BLOG: Honest question from confused designer!

Long story short, I played the card game called Revolver. I liked the general idea, but I did not like the details. I thought I can do better and based on the general concept of moving cards from one location to another towards the final city I designed Convoy. Asymmetric decks, a ton of special powers, true gamer’s game packed into 70 cards. I was pretty proud of it.

We released the game and it was a flop. Barely we managed to sell the first print of Polish and English edition. German copies still, like 8 years later, can be found in forgotten corners of our warehouse. My whole team, with me in the first place was more or less thinking What the hell just happened. Why the game is not popular?!

Years passed. Portal Games grew. Neuroshima Hex became more popular, our distribution channels were so much better. I decided we’ll give Convoy second chance.

We redesigned the cover and the whole layout. We rewrote the whole rulebook. We removed from cards stupid icons and replaced them with clear text. The whole game got the same approach like our reskinning 51st State into Imperial Settlers. Better rules, better components, better everything. We just stayed with the theme. Rest was improved.

I think it was 2016, but I might be wrong. We were the proud sponsor of BGGcon in Dallas and we decided to fund 1000 brand new copies of Convoy – which was just released in Essen a few weeks earlier – as a free gift to 1000 attendees.

I thought people will play, like it and help us promote the game.

***

Well. Long story, short, Convoy second edition is as dead as the first one. We don’t do a reprint, barely we managed to sell the first print.

The question remains. What the hell is wrong with this game?

***

I sincerely, I honestly, I wholeheartedly believe this is the awesome card game. I love it. I love the asymmetrical aspect. I love the tension. I love the replayability. There is a bluff. There are combos. There are two very unique decks. There is everything the good card game should have.

And yet, the game is dead.

***

I played Convoy again this past weekend. I had fun as I always have with the game. I played The Outpost deck and I destroyed Merry. We finished the game. I packed the cards and all I could think of was ‘What the hell went wrong with this game? Why? Why nobody likes it?!’

***

So it is time for the honest hour. Tell me, why? We don’t plan to reprint it anymore. I tried twice, it was disaster twice, I am not going to lose money for the third time. We can be honest and painfully transparent.

What the hell? Why don’t you like Convoy?!


Originally posted on BTTS Blog on BGG Forum: https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/75807/honest-question-confused-designer

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