Soda Pop Miniatures
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An example of bad, lazy design
http://community.sodapopminiatures.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=12364
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Author:  Ulf Beorstruk [ October 5th, 2016, 3:21 am ]
Post subject:  An example of bad, lazy design

https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/013/984/284/d106f367e0d078028979b5befd3466f5_original.jpg?w=639&fit=max&v=1475624269&auto=format&q=92&s=0fedf9dda1996f6487497458443a338c

Look at this card. Look at the flavour text, and look at the rule.

This is a perfect example of bad, lazy design. In good design, every component piece should be reinforcing each other to create whatever objective you're trying to achieve. The flavour should flow from the rules, and the rules should enhance the flavour.

That's not whats happening here. You've got a piece of flavour text and a rule that on their own are perfectly good for the game and setting. What's happened though is that they're just slapped together without thought to whether they make sense. If it seems like this is just nitpicking, though, here's why this matters. When design elements complement each other they create a whole stronger than the parts, in this case a character. If she had had an ability that fit with the image and the flavour text, you've immediately got a strong character, and with it greater audience engagement and buy-in. Instead, you've got a character that doesn't feel entirely coherent to the player. Whats worse than just the missed opportunity, though, is that when you read her flavour text, that she is the 'best shot in the stars', and then don't get that story reflected in your rules, and in fact see that many of the other characters do have rules that directly belie her flavour, it pulls you ever further out of the immersion in the game. It makes the game's setting, and any other flavour in other cards, less relevant because as a player you're not looking to the flavour to provide clues anymore to how the game should work, or feel.

This is hardly a game breaking problem, but it is an example of bad design, which I feel is what SPM is predominantly known for.

Author:  AzureKnight [ October 5th, 2016, 4:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

I have nothing constructive to add, but I do feel I want to post something because I completely agree with you.

Author:  Nephastus [ October 6th, 2016, 2:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

At least they changed the ugly design of dice symbols. However, despite of cute chibi miniatures, this is a stillbirth game.

Author:  akai [ October 7th, 2016, 12:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

Ulf - My first glance at the card, I think I feel the same way as you on poor design/layout of the card. After reading the rules of the game again, an "opposed search" involves a gunfight between raiders for the loot on that train section. Thus in gunfights revolving around loot in a train section, Oakley would have better advantage than other raiders. So the flavor text does make sense to me, Oakley shoots pretty well in a fight revolving around loot. In hindsight, could they have written a better flavor text? Likely. Or instead of just calling it an "opposed search" to "opposed search showdown" might be better for those not familiar with the rules.

Author:  Ulf Beorstruk [ October 8th, 2016, 4:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

Yeah, no argument that there are ways to interpret it into making sense. It still doesn't feel right though, at least to me. That's what bad design does. If you're not looking for it, it can be an unconscious thing that turns you off from the game.

The thing too is that you gave two good suggestions for better expressing the mechanic, and I'm guessing you didn't spend too long coming up with those. That's why its not just bad design, its also lazy design. Everything feels like it was the first pass, and no one took the time or effort to be critical with design decisions, mechanics, flavour, etc.

I love the IDEA of SPM's games. They create amazing settings and minis, and are extremely good at something that doesn't get talked about much, which is integrating and immersing their world building into their games. They just consistently completely fail at the game design element.

Author:  Daemonforge [ October 8th, 2016, 9:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

I found the difference in skill to fluff odd as well...but when I think about it, there's probably a lot of pure shooter characters already, so making someone who is better at something else, even to the detriment of their background, will be good for game diversity. So really, it's an example.of both good and bad design here. Good in the fact that there is a diverse cast of characters with various skills. Bad in that perhaps not all the skills will match their characters.

And again, Neph, if you have nothing constructive to add to the conversation, just leave. I find the fact that you somehow support SPM while still bashing them every chance you get baffling. Just...ugh...

Author:  Meankeb [ October 8th, 2016, 1:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

I agree the design missed the mark, bad flavor-to mechanic match. I especially like how Ulf described that a player should get a natural feel for what the character is supposed to be for when they are aligned.

It may or may not be "lazy". "Hurried" is what I've come to see from their history. I think that ND is taking advantage of a spot to grab market share, which means trying to get it for sale quicker. Their games are designed to expand and morph over time, which means that looseness around balance has been a traditional part of their products since 2011. I think hiring a full-time game design/rule developer (in Justin) has been incredibly refreshing, and may change what we see on paper in the coming years in terms of a tighter experience out of the box. I want them to break their own rules with fun new abilities and interactions to keep it fresh.

