News Bits: 2/18/2013



More details on Game Salute’s Princess Bride game [Link] Dan Yarrington of Game Salute answers questions on the Theology of Games blog. The interview is fun and informative, and I feel like I have a better grasp of the “scene” concept now. I also feel like I want the game right away…

WizKids announces Trains and Stations [Link] Yes, the theme is dry, but this one looks cool. Something to keep an eye on, at any rate.

Tom Gurganus (Go Forth and Game) interviews David Gregg (Nightfall) and Paul Owen (Planes, Trains, and Automobiles) [David Gregg, Paul Owen] The David Gregg interview is an interesting window into getting published and the development of Nightfall. And Paul Owen always has good things to say. 

Bruno Faidutti discusses Kickstarter–from the designer’s perspective [Link] I can imagine the process would be harrowing. I’m glad Formula E funded, though. The game looks beautiful.

Should game designers play other designers’ games? [Link] The prevailing wisdom seems to be “Of course!” But one notable designer (who happens to be one of my favorites) eschews this conventional wisdom. Jeffrey Allers addresses this question and lands on the side of yes, designers should play others’ games.

Courting a Publisher–Dos and Don’ts [Link] James Mathe of Minion Games draws back the curtain from and gives advice from a publisher’s perspective of how to shop your game around to publishers.

Last week on the Dragon [News Bits, Dungeon! review, Spectaculum review, Gaming with kids] Lots of good stuff happened on iSlaytheDragon last week. We had the news (as usual), reviewed two games, and @Spielemitkinder talked about gaming with kids. a fruitful week, make no mistake.

Kickstarters of Note

Wow! We’re in the middle of a Kickstarter boom of awesome. Lots of new stuff on the list this week.

  • Gunrunners: This is a new game from Stephen Finn (Biblios, Scripts & Scribes: The Dice Game). I like Finn’s other games, and I love the look of this one. $20-25 gets you the game.
  • Island Siege: This card game of, well, island siege combat looks interesting. The early bird deals are gone, so the game will cost $30. But the coins look great, so it might be worth that price.
  • Wizard’s Brew: Another reprint has come to Kickstarter, this one a first English printing of Alan Moon and Aaron Weissblum’s Das Amulett. The buy-in is $50.
  • Metal money/VP tokens: Minion Games just recently (way over-)funded their 4X space game Hegemonic, but they didn’t quite reach the metal coin goal. This Kickstarter is specifically for the metal coins, but anyone can pledge for them. They look nice for use in any game. $17 gets you the coins.
  • Doppelganger: The Universal Game Piece: Okay, this is weird, but kind of cool. It’s a game pawn that’s like those digital picture frames. So your pawn can be whatever you want it to be. Kind of neat. $25 for one, $45 for two.
  • Odin’s Ravens: I’ve seen this game referenced everywhere as a great two-player-only game, but copies have been scarce. The reprint for this just went live on Kickstarter. $28 gets you the game.
  • Dragon Whisperer: This is a trick-taking game from Albino Dragon Games. The artwork is evocative, and the designer’s name–Richard Borg–is well known. It’s already been funded, and the $25 buy-in is reasonable.
  • Drum Roll: This game has already been produced, but Artipia Games is funding their second printing via Kickstarter. (The first printing had limited availability in the States.) The game looks beautiful, and the theme is fairly novel. $50 gets you the game.
  • Evil Intent: This game looks interesting. It failed its funding the first time (though the reason looks like the way-too-high goal), but it’s back with a vengeance and almost funded now. $45 gets you the game.
  • Legacy: Forbidden Machines: This is the expansion to Legacy: Gears of Time, a time-traveling board game that was successfully funded on Kickstarter. I’ve not played the original, so this one isn’t really tempting me, but I know the game has its fans. $27 for the expansion.

What I’ve Been Playing

  • Can’t Stop: My wife and I love this game. It’s simple, quick, and tense. In one game, we both had two columns, but I was near the top of a third. My wife made a last-minute play for the gold and stole the victory from under me. I was calling “Bust!” as loud as I could, but to no avail.
  • Escape: The Curse of the Temple: Escape is a cooperative simultaneous action dice-rolling game…with a soundtrack. I got this from my BGG Secret Santa, and it’s seen quite a bit of play already. (It just made my dimes list for 2012, and I got it toward the middle of December.) Anyway, we broke this out over the weekend, and my wife and I, feeling confident in ourselves, put it on our customary difficulty setting. We got creamed. Apparently we’re out of practice… I also taught my niece and nephew how to play on Sunday (ages six and eight). We didn’t stand a chance in the first game, but we came really close to winning the second time. Next time, Gadget! (Keep an eye out for my review of Escape, coming later this week.)
Completely Unrelated Awesomeness of the Week
Someone on a BGG forum asked if anyone actually made money from board game design. If you are having delusions of grandeur, let this thread disabuse you of them. Much like writing books, the top-tier is not a very good indication of the pay structure.

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

Discussion4 Comments

  1. Perhaps it’s slipping under a lot of peoples’ radars but you really should check out Ascension Online for your list of Kickstarters of Note.

    I know it’s already out for iOS (and it’s a really great App) but for those of us not spoiled enough to own an iPhone/iPad or simply own an Android device instead this is big news. I’m in the neither camp and am looking forward to trying it out for the PC.

    I haven’t cracked on Kickstarter yet but I’m pretty sure this is going to be the one to break me.

  2. I probably should have also mentioned that you’re doing an awesome job with putting together this weekly news section!

    It’s absolutely understandable that you missed a kickstarter that went up late late Sunday night and was barely even mentioned before it went live. I’m an Ascension addict so I only know about it from their forum and Ascension Fans Facebook/G+ groups. It’s an interesting Kickstarter project because it’s only running for 10 days which seems pretty short from my experience. Fortunately it’s already over 50% funded in the first 24 hours.

    Also, I was quite intrigued by the Trains and Stations announcement considering the high quality board games that WizKids has been putting out recently. Have you seen much on it besides the game description?

  3. That would be why it slipped under the radar! I saw, “Ten days left? How in the world could I have missed this?!” That’s exactly why.

    About Trains and Stations, no, I haven’t seen much. I’ve done a little preliminary research through the announcement and the BGG page, but not much more. The designer is a mixed bag for me. I really like Midgard, and the Star Wars LCG looks like a cool system, but I did not care for Quarriors at all.

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