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Subject: "Cult of the unreleased"? rss

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Bernd Caspers
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We all know the "Cult of the new", while it´s not always justified by the item/content (here on BGG games) itself, I think it´s very human to focus your attention on something new.
The concept is taken a step further with something I would label (for a lack of a better term) "Cult of the unreleased".
While this is also human, to long for something you can´t have (now), I think this becomes a problem when it goes so far that the moment a game is released/available, it´s not really that interesting anymore.
I feel this has become a very disturbing trend in the video gaming media. While it´s not that bad for boardgaming, I see the danger of it happening here, too.

Enjoy the games you have, old and new, you can enjoy games of the future when their time comes...
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Tim
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This happened to me a lot in my first year of gaming. It's just easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of how you imagine a game will be. I pre-ordered Urban Sprawl, Eminent Domain, and even recently Panic Station. By the time they actually showed up on my doorstep, not only did I have so little interest in playing them when they got to the table, I didn't even take them out of shrink. I resold or traded all of them!

With Urban Sprawl, I got myself on the P-500 list based purely on my enjoyment of Combat Commander. I wanted to see how Chad Jensen would handle an economic game... by the time it came out, I didn't really have any interest in playing an economic game.

With Eminent Domain, my FLGS got a demo copy about 2 months before I got my Kickstarter copy. Everyone had played it a few times already and was pretty luke-warm on it. It didn't seem worth devaluing it by taking it out of the shrink, knowing it probably wouldn't have but one play left amongst my group.

With Panic Station the game just wasn't that great. I played a friend's copy 5 times. It just didn't live up to the expectations I had for it.
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Aaron Bohm
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I think if you approach every game sale the same way you should get mostly games you like and of course you'll always get some stinkers.

Unlike video games board gamers rarely have a chance to try it before we buy it. Therefore what is the real difference between a pre-order to a game being release and one that has been out for years? Either way we are taking a risk on an unknown game.

For a new game, even an unreleased one, usually there are few or no reviews which can hurt. Also, the longer you "wait" for a game, I could see how the initial excitement could wear off but to get rid of a game before even trying it is a tad odd.

Here are the steps I take when evaluating a newer game (hey, it might help right?):

1. Does my feel for the gameplay raise any red flags? Does it look like it would be too luck orientated or too chaotic? Is it too complex where most people would roll their eyes as I explained it? Anything else about the winning condition or play that seems off or clunky. Etc.

2. Does it play up to five players. Is it 2 hours long or less? If not is it exceptional?

3. What are the mechanics of the game? I prefer worker placement, role selection, multiple card use, bidding, action point allowance, card drafting. I also have a soft spot in my heart for pick up deliver games. Games with too much conflict and combat are not big hits with my group. Games that incorperate a hybrid of mechanics tend to be my favorite where as a game with a mechanic too similar to another game of mine does not.

4. Does the theme and artwork make up for some of the other game's weaknesses?

Usually if I follow my steps I end up with a game I'm really happy about, it's specific to me but I would think creating one's own personal "standard" of picking games should help.









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Andy Parsons
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As the owner of a cult of the new microbadge and the keeper of a watchlist, I suppose that the cult of the unreleased should resonate with me. However, if I ever felt that sense of "got it, now on to the next thing", that would be a signal to stop wasting my money and find another hobby.

As it is, despite an undeniable interest in new games, I have only once pre-ordered a game (it was a re-issued classic) and try not to get excited about unpublished titles that may turn out no good. I always break the shrink wrap on new purchases to see what's in the box and check that it's all there. I try to play everything at least once before sending it on its way. There are currently seven unplayed games on my shelves and that bothers me more than it would an unreleased cultist.

As a dispassionate observer, I approve that some people get excited enough about an unreleased game to back it on Kickstarter or a P500 system. More games getting published is good and so what if some of those backers rapidly move on to the next newest thing?
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Richard Dewsbery
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I'm finding that the bland mediocrity of so much that is new these days not only threatens to undermine my CotN membership, but - combined with a number of HUGE disappointments over the last year or so (I'm looking at you, Eminent Domain) - I'd not *dream* of signing up for the CotUR.

I have tried KS, P500 and various other pre-order schemes, and with *very* few exceptions "a plague on all your houses". The only exception that actually comes to mind is Flash Point. Given how ambivalent I am to most of what I'm introduced to, there's a lot of scope for me to save money and only play older, established games.

Last week we played Shadows Over Camelot for the first time in years, and it was interesting to see that I'd never sleeved the cards yet the game had not crumbled to dust in their absence.
 
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Jon W
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I think BGG should add a section just above the Hotness for this. Unreleased games that are getting tons of hits, threads, etc.

Maybe call it...Haute CotUR?



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Jonathan Harrison
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waddball wrote:
I think BGG should add a section just above the Hotness for this. Unreleased games that are getting tons of hits, threads, etc.

Maybe call it...Haute CotUR?



