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PinnacleOfJimbo

What is the point of this game being "unique"?

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Your experience with the game will be your own.  Slightly different then anyone’s else’s.  Say your group enjoyed it.  Part of that is playing it for the first time, exploring it.  So now, your group gets a second copy.  You can experience it all over again. No other game can offer that.

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8 hours ago, Tam Palso said:

Great post. Like you I rarely get to game with others although I was a big RPG fan years ago. I’m now limited to the odd X Wing tournaments.

For that reason Discover is a great game for me: just as I wouldn’t know what the GM had in store for the next RPG session if Discover is a good solo play I’ve basically got an unknown adventure in a box. For me at least that’s pretty appealing.

I get to play in RPG's more often than anything else now, despite my gaming group's large board game collection. Both as a GM and as a Player, which is nice. I'd love to get a few board game nights in though, haven't done any of those since May.

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I thought about this game for a while now. While I still find the concept intriguing, I didn't know why I could prefer it to a "give me all components" distribution. I'll truely have a sense of exploration and discovery, sure. And I'll have an individual experience. But then again, nobody will ever have the same game of Eldritch Horror or Arkham Horror (the boardgame) that I have... And with this thought came a realisation: Sure, I have have complete collections of Eldritch Horror, Arkham Horror (2nd Edition) and Mansions Of Madness (1st Edition), and all games I played have been "unique", but it comes at a cost: setup time and component organisation. The more expansions there are, the harder it gets to keep everything sorted. And it was always a good idea, that the host of the game night sets up as much of these games as possible, before the players arrive. I totally understand why people wouldn't like that. MoM 1st Edition was my favorite back then, but when "Call Of The Wild" was released I played the first scenario, and never brought the game back to the table again. Component organisation and setup time got completely out of hand for what I was willing to accept, I just wasn't having enough fun with the game anymore to do it.

I think Discover will offer an individual experience like that, but without having to organise all the components. And for people who would rather put a little more time and effort in setup and organisation if they only have all components, there are plenty of games like that already out there. I don't think that these games go anywhere, and I also don't think that the Unique Game model will kill LCGs. These are all different products for different customers with different preferences, and I think it's great that we have so much variety on the market today, that everybody can find the perfect game for them.

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On 8/15/2018 at 9:46 AM, Ooipooi said:

Sure, I have have complete collections of Eldritch Horror, Arkham Horror (2nd Edition) and Mansions Of Madness (1st Edition), and all games I played have been "unique", but it comes at a cost: setup time and component organisation. The more expansions there are, the harder it gets to keep everything sorted.

Ah! You've beaten me to it. That's exactly the point I was going to make: A board game with a very high degree of customization will typically result in a very high effort to set up the game. It's the #1 complaint about an otherwise extremely well received board game like 'Gloomhaven': You get a ton of components, but setting up a mission takes a lot of time.

I've recently acquired a copy of 'Magic Realm' and when setting it up for the first time it took me well over an hour. Imho, this golden oldie (first released in 1979) is the ultimate board game sandbox, but there's a high price to pay: the rules are incredibly complex and setup is quite convoluted. You also have to learn how to play each of the very different characters with some success. All of this requires a lot of effort and dedication from the players.

With 'Discover' you could achieve something similar with a minimum of effort. Theoretically, FGG could even set up the decks, etc. so all you have to do would be to get everything out of the box and start playing. Of course you're paying a different price here: For a different play experience you need to buy a new copy of the game...

Otherwise, I agree, it's a lot like FFG released a new edition of 'Arkham Horror' with all expansions included right from the start, except every player just gets a random subset.

Personally, I don't mind a long setup time and if it's a game I expect to play a lot, I also don't mind buying expansions, since the total cost is spread out over a long period of time. But I can definitely see a market for games like 'Discover'.

I do wonder about the amount of playtesting that went into 'Discover': One advantage of the expansion approach is that you can react to design flaws in the base game and attempt to fix them over time. For 'Discover' this isn't possible, yet the amount of material that has been created and has to be playtested is just as large (if not larger). I consider that a bigger challenge than producing a 'unique' game.

