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A board game of cooperative card-driven tactical combat in a persistent, ever-changing campaign world. 1-4 players, 30 min. per player.
A board game of cooperative card-driven tactical combat in a persistent, ever-changing campaign world. 1-4 players, 30 min. per player.
4,904 backers pledged $386,104 to help bring this project to life.

A Hopeful Scenario: Post-Kickstarter week 20

Posted by Isaac Childres (Creator)

Greetings, residents of Gloomhaven!

Here we are, 20 weeks after the end of the Kickstarter and still chugging along. Everything appears to be going well, and we're making a lot of progress on getting everything in the bag.

There were a lot of entertaining reactions last week about just how much stuff is in this box. It's a little hard to parse sometimes without a visual example and I think the white box did the trick on that.

It also helped me realize that we are going to have to increase the size of the box - the length and width as well as the height. We haven't decided on a new size yet. Josh and I will be talking to the manufacturer early next week to make a decision on that. I will also talk to him then about a definitive timeline for production, so I'll report back on that next week as well.

It's a lot bits of paper and cardboard that need to be filled up with graphics and information, but I've been working on this project pretty much non-stop for over a year now, so I can assure you that we are drawing ever closer to that glorious day of completion.

The big thing that still needs to be done at this point is the scenario book, which is where I am devoting most of my time. All the scenarios have been conceptualized, but it takes a bit of time to turn that concept into a well laid out page spread.

I'll also need to spend a significant amount of time finishing work to balance the various classes and scenarios through play testing.

Josh is getting close to finishing a complete draft of the rule book. We should be able to share that with you by next week for feedback. After that, his biggest job is creating the rest of the location stickers for the map and making the punch-boards.

Alexandr is now completely done with the artwork, so that's great. Álvaro is still working on the overlay tiles, but he's making good progress.

After that, it's a bunch of little things, plus the editing process, which will also take a significant amount of time due to the sheer number of different pieces of content to proof. Editing is already well underway, though. Jim has wrestled the rule book into submission and is now doing a second pass on all the character ability cards.

And while the rule book won't be ready until next week, I wanted to give you all another look at the scenario book. What I showed a few weeks ago was the template and some graphics, but I have now laid out a bunch of scenarios and wanted to get feedback on the style and design choices.

You can grab the file here.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome, though keep in mind that some of the graphics - mainly the overlay tiles - still need to be replaced, and the text hasn't been edited yet. We're not looking for you to edit it either. We're just trying to get an impression of whether all the information is presented in a clear and coherent way. Feel free to read the text, but be warned that, like reading random pages of a choose-your-own-adventure story, you might get spoiled on some things.

So let Josh and me know what you think of the scenario book pages, and I will see you next week with more cool stuff. Later!

P.S. Surveys are coming soon - probably the week after the next update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Daniel Fowler on

      I'm a bit late to the discussion, but I have to agree with Somers. Once you know which side of the hex you are looking at for your number of players (Which would be the same each time if you are playing with the same group each time, as it is meant to be), it is super quick to see which spaces need monsters and whether they are elite or not.
      I prefer this system to having multiple numbers in each hex, or shapes or dots, because I feel it would look far too cluttered and a little confusing having multiple numbers or symbols in every space.
      Different colours would be good, because I don't automatically associate black with a stronger enemy. If it were clear spaces for no enemy, black for common and some light colour (like gold) for elite, it would be a little more obvious, and also solve the issue of colour-blindness I think. I'm not colour-blind myself, but I assume the black and gold would be easily distinguishable from one another, but feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

    2. Marty McFly on

      @Mathew - and I thank you. I always enjoy a lively debate. No hard feelings, and no offense was ever intended in anything I said.

      Have a good day, a great weekend, a fabulous year, and happy-Gloomhaven-ing when it lands on your doorstep!

    3. Mathew G Somers on

      Very well, it seems we've both come more firmly into our childhood now, embracing that age old mindset refined in witticisms like, "I am right and you are wrong." An impasse, so to speak, yeah? It is at this point, then, that I suggest we carry on, at least until the finished rule book is bestowed upon us and we are tasked to make it bleed. Yes, may we live to bicker another day, Marty! Haha... But in all seriousness, I do thank you for the discussion. Take care.

    4. Marty McFly on

      "To begin, can I mention that you did not reference these games with easier setups? You used generalizations which do little to help me see what you mean"
      I did not mention games by name, no, but I did say numerous times that many games use a system like I'm proposing. I wouldn't call that a "generalization."

      For some reason, BGG is currently unavailable, so I can't link some images right now. Off the top of my head, I'd point you toward these games (and yes, there are different games from Gloomhaven, but the concept of what to use for a player count still exists, regardless of mechanics or genre):

      7 Wonders (#+ on the bottom of the cards)
      Village (#s in the spaces that are used for that player count)
      City of Iron (dots on the spaces used for that player count)
      Descent (creature cards have a simple number of "heads" icons)
      Progress (#+ on the cards)
      Small World (# on the board you're supposed to use)
      Quarriors (# on the score pad for target score for that player count)

      Those are a few just off the top of my head without looking through all my games or all the games I've played. Numbers or dots (or simple icons that are essentially dots) are used in many games I've played. The games don't need to be in the same genre or use any of the same mechanics for this concept to be relevant across games. It's still a question of "how do I know how to set up the game for my player count."

      You could use numbers for Gloomhaven, but my other recommendation was simple shapes in the "form" of dots. Circles=normal; triangles=elite. In conjunction with that, the monster cards have that same symbol on them. It's slightly more complex than just a number, but matching symbols is much more intuitive than remembering colors. I don't actually have to remember that a triangle is elite, I just have to match the symbol on the card. Once I remember that (which I would expect to be immediately remembered when looking at the setup page), I can quickly find the correct monster strength and set up the scenario. I didn't actually have to remember anything overly abstract, I just had to be able to identify a circle as a circle, and 3 small circles as the number 3. If I can roll a d6 and quickly know that I rolled a 3, I have the skills to understand this system.

      As far as obstructing the image goes, it really only has to be recognizable enough to match it to the monster card and the image in the scenario setup legend. I don't see how this would be an issue. This is a setup page, after all, not a gameplay component where that image adds anything to gameplay or theme during the game. The pages should be visually appealing, yes, but functionality is more important. The monster images don't need to be fully visible for this function, just recognizable. One of the other items I recall from one of the videos I linked is that rulebooks shouldn't go out of their way to be "pretty" if that prettiness gets in the way of learning the game (or, in this case, setting up the game). I happen to agree with that.

