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Gamegenic Signs Partnership with BoardGameGeek

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From gallery of W Eric Martin
Since the following deal involves BoardGameGeek itself and I stay out of such activities, I'll let this press release stand on its own:
Quote:
Gamegenic is proud to announce a new cooperation with BoardGameGeek. BGG and Gamegenic have partnered up to show the community suitable sleeve sizes and optimal gaming accessories for games played on the popular YouTube video series "GameNight!".

BoardGameGeek is one of the biggest online platforms for board games with an immense reach. Through their award-winning website, BGG has established a versed community of avid gamers. Thus, this partnership will introduce a large group of board game fans to Gamegenic products.

BoardGameGeek will from now on give their community an impression of Gamegenic's gaming accessories. Their weekly video series "GameNight!" will show how the gaming experience can be enhanced by useful accessories that also provide protection to extend the lifetime of games. On the show, BGG will present the advantages gained through optimally sized sleeves or the use of gaming boxes, providing valuable information and orientation for gamers.

Lincoln Damerst, Director of Media at BoardGameGeek, announces: "Gamegenic is truly innovating the gaming experience. The GameNight! team is excited to feature Gamegenic sleeves and accessories and that we will be able to be a source of information to our audience to help them protect and enhance their games."

Adrian Alonso, Head of Gamegenic, says: "We are very excited about this partnership. As huge fans of GameNight! ourselves, we truly believe that gamers will benefit from the coverage, usage, and recommendations of our products. BGG and Gamegenic share the philosophy of enriching gaming experiences and therefore we see a great perfect fit."

The first show is planned for July 07, 2022 and will be a special "GameNight!" episode to introduce this new partnership.
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Fri Jul 1, 2022 9:00 pm
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Ghost Galaxy Acquires KeyForge from Asmodee

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Board Game: KeyForge: Call of the Archons
In September 2021, Fantasy Flight Games announced that new releases of Richard Garfield's game KeyForge — in particular, KeyForge: Winds of Exchange, the sixth set in the line, which was already developed and ready for production — would be on hold until future notice because "the deckbuilding algorithm for KeyForge is broken and needs to be rebuilt from the ground up".

One of the hooks for KeyForge is that in this two-player game, each player has their own deck of cards, with this deck containing cards from three factions within the larger game world, and this particular combination of cards is unique, with the deck having a unique, computer-generated name and image on the back of each card to ensure its one-of-a-kind nature. If you can't create new decks, then you can't publish the game.

Turns out that Asmodee, FFG's parent company, found a savior for KeyForge by returning to the source. As noted in this article on KeyForging.com, "Concerned for KeyForge and its players, Asmodee approached Ghost Galaxy in late '21 about acquiring the IP and game."

Who?

From gallery of W Eric Martin
Ghost Galaxy is a brand owned by Strange Stars, with Strange Stars being a venture capital company that has Christian T. Petersen as its principal investor and managing partner, Petersen having been the founder of Fantasy Flight Games.

In 2016, Petersen was President of Asmodee North America, which had purchased FFG in 2014, and that year (as explained here) he took a meeting with Richard Garfield, who pitched the concept of a head-to-head game in which each player would have a unique collation of cards in the deck they would use during the game. Petersen signed that game, and FFG developed it into KeyForge, the first set of which saw print a few months prior to Petersen's retirement from ANA.

From gallery of W Eric Martin
In 2019, Petersen founded Strange Stars, with Ghost Galaxy being one of its brands and being described as follows on the SS website, which apparently hasn't been updated in a while:
Quote:
Ghost Galaxy aims to be a premiere publisher of tabletop games specializing in gameplay with digital augmentation. The world of mobile and optical technology is rapidly advancing, and we believe there are amazing experiences where physical products and technology meet. The team behind Ghost Galaxy includes some of the early staff behind Fantasy Flight Games, as well as the software engineers and digital developers of innovative digital/physical tabletop games such as Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Road to Legend), Imperial Assault (Heroes of the Resistance), XCOM: The Board Game, Mansions of Madness (2nd Edition), and The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth.

