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Subject: What do you look for in a dungeon-crawler/adventure game? rss

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Brian McCormick
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Hey, BGG, I'm doing some preliminary research for a print 'n play game I'm designing that is - more or less - a dungeon crawler. I've printed out components and I've already been playtesting it for the last 4 months or so. There are some key design choices I'm wrestling over so I wanted to ask BGG what they enjoy. I don't see myself as a brilliant visionary; I'm just a guy who'd like to make a fun game.

If you could answer some or all of these questions, I'd be grateful, and I'd rain the GG from the sky to show my appreciation.

What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?

What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?

If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?

Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."

If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?

In a co-op, no-DM game, what does "enemy AI" mean to you? Does it mean monsters have different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monsters have special powers? Does it mean the monsters only attack certain types of heroes? Does the AI rely on dice rolls, card draws, or situational rules?

Thanks for your answers! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.






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Daniel Geuss
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Aurendrosl wrote:

What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?


Fantasy leaning toward Forgotten Realms more than Tolkein.

Aurendrosl wrote:

What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?


Sci-fi - I am actually working on a game called "Boarding Party" where you board a spaceship and have a little dungeon crawl through the ship.

Aurendrosl wrote:

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?


I seem to prefer elegant but simple rules with lots of content especially if that content allows for emergent gameplay opportunities.

Aurendrosl wrote:

If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?


Predictable AI takes most of the excitement out of it.

Aurendrosl wrote:

Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."


Its a pretty well rounded genre. Many games have a watered down set of option for the hero player. In Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game for instance, the zombie player has so much more going on than an individual hero player.

Aurendrosl wrote:

If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?


I consider exploration to be one of the fundamental aspects of a dungeon crawl.

Aurendrosl wrote:

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?


Anytime I make (or play) a game that doesn't have a closed hand (or other such secret options) I end up not feeling as engaged in the gameplay. Therefore; more cards, less bits.
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Brian McCormick
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Thank you for your responses, Daniel. It's very helpful.
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David Sevier
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Aurendrosl wrote:

What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?


Fantasy for the most part, although really any good theme will work.

Quote:

What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?

I wouldn't mind a good dungeon craw that dripped with a horror theme. I don't just mean zombies or other stock horror critters. I mean a game that really made you paranoid to open that next door.

Quote:

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?

Variety of content is better than depth of rules. Descent is pretty simple from a player standpoint, but a ton of fun because of everything that can happen and all the variety between characters, items, monsters, and dungeon layout.

Quote:

If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?

Haven't played any of the no-DM types, so I can't really say on this one.

Quote:

Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."

Many of the ones I've played seem to have balance issues. You get that one combo of X item with Y character and the game gets too easy. And if you don't get some of the great combos, it can be too difficult.

Quote:

If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?

Exploration is a lot of the fun of these games. I don't know that a deck of cards that simply described the next area would be as fun, though. I'd certainly be less interested in the game, though, unless there was some other aspect that sounded awesome.

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If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?

Hmmm. Tough choice. Probably more card types, since variety leads to replayability. But sufficient variety in the minis and tokens and whatnot works too. Mostly I don't care too much if a game is tokens or cards, just as long as it looks fun!
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Ben Friedberg
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Aurendrosl wrote:

What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?


Sci-Fi and Fantasy that doesn't subscribe to the over-sexualized view of women. I honestly wouldn't want to play 95% of fantasy-themed games with my daughters / wife. See below for additional themes that are awesom

Aurendrosl wrote:

What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?


Western, steampunk, vintage sci-fi (war of the worlds), Urban, noir, dream-world / parallels

Aurendrosl wrote:

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?


Content. Rules just add complexity and general confusion. High levels of content == replayability. Low complexity with high-levels of content == lots of people get to play, not just your otaku friends.

Aurendrosl wrote:

If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?


