Monday, 20 August 2007

Cosmic Encouner, Dune To Be Reprinted By FFG

To anyone who hasn't seen the news already:


Dune and Cosmic Encounter to Be Reprinted


Interestingly enough, it appears FFG has the rights to the game's mechanics but NOT the Dune license itself.


Puts me in a bit of a funny position; I'm glad to see the reprint, even if it does have to be re-themed a bit.

I like Dune. A lot. Have the novel and both the Extended DVD and the Sci-Fi DVD, and even the original soundtrack. However, though I think it's a bummer they'll have to re-theme it, this isn't a deal-breaker to me.

I mean, it isn't like they're going to suddenly plop the players in the Middle Ages trading silk for poofy shirts or anything like that. The rumor is that we'll be seeing a Twilight Imperium setting. Let's face it; all sci-fi borrows from the greats, Dune being one of them. So even if we don't get "Dune", we'll get a knock-off version using a more generic sci-fi setting. This won't be like changing a horse-racing game into an fantasy arena combat game. The mechanics are pretty much going to demand a conflict-based game, and the expectations of the license will pretty much steer it down a sci-fi path.


But...does this go against F:AT's mantra of "Theme! Theme! Theme!" The fact that it doesn't bother me much? Does it bother you guys if they have to re-theme this? If so, why? Is this a deal-breaker for you?

Regardless, this is something a lot of AT fans have been asking for, and it finally appears that we're going to get it.


The other cool thing is that if we get Cosmic Encounter, we won't be left high and dry like the Avalon Hill version--FFG knows how to ride the expansion bone like nobody's business.






143 comments:

mtlawson said...

Very interesting. So Brian isn't letting the old license go, eh? He's being a bit shortsighted, but that's not that big a surprise, really. IMHO, the Dune franchise isn't what it once was, but Brian Herbert hasn't caught up with that yet.

NeonPeon said...

I've never played Dune, but it's disappointing that they'll have to re-theme it. Isn't there a giant sand worm in the game?

Jeb said...

It's not Dune to Brian Herbert unless there's mechs with brains in them! What a shithead.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2003/10/15

I hope that works--this commenting systems seems to break long links.

vandemonium said...

Man, a re-themed game would be OK but a big part of me wants Dune the Game for the Dune setting. I just read the book and am starting on the second one and, yes, Barnes' and other F:ATers enthusiasm is at least part of the reason I read it. So thanks for that all.

I do think a re-themed game would be a touch on sad side. But what can you do? If you can't get the rights, you can't get the rights. But... a cautionary tale - Decpiher tried to replicate their Star Wars game as re-themed game - "Wars" - and that didn't do so well...

Pat H said...

My cassette copy of Maiden's "Piece of Mind" has Dune named Dune, and not "To Tame a Land". Pretty cool. It was printed in Canada so maybe they never received the fax concerning the Herbert litigation threats.

Why not strip the system of the best mechanics and re-theme it with new tweaks. I really don't see the point of re-theming the game even though the system may be very good.

Michael Barnes said...

Alright...let's sort this out...

First off, it's a fucking TRAGEDY that they couldn't get the DUNE license but a TRIUMPH that they got the main games in the EON canon. I'm sure it's not for want of trying on FFG's part and it's likely an issue that involves more money than the board game industry generates annually as a whole.

My gut reaction is that there's no reason to do a DUNE-based game because the theme is so entirely integrated into its mechanics- the EON boys pulled everything in the game straight out of the books (the good ones, not those Brian Herbert rent-payers). So much of my, and others, enjoyment comes from it _being_ DUNE. I can't imagine not quoting the movie (the David Lynch one) endlessly during play. I can't imagine not talking about the books and their themes while playing. I mean, it's fucking DUNE. The best game ever published based on one of the best books ever published. It's a fucking ironclad contract. The absolute posterchild for theme/mechanic integration. Timeless, unstoppable, and iconic.

Vandemonium brought up WARS and that's a pretty good analogy...WARS was a good CCG and it was basically a slightly revised version of the fan-favorite STAR WARS CCG, but it didn't have the STAR WARS license...therefore, it WAS NOT the same game.

I _want_ to say "FFG, you've broken my heart". I want to say that this is the worst situation that could happen with DUNE. I want to throw all these Epic boxes out in the backyard and be that internet guy that decries an entire business without having any understanding of circumstance or situation- I want to have a completely emotional fit over it.

However, when I really think about it...I remember the last game of DUNE we played and I joked about doing a "bootleg" version of the game that would be about Texas oil drilling called DUDE. It would be basically the same thing mechanically, with various Ewing-like oil families vying for control of oil strikes. So I think about FFG using its TWILIGHT IMPERIUM property and I think that at least it's drawing on a science fiction source, and a science fiction source strongly influenced by DUNE itself.

I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing in sum. It's really great that DUNE, in whatever form, will be available to those too lazy or broke to get a $50 copy off Ebay and it's not like those old copies are going to suddenly vanish. Sure, I'd much rather be the Harkonnen then the Mentak Coalition and it's a very serious, almost deal-breaking disappointment that we won't get to see FFG's stable of artists and production designers leverage their talent on the DUNE universe but I can see where they could easily make this a worthwhile game- a _different_ game that functions on the DUNE chassis. In a sense, I think that FFG really should go one of three ways with it:

1) Make a completely 1:1 copy of the game with all license material, names, and references replaced by TWILIGHT IMPERIUM properties. The rules, powers, and all particulars would remain exactly the same. Arrakis would heretofore be referred to as "Cinnamon Planet" or something like that. The ol' "Rickey Rouse and Ronald Ruck" scheme. This, obviously, is the best option for players who don't have a copy of the AH or Descartes game.

2) Make a NEW game using DUNE as a basis for all of its mechanics. New powers, new abilities, but preserving the basic structure and integration of theme and mechanics. This is the best option for folks who have the earlier edition as it would be a new game with new concepts to explore, all based around an established and successful rules set.

3) Do the CONQUEST OF THE EMPIRE thing and basically do both- you can play DUNE as it was written (but without the DUNE license material) or you can play the "Updated" edition.

Of course, 3 is the best option but financially, it could be hard to pull off.

I do think that if FFG feels the need to tinker, modify, or do ANYTHING to the game (a la FURY OF DRACULA or WARRIOR KNIGHTS) then it's probably better just to make it a fundamentally new game. Seriously, DUNE is perfect. Any tampering would screw it up. See where that kind of thinking got George Lucas?

One thing I would like to comment on is that I _do_ really want to see a TI-universe groundwar game...as much as I love TIDE OF IRON, I think they missed an awesome opportunity to do it as a TI game. But something strategic level, like what we're talking about here, might fit the bill as well.

As far as the other releases- who wouldn't be excited? A new COSMIC, done right this time, is one of the greatest announcements in the hobby since FFG let us know they were doing Games Workshop titles. And BORDERLANDS? One of the greatest games you've probably never played and one that gives FFG an _amazing_ opportunity to do some really awesome bits. Word of advice to Christian and Co.- make the expansions part of the base game!

So hooray FFG...another major victory for them as a business and for us as AT fans. But I'm watchin' you...

StephenAvery said...

