For the Love of Old – classic games that stand the test of time (Topic Discussion)

I was pleased to see the re-released game Medici from 1995 become so popular in our household. It made me think why a game that's now nearly 30 years old was not only picked up by another publisher, but still has a lot of appeal such a long time later. So in this article, I want to look at classic games and see which ones have stood the test of time.

Designers, Developers, Publishers – from game idea to final product (Topic Discussion)

Having been a part of our hobby now for a number of years, I have had the pleasure and honour to see a number of games go from early prototypes through to final products. I have also had the honour of being a judge and mentor in the Board Game Workshop Design Contest back in 2019 and 2020. So in this article, I thought I would share my experiences with the stages board games go through until they eventually reach hobbyists like you and me.

Designed Styles – pigeonholing board game designers (Topic Discussion)

Based on a suggestion from the wonderful Bez from Stuff by Bez, I want to look at how designers can sometimes be known for specific styles of board games. That can be useful for people looking for certain types of games, but it also means that the designers can end up being pigeonholed, which can have a negative impact on their professional future in our hobby.

Digital analogues – synergies between board and video games (Topic Discussion)

There seems to be quite an overlap between people who love playing board games and those who love playing video games. Many actually enjoy playing both. There also seems to be a growing overlap between the hobby and video game industries themselves. So in this article, I want to look at what synergies there might be between the two and how both can benefit from each other.

Change of interest (Topic Discussion)

Let's face it. The pandemic has made a huge impact on the world overall, including, of course, board games, which is what I want to focus on in this article. Without being able to meet in person, many of us have changed how we play games, while others have stopped playing board games altogether and turned to other forms of entertainment. All of that has directly impacted the design and development of new games and I want to try and evaluate what that impact is. (This topic was inspired by the always wonderful Bez.)

Glowing designs (Topic Discussion)

Making a new game is a very long process that can take anything from a few months to many years. It usually starts with a spark of an idea, that slowly glows in the mind of a designer, getting bigger over time until eventually becoming a flame that burns for many months before finally lighting the fire. However, a new game can also come in a flash of inspiration that rapidly spreads and lights up every synapse and brain cell, forcing itself into life. I want to look at these initial, sometimes laborious, steps of game design to find out how designers feed our appetite for new games.

The Game Designers (Saturday Review)

We all love to play board games. We each have our favourite genres, themes and mechanisms, and ultimately our favourite games. Over time our favourites change of course, as new games come out and we get a chance to play them. Yet, when we play a board game, we don't usually think about how this game came into being in the first place. Chances are we know the designer of the game. In fact, we might have chosen the game because we like other games by the same designer. Yet, very few will have any inkling of the hard work the designer has put into taking a spark of an idea and turning it into a working game. In the film The Games Designers written and directed by Eric Rayl, Mike Selinker phrases it really well: "Board game design is hard, like, I mean, real hard." 

Design challenges (Topic Discussion)

The list of tasks a game designer has open at any one point in time can be very long and it is constantly evolving. Designing a game is a long journey, even for the simplest of games. It can be a battle between what's good for the game and what the game designer wants the game to be. It comes with a lot of changes, some of them very painful, some of them creating the long-needed breakthrough that breaks an impasse. Elements get added, others get taken out until eventually, the final product bears little resemblance to the notes that were scribbled on a piece of paper when the designer had an initial idea.