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Subject: Geek of the Week #334 - alfseegert rss

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Alf Seegert
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SimGuy wrote:
CONGRATULATIONS ALF!

I'll join in on the grilling...
Do you play your own games?
If Yes:
1 Are they as satisfying as those of others?
2 Does knowing them so intimately make them less enjoyable?
3 Which is your favorite to play?
If No:
1 Why not?

How do YOU know when a game you are designing is DONE?

What is the mechanic that you are most proud of?

Enjoy you week!


Wow, detailed questions, SimGuy. I hope I'm up for the challenge!

Do you play your own games?

Oh yes, a lot. But mostly when they are in development. Once published, I'm ready to let a design go. I haven't played Bridge Troll in two years. I did get to play Trollhalla and The Road to Canterbury over the holidays and had quite a bit of fun with friends.

1 Are they as satisfying as those of others?

It depends on the stage of the design. When playtesting, it's impossible to simply *play* one's own game. I find myself constantly analyzing meta-issues about pacing, rule clarity, possible glitches to fix, etc. That being said, once actually published, I do take quite a bit of delight in playing my own games, though mostly just as a couple.

2 Does knowing them so intimately make them less enjoyable?

Surprisingly, no--not once published. When I can let go of a game's "fixability" I can just play and enjoy.

3 Which is your favorite to play?

Of my own designs, I enjoy Ziggurat (my Hippodice finalist which is as yet unpublished) and Fantastiqa the most. They both have an intensity I really enjoy.

How do YOU know when a game you are designing is DONE?

A game rarely feels DONE. It is instead abandoned when you find yourself finally willing to let it go. (There are endless little tweaks--minimally--one might add to a game's mechanics or presentation.) This fact is one reason why deadlines are so useful when publishing or entering a game into a contest.

What is the mechanic that you are most proud of?

Ooh, tough one. I usually think not in terms of mechanics alone, but the combination of mechanics with theme. When the two are neatly wedded, I consider both successful. So on those lines, I'm especially happy with the way that positional mechanics come into play in Trollhalla when placing Trolls on ships and collecting plunder, the movement of ships based on the location of scouts, and the use of Weather Gods for cards, etc. Everything (to me, at any rate) seems to work really well together to build a self-consistent trollish landscape. I also quite enjoy how Sins and Pardons work off each other in The Road to Canterbury. There's also quite a bit of pleasurable anxiety in choosing which card to redraw--there's so much that you want, and you only get so much....

I have some new and (I hope) unusual theme/mechanic combinations in Fantastiqa that I'm very excited about as well, but I'll hold off on discussing these until the game is officially announced.

Thanks, SimGuy!
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Alf Seegert
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Gelete wrote:
Congrats Alf

a) Have you ever been to Spain or The Netherlands?
b) What game in my collection would you like to have in yours?
c) What game in my collection you dont like?
d) If you could save just three of your games... what games would you keep and why?
e) Brunetes, blondes or redheads (boys or girls, whatever your taste is)?

Happy week as GW


Thank you, Gelete!

a) Have you ever been to Spain or The Netherlands?

Alas, no. I have many board gaming friends in both countries so I would indeed like to visit them! The only place I have been in Europe is Denmark, but I hope to see more before too long!

b) What game in my collection would you like to have in yours?

I have heard many wonderful things about Dominant Species but I haven't played it yet. That would be my pick.

c) What game in my collection you dont like?

Ah, I don't want to answer that. Sure, I have plenty of games I don't enjoy, and some I downright loathe. But I've found game design to be so much work that I don't want to say mean things about a game that doesn't float my own boat. Others probably enjoy it, and who knows how many hundreds or thousands of hours the designer poured into it? (I know that my own games certainly don't appeal to everyone!)

d) If you could save just three of your games... what games would you keep and why?

Tough question! These games would require some serious charm and replayability. I'd definitely want to keep The Princes of Florence, Tigris and Euphrates, and What's My Word. Though if I had ONLY three games, one of them would have to be War of the Ring--because then I'd have the incentive to learn all the rules and play it!

e) Brunetes, blondes or redheads (boys or girls, whatever your taste is)?
What kind of games are you playing?