      The other thing that my suggestion allows for is easy addition of new monster types/strengths. Let say a future expansion wants a monster that could be a Weakling or Normal (but never Elite so it can't ever trigger elite effects like Battle Goals). In this case, use a square "dot". Or for a Legendary monster, use a star. These only need to be recognizable as their shape at a glance, and they can be fairly small and still accomplish this. And, when those new monster types come out, I don't need to learn anything new for setup because it's still "count the dots and match them to the card." It also makes a 5-player expansion possible without having to say, "well, now the edge between 3 players and 4 players means 5 players, I guess."

      I admit that this is probably not the best solution out there, but I do think it's much more intuitive and functional than randomly placed color blobs, it's simple to remember from session to session (even if those sessions are months apart), and it allows for future-proofing against potential expansions.

      As far as strain on the eyes goes, I find the current system very straining. This is especially true on pages where the map tiles aren't aligned straight like they are above (see the linked PDF). On those pages, instead of thick lines of color that don't touch, you end up with these blobs of color that start to bleed into each other (at least in these old eyes, they do). I find it very busy and very visually confusing unless I stop and think about each and every hex. And, to add to the busy-ness, in the current system, every hex needs three blobs (even if no monster is needed for that player player count). In my proposal, if that monster doesn't exist in a 2-player game, then it doesn't have the 2 dots. Now I don't have unneeded information bleeding into the information that I do need.

      Again, I'm not saying that my way is the best and only way. I'm just saying that the current system is in no way intuitive, and there are other widely-used systems out there that ARE intuitive and would work for Gloomhaven.

      Is it a small thing? Yes it is. But that's my point: why intentionally make the small things like game setup overly confusing? Leave that complexity for the meat of the game.

    5. Mathew G Somers on

      PS: The videos were great!

    6. Mathew G Somers on

      To begin, can I mention that you did not reference these games with easier setups? You used generalizations which do little to help me see what you mean, that is, unless you are relating Gloomhaven to 7 Wonders, which is a poor comparison to make in my opinion, as those are two completely different systems, and one cannot properly reflect on the other. Taking this into account, I have to currently assume that there is not an actual system in place, and thus, I cannot properly discuss the matter with you further at this point in time.

      Carrying on, I did not say that the rules regarding enemy setup could be written in a more easy to understand fashion, since I have not seen the final rules concerning that setup. What this probably stems from, though, is that the preliminary rules, the only ones I have seen, which predate the Kickstarter, do not use the exact same setup shown above, they use a very similar method, but enough has changed that it requires a different explanation, and so, because this explanation has not been made available to us yet, I wrote my own in a simple manner, devoid of any imagery to help the player. So yes, I would consider my experiment, small though it was, extremely telling despite your nay-saying.

      Now, I apologize for having not clarified my stance, but I can do so... The reason I do not think that numbers would work is because they would look extremely busy, potentially obstruct the image and cause confusion as to what enemy belongs where, and they would still require you remember some form of color scheme, either that, or they would require something additional, like your letter "E", which would just exacerbate my previous two reasons. Therefore, from a purely aesthetic standpoint? It would look a great mess. And from a functional one? I perceive there to actually be more issues than you have already. Is a number more intuitive than a bar? Sure, of course I can concede that, but I feel the system as a whole is just ultimately not as intuitive. Considering dots, these would also require a little something extra to denote when an enemy was elite, maybe bringing us back to colors all over again, and then we have the issue of players staring at all of these different numbered dots, which would surely strain the eye more than anything we've discussed thus far... But if you know of another game that implements either of these methods in a more direct way, then please point them out, otherwise, we both might as well be chasing our tails, and on such a ridiculously small issue. My goodness, how much time we have wasted, Marty!

    7. Marty McFly on

      "First, how can my writing of the rules in a very simple manner, minus any diagrams and using pieces that lack the actual art and so on, cutout pieces of paper, nullify the experiment?"
      Given that the discussion revolves around how easy it is to understand the rules as written, how can you seriously suggest that rewriting the rules "in a very simple manner" doesn't nullify the experiment? If anything, you've added fuel to my stance that the rules can be simplified and still have the same result. And if rules can be simplified with the same result, then those rules should be simplified.

      "Several times you've mentioned being able to comeback to the game after six months, pick it up and play... What games can you do that with as it currently stands?"
      From a setup standpoint, most of them. Sure, there may be some clarification needed, and the complexity of the game has some bearing, but setup isn't generally where most clarifications are needed. I've not had any issue remembering simple things like "put something on this spot in a 3-player game." Certainly not where the game component tell me what's used in a 3-player game. This is because for every game that I own where the components contain information on setup for different player counts, the designer/publisher made it easy to learn and easy to remember. If a card has a 4 in the corner and I'm playing a 3-player game, don't include that card; if a spot on the board has 4 dots on it and I'm playing a 3-player game, don't utilize that spot. I don't have to return to the rules to remember that because it's a simple and intuitive system that many games use. Imagine if 7 Wonders had a dot on each card and the placement of that dot said what player counts should include that card. Playing a 5-player game...look for the dot in the lower left corner of the card. It could be learned, but setup would be unnecessarily more confusing.

      "Not to be rude, but all that I am genuinely hearing is that because it does not conform to your preconceived notion of what is right, what is the correct way to do it, that it cannot possibly be correct, let alone work in a very efficient manner, and that instead, the designer is simply trying to be clever by introducing the whole thing, right?"
      No. I'm saying that when there is a commonly used way to present a rule/term/etc., designers should use that common way to avoid unnecessary player confusion and to make their game more easily accessible by more gamers. I didn't invent the methods that I've been referencing; I've simply seen them used in dozens of games. And they have always worked and have never caused confusion. Why unnecessarily invent a new system that is less intuitive when a simple and effective one already exists?

      "If you look at a game like Arkham Horror, which was made by a big company, you will find that people have innumerable issues with that game, and the same can be said about T.I.M.E Stories, Dead of Winter, Robinson Crusoe, Mage Knight, Agricola, so on"
      Very true. So why take something as potentially simple as player count setup and introduce unnecessary complexity to it? There are proven systems that work and that gamers don't have problems understanding (and often don't even need to reference the rule book after the first time with that game because the system is so simple and that same system exists in so many other games). Why invent an abstract system if not simply to be clever?

      And that is really the crux of my argument on player count setup, and something that you have been unable to answer: Why invent an abstract system when intuitive systems exist, are widely used, and are just as easy for the designer to implement (if not easier)?

      In fact, you even just said below, "I would bet [the rules] are probably aimed to make the game as easy to understand as is possible, because why would they not be?" I agree. Why would they not be? And yet you are defending colored blobs in abstract placement over numbers to denote player counts. I don't see how you can honestly think that such a system is "as easy to understand as possible," which is what you've just admitted that rules should set out to be. And if that is truly your stance, that rules should be as simple as possible, then it is you who has been "simply negating everything I say without taking it in."