Work is currently taking place on core technologies and product development. Ghost Galaxy expects to have products to market in early 2021.
To quote more from the KeyForging.com article:
Quote:
Ghost Galaxy had been quietly working on its own software suite that would power the next generation of procedurally-generated card games, but it was not ready, and a mature game like KeyForge was not what we had in mind for its first voyage. Also, we were not sure what the long release delay had done to the KeyForge playerbase. Was this complex and ambitious game viable for continued publishing?

Yet, we could not help to be impressed by the continued strong fan-support for the game, and by the wonderful product development that FFG has already undertaken for unreleased KeyForge products, such as the Winds of Exchange set. That is not to speak of the gobsmacking 2.7 Million registered KeyForge decks! Ultimately, we decided it was worth taking the chance.
In June 2022, Ghost Galaxy acquired the KeyForge IP and card game rights from Asmodee. Here's an excerpt from the press release announcing the deal:
Quote:
"Ghost Galaxy loves KeyForge!" said Petersen. "Given that we have already been working on a next generation software engine for creating procedurally generated card games, KeyForge is a perfect fit". The company intends to have news for KeyForge fans within a few weeks regarding its future plans for the game.

"We're thrilled to place KeyForge into the caring hands of Ghost Galaxy," said Chris Gerber, Head of Studio at Fantasy Flight Games." This is a game that requires substantial dedication to the underlying technology, which is in their DNA. There is a wonderful community of KeyForge players that are in very good hands."
The KeyForging.com article summarizes some of the issues Ghost Galaxy must work out, starting with the need to rebuild the logic and rendering modules required to create KeyForge decks, and continuing on through a rebuilding of the organized play system, a commercial release plan to reboot the line given that the most recent set — KeyForge: Dark Tidings — was released in May 2021, the transfer of deck registration and player accounts from Asmodee to Ghost Galaxy, and the question of how many languages KeyForge will survive in beyond English.

From gallery of W Eric Martin
The winds will still blow some day...
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Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:49 am
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Zauberberg Wins 2022 Kinderspiel des Jahres

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Board Game: Magic Mountain
Board Game: Magic Mountain
Zauberberg from designers Jens-Peter Schliemann and Bernhard Weber and publisher AMIGO has won the 2022 Kinderspiel des Jahres, Germany's children's game of the year, beating out Auch schon clever and Mit Quacks & Co. nach Quedlinburg, two titles from Wolfgang Warsch and Schmidt Spiele.

Here's an overview of this design, which was released in the U.S. under the name Magic Mountain:
Quote:
In Magic Mountain, you want to move the sorcerers' apprentices down the mountain ahead of the witches — but you don't always know how the will-o'-the-wisps will make the figures move.

To set up, place supports on the game board to elevate the starting area, then place six sorcerers' apprentices in the back row — the highest row on the game board — and four witches on their designated starting spaces. Add the five colored will-o'-the-wisp marbles to the bag.

From gallery of W Eric Martin
Magic Mountain mid-game at BGG.Spring 2022;
only the purple wisp is still in the bag to be played

On a turn, draw a will-o'-the-wisp, then place it at the top of one of the six starting channels and let it go. If the will-o'-the-wisp hits a figure, the ball will stop. Pick up this figure and move it to the next open colored space on the winding path that matches the color of the will-o'-the-wisp. If you're moving a sorcerers' apprentice, you might want to do it quickly because if the will-o'-the-wisp hits that same figure, you can move it once again! Don't rush moving the witches, though, since you want them to move as little as possible. If a will-o'-the-wisp doesn't hit any figures, then you must move a witch of your choice to the next matching colored space. Once all five will-o'-the-wisps have been drawn, return them to the bag and start again.

If you manage to move four sorcerers' apprentices to the bottom of the mountain before three witches get there, you win! You can adjust the difficulty of the game by requiring more sorcerers' apprentices or fewer witches or both. Alternatively, you can play the game competitively, with each player or team trying to get their group of four figures down the mountain first.
For a full rules explanation and playthrough of the game, check out this GameNight! video from BGG:

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Mon Jun 20, 2022 1:47 pm
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Designer Maureen Hiron Has Passed Away

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Board Game Designer: Maureen Hiron
Game designer Maureen Hiron has passed away at age 80.

