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News from Italy: Yummell, Magnifico for Tablet, GetGamers App, & Rüdiger Dorn in ILSA

A new round-up of news from Italy! Some news from Italian companies – such as Ares Games (BGGN link) and dV Giochi (BGGN link) – has already been covered in this space, so I'm going for something really new.

DaS Production: Yummell

DaS Production, an old Italian company from Florence, has announced the September 2012 release of Yummell, a game about fantasy races racing in the ironic fantasy world of Kfoorp, which was created and illustrated by Paolo Chiari, also known as Quercelfo (which in Italian means something like "Oak Elf").

Yummell, designed by Alessandro Ivanoff and Massimo Chiari, includes eight different fantasy races, and each player has a different character to use and a special random advantage. To win the race, you need to run, fly, or use magical powers – or perhaps a mix of all three.

Game board tile, one of the races, and an advantage card

The real engine of the game is a 90-card deck with creatures, events and artifacts that can be used during the game to provide various advantages for you or stumbling blocks for opponents.

Yummell is for 2-8 players, ages 12+, with a playing time of 45 minutes. All of the game components are bilingual in Italian and English, but the box will include only Italian rules, with English rules to be available as a download on the Yummell website.



In fact, the Italian rules (PDF) are already available online, and I plan to write a detailed preview soon as I recently received a preview copy of the game.

ILSA Magazine: Rudiger Dorn Issue

ILSA Magazine #17 will be soon online, first the .epub version via Amazon and Lulu, then a free PDF version on the ILSA website.

This special issue includes an interview with Rüdiger Dorn for The Art of Design interview series I've been conducting. (This interview is also available on OpinionatedGamers.com.)

Magnifico: Da Vinci's Art of War

Spartaco Albertarelli, designer of Magnifico, Dust and other titles, has announced that he's working on a tablet version of Magnifico with a group of experts, including some professors of the Milan Politecnico.

A Facebook page now exists for Da Vinci's Art of War, as the game is being called, and Spartaco's personal blog should have information about the app as well.

WePlay: GetGamers App

Since I've been involved in the creation of the GetGamers app from WePlay almost from the beginning, here's a designer diary of sorts about this app.

While talking with some friends from Modena about gamer communities and associations, we realized that there are many more gamers around than we initially realized, with these gamers being reachable through forums, online resources, and associations. The problem, however, is that sometimes these people live relatively close to one another and share the same interests, but they're unaware that the other party exists.

We started to research on the net for a resource or site specifically for gamers that could help, but we discovered only that the problem was much bigger than we had been thinking. We found lots of threads with requests along these lines: "Are there any gamers in my area?", "I'm looking for people in my town for a game session.", "Do you know associations/clubs near [town name].", "I'm on holiday in Rome. Can someone help me find games shops, gamers and associations for a evening game session?"

So we decided to think about a possible solution, specifically about an app since smart phones and tablets are, day by day, ever more common. We are not app designers, however, so we searched for a company that would be able to fulfill such a project. It would likely be really expensive, but we decided to try.

Of course to do this, we needed to make a plan to (hopefully) cover some of the costs and create something that could survive in the years ahead.

-----• First, we decided it had to be a geolocalized app since the main idea is to find people close to you.

-----• Second, the app needed to be widespread to work well, so we wanted to have a free version with almost all of the functions as well as an inexpensive version.

-----• Third, we needed to include associations, shops, and publishers, so we decided to design a special PLACE add-on.

-----• Fourth, it needed to be useful for gamers, so we would try to integrate it with Twitter, Facebook, BGG, and Game Center.

With this plan, we started to press the developer to have a working release before summer to have the time to contact clubs/associations and give them a free PLACE version ahead of the major release at the start of September after fixing bugs.

This has been an hard project! Developing something that you are not able to develop yourself is not easy, and making non-gamers design something for gamers is also really hard. If you plan to design an app for gamers, think a lot about that!

The main idea throughout the project was to create something that we could be proud of, since – as we've written on the WePlay website:

Quote:
WePlay is a company founded by a group of gamers with the aim to offer products of interest for gamers. We are not looking for money, but we want to get as many Prestige Points as possible. In the "game of life" money is just a medium, but Prestige Points are VP.
The free version of the GetGamers iOS app is now available, as is a version of the app for Android. We are still offering the PLACE add-on for free to all gamer associations that contact us at staff@weplaysas.it (or liga@treemme.org), both to assist the gamer associations themselves and to help the app spread and become known.

We are still awaiting the 1.0.1 release in September 2012 that should fix most of the problems/issues to date, and we hope to have done something really useful for gamers and, perhaps some day, to get back some of the money spent...
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