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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:38 am 
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Well i got my tin-foil hat against GW's psy-rays. I guess that's why i resisted them for a full year now.
Of course we all know that they hired aliens to control gamer's minds.

:lol:
hey, it's midnight, i can sputter non-sense if i want to.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:45 am 
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I certainly don't think that there is a worldwide conspiracy in tabletop miniatures by the GW Illuminati, however, I do think that it's common in business for a highly influential market leader to get to a level of "thought dominance" that can create what feels like a monopoly/oligopoly. Think about about cars or computers... Everybody uses internal combustion and almost everybody used windows for two and a half decades - were they the best option? Not necessarily, but the "standards" rapidly took over. If we were going to have cars we needed fuel and if we didn't all use basically the same fuel, that would be challenging, so consumers wanted standards. We wanted our software to run on any machine we bought so we basically picked a winner so we could have compatibility. So the market is a big part of it, but also the early market leaders become desired commodities by ancillary companies (tier one auto suppliers, peripheral computing companies), and the culture and assumptions tend to spread...

Tabletop gaming does suffer from similar problems in that GW has dominated the market and as players, we want "compatibility," i.e., the ability to find other players, shops that want to carry and support the product, etc. Shops want reliable income and will sell the items that move. Execs with GW experience are valuable to competitors trying to carve out a niche in the market or offer an alternative, but they aren't likely to try much that is over the top different. Doing that requires not only creativity but also very high risk tolerance and (likely) a long cashflow runway. I was dead wrong over Christmas when I wrote that I took the launch of the economic system as evidence that Bastion had cash, because I believed that they would have pushed product harder if they were at risk and that a non-revenue generative software addition would make less sense unless they had the runway to drive "qualitative" priorities against the desire to push more miniatures, especially when you look at their investment in GenCon and the value of the Holiday shopping season.

All of that said, exIllis is different (to me) because it is a tabletop miniatures game where they are using computing to make the game more playable. I've said it before - we didn't find WH Fantasy fun to play, so we left it. But there are a lot of people with hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars invested in other systems with deep player bases, and most of them aren't going to switch to our game until we get a lot bigger.

My firm hope is that the Bastion team gets a cash infusion and with that strong direction to do two things: [list=][*]Clarify the differentiating statement of the game. ExIllis isn't a "flash computer game with minis" or some such nonsense. ExIllis is a tabletop miniatures game that uses the computer to manage data crunching so that players can focus on tactics, so the game is instantly accessible yet still meaningfully deep, while preserving the modeling aspect of the hobby. We probably should have waited on the economic system and gotten a few more models out, because (unfortunately) more investments in expanding the role of software actually may hurt the message short term.[*]Build a strong cash supported development pipeline for both product and marketing. I honestly believe that if they mapped a 24 month schedule of product development and had a strong plan of market support, they would gain more traction. For example, publish the priorities for the ten or so new units to be launched in the next 18-24 months, possibly with some marketing tie-ins to allow fans to participate in the schedule via pre-orders (i.e. announce a half dozen candidates for the summer launch and let pre-order decide which one gets made). Announce convention support and products that retailers can expect to see coming post convention so that they are more likely to bring the line to their stores. A tourney support system with prize support, maybe even a method for retailers to "sign up" for a 6-12 month season where they would host events and have product but also have the opportunity to avoid "dead" inventory if they complete the season but don't want to carry the product after the season.[/list]

I don't think there is a conspiracy but I do think this system is different and someone is going to figure out how to use technology to enhance tabletop gaming, and I think exIllis is 80% of the way there, if only they can last long enough and stay focused enough to get that "critical mass" that allow us to be a mainstream option rather than a niche within a niche.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:01 am 
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Well it seems bastion is keeping things hush hush for now again, William wallace dropped a hint a few posts back, but they are sneaky like that, and just leave hints.

Kinda like gw....
See the patten? lol

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:28 am 
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this time I understand their silence.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:44 am 
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Wrigley, You've written an excellent piece there, and it is cogent and well thought out. I think... I think I even agree with everything you said. Not "almost" everything.

Thanks! That was an illuminating read!

EDIT: Excuse my enthusiasm. I assure you that I don't "love" you. That was just the joy of discovering someone on the forums who actually had something of interest to say. :lol:

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Last edited by groundedcontrol on Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:41 pm 
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yosefbender wrote:
this time I understand their silence.

