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"Living" Dragon Dice™?

 
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Slaphammer
dragonfoal



Joined: 09 Feb 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:47 pm GMT    Post subject: "Living" Dragon Dice™? Reply with quote

I own a small amount of DD from when TSR first released it in 1995 (I think it's just two starter sets), but haven't really ever played. My interest was rekindled by the release of the Dicemasters game a few years back, so I've done some digging and watched some youtube videos and it seems pretty cool but I haven't yet pulled the trigger on anything.

It occurs to me that part of my barrier to entry is the highly random format of the starters and kickers. I wonder - would the game benefit from being reorganized along the lines of the "Living Card Game" format that Fantasy Flight Games uses for several product lines such as Netrunner Android and Lord of the Rings?

The appeal of that format is that when you buy a starter or expansion, you have everything in that expansion. So you never have to buy the same thing twice, but they regularly crank out expansions so there's always more stuff to buy.

I have no idea if this would even be applicable to DD, but just a thought.
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cliffwiggs
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Joined: 25 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:32 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are well aware of that direction and it is a thought that we've considered in the past, but there are some barriers to doing it that way. As you read this, know that I'm probably the biggest advocate of making the switch, but I can't justify it to myself as being the best decision for the company.

The way dice are manufactured they are inherently random, so the factor would have to pay someone to sort them out once the process is done. OR we would have to create all new tooling to have them produced a single die at a time. Both of those things increase the base cost of the product.

Plus, in any collectible game, the cost of a single unit is partially set by the expected number of units a player will buy. To become 'living' (which only happens to dead games BTW), you have to increase the cost of buying the fixed set to be around what the expected player would've bought in a randomized format.

Dice cost a lot more than cards, to produce so the already small profit margin disappears completely.

and when a game moves into a living format you typically piss off and lose all the collectors. It instantly devalues their collection even if the living version is visually distinctive.

All of that mean that to sell a fixed set of 20 to 60 dice would be so large that most players wouldn't buy it.

On the flip side, I wouldn't say that the current formats are highly random. A single race has only 20 different units (compared to 100+ for a TCG). With a few exceptions you have a 1 in 5 chance of getting any specific die. If you allow for 1 in 10, that is all but a handful of dice. Compare those odds to any TCG and we are much less random than they are. Our 'expected' purchase for the casual collector is about 18 units and the competitive gamer is 36. Even if you account for the higher per unit cost, those are lower than the majority of other collectible games.
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Slaphammer
dragonfoal



Joined: 09 Feb 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:14 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the explanation, also interesting to note that there are only 20 dice per race. I'm not close enough to the game to know details like that, although I did just order the Treefolk/Firewalker starter.

You said only dead games become Living - I wonder if we're talking about different things? FFG's living games include some new (as far as I know?) games like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, but it's true they brought back Doomtown in that format which was dead before. I'm not sure if Netrunner counts the same as Doomtown or not since they revamped it and have made a lot of new stuff since it became Living. Maybe those first two games were regular TCGs at some point to and I didn't realize it?
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:58 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slaphammer wrote:

You said only dead games become Living - I wonder if we're talking about different things?


It is a bit of a misnomer as you are really just doing expansions.

The term has come to mean something slightly different these days. Now it seems to mean a non-collectible game, but the first time it was used it was when games were converted from one format to the other.

Someday I do want to do another product line and will strongly consider doing it in a 'living' format, though I wouldn't market it that way. I view it was just a game and then expansions to a game.

it's all terminology anyway.
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