Hiron started designing games in 1982 when the idea for Continuo came to her "in about two seconds", as she told Deej Johnson in a 2019 interview in Mojo Nation:
Quote:
I invented the thing in about two seconds. It just came to me. I spent the next two hours cutting up cornflake packets and making the squares, filling them in with colours. My husband and I formed a company the next day. Continuo went into shops on September 1st; six weeks later it was the UK's bestselling game. By Christmas, we'd sold 205,000 sets in the UK — today, it's in over fifty countries; it's now sold six million sets, which ain't bad. That includes its offspring. It's not quite so popular at the moment; it just seems to have slid downstairs at the moment. Don't worry, it'll come back; in fact so much so that I've just licensed two games to South Korea — and those two are Continuo and Duo.
I'll note that Continuo has only 968 owners listed in the BGG database, and fewer than 200 owners for Continuo spin-off titles Hexago Continuo, Rhombo Continuo, and Triangulo Continuo, which represent at most .019% of copies sold.

I think it's fair to say, though, that the average BGG user was not Hiron's customer. She designed games for the larger world of gamers, with rules that could be explained in less than a minute, and she was highly successful in that regard.

Board Game: Continuo
Board Game: 7 Ate 9
Board Game: Grabolo
Board Game: Cosmic Cows

Over her career, Hiron published more than sixty games, but prior to her game design career, she was a world-class bridge player, with the English Bridge Union noting its obituary for her that she "was on the winning England team in both the 1974 and 1975 Lady Milne Trophy and represented Great Britain in the European Championships of 1974". Maureen had married Alan Hiron, another world-class bridge player, in 1983, and after he passed in 1999, Maureen Hiron took over as bridge correspondent for "The Independent" and "The Irish Independent", writing six articles a week.

In 2021, Hiron was inducted into The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame along with Uwe Rosenberg and Bruno Cathala, and she posted this video of her life and career:


In an obituary for Hiron, designer Tony Boydell describes Hiron as "undeniably, an outstanding — if eccentric — force within the Industry; exasperating (the conversation was usually pretty one-sided) and admirable in equal measure." For several years at SPIEL, BGG would close its livestream by having Hiron on as a guest, and as Boydell notes, the livestream pretty much became the Maureen Hiron spotlight hour at that point, which I found endearing because she knew exactly who she was and what she wanted and she had great stories to tell, such as her musical collaborations with Sheyla Bonnick of Boney M.

Here are videos of her appearances at SPIEL '15 and SPIEL '18, which I believe was the last time we got to host her:


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Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:00 am
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Links: Thoughts on Trick-Taking, Board Game Manufacturing, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

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Board Game: Ghosts of Christmas
Board Game: LetterTricks
I let a lot of things pile up throughout 2021, including links to game-related articles that may or may not still be of interest more than a half year later. Let me dig through the slush pile to see what holds up:

• In December 2021, Chris Wray of Opinionated Gamers wrote about "Trick-taking in 2021: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of My Favorite Mechanic", with the title and hook for the article being inspired by Taiki Shinzawa's trick-taking game Ghosts of Christmas. In that title, you play cards to three tricks at a time, but the tricks are resolved only once all the cards have been played, so you won't know who's leading the trick farthest in the future — and therefore which suit is being led — until the previous trick is resolved.

Wray started The Trick-Taking Guild here on BGG in 2018, with members voting on an annual "Golden Trickster" award, and to carry out his predictions of designers doing tiny print-runs similar to what happens at Game Market in Japan, Wray has made his trick-taking word game LetterTricks available on The Game Crafter. Wray also has an area-majority, trick-taking game coming called February in which players attempt to win tricks to schedule events on a calendar.

Board Game: Zimbabweee Trick
• Speaking of Taiki Shinzawa, in December 2021 Hilko Drude detailed a few games from this designer in an article (in German) titled "Taiki Shinzawa – der Meister der Stichspiele" (The Master of Trick-Taking). Shinzawa's specialty seems to be putting a wild twist on trick-taking, such as in 2014's Dois in which numbers and suits are on separate cards, with you playing only one card on a turn, thereby leaving the other half of your "card" untouched, and 2019's Zimbabweee Trick, in which your cards stack from one trick to another, giving you larger and larger numbers to compare when determining who wins a trick.

