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The Village Square: February 9, 2015

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Our little town has been expanding little by little. It all started when a brave group of adventurers journeyed to the Dragon’s Peak and came to find a bustling community gather in The Village Square. From there many talented citizens set up their craft in the Artist’s Valley and others went to discuss days of old in the Dusty Dragon.

We’re excited to announce our newest expansion! The Knight’s Forum is a monthly community discussion that will begin here in The Village Square and take place throughout the week. It looks like things are about to get started, come join me for our very first gathering.

 

Knight’s Forum

[fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Hello everyone and welcome to the very first-[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full] [fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]I’ll take it from here. Everyone shut up! This month’s topic is “Why does Superman suck?” And make sure to pick up your complementary kryptonite on the way out. I’ll go first-[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Village Square (Avatar) - Batman[/fifth][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Sorry to interrupt you Batman. This is the Knight’s Forum not the Dark Knight’s Forum.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full] [fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Can I still talk about how much I hate Superman?[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Village Square (Avatar) - Batman[/fifth][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Sure.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]

Once a month we’ll be facilitating a week long discussion in an attempt get as many people engaged in the same topic as possible. The Knight’s Forum will begin here in The Village Square where we’ll introduce the topic and from there we’ll open it up to the community to discuss. You can engage in any way that you see fit: write an article, post a comment, or tweet about it. You can as brief or thorough as you’d like to be, we just want to hear what you have to say! Whatever  you do, make sure to reach out to us on Twitter (@iSlayTheDragon, @UpliftAndrew) using #KnightsForum. At the end of the week we’ll be compiling links to all the articles and discussions that we find.

Each topic is specifically chosen so that it can be discussed by board gamers and designers alike. There will be questions to help get you thinking but don’t feel obligated to stick to them, explore the topic in any way that you see fit.

February’s topic will be about Board game collections and game potential

I once heard someone talk about their game collection in terms of potential and it intrigued me. Each game you own represents a potential to have and enjoy an experience. Whether you realize that potential or not is all about actually getting those games played. Large collections and aging games both compete with the latest games and often sit on the shelf unplayed. But unplayed games stay in collections in part because of this potential. You want to have that experience at some point in the future so you buy or hold on to games in hopes of attaining it. Here are some questions to explore this idea:

For Board Gamers

1. Do you have any games collecting dust that don’t seem to hit the table often but you just can’t get rid of? Why are you holding on to them? Would you sell your favorite game if you knew you would never get to play it again? Would you rather sell/trade an unplayed game and acquire it at a later point if you find a group to play it with or simply hold on to it and wait for that possibility?

2. Consider your favorite games. How old are those games and how often do they get played? Are they your favorites because you play them a lot, have previously played them a lot, or they have some unique qualities that set them apart?

3. How do your friends’ collections affect yours? Do you share games with your group or do you like having your own copy? Do you have a lot of overlap with your friends’ collections? Are you less likely to acquire a game if you know someone that owns it? Would you be willing to have a shared library if it was practical?

For Designers

1. Would you rather design a game that gets played more frequently or is more highly regarded but played less? Would you be proud to know that someone is keeping your game in their collection despite not playing it often? Is how someone feels about your game regardless of how much they play it important?

2. Is it disappointing when some trades or sells your game? Should it be a goal for your game to stick in people’s collections (assuming it’s a good fit for that person)? Should designers try to create games that will “stand the test of time” or are simply enjoyable experiences?

[fifth width=”60px”]Villager 4[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Now it’s your turn to participate in the discussion. If you’re seeking inspiration head over to Clever Move and read their thoughts on consolidating their collection.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]

 

Community Talk

[fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]There’s lots of excellent conversation going on elsewhere in town.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]

A Tribute to Dice (Giant Fire Breathing Robot)

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]one aspect of dice that you just can’t get from most other mechanics is the tension. Sometimes, you need a long shot to come back from the brink of destruction. As the die leaves your hand, you can hear a pin drop. The same when your figure is being attacked and you hope against hope that your opponent rolls badly.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - Giant Fire Breathing Robot[/fifth][full][/full]

Ways to Get People to Try Games (Altema Games)

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]I have given a fair bit of thought to what makes people want or not want to try games and wanted to share these. While I think it’s important to show specific examples of games to illustrate my points – I’ll focus on general principles that I think will make your conversion efforts effective and fun.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - Altema Games[/fifth][full][/full]

Crouching Mechanic, Hidden Rule (3DTotal Games)

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]The debate between players who like the crunchy aspects of game and enjoy deep mathematical analysis and players who are drawing on other elements and find that getting bogged down in calculations ruins that has been going on forever and generally board game designers have arrived at a simple solution: Different games for different folks.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - 3DTotal Games[/fifth][full][/full]

How to Fix Things #4, #5 (TGIK Games)

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]I love drafting cards. It is one of my all-time favorite mechanics. What I don’t like about drafting is the amount of time it can take for the drafting deck to get around the table.

