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Publishing a game as both a Euro and American-style game

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jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008

I had a somewhat hypothetical idea yesterday. Suppose you have a game that can permit Euro-style gameplay but with the addition of some components, decks of cards, and rules, can also be a full-blown American, FFG-style game. I wonder out loud whether there would be any appeal to publishing the game with BOTH rulebooks included. I suspect that your audience would have to be primarily people who would want to play both games. People who wanted the Euro might not be keen on buying the bigger box full of stuff that they would never need. People who only wanted the American game might not have as big a problem with it, but certainly wouldn't find the addition of the Euro rules at all an inducement to buy the game. Probably, it would only be successful if both versions of the game are superlative in their genre. People wouldn't be eager to buy two lukewarm games just because they happened to come in a single box. But if you can get a game that offers great Euro play or, with the flip of a switch, great immersive American gameplay, that might be a selling point. Or not. I don't know if anyone has ever considered it before.

-Jeff

kodarr
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Joined: 08/04/2008
This seems like it would add

This seems like it would add too many components making the games price off the charts. It would be cheaper to focus on only one style mostly.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
not necessarily...

Not necessarily; the idea is that the games can be played with essentially the same components, although the "American" version of the game would use some components that the "Euro" version wouldn't. But there would be no more components than a standard FFG-style big box game, for example.

adamw
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Joined: 12/10/2008
Well, for what it's worth, a

Well, for what it's worth, a very interested publisher told us our game "sat between the chairs" after we made some attempt to be a bit of both worlds. Now we didn't actually publish two sets of rules (I think that is the real meat of your question here by the way), but trying to walk between American and European is a very fine line indeed.

Having a game with two sets of rules kinda begs the question for me: why not have two games?

ReneWiersma
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Joined: 08/08/2008
I think this could work if

I think this could work if you promote the game as having a "basic" or "starter" set of rules and an "advanced" set of rules, the latter which adds rules and corresponding components.

Perhaps you could even sell a starter gamepack, with just the basic rules and necessary components and sell the advanced rules and components as seperate gamepacks.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
"Having a game with two sets

"Having a game with two sets of rules kinda begs the question for me: why not have two games?"

I'm not really sure. I'm asking the question mostly hypothetically, although it's not completely out of left field. A game I'm working on right now has a mostly "Euro" feel but with some nudging it seems like it could be an American style game as well/instead. I am just wondering out loud whether there's any perceived appeal to a single game that can provide either Euro or American gameplay. I don't really know how big the audience is that likes both genres.

I think the somewhat lackluster performance of Stonehenge is a useful cautionary note in any case: the rubber meets the road at the quality of the gameplay, and if you put 100 games in the box, the box won't sell if they aren't games that people are clamoring to play.

-Jeff

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
"I think this could work if

"I think this could work if you promote the game as having a "basic" or "starter" set of rules and an "advanced" set of rules, the latter which adds rules and corresponding components."

Yes, that is a successful formula. I've only just got around to playing Agricola but I like how the "family game" offers a slightly different play experience than the standard game. I think it would be important to bill the games as separate, legitimate games in their own right, and not frame one as a more simplistic version of the other -- that might not have as much appeal even though it's functionally the same thing.

I believe that Eagle Games' reprint of Conquest of the Empire had two games in the box, the standard game and a game that played essentially like Struggle of Empires. It's not quite the same as the idea I'm suggesting here since neither of those is really a short game, so the audience is likely the same for both.

MatthewF
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Joined: 07/22/2008
jwarrend wrote:I believe that

jwarrend wrote:
I believe that Eagle Games' reprint of Conquest of the Empire had two games in the box, the standard game and a game that played essentially like Struggle of Empires. It's not quite the same as the idea I'm suggesting here since neither of those is really a short game, so the audience is likely the same for both.

That's an interesting example, though, because the "original" rules (slightly modified from the older MB game), one of the two rulesets, plays mostly like a standard American game, while the Struggle of Empires rules play much more like a Eurogame. In fact, despite the fact that the "Struggle" version takes a few hours to play, I'd definitely say that there's a Eurogame and an "AmeriTrash" game in the same box.

I think your idea of appealing to both markets is definitely interesting. A game design that I'm currently involved with is quite "Euro" in style, but you've got me thinking of the addition of optional battle rules that would allow you to fight out the otherwise more abstracted conflicts on the board. As currently conceived, the additional rules wouldn't require more components (well, maybe a few, but not much, just a few more cards), but would definitely add about 30% more time to the game's length and would definitely be more "AmeriTrash-y." The optional rules would be designed to satisfy American game fans, so... good idea! :)

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