W. Eric Martin
• Designer Kevin Wilson (Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Arkham Horror) left Fantasy Flight Games in late 2012 to try life on his own as a freelance designer, and he's posted two updates on what's been happening since his "retirement" from FFG, noting that FFG's CEO Christian Petersen "has since been supportive with both advice and offers of projects for me" and "a number of other game companies started contacting me, either with offers of work or simply to establish lines of communication". As for what you might be able to play with his name on it:
I've already finished two games and moved them into testing. One is a very simple card game I'd like to see in the mainstream/educational market, while the other is a Euro game that I want to place in the German market initially, if I can. It has a short play time and supports a lot of players while still allowing a reasonable amount of strategy, so I'm hopeful it'll do well. These games were a departure for me, but I feel it's important to develop some breadth to my library of designs.
I'm also working on a game that's more like what folks expect from me, which I'll refer to as project Rattler for now. The basic game framework is designed, now all I have to do is write the content and test it. Rattler is in the process of being sold to a company, so that's looking good.
Finally, I've just started work with Eric Lang on two projects I'm referring to as Tweedledee and Tweedledum for now. Although I've been good friends with Eric for years, I've never gotten to work on anything with him before, so these two projects promise to be a treat for me.
• Author Raph Koster is revising his book A Theory of Fun for Game Design for a second edition due out in time for the book's tenth anniversary and is looking for feedback, suggestions and corrections from those who have read the book.
• Derek Thompson at MeepleTown interviews designer Alan R. Moon about designs old, new and renewed. Regarding several prospective titles mentioned from Moon in previous years, he states that the monsters from Ticket to Ride: Japan were published as the Ticket to Ride: Alvin & Dexter expansion (with no plans for Japan itself to be published) and while Jay Tummelson at Rio Grande Games wanted to publish Elfensea, a reworking of his Spiel des Jahres-winning Elfenland, Elfenland's original publisher AMIGO Spiele asked him not to. Says Moon, "I will eventually work on Elfensea again and resubmit it to AMIGO.
• The makers of Cards Against Humanity provide a breakdown of the sales and costs involved in its 2012 Holiday Expansion, including a chart depicting the profit in units of fresh boar sperm – profit that it then donated to a deserving source (presumably in a more traditional form of currency).
• As often happens in media, success begets imitators. U.S. television network NBC has seen the success of Wil Wheaton's TableTop and decided to launch an eight-episode run of Hollywood Game Night, an hour-long show "featuring A-list celebrities hanging out and living it up in a cocktail party atmosphere" based on the actual game nights of actor/producer Sean Hayes, according to an article on TV by the Numbers. What differentiates this show from TableTop, aside from the promised appearance of A-list celebrities? According to the article, "two contestants in each episode will be transported from their everyday lives into a once-in-a-lifetime night of fun and celebration as they step beyond the velvet rope and rub shoulders with the celebrity crowd".
Paul Telegdy, President of Alternative and Late Night Programming for NBC Entertainment is quoted as saying, "Our audience will feel as if they are part of the party as we pull back the curtain on how today's Hollywood stars play at home while our contestants can earn big money." Unless they're sitting on Mexican Chair People while playing, I can't imagine how "today's Hollywood stars" play that differently from us non-stars.