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BoardGameGeek News

To submit news, a designer diary, outrageous rumors, or other material, please contact BGG News editor W. Eric Martin via email – wericmartin AT gmail.com

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Crowdfunding Round-up: Victory or Death or Prison or Demolition or Robot Combat or Yakitori

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• Ian Brody's Quartermaster General from his own Griggling Games has been well-received since its release in 2014, and now he's designed a spinoff game that's coming to market from PSC Games: the "card driven/hand management/area control eurogame/wargame" Victory or Death, with 2-4 players refighting the Peloponnesian War as Athens and Sparta. (KS link)

Mayday Games plans to bring Francesco Giovo and Marco Valtriani's party game Vudù to U.S. shores under the unsurprising name Voodoo so that more people have the chance to mix magical ingredients, curse others, and make them do silly things. (KS link)

• Singapore-based Medieval Lords is funding a new edition of the press-your-luck card game Queen of the Hill from Dominic Michael H., while also funding Little Monsters, which plays exactly the same as Queen of the Hill but with new artwork and card titles. It's an interesting A/B test in terms of appealing game themes and graphic design, and a test for BGG as well since we should really squash these games into a single listing. How long will it take for us to do that? (KS link)

Robots: Battle for the Coal Heart from Duncan Davis and his Sherwood Games has 3-6 players in a "fast-paced role-selection robot-building game" of combat for control of The Coal Heart of Unlimited Power. (KS link)

Sabotile: Isles of Hexoté from newcomer Grizzly Forged Studios and the design team of Corrao, Fuelle, Moy, Park, and Tsay tells you a lot about the game in the title: You're placing hexagonal tiles in a hexagonal grid to sabotage others while trying to capture your totem from the center of the island. (KS link)

• At Spiel 2015 BGG interviewed designer Jacob Jaskov about his two-player relationship-building/bluffing game Fog of Love, and now he's trying to bring it to a larger market through his publishing brand Hush Hush Projects. Interestingly, Jaskov said in a note to me, "Dead of Winter is one of the key sources of inspiration for designing Fog of Love, with the Crossroads cards inspiring the Story cards." (KS link)

• For 51st State: Master Set, the new edition of Ignacy Trzewiczek's 51st State from Portal Games, the publisher has merged a regular preorder system with the practices of crowdfunding campaigns, offering stretch goals (city promo tiles, solitaire rules) based on the level of preorder funding received by the time the game goes to print, which will most likely be in May 2016. (Publisher link)

• Designer/publisher Michel Baudoin of Wacky Works debuted in 2011 with Space Maze, then took a few years off before readying the demolition derby game Crash'em, in which players have fifteen seconds each round to plan three actions. (KS link)

The Daedalus Sentence from designers Tom Bleys, Ian Van Gemeren and Bart Waeterschoot and publisher Eagle-Gryphon Games is a co-op design in which players must escape from a labyrinthine prison that is represented by a game board with four rotating rings. And if you get tired of that, you can have someone take charge of the prison to try to keep everyone else in place. (KS link)

• Odd Hackwelder's Glass Face from his own Hacko Games is a "fast-paced game about rolling dice and slapping faces". That's probably not a claim that you'll see on many other games. (KS link)

• The deduction card game Get Adler! from Randy Thompson and Caper Games funded in January 2016, and now Thompson is back on KS to fund the Whispers expansion that bumps the game up to eight players. (KS link)

• Benjamin Sperling's Yakitori from Daft Concepts is a 2-5 player worker placement game in which players buy, skewer, cook, and sell food for profit. Fire not included. (KS link)



Editor's note: Please don't post links to other Kickstarter projects in the comments section. Write to me via the email address in the header, and I'll consider them for inclusion in a future crowdfunding round-up. Thanks! —WEM
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Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:36 pm
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Links: Balancing Designs, Testing Art, and Staying True to Your Work

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• On League of Gamemakers, designer/publisher Jeff Siadek offers advice on the topic of balance in game design: "Our first task is to recognize that balance is unattainable. Our second task is to obtain it. (All right, we'll approximate it)." He then goes on to offer suggestions on how to do this.

