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Subject: Rethemed Guillotine rss

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Darrell Louder
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So I recently sat down and played a game of Maniac. I'm glad I did before opting to back this.

Do you realize this is virtually a card for card retheme of Guillotine by Wizards of the Coast? I would imagine you HAVE to know this as a lot of your cards (Maniac Cards) are word for word copies.

A lot of the new cards you added, like the weapon/masks and the plot twist card really add nothing to the game, it was as if they were added to try and hide your inspiration. Also, by adding them, you seemed to totally remove most of the interactivity that Guillotine provided, and therefore doesn't feel at all like a social or party game.

I'm not trying to slam, or offend you, and I know my wording above is harsh- but I have to ask is this what you were going for? Do you have a plan to change it up at all? Is this out for reviewers, if so I can only imagine they will see the same as I and point it out on a larger platform.

I will say, I dig the theme and style you were going for- for what that is worth.
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Bruce Voge III
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All I have had a chance to do is look over the rules and thought this might be the case (had no idea it was card for card exactly) but the similarity seemed quite stark.

So from what you have noticed is this a cool ripoff like Flash Duel stealing En Guarde lock, stock and barrel and really doing a ton to improve it, or is this JUST a rehash with a new theme.
 
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Darrell Louder
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I'll just say I have more fun playing Guillotine, take that as you will.
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Eric Leath
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I've provided a more detailed comparison of the two here:

http://gamesandgrub.blogspot.com/2012/10/heads-will-roll-gui...

along with picture comparisons that show the similarities of the cards.

For those of you who don't want to click over to a new site, here's what I saw in a nutshell:

1.) I realize that games of this nature need certain "glue cards" to make them work (e.g. Line manipulation cards, Cantrip mechanics, etc) but there are a LOT of similarities between victim cards. Palace Guards from Guillotine are pretty much Cheerleaders/Football players in You Are The Maniac. Likewise, the Count and Countess have corollaries in the YatM's Prom King/Queen and Hipster pairs.

2.) Mythos seems to divert attention from the Guillotine similarities by mentioning the Survivor Pile, Plot Twists, and Instant Play cards. This would be a good strategy, if those things added ANY significant fun factor to the game
- in probably 15 plays of the game, the average number of uses from the survivor pile is roughly 2. Certainly not significant.
- Instant play cards serve to inhibit your hand (since you don't redraw and HAVE to play them) and are horribly random since they get replaced by other instant play cards and have absolutely NO interactivity with the game itself. Seriously... NONE. In my mind, wielding a machete should have a different game effect than wielding a chainsaw. In YatM, the only difference is points; and points you can't truly control at that.
- Plot twist cards have effects that happen immediately upon killing certain victims. Interpret this by imagining effect that are essentially the same as Maniac cards, except you have little to no control over them.

3.) I understand that people have dreams of getting their game published, and I applaud and encourage those dreams, but to me... there's no reason to drop $37 on this game when an almost identical (and many would argue, superior) is available for $15-17 at your FLGS or Online supplier.
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Bruce Voge III
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I think that article brings up a great talking point "When has stealing a game mechanism gone too far?" Why is Cards Against Humanity OK to most, but Flash Duel drew so much negative attention? I think there are several things to consider.

First - Is the copy done better? If the new game takes an old game, and in a real substantive way makes it better, I think most geeks find it acceptable. They do however, want to see the creator of the new game acknowledge that they did just improve an old game. I think where Flash Duel got into so much trouble. At first its creator refused to acknowledge the truth, Flash Duel is a superior version of En Garde, not a totally new game. All the geeks seemed to want was a simple "thank you" to Reiner Knizia instead of a "well sure I played En Garde once or twice, but I would hardly say it's the same game". This is board game equivalent of Vanilla Ice stating that "Ice Ice Baby" was such a different song from Queens "Under Pressure". This is what upset geeks, not the inital desire to make a better En Garde, the need to claim it was a totally original idea. We also might have enjoyed seeing the good doctor get a few bucks, since it was not just a similar mechanism, it was a card for card copy.

Second - How many times has the idea been stolen? The first time an idea is stolen everyone loses their mind, but what about the 40th time someone takes it? This is where Cards Against Humanity falls. For quite a few years, with few exceptions, every party game that comes out is either a copy of Apples to Apples, Werewolf or an improv acting exercise. It's so common for a game to steal the Apples to Apples engine that it most likely should be listed as a Mechanic here on BGG. Instead they get the combo of Hand Management and Simultaneous Action Selection.

At this point if a party game comes out that is NOT a copy of another game it should be touted as amazing. This has made our collective ire about someone copying Apples to Apples dull quite a bit. Hell, many have stated the original title of Cards Against Humanity was in fact A-Holes to A-Holes (fill in the missing letters). So no one is mad, because with games like GiftTRAP and Say Anything being high water marks in party games, clearly we are past being mad at anyone that takes Apples to Apples and changes it slightly. "Oh but in our version you give gifts, not just hand out words, and the giver and the receiver both get points."

Third - Does the mechanism that is copied ask to be used for a bigger project? This is the place I put Dominion. Everyone that saw Dominion when if first came out, seemed to be in two camps. Either "I love this new amazing game that reminds me of Magic" or "This is a cool idea, I hope this idea is used to make a bigger game." This made Thunderstone much more acceptable, sure it was deck building, and used multiple stacks of a limited amount of cards to build a deck, but it also bolted on a bigger game, which many were waiting for in the first place.

Fourth - How much of a copy is it? This goes back to Flash Duel, and seems to cover the subject of this article You are the Maniac. Is this a copy of concept or a card for card ripoff? I think if a concept like Apples to Apples is copied, but at the same time not a single card is copied, it becomes a lot harder to be angry. However if every card is copied like in En Garde, even if a bigger concept is added on, as it CERTAINLY is in the case of Flash Duel, it is hard NOT to be upset.

