I asked this question here, I think it was a year ago or so. But, I was thinking about this more after my questions about art from a few days ago.
How important is component quality. I have games from Hollandspiele high on my wishlist. Quite frankly, a big reason I haven't gotten any yet is that many of the ones I want sport paper maps. I have a hard time getting excited about a paper map, I know paper maps are common among wargamers, but I am not a wargamer.
Alternatively, I think of those games that have superlative component quality. For years #Scythe was my favorite game. And, Scythe was a blowout hit. It continues to be a evergreen title for Stonemair Games. But, how much of my pleasure came from the tactility pleasure that the game offers? I don't know. The same question could be asked of #Wingspan. How much of its popularity is due to it's gameplay, and how much to it's stunning components?
As far as I can tell, component quality is a very important thing for marketing. And, truthfully, all else being equal, better components can elevate a playing experience. However, I have heard about a number of potential issues with more premium components when not designed with enough care. Some examples include:
- I have heard that the Ever Tree in #Everdell can be a big problem in multiplayer games, it can block view of the cards in the meadow for some players.
- The redesigned water beads in #High Frontier 4 All were designed to look more like water. But, now they roll more and you can't stack them.
- The waterproof cards in chip theory games are supposedly slippier and stacks are more prone to fall.
- The beautiful painted buildings in #Tapestry can make it harder to read the city boards.
To be clear, I don't have personal experience with these games, yet. But, these are complaints I have heard a number of times. And I have wondered if gameplay is helped more or hurt more by the buildings in Tapestry, maybe it would have been better to make them polyominoes. Maybe the Sierra Madre/Ion Game Design should have kept their flat water discs instead of going to beads for HF4E.
I do think that some people buy games for components. I don't have a problem with that, you do you. But, do you agree that there is a general focus on better components than there was 5 or 10 years ago? If so, do you believe that this focus is generally helpful or unhelpful? Do you think that developers/designers are working too hard at selling components at the expense of gameplay?
I think I have been on a bit of a journey as a board gamer. I am less and less interested in how good the components are. And, more and more interested in the gameplay. I am beginning to love cardboard chits, they can carry so much more information than a mini. At the same time, I am happy to pay more for the components that elevate gameplay, i.e. I bought metal coins for #Pax Pamir (Second Edition). But, I am also more impatient with deluxification when it actually obfuscates in some way the gameplay.
Where are you at? How highly do you highly component quality? Is there any game that component quality will make so that you will not buy a game? Would I have liked #The Castles of Burgundy if it had been made by Stonemair or FFG?