file Imbuided - Dead or Alive?

02 Mar 2018 02:44 #85504 by LivesByProxy

What you're describing can't be a "general rule" of good game design because VTES would be considered very poorly designed. VTES is very inelegant when conveying how cards interact with the rules as written in the rulebook. Lots of people play and love VTES anyway.

I think VTES is poorly designed for the most part. For every thing it gets right, it gets another thing wrong. Some of this isn't entirely Richie G and Co.'s fault, as some of it is baggage from the WoD.

Conversely, a game can be easy to understand but not fun to play. The not fun to play part would be an indictment on poor game design; whether the rules and their interaction with card text are elegantly conveyed isn't really a reflection of how well a game is designed.


There are many things that factor into 'good design'. Are the rules clear and concise? What about the component quality (card art, card material, etc)? Do the cards do what you would expect a card with that name and artwork to do (aka flavor)? Is it fun?

I think elegance in game design is a combination of clear and concise rules, good graphic design, and solid flavor. It should go without saying that a game can be beautiful and well made and not fun, or have clear and concise rules, and not be fun.

When the game uses player's real world knowledge to help bridge the gap between rules and expectations, then it's generally considered good design.

This also has nothing to do with game design.

It has everything to do with game design, your example is far from what I was talking about, almost being the opposite of what I was talking about (things doing X because the rules said they do X in most circumstances). A better example would be the 44 Magnum. That's a gun, and I know IRL guns fire bullets. That aligns with my expectations of seeing the card deal 2R damage. It makes sense. There would be a disconnect if the 44 Magnum said, "Target player skips their next turn." or "Draw 2 cards." Why would a gun do that? Richard Garfield, when he designed Magic, tried to design cards based on what he thought players would expect. Why can a Giant Spider block creatures with flying? Because normal spiders catch and eat flying insects. Ergo, a giant spider could probably catch a dragon in its web.

It seems our definitions of elegance differs, but I think VTES would be far more elegant if it didn't have 22+ clans, 30 disciplines, and 9+ card types. I think VTES would be far more elegant if stealth and intercept were merged into just 'stealth' and bleed and strength were just 'bleed' and blood and pool were just 'pool'. I think VTES would be more elegant if the cards graphic design were overhauled to present the important information better, like making the discipline icons bigger, the set symbol smaller, having full-bleed card art, and having a 'type line' were relevant clan and sect information were written. A good many of the discipline icons could and probably should be updated for clarity and readability - saying 'most' of the symbols was an overstatement on my part, but that only works to show how poorly designed VTES is.

And just because I think VTES is poorly designed does not mean I think it is on par with games like Monopoly, Sorry, Yahtzee, and Go Fish. It is obviously in a different league, being far better than those games and many, many others. And yeah, 'better/worse' and 'good/bad design' is subjective and relative, but I still think there is room for improvement.

Also, me thinking VTES is relatively poorly designed isn't a slight on the designers of the game past or present. The table-top and CCG landscape is is a graveyard full of dead and dying games - having a game succeed and achieve massive success is what is truly unusual.

:gang: :CEL: :FOR: :PRO: :cap6: Gangrel. Noddist. Camarilla. Once each turn, LivesByProxy may burn 1 blood to lose Protean :PRO: until the end of the turn and gain your choice of superior Auspex :AUS:, Obfuscate :OBF:, or Potence :POT: for the current action.
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02 Mar 2018 09:30 #85506 by GreyB
Replied by GreyB on topic Imbuided - Dead or Alive?

...but I think VTES would be far more elegant if it didn't have 22+ clans, 30 disciplines, and 9+ card types.


I strongly disagree.

VTES is a game designed for people that wanted more complexity than MtG. and was a brilliant port of a RPG setting to a CCG, there's simply no equal. MtG is elegant for people that prefer simplicity whereas VTES is elegant for people that crave complexity.

Tossing 20 odd years of expensions in front of a newbie is indeed mind boggling and I can see why you'd think VTES is too complex, but that's simply the mistake of viewing the base set plus all expansions as a single entity. Expansions are supposed to add new stuff, add more depth and some extra complexity.

The big mistake was in how it was sold, Sabbat should never have been added to the base set (3rd edition) and each expansion adding a sect should have been labelled 'for advanced players'. Explaining VTES with just the Jyhad cards isn't as mindboggling as explaining 20 years worth of VTES expansions.

Each sect (and imbueds) can be considered an addon and like for example the board game Settlers, a playgroup could select which addons to use and which not. And of course you need to allow all addons in a tournament, it's not 'casual' play afterall...

I think VTES would be far more elegant if stealth and intercept were merged into just 'stealth' and bleed and strength were just 'bleed' and blood and pool were just 'pool'.


