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Subject: Components Breakdown rss

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Craig.
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I was going to post this in response to one of the videos, but decided to create a separate thread for discussion...

Carnival is a fun game that my wife and I enjoy playing. However, there are some production issues that annoy me, including:

CARDS - The cards have a nice finish and good coloration, but they are all bowed. On top of that, half are bowed one way (concave side to side when looking at the back) and half are bowed the other (convex side to side when looking at the back). I have pressed them over and over using weights, but the bow won't come out. I have seen this with so many of the cards in games coming from China. It is unacceptable and extremely annoying.

DICE - Wooden dice typically don't bother me. These fit with the theme of the game, but are a little light. The worst part is that the dices faces are terrible. The pips are off-center. This is extremely disappointing and annoying. Other than saving a little money, I don't understand why nicer dice weren't included. I hate paying for a game that is good overall, but has one or two crappy components that distract my attention from enjoying the game. I really wish that replacement dice would be provided for the ones that are so off-centered.

TICKETS - The cardboard tickets are cardboard and are OK. The die cutting could have been a bit more "ticket-like" with cut-outs on the ends to depict the ticket perforations. Also, a couple of my tickets have crushed sides that make them look a little funny. This doesn't affect game play, but is annoying from a visual standpoint. This is a production issue that shouldn't happen. From a thematic standpoint, it would have been neat to see different numbers on the tickets as one would see in a strand of tickets. Apparently the one there is some sort of date, but I'm there there could be other numbers used on the various tickets that would make for interesting trivia. This seems like it would have been a simple artwork tweak.

TABLEAU - No issues to note.

RULES - Not bad, but not great. The foldout thing is okay, but a booklet is always nicer and easier to go through. Some reworking is probably necessary since they seem a bit too jumbled around or something. Typically, the main section includes the complete rule set and the side bar includes the quick/summary rule set. However, the Carnival rules are different. The main section seems to cover the mechanics whereas the side bar has many of the actual rules, clarifications, and game play hints. Going back and forth it figure out what to do and what is valid is time confusing and frustrating. I am looking forward to a streamlined rule sheet that includes a FAQ, seperate hint/strategy section, etc.

GAME BOX - I sleeved the cards and BARELY managed to fit all of the cards from Carnival and Carnival: The Sideshow expansion along with the dice, tickets, tableau and rules into the original box. Actually, it really doesn't all fit since the card stacks with rules and tableau on top stick up about 1/4" -3/8" above the top of the box bottom. That means that the lid just sits on top of that and a rubber band is necessary to keep everything in place. Tthe box was obviously sized to reduce the shipping cost. However, just a little bit extra would have helped accommodate the cards in sleeves. I wish more designers would consider this when sizing game boxes.
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Mrs Smith
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Wow, your post comes across as very negative, even though you start off by saying it is a fun game. It also seems very nit-picky, but maybe I'm just more laid back about my game components than most people are.

My cards were also bowed, but I found that bending them back and forth few times got them all centred again.

I've heard a few people complaining about the off-centre pips on the dice and I really don't understand the complaint. Mine are off-centre too, but I don't see how it has any effect on the game whatsoever. If anything it just adds character; the wooden dice are meant to be a bit old-school and the imperfections in the pip placement suits that fact. Since the kickstarter version comes with the custom dice anyway, the wooden ones make a nice, and different, addition to my dice collection.

My tickets weren't crushed on the side, that's pretty unfortunate. Your other complaints seem like nothing-problems though...I don't see why they should have perforations or different numbers.

I agree the box could have been a bit bigger, perhaps Jaipur size rather than a little smaller, but the only thing I have trouble fitting in is the ticket-tote, which was just a bonus extra anyway. I'm planning to use it for something else when I come across a game that needs small pieces randomised. I find that the cards sit well below the top of the box, but that once the tickets are in the centre they sit slightly higher, so the tableaux and rules are sort of 'rocking' over them. Flush with the top of the box though, so the lid still sits flat for me. I wonder what I'm doing diffently to you?
 
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Craig.
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Tegs wrote:
Wow, your post comes across as very negative, even though you start off by saying it is a fun game. It also seems very nit-picky, but maybe I'm just more laid back about my game components than most people are.

