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FFG: how to get new blood


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#1 Hidatom

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 10:16 AM

The "rotation!" thread made me want to talk about getting new players in the game.

 

it's really simple: a NEW edition of the base set with:

a) pictures from the HBO show

b) 4 balanced "simple" decks of 40 cards, each containing at least one card that is exclusive to the base set.

c) marketing blitz connected to the new edition...focus on the ties to the HBO show.

d) the next cycle and all cards after will use images from the HBO show. (hire some of those old Decipher (Star wars CCG) guys to help.

 

I had hoped that the "HBO edition" of the game would be this product but it was not.

 

any opinions or ideas?

 

I don't think this game is "dead" or "Dying" but with the popularity of the show it should be more popular.

 



#2 ktom

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:03 AM

Unfortunately, it's not as easy as "pictures from the HBO show." FFG doesn't have any rights to any those images, and I hear that HBO is not easy to work with in terms of getting rights to reprint those images/pictures. It's one of the reasons the HBO edition of the game has always been planned, billed, and listed as a "one-and-done" project.

 

There are even rumors that artists are instructed to be careful about making characters look too much like the actors on HBO to avoid license and copyright issues.

 

I don't think the TV audience is the place to be looking if you want to increase the popularity of the game because the vast majority of that audience are not gamers. And those that are will tend to be casual gamers. Most people who think the game should be "more popular" are really thinking of the league and tournament scene - and linking the game with the TV show more closely is not going draw people into those scenes. If you want to increase participation in league and tournament events, you need to target a gaming audience and get them to interested in GoT, not try to get a GoT audience interested in competitive gaming.


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#3 thorondor

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:10 AM

maybe you will be able to attract new players with HBO images. however, the game will also lose some because of such a drastic change.

for me the looks of a game is quite important, and i love looking at the artwork as of now, while having photos gives me nothing (though i like the show a lot!).

 

but i am not opposed to the idea of having a new coreset, including simplified decks (to find a card like Dragonstone Port in a coreset still makes me laugh and cry at the same time).


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#4 Hidatom

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:16 AM

Taught 5 people to play in the last 2 weeks. One had read the books.

 

The core set needs to be rebuilt no matter what the decks are weirdly constructed (doesn't the targ deck have a useless maester in it or something?) and unbalanced.

I am not sure about the images problem that was mentioned...I think if FFG wanted to get those they could, other CCGs use images (star trek and star wars come to mind).



#5 ktom

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 11:53 AM

I am not sure about the images problem that was mentioned...I think if FFG wanted to get those they could, other CCGs use images (star trek and star wars come to mind).

 

Yes, but the fact that Decipher could get/afford image rights from Viacom/CBS and Lucasfilm for properties that were not in active production when their games were being published doesn't really mean anything for how easy it is for FFG to get/afford image rights from HBO for any season of AGoT. 

 

The fact that the HBO product is $30 for fewer than half the cards of the $40 Core Set also implies something about the cost increase we'd likely see if they went to solely HBO images for the LCG. There would also be a huge design limitation because you couldn't use any of the characters, places, or situations that either have not been introduced in, or have been adapted out of, the HBO show.

 

I agree that a Core Set v2.0 would be nice - with decks designed for improved "out-of-box" play. I just think that the exclusive use of HBO images for the cards is neither practical nor a good idea in the long run.


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#6 Devon Greatwolf

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 12:03 PM

AS far as growing the competitive side of this game I believe the OP kits are to blame.  As an example I had started to grow quite the gaming group for X-Wing miniatures until Star Trek Attack Wing came along.  STAW captured many of our local X-Wing players due to the difference in OP kits.  People would much rather pay to play in a tournament where the prizes can be turned into substantial cash (as much as a couple of hundred in the case of the DS9) than one where the whole prize kit can be picked up for $30-$40 easily.  I know if given the chance myself, in either playing for FFG prizes or another's prizes in the case of a schedule confilct, I will choose which ever has the greatest possibility of monetary gain for prizes, which usually is not the FFG prize.


