Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Board and Card Games > Ogre and G.E.V.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-12-2018, 06:38 PM   #1
wolf90
Ogre Line Editor
 
wolf90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
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.
__________________
Proud sponsor of Ogre KS $4.5k Sheet #3 - Bringing the Vatican Guard, a Tiger-striped mercenary unit, and of course pink GEVs, to a game near you! Orders may be placed here.
wolf90 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2018, 07:19 PM   #2
GranitePenguin
 
GranitePenguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Plainfield, IL
Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

Quote:
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?
__________________
GranitePenguin
MIB #2214
GranitePenguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2018, 07:26 PM   #3
Desert Scribe
 
Desert Scribe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Austin TX
Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GranitePenguin View Post
There hasn't been new content in 17 years, only reprints/refinements.
What about Ogrezine and the scenario books?
__________________
My sci-fi/fantasy wargaming blog: Super Galactic Dreadnought
Desert Scribe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2018, 07:34 PM   #4
GranitePenguin
 
GranitePenguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Plainfield, IL
Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Scribe View Post
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).
__________________
GranitePenguin
MIB #2214
GranitePenguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2018, 08:27 PM   #5
ColBosch
 
ColBosch's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
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!
ColBosch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2018, 08:48 PM   #6
TexPoec
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Dallas
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.
TexPoec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2018, 11:36 AM   #7
Steve Jackson
President and EIC
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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 :)
Steve Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2018, 08:20 PM   #8
Tim Kauffman
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Pennsylvania
Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
How am I doing?
Will the real Drew please stand up...You must have clones working in tandem with you because the volume of OGRE material you shepherd on a ongoing basis is staggering and well handled. All those links you post to OGRE related things are very much appreciated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
More to the point, are there things that I could do better?
None come to mind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
Am I focusing too much on one thing and not enough on another?
No. You are doing a fine job balancing too much and not enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
How is my level of communication - here, on BGG, during Kickstarters?
Excellent. Drew, you're doing an awesome job keeping us involved and up to date with all things OGRE and it is very much appreciated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
Are there things you want to see more of?
The Ogre News Archives is a great outlet to keep us informed on all things OGRE and is being used at optimum performance.

I would like to see a yearly OGREzine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
Less of?
Cross pollination adverts for non-OGRE games in any proximity to OGRE games.
I cringe every time I see the CAR WARS adverts (2 no less) on my 6th Edition OGRE. Nothing against CWs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
Are we/am I hitting it square on the head?
Yes. Usually...enter OGRE on STEAM. The most profound and IP expanding thing that could have happened to OGRE quickly became a shining example of how not to launch a video game. Nothing kills enthusiasm for a game or repulses potential new players more than a buggy, flawed and incomplete video game at launch which never had any clearly defined and stated official definition of what the finished game will be. It still does not! They have been working much better on things...but the list is a long one and you only get one chance to rally a fanbase at launch.

Please compile an official statement about what the final version of OGRE on STEAM will be and let us know when it becomes official. The Scenario Creator in that flawed and buggy game is the best thing to happen to OGRE since it's inception...I suggest it be fully implemented and used to the fullest extent possible. They just added the ability to print out maps from custom scenarios...hmm...I wonder if such maps could also be printed on the same official Playmat Maps? See where this can go??? What else can that Scenario Creator do that we have not realized yet???

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
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.

So . . . what do you think?

D.
See above...and Thank You Drew and SJGs for keeping those tread units rolling!
__________________
"So I stood my ground...my only hope to die as I had always lived-fighting" John Carter of Mars

My Flicker Page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/128248...57680554140954

Last edited by Tim Kauffman; 07-13-2018 at 08:28 PM.
Tim Kauffman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2018, 08:52 PM   #9
Dave Crowell
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

Communication is excellent. Having backed all teh Ogre Kickstarters and subscribing to the Ogre newsletter, as well as FB I sometimes get the same news multiple times, but that is better than missing it.

My biggest hope for the future of the Ogre line is that will retain the elegance of the classic design. Car Wars reached a point of almost too many new gadgets, etc. I don't want to see Ogre presenting us with 15 different sorts of tanks for instance.

Objective 218 was the sort of product I would like to see more of. New sorts of gameplay in the Ogre universe.

I would enjoy more Ogrezine. An annual format would good.
Dave Crowell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2018, 10:30 PM   #10
TheAmishStig
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Lancaster, PA
Default Re: Time for my 360 Review

You'll have to forgive me for being late to the party...been dwelling on it since before GP's first post.

Communication-wise, accessibility-wise...you're killing it, dude. Suffice to say it's my humble opinion that Ogre is doing as well as it is specifically because of your enthusiasm, persistence, and willingness to engage with us.

Ultimately I wish the market wasn't in the state it's in. 6E breaking into SJG's top 20 is no small feat, not when Munchkin is the juggernaut it is, with the broad catalog Munchkin has, and in a market where the shelf life of printings of games can be measured in hours. 6E might not be everywhere like Catan is...but performing well enough to hit the company's top 20, in the market it did, against an established juggernaut, is no-bones-about-it a success. Congratulations to you, Steve, Phil, and the entire SJG crew.

From the outside looking it, it seems Reinforcements was a commercial disappointment...I think it suffered because of positioning. It felt too geared towards people who know what the big picture is, and I'm afraid that turned off the people who don't, making retail shelves in this market a double whammy. In hindsight, it probably should have had the green maps at least on poster paper...even just G1/S1. I think that would've made a difference, as I've had more than one person seem like they didn't really get the point of Reinforcements...specifically because they didn't have the context to know what "Battlefields is coming, and that will have green maps" means for the game and for what they'll be able to do with it afterwards.

