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Gen Con 2013 – Game Demos from the Convention Floor: SOS Titanic, Lewis & Clark, Goblin Vale, Airborne Commander & Ryan Laukat's Eight-Minute Empire

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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• Continuing with game demonstrations recorded on the show floor at Gen Con 2013, we have designer Bruno Cathala with SOS Titanic, which was co-designed with Ludovic Maublanc and is coming from French publisher Ludonaute at Spiel 2013.

I was able to play SOS Titanic once at Gen Con 2013 with four other players, and we did a smash-up job saving passengers, getting everyone into the boats before the Titanic sank, but we were blessed with a lucky start that let us empty most of the left-hand row before it came close to slipping under water. I think we also did a bit of hand-waving during the game over a couple of rules, it being late and us playing for the first time.

As I suspected, this game mirrors The Little Prince – also from Ludonaute and Cathala, with Antoine Bauza being co-designer on that game – in being appropriate for a casual gaming audience while also providing gamers with more to hang on to, for example, in terms of determining the probability for which passengers are where and figuring out when to use which special powers. Embedding that theme in the gameplay is a brilliant touch since it aids your understanding of what needs to be done, while not being so heavy (due to a century's distance from the tragedy) that the threat of lost passengers brings you down.

• Ludonaute was also demoing Lewis & Clark from designer Cédrick Chaboussit, with this game also being scheduled for release at Spiel 2013. Feedback from the few people at Gen Con who were able to play this game was overwhelmingly good. Alas, I was not one of those people...

• Max Michael from StrataMax Games provided an overview of two games in the works from that U.S. publisher, starting with Goblin Vale from designer Aaron Lauster (Days of Steam, Let's Take a Hike).

• The second game in development by StrataMax as of mid-2013 is another Aaron Lauster design: Airborne Commander, a solitaire design that publisher Max Michael was initially waving off — until he actually gave it a try.

• The final pair of videos for this post has designer/artist/publisher Ryan Laukat from Red Raven Games explaining Eight-Minute Empire: Legends, a standalone game due out by the end of 2013 that's a spin-off of his well-received Eight-Minute Empire.

• And speaking of Eight-Minute Empire, Laukat also took a few minutes to give an overview of an expansion under development for that game.

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