No, simply put; wrong market. Any simplifying on this scale would encroach the MtG market and that would be a losing battle. Not to mention you'd lose depth, I want the WoD experience, not some weird abstraction.

Keep VTES enjoyably complex, just label better and fix some mistakes (like too liberal use of keywords, a lot of keywords have no purpose).

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02 Mar 2018 14:40 - 02 Mar 2018 14:41 #85513 by LivesByProxy

...but I think VTES would be far more elegant if it didn't have 22+ clans, 30 disciplines, and 9+ card types.


I strongly disagree.

VTES is a game designed for people that wanted more complexity than MtG. and was a brilliant port of a RPG setting to a CCG, there's simply no equal. MtG is elegant for people that prefer simplicity whereas VTES is elegant for people that crave complexity.


You're welcome to disagree, and I am not trying to hijack this thread with my ideas or opinions, but saying MTG is less complex than VTES is inaccurate to say the least. MTG and VTES have similar amounts of complexity, but it comes from different sources and varies with the phase of the game. MTG's complexity arises from them creating 3-5 new keyword abilities to put on their creatures every year, for example. The majority of VTES' complexity arises from it being a 5 player game and what that does to the board-state. MTG can also achieve such a complex board-state if the game goes long enough, and even in the first few turns of a 5 player game.

It seems you're confusing elegance and simplicity / complexity, or our definitions differ. A game can be elegant and still be complex, but elegance in design will make the complex seem simpler than it is. Elegance is the quality of being graceful, stylish, neat, clean, etc. VTES having 22+ clans and 30 disciplines makes it more complex that it would be otherwise, but my criticism is that those things make it ugly: the opposite of stylish and clean. Real complexity would be something like giving each clan or discipline associated rules for players to remember, which ironically, is what the Vampire For Kids! variant format does. Disciplines have no rules tied to them innately, which is simple and clean.

Tossing 20 odd years of expansions in front of a newbie is indeed mind boggling and I can see why you'd think VTES is too complex, but that's simply the mistake of viewing the base set plus all expansions as a single entity. Expansions are supposed to add new stuff, add more depth and some extra complexity.


Again, VTES isn't too complex, it's mostly just ugly. Unattractive. Of course adding any new material will increase the complexity, which we hope will add to the depth of the game, but that's not a guarantee, and most of the material added to VTES primarily served to make it even more unappealing to anyone who wasn't familiar with (and a fan of) the oWoD.

I think VTES would be far more elegant if stealth and intercept were merged into just 'stealth' and bleed and strength were just 'bleed' and blood and pool were just 'pool'.

No, simply put; wrong market. Any simplifying on this scale would encroach the MtG market and that would be a losing battle. Not to mention you'd lose depth, I want the WoD experience, not some weird abstraction.


I'm curious to know how such changes would make it more like MTG, when things like 'strength' and 'blood' are the MTG equivalent of 'power' and 'toughness' (a creatures stats) and MTG is a game about dudes fighting whereas VTES is, supposedly, a game about underhanded tactics like blackmail, bribery, subversion, intrigue, veiled threats, and such, where exerting social leverage and political control, damaging assets and reputations, is more common and valuable than dudes throwing trash cans at each other and fighting in the streets.

:gang: :CEL: :FOR: :PRO: :cap6: Gangrel. Noddist. Camarilla. Once each turn, LivesByProxy may burn 1 blood to lose Protean :PRO: until the end of the turn and gain your choice of superior Auspex :AUS:, Obfuscate :OBF:, or Potence :POT: for the current action.
Last edit: 02 Mar 2018 14:41 by LivesByProxy. Reason: spelling, grammar
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02 Mar 2018 15:55 #85514 by elotar
Replied by elotar on topic Imbuided - Dead or Alive?

MTG is a game about dudes fighting whereas VTES is, supposedly, a game about underhanded tactics like blackmail, bribery, subversion, intrigue, veiled threats, and such, where exerting social leverage and political control, damaging assets and reputations, is more common and valuable than dudes throwing trash cans at each other and fighting in the streets.


!

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03 Mar 2018 09:14 #85530 by Bloodartist

VTES is a game designed for people that wanted more complexity than MtG. and was a brilliant port of a RPG setting to a CCG, there's simply no equal. MtG is elegant for people that prefer simplicity whereas VTES is elegant for people that crave complexity.




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03 Mar 2018 10:46 #85533 by GreyB
Replied by GreyB on topic Imbuided - Dead or Alive?

VTES is a game designed for people that wanted more complexity than MtG. and was a brilliant port of a RPG setting to a CCG, there's simply no equal. MtG is elegant for people that prefer simplicity whereas VTES is elegant for people that crave complexity.




Magic comprehensive rules


In all fairness, I stopped playing MtG in 1996/1997, so I have no idea how that game evolved since then, but VTES was way more complex than MtG in 1995 and we loved it.

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