I know he said he’ll be back, but still…
So depending on your taste in movies, the Terminator movie franchise has been slowly declining the last few times out. I personally enjoy the idea behind the Terminator, but no new announcements or rumours really caught my interest. This changed last year when Space Goat Productions with Lynnvader Studios announced the official Terminator Board Game on Kickstarter.
Again, I like the idea behind the Terminator. Time travel shenanigans is always a great potential area. The Terminator Board Game had my interest because of gameplay across two different boards – one representing 1984, the other 2029. There were rough edges, and the add-ons started piling up the cost, but there was potential. Eventually, I will tell you if the base game holds its own. I say eventually, as there is still work happening on the game development so like all the other backers I am waiting to see.
There hasn’t been much information for the last month, which makes backers nervous. Personally, I wait for a few more signs before I start stressing. Some more signs may have just appeared, but I will talk about that in a little while.
An example of why I tend to try and filter a lot of this feedback out is the initial flaming of Space Goat that they were demonstrating the game with print and play components. A new company still admittedly designing the game were getting grief because they weren’t demonstrating a finished product. Yes, other companies do have very polished prototypes and artwork on display, but these are almost always much larger companies with the money and ability to create these. But big companies using Kickstarter is another article.
A few months later, Rule and Make games announced T2029: The official Terminator 2 board game. This made me VERY excited, because not only have I met the guys from Rule and Make, but I love so many of their games. Rise to Power and Entropy: Worlds Collide are both games I would recommend to many players, even players that may not normally like such games. It also doesn’t hurt they are Brisbane based 🙂
This is a game I will probably back when it comes back. Yep, that’s right – when it comes back. Based on feedback from the Kickstarter campaign (and probably a bit of flaming from the first Terminator campaign) Rule and Make cancelled the project to polish the game some more. After meeting Allen Chang and Alistair Kearney for a preview of Entropy when it was in playtesting, I can say these are people passionate about the games they make and I believe this is exactly why the project was cancelled.
This morning via an article on Screenrant, River Horse Games (the people behind the Terminator Genisys: Miniatures Game) announced a new Kickstarter Terminator game coming April 9th. The interesting twist? Terminator Genisys: Rise of the Resistance is being created in partnership with Lynnvander Studios.
Now Lynnvander Studio’s involvement with the original Terminator: The Official Board Game did seem to all but stop once the project was funded. This by itself didn’t (and still doesn’t) ring any alarm bells for me. Studios are contracted for assistance all of the time, and Lynnvader has a decent reputation on Kickstarter. The Legacy games (such as Albion’s Legacy) are quite good, and this background is most likely the reason for the partnership with River Horse Games.
Comments are already pointing out that Space Goat has gone very quiet over the last month, and now there is another Terminator game coming to Kickstarter. The last update at the end of February did cite health issues, and not only did the Kickstarter updates end but so did Instagram and Facebook posts. Space Goat also has the much delayed Evil Dead 2 game to try and get out – they could be pouring everything into appeasing a different group of backers.
Honestly, at this point, I think the timing for the game announcement is just how things worked out. This ends the conspiracy theory discussions. I will be watching the original project for signs of quietly passing, but I truly think this is just a new company with two big projects feeling the pressure.
So what is this article about then? Well, there are a few things out of this morning’s musings. To start with, this is the first time I have ever thought I had franchise fatigue for a board game without playing any of them!
Franchise fatigue is usually reserved more for describing lacking financial performance in movie sequels, but in my opinion it’s hitting board games too. While many people complain about the number of Zombie or Cthulu themed games overall, Zombicide is a great example of a series that overall has run its course for me. As previously stated, the games themselves are fine, but after buying everything up to Green Horde I can honestly say I am all but over the franchise. There needs to be a major change to bring me back to the games, and unfortunately, this would probably no longer make it a Zombiecide game. Video game franchises have been made or broken trying to reinvent themselves in the past, so CMON will have to weigh the pros and cons carefully if they decide a change is required.
I don’t get why I am simultaneously excited and over the Terminator Genisys: Rise of the Resistance announcement. Each of the three board games has been based on a different film, and definitely for the first two games were aimed at very different experiences. It’s akin to complaining that Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective and Holmes: Sherlock and Mycroft are the same games so I don’t have to play the other. These are definitely not the same game:
Prejudging anything like this just isn’t something I think I do, but this morning I gave serious thought about simply passing over the news because of the previous Kickstarter experiences. While it’s wise to be wary or cautious based on prior experiences, not giving the project a chance to stand on its own merits on its own merits just isn’t fair.
And that is really the thing. If you can casually prejudge something like a board game announcement, what does that mean you can justify prejudging in other areas of your life? It’s a true cliche – it’s all in the small things.
One of the reasons I prefer to play board games socially rather than video games over the internet is people tend not to be awful to your face. 14 years later, I still remember the Penny Arcade strip Green Blackboards (And Other Anomalies) as my issue with online gaming, and then feel bad because not everyone on the internet is like that. While there is enough evidence that the Greater Internet Theory is still in full effect, there are also plenty of examples of great communities coming together and just enjoying themselves.
So in a weird announcement and holiday message post, some points for you to consider:
- Terminator Genisys: Rise of the Resistance is coming to Kickstarter April 9th.
- An overtired JohnHQLD will take surprisingly convoluted prompts as a basis for self-introspection.
- In the words of Bill and Ted:
I hope you have a safe and great Easter break, enjoy some great company and games.
I know I will be 😀