GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!

8,199 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
20 Days Left

Support:

The Franz-Benno Delonge Approach
upandawaygames.com
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
I recently realized that while I wasn't noticing, a rather unique oeuvre from inventor Franz-Benno Delonge is slowly taking shape.

Two important words come to mind in describing his games: theme and nobility.

When Settlers of Catan appeared, it was quite a hit and remains so today. Why? One of many reasons is that it has simple mechanics, but also a theme that's so internally consistent that the game is very easily comprehended. Sadly few subsequent games have achieved this rare combination. But in the work of this inventor we can see someone working in the same vein.

To talk about nobility it helps to suggest a new definition for the term "family game". Usually it seems to mean "something only good for the kids to play". But I would like to refine this a bit and suggest it means something more, i.e. a game simultaneously enjoyable both by children and adults because both levels find it interesting, challenging and yet winnable. This seems to be a feature of all of this inventor's games. (Some other games, mostly of yesteryear, that seemed to have this quality were Midnight Party, Viva Pamplona, The Great Balloon Race, etc., but also Carcassonne.)

Of course such games should get bigger audiences than more complex ones like, say, Java, so why is there anything "noble" about making such a game? Simply because it is just this type of game in which children, parents and grandparents can all play together, which creates the most gaming fans, even more so than games which can be enjoyed only by children. It's my guess that just about every enthusiast using this database ultimately got started on the road here by being able in youth to play just such games. Thus games of this nature are not simply products, but creators of the game players of the future.

I haven't found out all that much about Dr. Delonge except that he seems to have been born in 1957, a good year for game inventors that he shares with Reiner Knizia and Michael Kiesling, and that he works as a bank director, but with the success of TransAmerica he may well have retired to invent full-time by now for all I know.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Big City [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:936]
upandawaygames.com
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
1999 by Goldsieber

The first published game is a good example. The system is simple yet thematic and can be played quite competitively (e.g. monopolizing districts, timing moves) if desired. How to play competitively was a little bit opaque so perhaps it tilted a bit toward younger players. But the final state of the rules may lie at the door of the publisher. After all, optional rules are included, often a sign of disagreement within the team, especially for a first-time designer. On the other hand it certainly benefited from a lavish Goldsieber production.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:873]
upandawaygames.com
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
2001 by Winsome Games and later Winning Moves Deutschland

This one is even simpler and probably the inventor's best to date. It's easy for children to simply link up their cities while for adults there is a great opportunity to exercise their strategic intuition as they attempt to fathom what others are up to and how close they are to finishing. Playing the game one can kind of see some of the ways that historical railroads may have linked up. Many a morning I play a quick on-line game of this upon waking up to get the brain working.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Hellas [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:2190]
upandawaygames.com
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
2002 by Kosmos

A two-player game of an expanding map and back-and-forth territorial domination among the Ancient Greeks. Simple and thematic, although objectionable to some since the reference is to war. This shows the inventor cares about his themes and would rather not change them even if the game might otherwise achieve higher sales.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Zahltag [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:9747]
upandawaygames.com
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
2002 by Ravensburger

This one I don't know, but feel I should be on the lookout for it. It seems to have found the least favor of all of them to date.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Dos Rios [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1944]
upandawaygames.com
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
2004 by Kosmos

Too new for me to have seen it, this game of expansion around a river including river alterations and presumably flooding could well be the best yet. The topic is entirely new and set in South America, an area rarely visited by games. It would be really great if games like this, which encompass the topic of slavery, would also take the time to somewhere in their materials address the matter in order to educate and inform.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.