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Breed dragons and explore the wilds in search of resources and fame in a gripping 60-minute strategy board game for 2-5 players.
Breed dragons and explore the wilds in search of resources and fame in a gripping 60-minute strategy board game for 2-5 players.
1,138 backers pledged $88,046 to help bring this project to life.

Of Cardboard and Wood - A Resource Story

Posted by NSKN Games - LudiBooster (Creator)
22 likes

Ladies and Gentlemen!

There have been many questions concerning why the tokens come in three different types: shaped wood, wooden cubes and cardboard tokens. Here are the answers you’ve been waiting for.

In the early development stages of Simurgh, resources came in three actual types, some of the elements would refer to. There was food (vegetables and meat), building materials (wood and stone), and abstracted goods (prowess and wisdom). Although we finally went with a more unified system, which introduced symbols that simply allow players to choose from two types of resources when performing some actions (like wood/stone, vegetables/meat), and gave us more freedom in building different actions, we decided to stay with the three visually different resources. And this is why:

The resources as they are serve as a bit of the mnemonic device, to make it easier to approximate what you might need for your future plans. So, if you want to breed dragons or multiply your Vassals, you know that you would definitely need food, or the wooden elements that take two specific shapes (just like specifically and deliberately shaped Spearmen and Dragonriders).

The two “building blocks” of most victory point gathering plans are, on the other hand, exactly that: wooden building blocks. Big chunky cubes were supposed to be evocative of what they are usually used for. And although they are needed in many actions that interact with your Vassals, they are also a solid base for gaining Power Points, as the actions that generate them (to symbolize the work put into expanding the White City), will need you to spend significant amounts of wood and/or stone.

The two more abstract and manipulative resources are cardboard tokens. And although prowess was dropped in favour of more tangible weapons, these two resources still remain the most valuable to any player who wishes to stay on top of the situation on the game board. After all, weapons can be used to change the situation in the wilds, or draw random Action Tiles, and wisdom is essential for complex exchange operations, if a player concentrates on research – or on Spells in Call of the Dragonlord.

Finally, there is the last matter, and it’s the aesthetic choice we’ve made while choosing components for the game. We knew we wanted resources to be clearly different from each other, and we made the choice that – in our opinion – served the game clarity and presentation the most. The resources are well represented, players have no problem recognizing which are which, and everything looks the way it should in terms of what they represent.

Now, with all of the ins and outs explained, you know everything there is to be revealed today. However, with the truly incredible development of this Kickstarter campaign, much may yet happen. Please know, though, that we are listening to your voices and considering each and every one of them – and that we will do what we can to accommodate your expectations.

But, for now, let us all see together where this amazing ride will still take us. Hold on tight and – as always – have a great day.

Błażej

MentatYP, Chris Henderson, and 20 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Sarah Reed
      Superbacker
      on

      I really like how you've made three groups of resources separated by material and shape. I also think it would be very difficult to make those abstract ones look good in shaped wood. I've seen other games attempt it and fail miserably. So even though I am not a fan of wooden cubes when those could be easily upgraded, I respect the thought and process you put into this when coming up with this decision. It obviously wasn't made lightly.

    2. Missing avatar

      Benjy
      Superbacker
      on

      I am a definite fan of sculpted wooden pieces. It really helps emerse me in the game. Whenever I see that components are "upgraded", I am much more likely to buy that game. Of course everyone is different. My wife couldn't care less about theme or appearance. She just wants to win!

    3. Missing avatar

      Game Aquisitor on

      Wooden pieces work well when combined with with sticker sheets I think. Stickers on the wooden pieces provide better graphics than simple meeple printed colors, while also giving a nicer feel to the pieces managed and passed around during gameplay. Ha, ha, just today I was just looking at the graphics made up for use with sticker sheets someone posted on BGG for Orléans Deluxe Edition: https://boardgamegeek.com/image/2759903/orleans-deluxe-edition

    4. Sarah Knopf
      Superbacker
      on

      Personally, I prefer cardboard as it shows off the artwork. I don't even use the wooden resource upgrades that other Kickstarter projects tend to offer as stretch goals (i.e. Orléans, Above & Below).

      But mainly, I would just like the resources to fit on the player board.

    5. Radu P on

      Thank you, Błażej. Since I am among those who said the game components are suboptimal, I think I need to clarify a little bit what I think.

      First, "pimping up" the game could wait the Deluxe Special Exclusive Collector"s Edition. You may consider such an Edition at some time in the future. This standard release should simply be functional and reasonably sturdy. I think Power Grid is a better analogy to what should happen to this game: component upgrades by third parties and a Deluxe edition a decade after the first version.

      Secondly, as with all the other NSKN games, everything seems to have been tested, stress-tested and carefully designed in this game. It is the game itself that seems to me to be somewhat baroque (i.e. rich in diverse details). This is why I think the art (chrome) should strive to make things clearer and more streamlined.

      While I now understand your decision on the resource tokens and turn markers (by the way, the vassals are impeccable in my opinion), its reason seems a little bit too remote from the game play. Ability markers should be cardboard, turn markers should be more like those used in Versailles, and I can live with the remaining non-cubes as they are or enjoy a more consistent look. Oh, and resources should fit on their storage boards. However, I think I have already blown a minor issue out or proportion. (It is only the fault of NSKN, because you set the bar in game crafting so high.)

      My deeper dissatisfaction, is with the game board and the dragon tiles. They are gorgeous, but so ornate. On the one hand this means they are bigger than they should be. The slots for the ability markers are small and cover only a tiny part of a dragon tile, while the board is not as functional as it could be. Unfortunately, the shape of a town building can say nothing about its production (and the same is true for the Production, Research, Transformation, and Power Tiles and their art). So, all the beautiful details are only "clutter", which limits the visibility of the actually relevant information. The rationale for the various locations on the table is not immediately obvious for inexperienced players, the reasons for the positioning of the various buildings in the town are even less obvious, so the abilities of these locations should have stood out better.

