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Subject: Do you all have favorite designers/publishers? rss

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Melody Klein
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I've just seen it asserted in another thread that everyone has a favorite designer and/or publisher. Now granted, that was a new user I'm quoting from, but there are plenty of folks here who have a bunch of games from the same designers/publishers and get excited whenever they hear about something new from those designers/publishers.

I don't. I have more of a feeling that almost every game in my collection is a one hit wonder rather than a gateway to a new discography I'd love, to use a music analogy. When I look up other games from the designers and publishers who already have a presence in my collection, it's pretty rare for me to find anything else of interest.

How about you?
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Claudio Coppini
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Yeah that's totally understandable.

For me, I started boardgaming in January this year, I always like to try games from different designers/publishers, but there are already a couple of designers that I feel like I would probably love most of their games. The two designers are Stefan Feld and Bernd Eisenstein. I've got six games from them so far (three each), and already looking forward to getting their other ones.

I guess that for some of us there are just some designers that in a way or the other always manage to include in their games most of the elements we like in a game.
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Ludovic Roy
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Vlaada Chvatil
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Nope, I don't, but I have designers and publishers I don't like. Namely, Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala and Stoneblade Entertainment.
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Gary Stephen
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I couldn't tell you who designed/published most of the games I own.

So no I don't have any favorites really, though any Red Raven Games kickstarter project is pretty much definite for me these days.
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Look on my works ye mighty and despair
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The only favourite designer I have is Tom Wham and that's as much about liking his art as anything else.

There's a few designers I keep an eye on like Lewis Pulsipher and Richard H. Berg, but I wouldn't call them favourites per se. They aren't "must buys" or anything like that.

But I think I approach games differently than you; I tend to try and get a wide variation of diverse approachs to similar playing experiences. I'm not really a gaming "omnivore".
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Chris Mcpherson
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For me, I don't just go out and buy everything from a certain designer once I like one game they made but after a few games I might keep an eye out for the other stuff they make. Knizia is a bad example because he makes so many games it's impossible not to stumble upon a few of them but someone like Feld I have realized that I like his designs. I played Castles of Burgundy and then Trajan. I was like "Wow" I like these what else has he done. That brought me to Bora Bora, Bruges, and Amerigo. I looked at some others and they didn't spark my interest. Eventually I got Aquasphere and loved that one as well. Antoine Bauza is another one I must like due to the games I have but that one just happened. I got a game here and there and slowly realized I was buying games by the same designer.

I looked at your games, sorted by designer, and you have a good number of games by the same designers. Donald X. Vaccarino seems to be your favourite designer because you own 3 different games by him. With that said, there is a good chance he isn't your favourite designer but at the same time, maybe he is. One of my favourite games is Glen More and even when that was the only game I had from him he was up there with my favourite designers because I love that game so much.
 
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Daily Grind
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Razoupaf wrote:
Nope, I don't, but I have designers and publishers I don't like.

This for me as well. I'll pay closer attention to a game if its a designer I know and like, but more often than not I'll decide a new title is too similar to something I already have and give it a pass. But I do have a designers to avoid list, although I try and keep an open mind. Maybe one day I'll be surprised.
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Randall COBB
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I think favorite designers will be more common than favorite publishers, due to the large variety of games that a publisher would often carry in their portfolio. I am a big Stefan Feld fan, as several have also mentioned. For a publisher, NSKN Games I guess would be the closest, since I really love all their games to date, but they still have a relatively small portfolio.
 
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David Larkin
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Having been gaming for a good few years I tend to only look at new games on the basis that I have already looked at the old ones :-) I use Eric Martins excellent SPIEL 2016 Preview and tend look at the game mechanics on first pass and eliminate any that don't appeal and then look at what remians in a little more detail to get it doen to 30 or 40 I am most interested in.

Games by designers who have produced a couple of games that I like will catch my eye and I will generally give their new games a bit more attention. Uwe Rosenburg, Stefan Feld, Martin Wallace, Tony Boydell, Richard Brise for example, although I passed on Martins and Richards offerings this year.

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Josh
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It took years for me to develop tastes in thst manner. Even today I would say there are 3 tiers for me.

Top:Vidal Lacerta and Splotter Spellen.

These are the 'buy all the things' tier. They put something out and it is on preorder.

Second string:Steffan Feld, Sierra-Madre gsmes, Uwe Rosenberg

These are 'take notice.' Not 100% hits, but stable and reliable enough to give every game with the name attached a hard look.

The rest: I do recognize other names and have opinions attached to them, but nothing deep enough to warrant differentiation.