My biggest issue with the D&D crawls was that the ORDER of play didn't make sense compared to a standard crawl. Take a look at Dungeon Plungin' for a great AI system. If you added variable rules for each enemy's AI (like those new power grid robots), you'd be golden.

Aurendrosl wrote:

Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."


Quarterbacking to the point that the smartest person in the group is the only one playing the game. (I'm looking at you pandemic and scotland yard)

Aurendrosl wrote:

If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?


It would probably reduce it to zero. Even using cards such as in the awesome 'Dungeon of D' would be sufficient.

Aurendrosl wrote:

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?


Cards. You can sleeve cards. You can print cards. You can organize cards. you can randomize cards. you can have cool art on cards. need I continue?
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Brian McCormick
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Some interesting responses. For those who have already replied (I will also edit this into the OP), what does "enemy AI" mean to you? I already have a concrete idea for how I am going to implement it into the game (in an unconvential way), but what does it look like to you? Does it mean different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monster has special powers? Does it mean the monster only attacks certain types of heroes?
 
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Hegel Bessa Jorge
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What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?
Definetely fantasy, but I'd play almost anything from modern days to sci-fi.

What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?
Modern day games with horror theme or mixing with elements of fantasy.

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?
I'd prefer variety, because it adds to replayability.


If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?
I actually played a lot of Castle Ravenloft and think what hinders it the most is the lack of progression or campaign rules, like warhammer quest has.

Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."
... that the "strategy" of the board isn't always intelligent. In ashardalon, sometimes the monsters don't do the best moves because even though they're adjacent to the hero, they aren't in the same tile.

If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?
Yes, i like random boards with modular tiles.

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?
75% cards and 25% tokens. Several heroes or, even better, the choice to create your own. Cards for equipments, abilities. Tokens for HP. I like dice too, but not having to throw many dice at once, like descent: JitD. I prefer the system Ravenloft uses, but with also throwing dice for damage.
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Ben Friedberg
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Aurendrosl wrote:
Some interesting responses. For those who have already replied (I will also edit this into the OP), what does "enemy AI" mean to you? I already have a concrete idea for how I am going to implement it into the game (in an unconvential way), but what does it look like to you? Does it mean different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monster has special powers? Does it mean the monster only attacks certain types of heroes?


Enemy AI is the algorithm used to determine what enemy NPCs DO on their turn. It takes into account (among other things) the nature of the NPC, the surroundings and the nature of the PCs in relation to the NPC both in character and position.
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David Sevier
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Aurendrosl wrote:
Some interesting responses. For those who have already replied (I will also edit this into the OP), what does "enemy AI" mean to you? I already have a concrete idea for how I am going to implement it into the game (in an unconvential way), but what does it look like to you? Does it mean different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monster has special powers? Does it mean the monster only attacks certain types of heroes?


AI is the automatic actions of the enemies in the game. It controls how they move and what actions they take.

The important thing for an AI is that it should perform in reasonable ways. That means moving to reasonable locations, using appropriate abilities, and overall providing a decent challenge to the players.
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What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?
Generic fantasy is overdone. If you do fantasy, make it unique and interesting. I love HPL, so more of his stuff is okay by me. Sci-fi too.
What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?
Sci-fi. Weird fantasy. Steampunk. Cyberpunk.
If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?
Variety is the spice of life. Stuff—more is better. Rules—less is better.
If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?
Not enough variety and too punishing a system (see Castle Ravenloft and Death Angel).
Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..." It can become too much like a puzzle and not a game. But the really great ones have theme that helps.

If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?
Yes. See Death Angel.
If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?
If it is PnP, then just give me cards. If it is an FFG game, then give me everything.
In a co-op, no-DM game, what does "enemy AI" mean to you? Does it mean monsters have different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monsters have special powers? Does it mean the monsters only attack certain types of heroes? Does the AI rely on dice rolls, card draws, or situational rules?
It means that there is a way for the monsters to react intelligently or instinctively to the situation.
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Wade Nelson
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Aurendrosl wrote:
What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?


