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Links: Eminent Domain Examined, Nazgul Thrashed, Scallywags Arrrrrgued Over & Bears Falling Short

W. Eric Martin
United States
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• Designer Chevee Dodd was interviewed by the podcast Perpetual Geek Machine, and in his 20+ minutes he discusses the origins of Scallywags – newly released from Gamewright – and game design in general. The site is also giving away a copy of the game should you just be looking for a freebie and not interested in hearing advice and history from Dodd.

• The winners of the 2012 Plateau d'Or, an annual design competition organized by the Journées Ludique de Québec, have been announced with Jean Rivière's Rome winning the public prize and Yves Tourigny's Mort ou Vif winning the jury prize. (Both Tourigny and Rivière are members of the Game Artisans of Canada, which has done a great job of getting its members into print.)

Descriptions (in French) for these two games and all other submitted designs are available on the JLdQ website. Previous Plateau d'Or winners include the now-published Québec and Richelieu, so perhaps we'll see these designs in print form down the road.

• In his Illuminating Games blog, Chris Farrell lays into The Lord of the Rings: Nazgul with a passion. An excerpt:

The box says the game is "semi-cooperative", but make no mistake – like Republic of Rome, there can be only one winner, whether it be one of the players or the game system. All of which sounds intriguing, but the game is an epic fail. It's not clear what exactly the game is trying to say, it executes badly on its murky vision, it's not faithful to its source material, it's boring, and it's ugly.

And that's just the opening!

Designers & Dragons author Shannon Appelcline has started a new blog titled "Mechanics & Meeples" to collect previous columns from Gone Gaming, Boardgame News, and BoardGameInfo and to post new material, such as his examination of Eminent Domain from its deck-building foundation.

• In his Pawnstar blog, Anthony Simons continues to explore specific themes and how the essence of a theme has been transformed into a game, focusing this time on politics.

• To add one more Origins 2012 post to the pile, designer Justin De Witt from Fireside Games – the latest winner of the TableTop jackpot, with his co-op design Castle Panic appearing on Wil Wheaton's game-related show on June 15, 2012writes about both the good and bad of the con, including a sell-out of its 2011 dice game Bears!, an automobile break-in, crazypants, an impressively painted Dragonlord van, and clueless Origins attendees, specifically this:

With Bears! being up for an Origins Award, we wanted to make sure everyone knew about the voting and gave all our players a "Vote for Bears!" badge ribbon. This brought up another issue with the show. This was the 37th year that the Origins Awards have been held and with only a few exceptions, none of the attendees even knew what the awards were and even fewer were aware that they could cast votes for the awards. We are very proud to be nominated, but it seems like GAMA could do a better job of publicizing the awards and letting attendees know that they are a vital part of the voting process. Everyone we told about the awards was excited to find out that they could participate.
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