1. Guys, great show as always. Huge fan.

    Some praise, some comments, and two pitches for things to discuss on the show.

    I also like the time stamps on the show highlights. I generally listen to 3/4 of the show and skip the parts on games I have little interest in. That’s very useful for an hour long show format. I find it particularly useful to also go back to previous shows to hear a review. If I want to hear a review of Game X or Y, I look back through the shows, and know right where to go to find information on who made it, etc.

    Re: the most recent show, I’ve been considering buying Nightmare Before Christmas TCG. Regarding the comments on the show about there being no player interaction — there are quite a number of cards that attack your opponent’s hand, move his characters around, and discard cards. This game is REALLY about combos. Wow, more than any other CCG I’ve ever seen. You have to memorize your entire deck and decide when to play things for maximum advantage. It may not have as much player interaction as one would like, but it’s definitely got some in the card pool overall, if not the starter deck.

    The above website is outrageous. Not only do they have the full rules, but they also have full images of EVERY card in the game. That is completely unheard of for a print CCG. City of Heroes is giving away A LOT of free decks online too. One thing that would be interesting to hear Chris talk about is how he thinks that free previews tend to affect sales. Did giving away an older version of Ars Magica spark interest or kill it? How about City of Heroes? What’s your guess at how free online demo decks and free decks at Gen Con Indy will impact game sales for COH CCG?

    While I’ve heard that the D20 SRD hasn’t hurt sales of D20 core products, I’ve heard that releasing BESM D20’s contents online largely for free may have really hurt that product.

    Anyway, you may not be interested in this suggested topic, but I think it’d be great to hear from people in the industry about how online freebies impact product sales.

    As another topic idea, consider that the Nightmare Before Christmas TCG has had NO HYPE. If I didn’t get free Game Trade magazines from my local retailer, I would have NO CLUE that this game was even in existence. This is a product with an interesting license, that was released in the shadow of the Corpse Bride, but which had almost no marketing at all. I’m expecting it to die a horrible death and be in discount bins within 6 months. That’s why I’m surprised they have a variety of 2006 expansions planned already for it.

    ** Maybe another topic is how lack of marketing budget impacts sales of licensed products.**

  2. Every card in the game, you say? Okay Lee, you’ve talked me into it: I’ll give the game another chance.

    At GenCon SoCal, the demo *really* gave the impression that winning was entirely luck of the draw, and fiddling with your opponent was right out. The free boosters we received after the demo did nothing to change this impression, so my post-demo conclusion wasn’t very favorable. I’ll have a look at the other cards though. If the cards that fix this problem aren’t all ultra-rare or similar nonsense, I may have to adjust my opinion.

  3. And I know a bunch that might take umbrage at your implication that they can’t tell a card game from a minis game…

  4. Re: Nightmare Combos, the combos are like this —

    MANY cards are multi-modal and do X normally, but give you mode Y if you have certain other cards in play, giving you enhanced tactical choices and improved powers if you stack your deck appropriately.

    The number of multi-modal cards is substantially higher than in some other games.

    Other cards (like creations) ARE NOT multi-modal but have resource cost discounts if you can get certain cards into play.

    I would argue that combo oriented decks are not per se 100% about luck. There is luck, but there is deck stacking. Anyone who has seen a Magic the Gathering or Vs. system explosion decks fire off an auto-win 80%+ of the time by turn four or five will realize that luck can be captured by tuning your deck contents.

    It looks like the game has a fair bit of overall strategy, but I’m concerned that Allan may be right about limitations in tactical options and inter-player interaction.

    What did you guys think of the two proposed discussion topics (effects of freebies on sales, and effects of small marketing budgets on sales of some games)?

  5. Lee, I would def. like to talk about game marketing in a future show. We didn’t this week…in fact I really have no clue what we talked about last night. I am trying to block it out 😉
    Anyway…having moved over from a professonal marketing background, I find the topic interesting.

  6. (Aiee .. I posted this by accident in the video thread.)

    Good show!

    I now have no desire to participate in True Dungeon, as it sounds completly inferior to the out of the way Camarilla event I was in in 2003, which frankly makes True Dungeon look lame and boring in comparison.

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