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How do you feel about player created solo variants?


This question is sparked by brief conversation I had with , wherein I thought that he didn't like user created solo variants. 

There are many many good games that come out every year. And, while many of them have solo variants, a good number of them don't. And, it is clearly true that it can be very difficult to create a good and engaging solo variant. However, it is not at all unusual that sometime after a game is released, those who play and love the game will craft a solo mode for it. If you go into bgg you can find scores of solo variants for any number of games that don't have an official variant.

These variants vary widely in quality and difficulty to implement. Some only use the components which come in the game, others ask you to pnp cards, round up dice, find some extra cubes, and etc. Sometimes these variants really change up how the game feels, and sometimes they are remarkably true to the original intent of the game. Sometimes these user created solo variants actually get picked up by the publishers in one form or other, to go with their game. Some notable examples I can think of this is the better bot project for #Root and being sold as #Root: The Clockwork Expansion. Ricky Royal's solo variant for #Pax Porfiriana has been included in later copies, etc. All this being said, the vast majority of these variants will never see official publication. 

The advantages of something like this are readily apparent. You can play games solo, where previously you couldn't. Your library as a solo gamer has a lot more options.

But there are some disadvantages as well. There can be a lot of variants for some of the more popular games, and it can take some work to find out which one(s) you like. And, after you have tried all of them, you may discover you like non of them. Furthermore there is the crafting aspect of some of the variants, in which you must needs do a certain amount of pnp or that sort of thing. And, lastly, unfortunately, while it is true that many of the people creating variants are great designers, however, many, when considered as designers, are barely more capable than me. When you run into a design from the latter, it is frequently difficult to run and unsatisfying to play.

I am like the idea of user created variants. And, I have gotten games, such as #Root, specifically to play solo with the user created variants. However. I do recognize that it can, at times, be difficult to find one which is satisfying. I guess you could sum up my position by saying that I will consider a game a lot more if there is a well regarded, user created solo variant. But, I am generally unlikely to buy a game only because it has a user created solo variant.

So, what is your position in regards to user created solo variants?

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5 months ago

I think I am more willing to give them a try than I was before I played the #Brass: Birmingham solo variant. I had a good enough experience to try others!

Supporter5 months ago

That's good news. 

Supporter5 months ago

I'm gonna say that it's gotta be tested and done well.  I won't just play and solo variant.  I have to know it's gonna work and I have to know it's for a game I really really need to play.

Supporter5 months ago

Are you willing to look at a new variant, and test it yourself if the community hasn't yet? 

Supporter5 months ago

If I had more time I might try it out to see what it works, but the way my life is right now I can only really play one that is tried and true.

Supporter5 months ago

That makes sense. 

Owner5 months ago

My response would be pretty much identical to Scott's. And I wouldn't go for an untested one. I always search for a solo mode and see if it has enough support/thumbs up, then go for it based on the credibility

Supporter5 months ago

I can definatly see that. I think I would be willing to try an untested solo variant, if I thought it looked good, and if I already had the game. I don't think I would be likely to buy the game with that in mind.

Supporter5 months ago

I'm more open to these types of unofficial variants than I am to other house rule variants. In order for me to use one it needs to be very well done and well tested. 

You've already mentioned#Root which was so well done it became the official version.

One REALLY good unofficial solo mode is the RAIV system for#Star Wars Imperial Assault. I like this one so much because it takes what the app does and turns it into a card based system. This allows you to play all the campaigns solo, something that you can't do with the app.

Another really cool one I've used was a Automa for#Trajan. It's surprisingly easy to use and offers a darn good challenge. 

Supporter5 months ago

I forgot about the Trajan one. I have heard very good things about it from you, and a few others.

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