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Nicola Zealey

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    Amersham, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

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  1. I've painted everything with help from my husband who is very good on the fine detail and arcane skills like dry brushing. Several he has not bothered to do the extra fine detail work as they're just not worth the effort but many do look great and it is worth the effort. It really makes the game stand out visually. The only drawback is the ones that look great make the rubbish ones look even more rubbish!
  2. Using clear bases is without a doubt the way to go. You can get away with just gluing with superglue without drilling holes - that's what I did. But having them with holes drilled would be neat. Very occasionally my figures come off the base and I have to glue them back on. Many of the big monsters don't need bases. They look fine standing up by themselves. Other than the rubbish big black bases, my other big gripe is the failure of FFG to stick to the same scale for the investigator figures. Even in the base box, some figures are not the same scale as others. I've spent a lot of time building up the smaller figure with modeling clay and making some of the larger figures smaller by carefully cutting and filing. A small but effective trick for some of the smaller figures is just to make their feet slightly larger. The size disparity is now not so glaring but I am considering replacing a couple which are still too big or too small. Finn Edwards seems to be a giant compared to Preston.
  3. Yes, the release of the new models was kinda really weird. There was no mention of anything and players had to chase up FFG to find out about what was going on. Then FFG removed the 1st edition conversion kit without mentioning it anywhere. I believe FFG may have made public as a download the conversion kit but they kept fairly quiet about it. It is like they believe the game cant be mentioned. But as the saying goes... "That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die." It's probably too late for this Halloween (with the issues you mentioned) but there's always next Halloween.
  4. It is just speculation but it makes sense to me. Maybe a release every two years just to keep selling the base game and the more popular expansions. What concerns me is the time to announce such a release would be in time for Halloween. Maybe the epidemic threw a spanner in the works and an announcement will be made a few months later?
  5. These are well-thought out and well argued points. But a key central premise is (I believe) flawed which is the costs of software development is cheap compared to making physical components. It is a reasonable premise because with software there is nothing to see while with physical components there are lots of stuff to look at - figures, shiny cards, big artistic tiles, interesting counters and so on. Physical components sell - as so many over-hyped kick-starters demonstrate, But the cost of software development is high - much higher than most folks not involved with it realize. I don't know how much the DLC cost. At one stage I think they were on sale for five dollars? Maybe they are ten now or fifteen? Let us take the estimate of Lord Pyrex for say three to four months work for a medium level complexity scenario. In addition, then take into account translating all the reams and reams of text into multiple languages. Then take into account updating the app - which (based on the number of times it has broken) probably lacks encapsulation. Then take into account the nightmare of testing the scenario which (if it is any good) will have multiple pathways. That's a lot of work for say ten or maybe fifteen dollars for something which may or may not be a success. Then consider the following investigator packs for the card game: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2020/3/24/your-investigation-begins/ It seems to me these five packs could be developed and tested without too much effort in a few months because they are (as far as I understand them) variations on a theme. There is the extra cost of doing the art but FFG has a dedicated art department specializing in that. Then there is the extra cost of printing the cards. China has that nailed but even locally the costs of card printing has gone way down. Printing 60 cards is not that expensive. All five card packs has sold out at fifteen dollars each. Many more would be easy to churn out. If I was running FFG, I know where I'd focus my limited resources.
  6. How many of these scenarios have you written or are you friends of any of these amateurs or in regular contact with any of them? If it's not so hard, how about having a go yourself. I should warn you the last person I talked to who had a go convinced it was going to be straight-forward ended up with - in his own words - "a pile of hot ****". One of the top rated scenarios 'A Strain on Reality' has a word count running into several tens of thousands of words. I believe it is now well over 70,000. Equivalent of a small book. Mind you writing a highly successful book is not actually as hard as all that, amateurs do it all the time!
  7. If the game is not dead, I think FFG will have something for Halloween - even if it is just an announcement about the possibility of releasing a DLC. Statements like this cause me a rye smile. Designing a Mansions scenario is much harder than folks think and very hit and miss. Software development is hard and expensive and sometimes goes widely wrong. Why would FFG spend a lot of time, money and energy on an old game for the peanuts they'd get back for a DLC?
  8. The game is dead. Long live the next one! If games did not have a life then game publishers would end up going out of business. Mansions had a good run but games can't and shouldn't just go on forever. Maybe in many years time. FFG will one day release Mansions 3rd ed with VR and holographic projection. In any case we can still enjoy the game and many scenarios they have released.
  9. Yes but in the very long run we're all dead or maybe existing in cyberspace! In any case there is already a third party app and it is called Valkyrie. It would almost certainly be less work porting the existing scenarios to Valkyrie than writing another third party app from scratch. It may even be less work [if players want lots of new scenarios to be written] to port the official scenarios to Valkyrie even if FFG makes its app code base public domain. It all depends on how modular and well-written it is as an editor. Maybe FFG spent a lot of time and money on getting in a team of top highly paid software developers and giving them plenty of time and support to enable developing an editor everyone could use with ease. Who knows? On the other hand, maybe it's been knocked together quick, with a few overworked souls working to impossible deadlines with numerous bodges added ad-hoc. Maybe I'm just a bit jaded and cynical but many folks have a remarkably rosy view of software development. 🙂
  10. The IOS becoming obsolete on Windows laptops is not a big issue for several versions due to emulators. It is possible that FFG takes the app down from Steam and does not mod it so it can be run without steam - just to be unpopular. In that case I would hope some clever hacker could hack it not to call up steam at the start. But even in the worst case scenario, reverse engineering many of the existing scenarios into Valkyrie would be a lot of work but do-able. The complexity of the intro scenarios like Circle of Eternity is low compared to the complexity of most of the top rated Valkyrie scenarios. Of course, FFG could issue a cease and desist on Valkyrie as well but what do they gain except a lot of ill-will?
  11. The official app runs fine off-line - at least it does on my lap top. As long as someone has a copy of the app, I believe it should be possible to put a download together. In the unlikely event FFG stops supporting the app, some kind soul is likely to put such a download up on the internet. If this happens I doubt very much FFG would issue a cease and desist - it would make them unpopular for no benefit. I will admit running offline and encapsulated app download might not be true of all smart phone devices. Someone more knowledgeable about these things would need to confirm this. The world of Windows 10 is much more familiar to me than the shadowy world of smart phones! 🙂 This leaves the issue of new content - hence my mentioning Valkyrie.
  12. If you download Valkyrie one of the scenarios you can play is the House of Lynch - a close port of the intro scenario from 1st Edition. It is rated 2.7 out of 5. The top official and Valkyrie scenarios are rated around 4 out of 5. So, don't expect anything ground breaking but worth playing if it is nostalgia you are after.
  13. I'd recommend you play Stress and Strain as it is a solid and straightforward but engaging take on Resident Evil.
  14. Both of the two top ranking Valkyrie scenarios are written by James and both are very accessible. The third ranking scenario is Arkham Crime Wave and is more marmite. It is a murder mystery. I played it recently with my niece and her boyfriend. They had never played mansions before. Her boyfriend is not a gamer and had not played anything more complex than the board game clue\cluedo. They both thought the chain of deduction to solve the murder fairly trivial. Which is ironic because a surprising number of experienced mansions players regard it as impossible to win! Maybe the issue is some mansions players are not expecting to have to use a lot of deduction. A number of official scenarios involve wandering around aimlessly looking for the clue that solves the mystery. In any case if you are brave enough to try it out, you have been warned!
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