A mid-week recap of the best blog posts from Oct. 29th through Nov. 4th.
Tough choice picking the best out of 4 posts this week. A lot of great writing now that Essen is no longer a distraction.
AT THE TOP OF THE CHARTS…
CHEATING IN COOPERATIVE GAMES
GeekInsight @ Giant Fire Breathing Robot, 10/29/14
If everyone is doing it, does that make it right?
With cooperative games, bending or breaking the rules doesn’t cheat the other players out of a victory as cheating would do in a competitive game, but there is still a huge impact. By bending those rules, players are cheating themselves out of a better experience.
3 MORE MUST-READS…
TOP 10 GAMES EVERY DESIGNER SHOULD PLAY, PART 3
Peter Vaughan @ League of Gamemakers, 11/3/14
Game designers should know best what’s a good game, shouldn’t they? Turns out they do. The items on this list are mostly the Usual Suspects (Love Letter, 7 Wonders, Carcassonne) but there are a few lesser-known games (to me, anyway) worth checking out.
BTW, was there a reason why they couldn’t have a “Top Nine” or “Top Eleven” list?
10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Gary Ray @ Quest for Fun!, 11/3/14
Gary looks back over the past ten years as a game store operator. It isn’t often that stores manage to stay open that long. Especially when you have to deal with real life while trying to keep the store going.
Any way you look at it, it’s not easy running a game store.
If it sounds a lot like my goals are financial, you're not wrong. Another issue with ten years building a business is you're reluctant to aspire towards risky endeavors. It's why small companies can compete against big companies. Small companies can move fast and out maneuver the risk averse. Avoiding risk as a small business owner is perhaps the biggest risk.
WHAT IS A SOCIAL DEDUCTION GAME?
Matt M. Casey @ Clever Move, 11/4/14
From Mafia & Werewolf all the way to Battlestar Galactica, social deduction games are among the most popular group games (5+ players) around.
Last time I had Clever Move on this list, I did the site a disservice by comparing it to Buzzfeed. A more accurate description would be that Clever Move is the Mental Floss of board gaming blogs.
(The above four blogs earn consideration for the BGA Blog of the Year Award. One point is awarded for inclusion, with an extra point given to the Post of the Week.)
HERE ARE 4 MORE, IF YOU HAVE THE TIME…
GUILDS OF LONDON IS DEAD. LONG LIVE GUILDS!
Tony Boydell @ Every Man Needs a Shed, 11/1/14
Tony’s development of his upcoming 2015 release demonstrates the pitfalls of designing a game that depends on Intellectual Property of one form or another. In this case, Tony wanted to use each Guild’s ‘livery’ (or logo, if you will) of the ancient Guilds of London. With one exception, no go. Better to find this out now…
It would've been lovely to immerse the rulebook in 'real history' but, hey-ho, it's still the same game underneath! Disappointing as these refusals are, I'm massively-relieved that I didn't end up with a full production run of copyright-infringing games that - gulp! - may have had to have been recalled and pulped!
THE CONFUSING HIERARCHY OF THE BOARD GAME COMMUNITY
Rhiannon Ochs @ Whose Turn Is It Anyway?, 10/29/14
There is no Cult of Celebrity among boardgamers, except perhaps for the ubiquitous Tom Vasel. Designers who are superstars in print are anonymous in person. Would you recognize anyone from their photos…? Reviewers, on the other hand, especially video reviewers, are more frequently recognized and fawned over.
And, this is why our community is weird. If this were Hollywood, the designers would be the movie stars because they’re the ones creating the magic. People would be screaming like teenagers, autograph books in hand, passing out because Nuno Sentieiro touched their hand. I’m sure would. Instead, our community idolizes the Siskel and Eberts…
TRICKY, TRICKY PART 3
Kevin G. Nunn @ Mechanisms & Machinations, 10/31/14
Insightful breakdown of the various features in trick-taking games. For the gamer, it’s a good way of discovering just what kind of card game you’d like best. For me, this post features my favorite card-based mechanic, Card Passing. I’d love to see it added to more games, not just 7 Wonders or Among the Stars.
THE PLAYING CARD PLATFORM
Nathan Altice @ Analog Game Studies, 11/3/14
What makes a deck of standard playing cards so special? Nathan will tell you, in incredible detail. Quite a long, scholarly article, but considering how long we’ve been taking playing cards for granted, I think they’re earned a little serious attention.
Which one of these posts did you enjoy? Are there any blogs that I missed last week? Let me know in the Comments section!