
Poll: What is the MAIN factor when choosing a new game to buy?
What is the most important factor that influences your decision to buy a new game?
Seen an ad online - looks interesting
Seen it in a shop - must.. buy.. new.. game...
Read a review on BGG
Played with friends
Demoed at a con
Seen a review on The Dice Tower
Highly rated on BGG
Highly ranked (e.g. top 100) on BGG
Other (please elaborate below)
      325 answers
Poll created by CaptainJax


Cheers,

Jack
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Bret Clifton
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Newman Lake
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Thankfully I get more than enough new games to play on game night at our FLGS as well as playing with a few other friends. I switch games I've read about or seen in store or online from "Want to play" to "Wishlist" after I've played it.

But then there is the occasional impulse buy
 
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T. Nomad
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For me it's not even close: the in-depth analyses on BGG, whether reviews, session reports, or geekbuddy comments. On my budget, I can't afford to buy games without knowing my family and I will enjoy them again and again. Living where I do, it's pretty rare that I get to play a game before there is substantial content on BGG.
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The 'Because I had permission from my SO' option is missing.
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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Components+Originality
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Paul Lister
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Difficult to pick one from your list. For one game it might be a BGG review,another from playing with friends. Totally depends on the game and how i came to know about it. If i had to pick one though it would be 'other' and that would be a review in Counter magazine. The quality of reviews in Counter are outstanding and are most likely to influence my purchasing decisions.
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James Cheevers
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I can't really give a single answer either.

I tend to do a lot of research, on BGG, into the games I buy if it's been out for a while.

Sometimes I play a game at a con and decide I must have it.

Sometimes I play a friend's game and decided I must have it.

And sometimes I see a new game on the shelf at my FLGS... and decide I must have it.

Sorry I can't give you more rational help.
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Colin Kameoka
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Here is what I do.

1. I use recommendations from BGG to make a list of some games to try.
2. I read reviews on BGG on these games.
3. I prioritize what games should be played.
4. I find someone who owns the game.
5. I play the game to see if I like it.

Why #1? - It means someone out there took the time to suggest a game to me. I should take some time on investigate it. The suggested games have done much better than random games I have played.

Why #2? - I can at least find out what basic game mechanics exist in the game. Game length can be an issue. I would be much more easily talked into trying out a 1 hour game vs a 6 hour game.

Why #3? - While I would like to try all the games on my list, some games just sound like they will be good to me or come recommended by good geekbuddies.

Why #4? - If I can find the game being played and someone wanted to play it enough that they brought it says something. I can't find a game of Carcassonne anywhere despite requests for it. So maybe it isn't so good after all. If a game is being played at the FLGS often, I should find out why.

Why #5? - Well, if I don't like the game I am not going to buy it.
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Andy
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As with other posters, I can't really give a single answer to this... none of the suggestions you offer are really the major factor in my decision process, except perhaps played with friends - although if my friends own a game I may be less likely to buy it unless it really appealed to me.

Something about the game has to grab my imagination in some way... so perhaps it's by a designer that I really like, or has a particular mechanism, or a great theme... then I'll do research here on BGG... not so much full reviews, but user comments... images of the game.. I'll also discuss the game with my ubergeekbuddies and use the geekbuddy analysis tool.
Of course if it's an expansion to a game I own and enjoy it's likely to jump up the wishlist as soon as it's announced.
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Chris Funk
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ColinK wrote:
Here is what I do.

1. I use recommendations from BGG to make a list of some games to try.
2. I read reviews on BGG on these games.
3. I prioritize what games should be played.
4. I find someone who owns the game.
5. I play the game to see if I like it.

Why #1? - It means someone out there took the time to suggest a game to me. I should take some time on investigate it. The suggested games have done much better than random games I have played.

Why #2? - I can at least find out what basic game mechanics exist in the game. Game length can be an issue. I would be much more easily talked into trying out a 1 hour game vs a 6 hour game.

Why #3? - While I would like to try all the games on my list, some games just sound like they will be good to me or come recommended by good geekbuddies.

Why #4? - If I can find the game being played and someone wanted to play it enough that they brought it says something. I can't find a game of Carcassonne anywhere despite requests for it. So maybe it isn't so good after all. If a game is being played at the FLGS often, I should find out why.

Why #5? - Well, if I don't like the game I am not going to buy it.


This is very close to how I do it, too.
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Carlos Ferreira
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If I had to choose one of the options I would choose Played with friends.

Usually I don't buy games without having played it or at least having read the rules. So rules are #1 on my list.

Afterward I read some reviews or the input people create on their comments of the game.

Only after I've gather all this info I'll buy a game.
 
