Articles Interviews Direct from Zev: The Z-Man Sale to Filosophia!
 

Direct from Zev: The Z-Man Sale to Filosophia! Direct from Zev: The Z-Man Sale to Filosophia! Hot

Direct from Zev: The Z-Man Sale to Filosophia!

So in a surprising bit of news, it was just announced that Z-Man games has been bought by French Canadian publisher Filosophia. Is Zev imploding? What does this mean for all the great games he has in the works? Did Earth Reborn and all the dummies that haven't bought it bankrupt this once glorious publisher? I spoke with Zev and had him clear up a few things for us. We also talk about some of the new Z-Man releases to look for in the coming months.

So what’s the story with Filosophia buying Z-Man?

I got an email, they said there was a rumor I was for sale. And I was like not really I just joked that if the price was right I'm always for sale, and they said what’s your price and we just started talking from there.

Kind of awesome huh?

Yeah it was cool. Sort of strange, weird, but you know, so was me publishing games.

So basically Z-Man’s really not gonna change at all other than the fact that now there will be a bunch of other people dealing with the paperwork and nonsense that’s not fun for you to deal with anyway?

Correct. Basically, my goal, my job is to be the face of Z-man, be at conventions and just keep finding good cool weird games. Basically they are gonna take over all the day to day stuff; sales, invoicing, marketing, CS, you know all that stuff that I had to do, but wasn't crazy about. So I get to concentrate on all the parts I really enjoy.

Are you worried at all about losing that personal touch in customer service that you were so known for?

Well I told them that my customer service reputation is really up there and they would harm themselves if they started fooling around with that. They said they want to keep up the same level of service that I gave, absolutely. They are the ones that wanted me, they said to buy your company without you is a crazy thing and we don't want that. So I feel confident that they want to keep up the status quo. I mean, maybe I was a superhero and did things that no one can, I don't know. But you know, when I go to a show or away on vacation or something, I shut down; nothing takes place. It won't be with them cause their office is always open. So even if someone goes on vacation, there will always be someone there to do something. So maybe CS will be even better.

There is a lot of trepidation mixed with excitement coming from most fans in the hobby, people are so happy with current Z-Man stuff, do you think you'll lose some of that personal connection with customers?

There will be people who feel that way, but I really stress that it's Z-Man. That's what it is and they want to keep it that way. There is always trepidation with change, but it should be a pretty invisible change. If there had been no news about, I don't think people would have known about it. At least certainly not right away.

So we can still complain to you about Agricola or release dates?

Of course! But now Filosophia will also be able to field those calls so I won't have to do it all the time. Especially about what comes out when, I'll know because I'll be in the loop but now I got somebody else that can do the same thing.

Do you think this will change Z-Man’s output, you've had a pretty insane pace the last year or two?

I think we're gonna slow down. I was considering slowing down anyway. I don't think they will keep the same pace, it was honestly a really crazy pace, I did go pretty wild on the releases and stuff. I was planning to slow down. The main thing I was gonna watch out for was to not have some many games come out in one month. I had nobody to check me really.

I think it's indicative of how you are as a publisher and why gamers tend to like you so much; you just happened to have a lot of games you were excited about come down the pipe at the same time.

Exactly.

Is the process of finding new games going to be the same? Will you still accept submissions from anyone and have an enormous closet full of prototypes all the time?

Well I still got a closet full right now! I think we'll still keep it open, we just might not get to as many right now, especially during the transition, but even now it's been pretty slow. I haven't playtested as much in the last few months. Once the transition happens I can pick up the pace again and set up playtesting dates. I still have a lot to go through. I think we'll keep our eyes and ears open more at conventions and stuff like that and pursue things that we see there while we are there. I think the blind submissions might slow down a bit, at least until I catch up with the stuff I already got.

Are there any titles that stand out as blind submissions that turned out to be huge hits?

Wasabi was a submission. Endeavour. Pandemic was in effect; I met Matt and tried one other game of his in person and I didn't like that one but he said he had another one and he sent that to me and , well we know the story of Pandemic. Pretty much the ones that weren't, were things that were originally published in another language like Agricola.