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greenpawn wrote:
The only problem with the "recipe" that I was taught id that my friend doesn't measure anything. Let's see if I can get this right:

Put milk on the heat (appx. 2 cups)
toss in a big pinch of Darjeeling tea leaves (1-1.5 teaspoons?)
add the masala (green cardamom, peppercorn, clove, cinnamon, sometimes dried ginger if I am feeling frisky)
bring to boil, then strain and add sweetener (agave or granulated sugar).
I really like cardamom, so don't skimp (for me anyway).

I might try replacing half of the milk with water in the future and this "recipe" does tend to form a skin which may or may not be gross depending on your preference. Boiling milk is sketchy.

I'll have to try yours! It sounds great.

Gary


Ah, sounds tasty. Thanks for sharing this Collectible Chai Expansion recipe. I'll definitely try the Darjeeling tea leaves, and yes, ginger is a lovely addition. Yup, I agree that using milk makes quite a mess and it's very hard to clean out of the pot (plus causing the composting problems I mentioned).

Here's my tough question for you, Gary. Have you mastered THIS chai-related skill?

Or this one?

Alas, I have not! whistle
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Alf Seegert
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xTHAWx wrote:
Congratulations! That is the best two truths and lie I've seen thumbsup

Can't wait to find out which one is the lie...


Mwwwwwwaaahahaha..... devil
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ontwaken wrote:
Hi Alf,

Many congratulations on you being "GoTW".
It was nice working with you on the translation of Canterbury.
You see I told you it would be a hit.

I just got 1 question :
If you could teach you son/daughter one lesson in life, what would that be?

Enjoy your wek and looking forward to your next game.

Ben


Thanks so much, Ben!

If you could teach you son/daughter one lesson in life, what would that be?

Ah, a very heavy-duty question! My response would have to be completely hypothetical of course, but I would want them to learn this poem. (I found it recently in Patrick Curry's excellent book Ecological Ethics. Patrick Curry also wrote a wonderful book about the importance of J.R.R. Tolkien's work--esp. ecologically--Defending Middle Earth.)

Birdfoot’s Grampa

Joseph Bruchac

The old man
must have stopped our car
two dozen times to climb out
and gather into his hands
the small toads blinded
by our lights and leaping,
live drops of rain.
The rain was falling,
a mist about his white hair
and I kept saying
you can’t save them all
accept it, get back in
we’ve got places to go.

But, leathery hands full
of wet brown life,
knee deep in the summer
roadside grass,
he just smiled and said
they have places to go
too.




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Alf Seegert
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Leviatham wrote:
Well, many congratulations. It is a very well deserved accolade to be the Geek of the Week and my question would be:

How many times has Bruno wiped the floor with you at The Road to Canterbury?


Thanks, Leviatham. Ah, for a moment I thought you meant Bruno Faidutti! (I wonder what he thinks of the game? He was one of the first Kickstarter backers, which I much appreciated.) Now I realize you mean Bruno the Bear from the GotW intro photo. Well, let's just say that he's got a "poker face" and you're never quite sure what he's thinking or going to do next. His favorite Sin is Gluttony, and, unfortunately, he gets honey all over the cards.

On a more serious note, as you might already have figured out, Bruno the Bear is named after this wild renegade bear here.
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Congratulations from the RPGG side!
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I have played your ziggurat prototype quite some time ago and really liked it. Too bad it hasn't been published yet, I do hope it will soon.
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Narl wrote:
I have played your ziggurat prototype quite some time ago and really liked it. Too bad it hasn't been published yet, I do hope it will soon.


Ah, that is great news to hear. Thank you, Narl!