ToyNews deputy editor Billy Langsworthy writes about designer credits on toys and games, highlighting the discrepancy that occurs between mainstream and hobby games:

Quote:
Pandemic, Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride all list their creators on the box, and sometimes even the title's artist, and it makes sense. The games are closer aligned to literature in detail and the audience for these sorts of games are passionate fans who, and I'm generalising here, are more invested in these titles than casual gamers are for something like Hungry Hungry Hippos.

• I love reading Brian Bankler's thoughts on games, such as his write-up/non-review of Food Chain Magnate. His write-ups are always engaging and personal, especially since he's not racing to cover everything in the world but instead simply digging into whatever hooks him the most.

• Designer James Ernest reminds game publishers to test their final art:

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This sounds obvious, but I think a lot of publishers don't do it. There are too many games out there where the art seems to interfere with playing the game. And sometimes you just can't see the problem on the computer screen.

• Designer Grant Rodiek explores how to go from that important first step — figuring out the core gist of your game concept — to staying true to that concept as the design progresses toward completion:

Quote:
Firstly, you need to understand what your game is trying to accomplish. I think far too many designers are hyper focused erroneously on mechanism or theme. Noting you wish to make a worker placement game isn't sufficient. This is a well-established formula. A far superior goal would be to focus on a unique worker placement experience, and to hypothesize how that will come about...

Many years ago, I was trying to make a deck-building game. That was my goal. Guess what? I accomplished precisely that, and relatively quickly, too! But I also realized I had made a lousy version of Ascension.

He details this process with his current work-in-progress Gaia:

Quote:
For Gaia, I wanted to make a game about pre-constructed decks that felt satisfying in a limited card pool. I wanted a head to head experience that had a strong spatial component, particularly leaning towards tiles...

For Gaia, I needed to slowly verify the following elements:

• A limited card pool can support a variety of play styles.
• The spatial element is integral to the experience.
• There is sufficient complexity to provide legs, but not so much that people cannot dig through the pieces.
• The victory condition drives interaction.
• As a player's deck is limited (9 cards), how you play your cards is compelling.
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Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:00 pm
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Lang, Cormier, Lim, McNair and Murray Present 2016's The Godfather Trilogy

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• At GAMA Trade Show 2016, U.S. publisher Cool Mini Or Not revealed one of its many upcoming games in 2016: The Godfather, by designer Eric M. Lang. Lang visited the BGG booth during GTS to gush about his love of the movie and demonstrate elements of the game on our video livestream, but it will take a bit of time to process those video and not have you search through 7.5 hours to find this bit, so for now I'll pass along this game description:

Quote:
Designer Eric Lang, known for his "dudes on a map" games, describes The Godfather — a standalone big box board game with high-quality miniatures — as "thugs on a map".

In short, the game is a streamlined, confrontational worker placement game filled with murder and intrigue. In long, you play as competing mafia families who are vying for economic control of the organized crime networks of New York City, deploying your thugs, your don, your wife, and your heir on the board to shake down businesses and engage in area-control turf wars.

Money, rackets, contracts, and special advantages (such as the union boss) are represented by cards in your hand, and your hand size is limited, with you choosing which extra cards to pay tribute to the don at the end of each of the five rounds. At the end of the game, though, cash is all that matters, and whoever has the most money wins.

The game also features drive-by shootings in which enemy tokens are removed from the board and placed face-down in the river. The don of that family member must play cards to fish their guys out of the river and return them to duty on the New York battlefield.

• Strangely, the game above is one of three being published in 2016 that are based on The Godfather movies, with the other two having been announced at GTS 2015, albeit only in vague terms. One of those games — The Godfather: An Offer You Can't Refuse from Nate Murray of IDW Games and Nathan McNair of Pandasaurus Games — takes a Mafia-style approach to the game (duh), with players secretly representing either members of the Corleone crime family or undercover policemen who are trying to end the reign of the Corleones. BGG also recorded an overview of this title at GTS 2016.

