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Subject: Theme Not-So Confused rss

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Christopher Scatliff
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I especially appreciate the part where Superman tries very hard to solve the crime before Batman does, and would be willing to thwart him if he could.

/sarcasm
 
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Paul Glickman
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I already totally explained that bit. Way to read the thread. It's not Superman vs Batman, it's a Superman story vs a Batman story.

Also, Superman is a crime solver in his own comics...
 
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Thomas King
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I appreciate the attempt to rationalize the design, but if the game were any more abstract, you'd be playing with colors and shapes soblue
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Luis Fernandez
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It`s a DECKBUILDING GAME usually the theme is at best cosmetic, in the end is a card game and like Magic the gathering are beauty draws with game effects written, you feel like i felt for Magic TG long time before.

I want to enjoy the "theme" but i know that being a deckbuilder i would see such things.
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Paul Glickman
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It actually has theme. It's just a bit convoluted - which is different from abstract.

Ras al'Ghul (no idea how to spell that) is immortal. The Joker makes funky things happen. Green Arrow is based on hiring heroes, the Utility Belt rewards you for having lots of gadgets...

There is actually tons of theme. It's just not a game where "you play as a DC Hero, doing DC Hero things". Legendary is closer to that, but even then, absolutely not, as you can buy any of 5 different hero's cards using SHIELD recruiters... And once again, compare scores at the end.

The theme fits, and works. It's just not quite what they originally present it to be - and if it were, that would make absolutely no sense as a deck-builder, as a DBG requires a pool of shared cards.

So, basically, it's gone from an "ew" to an "oh cool" for me, and should for anyone else who had the same genuine complaint and doesn't just want things to whine about.
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Thomas King
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Paul G wrote:

So, basically, it's gone from an "ew" to an "oh cool" for me, and should for anyone else who had the same genuine complaint and doesn't just want things to whine about.

Really? Everyone should like it because you gave it a new theme?

The game hasn't changed, you just decided to change your own view of it. If you like the game, that's fine, you don't need to justify it to us. No one's trying to convince you not to like it, or not to buy it.
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Paul Glickman
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It's the theme of the game.

Given two options, an A that makes no sense and a B that makes a lot of sense, you assume that B is correct. It's similar to Occam's Razor.

You can scoff and say "no, I'm sure Cryptozoic's designers are idiots," or you can reply with "well that makes a lot more sense than what I thought, I'll update over." Your choice. One answer is clearly more proper.
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Thomas King
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You're making a lot of your own assumptions. But I'm not going to argue; you seem pretty sure that your way of thinking is the only correct way of thinking.
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Paul Glickman
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The only assumption is that the theme isn't broken.

My way of thinking is approved by the designer of the game, and doesn't require other people to be significantly less intelligent than I am to work.

Any assumption that you're smarter than other people should be tested. In this case, my test came up with "oh, unless they meant THIS!", which makes the whole game make sense.

So you can either continue with a mental model of a DC Comics DBG that has no theme, or accept a model that has a perfectly logical theme. Your choice... o.O
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Matt Shinners
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Paul G wrote:
So you can either continue with a mental model of a DC Comics DBG that has no theme, or accept a model that has a perfectly logical theme. Your choice... o.O


I think you're confusing a theme with the implementation of that theme.

I don't think a single person would argue that this isn't DC-comic themed. There are pictures of Superman and Batman on cards. That's a given.

However, most are arguing that the implementation of that theme is weak. I'd agree.

To get the theme to work, you're putting a whole lot of effort onto the gamer that should instead be the work of the designer. I shouldn't have to come up with an explanation for this stuff - it should shine through in the design (unless you're specifically designing a Rory's Story Cubes-type game, which isn't even hinted at as the intent here).

In short, to do what you're imparting to this game, all I'd have to do is release a bunch of cards with pictures of superheroes on them. Then, turn a card over and tell a story that includes that picture! No numbers or rules needed.

When I purchase a game that has a theme as a main selling point, I expect the designer to take some time to actually make that theme come across inherently in the design.
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Paul Glickman
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It's not weak at all if your deck is a story. I will admit, they could have mentioned it that way right off the bat...

But Dominion never explains why you can use the same copper coin over and over again. Ascension never tells you why you have to wait to draw constructs. Mage Knight never says anything about why your hand is a random assortment of cards, and you have to play Rage sideways if you want to take a step instead of just using Stamina or March.

Deckbuilders are hard to apply theme to. No one has pulled it off perfectly (except Dominion, imho) yet.

Basically, the theme is "DC Comics", not "DC Superheroes".
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Jonathan Davison
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Paul G wrote:
I don't think that's the theme anymore, as that doesn't make any sense.


Unfortunately, the fact that it doesn't make sense means it's a poor implementation of theme. It's a trendy game mechanic poorly wedded to a popular brand name.

However, from my play at Gen Con, I decided that, as mediocre as the game may be, there's a certain hilarity to the game - e.g. Batman beating fellow heroes into joining your deck, manifesting super powers, jealously watching Wonder Woman steal his Batmobile, and then having his career crippled by phobic Weaknesses. Verily, even Grant Morrison couldn't script a story that convoluted.
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Matt Shinners
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Paul G wrote:

But Dominion never explains why you can use the same copper coin over and over again. Ascension never tells you why you have to wait to draw constructs. Mage Knight never says anything about why your hand is a random assortment of cards, and you have to play Rage sideways if you want to take a step instead of just using Stamina or March.