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#7 divinityofnumber

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:54 AM

So much of the AGoT art is beautiful. It would be a shame to have pictures from the TV show on them, even if that were possible. It goes against the conceptualization of gaming that many of us adhere to deep down; it just goes against the grain of our subculture. 


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#8 scantrell24

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:06 PM

I think everyone agrees that the game would benefit from a new Core set. Maybe after the announcement at Worlds this November. 


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#9 mdc273

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:18 AM

I think everyone agrees that the game would benefit from a new Core set. Maybe after the announcement at Worlds this November. 

 

I've actually surprisingly changed gears on this lately. I originally thought we needed a new core set, but I don't think that's necessarily the case any more. I think the core set actually serves its function admirably.

 

What I personally think we need is updated deluxe expansions, or rather starter kits for each house. I feel if FFG were to actively make boxes  that contained the 55 top cards for each house (including resources) it would greatly help people quickly get into the game.

 

A Stark box might contain Northern Cavalry Flank, Core Set Eddard, Core Set resources, Valar, Minstrel's Muse, Shadows Sansa, Jumping Catelyn, Frozen Outpost, Die by the Sword, King Robb, etc.

 

I feel like this is what FFG really needs to consider moreso than a new core set. A new core set just winds up recreating the whole "ugh I have to drop $100 to get all the basic cards just to play." New deluxe expansions serve the competitive audience perfectly and would allow the core set box to remain what it is and targeted towards potentially casual players.


Edited by mdc273, 21 April 2014 - 11:19 AM.

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#10 Hidatom

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:09 AM

"I think the core set actually serves its function admirably"

 

I cannot disagree more.

in the recent games I have taught I have seen the decks fail to work multiple times. a Lannister player (and huge AGoT fan) had a very negative play experience by never getiing any defense against military. my thoughts would be to make 4 40 card decks that have 2-3 copies of good cards and play like a moderately strong 60 card deck. I think the Targ deck has a maester that is useless in the deck and the lannister deck is woefully weak against military. I fully understand that the core set should get you excited about the game and you will want to buy chaoter packs to make full decks. I am currently rebuilding the decks to be more consistent and competative.

 

 

I think everyone agrees that the game would benefit from a new Core set. Maybe after the announcement at Worlds this November. 

 

I've actually surprisingly changed gears on this lately. I originally thought we needed a new core set, but I don't think that's necessarily the case any more. I think the core set actually serves its function admirably.

 

What I personally think we need is updated deluxe expansions, or rather starter kits for each house. I feel if FFG were to actively make boxes  that contained the 55 top cards for each house (including resources) it would greatly help people quickly get into the game.

 

A Stark box might contain Northern Cavalry Flank, Core Set Eddard, Core Set resources, Valar, Minstrel's Muse, Shadows Sansa, Jumping Catelyn, Frozen Outpost, Die by the Sword, King Robb, etc.

 

I feel like this is what FFG really needs to consider moreso than a new core set. A new core set just winds up recreating the whole "ugh I have to drop $100 to get all the basic cards just to play." New deluxe expansions serve the competitive audience perfectly and would allow the core set box to remain what it is and targeted towards potentially casual players.

 



#11 mdc273

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:26 AM

 

"I think the core set actually serves its function admirably"

 

I cannot disagree more.

in the recent games I have taught I have seen the decks fail to work multiple times. a Lannister player (and huge AGoT fan) had a very negative play experience by never getiing any defense against military. my thoughts would be to make 4 40 card decks that have 2-3 copies of good cards and play like a moderately strong 60 card deck. I think the Targ deck has a maester that is useless in the deck and the lannister deck is woefully weak against military. I fully understand that the core set should get you excited about the game and you will want to buy chaoter packs to make full decks. I am currently rebuilding the decks to be more consistent and competative.

 

 

I think everyone agrees that the game would benefit from a new Core set. Maybe after the announcement at Worlds this November. 

 

I've actually surprisingly changed gears on this lately. I originally thought we needed a new core set, but I don't think that's necessarily the case any more. I think the core set actually serves its function admirably.

