Because of ´Robinson Crusoe` I had a super awesome year!
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This list is like a diary of my last 11 months, starting from being a lurker here in BGG, ending in being co-creator for the expansion of the best game ever.......
It is mostly about myself, my dearest buddy Robert Masson, Ignacy Trzewiczek, Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island and
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island – Voyage of the Beagle (Vol. 1).
Ignacy liked my idea for this list and he encouraged me to publish it.
I hope you have some fun reading it - any comments are welcome.
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1. Board Game: Reading for Detail [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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I was a lurker for almost two years before I just had to become a member. My husband and friends are all non-gamers, but that´s no problem for me. I love multiplayer-solitaire and enjoy concentrating on a game for hours. But it obviously lacks exchanging views and rules-interpretations with others.
I discovered BGG!!
Like a whole new world opened up for me..........
It was so exciting, I tell you I completely neglected my household for almost two months because of it.
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2. Board Game: The Christmas Game [Average Rating:4.27 Overall Rank:15230]
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It was December 2012.
This game appeared in the universe:
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island


Reading all about it here, I knew immediately: I NEED this game!
No sooner said than done (it was no problem to get a copy in Germany then). What a great christmas-gift I gave myself - received it, openend it, set it up, read the rules , began to play, ....aeh, I mean I tried to play...., read the rules again, started to play again (let´s say this happened about 8 or 9 times like that...).
But it was getting better and better and I honestly loved this game from the first instant. It became my absolute favourite game and I believe it will ever be!
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3. Board Game: The Rule [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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January 2013

There was this rule I could not accept. The morale-track. Why does it only decrease when you get wounded, but not increase when you heal?
It really bugged me. And even following the discussions in the forum here was not providing a satisfying answer.
There was no other way: I must become a member here to be able to ask this question myself.
And so it happened: on 1st of January 2013 I became one of you. Ooops - I mean US.
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4. Board Game: Star Authors [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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So I started a thread about the morale-track, asking the designer directly for an answer. I had noticed him to be quite active in the Robinson-forum, so I hoped I could be lucky. And guess what:

Ignacy Trzewiczek
Poland
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was the first to answer me - shortly after I had asked!!
Although I hoped that this would happen, I almost could not believe that it really happened! I mean, Ignacy Trzewiczek, the designer of my favourite game, answered me personally to my very first post in BGG!
For a minute I was so excited that I jumped around in the house like a child. My husband shook his head...
Ok - a couple of other geeks contributed to the discussion and after a while I made peace with the morale-rule.
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5. Board Game: 1000 Blank White Questions [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
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Again I was sitting in front of my monitor for weeks, following the discussions in the Robinson-forum. There were questions upon questions, from many many gamers. The rules-interpretations differed in many ways - actually they still do today.
Personally I conclude, that each gamer will play a different Robinson-game. And that is not bad. Ignacy himself said once, as long as we all have fun, it´s not a crime if we have different understandings of the rules.
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6. Board Game: Community [Average Rating:4.75 Unranked]
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February 2013

I really began to appreciate this community. Starting to look deeper into some more of the features this site has to offer: the Women and Gaming forum, Geek-Lists, I learned how to upload and post images, and for almost every question there are kind people who help.
Then I became a supporter (thanks for the ad-block!), and bought some microbadges. I absolutely love microbadges! And therefore I do admire their creators, the microbadgicians! I even requested a badge to express this from time to time.
mb

I always felt funny about internet-communities and I´m not involved anywhere, but this one here feels really good! It is an amazing generous and helpful communtiy!

edit:spelling
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7. Board Game: Call 'em All! [Average Rating:4.88 Unranked]
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Here we go.......

Robert Masson
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summoned all the friends and fans of Robinson to create our own scenario. Before, Ignacy had provided a blank download scenario-sheet for us to create our own stuff just as it pleases us! Now how cool is that!!
Guess who was the first one to say "Yes, I´m in..!!" Yeah - it was me.
In the beginning there were a lot of geeks who contributed amazing ideas for a fan-made scenario. It were crazy days, all this creativity, the thread was boiling: we had ideas for Zombies, Pirates, Naturalist, Polynesia, Jurassic, Chtulhu, Catan, Dinosaurs, Atlantis...........
It was then when I discovered that I have endless playtesting-skills.
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8. Board Game: A Little Lovin' [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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March 2013

While all this was happening, I created my own thread Little things........
It is a beautiful and peaceful place where I invite every geek to post something special, something that makes us happy or smile or feel good in any way. It was inspired by mb. This is something I learned relatively early in my life, and it lets me endure all the big bullshit that happens to all of us here and there.
So every now and then someone posts something nice, a little thing which is appreciated and we others chime in. Even if the thread is posted in the Women and Gaming forum, every man is also invited to post, and some do.
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9. Board Game: Bear Buddies [Average Rating:3.65 Unranked]
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Until then I had no idea what all this "Geek-Buddy"-business was all about. One day I checked my profile to find out if I had enough GG to buy one more microbadge. I noticed that I had been added to a geek-buddy list for the first time! How exciting! It was Robert, he found me worthy of being his geek-buddy. I felt proud.
During the creation of the fan-made Robinson-scenario we became quite good friends, actually in the last days there were only Robert and me who were contributing to the scenario.
So - I started to look into this BGG-feature closer. I became aware that it is a really wonderful way to express the appreciation for another geek.
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10. Board Game: Natural Selection [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
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May 2013

