What to do?
So, I am in a weird spot with Transcendent right now. Want to know more? Keep reading.
The game is great. It looks great, it has been play-tested too many times to count (though we have a good idea on how many), and gets mostly positive acclaim from anyone that will set down and try it out. We have lots of channels to get the word out, but the word is hard to get out and the theme is muddled.
How would you pitch Transcendent? Is it a game in the fantasy genre because you can make a Philosopher's stone? Or is this a game of historical fiction because while it is themed during the European Scientific Revolution, the characters and conditions are fiction?
Is it a serious game where a player is striving to crush their opponents and make them regret their play mistakes? Or is it a game used to celebrate each other's great accomplishments?
This brief blog post comes after I had a reviewer claim that they could not recommend Transcendent due to low scores in replayability, synergy, thematic mechanics, and thought. After asking what each of these categories meant to the reviewer, we landed on "the theme did not match the described theme", "a deck builder needs some interchangeable cards or a high variety of cards to succeed", and "the thematic mechanics rating would change from a 0 to a 3.5 with a rebrand of this game as historical fantasy since players can create a Philosopher's stone, which blows the science part of the theme out of the water".
I am not opposed to getting not-so-positive reviews. I need them to make this product better. What I would like is more feedback that is based on an unbiased opinion as to what constitutes a deck builder. Clank! and Dominion have found a tone of success, but are very different games, though they share this category. Why does Transcendent need to take up three tables to be a "deck builder"? Maybe they googled the incorrectly.
Comment below. I want to hear your opinion. What would you do to help our product become Transcendent?