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The Origins 2019 Preview Is Live — Now With Publisher Preorders

W. Eric Martin
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After a couple of days delay, the Origins 2019 Preview is now live on BoardGameGeek, kicking off with 120 titles, which is nearly half of what was listed in 2018 (263 titles), so it seems likely that we'll hit three hundred listings by the time that the 2019 Origins Game Fair opens on Wednesday, June 12.

As in years past, BGG will be at Origins to livestream interviews with designers and publishers for five days — June 12-16 — about their new and upcoming games. Given that we have five days of coverage without a huge number of Origins-debut titles, you'll likely see a lot of prototypes for games due out in the second half of 2019 or in 2020. We'll start putting together that demo schedule in mid-May 2019 with publication of it scheduled for Monday, June 10.

One big addition to this convention preview — and the reason for its delayed arrival — is that we have added a preorder system to this list and now publishers can take preorders from you for titles that they will have on hand at Origins 2019. Here's an example of what those preorders look like within the Origins 2019 Preview:




Yes, you can place a preorder and pay for a new release from Renegade Game Studios now, then pick it up at Origins 2019. Why would you want to do this? Multiple reasons:

• You know you want to get something, and you don't want to have to rush the doors to get it before it sells out. (Not sure whether that's really a thing at Origins, but at Gen Con and SPIEL...)
• You hate waiting in lines to buy games and just want to be able to show a receipt and get the game.
• You want to have a better idea of how much you're spending or you want to budget your spending.

I imagine that other publishers will set up preorders on the Origins 2019 Preview in the future, and I've sent instructions on how to do so to the 130+ publishers that I wrote to for information about their new and upcoming games. (If you're a publisher who will have new titles and prototypes at Origins 2019, and I haven't contacted you, please Geekmail me or write to me at the email address in the BGG News header.) Setting up preorders in the Origins 2019 Preview is voluntary for a publisher, but we know that it's a pain to manage such things, so we implemented this system to (ideally) streamline the process.

One of the biggest reasons that a publisher might decide to take preorders this way — aside from having a better idea of how much inventory to bring to the con — is that they'll have to handle less cash at conventions. This isn't a big deal at Origins and Gen Con given how much those in the U.S. use credit cards, but it could be a huge deal for publishers at SPIEL. Multiple publishers had thousands of Euros stolen at SPIEL '18, and if they can instead complete a decent percentage of their sales via preorder ahead of time, they will be a less attractive target in Essen. (Scott Alden has told me that the thefts at SPIEL '18 were the primary motivator to get this preorder system in place after years of me having on my wish list.)

BGG earns a 5% commission on these preorder sales, so I won't pretend that we're doing this entirely for altruistic reasons, but I think this preview preorder system offers positives for both publishers and players, especially when we look ahead to Gen Con and SPIEL where the lines are much longer, publishers worry about whether they're bringing too much or too little stock, and players want to know they can get something without having to buy a VIP badge. The Origins 2019 Preview is our test case, and if all goes well, this preorder system will be in place in the Gen Con 2019 Preview, the SPIEL '19 Preview, and many other such previews in the years to come.
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Wed May 8, 2019 10:06 pm
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The BoardGameGeek Show: Golden Geeks, Sorcerer, Measuring a Game's Shelf Life, and More

W. Eric Martin
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I haven't posted an episode of The BoardGameGeek Show recently, but they've been rolling out on a fairly regular schedule every two weeks on BGG's main YouTube channel. Thankfully I managed to find my camera and audio equipment amongst all the boxes in the game room of my new house just in time to join Scott, Steph, and Lincoln on camera. Now I just need to tackle the dozens of boxes still untouched...

One topic I'd like to explore more in the future is the limited shelf life of games, which we touched on in this show following a distributor's comment that I saw. That comment mentioned that a game has a retail shelf life in the U.S. of only a few weeks — unless the game is great, in which case the game might last two or three months.

The problem, of course, is that you often can't determine a game's greatness within such a limited time because the potential audience for it is unlikely to descend on the game store within that short window, play it, then spread awareness of the game to others before it's already been moved out of a distributor's catalog. Publishers have a tough job of spreading awareness of their game releases, and beyond that continuing to spread awareness of a design instead of simply dropping it in favor of next month's release. You're not going to develop evergreen titles in your catalog if you don't give them a chance to plant roots.




00:20 Opening and intros
00:55 Tickets! Get your tickets for BGG.CON!
02:52 2018 Golden Geek Award winners
06:59 What Have You Been Playing?
Doppelt so Clever - Wolfgang Warsch - Schmidt Spiele, Stonghold Games
08:42 Subtext - Wolfgang Warsch - Edition Spielwiese, Stronghold Games
12:53 Museum - Eric Dubus, Olivier Melison - Holy Grail Games & Luma Games
18:02 Two Stacks - Edward Doreau - (Self-Published)
21:24 Sorcerer - Peter Scholtz - White Wizard Games
26:50 Board Game News:
Ticket to Ride London - Alan R. Moon - Days of Wonder
28:18 Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein - Dan Blanchett - Plaid Hat Games
29:22 Sarah’s Vision - Anthony Howgego - Baloise Group
31:23 The limited shelf life of games
35:07 Kickstarter News:
Blood on the Clocktower - Steven Medway - The Pandemonium Institute
37:38 Fuji Koro - Jerome Demeyere - Game Brewer
38:18 Cheapass Games in Black & White
40:11 Goodbyes
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Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:04 pm
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BGG Style Guide: How to Propose Representative Images for Game Pages and Versions

W. Eric Martin
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Do you upload images on BoardGameGeek? Do you understand how to suggest representative images for game pages and version pages?