Indeed so do i :)
But i mean, soo annoying, like when your birthday is coming ,every one is talking about it behind your back,so it will be surprise what you get. So annoying when you know something is up but no idea what it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:37 pm 
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@GC - Thanks for the kind words. Appreciate it.
@Yosef - I understand the silence, too. It's clear that many staff are waiting for info, too, and that the ownership of the company (if their financial rules are like ours in the USA) would be under gag rules while any transaction was being contemplated.

A few more thoughts while dreaming of good things to come. I was re-reading some of the old threads and one was talking about how to do demos (might have been in the BEK section, not sure) and they were talking about themed musters, like French vs. English but with some unit duplication to emphasize the "army vs. army" feel but also soft factions and malleability. My tournament army in 'Nes's league was Legio Sancti/Angel themed and did really well. I go Emmisarius for Christmas and in order to play it have been using a "no general" muster because I don't want to re-spec my hero but he would wreck Emmi. Made me think that if Bastion were to be able to release a public pipeline it would be really fun to see one new release targeted for each of the existing "macro-factions" (English (Bills/Longbow/sort of Hobelar)/French (Vilein/Franc Chev/Arb)/Flaudian(Soffrance/Ympes/Emmisaurius/Nephilim) plus a new "macro faction" each year - Germanic or Mongol or Hebrew (nod to Yosef)... and a handful of special and generic units (Evocati, Sword/Spear, Mangonel, Mendicum). This would enable powerful implementation of "visible" factions on the tables while supporting the soft factions, and enable people to have "tracks" to run on in terms of planning their purchases.

How awesome would it be if they were in a position to lay out the "2011 launch calendar" with, say, a new English/Scots unit (maybe those claymore wielding berserkers), a new Flaudian unit (demon hordes) a new French Unit (not sure what would be best, maybe a "fast infantry" type with epees/rapiers, quick movement, good offense, low defense?), along with a new macro faction (I'd expect German or Mongol to come out next)...

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:40 pm 
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I could see German coming out first after the Demon stuff is done as we already have Rheinpflaz with their special rule about making German units cheaper.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:09 pm 

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Well, I know its crunch time, and the remnants of bastion press are dealing with some hard decisions and timing issues.

Business is business and though its not fun for them or us, I want to throw my $.02 cents into the mix.

I have read the thread, and I too am a customer, a player, and have known the inner workings of a $1b company that got bought out by ATT.

Small business is just that. As an investor, I would have to disconnect to the best of my ability to remove the emotional attachment to the games and genre, and get to business.

I would not invest in the game as an investor and here's why-
Its a great idea, before its time. The game play was great, the universe great, the mechanics are great. The struggle in my opinion has to do with buy in.

The buy-in wasn’t with the regular store owner. While it won awards at Gama, the store owners saw something innovative and different, but not exactly sure how to make it work. EX started small, but needed a lot of support to get it to work well, networks, laptops, ipads - all great ideas, but something in my experience put a lot of stress on "the comic book - oh and i sell games too" kind of owner.

The buy in of the regular community was not there. Fred realized it and sent us messages to get out and fanboy post on different websites. I was happy to do.

It was gaining ground, but we all know it was struggling.

The base was too small. Exillis is a subgenre of a subgenre.
Yes, statistically it was growing, and we'll all say - 'remember when' someday with another system.

It was great for those with the ‘Entrepreneurial spirit.’ This game attracted most of us because of its feel to be apart of something new, that ground floor level of a new movement. The minis were great – and if you did your homework, were made in 3d modeling, (no greens) with dental quality equipment. It was another innovation for bastion.

A lot of the small business venture mindset is to get noticed and bought out be a corporation that can assimilate it, take the profit and move on. The western business mindset doesn’t care about the products, it cares about the results.

The boys of bastion will be back. They made a lot of things work well.

I’ll leave with this note though.

I hope the next company with this idea will take some notes though.
1) I would have rather built a base with cheap plastic figs ala Wizkids, then move into the real collectable figs with the detail of the exillis figs. Cheap to the masses will beat expensive to the small groups anytime.
2) allow for, and plan for online gaming – I know bastion’s stance, but never set limits that create playing opportunities.

My wish from here on out –
If it dies- transfer the software into a program we can put on our own computers from the econ system, muster, and allow us to make our own units.

May God bless the bastion family, and those of us who became forum friends here on out….

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:59 pm 
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I disagree with pretty much everything you said.