    8. Mathew G Somers on

      You cannot be serious, haha... I am coming to the conclusion that you are just simply negating everything I say without actually taking any of it in -- Either that, or I am so gone as to no longer exist in reality. I mean, I will try to check out the videos you have linked, that is the proper thing to do, but my initial reaction is as follows:

      First, how can my writing of the rules in a very simple manner, minus any diagrams and using pieces that lack the actual art and so on, cutout pieces of paper, nullify the experiment? I don't understand... NASA doesn't send astronauts into space for them to test what it's like to be out in space, they conduct their experiments here and then send them out. To me, this seems like a common thing, hence a term like guinea pig, right? So if I go and do an experiment on much less, use the actual image of the scenario, hand some rules and shoddy components over to two non-gamers, and neither of them have an issue, in the sense it wasn't even close to there being an issue, then how can you honestly say that it means nothing? I feel that what you are ultimately implying by doing so is that you assume the official rules will be of lesser quality than my own, in one form or the other, and I can't imagine that to be the case; however, should it be so, then good thing I'm here with my rules to get across to people, haha...

      Now, you and several others expressed concern on the matter, understandably so, but in spite of everything, you keep sounding as though it's a potential problem. Sure, you maybe say that it is easy to learn, but that it is not intuitive, which is to say that once it has been learned you will at some point forget and have to relearn it. Several times you've mentioned being able to comeback to the game after six months, pick it up and play... What games can you do that with as it currently stands? Because I cannot do that even after a month, I always find the need to go back and look over the rules to ensure my memory has not failed me, something always seems to slip through the cracks. In fact, I suspect that if your memory is that good, and you are not just playing games of a lighter weight, then you will have no problem recalling this one piece of information, or having your memory jogged by the reference attached to the back of the rules with its colors and diagrams or whatnot -- Honestly, do you suspect this will take more than a few seconds to remember?

      Not to be rude, but all that I am genuinely hearing is that because it does not conform to your preconceived notion of what is right, what is the correct way to do it, that it cannot possibly be correct, let alone work in a very efficient manner, and that instead, the designer is simply trying to be clever by introducing the whole thing, right? Well, since you have sent links to videos to verify your stance on some things, maybe you could also direct me to places where I may view the games with more intuitive setups so that I might get a better understanding of your side of all this. At the end of the day, though, it's extremely small potatoes.

      Finally, I don't necessarily think that the rules are trying to reinvent the wheel, or that they are deliberately trying to complicate anything. I have not seen the final-ish version of the rules, but I would bet they are probably aimed to make the game as easy to understand as is possible, because why would they not be? I mean, that would imply some more serious issues, I think... Anyway, big companies are not necessarily the authority, nor should they have the final say, on what is to be standard and what is not. If you look at a game like Arkham Horror, which was made by a big company, you will find that people have innumerable issues with that game, and the same can be said about T.I.M.E Stories, Dead of Winter, Robinson Crusoe, Mage Knight, Agricola, so on and so forth, all the way down the line to Pandemic Legacy -- "What is this?" "What does that do?" "The rules are unclear about this situation." Surely, blind playtests must have been done on at least some of these games, so why then are there so many issues that abound? Because people are people, and you can't assume your doctor has all the answers, you can't expect your teacher will actually teach you, nothing is certain, and everything's one big fairy tale. If a finely named company were to produce Gloomhaven, it would not automatically live up to your standards, and they sure as hell would not be blind playtesting the full game, haha... And no, this does not mean that I am saying Gloomhaven is without flaw, that it is perfect or that it most certainly will be, I'm just saying your assumptions do not really appear to be founded on anything that is being shown here. Sure, you think this or that can be tweaked, and that's what this whole process is about, but this and that does not a whole game make.

    9. Marty McFly on

      Well, honestly, since you admit to writing your "own simple version of the rules," you've nullified the experiment, IMO. Hard for me to say to what effect, but for me that would've only been a valid experiment if "official" game rules and components were used.

      Also, I admitted that the player count setup rules could be learned. I just said that they were overly complicated and not immediately intuitive. I stand by that statement and suspect that your friends would've needed less instruction if numbers instead of color blob placement was used. Ask her again in 6 months to set up with no rules. With numbers, I'm very confident that she could do it. With the current system, I'm more doubtful because the current system simply isn't intuitive. Sure, it can be learned, but my point is that something like this shouldn't need to be learned when there are tons of examples of games that use an intuitive system, and the only reason to invent a new non-intuitive system is to be clever.

      I realize that I'm just a gamer. And, sure, I have enough experience with games that I'll be able to figure the rules out. I don't pretend to speak for the masses. But I also have enough experience with games that I see the potential for issues here that I've seen in many Kickstarter games (especially games where the designer is also the publisher). I raised those concerns, and those concerns still exist.

      Coincidentally, two videos came into my YouTube queue yesterday that mimic my concerns (not about this game specifically, but in general regarding games). Everything that I've mentioned here (don't reinvent the wheel, rules should concentrate on easily teaching the game and not on being clever, blind playtest the FULL game after ALL rules are set, etc.) is also mentioned in those videos. Like I said, I'm just a gamer; I'm nowhere near as knowledgeable as the gents from The Dice Tower or Watch It Played or the designers and other reviewers/gamers they've asked to join in the discussion. But I'm also not the only one with these "rules" about rules, and the fact that big names in the industry also raise those points does give me some confidence that I'm on the right track.

      The Dice Tower - Designer Panel:…

      Watch It Played - Rules for Rule Books……

    10. Mathew G Somers on

      So, because I've been feeling baffled by the concern about the perceived difficulty, or lack of intuitiveness with setting the game up, and there was mention of blind playtests, I took it upon myself to run a very small experiment. I wrote up my own simple version of the rules regarding setup for the first room in the above scenario, nothing elaborate, no images. I drew up some things to represent the traps, doors, enemies, and the heroes, as well as some miscellaneous stuff that would be of no use, then I separately told two people to set the room up for a three player game -- For the record, neither of these people do much rules reading, that is my very own designated position, haha...

      The first was a 37-year-old woman. I can honestly say, she had no problem here, and when asked to set up a two player game immediately afterward, was able to retain the information and complete the setup without having to refer to the rules again. I told her that was great and to get some water. Then I told her to try and set up a four player game, again no problem, and no need to double check the rules. As I ask her now, nearly an hour later, and with no prior knowledge of my going to quiz her on the subject, she still remembers what each color means and what portion of the hex represents what player count. I would consider that a success.

      The second person was a 15-year-old girl who was tired, so I could not experiment beyond the one three player setup, but even so, she exhibited no signs of having difficulty. It did not take her very long, in my opinion, and when asked if anything was complicated about the process, she said no. Perhaps tomorrow I will ask to see if she can recall any of the information?

