Why we made CABO Deluxe Edition
By: Ted Alspach
Feedback from CABO 2nd Edition
A lot of gamers really enjoy playing CABO 2nd edition, which we published last year. Players who owned the original edition appreciated almost all of the changes we made: new artwork, a scoresheet, and tweaked rules. However, the new hanging tuckbox was universally panned.
A little history on this: When we got the rights to CABO, we wanted to make it available outside of hobby gaming stores and sites. As a small card game, if you want to be in drug stores and department stores, the box needs a built-in hang tab. So the box was designed with this in mind: bright lettering on a rich blue background, all on the necessary tuckbox.
However, most people who consider themselves gamers don’t like tuck boxes. And hobby game stores really don’t like those little boxes, as they’re easy to shoplift. The gamers who really liked (or were interested enough in) CABO still picked up a copy, but they weren’t happy with the box.
We wanted to give CABO the best representation, so we reconsidered the game’s presentation. We started with a rough idea of what we wanted to do, and then created a survey to ask players. We asked what they liked and disliked about second edition, and what they’d like to see in a future edition.
When we compared first and second edition, the survey confirmed our anecdotal evidence: the new box wasn’t appreciated by pretty much everyone, even compared to the old box. The good news was that every other change: card quality, artwork, rules, theming, and overall value were rated much higher with the new edition.
Next, we asked players if they were interested in a deluxe version of CABO, and the response was positive; more players than not were interested in a deluxe CABO set.
Then, we asked about specific new features in a deluxe edition: everything from a standard two-piece box to a painted unicorn meeple (to indicate start player). The answers helped us decide what to focus on for a new, deluxe edition.
Finally, we asked what the players would be willing to pay for a deluxe edition if it had their top five deluxe items in it. $20 was the most popular choice, though some players were willing to spend $25 or even $30 on a deluxe CABO. That question was important because it gave us a goal to work towards: how much could we deluxify CABO for what was essentially double the price of 2nd edition?
The Deluxe Edition Changes
Box: Since we were going deluxe, we totally rethought the box. We discovered that a large number of CABO players owned other Bezier Games’ titles, so a box with the same form factor as One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Werewords, Silver, etc. would fit nicely on a game shelf, and had already proven successful for hobby game stores. The final box is thinner, like Werewords 2nd edition/Ultimate Werewolf, so about 3/5s of the thickness of One Night and Werewords Deluxe Edition. That thickness and size allowed us to put two decks of cards in the game, plus a larger scorepad and bigger rules. We also redid the artwork on the box to make it friendlier to the hobby market, and lightened the color scheme so it would stand out more on a game shelf. Finally, because we put more into the box, it has a hefty feel. Combined with the deluxe finish on the box, this edition feels special, even before you look inside.
Two Card Decks: If you play a lot of card games, you might have multiple decks of cards for certain games, so that one deck can be shuffled and ready for dealing while the other deck is in play. Traditional card games like Poker and Hearts benefit from this, and other popular games such as Tichu come with two decks, each with a different colored back. For CABO Deluxe Edition, not only does the game have two decks with different backs, but the decks have different designs (which are different from the 2nd edition card backs). And a handy strip of lightweight foam separates the decks in the box.
Larger Rules: To fit the rules into the 2nd edition box, we formatted them as a long sheet, accordion folded. There wasn’t much room for illustrations to show things beyond basic setup. CABO Deluxe Edition now has an 8-page, full-size rulebook with lots of images and examples, and bright bold headings so you can quickly find answers to rules questions.
Bigger Scorepad: The scorepad in CABO Deluxe Edition is much larger, and it’s in full color so it looks great on the table while you’re playing. Since we want this to last, it has 50 double-sided pages, and each page is split into two columns. That’s enough for 200 games of CABO!
With all of these changes, based on feedback from real players, we’ve created deluxe edition that you can enjoy owning and playing. Cabo Deluxe Edition is out February 19th, but start asking for it now at your local game store!