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TOPIC: Dark World
#6083
Dark World 9 Years, 4 Months ago  
Do you folks think that this DF Dark World line is going to be a positive addition to their stable or be a money pit?

Should they have spent the time and money on SF instead? Or elsewhere?
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#6084
Dark World 9 Years, 4 Months ago  
Hm. Tough call. Here are two facts that spring to mind:

1. According to a post at the D&D Minis forum, there are approximately 200 D&D Minis tournaments this year, and only 100 Star Wars minis tourneys. The WOTC SF minis game isn't selling as well as its fantasy counterpart.

2. The SF sets at the DF site are now listed as 50% off. The fantasy sets are not (though individual pieces are, in some cases)


Those both suggest a weaker market for SF product. The fantasy product has been selling pretty strongly for some time. There's room to argue that DF should put more energy/resources into supporting the SF line -- advertising, promotional offers, etc. But there's also room to argue that they should try another tactic. One option would be dropping it altogether. Another would be something like Dark World -- something that bridges the Fantasy and SF sets, something that gives fantasy fans what they want but also works to support SF. In that sense, DW is a great idea.

Of course, if the SF sets are doing poorly, it might be that people with DF have apent so much on fantasy terrain they only want to buy sets that work with what they have, either dungeon or cavernous elements. In that case, DW will bomb.

Here, there seems a lot of enthusiasm for it. (Of course, I do recall a thread about it that quickly descended into calls for the underground lake and river set, which may have partly been my fault... :oops: )

Personally, I'm looking forward to it. With the starter set, passage set, and the two expansions, SF already has enough to keep people going. If you get really itchy, you can always buy another set you already have. It will increase your options a great deal. Dark World will work with both SF and Fantasy, it brings out a whole new option in gothic gaming, and it looks beautiful (from the early concept sketches at least)

I think the main concern at this point is price. I've been saying for some time that the prices have always been an Achilles heel for the company, and recent price increases strike me as a possible bad move. I know they are small, they do quality work, and they need to survive as a company. But if prices drive away customers, it's moot. I've always been a HUGE fan of theirs, but even I balked at the SF passage set at $50. It has five elements in it! I didn't want to spend $10 on each of them. When the site listed it for $25, I leapt, and if this lasts, I'll probably buy a few more. But $50 made me barely tempted. If they can't price things competatively, they're going to struggle no matter what the product is. That, IMHO, is the chief challenge for the company, above and beyond the diversification of its product line.

L
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#6085
Dark World 9 Years, 3 Months ago  
Well said L. I hope this line works good for DF. I am going to get a few sets unless it just totally S#@ks and it does seem like a good idea to go after the Goths..... ;) This stuff is great, I even hope to pass it on to some upcoming gamer after it gets too much to lift those heavy boxes.... :P
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#6086
Dark World 9 Years, 3 Months ago  
I think Dark World is going to be a money-maker. I know I'm going to buy multiple sets.

Fantasy has been big for DF in the past, and Dark World will work nicely as an addition to all the existing fantasy stuff. Personally, I'm excited about any product helps keep my dungeons from all looking like they were made by the same contractor.

Speaking of that, I'd like to see a lot more variation in the sets. Rather than focus on expanding the existing stone wall look, I'd like to see sets with variations in the walls and floors (but especially the walls.) Anything to give more character to the setups we can make.
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#6087
Dark World 9 Years, 3 Months ago  
Right now I'm not in the "Must Buy" camp for the Dark World stuff. I will, however, give it a look over when it comes out. I'm strictly a fantasy player, so how well it works with fantasy and how niche (i.e. will the players quickly start to say "Oh another dark gothic area") it seems will influence whether I buy any or not. Also, price will be a factor when combined with how flexible it seems (the more useful for me the more I'll pay).
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#6088
Dark World 9 Years, 3 Months ago  
Well, I think comparisons to GW40K are not unwarranted -- there's clearly a backlash against that game (we know your opinion about it, RF!) but the fact remains, it is one of the best-selling, most popular games out there.