      Now, obviously, there are probably a hundred flaws a more scientifically minded individually might bring to my attention, but on the whole I feel the setup is not as complicated as it has been made out to be in the minds of some. Let me further this by saying that I did not point out the setup of the enemies in particular, it was just a whole process, nor did I ever mention that I was most curious about colors or anything having to do with what enemy goes where in such and such a player game, right? I tried to do this as professionally as possible, and so I hope that this will at least deliver a sliver of relief to the hearts of some, haha... Especially when we take a moment to consider that we as gamers are already more well-versed in such matters than either of my two subjects. To further this, though, I can try to add some more folks to the mix, if possible, and see how they fare, but your confidence should have returned a bit?

    11. Mathew G Somers on

      I wish I could answer your question about blind playtesting, but that's not something I've any information on. I assume that Rahdo was given the rules and went on to play the game, there was another reviewer, maybe two, who probably went about things much the same way, and in none of these cases do I recall hearing anything about them having difficulty understanding setup or something like this, nor do I recall mention of them having to contact the creator for rulings. Personally, I read the rules and learned them on my own, any questions I could ask, I did, some valid, some just to be certain, and nine times out of ten, the answers were common sense, but I don't feel that my having played the game should invalidate my opinion or make you assume that I am too aware of things to merit any worth here, in fact, I feel that my opinion is actually worth more for that very reason, but I digress... Anyway, all of this is regarding the preliminary rules, so I imagine that the end result will be that much clearer, although, clarity is a subjective matter I am learning, haha...

      While your curiosity is good, I ultimately feel you are overcomplicating things just a bit. I mean, I was under the assumption that you were worried about the game as a whole, hence my long explanation, but really it seems like your worries are regarding some very minor issues that are currently being discussed and debated on anyway, or will be in the near future. You worry if when you first get the game you will be able to jump right in, fine, but this is not the case with practically any game on the market, there seems to always be a learning curve, even when there is another person or multiple people there to explain what is going on, right? Take any game, go to the forums on BGG, and I'm sure there will be people asking for rulings on this matter or that, tons of ifs and whens despite being produced by bigger companies, presumably blind playtested, and so on... Why? Well, because nothing is perfect and clarity is subjective.

      Look at you and me. We have been going back and forth and back again, about one thing or the other, and what is clear to you or to me is not so clear to other. Everything I say makes you more concerned, haha... I'm not sure I have done much to help put your mind at ease in any manner, which is fine, but I always feel as though I have been saying something that will help you see things my way, help you worry less, blah, blah, blah... Ultimately, though, it's just not going to happen, and blind playtests are not going to iron out your own concerns. Will they be helpful? Sure, but I'm failing to see how they would be more helpful than regular playtests, and maybe that's just me -- I'm more concerned how things are balanced in the long run than I am with how the game is going to play the very first time I play it, and that's with any game.

      So, in conclusion, I look forward to the release of the updated rule book, and I look forward to picking it apart there along side you, as we both just want the game to be the best that it can possibly be in the end, correct? You will look upon it with fresh eyes, and mine will be wearied from staring, but hopefully the combination will see us both pleased come production time.

    12. Marty McFly on

      Actually (and I realize how this may make me sound unyielding) everything you just said makes me more concerned because you sound too close to the game. You know it so well that I'm not sure you're the best source for "will a blind playtest group have issues." (Not meaning any offense, and nothing personal should be taken from that.)

      You've introduced the game to others, but did you explain the rules and set up the scenario yourself, or did you give them the rulebook and see if they could figure it out? It's that latter case that interests me. How many blind playtests have there been and what issues did they have?

      If the answer is "less than 20 groups have blind playtested," then the game hasn't gone through the proper development. I'm not talking about Kickstarter backers who have been involved in forum discussions with the designer, or online players who are only getting a portion of the total experience. I'm talking, "Here's the game and the rules. Best of luck." And then watching to see how easily they learn and set up the game, and then getting in depth feedback afterwards.

      Given that we're currently talking about rules layout and mechanics, I'm very confident that hasn't been done with finalized rules and scenarios. And given that we're getting closer to when the game will need to be sent to the manufacturer, I'm very wary that there is time left to do that level of testing.

      As I said, I'm looking forward to Gloomhaven, but all this concerns me because I honestly don't see how blind playtests will be done properly, and without them, my experience has been an underdeveloped game is delivered.

    13. Mathew G Somers on

      The walls are crumbling, the roof is caving in, the very foundation shakes! Haha... Your concern is wholly justified nonetheless, in the sense that there is a great many things that still remain unknown to you, coupled with your having been "burned" in the recent past, so to speak. Now, while I cannot allay your every concern, I have done a decent amount of play testing for this game myself, which is not to say that my thoughts would match your own in a similar situation, but perhaps it will do a little to help? I do not know the storyline, nor have I played through the campaign as a continuous whole, so these are not things I can attest to the quality of, unfortunately. At the same time, I want to let you know that there have been folks who have more experience with these matters, and in fact, you might even categorize Rahdo's videos somewhere among those opinions? I cannot recall what, if much, was troubling for him...

      Anyway, back on my own planet, the achievement system seems very clear to me and I've zero issues understanding how it may work in game, that's even after your solid questioning, but in my book, the things you bring up are ways of refinement, not reconstruction. As for the setup, again, this is so simple in my mind that I almost cannot comprehend anyone's having an issue, like I am baffled that the topic causes such worry, especially in a game this massive -- It seems there have been a great many games with far less vision and far more complicated information for players to retain, so I am literally dumbfounded. On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of complicated matters, this is a 1 for me, and I feel that it is unnecessarily being blown out of proportion, though I will be interested to see if the subject is raised after folks have actually played the game, because maybe it's just me.

      Now, getting on to the meat and potatoes, I will start by saying that I have played at least 40 games of Gloomhaven, most of those have been solo, a handful have been two-player games, and one was a three-player game. I introduced the game to several people, all of them very much enjoyed it and I cannot recall a single complaint being made in terms of the actual overall gameplay, or anything really. Taking the very first scenario, I've tried it roughly 10 or so times, and that's been with different combinations of the starting 6 heroes, different hero and scenario levels, and different player counts -- Not once was I bored, there were always tough decisions to be made, enemies were hard to predict, and the actions available to my characters were varied. Actually, every hero I have tested, which might number 10-12, has felt quite different from the others, they have all had something unique about the way in which they play that is incredibly refreshing, to the point where I have even had to reevaluate my approach in certain situations.

      I'm not positive on the number of other scenarios I have tested, but I would guess it's close to 20, and of those 20, only a few seemed like they may benefit from some minor tweaking, which is to really say that a great majority of them were wonderful. The different combinations of enemies and how they play off of each other, coupled with the different layouts, and/or the specific rules for some of the scenarios, words cannot do justice to the amount of excitement I am feeling just trying to describe all of this to you, Marty. I am personally so blown away, the system is practically flawless, or at least, I cannot fault it. Even were you to face the same set of enemies time and time again, you cannot always predict what they might try and do, you may have an idea, but your finger cannot be put down on any one specific action, they might immobilize you, they might set up a trap, they might do extra damage, or shield themselves, heal, replicate, et cetera, et cetera. I think everyone will agree, the gameplay is phenomenal once they have the opportunity to fully experience it.