• The third title in this trilogy is The Godfather: A New Don, another IDW/Pandasaurus title with Jay Cormier and Sen-Foong Lim providing the design. Here's a summary of gameplay:

Quote:
In The Godfather: A New Don, players take control of one of the major mafia families, each trying to assert their power on the streets of 1950's New York in hope of taking the reins as the new kingpin of the criminal world.

In more detail, this design is an area control board game with unique dice mechanisms. Each round, players roll their individual pools of dice, then decide what area of the city they want to focus on trying to capture. Meanwhile, the current Don is able to make players an offer they can't refuse and steal dice from their limited supply. Staying on top proves difficult as every stolen die moves other players up the ladder toward taking over as Don, so the tension rises with each shake of the dice.

With multiple ways to use each die you roll, players never find themselves at the mercy of the dice, instead using what they roll to make their opponents beg for mercy.

My advice? Refuse the horsehead cannoli.

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Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Everything Returns — Troyes, SteamRollers, Beer Empire, Diamant, and More

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Time to clean out more notes to myself from the inbox. You might know some of the news below already, but if not, consider yourself now informed:

• Sébastien Dujardin from Pearl Games has confirmed that Troyes and The Ladies of Troyes will be available again in 2016, most likely in June, with the original art and with the items published separately so that those who need only the expansion don't have to purchase the base game once again.

• Polish publisher Board&Dice is working on a Dice Brewing expansion — something big with several modules that change basic play and add diversity — as well as a Kickstarter campaign for the base game by the end of Q1 2016. An expansion for The Curse of the Black Dice is also in the works "with several new play modes, adventures and variations" as well as an accompanying KS campaign. Finally, a second edition of Piwne Imperium (a.k.a. Beer Empire) is in the works with a target release date of Spiel 2016 in October.

• Belgian publisher Flatlined Games released a hand-assembled version of Mark Gerrits' SteamRollers at Spiel 2015, and in late Dec. 2015 Gerrits tweeted that he had created three mini-expansions for the game as Flatlined has decided to run a Kickstarter in 2016 for "a real edition with a normal box, new artwork, matching colours, etc".

Welcome Back to the Dungeon, co-designed by Antoine Bauza and published by IELLO sometime in 2016, includes four new characters for Masato Uesugi's Welcome to the Dungeon. I presume that this game can be played on its own in addition to serving as an expansion for the original game, but that's all the detail I know for now.

• In addition to the title above, IELLO plans to add Yusuke Sato's terrorists vs. SWAT hidden-role game Time Bomb to its minigame line. For details on this title, check out the video overview that I recorded in 2015.

• Other titles coming from IELLO in 2016 include a new version of Alan R. Moon and Bruno Faidutti's Diamant (which I first noted in Dec. 2014 and which is now moving to print with art by Paul Mafayon) and a game titled Pyramids from designers Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert.
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Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:00 pm
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New Games at GAMA Trade Show 2016: Wasteland Express Delivery Service, Guilds of London, Crazy Karts, Tentacles of Time, Imperial Settlers: 3 Is a Magic Number

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• BoardGameGeek is at the 2016 GAMA Trade Show and ready to broadcast (at least) seven hours of game demonstrations on Wednesday, March 16, starting at 10:00 PDT (GMT-7). I say "at least" because we couldn't fit every publisher into our two-day broadcast schedule, so we're going to try to squeeze more publishers onto the air once we finish our planned schedule at 5:00 p.m. (You can see the current schedule here; the livestream is featured in a module on the BGG front page.)

Wednesday is scheduled to lead off with a game announcement from Portal Games, but Portal has already spilled word on Charles-Amir Perret's Crazy Karts in advance, offering this description:

Quote:
Crazy Karts is a team-based, fast-paced racing game for 3-8 players, who compete in teams of two in which each player controls specific actions of their kart, but they cannot communicate with their teammate!

In more detail, one player controls the brakes and turns, while the other player speeds up and fires the cannon. Teams must outmaneuver their opponents, dodge obstacles, grab power-ups, and avoid smashing into the walls, all planning their actions in secret without talking! Need to turn left? Better hope your partner didn't accelerate! Race to the finish line in this wacky game of mayhem and shenanigans. Do you have what it takes to be a champion kart racer?

