News Bits: 7/21/2014


This week’s NEWS:

How Hasbro decides which toys will become movies [LinkI think the formula is off if CandyLand as an Adam Sandler vehicle is on the table.

Phil Reed of Steve Jackson Games discusses designing games with component costs in mind [LinkThis is a great article if you are designing a game or running a Kickstarter campaign or just if you want to see what kinds of decisions are made when producing a game.  I think the gameplay value question is a good one to ask.

Games Precipice examines Terra Mystica [LinkI’ve appreciated the Games Precipice blog, where they’ve so far analyzed what makes games great. Here is a case study in their analysis–a look at one of their favorites, Terra Mystica.

TC Petty III (VivaJava) lists 7 reviewer tactics that could kill you [LinkOkay, that’s the BuzzFeed title to get you to click through, but TC really does have some good thoughts here on reviews. In my reviews, I’ve tried to avoid these (especially the “not give an opinion” part–that drives me crazy!), although I disagree with his tirade against the format of “introduction, how to play, review” (which, you will notice, we use on this site). While the organization is a little tired, it is also easy to navigate. But I do understand. I love reading the Voice of Experience entries on BGG, which usually eschew this format.

Gen Con no-ship math trade opens for items [Link] What’s the best part of Gen Con? The new games? Meeting new people? No, the best part is this very math trade. Unload your old games and pick up new ones–and don’t pay shipping! Seriously, this has been almost universally a success for me, and as long as I can rope in a proxy (…), I will be participating from afar.

How Family Game Night makes kids better students [Link] I haven’t read this one yet, but I didn’t want to deprive you of the opportunity. It’s in The Atlantic, so I trust it’s worth your while.

Last week on iSlaytheDragon [News Bits, Castle Panic review, Under the Table episode 7, World of Tanks reviewKeep slaying!

Kickstarters of Note

  • Start Player Express: Bezier Games is Kickstarting Start Player Express, whose tagline is “Go first faster,” which is brilliant. This is four dice that help you determine at a glance who at the table should go first. $10.
  • Casual Game Insider: This campaign is to Kickstart the next year of Casual Game Insider magazine, a magazine for enthusiasts of, well, casual games. The magazine targets the Spiel des Jahres-loving crowd and in general is getting exposure for the hobby. Various pledge levels.
  • Core Worlds digital: Stronghold Games’s Core Worlds is being ported to iOS and Android. I played Core Worlds recently and really enjoyed it. It’s a deck-building game that’s really more of a resource management game. Feels Euroy but has a great space theme. Various pledge levels.

What We’ve Been Playing

  • Star Realms: I got the Android app for Star Realms, and I have been playing this a lot. Also, it’s a great app that the Dominion developers (if they’re still out there) can learn from. My ID is FarmerLenny if you want to challenge me–AND LOSE. (FarmerLenny)
  • Kuhhandel: After the great success of playing Kuhhandel with my family last week, I decided to give it a go with my coworkers. One of my coworkers made an early (and failed) gambit for the horses, and another coworker took an early lead, securing both horses and pigs. But it was the newest member of my department who won the day, securing three sets of high-scoring animals through shrewd trades and clever bluffs. Even though I lost, I had a blast playing this one. I don’t know why it isn’t talked about more because it’s awesome. (FarmerLenny)

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

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