I like spooky dungeon stuff. Impending doom with a side of not-going-to-end-well. Actual location means less than the atmosphere about it. My wife is a sucker for anything with knights and chivalry and whatnot. Her current favorite is Shadows Over Camelot. In a game like Wrath of Ashardalon, her first character pick is always the prettiest one.

Aurendrosl wrote:
What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?


The outdoors. Why can't a dungeon crawl be in a mountain pass or a dense forest? Why does everything have to be in a secret bunker or a cavern?

Aurendrosl wrote:
If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?


Variety of content. Depth of rules is good if and only if it's supported by the content. If the rules are deep, they should be introduced in a way that lets you get down to the game playing and pick it up as you go. Like Earth Reborn or the D&D Adventure Game scenarios. The first few games of Wrath of Ashardalon we lost terribly, but had fun doing it. Some of the things that kept us going: "That was fun", "I could have done that differently", "Oh NOW I get how that's supposed to work", and perhaps most importantly: "And look at all the stuff in the box we haven't even USED yet!"

Aurendrosl wrote:
If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?


One of the things that keeps us from getting WoA to the table more often is the size & scope of it. If we feel like hammering out a quick questing game, LoTR:LCG is a really good fit. If we feel like playing a coop, well we have a bunch of those. BUT if we feel the dungeon crawl itch, we go straight to Ashardalon. On a related note: getting the wife to agree on a purchase of any non-coop dungeon crawler has been a no-go thus far.

Aurendrosl wrote:
Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."


Anticlimactic endings. It seems like most the time you can tell 2/3 of the way through the game whether your chances for success are good or bad. Sometimes there's an evil twist that upsets what you thought was a sure-fire win, but not very often. One thing I like about WoA is that you know eventually you're gonna have to go toe to toe with a bad situation in the final room. It makes the entire dungeon a bit more foreboding.

Aurendrosl wrote:
If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?


Depends. I really like LoTR:LCG, and it has no locations other than the cards drawn. I don't care nearly as much for Death Angel, which uses a similar mechanic.

It might not make a lot of sense, but the "feel" of the game is paramount when questing/exploring/dungeoning. The locations and baddies in LoTR:LCG feel thematic and interesting. The locations in Death Angel for me don't mean much more than "re-arrange hallway, same bad guys in different places."

Aurendrosl wrote:
If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?


Whichever one makes the game more fun. I think both approaches can be done well.

Aurendrosl wrote:
In a co-op, no-DM game, what does "enemy AI" mean to you? Does it mean monsters have different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monsters have special powers? Does it mean the monsters only attack certain types of heroes? Does the AI rely on dice rolls, card draws, or situational rules?


One of the things about the WoA "AI" that puts me off just a little is that the monsters seem mechanical. There's a consistent formula they follow. It makes the game a bit more puzzle-like than I really want, but we still enjoy the game. I'd like a bit of randomness, as long as it makes sense. A Grell shouldn't run away, but it shouldn't be mechanical either. I shouldn't be able to calculate how to keep it two tiles away from our adventurers at all times using abilities, but sometimes that's exactly what we end up doing.
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Zoran Bosnjak
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Aurendrosl wrote:

What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?


Anything done right (read: interesting and fun). I prefer fantasy, but would play sci-fi. But Tolkien was kind of bashed till death, could use some mythos reinforcements.

Aurendrosl wrote:

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?


Content, definitely. I have two gaming groups, and with, I dunno, 12-14 of us we have 6-7 active players and get to play once every two months. Maybe. We are too tired to read gazillion of rules. We all want simple rules but a lot of options expanded through cards.
Options. Definitely add broader range of actions. I adore Warhammer Quest - there is gazillion of items and new situations in the dungeon, and without a DM!

Check this out:









Just few cards, and you have added much more variety in the game and more meaningful options for the players. With a lot of skills,spells and items, every game will be different.

