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Subject: The origin of Principato? rss

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Martin G
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I submitted this as a review and it was declined, but some people I showed it to found it amusing, so I thought I'd repost in 'general'.

Finland, some time in 2009

"Hey, I had this great idea. You know those parody films like Scary Movie where they mock the excesses of a genre? How about we do a game that makes fun of all of the very worst parts of Euro games?"

"Nice! Where do we set it? Ancient Egypt again? (mock yawn)"

"How about Renaissance Italy? Doesn’t get more Euro than that. We’ll need a generic, portentous name.... Princes of Florence? (damn)... Il Principe? (damn)... how about Principato?"

"Yeah, the less it means the better. OK, so I guess we’re going for individual player boards and some kind of action selection mechanic with a ‘unique twist’ for the fans to jizz over?"

"Perfect, I’ll get one of the elves to knock something up. We could go for a kind of subtle joke where the cards are divided into three ‘ages’ but actually they’re all almost exactly the same and the repetition induces a near-coma state in the players."

"Ha, nice. Ooh, I’ve got a good one. Let’s have two different resources, call them... money and... food. But let’s make them identical in every way! Kind of emphasises the futility of all those games where you just turn one colour of cube into another one until you lose the will to live."

"Beautiful, we’re on to something here. OK, what about interaction? We want there to be a kind of token nod to it, to throw back at anyone who dares call it multiplayer solitaire."

"Why don’t we do that thing that all the hot games have been doing where the game gets periodically interrupted for a pissing contest that bears no real relation to the rest of the game?"

"That’ll do it. Oh! We could do it using two types of military unit that are exactly the same, only one of them eats food, and one of them eats... money!"

"Genius. All it needs now is some arbitrary hidden scoring cards to give players the illusion they’re working towards something meaningful and distract them from the numb feeling in their extremities."

"Alrighty. Our work is done. Let’s box this baby up and ship it out. The guys on BoardGameGeek are going to find it frickin’ hilarious!"
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Edward
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Reminds me of 10 THINGS to know about HANSA TEUTONICA
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Scott Agius
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You've made it sound so fun
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Touko Tahkokallio
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Sorry Martin G, but I fail to find your story amusing. You say that because there has been already many games of certain theme or type, that type of games should be abandoned? Maybe we are witnessing the end of our hobby then.

In general, I don't understand people desire to mock games they don't enjoy. I think the quality of modern games is overall pretty good, considering how small/hobby driven the industry is. Yet I see so much barking all over the place. Why can't we accept there are different games for different people?

I personally love and enjoy board games. However, sometimes I do ponder what's the point in designing them.
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Andy Andersen
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Touko wrote:
sometimes I do ponder what's the point in designing them.


After designing Eclipse and Principato, sir, do not ponder this at any great length
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Martin G
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Touko wrote:
You say that because there has been already many games of certain theme or type, that type of games should be abandoned?


No, that wasn't really my point. It was that I specifically disliked the mechanics of this game, which I found so boring that it almost seemed like a parody. That inspired the style of the review, but I think I do explain what I dislike about the design, in particular the perfect symmetry of the resources.

Quote:
In general, I don't understand people desire to mock games they don't enjoy. I think the quality of modern games is overall pretty good, considering how small/hobby driven the industry is. Yet I see so much barking all over the place. Why can't we accept there are different games for different people?


Personally I enjoy reading criticism of games. It's interesting to me what people dislike and why as well as what they like.

Quote:
I personally love and enjoy board games. However, sometimes I do ponder what's the point in designing them.


I wouldn't take it too much to heart. Eclipse seems to be doing incredibly well - I hope to try it some time.
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will sargent
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Although I really quite like Principato (and most simple euros) I do think your review was excellent, Martin. I actually find it strange that BGG didn't accept your review because it's actually holds plenty of relevant criticism, although in a humourous style.

You gotta laugh when BGG pumps through myriad humdrum promotional 'previews' for dull kickstarter projects and yet refuses a genuinely critical piece of prose like this. But then again I do like the way BGG is a considerate community in general (I might not be part of that group from time to time, either!).
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