Idea is not ahead of its time. Expecting people to have access to a computer of some kind is not much of a stretch in today's world. Nor is internet access. Hell I don't know anyone that does not own at least one computer, most of us own two. Laptop and PC. The Iphone, Ipad, Ipod version was a great idea only thing I would do is make a version for the Android software too as they are becoming more common in today's smart phones. I know, I work for Sprint.

Prepainted plastic figs ala Wizkids = bad idea.

Wizkids died, I know I saw it happen. I had tons of money invested into Mechwarrior and Pirates. People for the most part do not like PP figures, Rackham discovered that to their regret. And most other PP games are now dead except for Heroclix under the "new" Wizkids.

My wish, game gets new investor which is how I read some of what is going on and production continues, hopefully with a greater pace for the good of the business/money making aspects.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:01 am 
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DaPreacherMan wrote:
1) I would have rather built a base with cheap plastic figs ala Wizkids, then move into the real collectable figs with the detail of the exillis figs. Cheap to the masses will beat expensive to the small groups anytime.


In my opinion, that is a bad idea. You end up attracting a group of players who have no interest in appreciating and painting highly detailed figures and who will not buy anything unless very cheap. They regard minis as "toys". You play them and once the fun is gone throw them away. It is a dead end. Cheap to the masses simply means the products you buy will be totally junks in a few years.


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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:46 pm 

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Well, I think the main problem was the problem to buy it. I know from the "Brückenkopf"-Newspage, that lots of people were interested in getting to game, in trying it. We had lots of reviews (I only started ExIllis because a friend of mine got that much review material that I just had to start an army myself), but whenever people where told that htey had to import it from out of europa, what means taxes and customs, they were disappointed. I wanted to have one or two demotables on this years role play convention here in germany, I think the attention would have been tremendous, but - beside the bankrupt - I was really having a problem thinking about what to tell people. I mean, tell a computer gamer, WoW-player that he should import his first tabletopgame from the other side of the ocean. No chance. European sellers would have been great, people could have tried the game out and it would have been a great tool for beginners to get into that tabletop stuff. I really hope - if bastion can get back on its feet - for european sellers, the story is european, the figures are european, so why not selling in in europa? I'm sure there would be german shops who would sell ExIllis, Brückenkopf online f.e. is working very close with a few major german tabletop shops, I'm sure that there would be an arrangement that would help everyone, but selling the game far away from lots of tabletop main areas was a very risky choice.


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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:50 pm 
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European distributors were found and being finalized before things hit the fan.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:37 am 

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I heard of that, but as we know now, it was a little late. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:30 am 
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not necessarily.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:52 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:51 pm
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Toqtamish wrote:
I disagree with pretty much everything you said.

Idea is not ahead of its time. Expecting people to have access to a computer of some kind is not much of a stretch in today's world. Nor is internet access. Hell I don't know anyone that does not own at least one computer, most of us own two. Laptop and PC. The Iphone, Ipad, Ipod version was a great idea only thing I would do is make a version for the Android software too as they are becoming more common in today's smart phones. I know, I work for Sprint.

My wish, game gets new investor which is how I read some of what is going on and production continues, hopefully with a greater pace for the good of the business/money making aspects.


I don't disagree with anything you said.
I was approaching it from a strictly business POV.

I think most people have internet access - but that was not my point. My observation is that a relatively large percentage of comic book/game shop owners are too ingrained in old GW business model to retail new items. I have traveled the US visiting LGS's and hobby shops. Unfortunately many of them decide to specialize in their markets. They are too cheep/ to hard headed to cultivate multple streams of incomes apart from the GW gruel. These LGS owners not only resist change, if they aren't going to spend $150 for a router, they aren't going to spend $1200 in a launch pack in a new game for their customers either. Not all LGS are like this, i know. But here in fly-over country - the LGS isn't known for being up - to date.

It is the mind-set of the LGS and the player base that this particular gaming model ran into difficulites. Something that i think Bastion was not quite expecting to happen. I still believe its a great game, and great idea. But unfortunately in our buisiness world, the innovator and point man usually gets shot. Its the second and the third guys that have a shot.

Now then, i am not advocating the wizkids pre-paints as the way to go, i am only suggesting that i think it will be tried next. the bakugan pokemon model meets what happened at exillis sold at walmart for $9.87. i would hope it fails, but the disposable moneys of the 5th grade timmy's will probably allow it some success.