Aurendrosl wrote:

If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?


Repetition. Avoid repetition by adding different encounters with different endings.


Aurendrosl wrote:

Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."


setup length? I just played WHQ with coop boardgames.

Aurendrosl wrote:

If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?


A LOT. It would feel like Magic which I don't like. Art, maps and cards really add to the atmosphere.

Aurendrosl wrote:

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?


Fewer tokens, more card. You can put more info/options on card. Chits are harder and nuisance to track. Minis are expensive, and you have to track their stats in the manual - tiresome flipping. Although more options for randomization. Then again, a lot of card art is expensive too.



Aurendrosl wrote:

In a co-op, no-DM game, what does "enemy AI" mean to you? Does it mean monsters have different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monsters have special powers? Does it mean the monsters only attack certain types of heroes? Does the AI rely on dice rolls, card draws, or situational rules?

Yes to all.



This cards are my thoughts what should be in this kind of game. Artwork is not mine and unfortunately don't know whose is, I have just bunch of MTG images (which I don't play)

I was thinking around these guidelines:
- fast to setup and to play is a must
- easy memorable rules, all options added through cards
- heavily leaned on DnD/Pathfinder - already highly developed, easy, gazillion of existing options, no need to reinvent the wheel
- a map. if it is adventure, overland movement map like in Runebound, but with actual sense
- minimum downtime between players. Which mean, they have to act like a party together, instead each on his own (and worse, with allies).
- encounters. That is tough one. I like grid. Grid is great. Adds depth, tactics, funny memorable moments. But one encounter could span for few to 20 minutes. I was thinking around virtual encounter and grid for boss fights, lets say 3-4 boss fight in one evening. Virtual encounter would be 4 players vs ogre. Ogre will attack first line players (fighter, cleric, whoever declares is in front row). Front row fighters can only reach other front row - goblin spearmen only PC fighter. Archers and spellcasters could reach anyone. Only 3 enemies are allowed per warrior, any excess enemies pick other targets, even range ones if all fighters are busy.
- leveling. Game should be tough. Runebound handles that fine, altough it needs some major event to evade, thus implying some limit and feeling of rush. I was thinking of 3 levels of PCs and monsters, and map divided in 3 major regions.

I hope you got some ideas. I would really like to play some interesting game in this genre
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Nate K
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Aurendrosl wrote:


What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?

I can get behind any theme, as long as it makes some logical sense. I need a believable reason for a hero or group of heroes to be entering into an enclosed space filled with traps and combatants.
Quote:
What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?

I feel like fantasy dungeon-crawlers (of various flavors) are overdone. Why not have a Western dungeon-crawler? Or near-future? Cyberpunk? Gothic horror?
Quote:
If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?

I think I would prefer simpler, easier-to-learn rules and lots of toys to play with, enemies to fight, locations to explore, etc. That, to me, sounds more fun that having to learn 20+ pages of rules.
Quote:
If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?

The game's AI needs to have enough variability in difficulty that beginners don't lose interest and experts can still have fun. It needs to be complex enough to be challenging, yet not be too fiddly or difficult to use.
Quote:
Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."

Mistaking randomness for difficulty.
Quote:
If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?

Not much. Some game systems require players to know their exact location and orientation. Some don't. There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems.

Quote:
If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?

Personally, I prefer cards over what I call "fiddly bits." Keeping track of all those tokens, chits, minis, etc., and making sure they stay where they're supposed to and not get bumped, is just a little more stressful than I care for.
Quote:
In a co-op, no-DM game, what does "enemy AI" mean to you? Does it mean monsters have different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monsters have special powers? Does it mean the monsters only attack certain types of heroes? Does the AI rely on dice rolls, card draws, or situational rules?