Anything else to add about Filosophia?

I'm still gonna do stuff that F:AT fans are gonna be interested in. There are titles that might not fit under Filosophia imprint but would be perfect for Z-Man, something like Road Kill Rally. They would never do that under their own imprint, but under Z-Man, they can. So there is still definitely an avenue to AT type stuff that will be of interest to everybody.

Speaking of AT, I know you are a huge fan of trashy dice and themes and ridiculousness and you have a lot of good ones in the pipeline. One that people haven't really talked about that much yet is the Walking Dead game.

Yeah I was actually surprised, I thought there would be more talk about that. But, who knew.

So what's the story about that? I couldn't find much info about the actual game play, I think people are excited about the license but you know, how does the game play? Why should we be talking about it more?

It's a zombie game, it's licensed from the comic so we're using that art, we're not using any art from the TV series. I think the game, whether or not people like it, I think its very thematic to the Walking Dead universe, meaning you feel like you're in the Walking Dead comic. You'll be playing the characters, you'll be meeting and gaining followers, many of whom are from the comic book that you'll recognize. and the goal of the game is to survive basically. You're trying to gather resources, you're trying to find safe havens. It will feel like a real Walking Dead game.

So this is co op?

It’s available to be co operative, but it is competitive. It's basically a race to be the first group to find four safe havens, but the thing is, you can work together. You can have 2 or 3 groups work together to find the 4 safe havens. Plus there is also solo play.

Any update on Scorched Earth?

At this point, anything that's not at the printer already, I'm meeting with Filosophia in July to discuss stuff that I've committed to but are not at the printer and we're gonna find out what they wanna do or not. Unfortunately that's the only downside to the transition, I had so many games in the pipeline, some might get moved to 2012, but basically we need to discuss what's going to be available and what's not. My goal is to find out what they are not going to print for sure and either find another place to publish it or get it back to the designer.

So there is some stuff that has the potential to be cut loose?

Yeah, that's true.

I really hope Scorched Earth doesn't get cut!

Me too, I'm gonna push for it, but they are the final arbiter.

Battle Beyond Space, is that at the printers?

No, but I think because it's already done and ready to go to the printers and we already have the molds for the ships, I can only assume they won't say no to it. But again, it is one I still have to discuss.

What about Quest?

Quest is at the printer and should be in time for GenCon.

Ok, so sell me on Quest. Obviously the fantasy adventure game genre is pretty crowded, but you, not being an idiot, would not be publishing a game in such a crowded pace if it didn't have something special and awesome to it, so why am I gonna want to buy it as soon as it comes out?

The first thing is it's not like your typical adventure game, it's not like Prophesy, Talisman, stuff like that. I think it's much closer to an RPG. Prophesy is a board game with role playing elements, this is a role playing game with cards/boardgame elements. It's basically a role playing game. Almost a choose your own adventure. There is a quest master and he describes the scene and he says here are your choices; do you wanna do this, this or this.

So is it almost like a Tales of the Arabian Nights?

It's closer to that, except it's more liner. You're not sent around all over the place. There is a strict adventure with a finite end point. There are different paths to get there, but it's a full adventure with a beginning, middle and end. You can just play around on how you get to the end, you have some freedom but not a lot of freedom, you're going to end up the same way, well, or dead. There is a combat system, basically a tabletop combat system; you'll be putting figures on the board, rolling dice and there will be movement, casting spells and all that. So there is a tabletop combat element to the game, but it's more of a role playing game than not. There is an adventure booklet with 5 adventures which basically tell the whole story, basically a mini campaign. There are also breaks in the adventures where you can stop if you want to play a shorter game. But all your decisions will have impacts later on. Like if you can either help this girl or run away. If you help her, you may meet her later on and if you helped her she may help you. So there are lots of decisions, but it's more linear. I think this will appeal to role players and also people who want to role play but don't have a lot of time but want to have that role play feel.

What kind of replay with this have?

Very little. You can toughen it up and stuff, but once you know the outcome there won't be much for that adventure. But that's the thing, we're coming out with more adventures.

So it's more of an RPG model where you play through the adventure once and then go on to the next?