I have high hopes that Ziggurat's publication will work out before too long--there have been some encouraging developments on that front. (I have also rethemed it to bring it more in line with my other games.)
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Pinky: "Gee Brain what are we gonna do tonight ?" Brain: "The same thing we do everynight Pinky. Try to take over the world !"
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Congratulations !
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Pinky: "Gee Brain what are we gonna do tonight ?" Brain: "The same thing we do everynight Pinky. Try to take over the world !"
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My questions:

d10-0 How did you meet BGG ?

d10-1 What are the qualities of a good player ?

d10-2 What is your favorite ABSTRACT GAME ?

d10-3 Can you describe yourself as a gammer ?

d10-4 Do you have any unfulfilled dream ?

d10-5 Why doesn't McDonald's sell hotdogs ?

d10-6 Why is a square meal served on round plates ?

Enjoy your week.
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Gary Averett
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alfseegert wrote:

Ah, sounds tasty. Thanks for sharing this Collectible Chai Expansion recipe. I'll definitely try the Darjeeling tea leaves, and yes, ginger is a lovely addition. Yup, I agree that using milk makes quite a mess and it's very hard to clean out of the pot (plus causing the composting problems I mentioned).

Here's my tough question for you, Gary. Have you mastered THIS chai-related skill?

Or this one?

Alas, I have not! whistle


I certainly have not, but I am willing to come over to your house to practice!whistle
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Sorry for the delays--it's been a very busy day at work so it will take me a bit to catch up on questions. Big thanks to EndersGame for posting a teaser image (clickable) from the new issue of GAMES Magazine.



I haven't read the actual article yet, but the picture looks familiar somehow.....
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Karlsen wrote:
G'day Alf,

I try to remember to ask each Geek of the Week these gaming related questions, so to start with here's the ever so slightly modified GeekSpeak Hook questions for you:
Favourite game(s) for d10-1 player (optional, many non-wargamers wouldn't have an answer for this)
Favourite game(s) for d10-2 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-3 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-4 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-5 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-6 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-7 or more players (and you may choose a Party Game here although I wouldn't meeple )

Also Word Association Football , I will list a word and you list a game or games that you associate with it. If you like you can expand and tell us if you like it/them or hate it/them and possibly why.

Space ships
Witches
Trains
Transport (may include trains)
Workers (paid or otherwise)
Trading
Building
Pink
Theme
Ships
Money
Purple
Government
Vampires
Infrastructure
Dice
Dinosaurs
Gemstones
Dragons
Beer
Wands

Is there any particular game that you have played recently, new or old, that you would like to recommend to readers of this thread? And optionally, why?

Last but not least, what are the five games that you have played most recently?


Wow! I'll do my best. Thanks, Karlsen!

Favourite game(s) for d10-1 player (optional, many non-wargamers wouldn't have an answer for this)

Onirim

Favourite game(s) for d10-2 players

Caesar & Cleopatra, Odin's Ravens, Mister Jack, Stone Age, What's My Word?, The Road to Canterbury, Mystery Rummy, Roll Through the Ages, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, The Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation, War of the Ring (if only I could remember the rules each time!)

Favourite game(s) for d10-3 players

Tigris & Euphrates (I *only* play this with three), Through the Desert, Trollhalla, Smallworld

Favourite game(s) for d10-4 players

The Settlers of Catan, Castle Panic, The Traders of Genoa, The Princes of Florence, Ra, Mystery of the Abbey, Taj Mahal

Favourite game(s) for d10-5 players

Adel Verpflichtet, Bridge Troll

Favourite game(s) for d10-6 players

Citadels

Favourite game(s) for d10-7 or more players (and you may choose a Party Game here although I wouldn't meeple )

Werewolf, Balderdash

Also Word Association Football , I will list a word and you list a game or games that you associate with it. If you like you can expand and tell us if you like it/them or hate it/them and possibly why.