From gallery of W Eric Martin
• If you are a board game publisher or are thinking about publishing a design of your own, you might want to check out BoardGameManufacturers.info, a site run by Nations co-designer Rustan Håkansson that invites people to submit comments based on their interaction with manufacturers such as Whatz Games, Panda Game Manufacturing, and LongPack Games, the company with the most positive comments as of this writing.

Håkansson verifies the authenticity of the person submitting the comment, but comments are posted without attribution, other than a simple description of the project, e.g., "2020: 20 000 printed".

Board Game: Cosmic Battle Training CBT Card Game
Jon Cox — no, not the one from JonGetsGames — is a clinical psychologist at Brigham Young University (BYU), and he designed the two-player card game Cosmic Battle Training CBT Card Game as a therapy support tool for youth. The cards depict offensive and defensive moves to help a player win the game, and at the bottom of each card is a therapeutic principle from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that the card represents.

Here's an excerpt from a BYU profile:
Quote:
Cox developed a new card game for youth to help them develop an awareness of their thoughts and emotions while teaching them skills to combat common mental health symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. The game, Cosmic Battle Training, is designed to be fun and easy to play.

"The idea is that this game can help youth learn concepts to help them deal with their emotions and their thoughts better," said Cox, who works in BYU's Counseling and Psychological Services. "Ultimately, the game is meant to help improve coping skills and self-resilience in children and teens."
Board Game: Ghost Adventure
• Designer Wlad Watine won the innoSPIEL 2021 at SPIEL '21 for most innovative game design for Ghost Adventure, a co-operative game for 1-4 players from his own Buzzy Games in which you move along a game board and complete tasks by spinning a top on a board, then manipulating the board to move the top down paths, jump into special locations, and transfer it onto a new board while it's still spinning.

Previous winners of the innoSPIEL award include Root in 2020 and Magic Maze in 2017.

We recorded Watine demonstrating his game during the FIJ game fair in Cannes in 2019 when the design bore the preliminary title "SpinLander":

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Sat Jun 4, 2022 1:00 pm
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Links: Limitations in Game Manufacturing, Reconciliation in Game Design, and A Song about Eurogames

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From gallery of W Eric Martin
• In mid-May 2022, IndigiNews published an article by Atum Beckett that highlights increased attention on colonialist themes in board games and how some creators are trying to create something different, such as language teacher and artist James Corbiere, who created the game The Truth in Truth and Reconciliation, which he has featured at multiple art shows in Canada. Here's an excerpt from the article:
Quote:
The board game, emblazoned with Corbiere's signature vivid art style, teaches its players about Canada's colonial history.

Players in The Truth in Truth and Reconciliation are assigned various roles: the Indigenous, the Crown and the Church. Those who are Indigenous must try to survive long enough to carry on their traditions without running out of the four "currencies": culture, identity, language and land. If they don't manage to lap the board four times, they go extinct.

But not all roles are created equal. The Crown and the Church players can leave the "Rez" at the centre of the board at any time, while the Indigenous players must roll certain numbers in order to leave. "Truth and Consequence" cards are played throughout the game, which usually involve the Indigenous players losing different forms of their currency.
• Are you up-to-date on game releases? If not, Jeff Kornberg of The Dragon's Tomb has you covered with this overview of "Top 10 Board Games of 2022":


From gallery of W Eric Martin
• In a BGG thread, Frank Jaeger from game manufacturer LUDO FACT talks about differences in manufacturing in different countries, while advocating for an approach to long-term thinking regarding what is being produced. One example, with a few corrections by me:
Quote:
UV varnish: no problem [producing this] in Europe. But: I always try to avoid it and convince my customers not to. UV varnish is a polymer, a plastic. It means that the item is impossible to recycle. Yes, I know, games are not meant to be recycled. But they will eventually. So it costs extra to pollute the environment and offers nothing but some shine (which is almost impossible to see if the game is shrink wrapped).
And a longer excerpt from another Jaeger comment, with paragraph breaks added:
Quote:
A publisher has to do everything he can to increase his sales and his profit. But I hope that there will be a certain change in everybody's mindset towards a more sustainable manufacturing and demands for higher social standards to combat the inequalities of the world. It will not come by itself and without effort, but the ones who wield the power are the consumers.

