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Author Topic: Separating the designer from the game?  (Read 1860 times)

Offline mcfonz

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2019, 04:23:59 PM »
This is kinda a tough subject to discuss without getting borderline with some of the forum rules.

Suffice to say I have stopped buying from some mini manufacturers and will never buy from others due to finding out more about them and what they represent.

That's your right as a consumer. If the product you are purchasing is directly funding these people and you don't wish to do so, then it is entirely your choice.

I'd say if you have that big a bone of contention then don't buy anymore of their stuff. Accept that you did but perhaps not armed with the knowledge you have now, move on. Use what you have or shift it. Life is too short, there are a gazillion different miniature suppliers and rule set makers out there to explore.

Offline Arrigo

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2019, 05:17:06 PM »
Only you can decide, this is meant to be your hobby, just go with what will give you enjoyable quality game time.


Okay.... and you know about Valley Games, its warous incarnation, and the Up-Front reprint 'scandal'? Short version (I may be wrong on details, go to BGG for the whole mess, or maybe you all know of that) two Canadian chaps were running a company, Valley Games doing reprint of some AH classics. Sales were bad and they got under, they were bailed out by a gamer with a huge loan. But then they refused to pay back used BGG to smear the loaner and started a KS to reprint the old AH Up Front. KS campaign with lofty and unrelated goal, they promised to redo the graphic using osprey artists, to rewrite the rules to make everything perfect... nd collected huge sums. But...

1) the chap wanted his money back
2) Hasbro had not given them the right to the game, and was starting to get into gear to stop them...

Then it came out that they were not paying the artists, and they could have been over-promising a bit (but people had put in some case 2-300 USD on all in pledges...)

3) it was discovered they were selling assets to fictitious companies to try to avoid the creditor...

the Texas Rangers got involved... <Walker's music clue> at the time KS companies could only be US, so they created a subsidiary in Texas with a chap to run the KS.  The Texas court basically ordered the KS company to pay the creditor with the KS money, and give the money to the court until final judgment was passed. Their texas lawyer basically absconded with the money and the Rangers were after him.  They even got the Canadian courts involved at this point... the original owners decided to take an holiday in Australia and never came back... plenty of people got burned.  Basically a con, but they even got support from BGG leadership when they had BGG banning the original creditor when he started to warn people about the risk involved in the KS...

So yes, I will never buy anything from them.  But... there is a good ending. Hasbro and wargame vault teamed to bring Up Front and its expansions back in its original form, even if without box. So I did not invest in the KS but got the game at reasonable price!

Another story... Terry Shrum and is Fresno Gaming Association (and other names...). The were re-issuing SPI classics with updated graphic (Shrum was a talented computer graphic), but basically no rules. And then, it was early-mid 90s  had a lot of pre-publication offers that never materialized, but they got money. I bought 2 games  from the LFGS of the time, and never tried again. Rip off with barely functioning rules. Plenty of people did the same because they disappeared...  o_o

Different case, more close to the OP. Critical Hit, Ray Tapio, and Advanced Tobruk System. Great game, but shaky company. The owner has a reputation for smearing competitors, and their marketing is both obnoxious and disinformative. Very little information of their products on their website, something you do not even understand if they are in stock or in pre-publication.  The game system is nice, but basically badly supported. Once they were giving updated edition of the rules  for download (quite common for map based games), not they stopped and the last update is an independent, overpriced, stand alone rulebook. Their newsletter looks as written by a 6 years old, with suspicious endorsement and a lot of hype (and almost nothing as real information on the games). And the owner has a bad reputation.  Several designers said he had ignored contract obligations and basically cheated. Despite liking the game, I decided I keep my modules, but I am not investing anymore into it.

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Offline FramFramson

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2019, 06:27:58 PM »
However you go, I wouldn't sweat it too much. The "Art vs Artist" debate is as old as the bones of the hills.

Offline Gibby

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2019, 06:44:31 PM »
I don't have any trouble separating the designer from the game, for the most part, because I usually know nothing about the designer. Obviously, if the website said "all proceeds go to the World Puppy Flaying Society" then I'd give it a miss, but by and large I only tend to want to get to know more about the actual game designers if I play and love several of their works. For the most part I take it for granted that truly odious people wouldn't be all that successful in this hobby. Perhaps I'm naive! I suppose in the age of social media it's all too easy to get to know the personality of most people who are active on there. Unless you ignore it. :D

Offline Antonio J Carrasco

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2019, 06:33:08 AM »
I can't separate them, actually. Or to be more precise, I have some red lines that I won't cross. For instance, there is a Spanish manufacturer that I have stopped buying from because I can't stand his inability to separate his business from his politics. He presents himself as a gentleman, and some people is fooled (I know I was) until you realize that behind the façade there is just a fanatic and a hypocritical bigot.

I've bought nothing from him since 2017 and I don't intend to spend a single euro in any of his products ever again.

Offline Shahbahraz

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2019, 07:25:39 AM »
This all sounds terribly exciting, and I have missed out on it over the years.

