News Bits: 10/15/2012


Today is @Futurewolfie‘s birthday, so be sure to wish him well on Twitter (or in the comments). And with that bit out of the way, here is this week’s news!

Essen Spiel Convenes in Germany
The big news this week is that the annual Spiel convention will take place in Essen, Germany (sounds tasty). For those of you who, like me, are unable to attend, Board Game Geek has a preview of what to expect up on their website. Honestly, it’s a lot to wade through, and I’m just waiting to follow what those who attend the fair will vet for me.

Gamers Play for Extra Life
I’ve followed Jim Jones of the Great Big Table podcast for a while on Twitter, and he let me know about his efforts to raise money for children at the Riley Children’s Hospital (his wife details their experience here). He’s playing this next weekend, and if you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to support his team, I know he (and the beneficiaries) would appreciate it. (Similarly, I’ve seen other teams on Twitter and elsewhere. If you’re a part of another team, please leave a comment.)

Eclipse Designer Interviewed
Derek Thompson of MeepleTown interviewed Touko Tahkokallio, better known as the designer of Eclipse, last week. This is another in a great string of interviews from MeepleTown.

Inside a Game Company’s Demise
Jackson Pope of Reiver Games posted about how his game company, Reiver Games, imploded. It’s sad to read about any company failing (especially one in which someone is so personally invested), but I appreciate the candor with which Pope shares his experience.

GameTable Online Launches RPG Table Online
We don’t post about RPGs here often anymore, but we received a press release that might be of interest to our readers. GameTable Online, which hosts strategy games (including Acquire!) on its website, has launched RPG Table Online, a similar hub to allow RPGers from around the world to gather and play. It looks like there will be lots of free tools to use. For the full press release, click here.

What Is Your Favorite Game Mechanic?
No, not the person who works on your game: your favorite mechanism for how a game works. Tom Gurganus of Go Forth and Game asked this question last month, and he has aggregated the answers for your reading pleasure. There’s a wide variety of voices. (Disclosure: one of those voices is mine. And it’s probably no surprise what I listed as my favorite mechanic.)

Kickstarters of Note

  • Lost Valley: Another reprint from Pandasaurus Games. Pandasaurus seems to be putting Kickstarter projects in the pipeline at an alarming rate, with Tammany Hall and The Great Fire of London yet to be delivered (still projected on time). Still, if this interests you, the game looks pretty good. $55
  • Salmon Run: This game has already passed its funding goal and is swimming toward its first stretch goal. (Check out our preview and interview with the designer.) $36.
  • The Keep: This is for a game storage system rather than a game. It looks pretty cool, but the funding goal seems prohibitive. Still, if you want to contribute, you might be able to make this happen! Various buy-in levels.
  • The Official Settlers of Catan Gaming Board: This is an officially licensed Settlers of Catan tile-locking board. It seems great if you play Catan a lot. (I do not, so my tiles will just have to slip around.) $25.
  • Castle Dice: This dice-drafting worker placement game might interest you. It doesn’t interest me because I’ve played Quarriors. But I’m sure it’s better than that one. Still, it requires a hefty donation to secure your copy. $28 for the PDF, $65 for the published version.
  • Eight-Minute Empire: This appears to be a super short civilization building game from the designer of Empires of the Void and City of Iron. This game looks interesting, it’s already fully funded, and it has a cheap buy-in at $20.
  • Twin Tin Bots: The designer of Small World and Olympos (two games beloved of the Dragon) has a new game up on Kickstarter. I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea, but it might be yours. $55 (or $45, if you’re fast enough).

Completely Unrelated Awesomeness of the Week
I know this is several months after Mother’s Day, but especially when the baby cries or disrespects his mama, this song can be heard in our house. Yes, that’s Mr. T. No, he doesn’t step in when kids are bullying one another. Yes, he is wearing those awful shorts (or is it a jean skirt?).

I'll try anything once, but my favorite games are generally middleweight Euros.

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