If not, here's how: BGG Style Guide: How to Propose Representative Images for Game Pages and Versions.

Yes, I've revived my "Not Necessarily the News" blog for the first time in six years in order to post these guidelines, and I'm sharing those guidelines here because it might be helpful for users in general, despite them not being news about games.

Note that representative images on game pages and version pages should be the 2D front cover of the oldest English-language version of the game still in print or available on the market. I know that publishers like to use 3D images in their ads, and from my understanding 3D images have a higher clickthrough rate in ads than 2D images, but BGG game pages are not ads. The image represents the game catalogued on that page, and a 2D front cover image fills the space better and is more visible at thumbnail size. If anyone plans to use a publisher image for, say, a video thumbnail or a podcast promo or a voting system at a convention, then that person will find a 2D image far more useful than a 3D one.

Publishers, give us 2D front covers or give us de... — no, wait, just the 2D front covers, please. I've been making the case for 2D front cover images since 2011, and that case still holds true. Help us help you make your game more visible and recognizable.
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:00 pm
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Opinion: Publishers Are Treating Games Like a Commodity, and It's Going Badly

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I work in the board game publishing industry for North Star Games. Until recently, business has been good for publishers, due to years of rapid market growth.

Now, everyone's nervous. Sales are softening. Companies that seemed invincible are buckling. CMON Limited, one of the strongest of the young gun companies, are down $4.1 million in the last nine months. Somewhere, in a brightly lit office, Asmodee's negotiators are drawing up paperwork.

What's happening?

Oversupply, with a dose of self-reinforcing feedback.

In response to years of market growth, a bunch of new companies entered the market and old companies decided to release more games each year. It's not hard to publish a new game, so we all did it. Something like 5,000 board games will have been released in 2018.

But the more rapidly we publish new games, the more each game depends on its launch for sales, and the more quickly each fades away after as new games pour in on its heels.

That has made us publishers think: We need to publish even more games, market the crap out of them at launch, and then move on to the next, to stay in the spotlight! So we did, and now we're in a self-reinforcing cycle of our own making.


What happens when you make a metric shit ton of games you weren't making before, and spend a huge amount of time on wild-eyed launch marketing? Quality suffers.

And because publishers are focused on more at the expense of better, consumers have been conditioned to think in a similar way: to pay attention to whatever the new thing is, try it, maybe kind of enjoy it, and then never play it again because the NEXT new thing is dropping and we need to try that. For hobbyists, game nights aren't game nights anymore; they're rules-learning nights.

It will end with a correction, now apparently underway, through which companies fold, folks lose jobs, and consolidators (like Asmodee) buy distressed assets at bargain prices.

There's nothing surprising about this. It's the way of things. It's happened in other industries in the past and will happen to other industries in the future.

However, I think it makes for a good moment to remind ourselves of some eternal lessons:

1. Make great things. If it's not better than what already exists, consider not making it. Good isn't good enough.

2. Don't do things because other people do them. Find your own way.

For what it's worth...

•••


[Editor's note: Designer Nick Bentley published this article on his blog on Nov. 21, 2018, and it's hit a nerve among many, so I invited him to repost it here. I have two semi-related pieces scheduled for publication this Tuesday and Wednesday [update: soon?], and I'm working on a response to Nick's article, but I'll add these three notes for now:

1. The figures stated for CMON aren't accurate. Here's the relevant section from CMON's Q3 2018 report (PDF): "The Group recorded loss attributable to equity holders of US$4.1 million, compared with a profit of US$823,763 for the corresponding period in 2017, which was mainly due to the decrease in revenue and gross profit margin as well as the recognition of the professional service fees in respect of the application regarding transfer of listing of the shares of the Company from GEM to main board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited during the Reporting Period."

2. I think Nick's overstating the number of new board games released in 2018. In a comment related to this article, he wrote "1200 games debuted in Essen alone", but that's not the case. Yes, BGG's SPIEL '18 Preview contains more than 1,200 listings, but many of those listings are for expansions and promo items, and most of the listed titles did not debut at SPIEL '18.

3. The first weekly game nights that I attended in 2003 were already rule-learning nights, so that's nothing new. —WEM]
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Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:00 pm
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The BGG Show: Answering Viewer Questions, and Preparing for SPIEL '18

W. Eric Martin
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Two weeks have passed, so Scott, Steph, Lincoln and I have returned with another episode of The BoardGameGeek Show — and because Lincoln pleaded so magnificently in the previous episode, many viewers sent in questions for us to answer. Thanks for writing in!

One of the questions involved our preparations for SPIEL '18, which at this point opens in less than two weeks. So much still to do in the time that remains, including posting the BGG demo schedule (coming Monday, Oct. 15), creating at least three more video overviews of games that will be featured at that show, and finishing that danged SPIEL '18 Preview, which in theory I was going to stop updating after today, but I still have lots of notes from publishers in my inbox and with the show catalog from Merz Verlag now live, I can hunt down other games missing from this list.

