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Old 07-12-2018, 06:38 PM   #1
wolf90
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Default Time for my 360 Review

Ok, gang. I need your help again.

Some of you may be familiar with this concept from your own work experiences; I know it is a common practice in my "other" work environment. The idea is that there should be an annual opportunity to solicit feedback from everyone with whom you work directly - those you report to, those you work with side-by-side, and those who report to you.

I did something similar last year, both here and on BGG, which I found exceptionally helpful. So I am doing it again. I'd like to believe that I'm am fulfilling your wishes in shepherding the Ogre line, but I won't know unless I ask. So, to that end . . .

How am I doing?

More to the point, are there things that I could do better? Am I focusing too much on one thing and not enough on another? How is my level of communication - here, on BGG, during Kickstarters? Are there things you want to see more of? Less of? Are we/am I hitting it square on the head?

I know I started a thread on what you'd like to see next, and this is not to duplicate that thread (please post your wonderful ideas there!). Rather, this is my attempt at getting feedback on how I specifically, and SJGames by extension, are either meeting, or failing to meet, your goals for the game.

Praise and positive feedback is obviously welcome, but I will get better at supporting you and the game if you let me know where I'm dropping the ball. Constructive criticism is so much more valuable than platitudes.

So . . . what do you think? Thank you for your time and thoughtful responses.

D.

PS - I'm posting an identical thread on the BGG forums - you only need to respond on one thread. I will be monitoring both. Thanks!

D.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

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Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
More to the point, are there things that I could do better? Am I focusing too much on one thing and not enough on another? How is my level of communication - here, on BGG, during Kickstarters? Are there things you want to see more of? Less of? Are we/am I hitting it square on the head?
First of all, your communication has been excellent on all fronts. You have consistently blasted to multiple fronts and done a great job keeping in touch. If you have any issues, communication is NOT one of them.

I feel like the biggest miss so far has been the lack of genuinely new material. Everything released to date has just been a retread/repackaging of the old material. I'm hardly complaining about it; the 6E scale is a great format, but there's nothing new. The closest thing to new is the M1 mat, but that's on such a small scale it barely counts.

I have literally every version ever printed, and they all boil down to the same stuff: Ogre, G.E.V, Shockwave and Battlefields (1977, 1978, 1984 and 2001, respectively). There hasn't been new content in 17 years, only reprints/refinements. I realize there needs to be a ramp-up to get all the old stuff in the new format, but where are things going for the future? Once Battlefields is out, we will be back to the same place we were in 2001, just in a different format. This is like buying the same album on vinyl, 8-track, cassette, CD and digital. When is the new album coming out?
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

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There hasn't been new content in 17 years, only reprints/refinements.
What about Ogrezine and the scenario books?
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:34 PM   #4
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What about Ogrezine and the scenario books?
I'll give you Scenario book 3, since that's from SJ himself, but the rest of it is "just" a collection of fan stuff. I'm not sure that counts. Regardless, even those are primarily working within the old content.

I'm talking about hold-in-your-hand new material to play with; maps, units, etc. (and I don't count unofficial fan-created sponsor sheets, either).
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

Sorry, I really don't have any criticisms right now. Yeah, that's a weird thing to type out, but it's the truth. Your communications are fantastic and hype-free and the products you've overseen have been of good value and high quality.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

Drew, You have been doing a pretty good job soliciting feedback, which is important.

One thing I wonder though is what concrete goals you set or are working toward. For example, working to increase sales to the people who buy everything anyway verses working to grow the base of more casual players to grow the presence of the game overall.

If you are only reactive to feedback and requests (mostly from the hard core) you may end up painting yourself and the line into a corner.

Do you think you are focusing enough or trying to throw out lots of formats and products just to see what sticks?

These are more questions for you to think about than criticisms. I don't have the inside knowledge to know.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

I have never been part of an organization that does 360s so my understanding is limited.

I know that we (Austin) could do a better job of communicating with Drew when plans change or deadlines loom.

In general, Drew, you are amazing :)
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:48 AM   #8
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Hopefully, you take my criticism with the intent that was intended. In order for the brand to grow, there needs to be a reason for people to buy stuff. While I am still buying the new stuff, I'm personally starting to struggle with justifying it when it's just more of the same material. It's a lot easier to justify if it's new stuff.
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Old 07-13-2018, 12:33 PM   #9
wolf90
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Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

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Originally Posted by GranitePenguin View Post
Hopefully, you take my criticism with the intent that was intended. In order for the brand to grow, there needs to be a reason for people to buy stuff. While I am still buying the new stuff, I'm personally starting to struggle with justifying it when it's just more of the same material. It's a lot easier to justify if it's new stuff.
Although I will give a more formal response to everyone's comments once this has had time to percolate for awhile, I wanted to touch base on this comment right away.

First, this is exactly the type of feedback I'm seeking. No apologies necessary! There is no sense in hiding your disappointment, if I might use that term, in what I'm doing and where we're going. All that will do is prevent me from better meeting your expectations, and risk losing you as a customer.

Second, I hear you loud and clear. The challenge is that expansions can be self-limiting, as without a broad base of players playing the game, there is a limited market for expansions. That said, it is ultimately self-defeating to focus solely on the theoretical "new" player to the exclusion of the actual "established" player. Striking a balance between those two positions is key. My hope is that Battlefields and Nightfall will sate some of your well-justified appetite! Plus, I hope to have a lot more headed your way!

But thank you. This is a perfect example of what is valuable to me.

D.
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

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Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
This is a perfect example of what is valuable to me.
I want to echo GP's desire for new material, but with a more hopeful tone.

Drew, you've done an excellent job as line editor, fully reviving a somewhat dormant game. With _Ogre Miniatures_ you've just about hit the end of published material. The only interesting pieces left (for me) are the G3 and S3 maps. I think it makes sense to finish (or almost finish) that effort before taking on new material projects.

The only real bust has been Ogre on Steam. The project had a rough launch and has really struggled. I'm not sure how much of that is your dirty baby vs. others at corporate.

The plastic minis I think are a big enough deal to count as new product. The cost difference between metal and plastic, plus them coming in colors - so don't have to be painted - is clearly a hit with the old fan base and has drawn in some new players. The next steps (keeping Set 1 in stock while kickstarting new sets) are pretty clear and give us fans a steady diet of new product for a year or two.

The experimental map mat especially brings me hope as SJGames tries new things.

That said, SJGames is reaching the bottom of the well of old material. It's time to start pondering new things, to grow the game. Some of those will need Steve's deep attention, which means starting something small now (scale of an Assault Pack even if they aren't the thing) and starting something big (scale of the Pacific Theatre) soon so it can take all the time it needs.
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