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A friend told me Kickstarter is ruining his gaming social circles and he's right

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21 May 2019 02:06 #297397 by WadeMonnig

GorillaGrody wrote: Like capitalism itself, it's all either feast or famine, boom or bust.

I remember, when I first started going to game meet-ups just 10 years ago, it was all Dominion, all the time. Either that, or Puerto Rico or El Grande. These are good games, but I knew there were a bunch of new games cropping up that I wanted to try. People just wanted to play the games they knew. I'm meeting that resistance right now with the miniatures games I've gravitated towards in recent years. There's just Warhammer (which has just never been a good game) and a handful of spunky, well-conceived contenders no one even wants to look at.

Since the middle-ground is too delicate to be maintained, and it must be an A/B choice, I'd say I prefer the glut, and to find my people within it (harder said than done).

My main issue with the glut is that often good games get buried. My wife and I have been looking for a good 2-player trick taking game that's not Haggis for a while, yet I only just heard about Fox in the Forest. It just couldn't rise out of the muck.

therewillbe.games/articles-boardgame-rev...the-forest-in-review

This and Tournament at Camelot.
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21 May 2019 09:08 #297403 by fightcitymayor
A lot of folks visiting this website had their tastes calcified a decade ago in terms of what they want to play. Don't forget there are younger gamers coming of age now who simply have to do so in an environment of KS minis games & a severely more bloated gaming landscape. A lot of vital game curation took place "back in the day" simply due to how much effort it took to actually publish a mass-market boardgame. Arkham Horror was never some quantum leap forward in game design, it was simply what was on the shelf that everyone knew.

The plague that KS games become on game nights isn't necessarily that "KS sucks!" but that once upon a time setting up a new game meant unfolding a board, picking a color, sorting some cards, and off you went. Now people want to bring some minis-laden, multi-box monster to the table, that starts off with, "Okay, Step 1: Movement... " and from there the eyeballs roll and you wish you were anywhere else on earth. And when even the owner of the game has no idea what they're doing (because he just ripped the shrinkwrap last night,) it becomes a lot less of a pick-up-and-play affair. As has been said, at that point it's simply about validating his/her purchase.
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21 May 2019 09:20 #297404 by ubarose
If ONE "whale" can ruin a entire game group, you don't have a Kickstarter/new game problem, you have a social dynamic problem. If it is the case that it is just one person that is dictating what gets played and the rest of the group is unhappy with that situation, it usually just takes someone speaking up and then working out as a group how to decide what gets played.

I suspect that more often the problem is a result not of one person buying games and pushing them on the group, but also that a significant number of other members are eager to try out the new games.
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21 May 2019 09:28 #297405 by Vysetron
Dead on. The fact that KS enables crate after crate of quarter-baked minis games is just exacerbating the pre-existing problem. That said, 90% of games that come with a molded minis tray are crap.

It's honestly pretty simple. People buy games because they think they'd enjoy them. Sometimes they sell themselves on the idea that it's "for" other people because they'd enjoy it too, but at the end of the day that's all it is. Then they bring the game to meetups because they need other humans to make the thing work, but said other humans have their games to play too, and even if the game is actually good it isn't likely to be a hit for everyone. There's no real way to compromise - you can't play half of someone else's game and half of your own. Time is limited. Inevitably some folks, typically the ones that are more demanding, will get their games played more than other people. This leads to the social friction that Erik and others have brought up.

It's not Kickstarter's fault, or even the modern market, as much as we like to bag on those. It's people being selfish with shared time because they buy more games than they can get played and value tracking one more play of the hotness more than just enjoying each other's company.
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21 May 2019 09:40 #297408 by Shellhead
In a way, the hobby has come around full circle for me. In the late '70s and early '80s, there were no reviews. So we just blindly bought games and figured out for ourselves which games were good by playing them. Gaming magazines like Dragon and the Space Gamer sometimes did reviews, and eventually there were reviews online, so it got easier to identify the good games before buying them. Now there are all these Kickstarter games that are immune to reviews because they get the money upfront and sell out upon publication. The big difference now is that there are so many more games in general that it's hard to know what to play.

You might be able to make an analogy with the music industry. Used to be crucial to get airplay on radio stations, and the music that did get on the air was pretty good, overall. But eventually the quantity of new music getting made was too great, and it was finding different ways to reach listeners, especially online. Now it sometimes feels like most new music is inferior, when there is really some great stuff coming out but it's lost in the crowd.
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21 May 2019 09:53 - 21 May 2019 10:05 #297409 by RobertB

Vysetron wrote: Dead on. The fact that KS enables crate after crate of quarter-baked minis games is just exacerbating the pre-existing problem. That said, 90% of games that come with a molded minis tray are crap.


Sturgeon's Law is still in full effect.
Last edit: 21 May 2019 10:05 by RobertB. Reason: Typo
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21 May 2019 10:07 #297410 by Legomancer

RobertB wrote:

Vysetron wrote: Dead on. The fact that KS enables crate after crate of quarter-baked minis games is just exacerbating the pre-existing problem. That said, 90% of games that come with a molded minis tray are crap.


Sturgeon's Law is still in full effect.