I think this has happened to everyone at one point or another, first or second turn of a game you have played maybe two or three times, still learning and you’re out. Wait, what? You mean, like out of the game out? Yes, thank you for playing and sit there until we are done.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - TGIK Games 2[/fifth][full][/full]

Hey Loser! (League of Gamemakers)

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]for every winner of your game, there’ll be 3 losers. I aspire to create games that people will enjoy, and if the only way to enjoy my game is by winning it, then I am only going to succeed about 25% of the time. That’s a failing grade! I would much rather ensure that ALL players enjoy my games, every time they play them, as much as I possibly can. So how can I accomplish this?[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - League of Gamemakers[/fifth][full][/full]

Mechanism That Perturb (Hyperbole!)

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]I seek to discuss mechanisms that perturb. These are mechanisms or activities in game that tend to grate against my enjoyment and appeal to me less as a designer. Note that every single one of these has an exception, a champion of doing it properly. The point of this article is not to say “this is always bad,” but more for me to note things I care for less.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - Hyperbole[/fifth][full][/full]

Practical Game Design (Oakleaf Games)

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]There’s nothing wrong with designing a game through this lens of develop and test, test, test. In fact, I’m sure I’ve given that advice on at least one occasion. But the advice is usually presented that you can’t design a great game without going through this cycle a number of times. There is a growing trend that this is not the only way to correctly design the game.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - Oakleaf Games[/fifth][full][/full]

 

Dragon Slayer Roundup

[fifth width=”30px”][/fifth][fifth width=”70px”]Portrait - Jason[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]War of Kings - Thumb Review: War of Kings

Artist Valley: Jared Blando[/plain][/three_quarters] [full][/full] [fifth width=”30px”][/fifth][fifth width=”70px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Lords of Xidit - Thumb Review: Lords of Xidit[/plain][/three_quarters] [full][/full] [fifth width=”30px”][/fifth][fifth width=”70px”]Portrait - Meghan[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Gears of War - Thumb Reviews: Gears of War: The Board Game[/plain][/three_quarters] [full][/full]

 

Games On Our Table

Portrait - Andrew Andrew’s Plays

Play 2014-Feb-9 - Fields of ArleFields of Arle – I tried out the solo game for Fields of Arle in order to familiarize myself with the game but quickly become addicted to the puzzly and exploratory nature of this game. I recorded two of my recent sessions in this geeklist and have been even more excited to get in additional plays since then! After more than a dozen solo games I still feel like there’s so much more for me to discover in Fields.

 

Play 2014-Feb-9 - SeasonsSeasons – In honor of my recent review for Lords of Xidit I decided to play the game that shares its stunning artwork. I had one of my friends over for the afternoon and we got in three games with both of the expansions. This was my first time playing with Enchanted Kingdom and I really enjoy the variety that including all the cards in the mix provides.

 

 

I love optimization and engine games with tableau builders and card driven ones being my favorite. This usually means medium-heavy euros and medium-light card games.

Discussion5 Comments

  1. From a designer perspective, high regards are all well and good, but if you want them more than people actually playing your game, you’re designing for yourself more than for your players.

  2. As a humble board game player, here are few of my comments:

    1. Civilization (Sid Meire’s, FFG) probably is the game that I wished to play as much as possible but just rarely happens, mainly because it takes long (4+ hours) and as my girlfriend put it, “traumatizing”… So we moved onto the lighter games like Discworld, 7 Wonders, Shadow Over Camelot and the likes, and obviously Avalon… Even so, I doubt that I will trade away Civ, and you are right, it’s the “potential” that makes me want to keep the game.

    2. Let’s see what do my favourite games have in common… Civ, Dominant Species, 7 Wonders, Suberbia, Keyflower, Robinson Crusoe etc etc… Well I suppose there are different ways of winning in each of them, and at the same time they are all very thematic without being TOO complicated (e.g. Battles of Five Armies), or, too many “operational” words (as in non-flavour text, i.e. smart usage of symbols are very much appreciated). While I would play these games any day, each of these games did not hit the table as often as I have wished (aside from 7 wonders), say, about every half a year or so, mainly because the games are “too complex” for my usual group.

    3. I suppose, normally, I wouldn’t buy a game if my friend already has it, unless I really really like it, or it is relatively cheap. For our group, I guess we have the common ones like Settlers and Pandemic overlapped, other than that, no. Though I wasn’t quite sure how this “library” work, I do not think we have anything similar to that in place.

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