On the up side it, by not being tied to the theme of dune it opens the game to a lot of possiblities. New game mechanics, special powers and expansions. Besides, you'll always know you're playing Dune.

"Run the giant Sand Roach is coming!!"

Steve"the cup is half full"Avery

jon said...

I'm sure FFG tried, but...this sucks. No matter how you rationalize it, Dune's mechanisms are inextricable from its source, and shifting that source will sever the emotional connections. And here I thought my opinion of Brian Herbert couldn't get any lower....

Ken B. said...

What is inextricable, though? Multiple factions fighting over a valuable resource? A noble band of do-gooders? A prophecy of a Messiah? A group of indigenous people waiting to be liberated? A villainous bunch of backstabbers? A group who is a political powerhouse behind the scenes?

Face it, so much has been ripped off from Dune and other great sci-fi epics--so much of this has bled down to all of our entertainment subculture--that it won't take much "re-theming" to make it work. Practically a light coat of paint.


Which is probably more of a sad indicator of the derivative nature of popular science-fiction than anything else.


Please note--I'd rather have the Dune theme. But I'm not chucking chits at them because they didn't get it. Like I said, I'll take what I can get.

Shellhead said...

I'm happy about the Cosmic Encounters news. Great game, but could definitely benefit from some polishing by FFG.

But the news about Dune is just frustrating. I want Dune without paying an insane amount of money for a used copy or even paying just a high sum of money for a french edition. What I don't want is a generic Dune lacking all the chrome related to the books. I just don't understand why they were willing to allow licensing for Five Rings to do a Dune CCG, but not willing to allow FFG to publish the classic boardgame. Is there any chance that the deal was complicated by that other Dune boardgame, the one by Parker Brothers?

Michael Barnes said...

Steve "Tanktop" Avery makes a good point...it does open up the potential for something new and great by not being tied to the license...but it good also open it up to new and _bad_ in the wrong hands.

And Ken makes a good point about derivation...I mean, the whole "chosen one" routine is so played out at this point, it's almost like shorthand for people who can't write a plot. Sure, it's an archetypical story and pushes all those Joseph Campbell buttons...but a good way to tell if you're watching/reading CRAP is if they literally say the phrase "chosen one" in it.

"Kwisatz Haderach"...that's different.

Jack Hill said...

The Dune game might be worth losing the theme if we can get a bigger board.

CE needs no expansions. The basic game is enough and expansions gradually march the quick little game into the realm of the stupid. By the time you get to moons, you are probably better off just slitting your wrists. The proper lengthwise way.

Oh yeah. No Starcraft. My emissary got stuck waiting in line to try to buy it on Thursday afternoon. The line didn't actually move for 15 minutes and he gave up.

Ken B. said...

Hell, you don't even have to go so far as "chosen one". You can tell the crap just as soon as the word "prophecy" is used.

Yeah, that unfortunately nails the Star Wars prequels.


Why couldn't a kid just show up and be the nutz? Why is it always, "Yeah, some old wizened Jedi hag had a Death-Stick induced vision that some tow-headed kid was going to bring 'balance' to the Force. Then she offered to jiggle my pud for more Death Sticks."

Michael said...

No Dune, No Deal...But then again, what do I care, I already own Dune.

-Chapel-

Michael Barnes said...

Maybe we should mount one of those fan petitions that spare, at least for another couple of seasons, those marginal-at-best syndicated sci-fi television shows?

What will Brian Herbert think when he sees a petition signed by ONE HUNDRED or more board game geeks?

I nominate Jack Hill as the Chosen One who will bring the DUNE license to FFG.

The Euro Overlord said...

Are you sure you could get 100? The readers of this blog don't go over 40 or so!

(Thunder)

Ken B. said...

There's a prophecy concerning Mr. Hill, innit?

Michael Barnes said...

Yes. [shaky, wizened voice] it is the prophecy [/shaky wizened voice].

Good job, Board Game News, for regaling us with a story about some ultra-limited edition game that no one will ever get to play (except maybe Jack) about Jamaica rather than running anything about this monumental announcement.

Jack Hill said...

Okay. I'll be the Chosen One if:

1. I get a tiny, annoying dragon/cat crossbreed sidekick.

2. Two women (one is a spiritual earth mother type, and the other is a hot half-naked thiefy type) end up fighting over me.

3. I get a really big sword.

4. Brian Herbert must also be quoted in public saying "Har, Har, Har."

Then I'm pretty sure all Chosen One rules will apply.

Darilian said...

I'll only be the Chosen One if I'm playing the Board Game version of Fallout 2.......And if in the game I get to pimp out my wife in New Reno for an extra couple of bottlecaps...!

Darilian

Ken B. said...

Don't forget, the hot naked thief will HATE Jack "The Chosen One" Hill almost immediately upon meeting him, frequently opining things such as "I do not see what the prophet sees in you" or "Chosen One? Shyeah, right."

He will then save her life, and va-va-voom, she'll have the hots for him. This will lead to the pre-requisite nekkid tryst, unless you're Jessica Alba, at which point it will be fully clothed--probably even with parkas on.

Then of course the villain I. M. Notharkonnen will capture her and threaten her life, providing much needed DRAMA~!

jon said...

It's inextricable in that it maps exactly to the plot of the novel. Yes, you could sub in the Kumquat Haagen-Daaz, NOAMCHOMSKI, Baron Hardchargin, and the Hardy-Har-Har, but a paste-over is a paste-over, and feels like one. Or did I totally misread item #2 in the anti-euro canon?

An interesting point brought up on BGG is that, if FFG couldn't secure the license, and if mechanisms aren't subject to copyright, then what is there to "secure" here? I suppose they had to in order to get Borderlands and CE. "Hey, we're totally in with you on those classics...by the way, we're also publishing a nice little in-house number about six factions dueling over the production of a rare, um, spice...."

vandemonium said...

On a serious note I wonder if it would matter if we really did start a petition. I actually went over to the Dune official web site (which sucks BTW) and they do seem to have a message board... Free Dune! Bring spice to the masses! Addict us all. Etc., etc., so on and so forth.

mtlawson said...

::spaces hands very close::

Drama.

::spreads hands far apart::

Change the channel.

(Sorry, Ken, I couldn't resist.)

This whole thing is making me happy that I stopped at Children of Dune, and not watch the series slide into mediocrity.

Mike's right, however; so many SF/F novels these days have the Campbell-esque hero these days that it's hard to not find one. If it weren't for the fact that I despised the main character, maybe FFG could adapt the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant into a boardgame instead.

Juniper said...

Good job, Board Game News, for regaling us with a story about some ultra-limited edition game that no one will ever get to play (except maybe Jack) about Jamaica rather than running anything about this monumental announcement.

Yeah! Why waste time trying to confirm an internet rumor? Just run the story -- without qualification -- as a fait accompli.

Rliyen said...

Mike's right, however; so many SF/F novels these days have the Campbell-esque hero these days that it's hard to not find one. If it weren't for the fact that I despised the main character, maybe FFG could adapt the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant into a boardgame instead.

Oh hells yes to that sentiment. Closest you can come to Covenant nowadays is either Luke/Anakin.

Dude, you're in The Land. Stop being a whiny bitch and actually come to terms with it.

