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Author Topic: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?  (Read 14420 times)

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popsofctown

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Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« on: July 16, 2013, 01:08:16 am »
+2

I hadn't come to the site in a long time, and was rather surprised when the number of people hanging around seemed to be more or less the same. 

Due to the "networky" effect of lobbies like this, I figured it would either die due to fading interest + difficulty in finding a game, or would grow to a larger size that more consistently pairs you with an opponent and stabilize there.


I guess one reason it might be capable of stabilizing at a lower size is because it's not competing directly with very much.  Isotropic has a unique ability to be played from internet cafes, borrowed computers, work computers, school computer labs, rather easily.  I know ksasaki plays from work a lot, iirc.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
The proportion of players who stick to base and those willing to play echoes seems similar to before.  I think that's kind of disappointing and doesn't create a good outlook for isotropic popularity.  We even have high level players like theory and yaron opting out of the expansion.  I really really really think Chris Cieslik and Chuck (the creator's name is Chuck, right? I can't remember offhand, I own a box though I swear) should consider this phenomenon in isotropic a "focus group" and approach the way they make expansions, to this game and any others, differently. 
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eliegel34

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 07:33:59 pm »
+1

I've played about 300 games of inno, and really like it, but the learning curve does feel a lot higher than dominion.  Even to play 1 game at a high level say 25 or higher, you really need to know all the cards, and 105 cards is a ton to learn. For dominion, you really only need to think about 10 cards at a time (edge case Black Market).

 For me right now its really frustrating to play Echos since I don't know all the cards, and don't understand them very well.  I've played maybe 10 games of echos and it just feels like a totally different game.  I'm not sure how to start getting used to it.  I guess i just need to jump in, but i'm not real excited to. 

Also I would love to see this get more popular, but I'm not sure why it hasn't.
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jsh357

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 07:52:28 pm »
+1

I like the game, but I have found I prefer playing it with friends.  I bought it and both expansions (I'm in the demo for the third too).  We pull it out on game meetups all the time.  There's also a huge skill gap online, and I just never feel like learning the game well enough to compete.
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ipofanes

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 06:53:55 am »
0

I like the game, but I have found I prefer playing it with friends.  I bought it and both expansions (I'm in the demo for the third too).
I found that the multiplayer expansion games play really smoothly over Isotropic. Haven't tried to play the more complicated settings at the table but I would guess I'd overlook all these extra achievements, and not follow shard dogmas with echo effects properly.

Playing higher ages with 3p echoes on Isotropic is a bit of "what happens when I use this switch ... oh I lost ... how did this come about".



« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 06:59:11 am by ipofanes »
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Wingnut

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 01:48:02 pm »
0

The skill gap is just crazy. I think because the user base is small but there are a lot of higher level player on all the time that it is intimidating. Also, I think the game is more enjoyable as a 3 player (or 4 player team) game and I would rather play that with my friends than on iso in the more hyper competitive 2 player environment.
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popsofctown

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 05:20:41 pm »
0

But why didn't that happen with Dominion?

I rocketed to level 25 way faster in inno than I did at dominion.
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eliegel34

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 06:25:18 pm »
0

I think the larger size of the Dominion community makes it easier to find some one of your skill level, which makes the game a lot less intimidating.  Also in dominion, its pretty easy to describe a simple strategy, like BM, HP/X, Workshop/Gardens.  In innovation every game is more complicated. 

I would say that Dominion is easier to to learn than Innovation, but harder to master.  I also made it up to level 25 much faster at Innovation than Dominion. 
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Wingnut

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 06:55:48 pm »
0

I think the larger player base for Dominion helped a lot of people.

Also, I am just better at Dominion. I reached the low 20s in 3 days on Dominion whereas with Innovation I don't know what to do against a higher level player (or really against anyone as the only real strategy I can manage well is some form of FRX.

As for game specific, I feel like Innovation lends itself to feeling helpless against a better player more often, even with just the base game. Compare that to Dominion where a good bit of the time you can win a lucky game or just find a board that suits you.

All that said, I haven't had a lot of time to play lately so maybe I will be better than I thought once I start playing again.
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popsofctown

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 07:04:42 pm »
+4

Larger player base always helps any multiplayer game stay popular, but how did isotropic dominion grow to that size in the first place.