Sorry that my comments came across so negative. They were meant to be constructive criticism. None of the items I mentioned affect game play. However, I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the production quality of games and the lack of attention to detail. Game prices seem to be going up and quality is going down. It seems like 80% of the games I pick up these days have some sort of component problem. Regardless of how minor something might be, it is disappointing, frustrating, and seems like something that could have been avoided. I'm no longer willing to let this stuff slide like so many other people do. Publishers should be held accountable so that they improve their products rather than being allowed to just pass on whatever imperfect material they feel like. Okay, I'll step down off my soapbox for now...


Tegs wrote:
I've heard a few people complaining about the off-centre pips on the dice and I really don't understand the complaint. Mine are off-centre too, but I don't see how it has any effect on the game whatsoever. If anything it just adds character; the wooden dice are meant to be a bit old-school and the imperfections in the pip placement suits that fact. Since the kickstarter version comes with the custom dice anyway, the wooden ones make a nice, and different, addition to my dice collection.

It is bothersome when two of the dice are okay, but the third is way out out of whack. It makes it obvious that it's defect, not just a thematic element. This is a production problem that shouldn't have happened.


Tegs wrote:
I find that the cards sit well below the top of the box, but that once the tickets are in the centre they sit slightly higher, so the tableaux and rules are sort of 'rocking' over them. Flush with the top of the box though, so the lid still sits flat for me. I wonder what I'm doing diffently to you?

My cards are in FFG sleeves, so they are quite a bit thicker than the "standard" sleeves and therefore take up more vertical space.
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Craig.
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Actually, the dice are much worse than I originally stated. I decided to compare of of the sides of the 3 dice together. Of the three dice, here are the problems with the faces:

1 2 3 6 - Slightly off-centered on all dice , but not nearly as obvious.
5 - All dice VERY off-centered and CROOKED, but they aren't all identically wrong.
4 - 1 die VERY off-centered, other dice very slightly off-centered.

Terrible dice production. Simply NOT acceptable. It seems like more attention would have been given the the dice in a card and DICE game!
 
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A.J. Porfirio
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shigadeyo wrote:

Terrible dice production. Simply NOT acceptable. It seems like more attention would have been given the the dice in a card and DICE game!


This seems to be beating a dead horse a little bit given the activity (yourself included) in this thread: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/744165/off-center-dice

DHMG clearly has taken notice and will be exploring other options for future printings as their remarks in the above thread indicate. I feel like they are unfairly taking the brunt of some pent up "component rage" you have built up based on your comments.

For the record I agree on the dice and was one of the first to express that in my comment (see the Carnival ratings and comments). But you are bordering on a sort of smear campaign at this point (in my opinion).

As to your other complaints I find them quite nit-picky myself.

You've said your piece, no need to revisit it over and over.

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vanrydergames wrote:
shigadeyo wrote:

Terrible dice production. Simply NOT acceptable. It seems like more attention would have been given the the dice in a card and DICE game!


This seems to be beating a dead horse a little bit given the activity (yourself included) in this thread: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/744165/off-center-dice


Had we the wherewithal, we could have travelled to China and watched every single die face being punched into the wood.

As it stands now, all we can do is hope for a better second printing and ask anyone who simply cannot play with off-center dice to use the special Carnival dice that were supplied with the Sideshow expansion, or raid any copy of Yahtzee that they may have lying around.
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Craig.
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vanrydergames wrote:
shigadeyo wrote:

Terrible dice production. Simply NOT acceptable. It seems like more attention would have been given the the dice in a card and DICE game!


This seems to be beating a dead horse a little bit given the activity (yourself included) in this thread: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/744165/off-center-dice

DHMG clearly has taken notice and will be exploring other options for future printings as their remarks in the above thread indicate. I feel like they are unfairly taking the brunt of some pent up "component rage" you have built up based on your comments.

For the record I agree on the dice and was one of the first to express that in my comment (see the Carnival ratings and comments). But you are bordering on a sort of smear campaign at this point (in my opinion).

As to your other complaints I find them quite nit-picky myself.

You've said your piece, no need to revisit it over and over.