 

What I personally think we need is updated deluxe expansions, or rather starter kits for each house. I feel if FFG were to actively make boxes  that contained the 55 top cards for each house (including resources) it would greatly help people quickly get into the game.

 

A Stark box might contain Northern Cavalry Flank, Core Set Eddard, Core Set resources, Valar, Minstrel's Muse, Shadows Sansa, Jumping Catelyn, Frozen Outpost, Die by the Sword, King Robb, etc.

 

I feel like this is what FFG really needs to consider moreso than a new core set. A new core set just winds up recreating the whole "ugh I have to drop $100 to get all the basic cards just to play." New deluxe expansions serve the competitive audience perfectly and would allow the core set box to remain what it is and targeted towards potentially casual players.

 

 

 

What exactly are you expecting from the core set? I also find it somewhat unbelievable they never got a mil icon. It's not like there's an absolute dearth of them in the Lanni starter. There are 10 total and not drawing any is just bad luck.



#12 Ratatoskr

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 03:09 PM

 

a) pictures from the HBO show

 

Stopped reading the thread right there. Never have I hated an idea more than this one.


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#13 Hidatom

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:13 AM

 

 

a) pictures from the HBO show

 

Stopped reading the thread right there. Never have I hated an idea more than this one.

 

thank you for stopping by...my statements were meant to create discussion...so please let me know what you think FFG needs to do to get new blood (or is the community fine as is).



#14 ktom

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:22 AM

...so please let me know what you think FFG needs to do to get new blood (or is the community fine as is).

 

 

Well, store championships and regionals are well attended. The fields are large for a niche game at Gencon and Worlds. FFG shows no signs that the game is struggling commercially or that they are thinking of discontinuing it (as they have in the past). 

 

Experiences and preferences may differ at the small scale from store-to-store, but the health of the larger community and commercial success of the game does beg the question since you raise it; what do you think isn't fine with the community? It is clearly not "self-evident." 



#15 Hidatom

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:09 PM

"I don't think this game is "dead" or "Dying" but with the popularity of the show it should be more popular."

 

from my first post (which you stated you did not finish reading).

 

not sure why you put "self-evident" in quotes.



#16 boothby

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 02:19 PM

"... with the popularity of the show it should be more popular."

 

The demographics of the show and the game are completely different.  As stated earlier in the thread - expanding the game (if that's necessary, which I'm not convinced it is) will happen by targeting people who enjoy gaming, not by targeting people who enjoy watching a show.

 

Why does the game need to be more popular? I personally feel like it is in a really good place right now.  I think the best growth is going to come from small groups of friends that gradually grow through their local game store.  Really good examples of this are the Tulsa and Boston metas.  Sinking money into HBO show based things is only going to jump the cost of the game and we'll lose the incredible art and artists that we have now.

 

 

 

from my first post (which you stated you did not finish reading).

 

ktom is not the one who stated that he stopped reading - he's probably your best source of feedback in this thread so far.



#17 ktom

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 02:49 PM

but with the popularity of the show it should be more popular."

 

I guess that's what I'm asking. What does "more popular" look like to you such that you feel we are currently missing it?

 

 

 

from my first post (which you stated you did not finish reading).

 

ktom is not the one who stated that he stopped reading - he's probably your best source of feedback in this thread so far.

 

 

Thanks. Took me a minute to realize Hidatom was responding as if Ratatoskr had written my post.



#18 Ratatoskr

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 02:05 AM

 

thank you for stopping by...my statements were meant to create discussion...so please let me know what you think FFG needs to do to get new blood (or is the community fine as is).

 

Yeah, I realize my post was not really adding much to the discussion, so you're right to point that out, and I apologize for being brusque. It's just that this idea really shocked me. I'm a huge fan of this game, I spend a large chunk of my spare time and a considerable amount of money on it, and it would really take a lot to make me quit. But if they really turned it into a tie-in for the TV show, I'd quit right there. As divinityofnumber said, it totally goes against the grain of what is important to the community. Let's not forget that this is a gamer's game, and TV show artwork won't turn non-gamer fans of the show into gamers. Such a turn would, OTOH, alienate a huge chunk of the current customer base. So I must oppose this particular idea in the strongest terms possible.

