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legacy games?

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The Game Crafter
The Game Crafter's picture
Joined: 06/09/2009

What is your opinion of legacy style games where components are permanently altered or even destroyed through game play?

Soulfinger's picture
Joined: 01/06/2015
From a marketing standpoint,

From a marketing standpoint, it is freakin' brilliant! I love anything that defaces or otherwise devalues the product to reign in aftermarket sales and would love to know the sales figures and demographics for Risk Legacy. Really, the only thing that Hasbro didn't do was formulate some sort of official online leaderboard and forum for people to share their narratives on, something like the website of fan fiction and content that sprung up around that one guy's 10-year-long nightmare hellscape of a Civilization II game.

Then again, all of that may be passé already. With the prevalence of tablets, there could be an app for that, and with an implementation like that, it could be the app that records variables, opens the sealed virtual envelopes, and constructs the narrative, sparing physical components. The next Risk Legacy could very well play more like FFG's XCom game.

As a player, it just depends on the quality of the product, as a game like this isn't much different from picking up an RPG module or hitting the theater. The consumer needs to feel that the entertainment value is worth the price of admission and have a clear understanding of the game as a disposable commodity.

MarkJindra's picture
Joined: 01/24/2014
Repeat Purchase Model

I feel like it is born from the need for companies to implement the repeat purchase model that Magic the Gathering so expertly uses to make hundreds of millions every year.

Hasbro borrowed the repeat purchase model from their subsidiary for Stratego Legends before Risk Legacy and Wizards has been pumping it out in just about every game for years (Kaijudo, WcW, Dreamblade, Hecatomb, Harry Potter, Xena, and so on...)

Adding a limited play for a board game and then a repeat purchase is brilliant. To be honest the only real reason to buy Risk more than once was to get a special edition. The legacy mechanic was sheer brilliance.

The idea of a game that changed after each play in a unique way and has that randomized booster concept built into it like Risk Legacy is an innovation in the standard board game market that I hope does not go ignored by game designers or used as merely a way to sell more copies.

Would I but another legacy game knowing that it had limited play before I needed to buy another copy?

Hell Yes I would.


Now we can wait and see if two innovations will collide in a "504 Legacy" in a few years.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Needs Improvement

Four other people and I had a generally-negative experience with Risk Legacy, after playing through the entire 15 games with the same crew. However, I can't blame that entirely on the "legacy" concept.

Stepping back from that, I still saw Risk Legacy as gimmicky and gratuitous. Destroying components is simply wasteful for the sake of wastefulness and I find that terribly tacky and borderline unethical. There's no reason to not just set unusable components to the side, or add removable stickers/decals/etc. to a game instead of permanent ones. Hasbro has the production capability and just as many customers would buy it.

I'd prefer people to look more to the Shadowrun board game, which is highly customizable, encourages player interaction, and evolves from one game session to the next. It's not as dense as a typical RPG and still retains that board game feel. Better yet, it contains dry-erase components, so players can simply "start over" if they want by erasing the character sheets. Expansions are possible by adding additional cards or character mats. I'd much prefer this style of legacy gaming: players can reboot and add in components as they see fit, should they wish. This is a game I feel did the legacy concept more effectively than Risk Legacy, by a LONG shot.

At least the miniatures from Risk Legacy were worth keeping.

radioactivemouse's picture
Joined: 07/08/2013
Legacy games

Not to make a pun here, but Legacy games are a big Risk.

On one hand, it's a genre that's pushing the envelope. You're essentially setting up a game to be "almost finished" and then you're asking the player to complete the process, thereby creating a game they can call their own. But by doing this, you're permanently changing the game.

But on the other hand, you're pushing against the mindset that games shouldn't be altered in any way. The game should be in the same condition as when it was first opened. I think it's a big fear to permanently alter a game because you don't know if where you're going is going to give a consistent and fun game experience. It pretty much nullifies every review you've read because you're going on your own path.

But is it good? Yes and no. There's no doubt that there will be an audience for these games. It will become niche at best, but not mainstream. With that, yes. The exploration of new game genres is needed. But on the other hand, there's no real guarantee that the finished product is going to be worth the work. One can (in Risk Legacy) name a zone something offensive and now you're stuck with that for the life of the game. You may make a decision you just...regret.

I really want to get the game Shadowrun: Crossfire. It's essentially a Legacy game, but with reviews talking about how losing is common, I wonder whether my decisions will be able to deter that, much less have a group that's willing to play consistently to the end.

But in the end I know my opinion really isn't worth anything until I actually play a legacy game. Still, I'm looking forward to trying.

And that's what these companies want, right?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011

The Game Crafter wrote:
What is your opinion of legacy style games where components are permanently altered or even destroyed through game play?

I have been working hard on designing a "Legacy-like" game. The goal would be to actually mark-up a player's cards (for penalties and bonuses). Where I differ in the implementation is that I am planning to use "Credit Cards"!

So you could write with a "Dry Ink" marker the effects and then erase them as the game goes another round... It's supposed to be a FILLER game between 10 and 15 minutes.

I pretty set about the card manufacturer and have a quote for the cost, what remains is developing the game! ;) But I'm pretty pleased with the manufacturer (obviously in China) but they have real nice stuff like "Silver foil" or "Gold foil", etc...

I think something like this could be pretty cool and allow card effects to STACK... My main interest in the sort of "mechanic".

lewpuls's picture
Joined: 04/04/2009

I recall someone calling Risk Legacy an "Evolution".

I had some students designing a game once, and to place special locations on the board they dropped a handful of pieces onto it. I said, players want the benefit of your skill and analysis as a designer, they don't want something random, they want something that's a good setup.

RL's "evolution" strikes me as mostly-random, especially as players aren't necessarily trying to make the game better when they make changes, they're trying to give themselves an advantage.

It's like aleatoric music. (Wiki: music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer(s)). My recollection is that it's more often chance than performers. What you get is generally junk. Though where the performers determine the music, it might stroke the performers' ego.

(No, I'm not a fan of jazz, either.)

Combine that with, I despise planned obsolescence, one of the Triumphs of Capitalism (not a good one). It's possible to have alterations made without destroying the game. Disgusting.

So you can say I'm out of my mind, I still call it junk.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
lewpuls wrote:RL's

lewpuls wrote:
RL's "evolution" strikes me as mostly-random, especially as players aren't necessarily trying to make the game better when they make changes, they're trying to give themselves an advantage.

In a nutshell, that's essentially what happened about two-fifths the way through our campaign. When the world capital is established in Chile, only to be destroyed by a nuclear bomb literally during the next player's turn... Yeah, I have issues with that. Peoples' impression of the game took a definite turn for the worse after that was permitted.

After a while, the world was so janky and sessions so dissatisfying that the last four games were more like chores than actual games. We completely skipped the last envelope because upon opening it we all realized very quickly that the new 'mechanic' would simply prolong the game session, which is exactly what none of us wanted.

...But at least I acquired a bunch of cool miniatures! !!! ;)

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