Its the 3rd try, with the craks in the conceptual dam, that will give sucess. Whether you agree or disgree with me, is fine. But in a business world - that's what made wizkids sucessfull. the broke the mold with Mage knight, and made the bread and butter off of heroclix. along came starwars and pirates, and the lawsuits. it died. people who loved the game are trying to make it work, but now they have no momentum.

Now, we have exillis - momentum was gaining, but to my observation, it will take more energy and money trying to rebuild the Might MO than it will to start over with a slightly different concept.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:06 pm 
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DaPreacherMan wrote:
Toqtamish wrote:
I disagree with pretty much everything you said.

They are too cheep/ to hard headed to cultivate multple streams of incomes apart from the GW gruel. These LGS owners not only resist change, if they aren't going to spend $150 for a router, they aren't going to spend $1200 in a launch pack in a new game for their customers either. Not all LGS are like this, i know. But here in fly-over country - the LGS isn't known for being up - to date.

It is the mind-set of the LGS and the player base that this particular gaming model ran into difficulites. Something that i think Bastion was not quite expecting to happen. I still believe its a great game, and great idea. But unfortunately in our buisiness world, the innovator and point man usually gets shot. Its the second and the third guys that have a shot.


I used to own a game store, and you have a certain point here. I resist the "too cheap/too hard-headed" interpretation. Too cheap, perhaps. I can tell you that $1,200 was too much money for us to every take a risk with because of our low profit margins and competition from the internet.

We would take a flyer on maybe $200 for an unproven game, but that's about it. Once a game establishes itself (either by multiple customers coming in and ordering a copy for themselves or by big tournaments that draw 10s of players) then we could invest more money.

But once bitten twice shy is a strong teaching element. We thought AT43 would be big and lost several hundred dollars that first year. We did not make enough money to ignore a few hundred dollars.

And this creates a death-spiral for the small business. I can't afford to stock the new game because I can't afford the risk. So players either buy it on-line or don't buy it. Then i'm selling less stuff...

What worked for us in our specific shop was a game that had a serious tournament scene. Then people keep buying new product and playing with it. We had to have a reason the players wanted to come to the store - they could buy online for cheaper, but if they had a reason to be in the store (playing in a tournament) they were more likely to buy the product from us.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:39 pm 

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MY dear professor,

thanks for the post.

It comes down to the tourney scene, and the regular game night.
Miniature gamers who dont regularly play - are hobbyests. Players who regularly play are the LGS source of income.

It was the tourney scene that Wizkids got right. We had between 16 - 24 weekly players over 4 stores. we could play 4 nights a week, and every store got some $$ when we played. But i think the traditional game-room LGS model may be in jeopardy. One of the most unique concepts i saw in an LGS was the addition of a full service pizzaria and commercial snack-shack. This LGS sold games at the internet discouted prices, had free places to play, and paid for the overhead by selling pepperoni pizzas and pepsi. They had game nights every night of the week. (it was better that little ceaser's but it certainly wasnt pizza hut)

I appreciate the once bitten twice shy with at-43. the LGS in this economy is not what is was 10 years ago. And you are exactly correct in your assertion about the investment risks. It only takes one or two bad decisions to put overhead out of reach for an LGS. IMHO the LGS is a very risky business, especially with the ebay - miniature market discount stores out there. But my obersevation is that the LGS is the first to close when the disposable income in a local economy starts to wane. Very few LGS can stand the test of time. And i think it is in two words, why... 1) Risk 2) Turnover
Turnover of personnel and games - other than GW and PP and WOTC - the gaming market gets alot of flash in the pan - supernova type games. Turnover exists in players ability to adjust to game systems as well.

I hope critical mass can be reforged for exillis, and i wish all the LGS owners the best!
thanks for u guys being there!

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:56 pm 
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No official news?

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:00 pm 
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I have not received any today. They said the beginning of this week so it shoudl be close but I have no direct contact .. thus I'm awaiting it too!

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Gah, patience is not my thing. Was hoping we would hear today. Would be nice to know one way or the other.

So we are waiting to see if this mysterious new investors offer was accepted by whoever the mystery creditor that caused the ruckus was ?

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:13 am 
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William Wallace wrote:
I have not received any today. They said the beginning of this week so it shoudl be close but I have no direct contact .. thus I'm awaiting it too!


thanks for keeping us updated, even when there's no information to share really appreciate all you've done for the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:54 pm 

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Hang in there - were pullin 4 ya!

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:42 am 

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So much silence...

I believe we're all holding our breath !

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:49 pm 
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No news yet ..

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