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Of all the times to only have 2 geekcents to my name ...
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David Boeren
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We all get excited about upcoming new stuff. That's just human nature, and applies almost universally. New movies, new games, new albums, whatever. If it's about something we like or made by someone we've enjoyed in the past we're almost certainly going to be really interested in getting more of what we've loved in the past.

But, it doesn't always turn out that way. Often the new thing doesn't live up to expectations. Sometimes it just outright sucks. That's the magic of something unreleased. Its flaws aren't evident yet. Until you can actually touch it, it's fresh and pure. Then you get it in your hands and find out it's just sort of meh.

Overall, I'm usually happier to wait for reviews to avoid most of the junky stuff. I don't get to ride the cutting edge so much, but I get very few games that I end up regretting. It's not that I don't get that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I see the awesome looking hot new thing, I just try to temper it with a little hard-earned wisdom of experience. If that thing is so great, it will still be around a few months after release and I can get it then.


RDewsbery wrote:
I have tried KS, P500 and various other pre-order schemes, and with *very* few exceptions "a plague on all your houses". The only exception that actually comes to mind is Flash Point.


Hearty agreement, and I have the same lone exception that you do. If I could go back in time and Kickstarter Flashpoint to get the extras I would do so. But in most cases, the extras are only there to tempt you into buying something you probably shouldn't.

I hope I see some games I really want on Kickstarter someday. I came close to pledging for Chicken Caesar. Decided to wait and see reviews since the extra stuff wasn't that compelling. I'm sort of interested in Zpocalypse, but there's lots of time left on that one - I won't make a decision until near the closing bell and certainly not without a rulebook being posted. Someday I'll find another one that looks good enough and has exciting enough extras that maybe I'll try it.
 
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Jonathan Harrison
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The best solution is one I have, with a large degree of success, adopted. It has left me a happy man.


Buy, then inventory, then arrange.

From time to time, rearrange, dreaming of playing.

Buy more. Rearrange again.

Take them out frequently and drool.

Dream of playing.


The key is to feel too busy, or too tired, to pull out a new game right now. I can keep going a couple years easy just looking at an unplayed game on the shelf. Probably longer. I can stay a member of the CotUr years longer than other, weaker people do.
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EnderWizard
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I'll admit I can be a sucker for this. I have Fortress America, Lords of Waterdeep, and Descent (2nd edition) all on pre-order and here's why:

I missed out on Fortress America when it first came out. I played a friend's copy but never owned my own. That was something like 25 years ago and now I don't know anyone in my game group that owns a copy so I can't wait to get my hands on the new version instead of paying overinflated prices on the second hand market for the original version.

Similar story to the second edition of Descent. The moment I decided I'd like to get it was when prices on it shot through the roof - not worth the overinflated prices. So, I've pre-ordered the next edition.

I've never been huge into the Euro games but when Lords of Waterdeep was announced, it sounded like Caylus with a D&D theme on it... now you've got my interest! And with it came excitement and with that excitement I clicked on Pre-Order.

So, yeah, I get psyched about upcoming games. I'm also supporting a handful of Kickstarter games. Call me a sucker, I guess, because I easily get swept up in the excitement of upcoming games.
 
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Serious? Lee
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
Of all the times to only have 2 geekcents to my name ...


There you go, Jonathan. (Tipped GG on original post.) Thanks for the laugh the other day.
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Jonathan Harrison
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leemc13 wrote:
HuginnGreiling wrote:
Of all the times to only have 2 geekcents to my name ...


There you go, Jonathan. (Tipped GG on original post.) Thanks for the laugh the other day.

And I've just tipped it where it was needing to go. Thanks!

And you're welcome. That was a great movie. Your current display name makes me think of it every time I see you post.
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David Boeren
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dboeren wrote:
That's the magic of something unreleased. Its flaws aren't evident yet. Until you can actually touch it, it's fresh and pure. Then you get it in your hands and find out it's just sort of meh.


To elaborate on this point:
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2454
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Tim
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
The best solution is one I have, with a large degree of success, adopted. It has left me a happy man.


Buy, then inventory, then arrange.

From time to time, rearrange, dreaming of playing.

Buy more. Rearrange again.

Take them out frequently and drool.

Dream of playing.


The key is to feel too busy, or too tired, to pull out a new game right now. I can keep going a couple years easy just looking at an unplayed game on the shelf. Probably longer. I can stay a member of the CotUr years longer than other, weaker people do.


Haha. You jest, but there is really something to the idea that the "anticipation is better than the reward". I've had to admit to myself recently that I do it on purpose if I have a game that I have very high expectations for. Especially since I tend to talk it up to my friends (usually getting them excited to try it) and then it can't possibly ever live up to the expectations I have for it, and I don't want to find out that it's not as good as I'd been imagining for the last six months. The prospect of letting it live on in my head for a while longer as the greatest game I haven't played yet, is too strong compared to the reality that I'll probably play it 2-3 times and go "eh, NEXT!"
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