Mr Skeletor said...

Hmmm, never read dune, maybe I should.

Shellhead said...

I finally got around to reading the first couple of sequels to the original Dune. For their time, these first three books were visionary, at least with respect to environmental issues. But I didn't find them exciting. Most of the important scenes feature a debate between different philosophies. The action just kind of moves the ideas along to greater depth, and the plot twists feel inevitable given that there are several characters who can see the future. The nearest library didn't have the next two Dune books, and I just haven't felt motivated to seek them out.

mtlawson said...

Dude, you're in The Land. Stop being a whiny bitch and actually come to terms with it.

Oh, how I wanted Covenant to actually get slapped around by someone. Of course, having a game based on that world doesn't necessarily mean that you have to have Covenant himself in it somewhere.

A Thieves World sort of setting for a game would work well too; for the first 4 or 5 books, anyway.

--Mike L.

Thaadd said...

Curious who the emissary to purchase Jack's copy was. I met Billy S. (though he did not sit a Demo!) this weekend for Starcraft.

I now sound like Lita Ford on a bad day. I went beyond losing my voice, to sorta sounding like I'm using a vocorder.

Anyways. Back in the office on Wednesday. Time to go enjoy a weekend with as few as people as possible. And my shiny new copy of Cash and Guns. (Solo play?)

Michael Barnes said...

Juniper- yeah, I guess Mike Zebrowski posting to The Leading Board Game Site with the news is a pretty unsubstantiated rumour...damn that guy, always starting this shit...

Mr. Skeletor/Shellhead- the first three DUNE books are really all anyone needs, and hit the fourth and fifth if you're just a huge fan. The first book is the only one that really stands up on its own as a piece of literature, the rest are more "commercial" sci-fi. Although, some pretty fuckin' cool shit happens in them, particularly when Leto II "changes". If you want a shorthand of the DUNE series, I believe there's an episode of THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY AND MANDY that will cover it for you.

As for Thaad-
I now sound like Lita Ford on a bad day.

"Went to a party last saturday night, didn't get laid, got in a fight...uh huh...it ain't no big thing"

pwn3d said...

I think FFG will do a great job with CE. I don't see the point of doing a reprint of "Dune" without the license. I think Brian Herbert may be biting the hand that feeds him. But maybe he really is getting a bad deal? I don't know.

Juniper said...

Juniper- yeah, I guess Mike Zebrowski posting to The Leading Board Game Site with the news is a pretty unsubstantiated rumour...damn that guy, always starting this shit...

Have you missed my point on purpose? There's no information about the EON titles on the FFG website, and nobody has found anything like an official press release or announcement from FFG. According to Mike Z., FFG said something about having acquired the rights to some of EON's properties -- and they said this at a seminar that Mike Z. says that he did not attend.

Is the rumor believable? Yes. Is it correct? Probably. Is it still hearsay anyway? Damn straight. Is hearsay news? No.

You chose to insinuate that BoardGameNews didn't report the news because its editor is more interested in obscure Euros that nobody can buy anyway. I chose to speculate that BoardGameNews didn't report the news because there is nothing that they can say about it, at the present time. Maybe they've already contacted Christian Petersen and are waiting for confirmation of the rumor -- I don't fucking know, and you don't either.

Mr Skeletor said...

Are the Dune books stand alone stories?
Might check out Dune after I finish Starship troopers.

simon said...

I just don't get how changing the theme could turn a supposedly awesome game into a bad one.

I also don't care much about a Dune setting, because I neither read the books, nor watched the movies. When FFG publishes a good game (w/ or w/o TI setting, I don't care again), I will have a look at it and maybe buy it.

How much sense does an exact reprint reprint of a game make? Most people that I play games with say that the new FoD (Fury of Dracula) is better than the old FoD, as opposed to the common oppinion here.

alan polak said...

I don't think that's the issue Simon. It isn't that removing the theme makes it a bad game. It just doesn't make it 'Dune'. I saw the Lynch film in the cinema when I failed to get into 'Beverly Hills Cop'(honest miss I am 15 I only look younger. She wasn't buying it). Dune was the only other film showing so we saw that. The guy I saw it with fell asleep before the Reverend Mother got to Caladan and I was hooked.Agreed the first three are required reading after that they're still great but then I am biased. Oh and ignore the frankly awful sci-fi channel series. Harlan Ellison once said ignore anything with the label sci-fi as it is pronounced "skwiffy". Anyway back to the point. Re-doing 'Dune' without it being 'Dune' would be like re-doing Fury of Dracula or Arkham Horror but it being random hero types(insert whatever Jungian/Campbell archetype here) chase old man/monster/ even vampire around wherever. It just isn't the same. I am a huge fan of Dracula and getting to chase "the man himself" is an integral part of the game. Same as playing as Van Helsing. You're fricking Van Helsing dude!!! Same with Dune. Leading my Fremen warriors into battle against the Harkonnens......Aahhhh. As cool as TI is doing the same with the Federation of Sol just aint the same thing. Shame really that Brian Herbert has gone all Shadam the fourth with this stuff. Still when you're cranking out endless prequels and sequels it is easy to forget the fans who made 'Dune' what it is.
Long Live the Fighters

simon said...

Fury of Dracula is a great game; and I don't know anything about Lord Godalming, Dr. Seward and Mina Harker, or any of the other characters (allies) that appear in the game. I only know Van Helsing, because he's the most prominent of the bunch.

Still FoD is a perfect game, and maybe knowing the background of the setting might add a little extra.

Sure it would be difficult to retheme a game which was designed with the setting in mind, but don't the mechanics also add up to the greatness of Dune?

(P.S. I'm no eurogamer :D)

Russ Fade said...

Brian Herbert cannot handle the weight of his destiny. He's a wuss, just like Paul Muad'dib turned out to be. We can only hope there is a "Leto II" somewhere out there to open up the Golden Path and GET THIS DAMN GAME REPRINTED PROPERLY!!!!!!

Russ Fade said...

Are the Dune books stand alone stories?
Might check out Dune after I finish Starship troopers.


A lot of people just read the first one. It's a fairly stand-alone story with an ending that SEEMS final. Further reading finds that things are not turning out how you expect and further reading fleshed out the universe much better. However, the books also get weirder as you go along. When you get to the last 2 books, you will be convinced Herbert is on Acid . . . and hey, it was the 70's/80's.

Try the first one. If you highly enjoy it, see if you can get through Dune: Messiah, Children of Dune, and God Emperor. God Emperor is where the weirdness starts, but it's also and end to a cycle and a pretty awesome story in many ways. You'll either love it or hate it. I loved it.

Ok, didn't meant to turn this into a book review forum. I'll go away now.

mtlawson said...

Considering it was 4 years between Dune and Dune Messiah, you can read the first novel and be assured you have a complete work in your hand. Unlike today, where a lot of SF/F novels are written deliberately as a series of novels, the original Dune was conceived as a standalone.

--Mike L.

Rliyen said...

However, the books also get weirder as you go along. When you get to the last 2 books, you will be convinced Herbert is on Acid . . . and hey, it was the 70's/80's.

Ya think? I read all of them so I could take into account the whole series.