      Now, with all of that being said, there is still room for improvement in a number of areas, such as the rule book, or the scenario book, maybe other things, and that's why they're being put out and we are being asked our opinion, this is to ensure a better product. From personal experience, I think the game is in pretty good hands as far as not adding anything unnecessary or just for the sake of being clever with no deeper purpose, still, maybe there are more efficient ways for certain information to come across. So, at the end of the day, I think that it is good that you and others, myself included, raise issue with this thing or that, no matter how minor, because the final product can only benefit from the assault -- You know, the old Nietzsche quote? Haha... Anyway, I hope that helps set your mind at ease a wee bit.

    14. Marty McFly on

      *are NOT a reliable source of feedback...

    15. Marty McFly on

      At the end of all this, I'd be very interested to know if there have been blind playtests to verify that people who know nothing (or very little) about the game have any issues/confusion with any of what I've brought up (both achievements and player count designations for setup).

      Blind playtesting is KEY to ensuring a good streamlined design. Give the players the game and provide no assistance. See how they do, what they struggle with, and what they complain about. Without that, there's less guarantee that honest feedback has been provided. The designers friends (or others) who have been pre-taught the game by the designer are a reliable source of feeback. So, I'd be interested to know how much of that has happened with the current rule set and scenario book.

      I'll also concede that a lot of my concerns are due to recently receiving a lot of poorly designed Kickstarter games. I've become much more cautious with my Kickstarter backing and no longer back games from designers/publishers that I don't trust. Gloomhaven was my last "blind" backing. The games I'm referencing aren't developed fully because the publisher didn't seek for another set of eyes. Designers who publish their own games (like this one) are the most common to result in games that have potential but seem to have issues with mechanics/components/etc that don't really add anything to the game but the designer didn't want to give those up, and since the designer had total control, those items remained to the detriment of the game.

      I'm really excited about the concept of Gloomhaven. But I'm seeing some signs that there are elements that exist sole for the purpose of existing or because someone thought those elements are clever. That worries me.

    16. Mathew G Somers on

      Again, I am not one hundred percent positive here, but I believe the way multiple parties work would be like if you and your Friends A, B, and C all decided to sit down and play the game, you went through several scenarios together, earned various achievements, and perhaps a character or two retired, whatever. Then, maybe some other folks, friends, family, develop an interest in the game themselves, at which point you might start a different party, and this one might consist of you and your Friends B, D, and E, or any such combination. The difference between the parties are the players involved I suppose, so as the characters are retiring, the party is still considered intact. Yes, this newly formed second party would already have stickers on the board as you've mentioned, however, they would not have access to all of the marked scenarios simply because they would lack a lot of the party achievements, right? The global achievements would carry over, but not the party achievements, if that makes sense. How will this all play out, how restricted will that second party be when they first begin, and why then do we check off scenarios on the map board once completed, I don't know, but I suppose it could all work, although it may be at the expense of story somewhere along the line. At any rate, the same character class can be used for both parties, the game does permit this, so your Friends C and E can both play as the Brute, it may require some toying with cards, but doesn't seem like it would be too intensive. And I feel like the PDF you're speaking about was more intended to support folks who didn't want to mark up their game in a permanent way, those who could not handle the legacy aspect, than it was to support the addition of multiple parties, which is a concept that I believe has been around a while, so... Yeah, a more official response may clear up the situation, but I'm sure there will be little cause for concern in the end, or so I hope.

    17. Marty McFly on

      I'm not sure the game is really meant to permit several parties to explore the world at the same time. I think it has been said that that may happen if you want it to, but you have to accept the fact that the world will then change between your group's sessions. If you don't want that world change to happen, a PDF will be provided on BGG to track the world for ONLY your group. This PDF is a secondary thought and was never intended to be part of the game.

      This would imply that one party can finish a scenario and lock it out for other parties, and also opened up new scenarios for those other parties. If it doesn't work that way, then how do multiple parties use the stickers on the board to track what's open and what's closed? The only way to accomplish that is to not use the board at all and only use the PDF, which was never intended to be part of the manufactured retail game.

      This also brings up the question: what constitutes a "party"? The same players? The same heroes? If it's the same players, then I'm back to my original stances. If it's the same heroes (in order to cover the contingency of multiple groups), then you get into the added complexity of what happens when heroes retire and my party is no longer the same heroes? Do party achievements no longer apply because it isn't technically the same party? After all of us retire and have new heroes, can we no longer go back and play some earlier scenarios that are still open simply because our new character don't have the proper achievement?

      The more we talk about it, the more I feel the achievement system is flawed. It's complex without adding anything to the game that can't simply be tracked by completed scenarios (which is already being done). The achievement system potentially falls apart with even a single group of players, and it certainly falls apart with multiple groups playing the same version of the world.

      I feel this is another design decision that is trying to be clever just for the sake of being clever when a much simpler solution exists.

    18. Mathew G Somers on

      Actually, this just dawned on me, probably the reason you cannot just mark off the scenario as being completed is because the game is meant to permit several parties to explore the world at the same time, so while Party A may have finished that scenario, Party B may not have. Still, I suppose you could argue that having several numbered boxes or something to check off and accommodate several parties in the scenario book would do the trick, I don't know... I am fine with achievements, a checklist would be nice I suppose, but whatever works will work just fine for me, including boxes to check next to the actual scenarios.

    19. Mathew G Somers on

      Hmm, I suppose that's a valid point... We'll have to wait and see the official response, maybe there's more to them than what I've said or thought, like perhaps there are other ways they are achieved, such as event cards or something?

    20. Marty McFly on

      @Mathew - if what you've described is truly the way the game works, then tracking Achievements becomes an unnecessary mechanic of the game. You could have the scenario requirements simply be:

      Completed Scenario X (#12) -OR- Scenario Y (#17)

      The tracking sheet can be a list of scenarios instead (or nothing at all since I'm already tracking which scenarios I've completed), and the whole Achievement mechanic is not needed. Sure, it's kind of fun to mark off achievements in the same way you may get them in a video game, but if they don't actually add anything to game play, then there's no need to add a mechanic that's already covered somewhere else.

      That all then leads me back to my original suggestion: have a place on the scenario itself for me to mark that I've completed it, and it's very quick and easy to verify the requirements.

