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Subject: Geek of the Week #334 - alfseegert rss

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Hobbit DM
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I present you the next Geek of the Week, a nice and generous guy and a cool game designer whom I happened to befriend here on the geek - Alf Seegert! We met over this geeklist It's good to be bad! Games where you play the "right side", and the random chat grew into a very pleasant friendship. Congratulations Alf! Enjoy your week!

Alf Seegert
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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So here he is:

alfseegert wrote:

First, I want to say just how grateful and honored I am to be chosen as BGG’s Geek of the Week! I have had the pleasure of interacting with Nadgamgee through BGG quite a bit over the past year and I am delighted that Nad would choose me as successor! Nad has the happiest avatar I have ever seen on BGG and is a bright light in my day, a true asset to BGG. I always find myself smiling after reading Nad’s postings, especially funny Geeklists like the Hobbit Birthday Virtual Mathom Giveway. Thank you, Nadgamgee!

As you might guess, I am indeed a Board Game Geek. Boardgames have brought fascination--and consolation--to me from a very early age. Candyland, as I recall, rocked my early 1970s post-toddler Head Start world with fierce abandon. I also recall that my neck-hairs would stand on end when playing Which Witch? and Mousetrap because of how they combined suspense, strange pieces, and risky (or violent!) consequences. (Considering that I was four, at a foster home at the time, and the host family's own twelve-year-old had "smother the foster kid with a pillow" as his own favorite game, such examples of chaotic, upsetting consequences for no good reason in such luck-based board games surely provided valuable life lessons. My mother was recovering from a surgery at the time.)

During the horrors of early 1980s junior high school, fantasy role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and Tunnels & Trolls were a safe-haven for me (my friends, thankfully, were fantastic DMs capable of conjuring worlds far preferable to the actual one I found myself in at the time). I became enthralled by Milton Bradley's electronic board game Dark Tower and in ninth grade I programmed a version of it into the high school mainframe computer (I used little monochrome ASCII characters to represent each player, the Tombs, Ruins, the Bazaar, etc.). It worked surprisingly well, and I think that the pleasure I found in "reverse-engineering" Dark Tower for the computer anticipated much of my love for games to come, as well as my wanting to make games of my own.

Except for an occasional session of the fantasy game Talisman--which I mostly played to enjoy an "rpg-lite"--I actually didn't play many more boardgames again until around the year 2000. I was spending a lot of time all by myself playing computer games--and my girlfriend (now my wife) wanted me to play games with her instead. We did some research and stumbled on The Settlers of Catan, which proved a potent gateway drug into the brave new world (well, new to us) of Eurogames. Once we introduced Catan to our friends, Saturday nights quickly became a regular and much-anticipated "game night" event, which has continued now for over ten years. (Though, alas, with much less regularity. I loathe this thing called "growing up" and resist it to my best ability.)

Playing such engaging Eurogames eventually inspired me to start designing games of my own. I've been designing games since 2001, and over the years five of my designs (The Vapors of Delphi, Ziggurat, Bridge Troll, Mont Saint Michel, and TEMBO) have become end-round finalists at the annual Hippodice board game design competition in Bochum, Germany. (I actually have a title that I entered into this year’s competition as well.) More recently, three of my designs (two of them former finalists at Hippodice) have been published: Bridge Troll, Trollhalla, and The Road to Canterbury.

I just signed a contract for my newest game, FANTASTIQA, which will be published by Gryphon Games later this year. I can’t reveal too many details yet, but I will say that if the recent movie Hugo is a love letter to cinema, FANTASTIQA is a love song to everything I adore about fantastic landscapes and Euro-style game mechanics. I’m more proud of it than anything else I’ve designed so far. Please look out for a Kickstarter promotion this summer!

I will shut up now and leave room for questions. If you want to know more about me, please check out my newly revised website (the old version looked like it was designed by a drunk 12-year old in 1995, so the overhaul is a good thing). My new site has information about my games, my job (I am a Professor of English at the University of Utah), the Board Game Designers Guild of Utah (http://bgdg.info), and the songs I write (including one about The Hobbit).