My argument wasn't whether there were other deckbuilders that had solid theme - just that this one doesn't. I wouldn't for a second argue that Dominion has solid theme implementation at all. I haven't played Ascension, but the theme from Mage Knight comes from other places than your deck (such as the individual actions - if I Intimidate some people, it makes it harder for me to interact with people in the future.)

I completely agree that thematic integration in a DBG is difficult. I think the Star Trek one actually comes closest from everything I've played, and even that isn't all that great. However, if the main selling point for your DBG is that it's set in the DC universe (which is the main selling point for this game, as they're not really focusing on any innovative new mechanics), you better make that theme deeper than 'we threw some DC pictures on the cards and changed the titles of a few cards from that Penny Arcade DBG'. From what I've seen of this game, it doesn't do that. I could be wrong, and I hope I am (I'd love a thematic DBG set in a comic book universe).

But saying the theme is "DC comics" instead of 'DC Superheroes' in no way changes my mind on this one. I know what the distinction is in your head between the two of them, but the distinction isn't one through which I was looking at this game. From what I've seen, this game neither tells the story of a superhero group OR of a comic book issue well without a lot of help.
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Paul Glickman
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I never said that it told it particularly well, but it does tell it if you want it to.

It sticks with theme by being about DC Comic characters doing what they do.

Batman does not beat up Green Arrow to have him join his team. He gains "Power", which isn't necessary fight power, to have him join. It could be careful discussion, or punches used on a common foe to create a team up.

Once again, it actually all makes sense if you're willing to let it. DC Comics have a lot of people hopping around and helping each other. This is the only way to have done it other than the Marvel one - which is very similar, but gives the villains their own story.
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Christopher Scatliff
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You're becoming quite the apologist. I think all we're saying is that to get this story you're describing, the player has to do the lion's share of the imaginative work and that that should have been integrated more clearly into the game play in the first place.
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Paul Glickman
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It could not have been, and what did is fine for a deck builder, and works quite well. There is no way to create a DC deck builder the way you guys want, and this one is quite simple and works and makes sense.

Leaving something to the imagination of the player is not a bad thing. "I beat up the Man of Steel to get him on my team" should be ignored as a hypothesis. It's a dumb one - instead, use one that fits the data.
 
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Christopher Scatliff
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Paul G wrote:
It could not have been, and what did is fine for a deck builder, and works quite well. There is no way to create a DC deck builder the way you guys want, and this one is quite simple and works and makes sense.

Leaving something to the imagination of the player is not a bad thing. "I beat up the Man of Steel to get him on my team" should be ignored as a hypothesis. It's a dumb one - instead, use one that fits the data.


Give it up, dude. You came up with some interpretation that you're comfortable with. That's great. You told the rest of us in the hopes others would agree. That's great. But we didn't agree and now you're becoming pushy and overbearing. That's less great.
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Jonathan Davison
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Paul G wrote:
There is no way to create a DC deck builder the way you guys want...


Oh no?

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Christopher Scatliff
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The original post was deleted. Guess he didn't like his idea after all.
 
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Paul Glickman
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Crapbags. This forum doesn't work the way I expected.

Okay, no. The idea is still right, this is just not the sort of community I expected it to be.

Legendary suffers from all the same flaws, it's just more dressed up. You use SHIELD Recruiters to recruit multiple of each of the same 5 heroes, randomly selected at game start. lolwut.

Both games look good. Legendary, I would assign a higher probability of being awesome, but the DCDBG still makes a lot of thematic sense. As much, even.
 
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Thomas King
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Paul G wrote:

Legendary suffers from all the same flaws, it's just more dressed up.

Wat

The games are VERY different, and Legendary does most of the things everyone thought DCDBG was going to do.
 
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Todd
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I don't understand why everyone is attacking the OP. Can't we offer different opinions without becoming belligerent?

American politics has given up on compromise....and people on the Internet have forgotten how to have a conversation. I mean BGG is a gaming website, I think a little perspective is in order.
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Christopher Scatliff
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Falcons wrote:
Can't we offer different opinions without becoming belligerent?

This is a question best directed to the OP. You must have missed the part where we offered different opinions and he became belligerent.
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Paul Glickman
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Your "different opinions" were that you'd rather complain and dislike the game than use your imagination for a moment.

I guess it comes from being from a different gaming background.
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Christopher Scatliff
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Paul G wrote:
Your "different opinions" were that you'd rather complain and dislike the game than use your imagination for a moment.

I guess it comes from being from a different gaming background.


Against my better judgement, I'm going to make one more attempt to reason with you.

I would like nothing more than to like this game. Like many people, I've been reading DC comics since I was a kid. I'm a little disappointed that Marvel continues to one-up them at every turn and would be elated to find a DC heroes themed game that clicked.

I say that to impress upon you that when I say that this game doesn't click for me, it's not a casual dismissal. It is because the thematic disconnects I perceive cannot be swept away by using your reinterpretation. It's too much of a leap. And the appearance that not a lot of effort was made to create a unique presentation doesn't make it any easier to forgive.

If your approach works for you, great. I'm not telling you to stop using it. But when I tell you that it doesn't work for me, my hope would be that you could accept that without implying that that's somehow a character flaw on my part. Do you get that?
 
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