Hm. Well, to me, "enemy AI" simply refers to the system that controls the game--not just the monsters, but the traps, the determination of loot, etc. There are a wide variety of systems that can handle this, and I can't say I have a preference. I would probably prefer to keep the randomization low enough that players can strategize.
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Thaddeus Griebel
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What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?

Definitely fantasy; however, it seems that recent games have such a watered-down take on fantasy realms and characters (the worlds of, say, Terrinoth or Azeroth just seem so generic). It would be nice to see a game that really delves deep into a world of magic to create a real, living environment with interesting characters.

What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?

It seems that every fantasy game tries to give a broad spectrum of character classes (the standard knight, dwarf, wizard, ranger, etc.), but why not dedicate a game solely to a few classes and really explore the possibilities involved (e.g. a clan of rangers on an urgent mission, a secret society of wizards working to uncover hidden knowledge.)

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?

I don't see how these are mutually exclusive, but if I had to make a choice between the two, I'd prefer depth of gameplay, rather than a pretty-looking package that doesn't hold my interest for long.

If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?

I think the D&D board games seem to strip away what makes D&D interesting: an intelligent design behind the perils the team faces together. Despite the pre-constructed scenarios, the D&D board games seem too bland and random to really deliver an engaging experience.

Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."

Randomness!

For some games, this can be forgiven (Ghost Stories remains interesting because you never know what color of ghost will show up next). But for other games, it can lead to unrelenting frustration at the feeling of having very limited choices in how the game plays out, being subject to the blind mechanics of the game running itself. I love LOTR the card game, but there are times when I feel that there is absolutely nothing I could have done to avoid a quick and brutal defeat, due to the randomness of the encounter deck added to the randomness of the player cards I get to draw. With that said, I think that LOTR is able to make up for the randomness with the A.I. some enemies have, and the possibility for some neat card combos, allowing for some unexpected occurrences, without the feeling that it was just dumb-luck, but that there was some thought and meaningful choices going into the unfolding of events.

If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?

I really like big, colorful, non-modular maps. A game that doesn't have this loses some points for me, but if it still manages to produce an absorbing atmosphere, then I'd be fine without the map.

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?

I'd be fine with cards, less components to sort before and after playing helps reduce setup time.

In a co-op, no-DM game, what does "enemy AI" mean to you? Does it mean monsters have different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monsters have special powers? Does it mean the monsters only attack certain types of heroes? Does the AI rely on dice rolls, card draws, or situational rules?

I find situational rules to be really interesting (IF condition A, THEN perform action B), and I think it's the best way to automate enemies, without feeling that it's all just unintelligible random behavior, that there was actually creative design put into each creature's attack. However, with any co-op there is always need of some random factor, determined by cards or dice, but as long as these are used in combination, then I think it provides an interesting, and replayable experience.

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1: Any theme if done well can be great. I tend to gravitate to co-op and SF ones personally.

2: Sci-Fi and Post Apoc themes are under-represented.

3: Dpeth of rules usually leads to alot of variety of opponents. It depends alot on what the game is trying to do though. A fairly simple rules set though can handle alot of variety in gear and opponents. Balancing the two is the trick.

4: I find the absolute exact opposite. GM-less games tend to have alot more replayability since its not reliant on what ends up usually one person stuck with the task of GMing. Everyone gets to adventure.

5: There isnt any flaw to a co-op game. It allows a greater freedom of enjoyment for players as no-one is relegated to the GM position.

6: That would potentially greatly diminish the game if there is no actual physical representation of where you are going, be it tiles, cards, players drawing a map as they go, or whatever. In which case whats really the point of the dungeon crawl if theres essentially no dungeon to... well... crawl...

7: More tokens, fewer cards. Most players tend to like having the characters and opposition represented on the map. So do I really.

8: Enemy AI can be alot of things. But it needs at its basics to cover the enemy reactions to the players once they are on the map. That being, detection, movement, and combat. Unless the system lands encounters right in the midst of the explorers. In which case you just need to determine who jumps who. And in what manner. This can be handled by rules alone, or for variety you can have tactics cards or die roll tables that mix things up.