In any case, on with the show! Our next episode will be a live broadcast from SPIEL '18 on Thursday, Oct. 25, starting at 18:30 Essen time, which is GMT+2, or 12:30 p.m. on the U.S. east coast and 9:30 a.m. on the U.S. Pacific Coast. Until then...




00:23 Introductions
00:44 BGG.Spring 2019 registration open
01:26 Mail Bag! - Viewer mail and questions
01:55 Rico Melchert - What game is your, perhaps not favorite, but most "missed" BGG number one? (And why?)
05:04 Yan - How many people are behind the BGG show, and how long does it typically take to film and edit an episode?
06:41 Yan - What is each of your favorite mechanisms in games, or what could make you instantly want to play a game?
09:30 Mike McCarthy - Longest board game duration played in one sitting?
12:40 Mike McCarthy - Aldie is a self-proclaimed dungeon crawl fan. What are his three favorite? No point owning more than three.
15:00 Christian Kupsch - What are your preparations for SPIEL?
19:23 David Seidner - Where do you see BGG in the next five years?
25:29 Ivan Grimm - What percent of no-buzz games do you think are probably hidden gems? Do you think the percentage of hidden gems has gone up or down over the years?
28:35 Ivan Grimm - What are your top hidden gem games? Why do you think they are unknown?
31:57 Rachel B - On your last show, Aldie implied that there are around one thousand new games that came out this year. You've also talked about how the number of new games coming out is increasing. Why?Are there new players entering the buyers market? If so, who are they? Are people who play games just buying more? I'd love to hear your take.
34:17 Angela (Nerfenstein) - If you could have your own personalized character in a board game, what board game would it be and why?
35:25 Stutz Family (ninjabob) - Aldie mentioned that he loves dungeon crawlers. Just curious about what his favorite dungeon crawler is of all time? Favorite from the last 5-10 years? Favorite of the last year or two? (Other hosts please chime in also!)
36:39 What Have You Been Playing?
36:53 Lucky's Misadventures - Jay Meyer - Great Northern Games
40:24 Micropolis - Bruno Cathala, Charles Chevallier - Matagot
41:01 TAGS - Spartaco Albertarelli - HeidelBÄR Games
42:52 Now Boarding - Tim Fowers - Fowers Games
46:09 Majolica - Yu Wang - Blue Magpie games
47:29 Rise of Queensdale - Inka Brand, Markus Brand - alea, Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH
48:43 Cryptid - Hal Duncan, Ruth Veevers - Osprey Games
50:02 Goodbyes
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Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:15 am
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GeekUp Bit Sets: The Challenges and Surprises of Production

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Many of you are probably familiar with the various GeekUp Bit Sets that BGG launched in August 2018. They're a simple little thing that adds to the gameplay experience by upgrading the cardboard in a game to bakelite-like plastic with a heat transfer label to apply the graphics.


Ooooooh, shiny!


However, what seems like a simple little thing is not quite so simple to make! I wanted to share the story of what all goes into producing these shiny little bits so that you can appreciate what all goes into them, and more importantly, the often unappreciated work that goes into all of the games you buy, which are far more complex to produce that a little set of bits!

The process of producing a GeekUp Bit Set starts with the game's original publisher. I approach them with the idea, and in general, they agree that yes, this sounds like a cool idea. After all, most of them are gamers themselves, and they want these bad boys to play with! We agree on a royalty, and they send me the graphic files. Easy peasy.

I then set out to isolate the graphics I need, saving the files in the correct sizes and formats. This is generally another simple task as the publisher has already done all of the graphic and layout work on the punch sheet files for the game. I'm just grabbing what I need.

After getting the files ready, I bring out my trusty Pantone chart along with a copy of the game to determine which colors of plastic would look the best with each graphic. The manufacturer has the exact same Pantone color chart, so if I tell them I want Pantone 801, I'll get the same pretty blue color that I intended, without the potential variance that can be caused by a difference in computer monitors or printers — or at least it will be very close as converting Pantone colors into plastics isn't an exact science.


Yes, 801 should do nicely


Once I get all that information rounded up, I send off the order to the manufacturer with an accompanying graphic that looks like this, verifying the plastic color, what should be applied to both the front and back of the tiles, and how many of that tile per set.


Order, please!


Usually within a day, the manufacturer gets back to me with a quote. I say, "Cool, sounds good!", and we finally get to work.

The manufacturer first makes a set of blank plastics so that I can approve the colors. Generally, this is no problem as they can shoot me pictures of the tokens on top of a Pantone color chart so that I can give a thumbs up that the match is close enough for my liking. They also send me a digital proof of the label sheet layout to ensure the graphics are being printed as intended.

Once I give the thumbs up, they make a sample set and FedEx it to me for final approval before production starts. There's generally some back and forth here to verify a few details and make sure everything is perfect for the production run.


Check out those samples — nice!


Once we make sure the details are set, I give a thumbs up, and production starts. A few weeks later, I get a package containing several sets from the production run.

*record screech*

This is where the problems started in the first production run. That really nice sample I received where every piece was perfect? Well, the final production sample has a lot of perfect pieces, but there are also a lot of pieces that look like this:


Not cool, man!


I email my factory rep, asking what the deal is. Why were the first samples so perfect, while the production run is so...not? I realize some small amount of variance is to be expected, but a lot of these piece are unacceptable.