Yes, I commented about it in that thread since my comment in another thread on 12/27/2011 was not acknowledged. I decided to include it again in this thread since it was meant to cover all of the game components. Regardless, it's clear that there will be not effort made to correct the problem for those of us that have the first edition of the game with the unsatisfactory dice.

My intention is not to wage a smear campaign against Carnival or DHMG. However, people have a right to know what to expect when purchasing a game or any other product, especially if something isn't quite the way it should be. Carnival is not the first game or product that I've taken issue with and commented about. This this case, I tried to offer a fair and honest assessment so that anybody reading it would know what to expect when opening the box for the first time. Whether or not my points are relevant is completely up that person. I don't expect everybody to agree with my opinion of the components.


ckirkman wrote:
Had we the wherewithal, we could have travelled to China and watched every single die face being punched into the wood.

As it stands now, all we can do is hope for a better second printing and ask anyone who simply cannot play with off-center dice to use the special Carnival dice that were supplied with the Sideshow expansion, or raid any copy of Yahtzee that they may have lying around.

This is exactly my problem with board games and Kickstarter at this point. In general, there seems to be no real accountability. I was excited about this game and pledged (at full MSRP + shipping) to support the product to have it made. One of the main components is of poor quality and flawed (in my opinion). The answer from the publisher is that the problem with HOPEFULLY be fixed in the next edition. That doesn't do me any good though. Also, I shouldn't have to raid a different game to play the brand new one that I paid good money to get. That's ridiculous and a terrible answer. Whether it's this game, another game, or any other product out there, it amazes me how so many people out there are indifferent when it comes to flawed products. Maybe it's so frequent that most are just desensitized it it. I'm just not willing to let this kind of thing slide. I work hard for my money and if I decide to use some of it to support a project, I expect a quality product in return. Please stand behind the product and make it right.

I started out as a big fan of Dice Hate Me, the podcast, and the Carnival game. I got behind the project very early and did what I could to help promote it. My wife and I enjoy playing the game and I enjoy sharing it with others. Just because I think there are production issues doesn't mean I don't like the game. I've actually been sporting the Carnival microbadge on my profile since the time I received my copy of the game. However, the sarcasm isn't necessary or appreciated. You may have successfully lost a fan and any future support from me.
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shigadeyo wrote:

This is exactly my problem with board games and Kickstarter at this point. In general, there seems to be no real accountability. I was excited about this game and pledged (at full MSRP + shipping) to support the product to have it made. One of the main components is of poor quality and flawed (in my opinion). The answer from the publisher is that the problem with HOPEFULLY be fixed in the next edition. That doesn't do me any good though. Also, I shouldn't have to raid a different game to play the brand new one that I paid good money to get. That's ridiculous and a terrible answer. Whether it's this game, another game, or any other product out there, it amazes me how so many people out there are indifferent when it comes to flawed products. Maybe it's so frequent that most are just desensitized it it. I'm just not willing to let this kind of thing slide. I work hard for my money and if I decide to use some of it to support a project, I expect a quality product in return. Please stand behind the product and make it right.


Very few game publishers are willing to do a another manufacturing run for a less than suitable component outside of the context of a full additional print run of the game or an error so egregious that the game is unplayable. I fail to see the connection to Kickstarter. Queen or RGG will give the same answer. The reasons are not because they do not care about quality or because customers are indifferent to the issues. Redoing a component will basically eat most of the profit from the print-run so from the publisher's point of view it should only be done in extremis.

In reference to Carnival I found all of the components to be very well done, although I am using the KS dice and basically ditched the wooden dice.


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As a Kickstarter backer and detail-oriented person, you can put me in the 'Me Hate Dice' from Carnival camp as well. Originally, I hadn't planned to do anything about it beyond personally reflecting on the irony that dice were a problem (I can't be the only person who thinks that's ironic, right?). But I too was disappointed when the question of the dice quality came up and I didn't feel like it had been taken seriously in a manner I would expect from a publisher. Reviewing components and constructive criticism is a standard in our community and I seem to recall some recent comments on a podcast with a particular dramatic bite to them from Dice Hate Me about a game with some noted production flaws for a 2011 release by a major US publisher.

