Thursday, April 21, 2016

Betrayal at House on the Hill: SJW expansion

For those that haven't heard, yesterday Hasbro/Wizards/Avalon Hill announced an expansion for Betrayal at House on the Hill. Now, you might be thinking, "They should have done this years ago.", and that would be true. They probably saw all the expansions Fantasy Flight Games has put out, and realized there's money in it. I wouldn't comment on this, but the expansion has 50 new haunts written by a gamut of individuals, including Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn. Because we need their drama and lies over here, apparently. There are a LOT of contributors on this, so I'm going to go through the list.

Peter Adkison: Former CEO and founder of Wizards of the Coast. He's got some game cred, and they know him. OK, sure.

Christopher Badell: Of Greater Than Games and designer of Sentinels of the Multiverse and a few others. I'm pretty sure I don't care for his politics, but he doesn't shove it in people's faces. For now.

Keith Baker: No real issues here. The guy's done a lot of work with WotC with DnD 3.5 and 4.

John Borba: Apparently wants to be like Wil Wheaton. Has a couple of You Tube shows with 4 and 5 episodes. No writing or game credits I can find.

Chad Brown: Likely the developer of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Jealous they didn't think of it first?

Bart Carroll: Works for WotC. No special effort here.

Quelle Chris: Hip Hop artist? If that's the one, why? Fame does not make for a good game designer.

Andy Collins: Has some credits with DnD 3.5. Some decent books he put out.

Rob Daviau: One of the original designers, also the designer of Risk Legacy.

Mike Dunlap: I think this might be the designer of Bump in the Night. Or it's the basketball coach.

Chris Dupuis: Another WotC employee.

Don Eubanks: Actor, Borderlands and Duke Nukem Forever video games. Again, Why?

Justin Gary: Magic Pro Tour player. It makes more sense than the hip hop guy and actor.

Jonathan Gilmour: Game designer of Pocket Dungeon and Dead of Winter.

Bruce Glassco: One of the original Betrayal designers.

Eli Halpern: Cards Against Humanity. Hasbro against Game Design.

Will Hindmarch: Has a lot of RPG credits. Of course, where's Project: Dark? Surprised they got him to write anything with being 2 years late on his own game.

Jerry Holkins: Penny Arcade. This hurts my head. Perhaps the list is the 50 new haunts to drive us insane.

Mons Johnson: Magic Pro Tour player, former WotC employee.

Gwendolyn Kestrel: She wrote for some of the late DnD 3.5 books. Not convinced, but ok.

Richard Malena: Math instructor, Pathfinder developer.

Mikey Neumann: Borderlands developer. Meh.

Paul Peterson: One of the Lone Shark development team. Guillotine, among others.

Ben Petrisor: Temple of Elemental Evil boardgame.

Marie Poole: CEO of Lone Shark, apparently.

Zoe Quinn: I shouldn't need to tell you. Depression Quest, and lying to the UN.

Keith Richmond: Has some Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Credits.

Mike Robles: "Community Manager" at Lone Shark. Nice to see so much convergence.

Tifa Robles: Yes, Mike's wife. Very concerned with gender equity in gaming.

Anita Sarkeesian: Another liar to the UN. Likes to pretend she knows video games. Now pretending she knows boardgames. Likely watches Wheaton's Tabletop.

F. Wesley Schneider: Editor in Chief at Paizo, "co-creator" of Pathfinder RPG.

Mike Selinker: Big shark at Lone Shark, with plenty of boardgame credits, including Betrayal.

Liz Spain: She has some PACG credits. Incredible Expeditions: the Quest for Atlantis. From BGG: NOTE: The game has been selling on Amazon for a year, while half the backers are still waiting for their copies. Liz updates sporadically, does not respond to messages, and ignores questions posed on Kickstarter, BGG, her Facebook page, and her website.  Wonderful reputation, there.

Max Temkin: The other Cards Against Humanity "designer"

Elisa Teague: Geek Out! designer. No other game credits.

Rodney Thompson: Lords of Waterdeep, and longtime WotC designer.

Jeff Tidball: Horus Heresy, Mercante, Spammers, as well as many RPG credits.

Brian Tinsman: Dreamblade, Maple Story CCG, and a couple other credits

Pendleton Ward: Adventure Time. Maybe he can do well.

Angela M. Webber: from the Doubleclicks? Why do filk performers rate?

Gaby Weidling: PACG developer, Lone Shark Games

Why would I do this to myself? So we know who's doing our games, and might understand what they're doing TO them.

Looking at the list, I'd guess Lone Shark Games is fully converged, and Mike pulled in some friends, and WotC had some demands. Why would WotC farm out the development? Hasbro doesn't like making games, only selling them. They have the in house talent. If they wanted outside people writing the haunts, they should have consulted with Scott Almes and Ryan Laukat, who showed what they can do with Above and Below. My guess with WotC? They might be looking to buy a development house for boardgames. Nevermind the back catalog they're sitting on, or the ones they've licensed out.

Will it be any good? No idea. I advocate to try before you buy in this case. Or read before you buy.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.


  1. Never heard of any of those people.

  2. We love the game, and bought the expansion... I didn't know it was socjus tainted.

    The first new haunt we played was so poorly worded, that even as avid veterans, we couldn't figure out what was supposed to be occurring. I had to correct the scenario's rules as we went along. Most of the flavor text was devoted to gushing about how stunning and brave and respected the beautiful female monster was.

    Seeing authors grabbing attention under the haunts was new- and didn't seem like a welcome development... And, of course, Zoe's haunt- haven't played it yet- was titled "Make America Disintegrate Again."

    Because that's why we play a haunted house game- to get politics shoved in our faces.

    The whole thing reeks as being more focused on fulfilling a millenial circle-jerk than actually focused on good gameplay.

    Hopefully some of the haunts are actually decent, but so far it's awful. Wish I would have done some research instead of just trusting the company producing it.