It's explained to me that while the sample was carefully done by hand, label by label, the production process actually looks like this:






A human is trying to eyeball the centering on every rack, a rack that gets slid and lifted all over the place without any way of securing the tiles from shifting. Yeah, I now see how the labels can be significantly off-center, and wish I had inquired about the actual production process earlier!

After some back and forth on fair compensation for the difference between samples received and the final product, we set to work on solving the problem. The factory suggests a custom rack for the tiles that will keep them in place as the rack is passed around. I agree this would be helpful, but it doesn't solve the issue of the centering of the label sheet.

I propose that registration marks be printed on the label sheets, with those same registration marks being etched onto the custom trays. Now, the workers only have to align those marks, giving them a solid point of reference rather than having to eyeball things. This would also allow them to see whether the labels adhered in a way that was centered as the registration marks could be checked prior to peeling the label sheet back off.


Sample rack with registration marks


Sample label sheet with matching marks, complete with spoiler for an upcoming set



The factory says, "Bazinga!" or something to that effect, and sets off to work. A couple of weeks later, I get this preview of the new process:




I say, "Well, poop." The rack is definitely holding things in place, but where are the registration marks? I make it clear that we shouldn't proceed with production until this is solved as I can't afford a second run of tiles with centering issues. You were all kind enough to accept our solution to the issue the first time around, taking two bags of bits for the price of one and sorting through them for a complete set of perfect pieces; I want these to be as near perfect as possible in the second run.

The factory says they need to redo the process with a metal tray anyway as the wood is warping under the heat of the transfer machine.

A week or so later, I receive this image as a proof to approve on the printing of the next label sheet:


Oops, could this be...yet another spoiler!?!


Cool, but where are my registration marks? It's explained to me that the black rectangles are even better because they're marks that a machine can read.

A machine? I ask some more questions but don't really get a grasp of what this new process will be, other than that a machine is somehow centering and applying the labels now. I'm assured that this will be far more accurate than before, though, so I give another thumbs up, with the caveat that I want to see some video of the process so that I can understand exactly how it works.

A few more weeks pass, then I receive this:




My jaw hits the floor. How the heck did we go from a bunch of people shoving racks of loose tiles around a table, to a laser-cut wood tray still moved around manually, to this all of a sudden? It's amazing, but leaves so many questions!

a) Did they buy a new machine and implement it in this short time?
b) Did they have a machine and not use it before due to the relatively small production run?
c) Are the employees transformers who just forgot to transform during the first go-round?

I still don't know the answer as I just received the video in early October 2018 and was so intrigued, surprised, and excited about this turn of events that I decided to share as it's such a wacky and unexpected turn. We'll see how this production run turns out now, but darn if I'm not excited about it, and the potential to do oodles of these sets going forward!

Hopefully, this behind-the-scenes peek was an interesting one and helps you to appreciate everything that comes with your next game. Keep in mind that this is just one component we're producing here and that the next game you buy might have cards, punch sheets, minis, tokens, digital integrations, etc. that all present their unique hurdles to the production. Certainly no simple little thing!
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Mon Oct 8, 2018 1:00 pm
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Steph's Awesome Pre-SPIEL Rundown 2018

Steph Hodge
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Today I am sharing my most anticipated SPIEL 2018 releases, broken down into Must Haves and Games of Interest! I listed the expansions as well at the end. There are SO MANY games listed on the SPIEL '18 Preview that my list is extra long!


Steph's Must Haves



Architects of the West Kingdom - Oh boy, this looks brilliant. I have heard only amazing things about it so it is high on the list of games to get. I am always up for a good worker placement game.





Architectura - To be fair I don't know much about this game other than its beauty. Tile placement and hand management are both great mechanisms, soooo yeah, I gotta try it!




Arraial - Got to play this one recently and yeah, it is a game made for me. I love the puzzley aspect and Tetris feel. Vivid colors which are really fun and exciting.




Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra - Well, I really have to see where they took Azul with this. Oh my, isn't it just amazingly beautiful? surprise





Blackout: Hong Kong - Campaign game from designer Alexander Pfister. Pfister always has new and interesting mechanisms and ideas. This is one to play for sure!





Brettspiel Adventskalender 2018 - Looks like I could use about ten of the promos this time around... I guess I need it! Oh yes!





Brikks - Wolfgang Warsch, polyominoes and roll-and-write, count me in. Highly anticipated game for me. All my favorite things, insta-buy.






Carpe Diem - Yeah, I need more Feld games in the collection. Just try to talk me out of it... You can't.





Carson City: The Card Game - Got this at Gen Con 2018 but deserves a hot mention here since it is awesome! Seriously in love with this game and clever play. Better with more players even. Love card laying and bidding mechanisms like this.




Cerebria: The Inside World - I have been anxiously awaiting my KS for over a year! Loved this game when I got to try it in 2017. Psyched for the final copy with those amazing minis!




Forbidden City - Never even heard of Mise: Kolonizace by Reiner Knizia that it is reimplementing but has caught my attention now. This is the year of polyominoes and I am in heaven. Psyched to play this.





Fuji - Another Wolfgang Warsch game. Man, he is just on a roll this year. I need to play it! Co-op dice rolling. I shall see!





Gingerbread House - Super cute theme and tile laying. I am always interested in what Lookout games have to offer. This is from the designer of Gizmos and Bärenpark, so I am interested.





Gùgōng - This has gotten nothing but praise from players I know. My interest is HIGH. Yeah, I need more worker placement games...