The bright side is, depending on how Battlefields goes [and what it costs, given that M1 is $25 and Phil mentioned it being cheaper than hardboard...let alone two hardboard maps...], you should see an uptick in adoption with a solid cross-sale, giving people "out of the loop" the context they were missing when Reinforcements launched.

Could possibly even do a couple KS tiers geared towards "new to the game" players...6E + Battlefields ("New Recruit"), Reinforcements + Battlefields ("Welcome back, Commander"), and 6E + Reinforcements + Battlefields ("The Full Package")...or to save on shipping logistics, have just three tiers: "International" [$1, single-use coupon good for $1 off Battlefields on W23], "Battlefields" [Battlefields], and "I need some of the old stuff" [Battlefields + a single-use coupon good for $X (or X%) off 6E / Reinforcements / both on W23]. Could also do a sale during the campaign, but a coupon allows people to not have to choose between one or the other if money's tight...they could get Battlefields "this month" and 6E / Reinforcements "next month" rather than having to spend both at once.

---------------------------------------

On the minis side...I've over-committed so hard it's not funny, but am determined to see it through. You make a Set 3 (or a Set 4, or a Set 5, or...) and offer me "Too many minis", I'll buy "Too many minis". The dream of setting up a "Setpiece of the convention" event, asking a player what their favorite color is, and being able to say 'I've got just the thing...' is still on.

I'm really hoping that we as a community can get Minis out there, and that the company can afford to keep it available long enough to hit critical mass...as the number of people I've met over the years who look at something like Battletech or Warhammer and go "That's neat, but it's way too complicated" would be a perfect market for Ogre Minis (and to some degree, GEV, depending on willingness to play on a grid). But to do that, it's gonna take a couple years' worth of conventions to plant those seeds, in a market most suited to paraphrasing Weird Al's All About the Pentiums: "You say you've had your board game for over a week? Throw that junk away man, it's an antique!"

Set 2 I've seen a good deal of rumbling about not selling just Set 2 (and/or multiples of just set 2)...people who already have Set 1s feeling burned by being stuck buying more Set 1s if they want more Set 2s. I understand SJG's logic on it, but it's a PR headache that I'm not sure how to smooth over.

Kickstarter shipping seems to be the biggest PR problem right now, and it's not something I envy you guys on. Either people get angry that they have to jump through extra hoops if they're not in the US (as one of the big draws of a KS campaign is the community that springs up around a project...the discussions, the updates, etc), or they get furious that shipping fees don't reflect actual shipping costs, or SJG fakes it and loses its shirt to the point Ogre kickstarters cease to be financially viable.

There's gotta be some answer, but I don't know what it is. For the size of the project, Backerkit and their ilk is untenable. Keith is likely too busy to be writing something like Reaper does with their in-house Pledge Manager (not to mention that such a thing is a lot easier to budget for when they're doing several million in pledges every year or two)...so I don't know what a good solution would be. But there has to be one.

Minis 2nd edition [the book] looks fantastic...I read the PDF cover to cover the night it delivered. From the perspective of someone who played Battletech for years, doesn't have a copy of 1st Edition, and had always been curious about "proper" wargames but too intimidated by the same [the complexity, the cost, "super serious" player base, etc]...I am absolutely floored that you guys managed to turn Ogre into a full-bodied wargame in just 45 pages, most of which were spent on "We cannot assume someone is coming from Ogre, this has to be a stand-alone rule set".

---------------------------------------

As GranitePenguin noted, as I touched on when talking about Battlefields, and as you echoed...I do not envy you guys right now, because striking the right balance with any given 'expansion pack' is a mess of mutually-exclusive desires.

Ogre needs the support of the old hats to remain financially viable right here right now, and the old hats don't need an umpteenth copy of any given product they've been buying since the 70s. At the same time, Ogre needs the support of new blood to keep it in print for the foreseeable future, lest we get another dry spell like the one that preceded ODE...and new blood need products that are a different approach than what works for the old hats, tackled from the perspective of "Assume I know nothing about Ogre beyond what's in the 6th Edition box, excite me enough to buy this new thing" whereas someone more familiar with the big picture can think "Ok, I can do this little bit of stuff now, but this set is really going to come into its own once they re-release X, Y, and Z, so it's worth picking up..."

---------------------------------------
---------------------------------------
---------------------------------------

I know all that sounds overly negative, and might suggest that I'm sitting here as a seething ball of disappointment...nothing could be further form the truth. I'm ecstatic...glossing over what's good to focus on what can be better is how I'm wired at a moment like this. It doesn't mean I don't see what's good, it doesn't mean I'm not thrilled for what's good, it doesn't mean I'm not enthusiastic on the whole...it means I'm doing what was asked of me, looking for things to improve.

So let me close on a high note. You're doing an amazing job, and it's a job I hope Steve and Phil insist on you keeping for years and years to come.
There are some who are suggesting this is a "golden age" for Ogre...and I'm prone to agree.

---------------------------------------

PS:
Please please please...even if it's not truly 'organized', if the 'Organized Play' rules for keeping 'score' over a 'season' are floating around...please get them to us. [and thanks to Desert Scribe for the reminder] If this little group I've been trying to cultivate ends up being a long-term thing, I'll absolutely put them to use somehow.
__________________
Andy Mull
MIB Agent #0460
Ogre 134th Battalion

Lancaster, PA
Imgur: https://agent0460.imgur.com/
TheAmishStig is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.