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Market Success or the Ideal Game?

 Post subject: Market Success or the Ideal Game?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:49 pm 
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Unctuous Toady
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If you were going to create a game, what would be your objective, to create a great selling game or one that was really fun to play and had all the cool things you think are missing in other games?

Do you think that these two qualities (market success vs. the ideal game) are mutually exclusive? I used to think that they could co-exist. But more and more I'm starting to think that the game buying public isn't interested in what makes a really good game, too me anyway.

Okay, I'll go further, the miniature game buying public doesn't seem to be smart enough to appreciate what makes a really good game. For me that includes skirmish rules, a 28mm scale, a gamemaster and a generic/open-ended sci-fi setting. But no game/miniature company seems to be selling anything like that. 40K has for a long time been tournament oriented, which to me is largely a dead end in terms of game design.

Anyway, enough ranting, can a game be a commercial success and combine enough elements that its still really fun? I'm assuming that people have played games that are "really fun" when they answer this. So if a person's experience in the miniature gaming world were limited to mainly 40K then... um, yeah. :eek:


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The game designers themselves know these values are not realistic and they do not intend them to replace or invalidate the fluff. So let's get on with our lives and not fixate over the cosmic ramifications of game mechanics which we already know are streamlined for larger forces at the expense of detail.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:30 pm 
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The way I see it, tournaments are really where wargaming has its strength. So, most wargames are going to be tournament- or campaign-focussed.

Once you start adding in such things as third-party narrative and role-playing elements, it's not a wargame anymore. It's either a role-playing game with miniatures-oriented combat (like the current incarnation of D&D) or - rarely, and rarely done well - a hybrid game that has both role-playing and wargaming elements, that can be played either way. The only one of this last example I have really come across is DP9's games.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:22 am 
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Unctuous Toady
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cykotek wrote:
Once you start adding in such things as third-party narrative and role-playing elements, it's not a wargame anymore. It's either a role-playing game with miniatures-oriented combat (like the current incarnation of D&D) or - rarely, and rarely done well - a hybrid game that has both role-playing and wargaming elements, that can be played either way. The only one of this last example I have really come across is DP9's games.


I'm not familiar with any games by Dream Pod 9 that fit into that niche. What games to you mean Cykotek? I have the rules for Heavy Gear Miniatures at home, but I'm not sure if that's what you mean.

Could you elaborate a bit?


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Venator wrote:
The game designers themselves know these values are not realistic and they do not intend them to replace or invalidate the fluff. So let's get on with our lives and not fixate over the cosmic ramifications of game mechanics which we already know are streamlined for larger forces at the expense of detail.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:02 am 
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Sergeant
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The core DP9 rules engine, which they call Silhouette and use for all of their products (although I'm mostly familiar with them from Heavy Gear), was designed from the ground up to be an integrated system capable of both role-playing and/or wargaming. In fact, all the stats for all the gear (and Gears) are the same whether role-playing or wargaming. All the skills are the same, too.

In fact, if you so desire, you can have a role-playing game run until combat occurs, when you switch to a miniatures- or hexmap-based wargame to resolve the conflict, throwing in role-playing events into the middle of the wargame (like having somebody need to jump out of their Gear to hack into a data terminal to over-ride security to open a dam's floodgates - all while the rest of the team frantically fight a holding action).

For a pure wargame, they do tend to simplify the stats - only two or three composite values - but in a hybrid game a character can use their own skills. Think of the abbreviated stats as a "mook" skillset.

One point of difference is how weapons work - there are two scales, human and vehicle. Damage is applied differently to vehicles, and vehicle-scale weapons are rated at 1/10th their human-scale equivalence. This is generally to simplify vehicle combat - means you don't need to keep track of vehicles with huge numbers of armour or structure. It also means that most human-scale weapons can't hurt vehicles. For a vehicle-scale weapon shooting at a human, there's a fair penalty, but the damage is scaled up by a factor of 10.

Some weapons exist in both vehicle-scale and human-scale, in which case you can use the vehicle-scale damage when attacking vehicles, and the human-scale damage when attacking humans. But the difference is fairly small - only two or three points of damage, human-scale.

For example, a light auto-cannon has a damage of 2 in the vehicle scale, so it would do 2 points of damage to a vehicle. But, to a human, it would do 20. But there is actually a personnel support weapon that uses the same rounds, and in the human scale does 23 points of damage. If you attacked a vehicle with that support weapon, it would do only 2 points to the vehicle.

In a wargame, humans generally are grouped into squads, and these squads are treated as a single unit for attacks and damage. Attacks against a squad apply all damage to one unfortunate person in the squad - unless the weapon is a blast-area anti-personnel weapon like the APGL, which applies its damage to *everybody* simultaneously - major ouch time!

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