    21. Mathew G Somers on

      I'm not arguing a point this time through, just wanted to say that I don't believe you will ever come across the same achievement twice as the multiple appearances made by the same achievement in the scenario book are more than likely a result of the different paths one might choose to take throughout the campaign, right? So in your game maybe you help the little old lady, good guy that you are, and this unlocks scenario 12, wherein you will achieve the "Baby Bottles" achievement, or something like this; meanwhile, in my game, I decide I can't waste my time with this little old lady, sorry, but I opt not to help her, and this unlocks scenario 23, which in turn will unlock scenario 17, wherein I will achieve the achievement "Baby Bottles". Now, in case that's a bad example, I'll further explain... Since achievements are intended to mark the events that are taking place in your world or within your party, you should never come across the same one twice, like if Farmer Tom is killed, you might get the "Dead Tom" achievement, and thus, because Farmer Tom has been killed and may never be killed again, you will never be rewarded the "Dead Tom" achievement again. Furthermore, you will never be able to visit those scenarios which might grant you that achievement because you chose a different path. Of course, you are permitted to play those scenarios strictly as maps, maybe to try and level up or just for the fun of it, but you would ignore the story and rewards given if you chose to do so. And that's my understanding of things. Let us hope I haven't confused you further, haha...

    22. Marty McFly on

      I'm beating my dead horse. :-)

      I looked closer at the linked scenario PDF and noticed that multiple scenarios can give you the same Achievement. For example. both #3 and #6 give the party the Jekserah's Plans Achievement. I also see that most of the scenarios provide an Achievement (at least in the samples given, where 4 of the 7 scenarios give an Achievement). This is all great for having a diverse storyline in the campaign, but for me, it also solidifies my stance that the Achievement list should be a printed checklist instead of hand-written. Hand-written lists are going to easily become a mess of random entries that may contain duplicates. Now, before writing down a new Achievement, I have to scan a list of randomly ordered items to see if that entry is already there. If the overall Achievement distribution is typical of what was shared, that could be 20 items when I'm only mid-way through the campaign. Not an insurmountable task, by any stretch, but unnecessary, IMO. More and more, hand-written lists just don't seem like a very user-friendly solution to me.

    23. Marty McFly on

      Mistakes will happen with any system. That's a given. But, in my mind, the key to any information tracking system is ease of noting that information and ease of finding that information. For me, I feel a pre-printed checklist works best for both of those.

      But I also agree with you, Matthew, that the size of the list matters. If we're talking 5-10 pieces of information, I'm much less concerned. But if it's 25 or 30 or 40, then I become much more concerned as the number grows.

      Whatever the solution, it just needs to be simple and quick to match scenario requirements with the tracking sheet.

    24. Mathew G Somers on

      Hmm, while a printed list of achievements would look very nice, I have to say that in using one, I feel there might actually be more room for error, simply because you could accidentally mark off the wrong achievement, whereas were you writing it down, you may spell something wrong or write in a slightly different word, but these things would be much easier to fix than a wholly wrong achievement having been marked off, which I think could happen. Also, if the issue is remembering to write the achievement down, you would also have to remember to mark the achievement off, so... I suppose your mention of having to flip through several scenarios may be valid, but that would be an issue in either case, like whether achievements were marked off or handwritten, still, maybe an asterisk could be set aside scenarios requiring an achievement on the map board, leaving you only a few to check and not many? I mean, that's assuming the problem is real and that there will be a ton of scenarios open and not completed at some point, or a large amount of ongoing achievements, which I'm not sure will be the case...

    25. Josh McDowell on

      @Marty - I need to talk to Isaac and see if he had any thoughts about this. He may already have something planned. At the very least I can make a checklist of all the scenarios that can be posted to for download.

    26. Marty McFly on

      @Josh - am I correct in understanding then that a scenario may be open but players possibly still can't go through it if they don't have a specific Achievement that is gained who knows where? If that is the case, then I still contend that Achievements should be checked off from a pre-printed list, not hand written. Less margin for error, much more user friendly and much easier to verify, IMO. The last thing I want is to flip through multiple scenarios going, "Let's see. Where did I write that? Hmmm, nope, not on my list. I guess we can't play that one. How about this one? Searching, searching, um, nope. OK, maybe..." Getting into a scenario has to be the quickest, easiest part of the game or else you run the risk of players being turned off before they've even started the game.

      (Of course, I haven't seen that particular tracking sheet, so it may already be structured that way, or I may just be way off in my understanding.)

    27. Marty McFly on

      My misunderstanding then. To me, "completed" sound more like we finished a scenario, because you complete a task but an accolade is granted to you. "Achieved" may be better suited for denoting that an Achievement was given. Or maybe "granted" or "earned".

    28. Josh McDowell on

      As locations open up on the map you will place a location sticker signifying it's an available scenario. That sticker has an illustration, location name and a box you can check or X out once you've completed it.

    29. Mathew G Somers on

      Oh, and just in case... The Requirements for the above scenario say "Whisperings of Gloom (Party) COMPLETE" -- Well, I believe that "COMPLETE" bit is there because some scenarios may actually require that you have not completed an achievement, which, to match the use of my own terminology, is to say that you have not acquired it.

    30. Mathew G Somers on

      @Marty - Haha, I guess I'm bad at explaining things. Achievements are a way for the game to keep track of players' progress throughout the campaign, they are not given out at the end of every scenario, only specific ones, and even so, it is possible to acquire certain achievements multiple ways, depending on which course of action your party took, right?

      Okay, so, let's say you were given the options of Path A and Path B, and unbeknownst to you, Path A would have you acquire Achievement 1 after completing three scenarios, whereas Path B would have you acquire the same achievement after only one scenario. Now, in either case, the only thing you would need to write down would be that achievement once you acquired it, as it is unimportant what scenario you completed -- Does that make any sense?

      "Whisperings of Gloom" is an achievement that is specific to your party, meaning that once you acquire that achievement you would record it on your party sheet, and it will only grant access to certain scenarios for your party, any other parties that might play the same game, will have to acquire that achievement themselves. Global achievements differ in that if your party is the one to acquire them, they are considered acquired by all other parties, so my party might be granted access to something through your actions.

      What it all boils down to, is that you will be recording achievements, and occasionally you will come across a scenario requiring that you have certain of these achievements in order for you to be granted access. In these cases, you would check your party sheet, if the achievement has the word "party" in parentheses, or the map board, if the word "global" in parentheses, in either case, if achievement has been recorded, you may enter. I hope that helps...

    31. Marty McFly on

      Oh, and if Global Requirements relate to items on the board (which are only numbers, not scenario names) then those Requirements DEFINITELY need the number on them.

    32. Marty McFly on

      @Matthew - The party tracking sheet covers my concern if it lists all scenarios either alphabetically or by number, and then I check them off. But if checking the Requirements is dependent on players writing down the scenario names on what is essentially a piece of lined paper, then I'm not a fan. Without knowing all the scenario names, I can't say for sure how big of an issue it might become. Players are likely to abbreviate (and won't know until later that "Crypt of D" could mean 3 different scenarios). Or they could simply forget to write one down occasionally (in which case, I'd still prefer a number so I can quickly find the scenario and see if it rings a bell). Otherwise, 30 scenarios into the campaign, finding specific scenario names in a random list of chicken scratch isn't a very user-friendly solution.

