Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Okay so you're "recommending" that publishers do this. I see what you did there.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
flag msg tools
I can't imagine I would ever buy a game because it had a 'cheat sheet' (misnamed), nor would I not buy a game because it didn't.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DC
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
I agree with two things:

1. When I see a cheat sheet in a game box, it makes me really happy. They are almost universally helpful, especially for teaching.

2. I never ever think about whether a game has (or doesn't have) a cheat sheet when I'm buying. It's nice, but it doesn't affect my choice.

So I seriously doubt (based on my sample of 1 person!) that this would directly increase sales. But it might make for some happier customers, and that can improve the publisher's reputation... which could lead to improved sales in a long-term sort of way.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Fee
United States
Corning
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
No fair! They're using brains against us! We removed our brains to make room for guns and explosives!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If nothing else having such a sheet downloadable on their site would be a minimal cost (as opposed to printing them and including them with the game).
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Realize designing and laying out such a sheet is not free for these companies. Even if they don't physically print it, they have to pay the editor and design guys for a few days.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kämmen mein schnurrbart
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What about a cheat sheet that was available via the internet? Like a web page you could view on a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Etkin
United States
Gloversville
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
biddi biddi biddi
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I'm curious as to how high a level a cheat card needs to be before it's considered either too detailed (ie., just use the rules) or not detailed enough (ie., just use the rules).

In TactDecks, we include a Turn outline "cheat card" that sums up the standard operations of each Turn. Basically:

1. Primary Phase: The most Reserve cards has initiative. If tie or starting Turn, draw Event card to break.

2. Primary Phase: First player moves all pieces and attacks, if applicable.

3. Primary Phase: Second player moves all pieces and attacks, if applicable.

4. Tactical Phase: The most Reserve cards has initiative. If tie, draw Event card to break.

etc.

Is this sort of thing too "high level"? What's the fine line between helpful and wasted paper?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave B.
United States
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The Dungeons and Dragons board games (Ravenloft and Ashardalon) come with a nice two-sided "Sequence of Play" card for each player that lists the basic steps you have to take on your turn. It's no substitute for the rulebook, but great for keeping pace with the game and making sure you aren't forgetting things or doing things in the wrong order. If only Arkham Horror came with a few cards like that - it would save a lot of rulebook flipping!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DC
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
MOTHDevil wrote:

I'm curious as to how high a level a cheat card needs to be before it's considered either too detailed (ie., just use the rules) or not detailed enough (ie., just use the rules).

In TactDecks, we include a Turn outline "cheat card" that sums up the standard operations of each Turn. Basically:

1. Primary Phase: The most Reserve cards has initiative. If tie or starting Turn, draw Event card to break.

2. Primary Phase: First player moves all pieces and attacks, if applicable.

3. Primary Phase: Second player moves all pieces and attacks, if applicable.

4. Tactical Phase: The most Reserve cards has initiative. If tie, draw Event card to break.

etc.

Is this sort of thing too "high level"? What's the fine line between helpful and wasted paper?


While I'm not familiar with TactDecks, I think that this sounds perfect.

Another good example is the cheat sheet included with Elasund: The First City -- it perfectly describes the key steps in a turn, in the correct order. Any games with lots of phases, and things which must happen in a specific order, can benefit from that kind of cheat sheet.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Etkin
United States
Gloversville
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
biddi biddi biddi
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dcclark wrote:
MOTHDevil wrote:

I'm curious as to how high a level a cheat card needs to be before it's considered either too detailed (ie., just use the rules) or not detailed enough (ie., just use the rules).

In TactDecks, we include a Turn outline "cheat card" that sums up the standard operations of each Turn. Basically:

1. Primary Phase: The most Reserve cards has initiative. If tie or starting Turn, draw Event card to break.

2. Primary Phase: First player moves all pieces and attacks, if applicable.

3. Primary Phase: Second player moves all pieces and attacks, if applicable.

4. Tactical Phase: The most Reserve cards has initiative. If tie, draw Event card to break.

etc.

Is this sort of thing too "high level"? What's the fine line between helpful and wasted paper?


While I'm not familiar with TactDecks, I think that this sounds perfect.

Another good example is the cheat sheet included with Elasund: The First City -- it perfectly describes the key steps in a turn, in the correct order. Any games with lots of phases, and things which must happen in a specific order, can benefit from that kind of cheat sheet.



Excellent. Thank you!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Etkin
United States
Gloversville
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
biddi biddi biddi
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chris_h wrote:
In any case, it would have been nice to have eliminated these bad experiences had publishers included, say, an additional card in a deck explaining the basic rules and/or movements. I also strongly doubt that an additional card in a standard deck would cost anything more to publish or create, nor would it drive up the price on the game itself.