Space ships: Empires of the Void (can't wait to play Ryan Laukat's new game), and what was that AWESOME game I played as a kid where you release tops (spaceships) that duel it out in a ring against one another?
Witches: Which Witch?, Fantastiqa
Trains: no, I will not say the obvious Ticket to Ride; instead, how about.....Scotland Yard? (do subways count?)
Transport (may include trains): Roads & Boats (which I've never played, but it looks sooooo beautiful that I really want to!)
Workers (paid or otherwise): Stone Age; I hope there isn't actual payment rendered for transactions occurring inside that hut.....
Trading: The Traders of Genoa (my favorite trading game!)
Building: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects (I adore this game and all the amazing pieces; the corruption mechanic is delicious, especially if you are an alligator....)
Pink: Trollhalla(Pink Lady Troll, inspired by Paul Incao's daughters and their campaign for sexual equality among grog-addled sea trolls), The Traders of Genoa (silk, I think?)
Theme: The Road to Canterbury, Bridge Troll, Gloom, Cleopatra and the Society of Architects (all with funny and somewhat darkly edged themes I love)
Ships: Vikings, Trollhalla, Conquest of the Empire
Money: Monopoly(Yikes, did I actually just say that? I haven't played in 25 years and don't plan to play again anytime soon...)
Purple: What's My Word?, Dixit
Government: Puerto Rico, Thurn & Taxis
Vampires: The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Game
Infrastructure: Power Grid, The Heavens of Olympus
Dice: Dark Horse, Carnival, the new game that Steven Poelzing is working on with me
Dinosaurs: Dominant Species
Gemstones: Cavum, Dragonmaster (same brilliant artist who did Dark Tower!)
Dragons: Fantastiqa, Dark Tower, Blue Moon City
Beer: Trollhalla(well, GROG!)
Wands: The Amazing Labyrinth, Fantastiqa

Is there any particular game that you have played recently, new or old, that you would like to recommend to readers of this thread? And optionally, why?

Castle Panic. When I invite students over to play games each semester we always play this first. It's a perfect game for players new to Eurogames, it is an excellent crossover-connection for those who play video games, and it requires players to cooperate and get to know each other. And it's simply fun and intense.

Last but not least, what are the five games that you have played most recently?

Fantastiqa
Gloom (thanks for sharing this one with me, Patrick Whiting!)
What's My Word?
Arcana (thanks for sharing this one, Shane Smith!)
Mage Knight: the Board Game (and this one, Shane!)

I've been so busy either teaching or designing lately that I haven't had much time to play games except for developing my own designs. I earnestly hope that SaltCon will change that next week! I'm esp. looking forward to learning Dark Horse from the designer himself, Don Lloyd, and playing other games new to me! I also want to play Paul Incao's debut design effort, his collaboration with Don on the Dark Horse Outlaw expansion (Paul is a brilliant game analyst and excellent creative developer). Should be fun! I'm also really curious about Pizza Theory and look forward to playing it at the convention. I'm sure I'm forgetting dozens of other new titles.

Thanks for all these questions, Karlsen!
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Alf Seegert
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DanielCG wrote:
My questions:

d10-0 How did you meet BGG ?

d10-1 What are the qualities of a good player ?

d10-2 What is your favorite ABSTRACT GAME ?

d10-3 Can you describe yourself as a gammer ?

d10-4 Do you have any unfulfilled dream ?

d10-5 Why doesn't McDonald's sell hotdogs ?

d10-6 Why is a square meal served on round plates ?

Enjoy your week.



d10-0 How did you meet BGG ?

BGG went online right around the same time I discovered Eurogames and I have associated the two very closely ever since.

d10-1 What are the qualities of a good player ?

Good question! For me, a good player values the interactions and dynamics of a game over simply the desire to crush the opposition. One who can laugh at his own misfortunes in the game. One who shakes hands with the winner and says "Well played" (like Ian Whiting recently did to me in our game of Arcana, which impressed me).

d10-2 What is your favorite ABSTRACT GAME ?

Chess. Though I'm no good at it.

d10-3 Can you describe yourself as a gammer ?

Yes, but not compared to many others I see on BGG! I spend much, much more time designing games than playing existing published games.

d10-4 Do you have any unfulfilled dream ?

Yes, but it's a secret.

d10-5 Why doesn't McDonald's sell hotdogs ?

Because somehow a power of justice and compassion in the cosmos prevents it?

d10-6 Why is a square meal served on round plates ?