    33. Mathew G Somers on

      @Marty - My memory may be a little rusty on the matter, but I believe each party will have its own sheet to record their reputation, the party members, and things like this, as well as their party achievements (i.e. Whisperings of Gloom). There will be further achievements, known as global achievements, which will change the world for all parties in the game, and these will be placed onto the Map board. Does that cover your concern?

    34. Marty McFly on

      One comment about the Requirements section: I feel the scenario requirement(s) should include the scenario number(s). I can quickly scan for a number on the board (or elsewhere, like a quick flip to that scenario in the book as a reminder of the scenario) to see if I completed that scenario, but figuring out if we've completed "Whisperings of Doom" already may be a pain, especially if that was twelve scenarios and two characters ago, and today we decided to pick a random open place on the map board to visit.

      And that gives me another idea regarding the scenario book: perhaps include a place in the scenario title section to mark a scenario as complete. If the number is included in the Requirements, and I have checked that number in the book, I can verify the Requirements in about 5 seconds.

    35. chang on

      i went ahead and open the file vs just checking that one page on the update. and wow!! that looks loaded. Sadly i have no ideas on how to fix it because i know squad about design. But maybe telling what is making it hard helps in giving a direction on what might need some tweak

      1. my issue with the color coded is no the remembering part (that i would do quite easy) Is that is really hard to see what is what = if a yellow edge belows to X monster tile or to Z monster tile next to it.
      maybe is better / easier to distinguish in a full side page book, but even DLing the document and opening on my iannote pdf app on my ipad still look really loaded

      2. i dont dislike the different colors background; but all the lines and symbols dividing stuff just populate the pages more than needed

      3. the legend really need to be orginized better, is all over the place

      sorry, i'm bringing the problem without any suggestion for solutions

    36. Josh McDowell on

      Hi! If you're not aware, I'm the graphic designer for Gloomhaven. Thanks for the great discussion regarding the scenario book. Isaac and I really do want to make the best possible game and are considering all your comments and observations. We know you make them because you also want the game to be as good as it can be, so don't feel bad if something comes off as a criticism. As long as it's constructive you helping achieve that goal.

      @Nakano - The back of the rule book is a reference and does include a small guide on the color and player counts for the scenario book.

    37. Missing avatar

      Johannes Bartosch on

      I pretty much agree with Bahasa Inggeris' general statement: The layout looks very busy and has some room for improvement.

      Here are 2 things that I found responsible for that.

      1.) Too many horizontal lines in the frame: The title has an own frame that stretches across the page, which would be ok, if the title would always only be at the top of the page. However the pages where the new quest description starts in the middle of the page are extremely cluttered because of that.
      The Goal and Requirements have an even larger frame than the title that again stretches across the whole page. Imo this doesn't look good whatsoever. If they really need their own frame, it should be much smaller (preferably like a column).
      The whole text has a frame of it's own, yet inside that frame there are 3 columns and one giant map diagram. The frame imo pulls these very different elements together in a way where they seem to be on top of each other. The space they need to be easily recognisable appears much smaller than it really is.
      Imo the only way these frames could work is if quests never share the same page and always start at the top of the page. If the frames only include the text (which pretty much means I would get rid of the whole "the whole page inside a frame" idea). Or if there is really only one frame for everything (which means Requirments & Goals shouldn't have their own frame and the title should be incorperated into the big frame at least as the header of the whole frame).

      As a whole I get the feeling that the frame very strongly sets apart bits of information that are compact enough to not really need this kind of strong seperation, while it blends together the more complex and longwinded parts of the questbook that would have the need for a strong method of seperation.

      2.) The bits of text are distinguished by a colored background and the Z----Z symbols. I can see that you want to make it clear that they are different parts of text, however all the measurements take up so much space that the space that sets them apart intuitivly gets minimized, which feels contraproductive. Also I'm not sure if the colors used to differentiate the text are chosen well. Maybe grey for introduction and brown for conclusion would look better and work just as well.
      Then again I would go a different way, put only the text in a frame and split the frame up for the different types of text. This would make the colored background obsolete, while making the seperation more clear. Maybe the titles could remain of different color.

      I hope this doesn't come off to harsh, because the current design isn't all bad. I just wanted to give you the most honest feedback I could.

      Keep up the good work


    38. Dale Thurber

      I love and own thematic games, and it's why I'm a supporter. When I wrote for the RPG industry, I was well cautioned to avoid telling the players what they thought or felt in reaction to what is being described. It's fine if you're reading a novel, where the outcome is set. But a more artful way of doing it, where you want to preserve the notion players have free will, is that this or that thing gives the sense of evil, or smell of evil, of sounds horrifying. Let the player decide how his character feels or thinks about that. Istead of "you think it's ugly", use "It appears hideous." One is player judgment; the other perception. It's OK to guide perception, but don't make judgments for the players.

      I look forward to Gloomhaven.

    39. Bahasa Inggeris

      When I looked at this, my impression was "wow, this is disjointed!" It does not flow well. I think you have a lot of wasted space, the colors don't work because of the lack of cohesion, and it's very busy. But, what do I know? Although I love games, I make my living by seeing patients each day. My wife, however, is a graphic designer, so I asked her for her opinion (without telling her what I thought). Here are her main thoughts:

      1) The Z-------------------Z doesn't serve any purpose, other than drawing attention to it. By using different colors, and headings, you already achieve what you are trying to do.
      2) She assumes you are trying to make the columns look like pages by using the brown triangles pointing downward, but says it's not working. First, you don't need them for page 1 (#1 Black Barrow) because the columns have different background colors. Second, on page 3 (#2 Barrow Lair), it doesn't work. Third, on page 5 (#4 Crypt of the Damned), the lines extending from the triangles actually draws the readers attention which makes it appear disjointed. Backgrounds should not attract attention to themselves. She stated, "they aren't pulling it off well, and should get rid of it."
      3) "if they are going to use different colored backgrounds, they should use consistent shapes like a rectangle, not weird shapes." This was in reference to page 3 (#3 Inox Encampment) where the Conclusion is 1 1/2 columns and then it continues on the next page for another two half columns.

      Splitting the page between 2 scenarios bothered me. I'd rather have each scenario separate from each other.