Exactly. Right now there is a second quest coming out in Germany with more adventures all tied into the same story. So after you play this one, you'll know the system and the next one will have a whole new story line.

What is the thing in the pipeline that we should be most excited about? What's the next Earth Reborn?

That's definitely coming out or not? There is one that we still have to discuss but I'm really excited about; it's called The Doom That Came to Atlantic City. It's basically Cthulu mythos in Atlantic City and instead of building houses like in monopoly you're destroying them to open gates. It's a lot of fun; it's funny and plays in about an hour/hour and a half. It's a lot more of a "boardgame" than Earth Reborn which is a minis game. We do have miniatures by Paul Komoda who’s a great sculptor, so we're gonna have pewter figurines of the elder gods. In terms of what I know for sure is coming out, Quest is something I'm really excited about, I think it's something that's not really been out there. Couple other good titles; Undermining, Ninjato has some interesting things to it. But yeah, Earth Reborn, that's something I love. It's right up my alley. I don't think there's gonna be too much like that ever. Although I am working on some big box things and we'll see if those get pulled into the thing with Filosophia or I gotta do them separately. So I do have a couple of big plastic games we're working on.

Talking about Earth Reborn, are there any plans for expansions or more scenarios? Boxes of new stuff or just online scenarios?

I know they are thinking of another expansion, I just don't know how viable it will be. Or exactly where we're gonna fit in with that. I know Chris has many times talked about that he has lots of ideas. And there is so much you can expand on, you know figures, factions, tiles, there is so much you can add to it. But honestly, I think the game has pretty much anything you need to do to keep you busy for a very long time. But you know, people do like new stuff and I don't mind and of course hey, I love new figures and new cards and stuff like that all the time. But it's not necessary.

So you alluded to it before, but can we clear up once and for all that Earth Reborn is not a total failure and was the worst and Zev lost his company because Earth Reborn did so bad?

I didn't lose my company because of Earth Reborn. I didn't lose my company because of anything, I was doing really well. Earth Reborn just didn't do what I had hoped it would do. But also because I committed very much to the game, I did a lot of them. If I had committed to a smaller print run it would have been a huge success, but I did a big amount because I really hoped it would do more. I really thought this would be a game that Space Hulk fans would buy, and other minis gamers, so it’s been a failure in that regard. But it is still early, it's only been out like 5/6 months so I'm saying this, but it's like I didn't give it a full shot yet, it hasn't been out a year yet. It hasn't been out at any of the cons; we sold out at Origins rather quickly, I didn't bring as many but still, we sold out. I think the Tanga thing a lot of people bought it and played it and are like wow this is cool, so hopefully that pays some dividends.

It's gonna turn into the next Nexus Ops or something; people don’t' really care when there are a ton of them and then it goes out of print and people freak out because they finally discover what a good game it is.

Exactly, but the good thing though is that I printed a lot so it will take a while for it to go out and not be available. But it's only cause I committed a lot and I stuck by it and it just didn't do what I hoped it would so far. But it's doing alright and I'm happy with that.

Not selling completely up to expectations doesn't mean it's a complete failure either.

Exactly. It did not tank my company. It's inventory and ties up some capital. But I still have 13 or 14 games coming out this year. I have about 35-40 the whole year coming out.

Can you talk about Richard Launius's spy dice game that totally rules?

Well, I'm gonna be pushing for all these things when I go up there in July. I'm bringing prototypes and hopefully we’ll be able to play as many of them as possible and hopefully they'll agree with me. But again, it's really up to them but I'm gonna push for all that.

Closing thoughts?

First off, thanks to everyone for all the support. I'm a gamer, I love gaming, I do my best to come out with games that I think everybody’s gonna want to play. I love doing it. I met a great number of people, I had a lot of fun and I'm gonna keep doing it. You know, I'm still here, I'm gonna be with them. It’s pretty much status quo for me, I just don't have to do the business things. But who knows, I might have had to hire someone anyway at some point. It was getting to that point.

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Comments (31)
  • avatarKen B.

    Awesome man, thanks for the scoop.

