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Non-Traveller Gaming A forum specifically for discussing those other games we like to play.

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  #21  
Old June 13th, 2018, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Back in the 80s when I went to gaming or scifi conventions, there was a strong commercial element. But now that games have been predominantly dumbed down many shades, it's all big business, and not the guy or group of friends who pool their money together to get some rules, a map and a sheet or two of counters printed up, and packaged in shrinkrap at the local hobby store.
Wait, what?

Have you not been to DriveThruRPG or Wargamevault?

Any yokel with Notepad can pretty much package and sell whatever they want.

As with everything else, the Internet has reduced the barrier to entry for folks wanting to sell product to effectively zero.

Whether folks are actually doing this is a different story, but the infrastructure is well entrenched to empower folks to do this.
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  #22  
Old June 13th, 2018, 09:59 PM
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You know, I thought someone would throw that at me. And I guess that's kind of true. But it's like most of the games I saw at the convention weren't the complex fare of days of yore (80s) but fantasy oriented Parker Brothers kind of stuff. Monopoly in Middle Earth as opposed to an old Avalon classic like Midway (which I used to have) or Wood Ships and Iron Men.

But you're right, you can crank out something and throw it up on Drivethru, but the gamers I saw at that convention were a different breed from previous decades.

At least that's how it felt to me. Maybe I'm wrong on that.
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  #23  
Old June 14th, 2018, 02:45 PM
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The convention I go to in Biloxi, MS, since 1982, I have seen a reduction in the number of people playing Traveller or AD&D type games.

The local county library has been coming for several years... they have board games you can check out and play at the convention. When done, you check them back in.

I saw what looked like a miniatures games for WW2. I walked over, and it was a game company looking for people to play test.

The majority of the people there didn't seem to be interested in the types of games we play. I may have missed some, but I do check with the guy who runs the gaming area. He told me the number of gamers we knew, and the types of games we played, have reduced numbers.

My sister and I have looked at going to a convention that is closer. I checked their game room listing... board games you can check out, and apparently only card games otherwise. Its a small Anime and Cosplay convention.

So I think things have changed.

But I do know several people over on an AD&D forum who play by post and play on Roll20 and other similar online sites.

My opinion is what we game in, is still around. Its just harder to find a game session.
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  #24  
Old June 14th, 2018, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
You know, I thought someone would throw that at me. And I guess that's kind of true. But it's like most of the games I saw at the convention weren't the complex fare of days of yore (80s) but fantasy oriented Parker Brothers kind of stuff. Monopoly in Middle Earth as opposed to an old Avalon classic like Midway (which I used to have) or Wood Ships and Iron Men.
Honestly, that wouldn't surprise me. The production values of games have gone way up. But with bigger pieces, you lose density.

I recall memories of some monster war game covering two tables with a 1000 counters set up at a convention, to wit it seemed all that happened was the front line moved back and forth a few hexes over a couple days.

I recall the board of Advanced Third Reich, with the black and brown of the Eastern front meshed together like gears and chain.

I remember being in a pick up SFB game (pretty much all I played at conventions was pick up SFB), and the Facilitator of the nearby Rail Baron tournament chastising us to keep it down because the players were trying to concentrate. On Rail Baron. "Uh, yea, ok."

It's certainly a different time. A box of counters and a hex sheet with roads and rail and hillsides scrawled out in as much detail as a crayon can convey is hard pressed to catch an eye in the modern market.

There's a Games Workshop store near my house. 100% GW stuff. It open just after the 2008 economic fun times. I was quite amazed that they opened, especially when they opened, figuring folks at the time had better things to do than spend $80 on a set of plastic tanks.

But, shows you what I know. They're still here obviously doing enough business to keep the owner/operator invested enough to keep it open.

Closest thing was have to a game store (besides the GW store) is a local Barnes and Noble, and it's dominated by miniature games. There's some Star Wars game, with VERY NICE miniatures. I just can't fathom ponying up the $20-30 a pop for them. But what do I know. $5 for a "micro game" ala GEV in 1981 is about $14 today. And I certainly didn't hesitate to drop $40 (at the time) for AHL. But I was in High School with $$$ from my Dad, so, you know, different value system. So, what do I know.

The hobby has matured, and the market grown. There's more to a game than mechanics, and folks expect nice components and a flashy presentation.

I'm not familiar with the Wooden Ships rules, but I bet that could be release today as a miniatures game, especially if it had "Pirate Bounty" or something equally romantic. Call it "Letters of Marque".

Same game, just different layout. Cut out any rules on starving crews and scurvy (assuming there were such rules).

The pastime now is to adventure and frolic and have fun, not so much pick a point in time and re-enact it.
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  #25  
Old June 14th, 2018, 06:47 PM
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I guess. I just got depressed that a classic like Car Wars was offered (which I played), but that the new version is going to be sexed up and probably dumbed down to appeal to this new market.

I mean, you're right, and because you're right I feel like the old coot down the street who yells at kids to get off his lawn and still talks about the possibility of the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn for LA. I just feel like my hobby has been invaded and cranked into a big business model meant to appeal to the family demographic. Which is just another slap in the face because even with Travellers Gauss Guns and high energy weapons, you could still run a "capture the monster on the space ship" kind of game without a lot of violence.

It's like there's a softening of the genre. When I see ads for fantasy computer RPGs it's all cleaned up and, dare I say it, feminized to grab a larger consumer market.

Some decades back when I used to go to Pacificon most of the games were Star Fleet Battles or Car Wars kind of stuff, with D&D, Champions, Tunnels and Trolls, FASA stuff, you know, the standard stuff. But now it's really less complex stuff that's oriented around cards.

I just hate the bait and switch of creating a game with lots of fancy game pieces and shiny graphics, only to have it be little on substance with a paper thin rule book. It's like the stuff on Wil Wheaton's Table Top TV show is now considered "war sim" or "RPG" material, when it isn't.

I haven't vented my spleen on the SJGames forum, because I don't want to anger the gods there, but it's like Steve Jackson built his company on things like Ogre, GEV and Car Wars, games that had a degree of tactical and strategic thinking in them, and that you had to have in order to play them. And now they're redesigning the game for a new gaming market?

At this point in my life all I can do is fume and shake my head. I mean....Pathfinder and the new edition of D&D are more complex than ever, and are just trouncing the faux-"warsim"/faux-RPG market, so maybe the big business marketers will get stung for trying to screw with my, and our, genre. And, if that happens, we'll see a resurgence in good serious warsims and RPGs.

Sorry for being so angsty about this, but I've got a passion for the old school scifi RPGs and warsims. I don't want the genre soiled with marketers.
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  #26  
Old June 15th, 2018, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
I haven't vented my spleen on the SJGames forum, because I don't want to anger the gods there, but it's like Steve Jackson built his company on things like Ogre, GEV and Car Wars, games that had a degree of tactical and strategic thinking in them, and that you had to have in order to play them. And now they're redesigning the game for a new gaming market?
Munchkin Car Wars?
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Old June 15th, 2018, 04:15 AM
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Gaming in general has just changed a great deal (or rather the popular face of it). I'll start a new thread in the next few days.
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  #28  
Old June 16th, 2018, 09:51 AM
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My sisters are the old school gamer types.

"No prisoners ! No quarter !" they have exclaimed at more than one game session, including at conventions. Their characters have never taken orcs, bad humans, etc. as prisoners.

When the youngest of the two runs her Chill or Call of Chthulu games, and smiles, the players have been known to become quite scared.

But I do understand what you mean Blue Ghost.
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