I absolutely agree that consumers have to rethink first. I am a gamer myself, but I have stopped backing games in Kickstarter that are produced in China. I will miss out on some games I would have purchased, but that is a conscious decision. I would be happy to pay more for a "local production", local being either in the US or Europe because these are the two locations where 90% of the games will be shipped to. By that we at least avoid the 40% or 50% that goes to one of the two continents to be needlessly shipped across one of the oceans. I am also not buying add ons like metal coins as I have more than enough coins of any kind and when we game we usually use Iron Clays anyway or miniatures since I really do not need the 56th orc.

I like printed meeples, but knowing that the price for a printed meeple compared to an unprinted one can increase by 200% or more, I am quite happy with unprinted. Or one colour printed ones instead of heat transfer which is done by printing on a plastic foil which is then applied to the item with heat - I don't want plastic where it is not absolutely necessary, and that is certainly not essential.
Board Game Publisher: Weird Giraffe Games
• Should you be a publisher or thinking of doing something along those lines, Carla Kopp from Weird Giraffe Games offers advice on "Working with Content Creators".

• Not a fan of Eurogames? Ambie Valdés and many special guests hope to win you over with this musical number:

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Sat May 28, 2022 1:00 pm
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Spiel des Jahres Nominations for 2022: Cascadia, Scout, and Top Ten

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From gallery of W Eric Martin
The nominees for the 2022 Spiel des Jahres — Germany's "game of the year" award — have been announced, along with nominees for the Kinderspiel des Jahres (KidJ) for children's game of the year and the Kennerspiel des Jahres (KedJ) for enthusiast's game of the year, that is, for those already comfortable with learning and playing new games.

Spiel des Jahres jury chairman Harald Schrapers and Kinderspiel des Jahres chairman Christoph Schlewinski announced the nominees, along with other recommended titles, during a live broadcast on YouTube, with these three titles being nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2022:

Cascadia, from Randy Flynn and Flatout Games (and in Germany from KOSMOS)
Scout, from Kei Kajino and Oink Games (and originally from One More Game!)
Top Ten, from Aurélien Picolet and Cocktail Games

Aside from these nominations, the SdJ jury recommended the following six titles: 7 Wonders: Architects, echoes: The Dancer, Magic Rabbit, My Gold Mine, So Clover!, and Trek 12: Himalaya.

Note that the Spiel des Jahres award is primarily aimed at family gamers, i.e., those who play games but aren't heavily into the gaming scene.

Board Game: Cascadia
Board Game: SCOUT
Board Game: Top Ten

Nominations for the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2022 went to:

Cryptid, from Hal Duncan, Ruth Veevers, and Osprey Games (and in Germany from Skelling Games)
Dune: Imperium, from Paul Dennen and Dire Wolf
Living Forest, from Aske Christiansen and Ludonaute (and in Germany from Pegasus Spiele)

The SdJ jury recommended three other titles at the Kennerspiel level: Ark Nova, Khôra: Rise of an Empire, and Witchstone.

The winners of the Spiel and Kennerspiel des Jahres will be announced in Berlin, Germany on July 16, 2022.

Board Game: Cryptid
Board Game: Dune: Imperium
Board Game: Living Forest

The titles nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres 2022 are:

Auch schon clever, from Wolfgang Warsch and Schmidt Spiele
Mit Quacks & Co. nach Quedlinburg, from Wolfgang Warsch and Schmidt Spiele
Zauberberg, a.k.a. Magic Mountain, from Jens-Peter Schliemann, Bernhard Weber, and AMIGO

The Kinderspiel des Jahres jury, which differs from the SdJ/KedJ jury, also recommended four other titles: Fröschis, Golden Ei, Honey, and Die Villa der Vampire.

