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Subject: Only 3 stars on Boardgamegeek! rss

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M J
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if the game was as sucsesful as you say it was, i will only be a matter of time before people who bough it at "spellenspektakel" will rate it, and it should be up in no time

While i think it is noble to offer the guy an updated version, it makes me wonder if you will do something about all the other folks that bought an "inferior" version
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I once rated a game that was a rushed release and gave it a fairly low rating for a myriad of reasons, including the production values. Miscut cards, difficult to discern color differentiation and overall, boring gameplay.

I was contacted by both the publisher and designer, telling me they'd updated the game and it was *BETTER*! I recorded that they had contacted me and did not alter my rating, even though they offered to send me a new copy for free.

I felt it was an attempt to 'buy my vote'. I don't like that.

First impressions cannot be remade.
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B C Z
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And... I go to look at the entry and you are doing this in reaction to a single rating?

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Fasold wrote:
Dear Members of the Forum,

I would like to briefly ask your attention for the following matter. Our fantasy boardgame 'Veils of Verdandi' has gained a very low 3 star rating on Boardgamegeek.

This rating might seriously impact our chances to build up our company, which is still in the startup fase.

Unfortunately, I cannot help but agree with the user, who has given the game its 3 star rating. His criticism is mostly sound and well grounded. We have published the game too quickly. Testing has been done, but not sufficiently.

But since its premature release, we have been very busy making the game better and hammering out its flaws. Our recent sales and good experiences at the Dutch boardgame convention Spellenspektakel 2012 has convinced us the game is finally ready.

I have offered the user who has given us the 3 star rating a free copy of the new game, in hopes that his judgement might be more favourable this time.

Thats it. Thank you for reading!

Regards,

Fabian Schurgers

Fasold Games



Quoting Original Post for Posterity...
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Jack Reda
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I think Fabian would have been better served just waiting things out. Reacting to the one and only rating in such a public way sounds like a recipe for disaster. If the game has truly undergone a successful campaign of revision and improvement, then subsequent ratings will bear it out (and if not, well then that's a different problem).

As to buying a vote, Byron... I'd be all for having a company sending me an updated version of a game. I mean, why not? Who wants a cruddy game on their shelves anyway? True, you likely dumped it (though I am loathe to ever get rid of a game, even one I don't like- I prefer to fiddle with the rules and improve it if possible). I'd give the updated version a day in court, and if I truly liked it more, I'd rate it higher. They only buy your vote if you rate it higher than you really feel it deserves.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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If I rate the game a 2, do I get a free game too? devil

Seriously folks, let the game stand on its merits. Bribes, shill ratings, paranoia over one rating-- all this is pretty transparent and unprofessional. Sponsor a contest on BGG, send out copies to reviewers and you will reap far greater rewards than posting begging for ratings.
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Larry Welborn
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So what changes have been made to the game?
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Deviated in his zealotry? Surely not
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kaziam wrote:
If I rate the game a 2, do I get a free game too? devil


My reaction exactly. Maybe I should set up a sockpuppet account rating every game a 2 just in case there are others who think like this.

Larry Welborn wrote:
So what changes have been made to the game?


Maybe the new version doesn't use Hexographer for the map?
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John "Omega" Williams
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First off, you make the common mistake of thinking that the BGG ratings system has any sort of value here. Sadly it doesnt since the ratings are seeded and altered often quite a bit to counter low and high ratings. A 10 is just as damaging as a 1 in the long run. Ignore the ratings and let the game stand on its own. (and right now its at a 4)

Instead look at comments and what people may be saying there and in the games forum section about the game.

Quote:
I will start by saying I commend the designers for following their dream and producing a boardgame. It has a quality map and cards, and the storybook is nice. But the game has just too many negatives. First, you can only play it one time. There are not enough paragraphs to give the game any staying power. The paragraphs are hard to find and not very gripping. I like the idea of the day/night cycle, but there is not enough difference to motivate me much. The die roll for movement more of just a bother, and terrain seems to have no effect. Battles are just tossing a lot of dice. The game needs about four times more paragraphs to keep it interesting. I like the idea of linking games, but after one evening of play I've exhausted the first game, and that cannot justify the cost, or of me buying the next installment. I hope some more time is put in writing a lot more text to keep this 'choose your own adventure' going, otherwise I see no added benefit to playing on the board (for a lot higher price) than just reading one of the old books of the same style.


and

Quote:
This seems more like a childrens game (or maybe a family game). It's an adventure game where the encounters change depending on whether it's day or night (an idea I like). We didn't finish the game, we didn't feel we were making any important decisions (other than where to go (which is in part also dictated by the game), most things were decided by dice rolls, which made the game feel like it was playing itself). Not my thing.