I hate seeing Sturgeon's Law used not as an indemnification of garbage but an excuse for it.
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21 May 2019 10:32 #297413 by Vysetron

Legomancer wrote:

RobertB wrote:

Vysetron wrote: Dead on. The fact that KS enables crate after crate of quarter-baked minis games is just exacerbating the pre-existing problem. That said, 90% of games that come with a molded minis tray are crap.


Sturgeon's Law is still in full effect.


I hate seeing Sturgeon's Law used not as an indemnification of garbage but an excuse for it.


I don't remember saying it was acceptable. I basically never shut up about the environmental impact of all this plastic crap, and the games suck. If Kickstarter enacted a policy tomorrow that said "you have lost minis privileges" I'd be fine with it.
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21 May 2019 10:38 #297415 by Ah_Pook
One guy in my game group is hard into Kickstarter, but of the heavy Euro persuasion. I'm usually interested in trying those games once, but he brings them the day he gets them in the mail and has no real idea how to play them. Joining a new game with him is generally volunteering to play one game all night, and also to play it wildly wrong in various frustrating ways. Fool me once etc, I just don't play those games with him any more no matter how they interested in the game I might be.

I'm generally the other person bringing new stuff, though it's generally new to me not actually new. People's enthusiasm for trying out another Dusty old auction game no one's ever heard of or whatever is... Varied.

Thankfully the meetup is big enough to generally have a variety of options available at any given time.
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21 May 2019 13:08 #297418 by cdennett
So, this thread is interesting to me as I *AM* the whale in my group and fairly active in the game acquisition department (Kickstarter or standard publishing being irrelevant). Now, I try not to hit people with new games each week, mainly for my own benefit. But, if I bring a new game, 9 times out of ten it gets voted because the majority of my group values "new-to-me" above familiarity and game mastery. We get enjoyment trying out new systems. Sometimes they suck, sometimes they're meh, sometimes they're great. But there is value to that experience, at least for us. And they're usually not shy about telling me their thoughts, or requesting the game be brought back soon. I talked them into Cthulhu Wars last night, though I did add a new map and faction.

Now, I also do my homework on new games, always reading the rules in advance and, for the more bloated/complicated games, will run a game solo to flush out the rules. Doesn't mean I don't get things wrong, but we rarely have a horrible experience with rules.

I would love for there to be more game curation going on, and if In was smart I'd stop backing Kickstarters and buying any games until I've read enough opinions to have a good idea about a game. But then I have to chase it on the secondary market and pay a lot more or wait for the second printing/KS and simply be more patient. I haven't crossed that mental threshold yet.

tl;dr: New games most weeks really is different strokes for different folks.

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21 May 2019 13:19 #297419 by RobertB

Legomancer wrote:

RobertB wrote:

Vysetron wrote: Dead on. The fact that KS enables crate after crate of quarter-baked minis games is just exacerbating the pre-existing problem. That said, 90% of games that come with a molded minis tray are crap.


Sturgeon's Law is still in full effect.


I hate seeing Sturgeon's Law used not as an indemnification of garbage but an excuse for it.


I think it's a fact of life. The thing is, though, is that the good 10% is different for everybody.
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21 May 2019 13:29 #297420 by ubarose
@cdennett

It sounds like you are doing it right and people are happy with however you all pick which games to play.

But for everyone, you know what is a super nice thing to do? Try to be aware of the people who don't propose games. Point it out in friendly way, like "Joe hasn't suggested a game in a while. What would you like to play, Joe?" Someone did that for me awhile back and it was so nice. Some people just try to go along with the crowd, and need a nudge to speak up.
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21 May 2019 13:49 #297422 by Sagrilarus

ubarose wrote: Someone did that for me awhile back and it was so nice.


You picked Careers again, didn't you?
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24 May 2019 17:08 #297629 by Rliyen
Every Game Day we do this, but it depends on who wins. You win, you choose a game from the pile. The pile varies from my collection, but I keep it fresh by choosing 10 games, texting out the list to see if anyone has suggestions to add or remove from the pile, and we go from there.

This Sunday's collection is

Exalted: War for the Throne (been in rotation off and on, but never played. One of my friends specifically requested it for Sunday).
Knizer's Lord of the Rings with Sauron Expansion (Wife calls it THE MEAN GAME).
City of Remnants
When Darkness Comes (this is my add in, as I made up a scenario inspired by Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf).
Hidden Conflict (we've played this a few times, and my friends liked it).
Heroes of Graxia (Haven't played this one in some time)
Cutthroat Caverns (Ditto)
Nova Cry
Neuroshima Hex 3.0
Runebound - Mists of Zanaga (pulled this out to get the fantasy 'Arkham Horror' feel).

ubarose wrote: @cdennett

It sounds like you are doing it right and people are happy with however you all pick which games to play.

But for everyone, you know what is a super nice thing to do? Try to be aware of the people who don't propose games. Point it out in friendly way, like "Joe hasn't suggested a game in a while. What would you like to play, Joe?" Someone did that for me awhile back and it was so nice. Some people just try to go along with the crowd, and need a nudge to speak up.

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24 May 2019 17:45 #297635 by Space Ghost

Sagrilarus wrote:

ubarose wrote: Someone did that for me awhile back and it was so nice.


You picked Careers again, didn't you?


Careers is such an underrated game. Way ahead of its time.
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