The winner will be announced on June 20, 2022, roughly one month prior to the winners of the other awards.

Board Game: Auch schon clever
Board Game: Quacks & Co.: Quedlinburg Dash
Board Game: Magic Mountain

Congratulations to all the nominated designers and publishers!
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Mon May 23, 2022 10:25 am
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Greater Than Games and Dice Hate Me Games Split; Compounded Gets Remixed

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• In February 2015, publisher Dice Hate Me Games merged with Greater Than Games, becoming one of three imprints in a newly reorganized line-up at GTG along with Sentinel Comics and Fabled Nexus.

From gallery of W Eric Martin

As of May 16, 2022, the two organizations have announced that they're going separate ways. Here's an excerpt from a press release announcing the split:
Quote:
Of the separation, Dice Hate Me Games President Chris Kirkman said, "Our merger in 2015 was a bold experiment to unite the brands, hoping to maintain the health and prosperity of both. Over time, the size and scope of Greater Than Games changed, and many games that fit the original vision of the Dice Hate Me brand no longer seem to fit that scope. Our experiment may be at an end, but both companies can and will make great games, even if apart. I look forward to returning Dice Hate Me Games to its roots."
The size and scope of Greater Than Games has changed thanks to both the acquisition of other studios — Nevermore Games in 2018, Cheapass Games in 2019 — and GTG's acquisition by Flat River Group in late 2021.

Under their separation agreement, Greater Than Games will keep the DHMG titles Compounded, Bottom of the 9th, and Legends of Sleepy Hollow. Dice Hate Me Games will have both the rights and the remaining stock of all other former Dice Hate Me Games titles, Nevermore Games' Dark Dealings and Spires, and Fate of the Elder Gods from GTG's Fabled Nexus imprint.

Board Game: Compounded
Board Game: Bottom of the 9th
Board Game: Spires
Board Game: Fate of the Elder Gods

• Speaking of Compounded, a Darrell Louder design that debuted in 2013, Greater Than Games has announced a June 14, 2022 launch date for Compounded: The Peer Reviewed Edition as well as Lab Notes: The Chem Lab Roll-and-Write.

Louder, who is currently creative director for Greater Than Games, shared these prototype pics on Twitter:

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Mon May 16, 2022 3:00 pm
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Links: Czech Designers, Thor's Hammer, and Our Family Plays Games on Social Media

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From gallery of W Eric Martin
• Mik and Starla Fitch of Our Family Plays Games were featured in the documentary film The First Twenty: Social from Dehanza Rogers, a film on activism and Black cultural identity that debuted on May 10, 2022 and that explores "the role of social media as a source of joy, pain, and transformation".

The title "The First Twenty" refers to the first twenty years of the 21st century, and this film series is hosted by ALL ARTS. You can watch a 30-second preview of the show or a minute-long excerpt of Mik and Starla's interview or of course the entire film via the ALL ARTS app.

From gallery of W Eric Martin
Screenshot from the preview

• On April 28, 2022, the Fort Leavenworth Lamp, a publication of the U.S. Army installation at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, published an article titled "Board-based wargame used for CGSC elective". Here's an excerpt from that article:
Quote:
Sustainment students from the Command and General Staff College used a board-based wargame to practice principles of sustainment in their elective class April 22 at the Lewis and Clark Center.

From gallery of W Eric Martin
Image: Dan Neal/Army University Public Affairs

The game, Thor's Hammer, (not related to the commercial e-game of the same name), set in Norway and Sweden, was designed by game-design students at Georgetown University in cooperation with the Department of Sustainment and Force Management at CGSC. CGSC's Department of Simulation Education assisted in the design and development of the game...