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So, if I understood well, no two boxes of the game will be the same. I think this concept is interesting for a card game (KeyForge), but not for a boardgame: I want a boardgame to be the same whereever I go so to try different strategies knowing what it is in. If I go to play with a friend copy, I will be at a disadvantage not knowing what I will have to face ?

I am not buying this game.

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On 8/15/2018 at 2:10 AM, Ywingscum said:

Your experience with the game will be your own.  Slightly different then anyone’s else’s.  Say your group enjoyed it.  Part of that is playing it for the first time, exploring it.  So now, your group gets a second copy.  You can experience it all over again. No other game can offer that.

This is not true: think of Agricola (i.e. a lot of cards, but just a bunch of them will be available in a specific game session). You have the "same discovery experience", but everyone at the table will have the same starting information. With the "unique concept", the owner of the game (if he played it already) will have a (slight?) advantage.

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I must say that this entire concept of Unique Games is really appealing to me. I went through this thread and saw a lot of pros and cons, so not to repeat everything just wanted to add point or two I haven't seen mentioned:

1 - First and foremost, I believe that FFG earned a great thumbs up for trying something new, fresh and - as new ideas often are - very risky. This idea may be a great hit, but it could turn into a disaster as well. Either way FFG is brave enough to try it and I am very grateful for that. Without innovation we all would be still playing chess and traditional cards.

2 - many people are discussing replayability of the game, and how getting a fresh experience would force you to buy a 2nd, 3rd etc. copy. I am quite confident that this game will have 100s times greater replayability that e.g. TIMEStories or Pandemic Legacy. Also I believe that this 60$ will give me more unique gaming experience than I will be able to play through, because after I play all of my copy’s scenarios, I can just swap with other player from my group/town/country/world to get fresh experience for no additional cost (ok, maybe just shipping). Of course I have no idea how many unique scenarios will there be, but I'm sure they planned plenty of those and it will take a lot of time to try them all... and this "secondary trading market" have a great potential to benefit gaming community.

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On 8/13/2018 at 4:38 PM, PinnacleOfJimbo said:

It makes a certain amount of sense with Keyforge, because the idea there is that you will buy multiple copies, or multiple decks. The price point of a single unit of Keyforge is very low.

This is a $60 game. Am I supposed to buy more than one copy? What value is there in it being "randomized" if I only need one copy to play, and I'm not likely to buy another copy?

I guess either I'm missing something, or "unique" is just a gimmick FFG is trying out.

It’s so that FFG can clandestinely addict children to gambling, and become the new EA.

Its the only possible reason.

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Truly my problem here is the following (because the game it self, outside the unique stuff looks great):

Let's say I buy the game, love it play the heck out of it and want bring some novelty into it, so I can keep playing. On a traditional format, this is what expansions would be for.

Here however, my option would  be to buy a new game box. 60€. And this is where the "gambling" starts. By design as each box is unique, I WILL have some new components. But how many? If I'm lucky, the new box could be 100% different, and in that case be a fantastic addition to what I already have,. But it could go the other way and see myself burning 60€ for maybe 1 extra character and 2 new items.

So yes I could try to look for people ready to exhange parts and bits of components between them, but I really don;t have neither the time or the energy to do so because real life and my hobby time being limited. This is exactly where this model fails for me. And I'm not really convinced that his plus sides are making up for this.. For me at least

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1 hour ago, Hellvlad said:

Truly my problem here is the following (because the game it self, outside the unique stuff looks great):

Let's say I buy the game, love it play the heck out of it and want bring some novelty into it, so I can keep playing. On a traditional format, this is what expansions would be for.

Here however, my option would  be to buy a new game box. 60€. And this is where the "gambling" starts. By design as each box is unique, I WILL have some new components. But how many? If I'm lucky, the new box could be 100% different, and in that case be a fantastic addition to what I already have,. But it could go the other way and see myself burning 60€ for maybe 1 extra character and 2 new items.

So yes I could try to look for people ready to exhange parts and bits of components between them, but I really don;t have neither the time or the energy to do so because real life and my hobby time being limited. This is exactly where this model fails for me. And I'm not really convinced that his plus sides are making up for this.. For me at least

Or you can get a new version, and if you don't like it, trade with someone else. There will be other similarly dissatisfied people, or those who have just played enough with their current version and want something new.