Secondly trying to "doctor" the ratings is just begging for any number of troubles. Some will react negatively to this and counter by rating the game low. Others will write the game off totally and lose you sales that might otherwise have been had.

Thirdly, its just too early to be freaking out over one low rating. No matter what your game is, *someone* will dislike it for what may feel like nonsensical reasons. And the next one will love it for the very same reasons. Such is the gaming biz.
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John Peterson
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I agree with John's comments about generating a negative reaction. It bothers me that although the comments were thought out and grounded (according to you) and you admitted that the game was rushed, you don't like the assessment (numerical rating) of that game.

Guidelines for the rating numbers:

3: Likely won't play this game although could be convinced. Bad.
4: Not so good, it doesn't get me but could get talked into it on occasion.

Their rating seems to be spot on based on their comments. What's the issue?
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John Peterson
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Omega2064 wrote:

Secondly trying to "doctor" the ratings is just begging for any number of troubles. Some will react negatively to this and counter by rating the game low. Others will write the game off totally and lose you sales that might otherwise have been had.


This is the best advice you've been given so far. I can't re-iterate enough how often this backfires for the designer/publisher when they enlist their friends and family to rate their game a "10" in response to a low rating. Not only is it dishonest, but it will permanently tarnish your reputation within the community....
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John "Omega" Williams
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Still, this is a better reaction than some others have had such as Isla Tetra.
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Steve S
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You don't improve the overall rating by bribing one person to raise their rating - you improve it by getting more people to try your game and give it a rating.
If your having trouble getting exposure to a large number of players you might want to consider something like making the game available as a free download for a limited time or something along those lines.
If, after getting more ratings, they continue to be poor (which to be honest appears to be the trend the comments are going towards - I noticed there were a few other people who made comments but did not give a numerical rating) use that feedback to improve your game - or, if you feel there are no improvements that can be made, you may have to consider that the game may simply not be good enough to sell.
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Eddy Sterckx
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munio wrote:
if the game was as sucsesful as you say it was, i will only be a matter of time before people who bough it at "spellenspektakel" will rate it, and it should be up in no time


Thought the name sounded familiar - did a quick Google and found out the company will demo their game next weekend at the Spel game convention near Antwerp. As we'll be there, we'll check it out for sure.

Just a thought : I think he'd been better served if his post had been about that upcoming convention and the fact his game can be demo'ed there than his OP ...

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Andrew Rowse
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Shadoglare wrote:
You don't improve the overall rating by bribing one person to raise their rating


They're not doing this. They are sending an updated version of the game to somebody who made an accurate assessment of flaws in the original, in the hope that he will then be an evangelist for how the update improves upon the original.

It would be interesting to see whether that critic feels the update has done enough to salvage the game.

Edit - taking a look at Veils of Verdandi, and the comments it has, I think the best way forward would be a conceptual reboot rather than a 2nd edition. 2nd editions are a good idea for games like Twilight Imperium that are popular, and where the 2e will sell well riding the coattails of the 1e. That is not the case with VoV. Sharing the name with the 1e will only hurt the 2e sales.

Perhaps call it Legacy of Verdandi, and make it a new BGG entry instead of trying to salvage the VoV entry, especially if there are copies of the first edition still out in shops - otherwise you risk gaining a customer with 2e advertising, only to have them buy the 1e version and get really annoyed.
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paul
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byronczimmer wrote:
I once rated a game that was a rushed release and gave it a fairly low rating for a myriad of reasons, including the production values. Miscut cards, difficult to discern color differentiation and overall, boring gameplay.

I was contacted by both the publisher and designer, telling me they'd updated the game and it was *BETTER*! I recorded that they had contacted me and did not alter my rating, even though they offered to send me a new copy for free.