Aurendrosl wrote:
What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?

What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?

If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?

Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."

If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?

In a co-op, no-DM game, what does "enemy AI" mean to you? Does it mean monsters have different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monsters have special powers? Does it mean the monsters only attack certain types of heroes? Does the AI rely on dice rolls, card draws, or situational rules?

Thanks for your answers! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.






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Julio César
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1- Tolkien.. for ever...

2- Hard to explain because i can't even imagine a sci fi dungeon crawling game. But a space adventure board game would be different for sure.

3- Components gave the game more lifetime -Runebound, MtGathering...-. BUT you can solve both problems with optional rules.

4- The same ending over and over... it's like the same movie over and over...

5- There's no flaw in the genre; maybe in some games the fact of being solo multiplayer games

6- A lot. It's the atmosphere. Maybe i could play a solo dungeon crawling game with no board -like Dungeon of D-.

7- Cards. I love cards. You can change a game adding as few as 9 cards.

8- Theres no such thing as AI, it's always programed behaviour. I like the dices to add the random element -"who's gonna be attacked by this monster? I don't have many life points left... i better think about getting in this fight or flea..."-
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Reading... CAMPAIGN RULES!!!! That would be great.
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What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?
Dark Fantasy or dark Scifi
What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?

Scifi, only Gears of War available against 5 fantasy based Dungeoncrawlers atm afaik.

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?

variety of contents, rules don't need to be deep and complex, as long as they work the way they're supposed to. Warhammer Quest still is my favorite DK

If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?

Bad Ai would be hindering, but i'm pretty happy with WHQ, which is the only DK i played in coop so far.

Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."

Bad AIs

If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?

would set it back to non-existent.

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?

Plastic minis and cards, not a fan of tokens, they're the flaw in the good ffg Games, which i always liked ^^

In a co-op, no-DM game, what does "enemy AI" mean to you? Does it mean monsters have different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monsters have special powers? Does it mean the monsters only attack certain types of heroes? Does the AI rely on dice rolls, card draws, or situational rules?

A mixture, monsters and encounters, should be with a level of certain intelligence and not only hack and slay, to lvl up, whQ had the way to go, also monsters should have more than one way to react, like hide, run, attack in melee, attack in distance... etc etc

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I absolutely adore “dungeon crawl” type games, so I’ll answer. I do have to state right upfront that I’m partial to those with maps and 3D components. I’m not opposed to buying one without those components as long as I can build/buy them myself (which is a lot of fun).

What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?

Anything and everything!

What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?

Everything except fantasy. I’d like more generic horror ones (Betrayal is a good one), more non-GW sci fi, something pulp would be cool.

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?

Variety of contents. The rules should be good and versatile, but they should also be concise, quick to play, and simple. Some board games are fun when you have to really get into the rules, but I’ve found the majority of people rather sit down with a little less invested and just have a good time. The rules have to be exciting, fun, and challenging…but not necessarily “deep” or over complicated. Variety of contents, on the other hand, will make the game more fun to play in the long run..as long as the variety is really that and not just the same stuff with a different name slapped on it.

If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?

I personally find co-op games dull as dirt. I also don’t care for ones that require an impartial GM. IMHO, games like Descent and Last Night on Earth (yeah, I consider that a very good and interesting dungeon crawl style game) with their competitive style much more fun to play.

Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."

…they are boreing.

If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?

Wouldn’t buy it.

If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?

This all depends on the mechanics of the game. Descent has way too many tokens. Warhammer Quest is just about right with base game components…but it’s impossible to expand without spending an arm and a leg for miniatures.

In a co-op, no-DM game, what does "enemy AI" mean to you? Does it mean monsters have different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monsters have special powers? Does it mean the monsters only attack certain types of heroes? Does the AI rely on dice rolls, card draws, or situational rules?

