W. Eric Martin
• Nominees for the 2012 Deutscher Lernspielpreis – an award meant to highlight the best games for children to both play and learn – have been announced, and the nominees in each category are:
-----• Die verrückte Tierparty (IQ Spiele)
-----• Lagoona (Beleduc)
-----• Rally Fally (Oberschwäbische Magnetspiele)
-----• Flossen hoch! (Zoch)
-----• Twiga Trick (Edition Siebenschläfer)
-----• Monsterfalle (Kosmos)
-----• Mausgetrixt (Ravensburger)
-----• Knotenspiel (goki)
-----• Paletto (Clemens Gerhards)
-----• Sokieba (sportyGames)
-----• Familiengeflüster (aktuell-spiele-verlag)
-----• Blockers! (Amigo)
-----• Uluru (Kosmos)
-----• Pictomania (Pegasus)
-----• Siebenpunkt (Fata Morgana)
And those non-linked game names above await your attention if you feel like submitting game entries to the BGG database. Many BGGers don't pay attention to games for youngsters, so they're not entered as encyclopedically as games for older players.
• The nominees have also been announced for the 2012 Diana Jones Award, "an annual award created to publicly acknowledge excellence in gaming", with individuals, products, or any other thing or movement in the game industry being eligible. For 2012, the nominees are:
-----—Burning Wheel Gold, an RPG system designed by Luke Crane and published by Burning Wheel.
-----—"Crowdfunding" – yes, the entire practice of raising funds from buyers for items to be published later. Why? "Forward movements in art forms have always depended on the opened purse strings of a few key patrons. By democratizing patronage and widening the field of opportunity for all game designers, this broader market transformation well deserves recognition as a cauldron of present and future gaming excellence. Within this recognition comes an acknowledgment of the movement's dominant force, Kickstarter."
-----—Nordic Larp, written by Jaakko Stenros and Markus Montola and published by Fëa Livia, which is described as "a history of the Nordic larp scene, from its inception in post-D&D fantasy through experimental drama, historical recreation and far freaking weirdness, done as a massive and profusely illustrated coffee-table book".
-----—Risk Legacy, designed by Rob Daviau and published by Hasbro. Here's why Risk Legacy gets the nod: "One does not expect to find ground-breaking innovation in a revamp of a classic family game from a market-leading publisher, but Risk Legacy produces not just one but three startling leaps forward. It is a board-game designed for campaign play; it does not allow players access to all the components, units and rules at the start of play, instead having in-game events unlock sealed sections of the cleverly built box; and it demands that the players permanently change the game, putting stickers on the board to alter it, and destroying other components. The game-world reacts to victories and defeats, and the game becomes a permanent record of its play, different for every group. Risk Legacy combines these ideas into a brilliantly playable whole that’s recognisably Risk, yet something brand new. Rob Daviau and Hasbro must be applauded for such a risk."
-----—Vornheim, designed by Zak S. and published by Lamentations of the Flame Princess, an RPG supplement that "radically strips the fantasy RPG city supplement to its foundations and erects dizzying Gothic buttresses of pure playability".
The winner will be announced August 15, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana, the day before Gen Con opens. (Disclosure: BoardGameGeek.com won the Diana Jones Award in 2010.)
• Another sales stat for those interested in such things: In its May 31, 2012 Illuminator post, Monica Valentinelli at U.S. publisher Steve Jackson Games revealed that it has "sold almost 50,000 copies" of Cthulhu Dice since the game's debut in 2010. How many of those copies were bought by a collector who's gotta catch 'em all? No telling...
• Wired's Clive Thompson reports that UK publisher Games Workshop has issued DMCA takedown orders to Thingiverse, an online site that lets users share digital designs for 3D objects, over Warhammer 40K-like figures posted by user Thomas Valenty.
From the article: "[D]isputes over copies of physical objects are often fought using patent law, which is far less strict than copyright. For example, patents last only 20 years, which means many cool everyday objects (Lego bricks!) are long out of patent. What's more, patent law generally governs only a complete assembled product, so creating replacement parts — a thriving pastime among hobbyists — is probably legal." Not to mention, of course, that Valenty supposedly designed his own figures and did not directly copy Warhammer figures... (HT: ICv2)
• Is the 2012 Origins Game Fair a ghost town? On Friday, June 1, aspiring game designer Corey Young tweeted the following pic, commenting, "Not an optical illusion. #Origins2012 is actually this sparse. Kinda breaks my heart."
On Saturday, June 2, Young followed up by writing, "Crowd looks much better today." That same day, Seth Hiatt of Mayday Games noted on BGG, "Yes traffic in the convention hall was much better today than Thursday/Friday but still below prior years."