Influences on Endeavor
Carl de Visser
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A few people have described Endeavor as derivative. I don't really mind that, as it has a lot of influences from other games. Sometimes the games people list as it borrowing from surprise me.

So I thought I'd make my own list. Jarratt may have different ideas about what the influences are, especially as I know he hasn't played all of the games I will list.

EDIT: Jarratt has since made his own list: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/46271/item/1040511
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1. Board Game: Age of Renaissance [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:883]
Carl de Visser
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A strong influence on early design concepts. I still see a lot of Age of Renaissance when I play Endeavor, although I imagine others wouldn't.

The biggest element from AoR is the sense of growth. In the first turn finding it hard to imagine how you will get anywhere and then in the last turn looking back and seeing just how far your empire has come.
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2. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:55]
Carl de Visser
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Two elements clearly borrowed from El Grande.

One, area control, the foundation of many Eurogames. It is only slightly disguised in shipping tracks, the track element only being to make the tie breaking rule clear.

The Caballeros/The Court and Population Markers/Harbour system are basically the same both as far as mechanics and theme goes. In El Grande you use cards to get your caballeros from the country to the court to then do useful stuff. In Endeavor your Culture level attracts people to your city so oyu get them to do useful stuff.

The borrowing is even more clear on the original player board that had a Court, a City and a Harbour area. You'd attract markers to the Court. Shipyards could convert them to markers in the Harbour. Markers you'd moved to the City then could be used to activate buildings to send markers in your Harbour out to do stuff. This got abstracted down into just being a Harbour.
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3. Board Game: Suzerain [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:8891]
Carl de Visser
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This is one of the first games I played with a player board. Player boards give an instant sense of embodiment, which is otherwise hard to achieve in a development style game.

Suzerain also has a wonderful stepping through the phases of the game being reflected on the player board.
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4. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:119]
Carl de Visser
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As well as the City, Court and Harbour the original player board had a large gridded area to put your various shaped buildings. We saw the game very much as a development of Princes of Florence. The whole building placement element got dropped as we worked out it wasn't the core of the game.
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5. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:16]
Carl de Visser
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It wasn't the buildings we took from Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has two elements we wanted, a really nice rhythm to its turns, and a subtle way it has of always stepping you forwarded. It makes you want to develop.

The best element of Puerto Rico for new players is giving you something that doesn't work. You get a plantation. It doesn't seem to do anything, ahh it needs someone on it. If it is Indigo you need a production building too. And then you need to make some goods. Now you have some goods, what do you do with them? A new player is busy doing stuff without worrying about too much about winning.
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6. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:308]
Carl de Visser
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The connections between cities came late into the game design. A few other games have it, but Taj Mahal probably had the most influence on how it was implemented.
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7. Board Game: A New World [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
 
Carl de Visser
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This is a stand in for the Rise of Nations computer game. Jarratt hasn't actually played it, but I have (a lot even). I think if you have played it, the connection will be obvious (four technology tracks that advance your Empires capabilities in some way).

I was actually worried when I saw a Rise of Nations game was coming out, as I thought it might have one of the core mechanics of Endeavor, and if it came out first we'd look very derivative.

As it happens no Rise of Nations game based on the computer game did come out.
 
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8. Board Game Designer: Michael Schacht
Carl de Visser
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Such elegant cut down designs. We often asked ourselves "What would Schacht do?" A good mantra for keeping things simple and elegant.

Of course if he did make Endeavor instead of us, it might only have 3 turns, 4 possible buildings and take only 30-40 minutes.
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9. Board Game Designer: Rüdiger Dorn
Carl de Visser
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And from Dorn the lesson is, never be afraid to put in a special rule or exception if it improves the game.
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10. Board Game Designer: Greg Costikyan
Carl de Visser
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I don't think Jarratt has played nearly as many Costikyan games as I have. The thing I most get from his games is theme coming from the mechanics instead of from text or art or other non-game artifacts. I have also seen him use the phrase "The Mechanic is the Message" when critiquing the games of others.

Pax Britannica and Web and Starship being good examples. I am also looking forward to Megacorps as it looks like it may achieve the same thing.
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11. Board Game: Struggle of Empires [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:335]
Carl de Visser
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We were very mindful of Struggle, as we were playing in the same thematic space. And we love Struggle. We did joke that Endeavour was more empire, and less struggle.

Our initial ideas of how slavery were used were pretty much a response to how Struggle of Empires, where slavery is always a good thing. We wanted there to be a potential cost to slavery, and to show how military power related to slavery in the period, both in maintaining it and in its eventual abolition.
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12. Board Game: Endeavor [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:202]
Carl de Visser
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Added so the list links to Endeavor
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