Short and sweet:
"The Naturalist" (initial idea came from Robert) was chosen to be the fan-made scenario and it became a huge success here on BGG!
The Naturalist 8th scenario for Robinson Crusoe
Over 3000 downloads up to now!
At this point I thought: Wow, I only joined this place a few months ago, and now look, I am part of this

Ignacy loved it too, he wanted Robert to write a short story about the creation-process in his "Board Games that tell Stories" "Story on Board" magazine, and I also added my experiences from playtesting. It was really exciting, and I was proud too.


edit:
correction of information
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11. Board Game: Jeu du Robert [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Robert and I had discovered that we are a perfect team.
Shortly after "The Naturalist" was finished, Robert asked me if I was interested in working on another scenario with him. Just the two of us. Was I excited? YEAH! I felt honoured.
He had an idea for a scenario which would continue where the Naturalist ended and planned to present it to Ignacy.........
cool
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12. Board Game: The Mission [Average Rating:6.54 Unranked]
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I never ever would have imagined what happend then. It was like birthday and christmas and whatnot all together on one day: Robert asked me again if I would work with him......... on the official expansion for Robinson!!!!
You know the answer - YES!!! Not a single moment of doubt, .... man, what an opportunitysurprise
Robert had already drafted a couple of scenarios (could it be that he had all this ideas already in his head when he worked on The Naturalist?..... I never asked him...), I threw in a handful of ideas too and then we started working........
We did not know how we look like, never spoke a word (I´m a computer-jerk, no skype, no facebook, no twitter, no nothing.....), we were only working with mails and google-docs, and we really developed a beautiful relationship, amazing.
After I while we found out how the other one looks like - it is so much nicer when you have a face in mind when you are joking and laughing and telling private things from our lives...
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13. Board Game: Day & Night [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:2678]
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June/July 2013

The following weeks were crazy. Robert adjusted rules, I was playtesting. And we were working day and night. Yes really. When it was night for me, it was day for Robert, and vice versa. There were only small time-windows when we were online together.
Quite often we were on a roll - like everything we thought and talked came from one mind. Our way of working together became better and better, even though we already were a perfect team!laugh
We had the same sense: only with each other we could do this and finish this.
(hihi....I should mention though, that also quite a few times noone had a clue what the other one was talking about, once it took three days until I understood what Robert had ruled..... )
I am 100% confident that I deserve the title "Playtesting Queen"!
Robinson is for 1-4 players. I tested everything with all thinkable player-counts and -combinations several times. I mean I was honestly dedicated to make this work. Period.

Here two nice imgages from playtesting:



Robert always provided beautiful images for the Beagle-playtesting, it was a fun time.
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14. Board Game: Claim to Fame [Average Rating:5.34 Overall Rank:13755]
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Ignacy announced that there will be the expansion for Robinson. At that time it had the working-title Naturalist and the not final cover with old Darwin. My name together with Roberts appeard on the screen!
For the first time in my life a had a small feeling of being famous wow.
And: for the first time my husband really understood what I was doing. He was really impressed with what his wife is being involved with. He began to take it more seriously now. And he never complained about that I spent more time on the computer than with anything else (well, maybe he complained once or twice.....)
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15. Board Game: Avatar Adventures [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Unbelievable, but until then I had no avatar.
I never really thought about it very deeply. Do I need one? Why would one need one? I liked some of the avatars from other geeks, some I didn´t like. Asking myself: avatar what for? Why should some image other than myself represent me? Struggling..... being honest to myself I actually wanted an avatar. So it should be an image of myself. But I don´t like myself on fotos really much - and even if I found one which I liked, would I want to see it every time I post something?
....struggling.....
Then I got it! My avatar can only be the female soldier from Robinson! My favourite character. I asked Ignacy if I was allowed to use it, had the help of a nice fellow-geek, and there I finally had my avatar!
I am so happy with it!
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16. Board Game: Cheers and Tears [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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August 2013

There came the time when Ignacy took over. He had been busy too. After all it is his game and he would be the one who speaks the last word.
And he too worked really hard on the expansion.
So there were things changed and deleted and completely new and different and so on.....
Well - of course this was to be expected, but I tell you, when it happens, it hits like a hammer!
Alright,....phew,..... needs a little time to digest it. Quite a lot of incredible ideas went straight into the trash. (Check Ignacy´s blog and you know what I mean).
But then again - Ignacy installed other incredible mechanisms, completely new features and challenges, it was astonishing to see how he converted some bumpy game-mechanisms into smoothly working stuff (even if he made it tougher .... hihi...).