If you're interested, please visit my website at http://www.alfseegert.com

I should also mention that I'm very excited for the SaltCon game convention, coming up very soon (February 17-18) in Salt Lake City! http://www.saltcon.com

I am hugely grateful for all that BGG has brought to my life. Some of the most "present" people in my life are BGGers I have never met in the flesh. I appreciate this opportunity to share a bit about myself with the BGG community--thank you!

Oh, and here is a picture of me playing The Road to Canterbury with my friend Bruno the Bear.






Alf's Two truths and a lie:


Poll
Which is a lie?
1. In the 1990s alfseegert worked at Hansen Planetarium as a Lecturer in the Star Theater. He was able to whirl the projected stars around the dome at dizzying speeds--to the delight of often-inebriated fans of late-night Pink Floyd and Barry Manilow laser shows. If somebody in the audience got too dizzy and threw up, they’d reach into the science closet for resources, pour freezing liquid nitrogen on the mess, and then scrape up the icy horror into a trash bin. It was a surprisingly tidy and oddly satisfying sci-fi solution.
2. As a child in 1979 alfseegert won the Battlestar Galactica Coloring Contest for all of Salt Lake City, attaining special recognition for "shiniest Cylons."
3. In an attempt to meet the members of the rock band Rush in the early 1990s when their tour brought them to Salt Lake, alfseegert naively waited outside a likely hotel hoping they would "just happen" to arrive. Instead, a limo pulled up and out stepped...Richard Simmons. He didn’t seem pleased to see alfseegert. And then Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush showed up and alfseegert got their autographs. Nice guys.
      158 answers
Poll created by nadgamgee


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Hobbit DM
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I'll start off with a few questions to get it going:

d10-1 How did you first come across BGG?

d10-2 What is your favorite board game mechanic?

d10-3 Favoured RPG system?

d10-4 How did you meet Tash?

d10-5 Are you of Germanic descent? (judging by your surname)
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Bishop of East Anglia
New Zealand
Christchurch
i actually live in Wellington
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I'm, I'm afraid there's been a mistake. The man who has been speaking to you is an impostor. He is not in fact the Bishop of East Anglia, but a man wanted by the police. I am the Bishop of East Anglia and anyone who doesn't believe me can look me up
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Golden Camel !!!
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Congratulations Alf. I've been enjoying The Road to Canterbury- the more I play, the more 'Euro' I realise the game is.
After a few plays and looking at your name I assumed you were German so was surprised when you posted answers to questions and i saw you're from the USA. It's a bloody good game and I love that it's 2 and 3 player. There's not enough of these.


Questions!

trash What is your relationship to Chaucer's masterwork? How did you decide this would be a great theme?
What ideas did you start with that you wished you could have used but just didn't fit how the game was going?

trash If you had to play a game of Clue with 4 people, alive, dead, real, fictional who would they be and why???

trash If we could all be in an RPG right now what would the setting be?

trash Dr K said 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' does that mean to you
a) maximise every move
b) live in the moment and concentrate
c) have a good time

trash what is your favourite forum or place on the Geek?

trash What game do you wish you'd invented?

trash what board game would you recommend everyone own or play?



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Mr. Green
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Ft. Collins
Colorado
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Congratulations! Love Canterbury!
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☆ ✧ ☆ ✧ ☆
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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Congratulations Alf!

1) Truth or beauty?
2) Speed or precision?
3) Justice or mercy?
4) Steadfast or flexible?
5) Cynicism or naivete?
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Troy
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This overtext is far more interesting than I am.
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One die to rule them all.
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Congratulations Alf!

Some questions for you:

d10-1 What are your favorite RPG, Board Games and Video games?

d10-2 What is your favorite part of the site?

d10-3 What is your favorite contribution that you have made here?

d10-4 Do you have any gaming related goals (other than your board game creation) that you would like to share?

Have a great week!
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Paul Bradley
Australia
Belconnen
ACT
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Congratulations, Alf. Love Road to Canterbury, so does my daughter. Everyone I show it to is blown away by the quality and artwork.

I'm looking forward to FANTASTIQA - really impressed by Gryphon games of late.
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Chris B
Canada
Victoria
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Congratulations! Enjoy your week!
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Ludovic Roy
Canada
Gatineau
Québec
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27 World Series titles and counting!
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Congrats Alf!