    As far as not talking up Walking Dead, we ran the news bit, but we don't have enough details yet to really start talking about it. I'm looking forward to it, but until I have more info, I can't really start chatting it up too much. It was a hot license, so a big coup for Z-Man.

    I initially started dealing with Zev waaaaay back in the days of him doing Raw Deal CCG prize support and manager reports. Zev really is a legend and one of the nicest guys in the biz, so I hope he made some nice coin, and now gets to sit back, enjoy the fruits of his labors and still get to do what he loves. You cannot beat that.

  • avatarHatchling

    Great interview!

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    Zev, I gotta say, I'm not sure $27 and a copy of Robocop 2 on DVD were quite enough to purchase all of Z-Man's assets. I would have given you at least fifty and the Criterion edition of the first Robocop. Is it too late to renege?

    This is all great news, and I'm really happy to see one of the nicest and most passionate people in the business rewarded with success.

    But come the hell on people...Earth Reborn is awesome. Don't be a coward.

  • JJJJS

    I love Z-Man Games, but I don't even know how to begin talking up The Walking Dead with friends. There's no info other than what Zev said in this interview. I know the Walking Dead creator said he loves it and said it has the right feel, but that's all.

    Earth Reborn needs the love. Seriously. I talk it up everywhere I go. I don't get it. However, what I have noticed is neither of the game stores I frequent have it on the shelf. Both have miniatures nights. I've played my copy at one of the stores with my game group.

  • avatarGary Sax

    Congrats on the sale!

  • avatarGrudunza

    Great interview. Thanks for the details, Zev. Any word on another Pandemic expansion? Seems like it's been a while. (Still my favorite pure co-op.)

  • avatarmoofrank  - Yay

    Quest does look great, and appeals greatly to my love for starter RPGs in a box. I think I've got a really complete collection of the D&D starter kits over the years, and adore those more than the full book sets.

    The thing I adore about Zev is when I see a notice that Z-man is publishing something I've never heard of. Then I look at it and I am amazed at both how cool it looks, how he scooped me on actually knowing it exists, and how insane he is for publishing the crazy thing.

    Except that sometimes that works. Matt Leacock had practically given up on Pandemic because he had been told by "everyone" that there is no market for co-op games.


    There is a Walking Dead Designer Diary on TOS that goes into some detail.

    I'm also holding out hope for Scorched Earth and Battle Beyond Space. Thanks for asking specifically about the second one. It did turn up on a Geeklist as 400 people have it on their wishlists.

  • avatarAncient_of_MuMu

    Still no word on the infamous Game Z that was mentioned here a couple of years ago. Boy that is starting to piss me off.

  • avatarJonJacob
    Quote:
    ... they are thinking of another expansion ... you know figures, factions,

    sounds great!

    Quote:
    tiles,

    yeah, good call, I'll need a few more of those too.

    Quote:
    there is so much you can add to it.

    agreed, so let's get cookin'

    Quote:
    I don't mind and of course hey, I love new figures and new cards and stuff like that all the time.

    I'll eagerly await the announcement. I guess that's a promise eh? Thanks Zev, I owe you one!

    Nice interview, very timely. But "French" Canadian... really? You damn separatist! If I kiss you will you turn into a prince?

    (It's a Robert Charlebois reference people don't get all upset)

  • avatarengelstein

    Zev is an absolutely stand-up guy, and I wish him only the best.

    I have to say that I'm happy that we got Ares Project through the pipeline just before the big 'evaluation', though...

    Geoff

  • avatardaveroswell

    I'm hoping Scorched Earth makes it.

    There was a rumor of a ZCon sometime. I guess that's squished?

  • avatarEgg Shen

    Big congrats to Zev. Z-Man is the best publisher in the business as far as I'm concerned. I hope things only get bigger and better. Best of luck!

  • avatarEgg Shen

    Also...Quest and The Doom that Came to Atlantic City sound fantastic! I can't wait to see/hear more about those. They both sound like awesome/fun designs.

  • avatarcaradoc

    Great interview Matt! Great questions.

    I too am hoping that Scorched Earth makes the cut - sounds great!