Hokkaido - Well, Honshu was a wonderful surprise and this would be the next in line. I am interested in seeing how this changes it up. Still so beautiful.






Key Flow - A game I have played a few times now and simply love. Drafting at its finest! A wonderful addition to the Key series of games and gives you the feel of Keyflower, but without the mean bidding mechanism. This game deserves the hype!





Realm of Sand - Played at GAMA 2018 and was hooked. Possibly this game was made for me! Mash-up between Patchwork and Splendor and you have perfection. Seriously excited for this one!




The River - Oh boy, the new Days of Wonder game!! I saw at Gen Con 2018 and didn't have time to try it out and I was kicking myself. Gotta have it!





Rolling Ranch - Another roll-and-write game, so another I must check out. The artwork is amazing and pulls me in wanting more.




Shadows: Amsterdam - Ohhh! I got to play this a few times at Gen Con 2018, including on camera in the BGG booth. It is so much fun playing on teams and trying to piece pictures together to give clues much like Mysterium, but it is a race against the other team! Awesome.




Skylands - Reimplements The King of Frontier and it is a game I cherish and love. I got to play this at Gen Con 2018 and had an amazing time! Very beautiful game and one that I can't wait for more people to enjoy! Love it!





Solenia - I am always on the lookout for the next Pearl Games game and Sébastien Dujardin hasn't let me down yet. Super excited for this one!





Spirits of the Forest - A beautiful game that I saw at Gen Con 2018 and I have been fascinated ever since. It looks like it is a light filler abstract game. This is one that I am really wanting to play!





Tag City - More Roll n Write goodness that I have to have. Maybe I should just call myself the queen of roll-and-writes — I want them all now!





Teotihuacan: City of Gods - Perhaps my most anticipated game of the year. Played a few times and it is just amazing. It will be the hottest game of the year. I will be surprised if it is not.






Walking in Burano - This is so beautiful. I have played Burano, but this looks to be more my speed. Card drafting and set collection. I am super interested as I love EmperorS4!







Steph's Games of Interest



Athens - Twist on deck building that I am interested in. I like dice rolling. I am curious how it plays and want to find out more.





Atlandice - More dice games. I saw this at Gen Con 2018 and didn't get the chance to try it out. Looked pretty cool, so I definitely need to find out more!





Atlantis: Island of Gods - Wow the pieces in this game are a knock out! Really cool looking and draws me right in.





Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig - So yeah, I thought this was like an April Fool's joke when I heard about it. Joke's on me and this looks amazing! I really enjoy the crossover of the games and can't wait to see what was created!





Blocky Mountains - I had the pleasure of playing the original. It provided a lot of laughs. I have to see how this looks. Might be too heavy to bring home though.





Blossoms - Beautiful two-player card game? Color me intrigued. Always looking at cute card games!





Brothers - I have been playing this a whole bunch since Gen Con 2018 and I can't speak more highly of it. Really been enjoying this quick abstract partnership game. Very cute and clever.




Carcassonne: Safari - Got to try the prototype of this and had a great time. It adds some new mechanisms and feels much different than the others. Can't wait to see the final production.





Ceylon - Certainly looks impressive. For that alone, I want to know more. It might end up being too much area control for me. But, I would love to try if I can.





Chronicles of Crime - VR experience... Wat?! Stereoscopic mechanism, yah, that sounds awesome. Can't wait to play this one. It seems like the co-op story-driven games maybe like T.I.M.E Stories? Looks wicked cool.






City of Gears - Got the sneak peek during Gen Con 2018, and it looked really cool! Obviously, I love the theme so I am really interested in trying this one out.





City of Rome - City building and pattern building... what more could you ask for? Yeah - I am in.





Claim 2 & Claim Kingdoms - Both look really cool and totally different from one another. I really liked the first two-player Claim game, so I am auto interested in the second one. Love the art for both games so it keeps me interested. Kingdoms looks cool for the tile laying aspect. Seems pretty simple but I am sure there are cool combos and powers that keep it interesting.





CO₂: Second Chance - Didn't love the first one but liked it enough to be tempted by this updated version. Maybe some rules have altered the play to my liking. Definitely interested in checking it out.





Cosmic Factory - Has been a huge hit in my house since acquiring it at Gen Con 2018. Just have to mention how much I have been enjoying this one. Clever tile placement game.




Cupcake Empire - I mean, the theme is super cute. Little cupcakes and dice worker placement? She has PINK HAIR on the front. Yeah, I am interested.





Cuzco - Never actually played Java, but it was on the radar for a while. Definitely interested to see how they improved it in this super cool looking new edition. Always up for Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer titles.





Dice Settlers - Already had the pleasure of playing this game, and I am psyched that I backed it on KS, so it is coming. Love this dice bag building game. Light civ type game too. Very cool.





Duelosaur Island - Definitely needs some love since it is awesome. Backed this on KS with expansion but had the pleasure of playing it in prototype form and it is awesome. Really fantastic 2p take on Dinosaur Island!




Eco-Links - Tile laying game to try and connect paths. Seems like a game I would enjoy and is super cute.





Escape Tales: The Awakening - More escape room type games? Yeah, I am interested. I always like a good puzzle to solve. Might be on the longer side for me though, so unclear.





The Estates - So cool this game is now available for everyone! I have had Neue Heimat for a long time now, and it is such a cool game. Had to add to this list to help bring awareness for this awesome game. Oh, I suppose I should mention it is a vicious game with some luck involved.