I mean, I was a late adopter, I really don't know, maybe dougz gave away free hotdogs the first week.
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AJD

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 07:28:56 pm »
0

As for game specific, I feel like Innovation lends itself to feeling helpless against a better player more often, even with just the base game. Compare that to Dominion where a good bit of the time you can win a lucky game or just find a board that suits you.

Really? I feel like Innovation is more likely to produce swingy games where a weaker player can win by luck.
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popsofctown

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 08:04:14 pm »
+1

You two are talking about different things. 

When a really good innovation player plays a really newbie innovation player, his odds are closer to 50% than when a Dominion expert plays a Dominion newbie.

However Dominion games more often become unwinnable and hopeless, while in innovation games, there is always some sort of way out you can try for.
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AJD

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 09:49:28 pm »
0

You two are talking about different things. 

When a really good innovation player plays a really newbie innovation player, his odds are closer to 50% than when a Dominion expert plays a Dominion newbie.

However Dominion games more often become unwinnable and hopeless, while in innovation games, there is always some sort of way out you can try for.

...I feel like those are both what I was talking about. Which was Wingnut talking about?
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ipofanes

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2013, 02:50:17 am »
+1

Larger player base always helps any multiplayer game stay popular, but how did isotropic dominion grow to that size in the first place.

I mean, I was a late adopter, I really don't know, maybe dougz gave away free hotdogs the first week.

At least I decided rather to make the transition to Innovation than to Goko. Before dominion.isotropic closed down I did not care much about Innovation.

And tonight I'll be able to pickup the game plus both expansions. Joyous day.

Edit: Joyous day not just for me.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 02:59:15 am by ipofanes »
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popsofctown

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2013, 10:36:53 am »
0

You two are talking about different things. 

When a really good innovation player plays a really newbie innovation player, his odds are closer to 50% than when a Dominion expert plays a Dominion newbie.

However Dominion games more often become unwinnable and hopeless, while in innovation games, there is always some sort of way out you can try for.

...I feel like those are both what I was talking about. Which was Wingnut talking about?
I'm lost now, I dunno.
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ksasaki

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2013, 11:34:15 am »
+4

Innovation is kind of a fringe-y game, I kind of got that impression from BGG as well.

There are some people who hate the "randomness" and compare it to Fluxx.  For myself, I found innovation totally by accident, I think I was looking for through the ages information or something and somehow stumbled on innovation.  Needless to say, it has been the perfect game for me, the right mix of strategy / tactics / randomness / trolliness for me to be in my element.  I'd be happy to share my thoughts on echoes after ~1000 games, but in essence it boils down to how many actions you can churn out per turn.  The more the better.  Here would be a few basic pieces of advice for echoes.

-Code of laws and flute are "must-haves" that I try to get if possible.
-Try to draw echoes as much as possible.  Remember, no echoes in your hand + at least 1 card are the conditions for drawing echoes.  Multiple echo tuck / meld / foreshadows are super powerful, Industrialization might be the most powerful card in echoes.
-the "power 4" in age 1, ruler, umbrella, chopsticks, flute.  These are the four with left splay echoes (i.e. you can see the echo effect if the stack is splayed left).  Flute under code of laws can become a "double splay," or under mysticism becomes a splay / meld /draw.  if you get ruler under writing it becomes a wheel that draws 2s, if you have umbrella under the wheel or chopsticks under domestication, they become wheel + meld, or domesti + draw a card.  3 actions for the price of 1!   Bell is pretty good too (score a card from your hand), if you can combine that with novel's splay left echo (draw a 3) watch out! 
-I once had a purple pile with monotheism, bell, novel, and flute.  Splay left 1 color, draw a 3, score a card, tuck a 1 potentially scoring a non-color from your opponent's board.  You get the picture... 

If anyone wants to do "learning" games with me where I discuss what cards I look for / why I do certain things, I'd be happy to. 

« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 11:57:49 am by ksasaki »
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2013, 02:30:10 am »
0

You two are talking about different things. 

When a really good innovation player plays a really newbie innovation player, his odds are closer to 50% than when a Dominion expert plays a Dominion newbie.

However Dominion games more often become unwinnable and hopeless, while in innovation games, there is always some sort of way out you can try for.

Is it possible to have one without the other?
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ipofanes

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2013, 05:41:03 am »
0

Not really. The downside to late wins is that it matters less how well you do before the last move, the upside is that the outcome is not a foregone conclusion from the middle game. Whether player strength enters the equation about "how well you do" is secondary. Beginner's luck in the endgame would be mitigated by late wins that are not obvious how to convert. I don't know if having most leaves or twenty bulbs really fits the bill but I think not. The winning conditions set by Human Genome, Sudoku, Puzzle Cube are a bit more sophisticated.


« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 05:49:24 am by ipofanes »
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brokoli

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2013, 02:28:47 pm »
0

There are some people who hate the "randomness" and compare it to Fluxx.
Wow  :o
People are so stupid sometimes. I mean, I understand that Innovation can seem uncontrollable, but still, the part of tactic and skill immediatly appeared to me in my first game. Then I needed a dozen of game to understand that it's not just tactic, but also strategy.
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Toskk

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2013, 01:40:49 pm »
+2

I think a big part of Innovation's lack of 'take-off' online is the game's lack of overall appeal. For example, look at the Board Game Geeks listing for it: it's ranked #158. Dominion, by contrast, is rated #17. Sure, BGG isn't necessarily the same community that would play online Innovation, but imo it's a good rough sampling of the overall gamer community. Dominion is a lot more accessible of a game than Innovation is.. not to mention prettier. In my opinion, Innovation also suffers from a few balancing issues that can really keep casual players from enjoying it, in particular how poor the game is with more than two players, but that's a topic for another thread. ;)

Just as an aside, the game I'd most like to see made isotropic-style (or more preferably made with the option of AI play)? 7 Wonders. It's ranked #15 on BGG, and imo is very solid (and accessible). It replaced Dominion for the most part in my RL gaming group.
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AHoppy

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2013, 01:53:18 pm »
0

Also, I think Innovation is a harder game to just pick up than Dominion.  It's a lot harder to learn online than Dominion is.  I learned Innovation online, and I really had no idea what I was doing... I still don't.  But Dominion, it just feels more manageable online.  Especially since in Innovation, there is so much information on screen that you need to be able to see, and I know having a tiny screen is not conducive to playing innovation well.  Those are just my reasons why I don't play it much...  It also, as others have said, doesn't have the same likability as Dominion, and I think that's a part of it too.  Also, the expansions are overwhelming.  They change the game so much and I get totally lost playing echoes.

eliegel34

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2013, 05:33:23 pm »
0

Also, the expansions are overwhelming.  They change the game so much and I get totally lost playing echoes.

This, is something I have really struggled with.  Each expansion seems like you are learning the game all over again. I think figures it a little less overwhelming than echos.
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jsh357

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2013, 05:54:56 pm »
0

Also, the expansions are overwhelming.  They change the game so much and I get totally lost playing echoes.

This, is something I have really struggled with.  Each expansion seems like you are learning the game all over again. I think figures it a little less overwhelming than echos.

I have had the opposite experience playing with friends IRL.  Everyone hates Figures except me--I feel like I have to explain that rules are being changed instead of actions happening every time (and for that matter nobody can keep track of the figure effects, which I think is a legit problem with the game).  OTOH, people seem to universally think Echoes improves the game.
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AHoppy

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2013, 06:38:12 pm »
0

I know everyone says echoes improves the game... But I still don't get it.  Granted, I have not played that many echoes games, and I'm still not even that great at base, but I really just have no idea what's going on half the time in echoes... especially when playing online... IRL at least I can see what's going on better, but that doesn't mean I know what to do.  I'm to the point where I have many of the base cards memorized, at least the ones that play a large role in many/most of the games they're in, but echoes, I really don't know.  And I haven't had an opportunity to try figures yet... It is encouraging to hear others struggle with echoes, because I feel like it is universally praised, but I just don't get it.

ipofanes

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2013, 04:25:02 am »
0

I think a big part of Innovation's lack of 'take-off' online is the game's lack of overall appeal. For example, look at the Board Game Geeks listing for it: it's ranked #158. Dominion, by contrast, is rated #17.
With thousands of games on the market, #158 is brilliant IMO. It's up there with Clash of Cultures and Modern Art. Part of the impression is that games last a short while. Consider boardgaming-online.com, where fewer matches (of a game ranked #3) per day are started. Granted, those games last two to six weeks so you don't get the impression that the site is dead, or even smells funny.
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Davio

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Re: Why has innovation.isotropic neither died nor blossomed?
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2013, 04:28:36 am »
0

I caved and moved to Goko, cursing myself ever since.

I feel like Gollum. I loathe Goko and still play on it to get my "fix".

Plus, Innovation just doesn't scratch my itch the same way Dominion does.
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