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Steve K
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1) It looks "interesting"
2) It's available somewhere
3) It's playable by English speakers (i.e. its in English or sufficiently language independent)
4) I think it'll go down well with one of the groups I play with

From this, you might deduce I'm not very demanding, but I don't think that's true: I definitely buy fewer games than I ignore. My definition of "interesting" is very flexible.

My world will not crumble into dust if I buy the occasional duff game.
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Alan Pengelly
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You also missed because its new and I'm a sheepsheep
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Mr T.
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Yeah none of the options really influence me that greatly.

I'm probably with Grimwold on this one.

A game has to grab my imagination, I have to love the theme or the mechanics. There has to be something really interesting or different for me to take notice.

Only when 1 or more of these boxes are ticked will I then look to a BGG Review, promo material or validation from a friend.

If those things come back in the game's favour I then ask myself 'Who can I play it with?'. Is it a club game, game for the family, my mother, Sister in Law, hard core gamer's only etc etc.

Based on the number of plays it is likely to get I will then decide to hit the wallet or not.

Of course all of these criteria fly completely out the window when I haven't bought a game for a while and life is getting on top of me. Then it's a simple case of retail therapy and a new game purchase makes me feel good.
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Tim Mossman
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Like several of the posters, it's a combination of many items . . .

Getting a game on my radar is the first part:

* Having a high BGG rank will get a game noticed, but it by no means makes it a "must have", since there are many highly ranked games that just don't interest me (e.g., type of game, length of game, complexity of rules, availability). However, I would be more likely to start researching a game ranked at 107 than at 3893.

* Similarly, I look at a lot of the images submitted here at BGG. A great photo will definitely pique my interest. San Marco is an example of a game where the images definitely got me to look more closely at the game. I now own a copy. [Of course, it's a great game, but without seeing great images, I may not have really looked into it.] I personally like the "whole game" images - garyjames' work (His Gallery) is a great example of this kind of image. See Kreta or Masons, in particular.

* Having a game available for play on-line (e.g., www.yucata.de) is another way to get me to look at it. I've learned several games from play-by-web sites. I have subsequently purchased several after being first exposed to them on-line - e.g., Tikal, Monkeys on the Moon, Hoity Toity.

* Seeing a game at a store or convention is great way to get a game noticed, since you can hold an actual copy. However, I (sadly) spend less time at conventions and game stores than I do here at BGG.

Once noticed:

* Reading reviews, both the longer threads and "game comments" submitted by many users, is very useful.

* An honest game description, covering the theme and mechanics is essential. And an honest estimation of game time and complexity is much appreciated. [Games that are easier to explain are much more likely to hit the table - e.g., Caylus has been sitting unplayed for a couple of years, because I'm not excited about explaining the rules; however, Tikal hit the table the day after I acquired it.]

* Cost is certainly an input, but not quite as big as people may think. Since most games of a certain type (i.e., card game, board game, board game with deluxe bits) are within a given price range, it usually doesn't provide as big a discriminator as may be thought. Of course, some games have very out of norm price points . . . and that will be factored in.

Buy / No buy decision:

* If I had infinite resources, I'd retire, buy most every game and spend my days gaming (as will as pursuing other hobbies). However, since I still work . . . my resources are limited. As such, the key question that I need to ask is: "Would this game - based on the research that I've done - be a winner for one of the game groups that I play with?". I buy games to play them (or at least with the intention to play them). I will play with the family (i.e., wife and elementary school age kids), other adults (i.e., we have another couple that we frequently game with) and a game group of folks mostly like me. If I can't see a game being played by one of those groups, it just doesn't make the cut. I'm sure other people have different groups, but those are mine.

Good luck with the data collection.
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Paul Bradley
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Neil Thomson wrote:
Yeah none of the options really influence me that greatly.

I'm probably with Grimwold on this one.

A game has to grab my imagination, I have to love the theme or the mechanics. There has to be something really interesting or different for me to take notice.

Only when 1 or more of these boxes are ticked will I then look to a BGG Review, promo material or validation from a friend.

If those things come back in the game's favour I then ask myself 'Who can I play it with?'. Is it a club game, game for the family, my mother, Sister in Law, hard core gamer's only etc etc.

Based on the number of plays it is likely to get I will then decide to hit the wallet or not.

Of course all of these criteria fly completely out the window when I haven't bought a game for a while and life is getting on top of me. Then it's a simple case of retail therapy and a new game purchase makes me feel good.


Yeah, wot he said.

Beat me to it, Neil - perfectly put!!
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Michael Debije
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Designer and publisher decide it mostly for me.
 
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Jon Grey
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I'm a sucker for minis. So if a game is rated well here, is casual enough for my gaming troop, and uses minis, there's a good chance I'll go for it (i.e. Last Night on Earth and Shadows Over Camelot).