Problems started around God Emperor of Dune and just got worse with Chapterhouse. I tried my darndest to follow it, but I ended up feeling like a Mon-Keigh trying to figure out a math problem.

Just read the first two and leave it at that.

Michael Barnes said...

I dunno...in thinking about it more, CHILDREN OF DUNE is pretty darn good...it really gets into some interesting stuff about religion...the Sci Fi channel miniseries of that (which incorporates DUNE MESSIAH) is WAY better than the DUNE miniseries (which has some of the most amateurish costume design I've ever seen and some of the worst acting on record). Reading DUNE MESSIAH after DUNE though is a noticeable, huge step down in terms of quality and depth.

I guess we'll get to see at what point DUNE stops being DUNE. Who knows, it might be that the game that emerges from all this stands on its own as a really great game. It is a disaster, as far as I'm concerned, that FFG is having to compromise so much on it but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. But yeah, as others have said if you took Dracula out of FoD, would it still be FoD?

It's funny that we immediately blame Brian Herbert even though he might not be the lynch pin here...hell, I blame him because he turned the DUNE name into a fucking travesty with his cavalcade of crap books. It's really sad that genre fans tend to be so naive and undiscerning that they'll buy into serial fiction like that hook, line, and sinker regardless of quality or fidelity to the original material.

Anyway, it is a license worth millions of dollars and I'm sure that financial interests above all else are keeping it out of FFG's hands. It would be interesting to hear from somebody over at FFG about the issue and what the discussion- if any- has been with the DUNE people.

Michael Barnes said...

All that babbling and I didn't make the main point I've been thinking about...

Thaad, Jeremy, Christian, anyone at FFG listening...PLEASE respect these designs and don't fuck with them! There's no need to modernize, update, revise, redevelop, or otherwise alter the gameplay of these titles. The quirks are part of what make Eon designs so unique and significant. These games, as published, are influential and important and it's really critical you guys resist the urge to "update". Paul Atreides (or his TI counterpart) doesn't need tribal tattoos, a skateboard, or an in-your-face "get bizay" atttitude. Nor does the game need artificially applied timers, victory conditions, or other tacked-on mechanics to make Eurogamers like it.

They don't update MOBY DICK every time it's published. I'm just sayin'.

Jack Hill said...

thaad: I should be nicer about that. I've worked Origins a few times, and after two days, you pretty much want to light people on fire. (Although I must admit that I USUALLY just want to light people on fire. Latent pyrophiliac here.)

My emissary was named Brian Schoner. Nice guy who wrote some of the Shadowrun RPG stuff, and he and his wife are working on the Witch Hunter RPG. (Call of Cthulhu meets Nathaniel Hawthorne.)

Although, anyone know if Richard Launius got a copy? He'll bring it to Mercer for certain.

Also regarding boardgamenews and the announcement. I'm pretty sure that Eric hasn't noticed it yet.

Shellhead said...

Jack Hill,

You need a better emissary at GenCon next year. Back in the early 90's, when I was still going to GenCon every year, a friend gave me some cash to pick up the (then) new edition of Shadowrun. Even though I despised Shadowrun with every fiber of my being, I wasn't going to let my friend down.

FASA didn't bring enough copies of the new book to GenCon that year, so they rationed them at the booth, selling just 20 copies each day, on a first-come first-serve basis. I found this out on day one, less than an hour after the Great Hall opened.

On day 2, I got crafty. I anticipated the mad fanboy dash for the FASA booth that would happen as soon as the Great Hall opened. Noting that the FASA booth was in the back corner, near a side door that opened into the wargaming area, I headed to that door a short time before opening. I went up to the security guard and chatted for a couple minutes, to make sure that the side door would also be opening at 10:00 sharp.

At 10:00, I strolled a short distance to the booth, and ended up near the middle of the line, which soon grew rapidly as the guys running from the front door arrived in force. A few minutes later, one of the FASA people counted the first 20 people in line, and then informed everybody else that they would need to come back tomorrow. One skinny goth boy looked devastated, like his god had just been butchered right before his eyes. I pointed and laughed uproariously at his uncomprehending face.

If your emissary couldn't be bothered to wait 15 minutes, you may need to give him an incentive for results next year. Maybe a small cash reward for delivery, or even some blackmail.

jon said...

Hm...I think Dune could use a bit of polishing/consolidation. The advanced rules should be standard, but splitting them out makes rule consultation fussier. Nearly all the optionals also seem essential to me (who plays without additional character advantages, karama powers, and weather?). I think making all that stuff standard *reduces* clutter. I also think the rules could use some editing and de-redundifying.

While I've never even considered The Duel, the Spice Harvest adds nice ideas to avoid static setups. But every time I've tried to advocate for it, I had to conclude that it didn't seem worth the time/effort. A streamlined version seems like a nice addition to mix things up prior to every game.

And of course the Lansraad, Ix, and Bene Tleilaxu, all of which I've used at least once, are all great as optional add-ons.

jon said...

Oh yeah, and the cards could stand to be re-jiggered as well. So take your "Dune is perfect" remarks on a Trip to Gamont!

Thaadd said...

Barnes, standard disclaimer here.

I am not a designer.

I am not able to influence designers, except to nag at them to change their freaking voicemail messages, recycle, and to stop overpacking our poor little office fridge. For what it's worth, I'll gladly forward any email sent to them, but I only post on here as a avowed 'not design team' person. In fact, I actually only knew about the At-43 portion of the grand announcement... I heard about the other things in the 10 hour drive home, as I don't get to attend our Flight Report (being busy minding the demo floor at the time..)

If people make a fuss over me being staffer, might not get to post anymore here. :(

Ken B. said...

Staffer? What staffer? I don't know what you're talking about, "Not Designer" Thaadd.

Don't mind Barnes. He hasn't had his meds.

Michael Barnes said...

Oh no Thaad...I know you and some of our other regulars aren't designers and have limited say-so in the labyrinthine beauracracy that is the FFG Supermegacorporation and Holdings, LLC...I'm calling you little guys to rise up at FFG and let those rock star designers- who may be too distracted by their decadent, money-flush and oversexed lifestyles- know what's happening on the street level. So when you guys are coffee clatching with Wilson, Goodenough, and the boys, your call is to mention things like "Hey, the guys over F:AT said they'd rip out your testicles if you take out 'Trip to Gamont".

Michael Barnes said...

Oh, and Thaad...one quick question...what was it like when you were designing GAME OF THRONES?

Mike Z said...

Yeah! Why waste time trying to confirm an internet rumor? Just run the story -- without qualification -- as a fait accompli.

Well, they could have attended the seminar.

Hell, if I was running a board gaming news site and one of the biggest board game companies was holding a seminar at Gencon, I'd make damm sure that I'd have someone there.

At the very least, it would be an oppertunity for questions.

But I guess that it is easier to just check bookmarks once a day to see if any companies have put out pre-packaged news items.

Mike "The internet rumor king" Z

notbillysparkles said...

Hey Thaad you actually met Billy Z> (that's me) and the major reason I didn't sit down to a demo was that IT WAS TOO FUCKING BUSY. that and I really would have liked to demo it with my buds and they all happen to be line-up averse... the bastards.

I don't know how the hell you managed it, but there wasn't a single moment where SC demo tables were not surrounded by drooling geeks, and there you were demoing away.