As with many other titles from Portal Games, Crazy Karts includes four unique factions for the teams, each with their unique power. If you are play with an odd number of players, a Lone Wolf faction allows a single player to compete with a unique set of skills and disadvantages.

Crazy Karts is scheduled to debut at the 2016 Origins Game Fair in June, with the title reaching U.S. shelves on June 15, 2016.

• Portal Games also notes that it has expansions in the works for Neuroshima Hex!, Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot, and Imperial Settlers, with this latter title being revealed as Imperial Settlers: 3 Is a Magic Number. A short description:

Quote:
Imperial Settlers: 3 Is a Magic Number, the second Empire Pack for Imperial Settlers, introduces a new rule: SET. This new ability allows players to score and trigger new effects each time they build three cards in a particular color. With this rule, the drafting phase and the choice of the "right" card to draft becomes even more interesting.

This expansion includes new cards for the common deck as well as new cards for each of the five factions and two cards for use in the solitaire game.

• Finally (for now) from Portal Games comes Tentacles of Time, a two-player card game co-designed by Michał Walczak that's a sequel to Kristian Čurla's Tides of Time. A summary of what's new: "Tentacles of Time adds a new twist to Tides of Time: Madness. Some cards, while powerful, will harm your psyche, so you must keep an eye on your Madness or risk losing the game early as your mind is lost to the power of the ancients."




IDW Games and Pandasaurus Games has announced a giant release from Jonathan Gilmour, Ben Pinchback, and Matt Riddle titled Wasteland Express Delivery Service, which merges a Fury Road aesthetic with a long interactive story. Here's the overview:

Quote:
In Wasteland Express Delivery Service, you take on the role of drivers inhabiting a post-apocalyptic wasteland riddled with outrageous, unhinged, and otherworldly characters set on unleashing mayhem at every turn.

To survive in this deranged universe, drivers must deliver food, water and guns between the handful of settlements pockmarked through the Wasteland. You must battle through insane raiders who occupy the void between cities, taking on missions from the three factions that have divided up the last of civilization to gain favor with them: the fascist New Republic Army which is hellbent on bringing the world to heel for its own good; the heretical Oracles of Ceres who have turned their attention to the worship of the land; and the technologically obsessed Archivists who cling to the old ways and the hope of restoring our lost civilization.

But what do you care? You're here to get paid and live another day free. Outfit your truck, hire some insane riders to help fend off raiders, add some storage, and just keep truckin'.

Wasteland Express Delivery Service includes an emergent narrative story that takes place interactively over the course of ten games. Each scenario begins with a beautifully illustrated comic book introduction that sets up the storyline and the constantly escalating stakes and challenges in front of players. Alternatively, players can dive in with a randomly generated scenario that will play out over the course of a single story-driven game session for infinite replay possibilities.

Comic artist Riccardo Burchielli has created more than one hundred illustrations for the game, with no two cards sharing artwork, according to Nathan McNair of Pandasaurus. Josh Cappel is responsible for the graphic design of the game, while Justin Blintz is creating the miniatures of each character’s delivery vehicle of choice.


Some of the player characters

Bandits you might meet

Sketch of Zero's vehicle and...

...models of that sketch


• A co-publisher pull-out at the last minute scuttled plans by Tony Boydell and Surprised Stare Games to release Guilds of London at Spiel 2015, but now the game is scheduled to debut at UK Games Expo in June 2016, and Tasty Minstrel Games will be the new SSG partner for the game's release. I don't know more than that, but TMG will be on camera in the BGG booth on Wednesday (along with many other publishers), so perhaps we'll find out more then.

Prototype copy at GTS 2016
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Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:19 pm
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Ra to Return from WindRider Games

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At the 2016 GAMA Trade Show, Asmodee North America CEO Christian T. Petersen ran through a long history of the game industry from a publisher's perspective, all to lay out why ANA is adopting the new retailer policies that have been talked about a few times in the past couple of months. I'll post more on that in an overview the week of March 21, 2016.