As I see it, no one applauding your game play and wearing your microbadge wants a discussion to go negative---you have to see through to underlying good intentions. I am reminded once again, however, that there is a small detail that publishers using Kickstarter for funding keep missing/forgetting: backers have a different relationship and level of expectations towards those games they help make happen. Publishers need to be prepared for that. If you are a cynic, you could call this sense of ownership entitlement. If you are more thoughtful though, I think you would recognize that the experience of backing a project is an important part of the product. This is a new and novel relationship for backers to have with a game, with designers, and with aspiring publishers. Every backer wants the same consideration now that they were given when they were drumming up support for a game before it even existed. This mindset from backers is not a problem as I see it, it's just a qualitatively different relationship with a product/company. Is that an inconvenience? Not if you realize that it comes from the exact same place that fuels the incredible success of many projects.

Dice Hate Me Games (DHMG) is a real darling of the Kickstarter community here on the Geek. They're great and they are all over the forums. We all want Carnival to live up to the high expectations and enthusiasm we unanimously had when we backed it---not just for the game, or for Kickstarter, but for a new company that is easy to like and for people we'd even come to know a little bit from their entertaining podcast. Shame on Chris and Cherilyn for raising our expectations so damn high because they have appeared to be way too professional for a new company and designer. From the very start they have had an art design, presentation skills, and personal demeanor beyond that of many (if not most) of the companies who have been in this business for a long time. Seriously, we all know the high expectations are warranted; from the initial website, the podcast, the project presentation on Kickstarter, and the great animated tutorial explaining the game. Top notch. Nothing has ever looked or felt like it was coming from a brand new company.

Ok, so there's a thing here or there that could be improved... and yes, the dice do not live up to that high expectation developed from months of following along hopefully. Objectively---and I am not trying to rub this in here---these are probably the worst dice I've ever encountered in a game. They seem cheap and serve as a distraction against the overall presentation of the rest of the game. At the same time, it isn't the end of the world by any means and I fully support the concept that wooden dice are a perfect fit for this game. It just makes sense this game would have wooden dice. In my mind, I was imagining something like the dice from Stone Age. That didn't happen. It's not a pox against humanity, but it does have a subtle impact on my play experience and on my perception of the overall quality of the game. This feeling won't be shared by everyone and might only influence the decisions of a few people, but I'm willing to bet this detail isn't what anyone expected, Dice Hate Me Games especially.

If DHMG saw the same dice we have now ahead of time and they signed off on them, that's not a decision I would support and I may be more cautious with future purchases from them. If they didn't get to physically proof the actual dice we now have ahead of time or saw samples without defects, lesson learned and totally understandable---but tacit acknowledgement that a change is necessary for future editions without recognizing your relationship with your backers who sponsored the print run in the first place just seems to leave something missing to me. People roll with disruptions and bumps to game production all the time, especially from new companies. All anyone ever wants is to know is that their concerns are acknowledged, especially a Kickstarter backer as mentioned above (Please pay attention publishers, it's a different type of relationship/customer!). Comments that could be read as snide on a forum or cheekiness on Twitter do not match the professionalism and personal demeanor we've seen again and again from DHMG or that drew people to become backers in the first place.

The BGG community is often so supportive, but it can also be a tough crowd. I myself get very critical when trying to process details that I really want to understand and I have written to Chris Kirkman directly in the past with questions, concerns, and points of discussion. He was way more patient and thoughtful with me than he ever needed to be. I may have had good intentions, but a sharp comment or two may have joined those intentions and he handled me with aplomb and thoughtfulness at a time when the Carnival project was in full gear and I was, very likely, an unwelcome distraction. That was my bad. At this time, however, I guess I am asking if there is anything here worth acknowledging further about the quality of the dice or component concerns raised? If the dice/concerns don't meet the expectations of DHMG, just let us know or if you're going to do anything. If the dice are within general expectations or there isn't anything that can be done at this point, just let us know that too. Addressing these concerns directly is especially important now as the upcoming VivaJava project is about to launch on Kickstarter any day now (a project that they have mentioned is getting some of its print run funded by money that was pledged for Carnival I might add).