I think the possible issue with Maniac is if the cards really are just copies of the cards from Guillotine even if bolting a new deck or two on to it, how happy is the world to see it.

Is this done better? Have the mechinisms of Guillotine been taken so many times we don't care? Did we as gamers feel Guillotine was asking for more game to be added? I think the more "no"s you have, the less happy and accepting geeks will generally be to Maniac.


Just my .02, thanks for reading.


Bruce

Edit to fix language, and put a space after the game "Say Anything".
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Joseph Soonsin Lee
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BrucecO wrote:
I think that article brings up a great talking point "When has stealing a game mechanism gone too far?" Why is Cards Against Humanity OK to most, but Flash Duel drew so much negative attention? I think there are several things to consider.

First - Is the copy done better? If the new game takes an old game, and in a real substantive way makes it better, I think most geeks find it acceptable. They do however, want to see the creator of the new game acknowledge that they did just improve an old game. I think where Flash Duel got into so much trouble. At first its creator refused to acknowledge the truth, Flash Duel is a superior version of En Garde, not a totally new game. All the geeks seemed to want was a simple "thank you" to Reiner Knizia instead of a "well sure I played En Garde once or twice, but I would hardly say it's the same game". This is board game equivalent of Vanilla Ice stating that "Ice Ice Baby" was such a different song from Queens "Under Pressure". This is what upset geeks, not the inital desire to make a better En Garde, the need to claim it was a totally original idea. We also might have enjoyed seeing the good doctor get a few bucks, since it was not just a similar mechanism, it was a card for card copy.

Second - How many times has the idea been stolen? The first time an idea is stolen everyone loses their mind, but what about the 40th time someone takes it? This is where Cards Against Humanity falls. For quite a few years, with few exceptions, every party game that comes out is either a copy of Apples to Apples, Werewolf or an improv acting exercise. It's so common for a game to steal the Apples to Apples engine that it most likely should be listed as a Mechanic here on BGG. Instead they get the combo of Hand Management and Simultaneous Action Selection.

At this point if a party game comes out that is NOT a copy of another game it should be touted as amazing. This has made our collective ire about someone copying Apples to Apples dull quite a bit. Hell, many have stated the original title of Cards Against Humanity was in fact A-Holes to A-Holes (fill in the missing letters). So no one is mad, because with games like GiftTRAP and Say Anything being high water marks in party games, clearly we are past being mad at anyone that takes Apples to Apples and changes it slightly. "Oh but in our version you give gifts, not just hand out words, and the giver and the receiver both get points."

Third - Does the mechanism that is copied ask to be used for a bigger project? This is the place I put Dominion. Everyone that saw Dominion when if first came out, seemed to be in two camps. Either "I love this new amazing game that reminds me of Magic" or "This is a cool idea, I hope this idea is used to make a bigger game." This made Thunderstone much more acceptable, sure it was deck building, and used multiple stacks of a limited amount of cards to build a deck, but it also bolted on a bigger game, which many were waiting for in the first place.

Fourth - How much of a copy is it? This goes back to Flash Duel, and seems to cover the subject of this article You are the Maniac. Is this a copy of concept or a card for card ripoff? I think if a concept like Apples to Apples is copied, but at the same time not a single card is copied, it becomes a lot harder to be angry. However if every card is copied like in En Garde, even if a bigger concept is added on, as it CERTAINLY is in the case of Flash Duel, it is hard NOT to be upset.

I think the possible issue with Maniac is if the cards really are just copies of the cards from Guillotine even if bolting a new deck or two on to it, how happy is the world to see it.

Is this done better? Have the mechinisms of Guillotine been taken so many times we don't care? Did we as gamers feel Guillotine was asking for more game to be added? I think the more "no"s you have, the less happy and accepting geeks will generally be to Maniac.


Just my .02, thanks for reading.


Bruce

Edit to fix language, and put a space after the game "Say Anything".


Thanks for sharing this Bruce, it was a good read.
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Bruce Voge III
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Thanks Joe.
 
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Eric Bryan Seuthe II
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BrucecO wrote:
I think that article brings up a great talking point "When has stealing a game mechanism gone too far?" Why is Cards Against Humanity OK to most, but Flash Duel drew so much negative attention? I think there are several things to consider.

[ Lots of words. ]

I think the possible issue with Maniac is if the cards really are just copies of the cards from Guillotine even if bolting a new deck or two on to it, how happy is the world to see it.

Is this done better? Have the mechinisms of Guillotine been taken so many times we don't care? Did we as gamers feel Guillotine was asking for more game to be added? I think the more "no"s you have, the less happy and accepting geeks will generally be to Maniac.

Just my .02, thanks for reading.

Bruce


That is all excellent points. For me it works. I think it stands alone on it's own, not on the shoulders, but maybe at the feet of Guillotine. Others might think not. They are entitled to their opinions, and can feel that way. I would hope that if they haven't played it they should try.

For this game though I think another deciding factor is "If you like horror."

People who like horror will respond "This game is awesome, I like Guillotine, but I love horror and this game gets it."

People who dislike horror or don't love it to the same degree, as say... me, will likely respond "This is Guillotine, but with a horror skin. Why even bother?"
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Bruce Voge III
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That is what it looked like in the Kickstarter information. If we can contact the company we might try the game on the show in our October games, since we are doing horror games for horror parties. But I do feel, like many games, that people who love the theme will love it, those that don't will just see the mechanisms.

If Arkham Horror was Arkham Asylum and about the Batman Universe I would love it, since its about Lovecraft I find it painful. Batman the Strategy I like, but I am sure if it was Generic Detective looks for the Elder Ones the strategy game, I would hate it.

Bruce
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