I suspect if I did know more about some individuals in the hobby, I might be more reluctant to give them money, but as far as I know, while I might disagree with the tinge of their politics, they aren't funding neo-nazi training camps, or offering back issues of Stormfront free with their latest kickstarter.
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Offline Kitsune

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2019, 08:41:44 AM »
Well, I won’t be buying that Varg RPG at any point soon, TBH.

Offline Elbows

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2019, 02:43:19 AM »
I've never found a wargame or game so good I wouldn't ditch it if the designer was overly offensive (for whatever reason).  Now, would I bash the game because of it?  No.  This is something that journalists and other idiots do too often.  You have one decision, whether or not you spend the money.  I hate people who conflate the quality of a product with the person producing it.

For instance I may despise Actor X...but if he/she does some amazing performance, I won't say "oh that sucks because they're Actor X", etc.

I'm an amateur game designer, and I consider myself a pragmatic asshole.  I prefer an honest jerk over a dishonest fiend. 



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Offline ced1106

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2019, 03:08:23 AM »
Okay.... and you know about Valley Games, its warous incarnation

Yep!

Especially thanks to KS  ::) I've encountered businesses with product I'd like to purchase, but would not do so because of its behavior towards customers or the gaming hobby. Part of this is the touchy-feely kumbaya thing, but it's also practical self-interest, since these companies are more likely to not respond to customer service problems. Prodos / Archon particularly comes to mind (their miniatures are really good), although companies like Defiance have been mentioned on Dakka. I don't know if I'll back another CMON project (I usually don't back them because they don't include enough miniatures), after their unexpected shipping increases during their Bloodborne KS.

While I don't find game designer Mike Selenker particularly offensive, I dislike his SJW viewpoints interfering with game content. Specifically, in the Betrayal at House on Haunted Hill (?)'s Widow Walk expansion, he had his SJW friends design adventures for the game, and their lack of game design experience showed. However, his Pathfinder Adventure Card Game and Acrophobia (?) card game designs I didn't like (the latter was particularly disappointing), so it's no big deal if I don't play his games or not, anyway. Games Workshop is regularly called out for some sort of offense (usually prices), but I don't find their games and miniatures must-haves, either.

Too many games, and too many miniatures. If the designer of Gloomhaven was found offensive, I'd be in a bit of dissonance, but I have so many games that putting a game from an offensive company or creator at the end of my gaming queue isn't all that difficult. Seems to be the same way with miniatures, as I'm not backing a Prodos miniatures KS in favor of two others. However, I still own games and miniatures from those I've found offensive, thanks to deep discounts around the holiday sales.

So I believe that offensive behavior is not necessarily independent of the final product. As I see it, ethics and good customer service is a long-term investment that hopefully pays off, while selfish and offensive behavior may have short-term benefits, but will lose out in the long run. Three years to gain a customer, three minutes to lose one. Life's too short, either way.

Offline Shahbahraz

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2019, 10:55:49 PM »
Can we please refrain from using politically charged terms like SJW, Snowflake or whatever. I came here instead of another wargames forum for the reason they allowed exactly that sort of rubbish.

Offline Antonio J Carrasco

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2019, 06:28:29 AM »
...

Nothing to see here. Move along.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 06:30:20 AM by Antonio J Carrasco »

Offline Condottiere

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2019, 01:44:28 PM »
Can we please refrain from using politically charged terms like SJW, Snowflake or whatever. I came here instead of another wargames forum for the reason they allowed exactly that sort of rubbish.
Instead of burying your head in the sand and hoping things working out on their own or relying on the involvement of an Adeptus Arbiter, why not ask for clarification? Why not ask ced1106 about what's SJW about Mike Selenker's and his friends' viewpoints? In most cases, like my encounter on The Swords of Robert E. Howard, the poster doesn't have any evidence other than biased perception, though I would also ask why it's an awful/subpar product. 

Offline Shahbahraz

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2019, 02:43:16 PM »
Instead of burying your head in the sand and hoping things working out on their own or relying on the involvement of an Adeptus Arbiter, why not ask for clarification? Why not ask ced1106 about what's SJW about Mike Selenker's and his friends' viewpoints? In most cases, like my encounter on The Swords of Robert E. Howard, the poster doesn't have any evidence other than biased perception, though I would also ask why it's an awful/subpar product.

Deflect deflect...

Offline Belligerentparrot

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2019, 03:31:08 PM »
Instead of burying your head in the sand and hoping things working out on their own or relying on the involvement of an Adeptus Arbiter, why not ask for clarification? Why not ask ced1106 about what's SJW about Mike Selenker's and his friends' viewpoints?
Asking for clarification in this case invites an explicit discussion of politics, which this forum is not in favour of. So no one was burying their head in the sand as far as I can see - think you might have jumped to some hasty conclusions there, Condy  :)

Offline Michi

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Re: Separating the designer from the game?
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2019, 03:31:59 PM »
Back to your initial question - I find it very interesting and was subject to your dilemma myself too.
I liked a game for its concept and the miniatures and would have loved to buy and play it, but I would have felt shame and guilt to throw any money in the direction of the makers.
I found my way to work around that by buying it second hand (feeling innocent of having supported them).