      I know I belong to a minority, probably smaller than LSD's, and I know that after I (and my friends) learned how to play the game I would blissfully ignore all these things (just as I ignore the depressing colours of the maps for Power Grid and its bureaucratically sadistic rulebook).

      Also, if I really cared I would probably upgrade the components I am not sufficiently pleased with from third parties (just as I bought a set of poker chips to replace the paper money in various games), something I recommend to all those who are into uniquely beautiful games (which I personally call "overproduced").

    6. Viljami on

      Given explanation here, I'm fine with the resources as they are. There is thought behind it and I like that. In my own experience with other kickstarters that offered upgraded resource tokens along with the regular cardboard ones, the pretty wooden shapes never get used as they are impractical when it comes to game mechanics and are just cosmetic.
      The upgraded player boards in one of Simurghs stretch goals fixes any issue I had with the resource tokens. They are fine as they are now.

    7. Rivsung
      Superbacker
      on

      It's cosmetic, but I'd prefer that them to be all wood.

    8. Missing avatar

      Namit Kaura
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm ok either way though I usually prefer design consistency. It can be jarring in other games that have a mix of wooden or plastic tokens with cardboard. Depends on the game though.

    9. Missing avatar

      Namit Kaura
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm ok either way though I usually prefer design consistency. It can be jarring in other games that have a mix of wooden or plastic tokens with cardboard. Depends on the game though.

    10. Missing avatar

      Game Aquisitor on

      Obviously, there's difference in opinion here, because as far as I've been able to see, Cool Mini or Not's been releasing great strategic titles with great components. Produced well to fit the game, of course plastic minis and other quality produced component pieces can make for a higher quality product. Game play value and better components can both be added as stretch goals.

    11. Missing avatar

      None on

      I routinely switch out game components, so I already have a collection of minis and realistic resources that go with any new game. Game designers make their own choices based on their best ideas of cost verses esthetic verses function. It is likely quite the challenge, and I admire people who work to pull that off.

    12. Rainer Åhlfors
      Superbacker
      on

      Personally, I'm in the same camp as what appears to consistently be the majority — the current tokens are fine. However, the minority is certainly persistent and vocal, and I would have no problem with consistent components either.

      That said, I would much rather have stretch goals which focus on adding game play value than something which changes the tokens. In the end, however, I will go with whatever NSKN considers best.

      One small complaint against my fellow backers — please make your opinions heard, but try to be a little less repetitive and more respectful. Also, please don't use Cool Mini or Not as an example of a company whose example to follow. They care more about components than strategic game play. Plastic and minis does not automatically make something a higher quality or more deluxe component. The components should match what type of game it is.

      Again, I like the current components, but I completely understand and respect that others may disagree. In the end, I'll be okay with anything.

    13. Missing avatar

      Game Aquisitor on

      I concur on the need for upgraded consistent components. Mixing things around with cardboard, wood, some with graphics, some not, etc. makes the production feel like a test version of the game put together with whatever pieces are lying around. It's unfortunate the option to upgrade all pieces to a consistent version will not be available, as it's something, I think, really adds to the visual appeal of a game, especially on something with awesome level of art in this game. It's great when component upgrades are offered in other Kickstarter boardgame projects, such as I've seen in, say, the recent super successful Scythe game Kickstarter campaign from Stonemaier Games, which included upgraded deluxe components at a Collector level tier, or even in other games such as Among the Stars from Artipia games, which offered the upgrade option separate for minis as well as beautifully painted metal coins. Cool Mini or Not, another great company offering all sorts of deluxe component options. Really, nothing wrong with offering higher quality components as a separate option for people willing to pay in the extra amount. The art in Simurgh is some of the best I've seen in a boardgame, great theme too, but the inconsistent quality in the game pieces I think keep it from really having be brought to the level of a top tier modern day boardgame production.

    14. Joaquin
      Superbacker
      on

      Just make sure they fit on the player board.

    15. NSKN Games - LudiBooster 5-time creator on

      @David Craft: Thanks!
      @Paul Bradley: We are happy to receive such a vote of trust. Thank you :-)
      @LunarSoundDesign: The last unlocked Stretch Goal makes the boards bigger.
      @Jamie Maltman, @Daniel Eastban: While the cardboard versions of all resources do look quite neat, going that direction would make most people probably perceive it as a downgrade. Still, the more you all comment on this topic, the more we have to consider, and the more insight we have with what most people think is the right direction to go.

    16. Daniel Eastban
      Superbacker
      on

      I would made all cardboard; cheaper, lighter and prettier.

    17. Jamie Maltman on

      The design decisions make sense, and I'm not actually sure much would be added by switching the cubes to something more rectangular, really. While the other two cardboard tokens match nicely to the icons on the board and cards.

      If you were to make a parchment-colored scroll meeple, that would work... but the weapon color would be close to the vegetable. I have to say - the token version of the resources on Tabletopia looks really nice and very organized in the storage grid. :)

    18. BoardGameRevolution
      Superbacker
      on

      While I appreciate the insight that doesn't change my opinion that the game could benefit from all the tokens/cubes to be upgraded to shapes. Especially with regards to the player resource board.

    19. Paul Bradley on

      They look fine to me. Given your KS track record I know that anything that you do on this project will not jeopardise your delivery on time, so whatever is done in regard to the resources (if anything) I know that you will be able to deliver.

    20. David (Jester's) Craft
      Superbacker
      on

      Looks perfectly fine to me...