Farben - Not gonna lie, I am in for the colors. Storytelling game involving colors? I definitely need to learn more.





Fertility - Saw folks playing on Instagram (that's how you get me, really) and boom, I needed this game. Don't know anything about it other than I am interested. Gotta try it! Looks like tile placement, so yeah, totally.





Fool! - "New version of Foppen." Hmmm, maybe I will like this one. I was not a fan of Foppen but perhaps this has updated it to be awesome. Definitely want to check it out.


Forum Trajanum - Got to play this in April and enjoyed it. I am interested to see how it was developed further. Very cool Feld game.





Franchise - Wicked cool theme. The artwork is eye catching and fun. Definitely looking into this one further. Seems really cool.




Horticulture Master - Attracted to the beauty of the game but then found out it is puzzle and city building. Yeah!






Imhotep: Das Duell - Really interested to see how this will play for two players. I bet it is pretty cool. Really enjoy the board game, so that is exciting.





Kero - Well, the trucks are sand timers and they are wicked cool. Don't know much about this game but I gotta try it. I love the press your luck mechanism and dice could be cool, too!





Kingdom Defenders - Has a bunch of hype, so I am unsure on this one. Always looking for more Euro-type games with a fantasy theme. Would want to give this a play first!





Layers - Got to play this real-time puzzle a few times and have really enjoyed it. You have to try and put layers down to create the matching picture. Pretty fun challenge and one that I could play anytime. Great filler.




Lift Off - Don't know much about this one but I am always anticipating games from Hans im Glück. This has set collection with drafting... I need to find out more!





Magnastorm - Basically it looks cool... Gotta love exploration games.






Magnificent Flying Machines - I am not even a big fan of pick up and deliver games, but this one looks pretty cool and I enjoy the theme. I want a demo!





Manitoba - I don't know much about this one, but a big box game from dlp games has my interest. Gotta learn more and hopefully get a demo. The quality of the game looks really cool!





Mesozooic - Looks like a super cute card placement game. I heard from multiple sources this was one to watch! Gotta try it!





Minerals - I have no idea what is going on in this game but man, it is beautiful. Those pieces!! Yeah, I gotta find this at SPIEL.





Monster Lands - Dice worker placement, so yeah, I am interested. Looks to be a bit overhyped, but the look of the game seems really cool and interesting. Will want to know more.





NEOM - I don't need to know much more than player boards and tile placement to know I want to play and probably own this game.





Newton - Got a bunch of plays at Gen Con 2018. I quite enjoyed it and yeah, there are a lot of paths to take. I don't feel like I got the full scope of the game in one play. Need to play again!




Off the Rails - Okay, not gonna lie, little dice in carts is just too cute. I have to play and photograph this game. I gotta!





Okavango - Not really sure what to expect with this one, but Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer have my attention. Looks to be a pretty easy and light game. Curious!





Once Upon a Castle - Ummm, I get to draw a castle with the dice being rolled. So, it is a roll-and-write castle-building game. Chya!!





Orbis - Saw it being played a bunch at Gen Con 2018 and have been curious. Look like a cool tile placement game. I think there is a drafting mechanism too which would be fun!





Orbital - Looks like an interesting abstract game. I am always up for a puzzley type game.





Outback - This was the talk of the town back in April and I didn't get to play! It has been on my radar ever since and I have to see how it plays! Looks super cute and is by designer Michael Kiesling! Should be cool.





Oziland - Well, awesome theme and artwork. Looks to be easy tile placement. Will want to try and demo this one!





Paleolithic - A game I have had the privilege of playing. It is such a delight! Amazing production quality and would be a great entry-level strategy game for kids. Really well done.




Pandoria - This box is so attractive! I hope the worker placement and tile placement makes it an amazing game for me. Can't wait to find out!





Passing Through Petra - I am a big fan of designer J. Alex Kevern! I can't wait to learn about this one and give it a whirl!





Patchwork Express - Well, I love Patchwork, and if this plays in half the time I am interested in that. More Uwe is always great IMO.





Penny Papers Adventures: Skull Island - Shout out for the Penny Papers series! Love this roll-and-write series and they are so great for all the different ages. Can't recommend them enough!




Pepper & Carrot: The Potion Contest - So cute! Pattern building and tile placement. Looks like a larger tile sliding game with a mechanism like Ulm has. Want to try!





Planet - Magnets and tile placement? Totally interested in seeing how this one plays.






A Pleasant Journey to Neko - All I really know is that you get "penguin points" in order to win the game. I have to get all the penguin points! It looks so super cute! Can't wait to try it.





Polar Party - Another penguin game! Yes, I want more penguin games! This looks so cute and I am always interested in cute kid games.





Prehistory - Seems to has a lot of hype, so I am curious how this worker placement game stands out among the rest. Gotta check it out.





Raiatea - New Quined Games game! Always looking for the next one in the lineup! They never seem to fail me and are always excellent quality. I like bidding as a mechanism, so we will see how it goes.





Reykholt - More Uwe goodness! It is a worker placement game and you are trying to get the most veggies planted first. Interested to try this one out for sure.





Robin Hood and the Merry Men - Robin Hood theme is pretty cool. Everything about it looks great so I want to try it for sure!