The only new game announcement from ANA at GTS — from my perspective, mind you, as I've been covering all the announcements from European publishers in our Spielwarenmesse 2016 coverage — is not new at all, but rather a new edition of Reiner Knizia's Ra from WindRider Games.

WindRider Games is a new studio within ANA founded by a few Fantasy Flight Games employees, and WindRider will be the home of titles in the FFG catalog that aren't really FFG titles, such as the previously reprinted Knizia designs Tigris & Euphrates and Samurai, which bear a "Euro Classics" label (i.e. a "not-FFG" label).

WindRider notes that this edition features "all-new graphic design based on the art of Ancient Egypt" with the same gameplay as in Ras past. This version is for 2-5 players and is coming out at the end of Q2 2016 or in early Q3 2016.

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Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:06 am
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Links: Hippodice Winners for 2016, Stinging Criticism & Escape Room History

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• The winners of the 2016 Hippodice game design competition have been announced, with Fabio Lopiano taking first place for Calimala, Veli-Matti Saarinen second for Sapa Inca, and Sean Rumble third for The Ritual. While these names aren't household names, many of the designers who made it to the finals or the recommendations list are, such as Steding, Schlegel, Keller, Racky, Odendahl, Dan Keltner, and Wolfgang Lehmann. Overviews and pictures of the winning and finalist games are on the Hippodice website (PDF). Given that the judges all work for German game publishers, you will likely see one or more of these designs in print in the years ahead...

• Designer Scott Caputo encourages other game designers to remember that "your games are not you":

Quote:
[O]n some level, your worse critics are absolutely right. Unless they are insane, their anger was triggered by some real concern. If you dare, dive through the harsh language and polemic tone, and try to understand the root complaint.

In the case of my Secret Game X, I realized the players at the table didn't feel like they had enough strategic control in the game and they didn't like the lack of interaction with other players. If I thought back to my other playtests, I heard some of those same concerns before, though with nicer words. As the game wasn't published yet, I took on the challenge to answer these concerns and one year later, I can say I've made major changes to the game, adding new strategic choices I never considered. I will freely admit the current version is definitely better in every way.

• On the One Thousand XP blog, Chris Rowlands encourages game designers "to be shamelessly inspired", relaying his experience of re-using the dice-placement mechanism from Stefan Feld's Bora Bora in a design of his own:

Quote:
Whether or not Cordelia ends up using the Bora Bora dice mechanic, it was undoubtedly influenced by the mechanic. It was built to embrace the mechanic but will take those influences and become something unique on its own. I could never recreate Bora Bora. Even if I set out with the expressed purpose of remaking the game, there is a good chance I would simply fail at doing so. In the same way, I could have never created this version of Cordelia without being inspired by Bora Bora.

Scott Nicholson was one of the pioneers of using video to present board game reviews and rule explanations, and he's currently Professor of Game Design and Development at Wilfrid Laurier University in Brantford, Ontario and the director of the Brantford Game Network game lab (BGNlab). Over the past couple of years he's spent a lot of time researching escape rooms, and in March 2016 for Analog Game Studies, Nicholson compiled an overview of six precursors of escape rooms — such as point-and-click adventure games, adventure game shows, and live-action role-playing — that have fed the recent growth of escape rooms as mainstream entertainment.
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Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Get Clowns Dirty, Welcome More Thunderbirds, and Refight Dixie: Gettysburg

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Clown Standoff is a tiny game from designer Ludovic Barbe and publisher Artipia Games that reimplements Barbe's 2013 Pan T'es Mort (although the games seem identical to me, so I'm not sure what's changed, if anything). In any case, here's a rundown of how clowns settle their differences:

Quote:
The circus show went really, really bad, and now the clowns are blaming each other...by throwing pies! And the clowns' code dictates that whoever remains clean the longest wins the argument.

Clown Standoff is separated into two phases. Phase one is a trick-taking phase with simultaneous card selection. Each player has cards 1-6, and four times players each lay down one card; tied cards are eliminated, then the highest card wins. The one exception to this: If a 1 and a 6 have both been played, then the 1 card wins the trick. All winners keep the cards they used to win the tricks, then they move to phase 2.