    I did a short write up of Quest in the latest issue of the Z-Man Games newsletter - and there will be more next issue (though that will delayed a week or so as I'll be away).

    Cheers,

    Giles.

  • JJJJS
    Quote:
    I have to say that I'm happy that we got Ares Project through the pipeline just before the big 'evaluation', though...


    THIS is the news I've been waiting for. When I saw the release date of "This Summer" go to "June 2011" and just recently back to "Summer 2011" I got very scared for it when I heard about the sale. I saw your twitter on how well Ares Project sold at Origins, but I'm depending on the wider release.

    But don't mind me. I've only been waiting for this game for over a year when I first heard you talk about it on one of the podcasts you're a part of. :)

  • avatarEl Cuajinais
    Quote:
    Earth Reborn needs the love. Seriously. I talk it up everywhere I go. I don't get it. However, what I have noticed is neither of the game stores I frequent have it on the shelf. Both have miniatures nights. I've played my copy at one of the stores with my game group.


    Dude,
    I wrote a contest entry to the folks at D6 Generation podcast where the 3 hosts love boardgames and RPG's and 2 of them are tabletop gamers as well. In the entry I mentioned I could not believe they had talked about the new granddaddy of squad combat games, Earth Reborn. They read it out load in the podcast since it was a contest entry, and only Ross had played it, and he said something along the lines of "meh, I thought it was too involved for what it was". WTF? That is an understandable comment from a person who plays light boardgames. But from a person who plays, RPG's, Table Top games, and paints his own miniature armies? It just doesn't make sense.

    I have a theory on why Disney became the empire that it currently is. In a word: Mickey Mouse. My 2yr old son has been exposed to hundreds and hundreds of cartoon characters from different companies. You can find them in cereal boxes, TV shows, plush toys, etc, etc, etc. But for no apparent reason, he always loved Mickey Mouse from the first time he saw him. Other Disney charters don't matter much to him either (well maybe Buzz Light-year because he has wings). The other kids his age may have their own different likes as far as characters go, but they all LOVE Mickey Mouse. It universal. I'm convinced that damned mouse has mythical powers.

    So basically my theory regarding ER's sales it that its art has a reversed Mickey Mouse effect. (Based on how many users here have knocked ER for its art). It's the Jonah of tactical squad games. Maybe most people just find it fugly and can't be bothered. Then again a few weeks ago there was a discussion here of a game where the box art featured some cats dressed up in medieval clothes. It was possibly the ugliest box art I've seen, and many people were praising it, so maybe I'm just wired wrong.

    Zev,
    Thanks for taking the chance on ER, I still have high hopes that the table top crowd will discover it. Thanks for all the great games you take chances on. Thanks for Merchants & Marauders, the only boardgame I can play with my wife and not feel I'm playing a crappy simple game just because my wife won't play the type of games I like (I'm looking at you YOMI and Mr. Jack.) And many thanks for a such a candid interview, it was a pleasure to read. Other game company heads please take note on how to do an interview: Just answer questions truthfully and speak like a regular Joe, not a corporate person; and we will love you for it.

    Loter,
    What the hell? Since when are you law-abiding citizen, proper and all? When Zev said he wasn't sure on Scorched Earth getting released, it was your prerogative, nay DUTY, to put him in a headlock until he agreed to have it released. You're losing your touch man!

  • avatarmoofrank  - Game-Z

    Mumu: Don't hold your breath. As far as I know, no one has picked up Game Z. The lure was more of the theme and the way the game was put together. Actual play was somehow unfulfilling.

    I got the idea that a massive reworking could make it a Game Z. But often you see a prototype with lots of potential, but the promised treats never occur.

  • avatarhotseatgames

    Cool interview, thanks!

  • JJJJS
    Quote:
    So basically my theory regarding ER's sales it that its art has a reversed Mickey Mouse effect. (Based on how many users here have knocked ER for its art). It's the Jonah of tactical squad games. Maybe most people just find it fugly and can't be bothered. Then again a few weeks ago there was a discussion here of a game where the box art featured some cats dressed up in medieval clothes. It was possibly the ugliest box art I've seen, and many people were praising it, so maybe I'm just wired wrong.