Back on topic, I saw two mint copies of dune for sale at troll & toad's for 103 and 105$ respectively. I think that Crazy Egor's was selling an incomplete copy for 45$. I figured I'd hold off on the purchase in the hopes of an eventual trade... until I just read about FFG's two new reprints.

Honestly, I could care less about the re-theming of Dune. loved the book and the movie but --in all honesty-- if they re-theme proper like, who cares. I would like to at least try the original once though.

Oh, while I'm at it, am I an idiot for not jumping on a complete copy of AH's Aquire, in excellent condition, for 56$?

Just curious.

Billy Z.

Rliyen said...

I think that Crazy Egor's was selling an incomplete copy for 45$. I figured I'd hold off on the purchase in the hopes of an eventual trade... until I just read about FFG's two new reprints.

Hey, Billy,

I have an incomplete copy I'm willing to trade. I can do an accounting of the parts missing (the character counters, mainly, and one or two Treachery cards) if you're interested.

Michael Barnes said...

Mike Z- Juniper is just mad that no one gives a damn about the "high profile" reissues of BIG CITY, TYCOON, LIBERTE, EXTRABLATT like we do about these games.

You really need to control this internet rumour mongering though.

BTW- are you, Thaad, and Jeremy working on a new game yet? I hope y'all are making WAR OF THE RING PART 2.

Mike Z said...

We had to drop the game as there were creative differences.

Thaad wanted to include swamps, Jeremy wanted to included mopeds, and I wanted to include a sound track from Atomic Harmonik or Skuter/Skater.

Juniper said...

But I guess that it is easier to just check bookmarks once a day to see if any companies have put out pre-packaged news items.

It's certainly cheaper. Boardgamenews.com has had trouble in the recent past paying for webhosting, let alone the paid staff of investigative journalists that Michael seems to expect.

Michael Barnes said...

Look, all anyone over there at Boardgamenews.com had to do was look at the front page of the Leading Board Game Site to see the announcement- if they _were_ paid journalists, somebody'd be fired.

Instead of any information or announcement about these reprints, there's a report about some new frog game up now.

Juniper said...

Mike Z- Juniper is just mad that no one gives a damn about the "high profile" reissues of BIG CITY, TYCOON, LIBERTE, EXTRABLATT like we do about these games.

Actually, I'm angry that nobody cares about the edition of Mille Bornes that comes in a tin box that looks like a car. I'm also angry that critical reappraisals of KISS' "Black Diamond" and T. Rex's "Metal Guru" are so long overdue. I'm angry that Sid & Nancy was such a crap movie, and I'm angry that Jack Kirby never had a chance to finish the "Fourth World" saga and that the editorial staff at Marvel worked so hard at stealing his money and his art. I'm angry that I misjudged the situtation and failed to ask that girl out that one time. I'm angry that I don't have a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich right freaking now. I'm angry that Jonathan Richman isn't president. I'm angry that I'm not the guy from LCD Soundsystem.

Jack Hill said...

Oooh. A new Extrablatt? That might be worth it. As long as they don't take out the rule allowing you to take out ads for prostitutes in other people's papers to screw up the layout (seriously).

As far as Dune, the only house rule I might invoke is the increase in Sietches for victory with larger alliances.

As far as boardgamenews and Gencon. We don't get paid either. There just isn't much money in boardgame news sites. The only reason Thornquist got away with spending so much time is that he made lots and lots of money in the dotcom era.

Malloc said...

Dune mechanics without the theme suck. Sorry it is a deal breaker don't make the game. We are not eurogamers here, the mechanics mean little. It was the integration with the theme that makes Dune worth playing.

Ken B. said...

Look, I'm not exactly jumping up and down with glee that it has to be rethemed.


BUT...


We're getting a great game with a similar theme applied. It won't turn into dueling over selling paintings during the late 1800s in France; it's still going to be about killing and politics in a science fiction universe.


It's less than optimal, but given this choice or nothing, I'll choose the re-theme.

Michael Barnes said...

Juniper, you and I have a lot of common ground we take for granted...I wouldn't mind being James Murphy for a day, even if he is a fat guy in a t-shirt doing all the singing. "Metal Guru" is one of any number of fucking amazing T.Rex tracks, but I'd take "The Slider" over it. NEW GODS was almost Jack Kirby's greatest creation. Not with you on KISS, and it depends on who that girl was. I do like PBJ.

Jack's house rule for DUNE is pretty good and it stops the goofy three-way alliance victory pretty much dead in its tracks. I guess in sum, I think it's fine to add to the game as long as everything's optional and nothing is removed. Give me Jubba Cloak or give me death.

Mal, half of me feels exactly like you do...but then Ken "The Voice of Reason" Bradford steps in and reminds me that it could work. I'mma wait and see...but I do agree, DUNE without DUNE...isn't DUNE. But that doesn't mean that there can't be another great game based on the system, as long as they basically pull no punches in terms of completely ripping off the DUNE setting and just changing names.

Anybody started mapping DUNE factions to TI3 races yet? Will Kenyon?

Malloc said...



We're getting a great game with a similar theme applied. It won't turn into dueling over selling paintings during the late 1800s in France; it's still going to be about killing and politics in a science fiction universe.


Ken here is where you are WRONG. It will not be a great game. It will be a compilation of mechanics similar to what was in Dune that do not work because it is not the Dune universe.

This isn't some fucking euro where the theme doesn't matter cuz the game is all about mechanics. This is Dune and it is a classic because of how the story was integrated into the game.

If FFG was smart they would hold off and not print the game until they could make it in the Dune Universe. Why put out 2nd rate crap. The other 2 titles will be enough for the next 12 months of sales. Use the time to work on getting the license for Dune.


-M

Ken B. said...

I'm just saying--the difference in a re-theme in a Euro is where you take a game about crapping donkeys and you could turn it into a game about delivering newspapers or something.

That won't work for this game. Essentially, we're getting the same sort of theme. Is it the same quality as Dune? Of course not. But the heart of it--the heart of the theme, that being killing, destruction, warfare, and dueling factions--can be replicated.

Sure, it will be in that "Volcano movie starring Antonio Sabato Jr. and airing this weekend on Sci-Fi" rather than the blockbuster, at least in terms of theme.


Like I said, I'm just glad it's coming out. It's either that, or nothing.


I doubt sincerely CTP was like, "I dig the game, but forget that license." FFG would've been crazy to not have wanted it, it's free advertising before the first component is manufactured.

ubarose said...

Juniper said... a bunch of crap that made me laugh and spill on myself. Now I want a PB&J too.

If you rip the theme out of a game where the theme and the mechanics are closely tied together, you diminish the game.

The theme isn't just window dressing. It helps you remember the rules and informs your decisions. If I pulled out a game based on "The Wizard of Oz" that you had never seen before, I wouldn't even have to explain the rules for you to know that fire is going to do bad things to the Scarecrow, water is going to do bad things to the Tinman, cutting across the poppy field is going to be a bad idea, and holding on to the ruby slippers is going to be important. You won't need to constantly be asking, "What's the Witch's special abilities again? Oh, right, she can fly and throw fire balls." Could you still play the game if you weren't familiar with Wizard of Oz? Yes. Could you figure out a game that was a knock off of the Wizard of Oz with the Strawman, the Robot and the Magician? Yes. Would it be harder to remember the rules, and everyone's special abilities, and objectives; would the implications of some of the rules and mechanics be less transparent; would some of the rules seem a bit arbitrary and niggling; and would your decisions be less instinctive? Yes.