In Phase 2, six "Pie Throw" cards are in the middle of the table: five "Dodge" cards and one "Hit" card. Starting with whoever has the most cards from phase one, players then take turns as follows: They can draw a card; or they can discard one card from the ones they collected in phase one to shuffle all face-up Pie Throw cards, then draw one; or they can discard cards equal to the number of players who are still in the game to pass their turn to the next player.

If a player draws a Dodge card, nothing happens and the remaining cards move to the next player. If a player draws a Hit card, that player is out of the game; after this, all Pie Throw cards are again shuffled to form a deck, and the player with the most cards from phase one starts a new turn.

The last clown standing wins!

• To double up on the clown coverage, White Goblin Games has an equally quick-playing game from Inon Kohn titled Clown Face for players aged four and up. An overview:

Quote:
The Chief Clown shows three cards with different images to confuse the other clowns. After the third card is shown, all other clowns use the three cards to determine where to put their hands. The first clown placing their hand on the right combination gets all cards.

Score as many cards as you can to win Clown Face. Are you quick enough to become the new Chief Clown, or are you the clown everybody laughs at?

Modiphius Entertainment will launch a Kickstarter campaign for Kung Fu Panda: The Board Game in Q2 2016. Expansions for Matt Leacock's Thunderbirds game from Modiphius are due out in June (Tracy Island), at Gen Con 2016 in August (Above & Beyond), and at Spiel 2016 in October (The Hood).

• In early Q3 2016, Mayfair Games will release English-language versions of Fréderic Moyersoen's Saboteur: Duel and Johannes Schmidauer-König's Die Portale von Molthar, which will be titled Portal of Heroes.

• If Ravensburger were to release Kramer and Kiesling's Memory: Das Brettspiel in English, what would you suggest for a name beyond simply Memory: The Board Game? You can check out the game page for a description or watch this video that BGG recorded at Spielwarenmesse 2016.

Columbia Games plans to fund a second edition of Tom Dalgliesh's Dixie: Gettysburg card game on Kickstarter in the first half of 2016.
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Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Small Titles from Cool Mini Or Not, New Master Prints from Quined, and Smitten by Schotten Totten

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• Perhaps in a nod to Steve Jackson Games' long-running practice of publishing an annual stakeholders report, Cool Mini Or Not has published its own "letter to stakeholders for 2015", noting that its revenue in 2015 was $17.2 million ($10 million more than its 2013 revenue). In terms of new game announcements, CMON CEO Chern Ann Ng writes, "We're also making smaller format games a major part of our strategy, with titles like The Grizzled, Play Me, Looterz, Dojo Kun, Unusual Suspects, Potion Explosion, Waka Tanka, Tada and more entering major distribution this year."

BGG's livestream coverage from GAMA Trade Show 2016 has a 45-minute block covering CMON at 12:15 PDT, and the only thing I knew previously about the titles being featured was this: "five games, some small". Now we all know a bit more, in addition to the news of The Grizzled: At Your Orders! coming in 2016.

• Speaking of the bluffing game Waka Tanka, I published a description of the game in Dec. 2015, noting that CMON planned to release an English-language version in Q1 2016, and the comments on that post lit up about the cover image used for the French version of the game from Sweet November (shown at left).

Since then, the cover artwork for the U.S. edition has changed, and designer Bruno Faidutti has written about this change (and artwork changed in Isla Dorada) on his blog. An excerpt:

Quote:
Anyway, a Brazilian publisher decided to bring the game to the US, and was as surprised as me, the illustrator, and the French publisher when told the cover picture of the game was overtly racist. Of course, we first mocked the idea that it was impossible to draw an American Indian who looks like an American Indian, but after some discussions on game forums, it appeared that the issue was, once more, extremely specific. The problem was not the exotic and unrealistic setting, which is common in European games and didn't create any problem so far, but the figure of the old chief in the foreground, which reminded every American of "Cigar stores Indian" – an image I didn't even know about.