Shikoku - Wow, this is gorgeous! If only just to photograph this game I want to play it. Looks like an interesting card game.





Silk - Looks a bit simple, but could be interesting. A bit of area control and worker placement so we will see!





Small Islands - Very much looks like Carcassonne, a game which I love, so just for that I want to see how it plays out. Very cool.





Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Gemstone Mining Game - Never played Quartz, but this is a clever re-theme. Very interested to see how it plays and yeah I love the theme! I am always down for betting and pressing my luck.





Solar City - Will likely be promoted to a must have upon looking at it. Totally my type of game and reminds me of Quadropolis. Very very interested in this one. Personal player boards and city building — sign me up!





Spell Smashers - I am always looking for great word games. This has a whole lot more and looks awesome. Can't wait to try it!





Staka - I have been really enjoying Helvetiq Games recently and I am always in the need for more dexterity games! Looks great!





Taiwan - Cool push your luck dice game with tableau building. Colorful and fun game and variable set-up. I had a good time playing it recently.




Takla - Yeah, I mean, not a logical game to take back to the States, but the dexterity part of this game looks amazing. I want to play it so bad!





Tales of Glory - Beautiful tile placement game. Looks like something I should play, so I am interested!




Tales of the Northlands: The Sagas of Noggin the Nog - Looks beautiful and another worker placement game. Sounds like a co-op but not listed as such, so I am not sure. Looks to have a rondel too. I just need to learn more.




A Thief's Fortune - The artwork is awesome and I am into card drafting so this popped on my radar! Will have to look into this one.





TOKYO METRO - Got to play this in 2017 and was just totally drawn to it. Interesting mechanisms and so colorful! Tight money and decisions. Very clever! Happy to see it become available!




Trapwords - Interesting description comparing it to Taboo. I love word games like this — I always have, so this is definitely on the radar.





Treasure Island - Got to play this and it is super cool! Kinda like the hidden movement games you might know like Whitechapel, but all of the players are competitive and are looking for Long John Silver's treasure. Lots of fun!




Trellis - I wish there were pictures for this game. The cover looks beautiful though! I love pattern building and puzzley type games, so it popped for me. Gotta learn more.





Tudor - I saw this in prototype at Origins 2018 and it looked super cool! Definitely interested in seeing this one come to life. Want to demo!





Underwater Cities - Looks like a big game that I want to play. Lots of moving parts and seems really cool. City and civ building, all while being underwater. Super interested. Oh, also by designer Vladimir Suchý who designed Shipyards, Last Will, and the recent Pulsar. Probably will end up buying this one!





Walls of York - Individual player boards always has me taking another look. Realllllllllllllllly want to play this one! Little walls you will be constructing. Yeah, nice-looking game.





Wangdo - Super cute bears in this game! Awesome production and artwork. Set collection game that is simple enough to teach strategy concepts to new gamers.




Wonderland Xiii - Awesome theme, awesome artwork, awesome metal keys. Looks really cool, I can't wait to play! #awesome





WonderZoo - Super cute polyominoes game with personal player boards. Yah, totally.






Steph's Must Have Expansions



7 Wonders: Armada - I have played this several times now and simply love it. Perhaps my favorite of all of the 7 Wonders expansions. Hard to say since this is one of my all-time favorite games.




Caverna: The Forgotten Folk - Well, I can't say no to more Caverna. My #3 game of all time. YES!



A Feast for Odin: The Norwegians - Please please please let this be available in English, too. #NEEDIT




Isle of Skye: Druids - Well, the first expansion was BOSS, so perhaps I have high hopes for this one, too. I doubt I will be let down. I bet it will be awesome.





The Mind: Level 13 - Maybe it is not really needed, but I NEED THIS CARD! #MoreMIND





Santa Maria: American Kingdoms - Loved the base game last year and would love to see how this expansion improves it! Can't wait to play!






Steph's Expansions of Interest


Dinosaur Island: Totally Liquid - Favorite game from last year gets an expansion. Sign me up! Can't for for the KS to deliver!





Factory Funner: Expansion 2 - No pic available... but still, the more promos for Factory Funner, the better! Love this game!



Meeple Circus: The Wild Animal & Aerial Show - More goodness for Meeple Circus! I can't wait!





Merlin: Arthur Expansion - I think this will be a pretty cool addition to the game, and one that you can bring new players in with because it looks like it just changes the spaces on the board for a different feel and play. Very cool.






Nusfjord: Plaice Deck - More Nusfjord, why not? Gimme the cahds.






Welcome To...: Scoring Pad & Goodies - Curious to see what this expansion adds. Very excited!








I hope you enjoyed my rundown of the most interesting titles coming out this SPIEL 2018! Let me know what you think below!

-Steph
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Thu Oct 4, 2018 1:00 pm
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The BGG Show: Moving to the Clouds, Preparing for Spring, and Playing Some Games

W. Eric Martin
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It's time for another episode of The BoardGameGeek Show, and for the first time since we launched in January 2018, I'm not on it — which means that I have no idea what happened except via the summary below. I'm in the same situation as everyone else for once, presented with a highlight list and taking things from there.

Me not being there, though, is probably good thing since I was able to keep working on BGG's SPIEL '18 Preview. Nearly one thousand listings at this point, and my inbox has been flooded with messages related to SPIEL '18 this morning while I was playing games with guests. More updates coming for another two weeks, with our livestream demo schedule going live on Monday, October 15 and as many game preview videos as I can finish in the next three weeks. That pedal has already met the metal...