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2 hours ago, Hellvlad said:

So yes I could try to look for people ready to exchange parts and bits of components between them, but I really don;t have neither the time or the energy to do so because real life and my hobby time being limited. This is exactly where this model fails for me. And I'm not really convinced that his plus sides are making up for this.. For me at least

 

39 minutes ago, Radix2309 said:

Or you can get a new version, and if you don't like it, trade with someone else. There will be other similarly dissatisfied people, or those who have just played enough with their current version and want something new.

 

 

Yeah thanks for reading...

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17 hours ago, Hellvlad said:

Truly my problem here is the following (because the game it self, outside the unique stuff looks great):

Let's say I buy the game, love it play the heck out of it and want bring some novelty into it, so I can keep playing. On a traditional format, this is what expansions would be for.

Here however, my option would  be to buy a new game box. 60€. And this is where the "gambling" starts. By design as each box is unique, I WILL have some new components. But how many? If I'm lucky, the new box could be 100% different, and in that case be a fantastic addition to what I already have,. But it could go the other way and see myself burning 60€ for maybe 1 extra character and 2 new items.

So yes I could try to look for people ready to exhange parts and bits of components between them, but I really don;t have neither the time or the energy to do so because real life and my hobby time being limited. This is exactly where this model fails for me. And I'm not really convinced that his plus sides are making up for this.. For me at least

Rather than think of another copy of the game as being an ‘addition’ I tend to view it as a different game (not an expansion). A rough analogy might be the ‘choose your own adventure’ books popular in the 80s and 90s. They had shared mechanics, but different stories and settings.

So my second copy would be a new adventure. The real question will be is how different box A is to box B. You’re quite right to point out that if only a few components change the experience of each game could be so similar that it doesn’t justify the cost outlay. 

We know from the previews that there are at least a few randomisable elements:

Characters

Terrain Tiles

Encounter cards?

Scenarios

The variation in each area will drive the total variety. We know that there are a few terrain types and characters so most of the variety will need to come from the encounter cards and scenarios.

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Take the comparison with Ticket to Ride: would you like to buy a new map (and the related cards) at 30$ (or whatever is the price in the USA) or a new box with just the map as different part (and the related cards) at 60$? For me the answer is obvious.  Let's wait FFG to demonstrate us that the "unique concept" is viable for boardgame too.

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On 9/6/2018 at 8:20 AM, Hellvlad said:

So yes I could try to look for people ready to exhange parts and bits of components between them, but I really don;t have neither the time or the energy to do so because real life and my hobby time being limited. This is exactly where this model fails for me. And I'm not really convinced that his plus sides are making up for this.. For me at least

I think if you were going to trade in a setup like this, trading individual components wouldn't work or be appropriate. Instead the solution would be just to find someone to trade full complete copies with you. Maybe list characters and Biomes(Mountain/Desert/Island/etc..) - I think each box is supposed to have five scenarios and two different biomes to work with, giving a decent amount of replayability in a single box to start with. If you have the Biomes and characters listed, you can ensure that you will be trading for a significantly different copy of the game for zero cost(except maybe shipping). In this manner, trading should be straightforward and simple instead of the hassle you describe with the trading of individual components.

 

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What I see advertised is a game I can bring with me when I travel and share with new people that I meet, and I can be certain that no one else has played that specific game. It's going to be a blast at cons - playing or watching people play their different variations. That also might be an opportunity to swap boxes and bring something new home to your friends at a low, low price.

 

What I don't see advertised:

Only 1 in every 1000 copies contains the character Nina the Seamtress! Will you be the lucky one?

But wait! 1 in every 10000 copies contains an actual satellite radio so you can call for rescue without even playing the game! That's a $1500 value!

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Righto, I just pre-ordered.

What appeals to me is the fact that my group can play this at my house and have one experience, and then a few weeks later we could be at a friends house, pull out his copy of the game, and have a completely different experience with components that I have not memorised/stratagized and optimised. it will be fresh.

