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New Game Preview for Sept/Oct 2020; Request for Feedback on BGG's Gen Con Online Livestream

W. Eric Martin
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
As with all other game conventions scheduled for March 2020 or later, SPIEL '20 has been replaced by a virtual convention. As a result, instead of the standard SPIEL Preview that lists every possible title you might see in Essen — whether published, pre-Kickstarter, or prototype — I've created a preview list of games that have a retail release date scheduled in September and October 2020. (Those prototype games are still out there, of course, but I need to focus my efforts instead of trying to record all games in every stage of progress everywhere.)

The new game release preview for Sep/Oct 2020 is now live, with 134 titles listed as of the writing of this note. Some publishers have already sent lists of titles to be added to this preview, and I'm writing to all the publishers in my database this week to (1) request information and images and (2) solicit their interest in participating in BGG's livestream as part of SPIEL.digital 2020.

From gallery of W Eric Martin

Each year at SPIEL, BGG typically records video overviews of 300+ games, whereas at Gen Con and Origins we record overviews of about two hundred games. During our Gen Con Online livestream, we covered just over sixty games, and we did the same during our livestream from Comic-Con@Home — which means we can't cover anywhere close to three hundred games unless we livestreamed for twenty days, which is impossible given that four days of streaming tired us out as much as a regular in-person convention.

Hmm.

With that thought in mind, if you watched any part of the BGG livestream during Gen Con Online and have feedback, I'd love to hear it. How well does the format work in terms of presenting new games? What's missing that we could possibly add? Which presentations stood out as most effective? Which were not effective?

We had many publishers ask about presenting games on TTS and Tabletopia, but we want to stick with physical games as much as possible since this is BoardGameGeek and since the look and presence of the actual components matters when you have the game on your own table.

Whatever we do, though, we're going to have to be much choosier when it comes to booking presenters for SPIEL.digital 2020, and I apologize in advance for all the designers, publishers, and game players we disappoint by not featuring game Y instead of game X. I love being able to feature a huge variety of games and publishers to ideally highlight something for everyone, but we're going to have to find new ways to do things this year, which feels like the de facto motto for 2020.

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