Situational rules…again, boring IMHO.
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Justin Egan
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Aurendrosl wrote:
What themes do you like best in dungeon-crawling/adventure games? Tolkein-esque fantasy? Cthulu mythos? Sci-fi?

Science Fiction
Aurendrosl wrote:
What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?

Post Apocalyptic and Steampunk
Aurendrosl wrote:
If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a variety of content (like, lots of items, creatures, locations, etc) or depth of rules? Why?

If those are my only choices, I choose variety of content. If the rules are too in depth, I'll have to keep stopping play to look at them. I don't like doing that.
Aurendrosl wrote:
If you have played no-DM co-ops like Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game, what aspects limited the game's replayability or hindered you from wanting to play again?

Mostly the setup time. If I play this with my group, I have to pre-set my adventure to avoid a backlog in play. That's work. I don't wanna work. I wanna play.
Aurendrosl wrote:
Complete the sentence: "The greatest flaw of the co-op boardgames genre is..."

esoteric, hard-to-interperet rules.
Aurendrosl wrote:
If a dungeon-crawling game did not use a map, dungeon tiles, or some other sort of physical dungeon, how much would that affect your interest in the game?

A lot. If I wanted a pencil and paper game, I'd play an RPG.
Aurendrosl wrote:
If you had to make a choice between the two, would you prefer a dungeon-crawler with a lot of different card types, but fewer tokens, or would you prefer a dungeon-cralwer with a lot of tokens, chits, plastic minis, etc but a lesser number of cards?

I'd take less cards. Matter of fact, Why not make a game all counters or minis wit stats on the minis themselves.
Aurendrosl wrote:
In a co-op, no-DM game, what does "enemy AI" mean to you? Does it mean monsters have different sort of attacks? Does it mean the monsters have special powers? Does it mean the monsters only attack certain types of heroes? Does the AI rely on dice rolls, card draws, or situational rules?

Situational rules has been the majority of my experiences. I don't like when there are multiple different attacks to an enemy. Too much to think about.
Aurendrosl wrote:
Thanks for your answers! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

It's my pleasure. Have you considered google forms for polls like this in the future?
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Aurendrosl wrote:
What themes do you feel are under-represented in the dungeon-crawl/adventure boardgame genre?


It depends on how you decide how much representation is the right amount. But if you're using the percentage of representation in books, movies and TV vs the percentage of representation in games, fantasy that isn't 'Tolkien via D&D and World of Warcraft.'
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Pieter
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I am going to answer only one question, namely the one about the greatest flaw: the greatest flaw is a lack of story. Meet monster beat monster meet monster beat monster meet monster beat monster meet boss beat boss win game. I have no solution for this, but introducing more story could make a game.
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
I am going to answer only one questions, namely the one about the greatest flaw: the greatest flaw is a lack of story. Meet monster beat monster meet monster beat monster meet monster beat monster meet boss beat boss win game. I have no solution for this, but introducing more story could make a game.


Last Night on Earth gets around this, as does Mansion of Madness.
 
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grubman wrote:
Last Night on Earth gets around this, as does Mansion of Madness.

Last Night on Earth is definitely not a Dungeon Crawler. I played it quite a bit, and indeed, it may have a story. Although usually it degenerates to kill zombie kill zombie kill zombie. As for Mansions of Madness -- haven't played it yet.
 
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
grubman wrote:
Last Night on Earth gets around this, as does Mansion of Madness.

Last Night on Earth is definitely not a Dungeon Crawler.


It depends on how you personally define "Dungeon Crawler". To me, any game that involves miniatures representing characters moving around on a map fighting other miniatures that represent single characters or monsters is a "Dungeon Crawler". Now I'm sure others take it much more literally.

The story element is started by the rules and scenario...but it is the fun group of people you are playing with that really bring the role playing aspect to life and make it memorable. MHO
 
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