    I think you're theory's sound. A lot of my post was shouting at the sky in anger, although the game is so good and, to me, so attractive. I'm surprised the FFG coffin box buyers didn't snap it up.

    As for the art, it's very busy, and there's nothing for anyone to attach it to other than the post-apocalyptic setting. People who don't like those games won't be attracted. One look at the character cards, and without a guiding hand I can see how new players could be intimidated.

    I do think ER would have done much better commercially outside the one-and-done board game world we're living in. Tutorial scenarios that only offer part of the game at a time are a drawback for board gaming these days because people just want to jump in, play, and move on to another game entirely. Geoff Engelstien was talking about this on a recent episode of Ludology and used ER as an example. I agree very reluctantly, only because I hate the one-and-done culture and I would like to imagine it doesn't exist.

  • avatarEl Cuajinais

    Dang. I cannot edit my previous post but it's to supposed to say that the D6 Generation guys had NOT talked about ER on their show. That's why I sent in the contest entry mentioning the game and Ross just said the game was meh.

  • JJJJS  - re:
    El Cuajinais wrote:
    Dang. I cannot edit my previous post but it's to supposed to say that the D6 Generation guys had NOT talked about ER on their show. That's why I sent in the contest entry mentioning the game and Ross just said the game was meh.


    No worries. I understood what you were getting at. And those guys slobbered all over Horus Heresy when it came out. Talk about a game that's "too involved."

  • avatarSka_baron

    This is what I come to the Fort for. Great job Matt on getting up off your ass in record time - this is exactly what everyone wanted to read about and you delivered. And thank you Zev - you always seemed like a gamer at heart and all your successes and challenges havent changed that - rock on!

  • avatarZMan

    Thanks for all the kind words.

    JonJacob: yeah, I do not know why I have to specify French Canadian. I think it is because the company's focus was on French language games and this was their break into English language games. Also, I guess, to sort of put them on the map of where they are from.

    daveroswell: I am still considering a publisher's con (it wasn't a z-con) though I did consider a z-con around 2005 or so.

    Others:
    new Pandemic expansion in the works. Absolutely.

    Earth Reborn: man that game has so much baggage, good and bad. I love the game. Let's see how it plays out in the marketplace. As mentioned, it has only been out a short time.

    I'm sure I'll have more to say.
    Zev

  • avatarEgg Shen

    Hey Zev, is there any hope of a Magical Athlete expansion? A deck of more character cards would be awesome...that game kicks so much ass.

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    Zev,
    You are indeed the best, most absurdly great publisher that I've ever come across. It's with sadness that I will be counting the days down until your departure, and I can only hope the new owner has the good sense not to muck about with your incredibly successful formula.

    Thus far, of all the games I've played from Z-Man, and that's likely more than any other publisher, I've enjoyed every single one other than Onirim, which I had no business playing in the first place.

    Keep on keeping on, and I wish you nothing but success in your consulting gig with Z-Man, not to mention life after your ultimate departure from Z-Man. You not only have the keenest eye for games that anyone I'm aware of has, but you're an exceptionally nice man. It's not often you get someone who is as successful as you've been that can throw off the jewel-encrusted robe of success to be a just plain regular, approachable, and likable guy.

    Best of luck to you from all of us at The Superfly Circus.

  • avatarEl Cuajinais

    Agree 100% on the "one and done" boardgame collectors, this is something I've discussed here before. As the boardgame market stands right now, I'm sure that if Zev had gone the FFG/DoW route, Earth Reborn would have sold more copies and at a higher profit margin per box; so the overall gain would have been huge. In this scenario, ER would have been split into 4 boxes:

    A. Core game retailing at $50 and including all the plastic minis and having the rules/scenario tutorials 1-3. (Leave out a few map tiles)

    B. Expansion #1 four months down the line retailing for $25 and with rules/scenario tutorials 4-5. (Goodies in this box: Map tiles that can be activated, search dice, equipment deck minus 6 cards.)

