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Is 'Engine Builder' Too Broad of a Board Game Term?

Is Engine Builder to broad of a board game term? I think it's too broad to define a lot of games but it teaches us an important lesson on designing games for players.
What do you think? Is engine builder too broad of a term? What lessons can we learn from engine building games?

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Supporter4 months ago

I am basically with . No it is not too broad a term, but it can be depending on the context. I do like the example he used of Euro games. Euro is a great term to give the broadest possible sense of what a game is. But, if you are trying to describe a game in any sort of detail, it quickly uses it's usefulness.

4 months ago

I don't think it is too broad, I think it just pays to use it in appropriate contexts/situations. I think by being broad it allows you to put across a rough idea of what a game is about or the kind of game you like. However, in another situation it might be more useful to be more specific: you might want to say 'deck-builder' or 'tableau builder' or even more specific you might say 'you build an conveyor belt of tiles which resources travel through and change/multiply to meet certain requirements'. All of these are 'engine builders' but you are matching your description to what the situation demands. 

While not exactly the same it would be akin to calling 'euro game' too broad a term. It is too broad for some situations but just right it others, similarly other descriptions would be too specific in some situations.

Words/phrases are just a way of communicating shared ideas, it is is up to us to use them appropriately. A word, in my mind, can be too anything in the wrong situation.

4 months ago

There was also this interesting forum post a few weeks back that might be of interest to you both

4 months ago

I am most definitely going to be reading this one! Thank you. :)

Premium User4 months ago

I also don't think it's too broad. I actually really enjoy engine builders and anytime I hear the term used to describe a game it immediately gets my attention. As has been said, it's more of a matter of if that term is being used appropriately/in the way which I would use it. There have been a few games described as such that I was disappointed with mainly because I didn't quite see that mechanism in the game. Most recently#San Juan had been described as an engine builder and recommended to me based on my likes. After a few plays I still don't see how this is accurate in the same sense as other games I enjoy in this category. Thought it could just be me being nitpicky or simply not enjoying a game.

4 months ago

See, this is where I start to see disparities. I am a self-proclaimed huge fan of engine builders. I love seeing a plan come together. However, I have been recommended games dubbed as engine builders by people and I was not sure what they were getting at. Didn't feel or play like one to me. Same goes for some that I have recommended to others as an engine builder. We use the term a lot but just because we use it a lot doesn't we all agree on what that word actually means. I think that's the final point we came to on this and I think has it right. Context for when you use a word is very important. Also, using language an audience understands is absolutely crucial in marketing your game.

Premium User4 months ago

I wouldn't say it's too broad.  Seems like a reasonable description for a significant part of the game.  

4 months ago

when it's the main ingredient of a game, you can call it just that. Engine building can be a smaller part of a game alongside other mechnics of course.


To answer your question;"no"

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