Malloc said...


Like I said, I'm just glad it's coming out. It's either that, or nothing.


Again Ken, no it is not. It is a Dumbing down of a great game, it is setting a bad precedent for other heavily themed remakes.

Sure Dune is out of print, but it is not that hard to get. There were at least 3 print runs of the thing, I have a pdf with all the components for printing and making, and there is a great updated graphics version available on the Geek.

I assure you the gaming world is better off with this remaining a grail then some half assed copy pollution the waters.

I am going to say one more time FFG is making a mistake but re-theming the game. They are letting potential sales blur their vision, and are about to do us all a disservice.

Do it right or not at all.

-M

Thaadd said...

I was so going to try to keep a count of how many groups of 4 people I demoed Starcraft to over the weekend. Only 2 turns, and I set up the orders for the first turn... it was funny too see how the different people reacted to the game. I also got asked 'How is this like TI3' about 45 times. After a while, I gave terse answers coupled with 'play a round or two here, and you can see for yourself!'

Last year I demoed Blue Moon City. Which for the record, I think is a great game, but I was SO glad to pull a big kid game this year. We give silverline demos to the new staff, so they don't get overwhelmed!

One of the Germans was saying in Euro demos it is acceptable/normal for the customer-player type to challenge the design, playing style, and demo credentials of the staff person at the table in Europe. Pretty much everyone was pretty cool this year. Even tolerant of me when in my retarded tiredness I got words mixed up....

Ken B. said...

I also heard that if the player-customer is sufficiently upset with the production or general lack of Renaissance Trading theme, they will slap the demo guy with a leather glove.

Ken B. said...

Or demo gal, as the case may be.

Michael Barnes said...

Sexist! To the "Ladies Room" over at the Leading Board Game site with you, Ken.

Ubarose makes the best point here, really...that changing the theme will, invariably, diminish the game- whether it's great, good, or even passable. No matter what FFG does, it won't be DUNE. It'll be a game based on DUNE. And it may very well be a damn good one, but it still won't be DUNE.

And Mal makes a good point too- DUNE really isn't that hard to find, it's not like it's some obscure, impossible-to-find item like say, FULL METAL PLANETE or CITY OF CHAOS. It's not hard to get a copy or even make one of your own so the upshot is that the game isn't somehow going away and those so inclined can still quit bitching about it being out of print and pick up a perfectly good secondhand copy.

But Mal does raise an interesting point...does a rethemed reprint "poison the well" so to speak? I think it does set a very, very bad precedent and it does make me wonder if FFG might be looking at the potential short-term sales of the game over the long-term value of reissuing a timeless, perennial classic completely intact. The funny thing is that with the reissues of all those Valley Games pretty much hitting a very, very low ceiling in advance orders I would think that the value and crossover appeal of the DUNE license would be far more appealing to the FFG pennywatchers than a short-sell "get 'em before the backlash" release. There's no reason the DUNE license couldn't carry as much crossover appeal as LORD OF THE RINGS (other than the fact that there is not a current film to tie it to) and there's no reason the DUNE license holders should balk at granting FFG a license that would put their property in the same esteem as FFG's LOTR titles.

One of the Germans was saying in Euro demos it is acceptable/normal for the customer-player type to challenge the design, playing style, and demo credentials of the staff person at the table in Europe.

Wow...you've gotta be kidding me...I usually just try to be nice, appreciative of the demoer, and learn about the game.

Rliyen said...

One of the Germans was saying in Euro demos it is acceptable/normal for the customer-player type to challenge the design, playing style, and demo credentials of the staff person at the table in Europe.

Wow...you've gotta be kidding me...I usually just try to be nice, appreciative of the demoer, and learn about the game.


If that is true, that's fucking rude.

Sheesh, why don't you tell the demoer his/her mother was a hamster and their father smelled of elderberries.

notbillysparkles said...

considering the content of the two previous posts ( so sue me --I don't know how to use the html command for quotes is...), you couldn't pay me enough to be a booth/demo monkey. 8 hour split shifts filled with," how does this work again?" or "I'm sorry but I have to be somewhere in 5 minutes (abruptly leaves the demo table)," or last -but definately not least- dealing with gamer B.O.

Somebody was fucking ripe Saturday afternoon by the FFG booth. Did you get any of that? If you did my sincerest symapthies.

My hat's off to you Thaad, you're made of stronger stuff than I am-- and I deal cards to gambling degenerates for a living.

Mr Skeletor said...


Somebody was fucking ripe Saturday afternoon by the FFG booth. Did you get any of that? If you did my sincerest symapthies.


HAHAHAHAHA!

Is it just me or is Michael about to implode with indecision?

I haven't read Dune, nor played the game anywhere near enough to weigh in on the retheme debate. Someone did bring up Fury of Dracula though, and I have to say as long as it was still a vampire chase I really wouldn't care if they took Dracula out of it - it could be rethemed to Count Duckula and it would still be a good game, especially if you got to play Danger Mouse and Penfold. In fact I think I just made the game better...

I also think that if a game can be improved - improve it! I don't follow the whole ' holy grail don't touch" philosophy.

Ken B. said...

Holy shit Skelly, we don't always see eye to eye put you're pretty freakin' spot on there.

TheDukester said...

Hello, AT fans. First post here ... which had to happen sooner or later, as I'm getting more disappointed every day with the signal-to-noise ratio over at BGG.

Please forgive the random thoughts to follow, but these games being reprinted means a great deal to me, and my mind is in a whirl.

1. I'll start with CE ... it's just wonderful news. Avalon Hill just dropped the ball so hard with their chance at this great game; it's only right that another company gets a shot at it. My understanding, BTW, is that initial plans call for a two-part release, with the second part containing a lot of expansion material that won't make it into the first box. And, no, I'm not just pulling that out of my butt; I do have some limited sources within the industry.

2. The "theme versus mechanics" debate will never be solved as far as Dune goes. I consider Peter Olotka and Friends' design of Dune to be an absolute masterpiece and, by far, the bext example ever of converting a SF/F property into a game. So, given that, shouldn't I be wildly disappointed that the new Dune will not be set on Arrakis? Oddly, I'm just not ... I just love the mechanics enough to be willing to play them in any setting.

3. Here's an argument over at BGG that I just don't understand: hating the game because it won't be just like the old Dune. I'm just mystified by this. If you really want to play the old Dune ... then just PLAY it. Did the game suddenly disappear or something?

4. Dune is EASILY had on eBay, often for reasonable prices. More BGG whininess that I've just had enough of.

5. Borderlands is a nice wild-card in all of this. My understanding (same sources) is that it's not on the schedule until 2009, though.

6. I don't blame anyone for not wanting to work with the Herbert Estate. Anyone who thinks Brian Herbert can actually form sentences is not to be trusted.

