Remember when news boys stood out on the streets with bundles of papers shouting, “Extra! Extra! Read All About It!?” Well, neither do I, but I remember seeing it in movies! Anyway, that’s what today’s news is all about. There was so much News this week that we couldn’t fit it all in our regular ‘Monday News Bits.’ So, for even more game industry goodness…read all about it!
Citadels to the Cinema? [Link] In perhaps the biggest news for the hobby so far this year – hot off the success of the Magic: The Gathering movie news – French production studio Pathé will bring the popular role selection card game, Citadels, to the big screen. While little is known about the actual screen play, casting has already included Ian McKellen as the Bishop, and Tom Hiddleston as the Merchant, while Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is confirmed in the part of the Warlord. Game creator Bruno Faidutti is rumored to play a cameo role.
AEG teases next Smash Up Factions [Link] With the sci-fi double feature expansion just released, the smash hit, deck-smashing game is going where no one has gone before with Smash Up: The Not-So Final Frontier, a Star Trek themed expansion. Says AEG director of marketing Todd Rowland, “We have four new factions that even non-Trekkies will love. Vulcans don’t attack bases unless it’s logical; Klingons only attack when it’s honorable; Romulans are sneaky; and the Redshirts only score points by dying.” The James T. Kirk card had to be nixed, as it was way too powerful during play-testing, and could not be nerfed while still making thematic sense.
Bezier Games develops solo version for Werewolf [Link] Ted Alspach has done it again, creating another variant of the extremely successful Werewolf series. Do you love Werewolf, but have trouble finding a group to play? Well, now your problem is solved! Ultimate Solitaire Werewolf now gives lovers of the game an opportunity to enjoy the social deduction exercise when you’re by yourself – will you be able to figure out who you are?!
Prolific indie game publisher and upstart gaming podcast unite [Link] Rising independent publishing company, Victory Point Games, announced it will join forces with the rebellious hobby podcast, The Secret Cabal. The newly merged design and podcasting venture will be called…wait for it…Victory’s Secret!
Stefan Feld making it even easier to earn victory points [Link] With a prolific and critically rewarding ludology in the past year and a half, Stefan Feld does it again with his new title V.I.P. (Very Important Points). Long known for his “points salad” designs, now points are part of playing the game, as well. Players can earn points in V.I.P. for, among others, opening the box, sorting components, explaining a difficult rule, sitting at the table, bringing snacks for the group, and owning previous Feld titles!
Caylus to receive the Lovecraftian treatment [Link] In another bold move jumping on the pop culture bandwagon, Ystari Games and Wiliam Attia will soon release Cthulhu Caylus: The Ancient Ones Go Medieval. Says the press release on the new expansion for the popular “gamer’s game”, “You thought the Provost was a jerk, before? Well, wait until you find out he’s actually a horrific deity from another universe!”
An American toy and gaming conglomerate announces the end of the Monopoly line [Link] Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner issued a bitter/sweet statement announcing the end of the iconic gaming staple saying, “The board of directors at Hasbro just felt like we’ve tapped every avenue and commercial license that the product line can offer. It’s just time to stop.”
New Fluxx strategy guide to hit stores this summer [Link] Looney Labs and veteran designer Reiner Knizia have teamed up to create a strategy guide for the hit card game. With a PhD in mathematics and unsurpassed experience in the hobby, Knizia has calculated every possible permutation of card combinations and rates of sequence, equipping players to expertly develop the surest winning strategies and never be caught off guard by fluky rules changes again! For just an additional $1.99 (€55.50), you can purchase the second volume which covers every other Fluxx variant to date.
Fantasy Flight to begin mass producing painted wooden cubes [Link] Of the initiative to expand their production reach, CEO Christian Petersen says, “Fantasy Flight Games believes that painted wooden cubes are absolutely essential to the industry. Without them to push around, this beloved hobby would undoubtedly perish. Besides, we have lots of trees in northern Minnesota.”
Speaking of wooden cubes, a fight between two publishers’ over the latest hotness hits the German courts [Link] Hans im Glück and Eggertspiele are currently in a legal battle over the rights to Donald X. Vaccarino’s innovative cube-building game, Cubed. Capitalizing on his wildly and lucratively popular Dominion success which spawned an entirely new mechanic, Vaccarino is taking the design to its only logical next step – cube-building. In Cubed, players begin with a small supply of wooden cubes and play them to collect additional wooden cubes with which to buy even more wooden cubes. The two, mainstay German publishers are understandably locked in a heated jurisprudence battle for what will undoubtedly be the next great cash cow. Slated to release at Essen 2014, Cubed has already won the coveted Spiel des Jahres for 2015.
Tier auf Tier as big as life [Link] German mega-publisher HABA announced last week they are producing a life-sized version of the whimsical dexterity game, Animal upon Animal. According to managing partner Klaus Habermass, the pieces will no longer be made of wood, but rather foam core, to reduce production and shipping costs. However, each box will include a ladder.
Meanwhile, Twilight Imperium gets a little smaller [Link] Christian Petersen, designer of the massively epic 4X space-faring game, and Fantasy Flight Games are cashing in the on the recent and lucrative craze of so-called “micro” games with a new variant of his grand title. Twilight Imperium: The Epically Micro Game elegantly distills all of the game’s miniatures, cards, chits, and other components into 17 cards, while game play remains essentially unchanged.
And, this JUST in…Hasbro renounces its earlier retirement of the Monopoly line [Link] Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner issued a joyful statement announcing that the company will produce a Duck Dynasty version of the board game saying, “The board of directors at Hasbro feels that there’s a real gaming void that needs filled for families that enjoy the antics of the Robertson family. This news should make all of them Happay, Happay, Happay!”
Kickstarters of Note
- Kickstarter Campaign to Continue Kickstarter The massively popular crowd-funding site is running a campaign to continue the massively popular crowd-funding site. Unexpected costs in running the major web community have sky-rocketed. “It was either increase our share of the pie for individual projects,” says co-founder Perry Chen, “or run a campaign of our own.” The benefit for the basic pledge level of $50 lets you sit and wait for months and get nothing in return. For higher donations, you can sit around and wait even longer. Stretch goals include being able to wait around on a comfy couch or with a burrito.
- Tom Vasel 2016 Presidential Bid He’s finally thrown his hat into the ring – and politics ain’t cheap! We must admit he certainly couldn’t do a worse job. So if you’d like to contribute to the Vasel for President Political Action Campaign Fund, there are several support levels with various benefits including: Tom Vasel personally trashing your game on BGG, a year’s supply of Eric Summerer greeting you each morning in his melodious voice, a year’s supply of Eric Summerer greeting you each morning in his melodious voice in person, hosting an episode of the Dice Tower, sponsoring one of the Vasel children, and an appointment as Secretary of the Interior. I am not Tom Vasel and I’m pretty sure I did not approve this message.