Not a fan of chits.
 
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mi_de wrote:
Designer and publisher decide it mostly for me.


Really? It'll help in winning me over if I'm considering the game, but it's not what draws me to them. I'll probably be more inclined to buy a FFG game because I'm confident the quality of the components is top notch, but it's not that I go into my FLGS and ask them if they have any new FFG stuff.

Same goes for designer.

Resultaten uit het verleden bieden geen garantie voor de toekomst
 
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Ron Olivier, Sr.
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I don’t buy that many games compared to some others, but I can’t say that there’s one single method I’ve used. The BGG reviews can be helpful when they detail the mechanics and theme of the game well. I’ve bought at least a couple of games simply on the recommendation of a (trusted) game store owner – both were excellent.
Earlier this year, I decided to trust my own opinion and defer the opinions of others. I’ve removed all games that I haven’t played from my want list. By playing games before I buy them, I know what I’m getting. When someone recommends a game to me, I’ll research it on BGG and if it looks interesting I’ll put it on my list of games to try out. Once I’ve played it I’ll decide whether or not to put it on my want list.

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A L D A R O N
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None of the above
"Other": Online rules, designer and publisher track record, photos; and a selective reading of user comments.

Reviews are mostly useless (too long and more about the reviewer than the game), as are the ratings (garbage in; garbage out).
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John Rogers
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I have to go with my geek buddy analysis. I have 12 GB's total, some do a lot of reviews, some are designers, and nearly all of them (11/12) have rated my favorite game Container (GB average 9.05).
 
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Joe Salamone
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I'm a compulsive buyer. So I might browse a local store or a website such as Cool Stuff, Inc., see several games that look interesting, and buy them. I usually check out some of the comments and ratings on BGG, but this usually doesn't stop me from buying a game unless the average rating is really low or there are specific comments that make me think the game is a waste of time and money.
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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I ticked Other also.

Like most of the above, it's a mix. If I play something and enjoy the experience, regardless of winning, I'll want it. Especially if I feel like I want to coach other people to play it.

But outside of that, I do consider the ratings on BGG. Anything rated 6+ is of interest to me. Anything below 5 is dead to me.

But I do not read reviews. Instead, I always check out the Comments. I read the Comments at both ends, the 10,9,8 rates and the 2,3,4 raters. In between is less useful. I want to know why people loved the game and equally why they hated it. I also pay attention to geeks I know on BGG, and whether I like what they like or dislike what they like (complicated, but easy when I'm scanning avatars).

Also, seeing things on geeklists and on recommendation threads is interesting. I miss a news aggregator, although I take the RSS feed from BGN. I often miss what is new out.

I'm a sucker for the curiosity. I don't mean weird themes, but uncommon or strange themes help. For example Café Race has office workers running downstairs trying not to spill their coffees. Ka-ching! I'm interested in weird components, or mechanisms. I especially like small press games, limited runs, but not special editions. Quirky and original gets my attention.

I don't read reviews because they are sooo looong. Get to the point. Did you like it or not and why or why not? If I see a review, I skip to the last paragraph for the summary. the only time I'll read a review in detail is when I need to know how language dependent it is, and then I'm more likely to look at BGG photos of the cards. So many reviews are just rehashes of the rules/process of the game, and until you sit down and play the damn thing, it's just so much verbage. When my friend Paul explained how to play Before the Wind, I thought it was going to be the most boring game ever. Collect cards, put down cards, move cards for VPs, some bidding for actions. It turned out to be the most exciting game I played all year. You just can't tell until you play it.

Seen an ad online - looks interesting
I use Adblock. I do look at catalogues, especially those inside a game box.

Seen it in a shop - must.. buy.. new.. game...
I tend not to go into FLGS and usually shop online. Price and language are a factor for me. I always look in the bargain bins.

Read a review on BGG
as above

Played with friends
Typically, it's my game already. Playing new stuff at BM! works, but too often I'm already the coach.

Demoed at a con
Good for seeing the components, and quality of production but not as good as playing against a friend. You need to see the dynamics in action.

Seen a review on The Dice Tower
Never been there.

Highly rated on BGG
Good but not everything. I hate Ra but others love it.

Highly ranked (e.g. top 100) on BGG
Ranking is not so important to me. But if a game has a high rating and a low rank, I investigate.

I hope this helps.
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Jesse Dean
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It has to be mechanically interesting. I tend to find most of the games that I am interested in through Geekbuddies and previews. I have a pretty good idea of what designers interest me, and I tend to also keep an eye out for their work.

Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) the vast majority of games are really not my cup of tea, so it is not too tough to cut the wheat from the chaff.
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