7. Here's where I'll get flamed, I'm sure: the criticism of last weekend's announcements (or lack thereof) needs to be two-way street. I'm seeing a lot of blame pointed at various news sites for not attending the seminar, BUT ... what in the world was stopping FFG from issuing a press release? Did no one bring a laptop? I actually work in PR, so I sort of know a little of what I'm talking about here. Let's be fair, is all I'm saying: FFG could easily have had a serviceable press release typed up from scratch in less than an hour.

Anyway, those are my jumbled thoughts. I've probably made a poor first impression, but it did feel good to get all of that out of my system.

-- Duke

Mr Skeletor said...

[q]Here's where I'll get flamed, I'm sure: the criticism of last weekend's announcements (or lack thereof) needs to be two-way street. I'm seeing a lot of blame pointed at various news sites for not attending the seminar, BUT ... what in the world was stopping FFG from issuing a press release? Did no one bring a laptop? I actually work in PR, so I sort of know a little of what I'm talking about here. Let's be fair, is all I'm saying: FFG could easily have had a serviceable press release typed up from scratch in less than an hour.[/q]

I'm sure they will put something up on their website soon enough. They probably aren't in a rush, after all, all 3 games are probably at least 12 months off.
It not getting reported was definitely a dropping of the ball on Boardgamesnews part.
Also unless FFG were presenting to an empty room, the fact no one that is a member of BGG was there may mean that place isn't the center of the board game universe as we know it.

Mike Z said...

I'm seeing a lot of blame pointed at various news sites for not attending the seminar, BUT ... what in the world was stopping FFG from issuing a press release?

Absolutely nothing. FFG isn't in any hurry to get the word out. It will be a small miracle if the games are out by next Gencon.

However, it is amuses me that none of the so-called news sites bothered to attend the seminar.

Boardgamenews.com had a dozen of articles about Gathering of Friends, a private convention, and nothing about Gencon.

During the run up to Tide of Iron, Boardgamenews posted, as a news item, every little preview that FFG posted.

And yet, when given a chance to report on something that doesn't appear on someone else's web site first, they dropped the ball.

Thaadd said...

In terms of funk at Cons.... well, been involved in one flavor of convention staffing or another (from gopher to food department head) for like 13 years now. Smells no longer bother me. My biggest pet peeve is demoing to people who are obviously sneezing sick... alot of us get 'Con Crud' and sick after cons. Poor diet, lack of sleep, alcohol (system depressant!) and exposure to vast numbers of people...

Lucky for me, though, I don't get sick unless it involves food I am allergic to. Working a Con while living off generic 'Ensure'. The new geek weight loss program...

Michael Barnes said...

Indecisive? Yeah, I am.

I definitely think doing it half-assed, meaning not as DUNE, is a bad idea from an emotional perspective. But like I said, I'm willing to give them the benefit of a doubt on it. Who knows, in the five years it'll take for it to hit the shelves things might change.

But there is also the fact that the core mechanics of DUNE do, in fact, stand on their own in the scope of things. That's why it's the greatest game ever published.

If anything, it'll be interesting to see what happens and where it goes...regardless, DUNE will always be DUNE- it's fucking immortal.

mtlawson said...

Well, for those who say that Dune can be had cheap on eBay, they are right (in a relative sense). I was perusing the entries now, and we're not talking We The People or Hannibal (pre-reprint) prices. Hell, not even Dark Tower prices. Not ultra cheap, mind you, but still within the range of possibility.

--Mike L.

simon said...

I don't quiet get it.

FFG is going to design a new game with the Dune mechanics, not an exact reprint of the original. Still people here are sure that a Dune game without a Dune theme is going to suck? The game's not even in the design process yet!

I'm almost sure the title here should not read "Dune, CE and Borderlands to be reprinted by FFG", but rather "FFG acquired rights on Eon game designs".

I'm not interested in a Dune game, I'm interested in a good, fun multiplayer game involving conflict, interaction and other nice stuff.

Squigherder said...

Ok maybe I'm the only Dune fanboy (at least that's what my friends call me)who reads this blog.

I don't see how people have so much information about Brian Herbert to say he has royally messed up the Dune franchise.

The prequel books I have read were rather good. I don't blame Brian Herbert for the Dune license not being secured as nobody I have seen in any post here or on another prominent boardgaming site has any clue to the inner workings of this deal. As a matter of fact as the local Dune 'fanboy" I know little to nothing about Brian Herbert except who his father is. Nothing about happening to be born under a renowned science fiction writer makes you qualified to write prequels, or manage a property, or anything else, for all we know he detests the position he was thrust in or just sees it as a way to milk money off of aging sci fi dorks (which it certainly is!)

Where do people get all this hatred for Brian herbert? Did you expect us willingly exploitable fanboys to go the rest of our lives with no new Dune material to grovel over? (Even if in some's opinion it isn't exactly what or exactly as good as what his father might have done)

As for the Game DUNE, I've always wanted it and even with what little knowledge of it I have (I've never seen it and where I live I'm pretty much the only person with any games so unless I buy it off of Ebay I'll never see it) I am disapointed that the reprint will be Dune free, and disgusted the FFG thinks they can substitute their lame TI universe for my beloved lame DUNE universe.

In the end, this will probably motivate me to finally take the leap and create a DIY copy from the widely available files, because I won't play "Lion men vs. Insect aliens" when I can have crudely done pencil drawings of STING and Max Von Sydow (Who by the way, should be elevated to an Ameritrash god as what would be cooler than a series of games about great trashy Max Von Sydow movies: Conan, Dune, Flash Gordon,Ice Pirates, if we're lucky somebody could get creative with Strange Brew or The Exorcist)

The Dune movie may be clunky and eyesore-ish at times but it was 1984, did anybody look around back then and see what things looked like? Break out your old photo album and look at your hair, you probably look like an extra from DUNE. While in you're in the attic check to see if you have any Toto albums (or anything equally as bad)

Besides Music by TOTO and the nostalgia of my youth what doesn't DUNE have?

If you remember how cool it was going to DUNE at the theatre and they passed out flyers explaining things beforehand so morons could follow the plot... and how cool that was if you were into Dune back then ....................then you totally get why a retheming is crapola. And people that don't "get" DUNE will never get it and happily play their little Lion men vs. Insect aliens game.

In the meantime I think I'll go play my copy of the super fun 1984 Parker Brothers classic DUNE since untill I get some money or take the pdf files to kinkos it's all I'm gonna get now.

neonpeon said...

They oughta use the Milch und Gurken theme.

Mike Z said...

(This is just pure speculation, I don't have any actual "inside knowledge" about why FFG didn't get the Dune IP.)

Licensing is a very complex and expensive processes. The Dune license is complicated due to there being several movies. The producers of those movies most likely still hold a valid license and those licenses probably contain merchendise clauses. Ever since Star Wars, many genre movie producers realize that there is money to be made in selling themed products.

This leads to a situation where if someone wanted to license Dune for a board game, they could go to one of several sources in order to aquire a license.

Several years ago, FFG produced a LoTR triva game under license from TE. As FFG's LoTR triva game hit the market, LoTR Triva Pursuit ( based on a license from the movie company ) hit the market.

So, instead of being the sole triva game for LoTR at the time that it was a hot property, FFG ended up competing with one of the largest names in triva games.

