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# of players (on box) - what is possible or what is good?

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rstraker
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Joined: 12/26/2013

The game I made CAN be played 2 player, or even solo, but is really much better with 4 or 5+.

I listed it as 2-10 on the box, but am wondering if that was a mistake (as it would be unfortunate to play it 2 player and place a final judgement on it - as a few BGG reviewers have done-)

Wondering about changing it next print run (gods willing).

This is the game, btw: www.escapefromsunsetisland.com

Soulfinger
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I'm imagining the guy in the

I'm imagining the guy in the red shirt from your 10 player game thinking, "Man . . . why'd they sit me next to this guy? He has been making that face the entire game!"

The website says 1-10, so that's different than the box? If so, I'd consider updating the site. Personally, 2 players is a selling point for me, but if a game makes that claim then it had better be fun with 2 players. I won't bring it to 5 player game night if I hated playing it with my son.

So, maybe the solution is to make it more fun for 2-3 players. Add a couple mechanics specific to that scenario and make the player experience distinct from a larger game. The added bonus here is that if you are getting lukewarm or negative reviews about the 2 player experience then releasing a free digital expansion to address those concerns is good PR to counterbalance things.

harmon89
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Joined: 01/13/2016
I'm having a similar issue

I'm going through the same questions in my mind. The sweet spot for my game is 4 players, but works pretty well with 3-5. The game only works so-so with 2 and 6 players. With 2 players a key conflict of the game (players blocking each other) is almost entirely eliminated, and with 6 players the game drags a little to much if any players suffer from AP. So do I just make the game a 3-5 player game or find a solution so that it works just as well with 2 and 6 players?

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Scale It Back

harmon89 wrote:
I'm going through the same questions in my mind. The sweet spot for my game is 4 players, but works pretty well with 3-5. The game only works so-so with 2 and 6 players. With 2 players a key conflict of the game (players blocking each other) is almost entirely eliminated, and with 6 players the game drags a little to much if any players suffer from AP. So do I just make the game a 3-5 player game or find a solution so that it works just as well with 2 and 6 players?
From the way you describe it, it seems like the game is currently not suited for 6 players. Scale it back. If there's a really good reason to want 6 players in the game, then rework the mechanics and test that 6th player to death.

One possible fix that seemed to work for me (and apparently for several published games I've played) is to adjust certain components for games with a certain number of players. For example, if there's a subset of cards or components that you roll out only for 3+ player games, that's totally fine as long as the players know how to adjust things during setup. This way, you can suggest implicitly (or even explicitly) that the game experience changes depending on the number of players available.

For example, Agricola has marked cards and boards for this, and I did so on the cards of a current card game prototype I'm tinkering with. Make your notations clear, and it should be accepted without problems.

You can always develop an expansion for the game, or offer a "deluxe" version, that accommodates that 6th player. By the time that happens you'll likely have worked out some other fixes that address the problems - or make it worth playing - with a 6th player.

harmon89
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Joined: 01/13/2016
it is just a little longer

The thing is that mechanically it still works with 6 players, as in it doesn't become unbalanced. It's just that even if each turn only takes on average 30 seconds, that is still 2 and a half minutes until it is your turn again. Do people want to wait that long? People still seem to enjoy it with 6 players it just isn't optimal in my opinion. But I think that is just the nature of a turn based game with 6 players.

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Make Observations

Are players paying attention to the game even if it's not their turn? Does the player seem to become increasingly detached as the game goes on? Have players complained about the length of time that passes between their turns? Does the length of the game take away from its fun?

Playtesting can answer these questions for you, and let you know if revising the game further (or adjusting the number of players) is necessary.

...And I just want to say I think your "trouble at the farm house" video and the entire website is just adorable. :) Looks like you've had a lot of fun putting this game together...!

rstraker
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Joined: 12/26/2013
true true

@Soulfinger, hah - ya, I see it -- pink shirt none too thrilled.
Alter/modify game for fewer players - yes, seems the necessary thing to do. Will have to get creative / thinking cap back on, might be hard to figure.

@Harmon89, 3-5 seems the most popular # anyway. lots of games are 2-4 players - a range of 3 - like 3-5 is also.

@Let-off Studios, Thanks for the kind observation. It was fun. Now I've found your website and will be checking that out. Some neat stuff.

lewpuls
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Joined: 04/04/2009
Say in the rules . . .

Many games that ought to be for 2-5 are set at 2-4 to save components, and to allow for an expansion to 5-6. I think that's rude, if the game works well with as many as 6 it should allow for it in the initial box.

Moreover, games that use direct conflict often don't work well with 3 or even 4, 5 is better.

In any case, say on the box what's been tested and is possible with the components: say in the rules what works best, and why the outliers (such as 6) might have too much downtime for some players.

rstraker
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Joined: 12/26/2013
in the rules

Yes! Barring an epiphany about how to make it more fun with fewer players, that's what I'll do. Thanks.

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