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Subject: Simple Elegance vs Over the Top Flashyness rss

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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Ok, so I figure I'm in the minority by not appreciating what seems to be a trend toward large, colorful, plastic molded pieces. I think they're gaudy and I all but refuse to buy a game that contains them. Just wanted to put this out there and see who my friends are with regards to this topic. Anyone that wants to vomit when they see these two pictures, speak up now!

Edit: At no time did I say that looks are more important than game play. I'm talking about my dislike of a trend, not a particular game. Notice the 'all but' in font of 'refuse to buy'. This, of course, is because I would still buy it and play it if there were no less ugly alternate. In both of my examples, (thank the gods) there are acceptable alternates.





Isn't this better?



 
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Mike Pranno
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I tend to agree, though probably not as strongly as you. I tend to buy games based on game play rather than physical appeal. That appeal, though somewhat nice to have, can be overblown very easily. Besides, most the of the time it makes the game unecessarily more expensive.

I am not saying that we should go Cheapass or DTP, but the photos present above are pretty good examples.
 
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Jon Dieringer
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Agreed . . . I think I will buy lowenherz afterall . . . I have been debating this for months.
 
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The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
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While I agree that I play a game for a fun game (I'm currently loving Hammer of the Scots) I'll also throw out there that nice atmosphere for the game (in my opinion) does nothing but add to the gaming experience. I'll play and enjoy any of the old punch out chit games as long as the game is good and fun, but if a remake of some of those old fav's came out with nice new shiney plastic molded bits....I'd buy it, and dare I say I'd have more fun playing that version. (This is of course stating that the game is exactly the same mechanically and what-not.) Kind of like how so many people here on the BGG play Wooden Ships, Iron Men using the neat-o new ships from Pirates of the Spanish Main.
 
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♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
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Yes, and no. In the case of Survive! and Settlers of Catan, I prefer the original pieces to the glossed-up chunkiness of the alternate versions of the game.

That being said, I am very much interested in both Doom: The Boardgame, and Monsters Menace America, mostly for the bits.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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With all the games that exist, and the limited time to play, I have to state that a game I play BETTER have BOTH gameplay and glitz.
 
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Shawn Christenson
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I like the old survive better, I like Doamin better.

I guess it's a design issue with me, not really the plastic bits. How well was it designed? Domaine clearly had alot of thought go intos its new design, and I like it alot.

I prefer the old Web of Power design to the new China design. I prefer the old Torres to the new Torres.

It's more about color choice and art choice to me.

I do like molded plastic peices tho, especially the quality we are getting now.
 
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howl hollow howl
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This should have been a GeekQuestion. robot
 
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Stven Carlberg
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Re: Simple Elegance vs Over the Top Flashiness
What's a Geek Question?

I also like the stylized knights and castles in Löwenherz better than the highly detailed ones in Domaine. But I don't think I'd pick the less ornate version of a game in every case. It's really a matter of taste. Sometimes simple works -- sometimes ornate works.
 
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Mickel Knight
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I recoiled from Starfarers of Catan due to flashy pieces. I found the ship so damn silly that it ruined what is an entirely average game. I also do not like the event cards because they seem an overblown way having an event table and die roll.

I guess in both cases I don't like the bits if they are game gaming piece equivalent of the Wizard of Oz (don't look behind the curtain!). If the pieces are functional, then I don't mind flashy too much (e.g. Battle Cry, Hellas).
 
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kevin long
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i like variety - i have star wars queen's gambit and i have reef encounter - they are opposites of the wood and plastic question - i like both
 
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Steve Willson
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Esthetics vs. Economics
There is something you might consider before posting these semi-comparable choices to make your point. This is a question of ability on the part of the producers of the game. The major issue is that injection mold casting of plastic in high detail has only recently become reliable and cheap. So lets look at your examples:

(1)The Hasbro edition of Atlantis Came out in 1996 making it 14 years the junior of Parker Brothers' Survive!. Would Parker Brothers have made a flashier edition had it been within their means? I bet they would have. A flashy game will catch more eyes and ultimately sell better.

(2)Löwenherz(1997) & Domaine(2003) are a bit better for contrast. The age difference is of less consiquense, so lets consider cost. Was Rio Grande's Löwenherz sent out to market with simpler pieces for esthetic purposes? Or was it to make it affordable? The going prices here on the 'Geek show about a $20 difference with froogle gamers favoring Löwenherz. EBay has a grater variation: 4 copies of Löwenherz each going for about $10; there's 1 copy of Domaine for more than $35. From the producers point of view a low production cost is a higher profit margin.

I own the old Survive! because it was cheaper; and basically it's the same games as Atlantis. I'm currently shopping for a copy of Löwenherz and Domaine because they seem different enough to warrent owning both, atleast long enough to play them a few times. The esthetics of a game do play a role in my choice of a game (you will have to pay me to play Apples to Apples) but usually not to the point that it over rides a consideration of a game's quality.
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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I think several of you are missing the point. I am simply lamenting that I am yet again in a minority. I think the gaudy plastic molded pieces are UGLY. I don't care why the manufactures make them. I don't care if other people happen to like them. I don't care how much they cost. They are ugly to me and I hate the trend towards them. I'm not trying to understand the trend toward large ugly plastic pieces. I'm just whining about it. I'll still buy and play an ugly game, but not if I have a choice, and that won't make me suddenly like the plastic extravaganza.

Other areas where I'm in the minority:

1) I hate cola flavor. I hate Coke, I hat Pepsi, I hate Crown Cola, I hate Jolt Cola (although I used to drink it for show), I hate Sam's Choice Cola, I hate Shasta Cola. I hate cola. It's disgusting.

2) I very much dislike Basketball.

3) I think the US has become overly litigeous and that people need to take responsibility for their own actions as well as realize that mistakes happen.

4) I don't think Puerto Rico deserves to be number 1. I don't hate it, but I woulnd't place it in the top 10.
 
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Rob Rob
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Personally, I dislike the flashy remakes of Diplomacy, Cosmic Encounters, Acquire and Risk. For many of the newer games the 'toy factor' is part of what sells them. Heroscape, BattleBall, Starfarers of Catan, etc...
 
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Marc Gibson
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If given the choice I prefer flashy games. I could play chess with stylized plastic pieces but I prefer my marble chess set with galleons as pawns, a detailed Elizabethan queen, king, knight, bishop, and a really detailed castles for the rook. So long as I can differentiate once piece from another in a game then I'm happy. I think nice pieces serve to enhance the game. You could play go with little pieces of paper but having those glass pieces are just so much better.

At the end of the day game play matters far more then flash. I thought Heroscape was a great looking game but it wasn't all that fun to me. Evo doesn't have fancy plastic dinosaurs but I love the game to pieces.

Marc
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Maybe we should define flashy here. I think flashy can be good, but it often turns into guady. I think I prefer simple over elaborate, because elaborate often crosses the line into busy.
 
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