For both games, the first steps in the discussion between European (and Brazilians) and Americans were trying to prove that the picture was, or wasn't, racist. Of course, this was vain, since the answer is that the same picture can be racist in the US and not in Europe, or the reverse, depending on what part of the representation of the other has become the accepted sign of racism, and whether the very act of caricature is considered insulting or not.




• To continue the chained discussion, Waka Tanka illustrator David Cochard is also the artist on what will be title #16 in Quined Games' Master Print Series: Papa Paolo by designer Fabrice Vandenbogaerde. I know nothing about the game other than what's shown here, and even this isn't final given that the designer's name isn't on the box.



• And to chain even further, here's the final cover art for Quined's new version of Alain Epron's Vanuatu:



• To end this chain, here are covers of two more new editions being released in 2016: In 2014, IELLO published a French version of Kuro's Seventh Hero under the title Héros à Louer, with this title featuring much more playful fantasy art than what was used for the English-language release from AEG. Now in June 2016, in co-operation with AEG, IELLO will release an English-language of this title as Rent a Hero:



• And at Gen Con 2016 in August, IELLO plans to have its new version of Reiner Knizia's Schotten Totten, featuring Djib's art on this charming cover and the best tagline so far in 2016:

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Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:00 pm
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Links: Researching the Past, Sabotaging the Present, and Pricing Games for a Successful Future

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Randy Hoyt from Foxtrot Games details why a game's MSRP should be five times the cost of the game and why violating this rule could jeopardize the future of your publishing efforts. An excerpt:

Quote:
If you have been around the publishing side of the board game industry for any time at all, you've probably heard that a game's MSRP should be five times (5×) its cost. Yes, five times! I heard this when I first started, but I couldn't really understand how that could be necessary. ("I'm not making board games to get rich or anything!") I still hear from many Kickstarter project creators who question this multiplier, but I finally have a good enough understanding of all the numbers to explain it. Here's how I would state the advice:

If you plan to sell your game through distribution and if you hope to sell out of your first printing and do a second one, your MSRP must be at least 5× your total landed costs.

In a second post, Hoyt examines this question from the point of view of someone running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first printing of a design.

• If you want to risk burning hours at a time looking at games of the past — and you might given that you're on BoardGameGeek right now — I suggest you head to The GAmes Research Database (GARD), or even more specifically the publication database, then start checking out the gamenames to see what wacky stuff you can find. The Infants' Cabinet of Fishes, anyone? Credit for this find goes to designer Tony Boydell, who wrote in his BGG blog about an exhibition of vintage board games that subsequently led to this discovery.

• The more I look at sales numbers for games, the more I realize that most of the activity in the market takes place invisibly, far away from the watchful eyes of geeks. As another example of this, I point to Fréderic Moyersoen's Jan. 2016 post (which I've edited slightly) about sales in the Saboteur line:

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The past year 2015 was amazing for Saboteur. The annual sales have reached 300,000 copies per year, which is an increase of 50%. The total sales are now 1,400,000 copies. Saboteur Duel, the lastest version, is also selling good with 40,000 sold copies. The game is now also available in the Turkish language.

• I'm late to the party on covering this, but U.S. bookstore chain Barnes & Noble will hold "Casual Game Gatherings" each Thursday night in March 2016 in 56 B&N stores to introduce one "light strategy game" to newcomers and established gamers. From the press release: "Barnes & Noble store employees will be running demos for new players and providing a place for fans to play as well. Promotional items for four of the featured games will be given to those that participate in a demo of the featured game (while supplies last)." The remaining games to be featured in March are Splendor (March 17, with a playmat for participants), Codenames (March 24), and Lanterns: The Harvest Festival (March 31, with four promo tiles).

Which stores will be featuring these events? You can see the list in the press release for this event, which you can download from the Splendor: Playmat page.

• Designer Christian Strain suggests how "to put the right type of fun in your game" by detailing the pros and cons of things like the gamble, the sacrifice, the character, and so on. This assumes, of course, that you want to create a game strictly for fun, something Strain doesn't question in his opening lines: "Game designers approach games in their own way. The goal, however, is essentially the same: make something fun." Not necessarily, says I.
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Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:00 pm
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