Tuesday, August 12, 2014
How Do You Gauge Value in Gaming?
In a recent discussion of the Mantic Dungeon Saga Kickstarter with the game designer, I commented that the box seemed a little light still. It was comparable to other games off the type but the cost is currently higher. He noted that while judging games by their contents is useful, the real value of the game is how often you can use it and how much fun you have. This is of course true and if my wife used that gauge on my gaming stuff none of it would have much value in her opinion. This is what makes assigning value to things so subjective and leads to lots of arguments in comments sections anytime people look at prices. For example the Reaper Bones Kaladrax above was very cheap during the kickstarter but the quality is sort of low and how often do you really have a use for a giant skeleton dragon.
If you look at GW and talk about the value of their products, everyone's views are very colored by their current attachment level to the games. This is probably stronger on the 40K side due to the higher "original" IP content. If you want to play or model in that world, GW has done a fairly good job of holding that as its own. While there are some casters out their making resin parts in the same design schemes, they are not a significant threat to GW other than perhaps a slightly positive corrective force on pricing. In Fantasy, this attachment level is probably weaker and hence I think we have seen GW very focused on 40K for example by skipping the expected update of WHFB this year to update 40K. I have a feeling if you took a large collection of assembled GW models(not painted) and asked general people how much they cost you would get values significantly lower than the prices and costs much more in line with sizes and number of models as opposed to the current pricing very much influenced by how new the kit is as GW saw all the flak they got for the cross the board price increases so they just put significant up jumps in newly released kits.
In terms of a kickstarter with relatively generic fantasy setting, the fun level of the game is going to hard to determine a value for since if it is a real kickstarter the game part is probably very much in a prototype stage. Now I could put trust in the producer to do a great job, but you might have no real experience with the producer. I have definitely seen mixed reviews of mantic stuff in the past. Since you cannot play the real game with friends before buying it or really even look at the components that will actually be produced other than prototype mock ups that might or might be actually representative of what is delivered. it is hard to gauge the value of these. I am sort of left with the mass of stuff combined with a little hopeful enthusiasm to decide at what point some offer seems to good to pass up.