I felt it was an attempt to 'buy my vote'. I don't like that.


they didn't offer him a free game if he changed his rating, they offered a free game hoping he would like the upgraded version enough to change his rating and comments. there's no bribing here any more than there is when any publisher sends a free copy to any reviewer.

Quote:
First impressions cannot be remade.


you only judge games based on their first play? should Runebound 2e deserve the same rating and Runebound 1e? i think you should judge the game based on the latest version you have played.
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paul
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scubadawg1 wrote:
I agree with John's comments about generating a negative reaction. It bothers me that although the comments were thought out and grounded (according to you) and you admitted that the game was rushed, you don't like the assessment (numerical rating) of that game.

Guidelines for the rating numbers:

3: Likely won't play this game although could be convinced. Bad.
4: Not so good, it doesn't get me but could get talked into it on occasion.

Their rating seems to be spot on based on their comments. What's the issue?


he also agreed with the user's rating. the issue is they think they've improved the game since it's original release and would like to know the reviewer's thoughts on their latest version.
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Paul:

Without mentioning names, the contact from this company reinforced my opinion of them due to many other well advertised problems and shady dealings.

I am willing to revise my opinion on games, and have a policy to do so every two years or so (and if you look at some of my ratings, you'll see the original noted and the reason for the revision).

The point was that by taking direct action to contact me, it felt dirty and an attempt to influence my opinion by:
1) offering to sent me an updated copy of the game (note: I don't OWN this game, my rating was based off of a Euroquest trial copy)
2) having BOTH the Publisher AND Designer contact me

It felt like peer pressure. It felt manipulative. I noted that and moved on.

If you scour my ratings, you'll probably find it, realize who the company was and fully understand.
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paul
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byronczimmer wrote:
Paul:

Without mentioning names, the contact from this company reinforced my opinion of them due to many other well advertised problems and shady dealings.

...snip...

It felt like peer pressure. It felt manipulative. I noted that and moved on.

If you scour my ratings, you'll probably find it, realize who the company was and fully understand.


ok, it sounded like there was more to your story in addition to what you originally wrote. but there is no history with this publisher so i think people are being too quick to judge one way or the other.
 
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Mike Fox
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Respectfully disagree, I say if they improve the product and put a copy in your hands, then it's appropriate to reevaluate the product. I mean, haven't they earned at least a reevaluation for listening to criticism and doing something about it? First impressions aren't everything.

byronczimmer wrote:
I once rated a game that was a rushed release and gave it a fairly low rating for a myriad of reasons, including the production values. Miscut cards, difficult to discern color differentiation and overall, boring gameplay.

I was contacted by both the publisher and designer, telling me they'd updated the game and it was *BETTER*! I recorded that they had contacted me and did not alter my rating, even though they offered to send me a new copy for free.

I felt it was an attempt to 'buy my vote'. I don't like that.

First impressions cannot be remade.
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Matt Riddle
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Bad ratings happen. Not everyone likes every game. If your game is good, it will work itself out.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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byronczimmer wrote:
If you scour my ratings, you'll probably find it, realize who the company was and fully understand.

That got me curious, so I looked (if anyone else wants to, I'll save you some time by noting it's a 4 rating). Seeing who it was, I gave myself a forehead slap for not having guessed.
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poeppaul wrote:

they didn't offer him a free game if he changed his rating, they offered a free game hoping he would like the upgraded version enough to change his rating and comments. there's no bribing here any more than there is when any publisher sends a free copy to any reviewer.


The video game industry is already known to have a corrupt review-system. Publishers send out free early copies to reviewers who promise to rate "no lower than X", people who review below a certain threshold won't get new releases from the same publisher. It's based on give and take, the publisher gives a free "review" copy, but also expects something in return. With publishers getting more and more obsessed about the ratings their games have on the geek, I can only wonder how much this process has already seeped into the board gaming industry.

/edit: This also just inspired me to create [geeklist=149720]this GeekList[/geeklist], although I don't think this BoardGame fits the criteria. For this game, maybe a seperate game entry on the geek for a "second edition" would be appropriate, as the (low) rating should be indicative of the first edition only anyhow.
 
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