It will be like as a kid going to a friends house and playing Lego. Yes you have a lot of lego, but so do they, and different lego. the mechanics are the same, but the experience and fun is unique!

Also, I can see them releasing season packs. 

A new series of characters/biomes/quests that you buy one of to upgrade your game, and your mates buy another. it expands each game, but again keeps each one unique. Buying more than one will risk double ups though, until the next season.

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On 10/19/2018 at 7:42 AM, Funk Fu master said:

What appeals to me is the fact that my group can play this at my house and have one experience, and then a few weeks later we could be at a friends house, pull out his copy of the game, and have a completely different experience with components that I have not memorised/stratagized and optimised. it will be fresh.

OK, I can take out my copy of Arkham Horror and play it at my house. Then I can take it to my friends house and play, this time choosing different investigators and a different GOO. Next week I can pull it out again choosing a different GOO and the same investigators as the first night. Repeat ad nauseum.  Weird that you cannot do that with AH. 

In their own latest article they hit as to why this is a bad idea. Namely that you lose production efficiencies when you print 1/5 of each of the components. Why don't they just print the whole game, raise the price by $5, and give us everything? **** it probably wouldn't even cost five bucks more as they have the additional costs of sorting, making an algorithm, and all that extra extraneous BS. 

  • We’d need to design and create 5-6 times the amount of content of a normal product (i.e. different boards, cards, scenarios, characters, etc). Consequently, if we printed the same amount of copies as a normal game, each interior item would be printed 5-6 times less than normal––significantly affecting volume (and thus price) of each item. 

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17 hours ago, mtagge said:

  Weird that you cannot do that with AH. 

Beacuse I don't own and/or play AH with my group and have know idea what a GOO is?

 But the point is you know who all the investigators are beacuse you own them too. I don't know who my survivor will be at my friends house until I sit down and play ther copy

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On 10/20/2018 at 3:45 PM, Funk Fu master said:

Beacuse I don't own and/or play AH with my group and have know idea what a GOO is?

 But the point is you know who all the investigators are beacuse you own them too. I don't know who my survivor will be at my friends house until I sit down and play ther copy

A GOO is a great old one (or something) it basically changes the rules (one might make certain monsters fly, one might change the endgame, one might change the terror rules, one might destroy locations on the board throughout the game, etc.) and are the big boss.

Honestly if you don't want to know what the characters do before you play the game, exercise some self control and don't look at them and pull one at random. Nothing says that you need to look at your game components ahead of time. You don't want to know all the events that can happen every turn, don't sit down and spend three hours memorizing the game before you play. In my case, my first game was like that because I was at a friends house playing with their copy. Then you won't "know who my survivor will be at my friends house until I sit down and play ther copy". Folks are really stretching to justify nonsense. 

Edited by FFGSysops
Abusive Behavior

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On 10/19/2018 at 10:35 PM, mtagge said:

OK, I can take out my copy of Arkham Horror and play it at my house. Then I can take it to my friends house and play, this time choosing different investigators and a different GOO. Next week I can pull it out again choosing a different GOO and the same investigators as the first night. Repeat ad nauseum.  Weird that you cannot do that with AH. 

In their own latest article they hit as to why this is a bad idea. Namely that you lose production efficiencies when you print 1/5 of each of the components. Why don't they just print the whole game, raise the price by $5, and give us everything? **** it probably wouldn't even cost five bucks more as they have the additional costs of sorting, making an algorithm, and all that extra extraneous BS. 

  • We’d need to design and create 5-6 times the amount of content of a normal product (i.e. different boards, cards, scenarios, characters, etc). Consequently, if we printed the same amount of copies as a normal game, each interior item would be printed 5-6 times less than normal––significantly affecting volume (and thus price) of each item. 

It would cost a lot more than $5. It would create a product with 5 times the number of pieces. That significantly raises the price. 

Then it is on the consumer to sort through this $100+ product and create a scenario from the assortment of pieces.  Then take it apart and make a new one.

Most importantly, It takes away the sense of ownership that this model creates.

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If it's anything like Keyforge, it's by having so many potential combinations that, while theoretically possible to duplicate everything, the odds are exceptionally small.