 

As for your core question - I happen to think that the game is in a pretty good shape right now. A lot of people are talking about rotation, and I'm kind of in two minds about that. On the one hand, I'm happy with the game state, and I'm not sure a smaller card pool would help it, OTOH I get the entry barrier argument. Anyway, FFG has announced changes to the format to lower the entry barrier for new players, so let's see how that turns out.

 

As for a new core set, I'm all for that, and I kinda agree that it is a suboptimal product for newbies, and especially for players new to customizable card games in general. I think this can partly be explained by the circumstances of the LCG switch. When the CS came out, it had a double purpose - it was the game's new entry level product for new players, but it also needed to convince veterans of the CCG era to stay on, so it needed to tease that group too, which might be the reason why it contains cards that are rather too complex for beginners.

 

That second purpose is gone now, so I think bringing out a new, cleaned up Core Set would be a great idea. It would need four balanced decks that showcase different themes and strategies, and that are equally playable in joust and melee. The cards should be strong and eminently playable, but not overly complex.

 

So yeah, the game is fine, but there is room for improvement. Catering to non-gamer HBO show fans at the expense of the current player base is not improvement, though, it's suicide.



#19 tofubones

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 06:20 AM

As a lapsed AGoT LCG gamer you can take my comments with a grain of salt.

 

1. FFG needs to stop printing new LCGs.  The new LCGs have cleaner rules (new aGoT core set might help) and lower monetary and knowledge entry point (rotation might help this).  Really new LCGs and LCG like games are the biggest competition for potential new players.

 

2. GRRM needs to release books in a timely fashion.  I think most of the AGoT gamers started playing because of the books, and there is a fair amount of book reader and (board)gamer overlap, or at least more than the with TV watchers. Every time a new book shows up there's more potential for someone to notice the core set sitting near the new book at the Barnes and Noble or show up on the Amazon recommendations.  Of course then they would have to find a play group.

 

3.  Create an easy to search database of play groups.  I think in general the store championships is kind of doing this, but really posting and search forums is not the best way to go.

 

4. Monetize the prize support for competitive play.  Personally I think this is an awful idea, but if you really want new players and you don't care who they are this will get them.

 

Otherwise I think FFGs approach to the organized store play really is the way to go.  I'm sure there's room for improvement but in general it's much better than the early days of the LCG.  I think AGoT and most of the LCG thrive in the nebulous casual/competitive space that store championships provide.


Edited by tofubones, 25 April 2014 - 06:21 AM.


#20 Totalgit

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 05:24 PM

I think the current core set does a good job as it is though perhaps it should be renamed to "Melee Core set" and other seperate chapter pack sized boxes with 60 cards of one houses main deck type could be released and called "House X Joust Deck". Or have 3 "Joust Core sets" that have 2 joust decks in them one for each house. Doesnt magic release decks that a beginner could buy and have a reasonable chance of winning a tournament with? Some folk might not like the idea of a new person being able to just buy a good deck right away but playing skill, luck & practice also contribute to tournament positions so i personally dont feel its a huge problem.

 

I think monetizing agot would be a really bad idea, ALL of the agot players ive met in tournaments etc have been really great and the community is really really good, its still highly competitive but friendly and welcoming etc, add money to the pot and folk will turn up just to win things  and it'll sour the community i think.

 

Most of the people ive introduced to agot have been board gamers or have played other ccg's who have read the books and like the show, ive not had much luck getting folk who like/love the show to play the lcg. So anything new needs to target gamers, board gamers, computer gamers etc. As others have stated targetting the shows audience isnt going to do much unless they are also gamers.

What about some tv/radio commercials though or adverts in gamer magazines etc. the only adverts ive seen for ffg stuff in print is inside ffg products right?


Edited by Totalgit, 27 April 2014 - 05:25 PM.

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