That makes something like DW a potentially large moneymaker for DF. If they can snag a lot of 40K players, they stand to tap into a whole new market that hasn't shown much interest in either fantasy or SF settings in the past.

It makes sense to me. A small company like DF can try one of two approaches: cater to the biggest fish in the lake, or cater to all the small fishes at once. It's just easier to aim for the biggest fish. Word spreads faster, most retailers already carry the game, etc. So if DF wants to piggyback on 40K, it makes sense.

It also has the added advantage of working with both previous styles of set. It's a good compromise.

L
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#6089
Dark World 9 Years, 3 Months ago  
Well, I think comparisons to GW40K are not unwarranted -- there's clearly a backlash against that game (we know your opinion about it, RF!) but the fact remains, it is one of the best-selling, most popular games out there.

Actually in 2000 before Mort Weisman decided to take his toys and go home, GW was losing marketshare with every Vor release.
In just a year FASA had seized 17% of the marketshare with their game Vor from GW.
That does not count the marketshare that BattleTech had already claimed.

The reason that GW games are so popular is because no one is currently attempting to actually take them on seriously.
FASA was winning the fight at the time of its closure with GW in definite withdrawal.
Now someone else needs to take up the banner and proceed with the fight.

That makes something like DW a potentially large moneymaker for DF. If they can snag a lot of 40K players, they stand to tap into a whole new market that hasn't shown much interest in either fantasy or SF settings in the past.

It makes sense to me. A small company like DF can try one of two approaches: cater to the biggest fish in the lake, or cater to all the small fishes at once. It's just easier to aim for the biggest fish. Word spreads faster, most retailers already carry the game, etc. So if DF wants to piggyback on 40K, it makes sense.

It also has the added advantage of working with both previous styles of set. It's a good compromise.

L


L, you forget the rule of the sea - little fish are simply prey for the larger fish.
DF may find itself in a very untenable situation very quickly when dealing with GW.
Some say that K. Rohan's dealings with GW lead to the near utter demise of his Geo-Hex.
What little he was able to save was insufficient to keep a company going, so he sold the remnants to Monday Knight Productions.
Now, they are in trouble as well, and some say that this is due to the continuing efforts of GW to finish the work it started already.
GW swallows any little company that may be useful to their stable and/or portfolio.
They have now swallowed seven companies that they have found useful to them since 1988.

I honestly do not think that anyone here will like the results that will come when DF is forced to play to the tune of a British master.
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#6090
Dark World 9 Years, 3 Months ago  
Hm. Tough call. Here are two facts that spring to mind:

1. According to a post at the D&D Minis forum, there are approximately 200 D&D Minis tournaments this year, and only 100 Star Wars minis tourneys. The WOTC SF minis game isn't selling as well as its fantasy counterpart.

2. The SF sets at the DF site are now listed as 50% off. The fantasy sets are not (though individual pieces are, in some cases)


Those both suggest a weaker market for SF product.
L


Can you send a link, I'm urious as to where the numbers for the SW tournies are comming from, they have just recently been offered as being run for DCI etc., like i believe in the last month, are the 200 vs 100 for the same month period, or over the past 4 months, where D&D had 4 months to run tourneis and SW has only one, and what is the comparsion to the number of D&D tournies, at 8 months into the line, three sets into the line, as compaired to what set 8 and a year and a half in? The first month with prize support etc. i would be interested in getting a link to that thread, while the simple 2 to 1 looks intreging , i would am curious to see how comparisons on multiple levels fall out.

But is it much of a suprise?
look at the number of companies that make Fantasy products, and compair it to Sci-fi... there is a clear distinction already. From the reports the SF line is not doing poorly, and the sale may have been to spark intrest, and to establish the line as compaired to things like Grendal, Anisty and others Well established and with a big fan base.

From all of us who have DF we know the biggest hurdle is the price. but once you make the commitment and buy some you tend to go for the long haul, or dump it becuase you can't get into it.
Making a big sale, and allowing people to get the amounts they need and we all know you Really need a lot to make the cool layouts, may be like the preverbial "Drug dealer" here,
get it now it's cheap,
people buy a bunch like it and come back for more, when the price is not as cheap becuase they are into it...