Ah, yes: as Geoffrey Rush's character says more than once in Shakespeare in Love, "It's a mystery."

Barry Hughart points out in his epigraph to Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China that Never Was, that in Chinese (not sure if it is Mandarin, Cantonese, or neither) the word "chen" means "To stand still. To gallup at full speed."

Thanks, DanielCG!

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Whoa, I think I am actually caught up on the questions! If I have missed yours somewhow, drop me a note to remind me, OK? This is fun--thanks for joining in the conversation!

My question for you (i.e., anyone inclined to respond): why do board games matter to you? They do matter, hugely, to me. I'm convinced that they have a strange healing power simply by getting us to sit down together and look each other in the eyes and share in a fictional adventure together. I'd be curious about your own reasons why boardgames are important enough to bother not only to play them, but to read about them, contribute to threads like this one....

So many of you have said so many incredibly kind things in this thread. I'm humbled and grateful. blush
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Hello again Alf. Midweek and it looks like you are having a great one.

To answer your question, Board games for me are a time for my family, friends and I to spend quality time together having fun and keeping our minds healthy and active.

With the plethora of games available, you can always find the right one for any mood. Short and easy, long and competitive, little or great conflict.

The value from them is amazing. If I take my family of four to the movies, it is between $40 and $50. For the same price I can buy a great board game (or 3), play for the same amount of time as the movie, and still have the game for as many plays as I want.

Games also scratch the collectors itch for me. My father was a great collector of cool stuff. For me, games are the cool collection that one day I will pass on to my kids. Especially since I am in the process of painting them all.

Great question. Congrats again on your GotW!
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Ah, yes.

You are painting all your games? Do say more!

Thanks, 1nf1n1ty!

1nf1n1ty wrote:
Hello again Alf. Midweek and it looks like you are having a great one.

To answer your question, Board games for me are a time for my family, friends and I to spend quality time together having fun and keeping our minds healthy and active.

With the plethora of games available, you can always find the right one for any mood. Short and easy, long and competitive, little or great conflict.

The value from them is amazing. If I take my family of four to the movies, it is between $40 and $50. For the same price I can buy a great board game (or 3), play for the same amount of time as the movie, and still have the game for as many plays as I want.

Games also scratch the collectors itch for me. My father was a great collector of cool stuff. For me, games are the cool collection that one day I will pass on to my kids. Especially since I am in the process of painting them all.

Great question. Congrats again on your GotW!
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Games for me, maybe not others, gives me a sense of accomplishment; before I started designing games moreso than now. Games bring a family together, or friends together, to talk, to negotiate, to have fun. The one-on-"no-one" situation in video games takes the player out of the world and they don't paticipate with the real world as much as the unreal world; games like Everquest and WoW fall into this category. There is a social environment to the others in the game, but it doesn't feel the same as a good 2 hours of boardgaming. I, personally, will not want my child when he grows up to be playing video games much (unless they designed them theirself). I will instill a desire to be with others, to socialize with real people. I feel the board game scene is also a nice group to hang out with, with a quite diversity to learn from, just being at the same game table as others.

Designing games adds another factor - it is a bit of a "rush" to hear someone talk about your design, forming a strategy, and saying stuff like, "next time I play, I'm going to do this.."

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alfseegert wrote:
Sorry for the delays--it's been a very busy day at work so it will take me a bit to catch up on questions. Big thanks to EndersGame for posting a teaser image (clickable) from the new issue of GAMES Magazine.



I haven't read the actual article yet, but the picture looks familiar somehow.....


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alfseegert wrote:
Ah, yes.

You are painting all your games? Do say more!

Thanks, 1nf1n1ty!

1nf1n1ty wrote:
Hello again Alf. Midweek and it looks like you are having a great one.

To answer your question, Board games for me are a time for my family, friends and I to spend quality time together having fun and keeping our minds healthy and active.

With the plethora of games available, you can always find the right one for any mood. Short and easy, long and competitive, little or great conflict.