00:23 Introductions
00:44 BoardGameGeek cloud server migration complete
03:07 BGG.Spring 2019 registration opens
04:40 BGG@Sea Cruise registration opens
07:36 What Have You Been Playing?
08:13 Arraial - Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, Paulo Soledade - MEBO Games
09:20 Realm of Sand - Ji Hua Wei - EmperorS4
10:13 History of the World - Gary Dicken, Steve Kendall, Phil Kendall - Z-Man Games
14:47 Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition - Christian T. Petersen, Dane Beltrami, Corey Konieczka - Fantasy Flight Games
21:44 Rise of Queensdale - Inka Brand, Markus Brand - alea, Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH
34:11 Swordcrafters - Chris Neuman, Adam Rehberg - Adam's Apple Games
36:25 Cahoots - Jay Treat - Mayday Games
41:35 Show & Tile - Matt Loomis, Isaac Shalev - Jellybean Games
45:20 Azul wins the 2018 Deutscher Spielepreis
48:40 Kickstarter News - The Stygian Society from Kevin Wilson and APE Games
49:45 Chaz Marler tells us about the second episode of his new game show "Who's Playing What Now?!"
52:35 Goodbyes
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Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:59 pm
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The BGG Show: Aldie Goes Missing, Chaz Steps In, and Clouds Take Charge

W. Eric Martin
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For the first time on The BoardGameGeek Show, boss Scott Alden goes missing! Scott was busy overseeing BGG's move to cloud-based servers when we recorded this episode, and for some reason he viewed the preservation and functioning of the site over talking with us. The nerve!

Chaz Marler pinch-hit for Scott and Steph Hodge, who was also away, and the four-person line-up might be something we stick with for future shows given that it allows for more free-flowing conversations and an easier editing job once Lincoln gets hold of our individual feeds. We'll rotate through the seats based on who's available when to keep things fresh.

For now, though, you can take a listen to host Rodney Smith as he segues like a master from one topic to the next. It's almost like he's a skilled video host or something...




00:39 Introductions
01:12 BGG@Sea 2019 tickets available now
03:40 What Have You Been Playing?
03:53 Cryptid - Hal Duncan, Ruth Veevers - Osprey Games
07:02 Blue Lagoon - Reiner Knizia - Blue Orange Games
08:50 Pantone: The Game - Scott Rogers - Cryptozoic Entertainment
12:05 Kashgar: Merchants of the Silk Road - Gerhard Hecht - Grail Games
19:07 Dice Throne - Nate Chatellier, Manny Trembley - Mind Bottling Games, Roxley
24:30 WizKids has signed a license with WWE for HeroClix, Dice Masters & board games
27:00 Monopoly Fortnite announced
30:28 John Ward is out as executive director of GAMA
36:32 Kickstarter for Horizon Zero Dawn: The Board Game launches
40:10 Goodbyes
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Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:02 pm
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The BGG Show: Live from Gen Con 2018, Albeit Now Not Live Since We Recorded This

W. Eric Martin
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Gen Con 2018 was a whirlwind of activity, with the BGG team recording two hundred or so game overview videos over the four days of the show. I imagine those videos will start popping up on YouTube and on the individual game pages before too long, but for now we have only this episode of The BoardGameGeek Show, which Scott Alden, Rodney Smith, Steph Hodge, Lincoln Damerst, and I recorded on Thursday night after we had kicked out our last guest for the day.

The big news of the day was the revelation of Richard Garfield's KeyForge, which Fantasy Flight Games had revealed during its In-Flight Report on Wednesday night before Gen Con opened. I've already written a long piece about this game, mostly focusing on the game's production and not its design, but that's mostly because I had played only twice at that time. (I've still played only twice at this point, alas. Too much Gen Con work and SPIEL '18 prep getting in the way!)

We cover a few other games that we saw at the show as well, while probably being ready to fall asleep in the process — or maybe that was just me?




Show notes:

00:23 Introductions
00:51 KeyForge - Richard Garfield - Fantasy Flight Games
09:04 Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar - Rob Daviau, JR Honeycutt, Justin D. Jacobson, Chuck Kennedy, Bruce Lund - Restoration Games
10:50 Victorian Masterminds - Antoine Bauza, Eric M. Lang - CMON Limited
12:58 Newton - Simone Luciani, Nestore Mangone - CMON Limited
14:00 Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters: Creepy Cellar Expansion - Brian Yu - Mattel
15:15 Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team & Warhammer: Age of Sigmar 2nd Edition - Games Workshop Ltd.
16:10 Blitz Bowl & Space Marines Adventures & Lord of the Rings Adventure Game
16:30 Talisman: Legendary Tales - Michael Palm, Lukas Zach - Pegasus Spiele
17:00 Doomseeker - John Cadice, David Freeman - Ninja Division
17:15 Warhammer 40,000: Heroes of Black Reach - Yann and Clem - Devil Pig Games
19:05 Audience question about Imaginarium release
19:25 Tokyo Highway to be distributed by Asmodee North America
20:45 Stone Age: Anniversary Edition announced
21:40 Blank Expansion: Blankdemic - Matt Leacock - Hub Games
23:30 Audience Questions
26:15 Good-byes from Gen Con 2018
26:40 Discussion with Ani & Sebastian
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Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:44 am
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