No one wants their 'baby' to be unfairly criticized, constructively commented upon, or perhaps auctioned off at a profit way above MSRP because it has exclusive content, but all those things are common and to be expected in our community. And yet, I haven't listened to a single review or commentary that expressed criticism of Carnival that did not also extol its positive virtues and come from an obvious underlying assumption of rooting for the game and the company. As I see it, that is what is at the core of this entire discussion. I see no ill will, just some dissonance about what kind of a publisher Dice Hate Me Games will be and an opportunity to provide some understanding.
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Chris,

As always, thank you for your thoughtful comments. Let me respond to some of them, and address some concerns brought up in this thread.

Chris Schreiber wrote:
If DHMG saw the same dice we have now ahead of time and they signed off on them, that's not a decision I would support and I may be more cautious with future purchases from them. If they didn't get to physically proof the actual dice we now have ahead of time or saw samples without defects, lesson learned and totally understandable---but tacit acknowledgement that a change is necessary for future editions without recognizing your relationship with your backers who sponsored the print run in the first place just seems to leave something missing to me. People roll with disruptions and bumps to game production all the time, especially from new companies. All anyone ever wants is to know is that their concerns are acknowledged, especially a Kickstarter backer as mentioned above (Please pay attention publishers, it's a different type of relationship/customer!).


When we asked for wooden dice, we wanted it to reflect the vintage theme of Carnival. The dice that were sent to us in the production copy did not have the significant defects that have been reported by some backers. As gamers who love good quality, we know that these defects can be detrimental to the gaming experience for some. To be completely honest, if we purchased a game with wooden dice and the pips were off-center, it would be an annoyance but we would likely shrug and continue playing as long as it was not disruptive to play. However, we know this is certainly not true for everyone, and we want people to enjoy Carnival completely.

Quote:
Comments that could be read as snide on a forum or cheekiness on Twitter do not match the professionalism and personal demeanor we've seen again and again from DHMG or that drew people to become backers in the first place.


My comments above were not meant to be snide, only to add levity to an increasingly-volatile thread. Perhaps they were a poor choice for the context of the discussion, but I often dislike when publishers or individuals pop into a thread and give a curt, cold, corporate response.

We stand firmly behind our product, and want the utmost quality and customer satisfaction. Our Kickstarter campaign was not a "cash and dash" - and each dollar pledged to Dice Hate Me Games was a vote of confidence in our company and what we stand for. The comments about Kickstarter projects and zero accountability above are honestly a bit hurtful to us and, I'm sure, a few other individuals and companies who work hard to produce a labor of love. Carnival is more than a product to us - Carnival was not made, it was born.

Honestly, we feel that we are sharing backlash that is a spillover from unhappiness at the quality of other Kickstarter projects, and that's not really fair. We do have to be accountable for our products, but we have addressed the issue in the same manner as any other boardgame publisher would and, feasibly, could. To replace an entire print run's dice would devour profits. Likely, it would also eat into savings - funds that we had hoped to use for a second printing of Carnival and help with prototype and startup costs with VivaJava. Since the very first comments of unhappiness with the dice our stance has been that we will address that in the second printing. This has not changed. There is no "maybe" anywhere in that statement. We will fix the problem.

Chris, you said it best with this statement:

Quote:
If the dice are within general expectations or there isn't anything that can be done at this point, just let us know that too. Addressing these concerns directly is especially important now as the upcoming VivaJava project is about to launch on Kickstarter any day now (a project that they have mentioned is getting some of its print run funded by money that was pledged for Carnival I might add).


Our bottom line is that we want everyone to be happy with Carnival and our upcoming projects. We want to assure anyone who considers backing VivaJava that the quality will be of the highest order - plus, there are no dice in the box! The printer we have chosen to work with for VivaJava has a lot of experience with big box Euros and we have the utmost confidence in their ability to produce a beautiful game.

For everyone out there who may find fault with the quality of Carnival or one of our products in the future, we only ask two things: 1) When you post your concerns to a forum like this, please be kind and patient. Remember that we are more than just a company - we're real people. That means that we're only human, but it also means that we really do care. Which brings me to… 2) If you have concerns, please contact us directly. We promise to listen! You can send us a geekmail here on BGG or email me at chris@dicehateme.com or even talk to Cherilyn at monkey238@dicehateme.com

Thanks again for everyone's patience and support.

Sincerely,
Chris Kirkman
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