    C. Expansion #2 four months after Exp#1 retailing for $25 with rules/tutorials 6-7. (Goodies in this box: A few map tiles, 3 equipment cards, character cards re-issue to include their special abilities, radio scrambling tokens, and a Mech miniature!)

    D. Expansion #3 four months after Exp#2 retailing for $25 with rules for the Scenario Auto Generating System, and accommodating 3 to 4 players. (Goodies: A few map tiles, 3 equipment cards, mission deck, and get this, the game plus all the expansions would fit neatly in this box! Imagine that!)

    In all boxes they should include 5 scenarios in addition to tutorial ones. This would be the only extra work that would be required compared to what comes currently included in the ER box. But honestly ER even launched with an online app that allows you to create and printout production quality maps and scenarios, so this task could have been outsourced to two interns for peanuts. By packaging ER this way, the persons who can't deal with large rulebooks but love to consume boardgames would have jumped on it. What's better, they would be salivating right now at the upcoming ER expansion #2 due out in August 2011 and already announced at the Z-Man website. Though I have to say the Z-Man website is screaming for an overhaul. (I love you Zev but I call 'em like I see 'em).

    The problem with this approach is you would have the rules scattered in 4 books, 10 pages of FAQs to clarify impact of expansions in core rules, possibly tiles with mismatched colors, some cards needing to be re-issued, etc, etc. You know what I'm talking about, the integration mess you've all grown accustomed to and love dearly by now. In essence, ER would have become another fiddly rules mess that requires a ton of closet space and plastic organizers. Sound familiar? But who cares right? As long as the gamers keep buying, why should game companies care? Plus you can always buy the iPhone app for a few more bucks to help a little with managing the game. Christophe Boelinger and Zev did the right thing for Earth Reborn from a gamer's point of view. They proved they are passionate gamers first, and business men second. And they got burned for it. Live and learn.

    I paid retail price and a hefty shipping fee to get Earth Reborn early. I happily spent the money before there was a single review out there because it was just too obvious that ER was a ridiculous value and a revolutionary design. This game, at retail price, is a steal. Enjoy it while you can folks because this was the last extra meaty boardgame to ever get published. It'll be the "bite sized game with expansions galore" model from here on in.

  • JJJJS
    Quote:
    ridiculous value and a revolutionary design.


    And in five words, you said it all. Here, I'm gushing again, but major kudos to Zev for having the cajones to give this game a chance and print it all in one go, unlike your nightmare scenario of base + expansions.

    Honestly, until this interview, I didn't even know ER wasn't selling as hoped. I really hope due to the Tanga sale ER sales picks up steam and becomes one of those legends like Dune, Cosmic Encounter, or Blood Bowl that my kids'll be buying 3rd or 4th editions in the future. I think it has that quirky uniqueness that just screams classic.

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    If Tanga offers it again, I'm on it.

  • avatarEl Cuajinais  - re:
    SuperflyTNT wrote:
    If Tanga offers it again, I'm on it.

    Or, you could take me up on my offer:
    here
    Why haven't you? Tired of writing reviews?

  • avatarmoofrank  - Earth Reborn

    ER has stuck me as a game that really should have a fanbase. I'm not sure why people hadn't pounced on it.

    As for expansions, I would love to see scenario expansions. One double-side poster map could support perhaps 4 boards. Add a small booklet of scenario descriptions.

    One of the things I would beg for is even just the full-scale PDF for the maps for a few scenarios. You could get them printed fairly cheaply at Zazzle/Artscow, or print 500 maybe as a con promo item. This would go a LONG way toward making it easy to introduce new players to the game. The map setup time is a bit of a buzzkill.

  • avatarengelstein

    I think ER has the double-whammy of many tutorials to get through to get the 'real' game (SAGS, I think?) coupled with the looooong setup time. It's very intimidating, I think. Maybe I'm puzzle challenged, but it took longer for me to set the board up for Scenario 1 than it did to play it.

    I think the earlier scenarios would have benefited greatly from smaller, simpler boards, just to get people going. Think Portal - You just blow through some really quick rooms before getting to the complex stuff.

    But hopefully enough folks will stick with ER to get to the good stuff.

    Geoff

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