Honestly, I think it depends on the mechanics and/or the complexity of the game. With TactDecks, the system is designed to be played fast, and the learning curve is probably on par with a game like Wings of War. Because of this, it was relatively easy to distill the game flow onto a single card. Of course, for other games, this may or may not be feasible, and the cost involved of a cheatsheet might be more substantial - if you include such a thing, you want it to not only be useful, but look nice! That "look nice" thing can sometimes be costly.

FWIW, I totally agree that an overview is HUGELY beneficial for newbs, and a designer's top goal should be to make a game as accessible as possible, regardless of complexity.

Unfortunately, as you've pointed out, whether to include a cheatsheet is a publisher decision...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Dearborn Heights
Michigan
flag msg tools
Fizzgig need food badly!
badge
Click on Fizzgig to feed him a tasty snack. Nom, Nom, Nom!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Every time you add a cheat sheet, tile bag, die to determine a start player, or seemingly little things like this, it increases the cost of a game. These "seemingly little" things are precisely what can make some board games seemingly expensive, and with so many complaints about consumer cost, or the "I'm going to wait for the uber-sale" attitude because its too much.", I would rather they not be included, and I be allowed to determine if I really need those clearly optional items.

Cheat sheets can be helpful, and arguably needed depending on the game, but often they are only superfluous in my opinion. I would support the downloadable option over the hard printed inclusion.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Travis Worthington
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
2010 Releases ........................................ The Resistance, Haggis & Triumvirate ..................................... Now accepting submissions for 2011 releases ........................................ www.IndieBoardsandCards.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chris_h wrote:
I guess 'increase in sales' may have been a stretch but allow me to explain what I meant...

I can recall several instances when I tried explaining rules to others only to have them roll their eyes and say "let's try another game". Or, there have been other instances when I explained the rules, by memory, only to have later discovered that I misquoted a certain rule, accidentally, halfway through the game. These negative impressions may then leave a bad taste with new gamers and, hence, effect the option to buy.

In any case, it would have been nice to have eliminated these bad experiences had publishers included, say, an additional card in a deck explaining the basic rules and/or movements. I also strongly doubt that an additional card in a standard deck would cost anything more to publish or create, nor would it drive up the price on the game itself.

Lastly, BGG downloadable files are nice and all, but do very little in keeping the originality of the game, and prevent it from looking homemade with laminates and the like. :cry:


I agree with this, it really depends on the target market. For gamer's game it may not be such a draw. But for a game, like my next publishing effort Flash Point: Fire Rescue with mainstream cross over potential, having cheatsheets that the game teacher can hand to the players is a big item. My goal as the publisher in a game like this is to have non/casual gamers be able to get into the game within minutes, a cheat sheet that lays out the basic game actions, and turn sequence is a great way to do that.


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Etkin
United States
Gloversville
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
biddi biddi biddi
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chris_h wrote:
Sometimes I wonder if game producers deliberately increase a game box's size in order to justify charging more for the game.



Not that I'm aware of. The main reason most do it (and this includes TactDecks as well) is to increase shelf visibility
in stores. We're basically competing for real estate and your attention.

And though we're only publishing a single game line at the moment, I suspect the other reason many companies do this is standardization. If you can re-use the same box for different games and only slap a different print on it, you're saving a lot of money. Boxes aren't cheap. Even with a smaller size game like TactDecks, packaging accounts for a whopping 15% of the manufacturing cost.

Believe it or not, when you see a company using a larger box for a game that may not require it, they're more than likely actually saving you money, since they didn't have to pay for a new die cut template and box SKU.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Lee
United States
East Meadow
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If we look at the sheets included with Small World, they cost a lot more than you'd think to create, design, print, and package into the box. It's not negligible by any means and probably added another $2-3 to the retail price (at least - likely rounded to the next $5 increment). Certainly not free or negligible if publishing as every penny in production has to be counted before you can figure out your target final pricing.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Fee
United States
Corning
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
No fair! They're using brains against us! We removed our brains to make room for guns and explosives!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Geosphere wrote:
Realize designing and laying out such a sheet is not free for these companies. Even if they don't physically print it, they have to pay the editor and design guys for a few days.

Oh yes, its not free, by any means (did layout in the printing industry in my previous life). But it is a one-time cost as opposed to a continuing production cost.

Actually, ideally make the back cover of the rulebook a playsheet and have the rules available for download and then people can just print off extra copies of that last page.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.