During the after-action review, students pointed out some game issues such as the game favoring defense over offense and allowing for regeneration of units that could not be regenerated in the field. They were also able to see how the game reinforced the principles of sustainment, principally anticipation, survivability and integration, and how during the game they changed the priority of supply or priority of support to adjust for game events.
From gallery of W Eric Martin
• In a column on ICv2, Paul Alexander Butler, owner of Games and Stuff in Glen Burnie, Maryland, wrote about the rising price of miniatures and how not all price increases are the same. An excerpt:
Quote:
My store Games and Stuff is fairly miniatures-heavy; minis and related paints and accessories account for over 25% of my overall sales. We carry a lot of miniatures lines and probably too many paint lines. However, those customers that are the traditional wargamer/hobbyist types (i.e. competitive players and serious modelers and painters) probably spend on average more money than any other category of customer. It's highly unlikely a new gamer is going to come into your store and want to dip their toes into something like The Horus Heresy. That's a hobby product for a hobby customer. In some respects, that end of the minis market has a fair amount of tolerance with regards to price increases. Games Workshop has been raising prices near yearly for ages, and I only see more units moved each year.

What's more complicated is the matter of WizKids. I don't even think of my average D&D Nolzur's or Pathfinder Deep Cuts customer as a "miniatures" customer, but as an "RPG" customer. And as such, they're looking for different things from a miniature product. Usually, it's price, convenience, and a certain grab-and-go functionality.

So far, those latter two points are winning against rising prices, but they won't forever.
Czech Games Edition hired Eleni Papadopoulou from Cardboard Rhino as an in-house content creator, and during a CGE retreat she interviewed Vlaada Chvátil, Tomáš Uhlíř, Adam Španěl, Ondra Skoupý, and Elwen & Mín to get them to answer frequently asked questions, starting with how to pronounce their names:

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Sat May 14, 2022 1:00 pm
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Links: The 2022 Deutscher Spielepreis, Spiel des Jahres Support, and Sid Sackson in "Fields of Play"

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From gallery of W Eric Martin
• Voting for the 2022 Deutscher Spielepreis is now open. Click on that link to submit your top five games of the past twelve months, then confirm your vote by clicking on the link sent to you. You can also list a single children's game.

Details on the voting process are here in German, with no deadline listed, but with the organizers noting that more than one hundred games will be awarded among those with confirmed entries.

• In April 2022, the Spiel des Jahres committee announced that it plans to spend €69,000 on 122 projects in 2022, with many of those projects involving the placement of modern board games in after-school care centers and all-day elementary schools. Here's a translated excerpt from the announcement: "...both after-school care centers and open all-day elementary schools will be significantly expanded over the next few years and will thus reach more children. From 2026 there will be a legal entitlement to all-day education, which will be gradually introduced from the first grade. This opens up new opportunities to actively accompany children in discovering the latest board games."

In total, over ten years the Spiel des Jahres funding program has supported 517 projects with €550,000.

Board Game: That's Pretty Clever!
• In an April 2022 blog post, Bruno Faidutti laments the rise of "indirect interaction" in games, the notion that players are each doing their own thing, typically on their own game board, and interfering with one another only in passing, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not. An excerpt:
Quote:
Indirect interaction is therefore a versatile double-sided euphemism, meaning sometimes effective randomness with fake interaction and sometimes direct interaction but, shh, we should not say it. The strange success of this expression is a consequence of a very worrying trend, the idea that we should respect in games the same moral rules we should — and often don't — respect in real life. Or if we don't, we should at least make some effort and use a few long and empty words to fake it. Randomness is unfair in the real world, so there should be no randomness in games. Hitting one's neighbour is bad in the real world, so we should not do it in games.

This strange idea is mostly a way not to deal with the issues of the real world, and derives from a total misunderstanding of what a game is. We play games for the fun of being carried away by the crazy randomness we are carefully avoiding in the real world. We play games for the fun of backstabbing our best friends, something we usually don't do in the real world. It is the exact opposite. If you remove randomness, violence, and intrigue from games, there will be very little left — may be just indirect interaction.
• An old link I just uncovered: In February 2021, Charles Curtis of USA Today profiled NFL linebacker Cassius Marsh about his love for Magic: The Gathering and the opening of his card and collectables shop Cash Cards Unlimited in Westlake Village, California.

• In April 2022, the BBC noted the 40th anniversary of its coverage of tabletop games in its "Fields of Play" documentary series with this clip focusing on designer Sid Sackson:


And here's the 12-minute clip from which this bit was excerpted:

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Sat May 7, 2022 1:00 pm
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