As said earlier, this isn't what happened in this instance, it's just misaligned execution of the character ability, I think most agree this is a miss. My point is that this will happen when you're moving a) trying to move quickly b) operate in a business that knows it will bend/break ability rules as it grows.

Finding the balance of the two will have to come at a sacrifice. Either a) we wait longer for more polished rules (blech!) or b) when that tilts the entire machine due to some wacky broken combo, they can count on this community to candidly supply them feedback, and when it reaches a threshold for revision, they will create an upgrade deck (maybe even a printed, updated rulebook!), I will hand them $15 and move on.

Author:  Ulf Beorstruk [ October 9th, 2016, 2:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

Does it really take that long though to check for things like this? The update came out and it was immediately noticeable to me, surely someone must have looked at it beforehand and questioned the design choice.

I agree that it is a good design idea to have character abilities that play to all aspects of the game. However, for good character design, they need to play to that. If you want to have a character that's good at searching, build them from the ground up with that idea. Their art, model, flavour and rules should reflect that.

I'm sorry, but I just don't accept that this can be justified by them wanting to hurry for market share. It's not like this is an emerging market, they are not trying to introduce anything innovative. The time it takes to have someone check for consistent design is negligible compared to the scope of a project like this. This is what they chose as a final product, so its what they need to be judged on.

Author:  Xris Wraith [ October 9th, 2016, 3:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

I agree, the quote and ability don't go well together. But in the end? Had they taken another quote, you would have been happy. Or at least not as upset, I think. I read these quotes once and that's that. I don't know how you go about it, but I can't envision this to dampen my gaming experience.

Author:  GrauGeist [ October 9th, 2016, 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

Nephastus wrote:
At least they changed the ugly design of dice symbols. However, despite of cute chibi miniatures, this is a stillbirth game.

Tell us what you really think! :lol:

But yes, I passed on this, as I saw RRI as a toolbox which would need all new poker-based rules and mechanics, not what they have here.

Author:  Ulf Beorstruk [ October 10th, 2016, 8:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

Xris Wraith wrote:
I agree, the quote and ability don't go well together. But in the end? Had they taken another quote, you would have been happy. Or at least not as upset, I think. I read these quotes once and that's that. I don't know how you go about it, but I can't envision this to dampen my gaming experience.


Yeah, this isn't enough to make me unhappy with the game as a whole, just to point it out as in the title, an example of bad design.

About the game as a whole, I'm resigned to the fact that I'm going to have to be writing my own ruleset to get what I want out of it.

Author:  Nephastus [ October 10th, 2016, 1:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

GrauGeist wrote:
Nephastus wrote:
At least they changed the ugly design of dice symbols. However, despite of cute chibi miniatures, this is a stillbirth game.

Tell us what you really think! :lol:

But yes, I passed on this, as I saw RRI as a toolbox which would need all new poker-based rules and mechanics, not what they have here.


The game neither yet hit the table of backers and they thinking in house rules to "fix" the mechanics to their flavor preferences.

Author:  Xris Wraith [ October 10th, 2016, 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

but that is quite normal for every game. even zombicide bp which most people agree is fairly balanced and well written is full of house rules, changes, self-made characters....

Author:  AzureKnight [ October 10th, 2016, 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

I agree, I think the people that frequent forums like this tend to really be into a game and therefore will be more likely to house rule the game.

I think I house rule almost every game I own, including Candy Land...

Author:  ape2020 [ October 17th, 2016, 11:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

Heck I think one of the most famous house rules is the money on free parking in Monopoly. I'm sure everyone has ideas to make any game better.

-ape2020

Author:  odinsgrandson [ November 15th, 2016, 6:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

Yeah, I think the house-rules people aren't spelling doom for the game in any way- this happens a lot with successful games.

If anything, it shows excitement for the game.




And as for the card- an opposed search is a situation where Oakley is shooting another raider. This will give her a significant boost when dueling other raiders, and not so much when fighting a car full of bots (opposed searches make up the vast majority of non-bot fights).

I'll grant you that the term "opposed search" doesn't sound like a high noon style quickdraw, but that's how it plays.

Author:  kreation [ September 9th, 2017, 10:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An example of bad, lazy design

We've loved the game. But I was VERY disappointed that they use the same top art on the Long Arm cards in the expansions. If I have models that replace a Sheriff, show that picture, etc. Maybe it's so folks that don't want to mix their core and expansion options, but that's the first thing I did. LOL

I plan on making my own and sleeving them when the sleeves arrive, so if anyone has a card builder setup that would make it easy, please share. If not, when I'm done, I'll post them on the ND/SP facebook page.

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