The value from them is amazing. If I take my family of four to the movies, it is between $40 and $50. For the same price I can buy a great board game (or 3), play for the same amount of time as the movie, and still have the game for as many plays as I want.

Games also scratch the collectors itch for me. My father was a great collector of cool stuff. For me, games are the cool collection that one day I will pass on to my kids. Especially since I am in the process of painting them all.

Great question. Congrats again on your GotW!


Well, it is a little bit of a quest I am on. I did a lot better job my first year than I have done this one, but am still moving along even if at a slower pace (I have been really focused on BGG, VGG, and RPGG contributions for the past half year.)

My main goal is to get all of my games that have miniatures in them painted. I had first hoped that would take me about 2 years, though it is looking like it will be closer to 3. I also want to work on some other pimping techniques by scouring for files off of the geek to improve the games and doing some work with Fimo.

You can read more about my painting goal here if you are interested: A year in painting. I am pretty happy about how far I have come to this point.

Thanks for asking.
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1nf1n1ty wrote:
alfseegert wrote:
Ah, yes.

You are painting all your games? Do say more!

Thanks, 1nf1n1ty!

1nf1n1ty wrote:
Hello again Alf. Midweek and it looks like you are having a great one.

To answer your question, Board games for me are a time for my family, friends and I to spend quality time together having fun and keeping our minds healthy and active.

With the plethora of games available, you can always find the right one for any mood. Short and easy, long and competitive, little or great conflict.

The value from them is amazing. If I take my family of four to the movies, it is between $40 and $50. For the same price I can buy a great board game (or 3), play for the same amount of time as the movie, and still have the game for as many plays as I want.

Games also scratch the collectors itch for me. My father was a great collector of cool stuff. For me, games are the cool collection that one day I will pass on to my kids. Especially since I am in the process of painting them all.

Great question. Congrats again on your GotW!


Well, it is a little bit of a quest I am on. I did a lot better job my first year than I have done this one, but am still moving along even if at a slower pace (I have been really focused on BGG, VGG, and RPGG contributions for the past half year.)

My main goal is to get all of my games that have miniatures in them painted. I had first hoped that would take me about 2 years, though it is looking like it will be closer to 3. I also want to work on some other pimping techniques by scouring for files off of the geek to improve the games and doing some work with Fimo.

You can read more about my painting goal here if you are interested: A year in painting. I am pretty happy about how far I have come to this point.

Thanks for asking.


Wow. Just wow. These are beautiful painted miniatures! I'm very impressed. The one that especially took my breath away was your painted version of Cleopatra and the Society of Architects (a game very dear to my heart). Fantastic!

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Alf Seegert
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ropearoni4 wrote:
Games for me, maybe not others, gives me a sense of accomplishment; before I started designing games moreso than now. Games bring a family together, or friends together, to talk, to negotiate, to have fun. The one-on-"no-one" situation in video games takes the player out of the world and they don't paticipate with the real world as much as the unreal world; games like Everquest and WoW fall into this category. There is a social environment to the others in the game, but it doesn't feel the same as a good 2 hours of boardgaming. I, personally, will not want my child when he grows up to be playing video games much (unless they designed them theirself). I will instill a desire to be with others, to socialize with real people. I feel the board game scene is also a nice group to hang out with, with a quite diversity to learn from, just being at the same game table as others.

Designing games adds another factor - it is a bit of a "rush" to hear someone talk about your design, forming a strategy, and saying stuff like, "next time I play, I'm going to do this.."


Very cool how closely you connect playing and designing, and the community-building that happens for you through both, Scott.
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Alf Seegert
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Well, it looks like my tenure as Geek of the Week is almost up!

It's been really fun answering questions and exchanging chai recipes. (Didn't anticipate that part.) If you have any more questions, ask while you can!

I'll be very excited to introduce the next GotW either late on Saturday or early Sunday this weekend.

Oh, and of course, later today I will reveal my two truths and a lie about laser shows, Battlestar Galactica coloring contests, and supposed encounters with Richard Simmons and 2/3 of the rock band Rush....
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J Cale
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Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again.
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Congratulations there, fella! thumbsup
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