Guess who won that battle...

This is a situation that I'm sure that FFG wants to avoid being in again.

IF FFG wanted to ensure that they had the exclusive rights to produce Eon's Dune boardgame, they were likely in negotiations with several license holders, Eon, Herbert's Estate, and the movie company.

License are complex as they involve lots of different aspects. There are issue of exclusivity (world-wide vs regional), creative control (the dreaded approvals process), length of the license, payment plans, up front payments, etc...

I'm guessing that FFG couldn't negotiate an agreement that they could afford.

It is easy to imagine all three companies wanting approval rights and the nightmare that FFG would face when the different companies would demand contradictory items. FFG would be caught in a approvals traffic jam where they were ones paying all of the bills.

Like I said, this is all speculation, but I'm pretty sure that the real reasons behind FFG not getting the Dune IP are fairly complex.

Juniper said...

There's a story, with some quotes from FFG, on Boardgamenews.com now.

scott b said...

I don't get the negativity. You'd think someone's pet dog died and Mom and Dad we're trying to substitute a hamster in it's place. It's a game!

The theme is NOT CHANGING! The setting is changing but from what I've read the theme will be the same.

And I'm hearing people complain about the non-Dune game coming out in one sentence and then say that the game is easily had on eBay in the next. So what's the point? People shouldn't have a choice in what to purchase?

And how can a game "pollute the waters"? What does this mean? It's sounds so emotionally hysterical (remember, ABOUT A GAME) that it's hard to take any of this crap seriously.

I hope FFG makes a great game about sandsnakes, Fredudes, and dope.

Mr Skeletor said...

Jeremy spoke to BGN before he spoke to us? That bastard, lets burn him at the stake!

RK Fade said...

I don't think the whining has been all that over the top.

I've been waiting and hoping and praying for a high-quality Dune reprint for a long time. I get the ultimate news . . . FFG DOES DUNE . . . the I find out it's Not Dune. I'm not allowed to be a bit disappointed?

I'm still excited though. The reason I haven't bought an Ebay copy of Dune is that I'm the only Dune freak around these parts. With 20-year old musty cardboard chits, a theme no one else is interested in, etc, it was unlikely I would get the game to the table. I will have an EASY time getting my guys to play a TI3-themed gamed. We all LOVE TI. Even if DUNE were reprinted in modern FFG dressings, I would probably be lucky to gather a group of 5 or 6 and get a game of it in ONE time. The Familiar-to-all Generic TI universe will bring them back for more.

I'm still disappointed, though . . . but I look forward to playing a good game nonetheless.

Jack Hill said...

Thaad:

Want a mission? Clearly, FFG is in talks with Leisure Pastimes, buying up their games. There is an unpublished game they designed that practically no one knows about.

Nine Princes in Amber.

They designed most of it, and according to one of the West End people, wasn't that great, and needed rather more work.

What apparently killed the project was Zelazny's family wanted WAY too much for the licensing.

While a reprint of the great Leisure Pastimes games is nice, (I have them all of course) a new unpublished game from those guys after 20 years would get some attention.

MikeZ. As to boardgamenews, none of us went to Gencon, but most of us happen to go to the Gathering. I, personally don't like the really large cons.

Mr Skeletor said...

Press release is up:
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/PDF/eongames-pressrelease.pdf

Octavian said...

Straight from the horse's mouth:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/198748

Michael Barnes said...

Scott B- you're full of shit about the negativity (call it "impassioned rhetoric") but you make a great point. The "theme" isn't necessarily changing. It'll still be about powerbrokering, treachery, environmental exploitation, economic and military warfare, and alliances of convenience. The "setting" is what will be different, the setting (and the narrative foundation) is DUNE.

Still, the "TI3 Combat Wheel" just isn't nearly as cool as the "DUNE Combat Wheel", is it?

Jack's right too...an unpublished EON design would be _awesome_. Hell, I'd be exicted to see ENTERPRISE ENCOUNTER re-released for that matter. Or QUIRKS since I've never even seen a copy.

As for Jeremy...I guess putting the press release here is about equivalent to sticking it in a copy of HUSTLER or something...

Mr Skeletor said...

As for Jeremy...I guess putting the press release here is about equivalent to sticking it in a copy of HUSTLER or something...

You talk like only the rich and powerful jerk off.

MikeZ said...

MikeZ. As to boardgamenews, none of us went to Gencon, but most of us happen to go to the Gathering. I, personally don't like the really large cons.

Wow, a site dedicated to boardgaming new and nobody went to the biggest game convention in the US? No wonder the site is dying.

Jack Hill said...

There are a couple of other "unloved" Leisure Pastimes games.

Runes--which is a kind of cool Hangman variant.

Quirks. Which is kind of fun in a random way. I'll try to bring it tonight.

Darkover. Um, yeah. There is Darkover. It is probably their worst design, but it does have psychic combat where you stare at someone and repeat "Please don't burn" until someone cracks.

Terratopia. Quirks is easy to find. Terratopia was a kid's co-op game published by The Nature Company. The run was small, and most copies ended up destroyed. It is...not entirely a game, a bit more of a "how would we get out of this situation?" kind of thing.

Shellhead said...

Jack Hill said:
Clearly, FFG is in talks with Leisure Pastimes, buying up their games. There is an unpublished game they designed that practically no one knows about.

Nine Princes in Amber.

They designed most of it, and according to one of the West End people, wasn't that great, and needed rather more work.

What apparently killed the project was Zelazny's family wanted WAY too much for the licensing.


I came across a remark at some discussion forum a couple of years ago, maybe the Guardians of Order boards, about an old Amber game that West End worked on. The comment was to the effect that this Amber boardgame was a lot of fun and supposedly did a great job of capturing the feel of the series. The problem was that it was massively over-produced, in terms of components.

There was no reference to what Roger Zelazny wanted for a cut (he was still alive back then), but it couldn't have been too expensive given that Phage was able to afford to their rpg at a reasonable cost.

If over-production was the problem back then, I don't think that it would be a deal-breaker today. Back then, the original Arkham Horror was an unusually pricy boardgame, at $45. Today, Fantasy Flight is successfully selling $80 boardgames that have a lot more components.

I don't what the relationship was between Leisure and West End, but it does look like West End's Torg rpg might represent the leftovers of an attempt to do that Amber game. And Erick Wujcik, creator of the Amber diceless rpg has commented that he had to wait until a licensing deal with West End fell through.

Jack Hill said...

Shellhead:
Future Pastimes is the core group that designed Dune, CE, Borderlands. For some deranged reason, I keep referring to them as Leisure Pastimes.

They also designed Enterprise Encounter, and I think one more game that was published by West End.

So we are talking about the same game. I've heard about the game in rumors for years. At least some of the stuff I mention came from a dinnertime discussion with Douglas Kaufman, who designed and developed a lot of things for West End. Of course that stuff comes with a 5-6 year delay, and a wash through my flaky memory.

RK Fade said...

We'll have to see if Gencon will send the Boardgamenews folks some "Personal Friends Invites" next year. It's obvious they haven't been made to feel welcome enough.

Even *I* know someone that went to Gencon . . . right here from Hillbilly town!

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