From vague memory there were a LOT of the various passage, starter, and Alpha sets when i ordered, Alpha is sold out, Passage is down to about 90, ( i seem to remember over 500, but can't be sure right now the room is at about 400 so it could well be in the 500 range, i was like wow that is a lot, if it was 500 you do the math on the amount of cash it generated), and for me the sale seemed to work, while i like the fantasy floor set, i would much rather get two Sci-fi sets for the same price. I think the sale was to basicly get people to take the plunge into the Sci-fi.
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#6091
Dark World 9 Years, 3 Months ago  
I am not sure how well Dark World will sell. After all the genre seems to be on the decline. I know a lot of ex-Vampire players, but none that currently play. With the Sci-Fi stuff having to on sale at 50% off, and I mean really priced off as I have seen retailers getting that price (sets are going on Ebay for $19.99), they may wish to rething the line.
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#6092
Dark World 9 Years, 3 Months ago  
This Answer is Based Mostly on my own Opinion and Preferences rather than From a Business Perspective.

Dark World while a Neat Idea, and Exciting because it Offers a New Environment to Explore, is Really a Goth-concept... Useful for Places like Cathedrals, and WH style Gothic Architecture or Possibly for the Occasional Gothic Mansion... This Would be Useful in any Game That a GM wanted to use this particular and Distinct Look. However, There are not THAT many Systems so Geared towards that style of Architecture that it could be a main Staple Terrain, So in my Opinion that would make it Highly Specialized... Evolution Does not Treat that which is Overly Specialized so well...

If However, Greater Sci-Fi Support, (And there are a lot of Sci-Fi Games out there), was to be the Focus, some Nifty Options might well be made available... But Even Then, Something that I feel is Missing is Modern Terrain, and Sewers, Either or Both Could Be used for MANY different Game Systems, as well as being Easily Combined with Existing DF Products...


So My Short Answer is, I Am Curiious to See what the Dark World Stuff might well Look like, but I am Dubious about its Part to Play in DF's History of Success'
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#6093
Dark World 9 Years, 3 Months ago  
This Answer is Based Mostly on my own Opinion and Preferences rather than From a Business Perspective.

Dark World while a Neat Idea, and Exciting because it Offers a New Environment to Explore, is Really a Goth-concept... Useful for Places like Cathedrals, and WH style Gothic Architecture or Possibly for the Occasional Gothic Mansion... This Would be Useful in any Game That a GM wanted to use this particular and Distinct Look. However, There are not THAT many Systems so Geared towards that style of Architecture that it could be a main Staple Terrain, So in my Opinion that would make it Highly Specialized... Evolution Does not Treat that which is Overly Specialized so well...

If However, Greater Sci-Fi Support, (And there are a lot of Sci-Fi Games out there), was to be the Focus, some Nifty Options might well be made available... But Even Then, Something that I feel is Missing is Modern Terrain, and Sewers, Either or Both Could Be used for MANY different Game Systems, as well as being Easily Combined with Existing DF Products...


So My Short Answer is, I Am Curiious to See what the Dark World Stuff might well Look like, but I am Dubious about its Part to Play in DF's History of Success'


I have had a thought recently if I wonder if Dark World is actually an attempt by DF to leave the warren world of most of their product and move into the mainstream of table-top wargaming.
How so?
Could the Dark World piece concept drawings we have seen easily build a gothic structure that could be played through in a game like GW's W40K or WFB?
I see the ptoential for that.
My concern here is how many other games would have the gothic touch to their architecture to where the Dark World style would work and sell well enough to keep its end of the DF polygon up?
The number seemed to be few and seems to be shriking every day.
Again, I express here the concern of a British master for DF in the future.
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#6094
Dark World 9 Years, 3 Months ago  
As long as it meshes seemlessly with the current DF lines, I don't see how it could be a bad thing. The only way it could such would be if it was very specific to one game setting, and I don't think that's the case.
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