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Jonathan Tullsen
United States
Tigard
Oregon
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The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet.
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Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.
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Congratulations alf!
-What is your favorite game of the ones you have created?
-What is your favorite game?
-What is your favorite RPG?
-What is your favorite Video Game?
Have a great week!
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Paul Brillantes
United States
Livermore
California
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One last tour here on the Death Star and I can retire. What was that noise?!
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Congratulations Alf. Keep on creating!
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Andrea Cohen
Argentina
Bahia Blanca
Buenos Aires
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Congratz Alf! Enjoy your week

A small question: which color do you like playing with?
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Alf Seegert
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Whoa, what a wonderful tide of welcomings! Thank you all so much! I thought that my GotW status wouldn't kick in until Sunday, but here it is. I'm afraid I'll need to get a good night's rest before responding to so many good questions, so I'll look forward to getting to these first thing in the morning!
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Matthew S. Morrison
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Congrats Alf,

You are the first GOtW that I can say that I have actually met.

Cheers,
Scott
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Bob
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"Wash, we got some local color happening. A grand entrance would not go amiss."
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CONGRATULATIONSblankALF

Enjoy your week in the spotlight!

Questions:

d10-1 What is your least favorite game mechanic and why?
d10-2 What game are you most looking forward to in 2012?
d10-3 Are you interested in the upcoming Hobbit movie and why/why not?
d10-4 Gimli vs. Legolis who wins in a fight?
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Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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Congrats Alf!

1. I see you don't have a Top 10 on your BGG profile. What would your personal Top 10 be?

2. Given your "villain trilogy" - what is your favorite "play the villain" game that you haven't designed?

3. If you could do another literary-inspired board game, guaranteed publication, cost is no object: what would it be?
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Bill Paradise
United States
Glassboro
New Jersey
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Super hoopy congrats Alf. Hope you have a fun filled week.




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Mycroft Stout
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Trolls!



Congrats Alf! Glad to have you as a Professor at the U of U!
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Nick R
United Kingdom
Havant
Hampshire
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So long and thanks for all the fish
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Congratulations Alf, enjoy your week.

Regards

Gnome
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Raimond
Sweden
Göteborg
Västra Götalands län
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Northern Lights
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Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. (Carl Sagan 1934-1996)
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Alf!

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Sarge in charge!
Germany
Bremen
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Ash nazg durbatulûk
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Why should I fret in microcosmic bonds / That chafe the spirit, and the mind repress / When through the clouds gleam beckoning beyonds / Whose shining vistas mock man's littleness?
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Yay - it's the cuddly alien from Melmac!

Congratulations, ALF! Have a super hoopy week!


goldencamelSo, as a designer, how do you start when you have an idea about a new boardgame? Is it the mechanics first, or the theme, or things you'd like to see in that game and then try to find suitable mechanics for that?

goldencamelTwo of your published games feature Trolls - because everyone loves trolls, deep in their hearts, right?

goldencamelIf you could design any game of your choice, without worrying about money - what would you choose?

goldencamelHow large is your usual gaming group when you meet?

goldencamelYou realyl like Salt.Con - but have you also been to Essen? Or Europe? And while we're on it: how far have you travelled for gaming? Are there any places you'd like to see one day?
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Jakob Bavnshøj
Denmark
Brøndum
DK-9500 Hobro
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Visit us at www.osterskov.dk
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Congrats Alf,

1 On your homepage you write that you teach boardgames. Can you tell me more?
2 How many hours do you use per day on BGG?
3 Why is there a dog in your avatar?
4 Best vacation you have had?
5 Favorite book?
6 Do you have pets?

Have a great week!
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Craig Somerton
Australia
North Ryde - Sydney
NSW
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The Turtle Moves.
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Congrats Alf. Enjoy your week of fame, fortune and glory.

Just one quick question from me.

What spurred the change of theme from Trolls to Chaucer?

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Rasmus H
Denmark
Aarhus N
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Nice, GZ Alf! Looking forward getting to know ya a bit better...
/hug
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Heath Johnson
United States
Mount Sterling
Ohio
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Is that the dude from modern family? Congrats!
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