      4) The map area could be cleaned up by having a horizontal legend at the bottom showing the tiles (instead of using part of a column). You should get rid of the Maps column. Instead, have a box over one of the tiles (hexagons) in each map and in that box, have the map ID. By doing this, you'd free up 2/3 of a full column on page 4 (second part of #3 Inox Encampment).
      5) staying on the same page, she would put the New Locations, Party Achievement and Reward somewhere else. Having multi-colors for those is too busy.
      6) Special rules, the Z----------------1----------------Z, and Boss Special, should probably all be included with Introduction. As such, she would recommend using the same background for those sections, but make sure you keep them all together.
      7) She said if you did #6, that would make it flow better. "because there is no consistency in the boxes from page to page, the reader feels disconnected. It doesn't flow well, and it feels choppy. I'd make each section more uniform and if that means there is a little bit of space on each page, that's ok."
      8) To be candid, she wasn't a big fan of the different background colors. "It makes the page busy and creates too much distraction and separation. This was done by someone who doesn't understand graphic design."

      Don't feel bad about that last comment, I hear it a lot! *grins*

      She also didn't know if she would keep the columns. "they may need to have wider columns or just go across the whole page." She admitted these were just first impressions as I showed her the file for about 2 minutes. On a positive note, she said the leading is fine, and that at least there was consistency of the fonts.

    40. Marty McFly on

      ...I should stop using my phone for posting. I accidentally pressed Post on my small screen. To continue...

      Those dots can be simple symbols to denote monster strength. For example a circle for a regular monster, a triangle for an Elite monster. If the monster cards also have these symbols, selection is again easy to remember--just match the symbols.

      These dots can be along the edges of the hex. (I'm not a fan of this, honestly, but it does keep the image unobstructed.) Two dots on the upper right edge means used for 2 players; three dots on the lower left, 3 players; four dots along the bottom, 4 players.

      Notice that I'm not skipping edges and I didn't start at the top. This future-proofs the game for expansions that allow for more players (or true solo play with one hero).

      Additionally, if you want different monster types, just use a new symbol (a square or star, for example). I don't need to remember what the symbols mean, I just need to match the monster card. This also opens up the possibility for a give monster to have more than two types (again, future-proofing for potential expansions).

      If the edges feel crowded (you can't tell where 3 dots end and 4 dots start), then those dots can be rearranged without much intrusion on the image like so:



      A number is still easily recognized.

    41. Marty McFly on

      For the record, I'm not suggesting that a "2E 3E 4E" system is the BEST solution. I just think that numbers should be represented with numbers instead of arbitrary placement of an abstract icon. I have a different idea that may suit everyone:

      Many games in my collection use a series of dots to denote player count. If a card or space or whatever is used in a 2-player game, the item has 2 dots on it; for a 3-player game, 3 dots; and so on. The dots still intuitively represent a number.

      A similar solution could be used here. If a hex has 3 dots, it's used for 3 players. Still recognizable as a number.

    42. chang on

      @isaac thx for ur reply

      I just agreed with @marcel regarding numbering the map/room tiles in the main comments section

      RE @martyn suggestion, i also agree. no offense but when i look that setup, u just though "wait, what are all this colors at the edge?"
      i dont remember the rules much but that looks a bit of a headache.
      a overlying 2, 3, 4 or 2E, 3E, 4E over the image is better. For what i can see, most dont have more than 3 color codes, so it shouldnt look too loaded.

    43. Nakano

      Back of the rulebook could contain a quick reference how the color codes are decoded for each player count. Then player could easily refer to that while having the scenario book open.

    44. Missing avatar

      Matthew Kameron on

      Isaac - I can see that you are considering Marty's (and others') feedback seriously, which is great. I want to speak for myself in that I would rather wait as long as it takes to make the game perfect, although no doubt that will be frustrating for you as there seem to be so many small suggestions being made that will no doubt take you a lot of time.

      I want to add one more reason to Marty's suggestion, or rather an example.

      Suppose I've not played the game in, say, 6 months and I want to play it again. I'll remember how to play. But then I'll go to scenario setup and I'll forget what each colour means and which one refers to how many players, etc.

      That is an issue, especially for a game like this which may well be played gradually over time. I would personally rather obscure the pictures and put the labels 2, 3, 4 etc etc as others have recommended. Obscuring the picture is really not a problem - the beautiful artwork matters during gameplay, but function over form in a scenario book, for sure.

    45. Missing avatar

      John K on

      There are many people (including me) who are COLORBLIND.
      We can't easily (or even at all) distinquise between different shades of red, green, brown, orange.

      So if you follow only a coloring sceme without any numbers on the tiles, then you're going to make people want to throw the game out of the window.... Or set fire to it. Whatever happens first.

    46. Marty McFly on

      And, finally, a 2E 3E 4E system is color independent. They can be whatever color is easily readable on a give image. This would mean that they can be small enough to not obscure the image, but still recognizable from the other side of the table so a few player can place standies and further speed up setup (as opposed to "well, since I'm facing the rulebook from this angle, I'm really looking at the bottom edge of the hex").

      If the colors are right for the background, everyone should be able to distinguish a 2 from a 3 from a 4, even if the text is small.

    47. Marty McFly on

      The other concern is expandability. Want to Kickstart a short campaign that allows for 5 players? Easy. Want to have a mini campaign for 1-3 heroes. Easy. Want to introduce a third level of monster (Legendary, Weakling, etc.)? Easy.

      The current system is very limiting from an expandability standpoint.

    48. Marty McFly on

      My objection is more with spatial information vs numbers, because with numbers, I don't have to learn/remember anything, and it's one less thing that I have to reteach myself when I've been away from the game for a few months. I already know what a 3 means. It's immediately intuitive use with 3 players. But an icon a specific edge of a hex is overly complicated, IMO. Then when you add color codes to those icons, it becomes even more complicated. For what reason? As far as I can tell, only for an aesthetic idea that the graphic designer had to be clever. But those aesthetics don't serve any thematic purpose, they are not intuitive, and they exist only in the scenario setup (where function and ease of understanding are more important than having clever iconography).

      Once again, sorry if I sound harsh. Not meaning to stomp on anyone's ideas, but I do strongly feel that setup should be as simple as possible. If it's frustrating or unintuitive from the get go, it's more likely to be a turn off to new players.

    49. Isaac Childres 4-time creator on

      Marty, just so I understand you correctly, if an elite enemy is placed in a certain hex for all player counts, "2E 3E 4E" would need to be written on the icon in a way that didn't obscure the artwork? And if remove the "E"s in favor of coloring the numbers differently, how is that much better than the colors as they are used now? Or is your objection solely on the use of spatial information instead of numerical information?

    50. Mathew G Somers on

      @Marty - Yes, I did make a suggestion that there be no "notch" if there was not going to be a monster, this way players would only be required to remember the difference between two colors, which I figure, if the normal color is white (plain, vanilla), and the elite is yellow/gold (rare, precious), or some such combination, things would be a little more intuitive. Ultimately, though, I understand where you're coming from and respect your opinion, but in my mind, it just doesn't seem as clean, so let's amicably agree to disagree, haha... At least, until I see a version of yours that makes me eat those words, huh?