I.E, if there are a quadrillion possible setups, and ten thousand copies printed, the odds of your copy matching any other is 1:100,000,000,000.

The odds of them getting caught is even lower.

 

Regards,

Adrian Gates

Technical Consultant - CloudDesktopOnline

Edited by AdrianG001

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22 hours ago, Radix2309 said:

It would cost a lot more than $5. It would create a product with 5 times the number of pieces. That significantly raises the price. 

Then it is on the consumer to sort through this $100+ product and create a scenario from the assortment of pieces.  Then take it apart and make a new one.

Most importantly, It takes away the sense of ownership that this model creates.

The  marginal costs for additional cards are not $5 in a game like this. And even FFG admits that they massively lose efficiencies of scale when printing and distributing subsets of the components. And there are massive costs to engineer and program the new systems required to do this. Just look at their own article where they lay out. It is still on their front page. This box will have $40 MSRP worth of game in a $60 MSRP box. My post that you quoted literally has FFG admitting that it would not cost a lot more than $5. It is from a whole article by FFG refuting your point. 

Out of curiosity have you ever played Arkham Horror? I even have most of the expansions. Now I also have the app on my phones/tablet. I pull out the investigators and randomly pick three (choose one to play, that is the way we roll), randomly pick a big boss, and toggle which expansion we are playing on the app. For AH it can be a pain to setup the mythos deck (the once a turn event deck) if I want to play with a specific expansion's theme. 

Can't argue with your third point. Just doesn't interest me in the slightest. 

 

The real question is, Imagine if this game wasn't unique and everyone had a desert survival game for $40, with a arctic expansion pack for $10, jungle expansion pack for $10, and two more expansion packs. Would that be preferable to you than what they are currently offering for $60? Could it perhaps be that this is just an inefficient process? 

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51 minutes ago, mtagge said:

The real question is, Imagine if this game wasn't unique and everyone had a desert survival game for $40, with a arctic expansion pack for $10, jungle expansion pack for $10, and two more expansion packs. Would that be preferable to you than what they are currently offering for $60? Could it perhaps be that this is just an inefficient process? 

That just creates a game like every other. So, usually 1 person in a group buys it and the others, play.

I'll take an inefficient process if I don't have to buy it every time.

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1 hour ago, mtagge said:

The  marginal costs for additional cards are not $5 in a game like this. And even FFG admits that they massively lose efficiencies of scale when printing and distributing subsets of the components. And there are massive costs to engineer and program the new systems required to do this. Just look at their own article where they lay out. It is still on their front page. This box will have $40 MSRP worth of game in a $60 MSRP box. My post that you quoted literally has FFG admitting that it would not cost a lot more than $5. It is from a whole article by FFG refuting your point. 

Out of curiosity have you ever played Arkham Horror? I even have most of the expansions. Now I also have the app on my phones/tablet. I pull out the investigators and randomly pick three (choose one to play, that is the way we roll), randomly pick a big boss, and toggle which expansion we are playing on the app. For AH it can be a pain to setup the mythos deck (the once a turn event deck) if I want to play with a specific expansion's theme. 

Can't argue with your third point. Just doesn't interest me in the slightest. 

 

The real question is, Imagine if this game wasn't unique and everyone had a desert survival game for $40, with a arctic expansion pack for $10, jungle expansion pack for $10, and two more expansion packs. Would that be preferable to you than what they are currently offering for $60? Could it perhaps be that this is just an inefficient process? 

Ok. So I can find a similar game with 5 times the components for 5 dollars more? Of course not, because there is a profit margin they need for what they produce. Games that are twice as large usually cost twice as much.

Not to mention the increase in box size, weight for shipping, etc.

And if they were selling expansions, they would be 20 or more. I mean look at the Arkham Horror expansions, even the smaller ones are like 20, and they don't have nearly as many components as doubling it.

And I don't have arkham, but I have Eldritch. Do you know how many people actually have a lot of expansions? Not that many relatively. Because it makes set up a pain. And no one wants to pay 100 dollars that takes forever to set up that only plays for an hour. Which is what this game does.

 

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