"It´s all about trust" Ignacy says........... yes it is!
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17. Board Game: Extra! [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:3704]
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Alright now, after Ignacy provided us with his own work for the expansion, we went back to playtesting, quite a few geeks form BGG joined the group and it was really nice to get acquainted a bit.
Beforehand, everything had been tested by Ignacy´s own very special playtesting group in Poland. They must have Super-Powers!
They win 7 out of 10 games!!
So - it was very interesting to see how other testers managed the scenarios. Some had the same experiences I had, others the opposite.
5 scnearios had to be checked, Essen came closer......
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18. Board Game: Scenario Designer's Handbook [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
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Then it was final: There would be Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island – Voyage of the Beagle (Vol. 1)

The moment it was added to the database there was a link to........
...my very own Designer-page!!!!!
I couldn´t believe it. The admins told me that I could decorate my avatar with the GameDesigner-badge.....
Honestly I did not know what to think. As usual I was terribly excited about it. I wanted to have it, but was not sure if I really deserve it. I asked the only person who is in the position to give advice here.... Ignacy. He assured, that my contributions to VOTB made me absolutely worthy of calling myself a game-designer!
I believe that this is the best acknowledgement one can get, right?
Right!
laugh
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19. Board Game: Geek Out! [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:7495]
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September 2013

So..... all came to a good end. The expansion is finished. Every fan is waiting now to get their hands on it.
How did I feel? Exhausted. Excited. Anxcious. Satisfied. Proud.
A little scared too. How would the fans like it?
In any case.... it was time to put the Robinson-stuff away now. I thought I would like to play some other games for a change.
But this is what happened while I put Robinson away - I cried a little. I felt torn. On the one side I did feel tired of it somehow, but it felt strange on the other hand to remove it - it was such a huge part of my life during the last months.....
You know what happend?
I set it up again and I didn´t play any other game. Instead I did some playstests for other geeks who developed new fan-scenarios.
I must be crazy laugh
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20. Board Game: Something Different [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:15098]
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Here are some pictures to compare the playtesting-material with the real thing.

Scenario Nr. 2


Scenario Nr. 3 PnP


Scenario Nr. 3 finished


Scenario Nr. 4 playtesting-instruction by e-mail


Scenario Nr. 4 final
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21. Board Game: Fun At The Fair [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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October 2013

Essen ´13 was on. Unquestionably I was there. This was the first thing I did when I arrived at the portal booth:



Robert requested an image of Ignacy and me and of course I took care of it immediately. It was awesome to meet Ignacy! He is adorable!
Watch the BGG-TV video on the VOTB-site - he really loves the expansion and it shows.
Then I received my copy of the Beagle. Again this feeling of birthday and christmas together. When I opened it..... I was overwhelmed by the beauty and quality of the components...... Again I smiled away some tears, after all this time of creating and testing, now holding the finished product in my hands, was just ..... undescribable.

The next day I spent some time chatting with Ignacy. He is great. I love his humor. I told him about my ideas about this geek-list and he liked it. Maybe without his encouragement I would have been too shy to publish it.
blush

edit: spelling
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22. Board Game: Find the Mistakes [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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You know what´s funny? I still make mistakes with the rules and how to interpret them laugh.
Just recently I learned that I can still gather from a tile that is "unexplored"....
I mean... I played 200 games more or less.....
But it happens every now and then, that Ignacy himself or other gamers teach me something which I was not aware of...
During playtesting I was desperate about it. Ignacy, good soul, assured me though, that the little things I may have done wrong would not have major consequenses.
Phew.... Thanks Ignacy!!
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23. Board Game: The Appreciation Game [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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It is about time that I express my admiration for Robert.
I don´t know how he did it.
He has a full-time job, is writing his thesis (must be huge!), has 5-year old twins....

I have no idea how and where he found the time to be so creative and then write and edit the rulebook. I mean.... look at it..... It is... Perfect!
There is only one possible explanation: He must love the game even more than I do....
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24. Board Game: San Andreas [Average Rating:6.40 Unranked]
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And while I´m at it, I want to thank my dear husband Andreas!
He was extremely understanding (except for the one or two times I mentioned above )and supporting.
When I was sitting for hours and hours either playtesting and/or working on the computer, he just did all the jobs that had to be done in house and garden without a word. Sometimes he shook his had when I was laughing out loud about a joke Robert made, and sometimes he was interested and wanted to see what we were elaborating.
He recognized and acknowledged that this project was important and dear to me.
Thank you, love.
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25. Board Game: The Game of Pride [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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This is the end of this list.
I am damn proud of my contribution to this best game ever!
It was my favourite game from the first instant, it still is, and I believe it will ever be.
Because of my dedication to it I had been given the chance to participate in creating the expansion.
I feel gooood!!
This was an extremely exciting time of my life!

Thank you Robert and Ignacy - you made me very happy!!!!!
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