That's my 2 cents.
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Dave Lartigue
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I always pay attention to what Portal Games puts out. 51st State/New Era, Neuroshima Hex, and Theseus are some of my favorite games, and I've enjoyed plenty of others from them as well. They're not insta-buys, and lately a lot of their offerings haven't interested me, but I always take a look. I've also started to pay attention to what Carl Chudyk does.
 
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I H
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I'm always interested in what Mac Gerdts is cooking up. Imperial, Navegador, and Concordia are all excellent, and even his less-interesting games are okay (Antike, Hamburgum). Dorn, Knizia, and Kramer have also each created multiple games I greatly enjoy, but all have had uneven histories. On this side of the bond, I try to follow what Corey Konieczka, Eric Lang, and Kevin Wilson design. That doesn't mean I'll necessarily buy or even try any of these designers' games, but I will research them.

On the other hand, I haven't enjoyed anything by Stefan Feld or Uwe Rosenberg (Bohnanza is tolerable). So there's a low bar for me to dismiss their new games.
 
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Chris Blackford
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There are two designers I feel I MUST someday have every game with their name on it: John H. Butterfield and Nate Hayden.

I enjoy wargames, but will likely never convince any of my friends to play them, which is where John H. Butterfield comes to the rescue. He can make a solo wargame full of narrative and difficult enemies, and I'll easily eat up a whole day playing his games sometimes. As for Nate Hayden, he has a way of making games with themes that are rarely touched by our hobby, and his designs brilliantly mesh with those themes. Plus, he's pretty active on his game pages and he seems like a genuinely good guy.

Vlaada Chvátil and Uwe Rosenberg are up there for me as well, even if I don't have many of their games just yet.
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Dan B.
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Iello is a company I always pay attention to. I don't own a ton of their games but they seem to hit on all cylinders for what I look for in a game.
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Alexandre P.
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Some designer names raise my interest but it never creates an "instant-buy".
In the same way, some publisher names give me preconceived ideas about the game but I try to confirm/disconfirm them.
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Russ Williams
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Melody303 wrote:
I've just seen it asserted in another thread that everyone has a favorite designer and/or publisher.

The assertion seems obviously (and easily demonstrably false)...!

Certainly some people do, but clearly many people do not.

Quote:
How about you?

I like some designers and publishers, and I dislike some. There's none I would call my "favorite".
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Michael Dillenbeck
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I'll disagree that everyone has a favorite designer/publisher - but I would agree with the notion that people gravitate towards particular designs that suit their play style and thus most have some sort of favored designer/publisher that embraces those designs.

When I returned to gaming, I didn't have a favorite and thought it a bit silly; but that was partially due to my limited gaming vocabulary (think of game mechanics as the words, and how they are assembled into various titles as syntactic phrases).

Then I discovered the publisher Sierra Madre Games and thus the designer Phil Eklund. Heavy science based games that read more like thesis papers than game rules? Themes that cover anthropology, aerospace engineering and space exploration, the roots of rebellion, and so on? I was all in, and it was probably the first designer that I consider prolific that I embraced.

Later I embraced Splotter despite owning only a couple of their games (partially due to the price, partially due to their limited rate of producing games, and partially due to not enjoying all the themes they made), and most recently embracing the publisher GMT Games and more specifically the designers Richard Berg and Volko Runke.

Looking at my collection, other designers were bought up without me realizing I did so (such as Stefan Feld). Sure, at only starting up (collection under 50 titles) I avoided similar designs and thus wound up avoiding a particular designer, but once I broke 100 game titles I started getting more games that duplicated elements and thus found particular designers became prominent. At 200 game titles or so, I find I like to collect series games (such as COIN or Great Battles of History titles) - basically games with the same core mechanics but variations on theme and scenario rules, much like the Mayfair Crayon Rail series or Ticket to Ride series of games.

Does everyone need to do this, or does everyone do this? No. However, I will say that I know what to expect when I hear about a new Sierra Madre Games/Phil Eklund title, and I will most likely buy it. In this case, I have been actively pursuing older out of print titles to complete a collection of his games. It is interesting to see how his design philosophy changed over the years, and how he has embraced different styles (the low production cost zip lock bag game to the standard game box modern game to now the small box card based games) - not only does it show how his designs matured, I think it shows how economic forces shaped his designs. Then again, I have an interest in design and game mechanics - so I don't buy every game to play.
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Asher Kennedy
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DarthMonkey wrote:
I couldn't tell you who designed/published most of the games I own.

So no I don't have any favorites really, though any Red Raven Games kickstarter project is pretty much definite for me these days.


You don't think that would qualify as having a favorite?
 
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tucker8807 wrote:
There are two designers I feel I MUST someday have every game with their name on it: John H. Butterfield and Nate Hayden.


    Butterfield may have about the best slugging percentage in the business. He consistently delivers good games, and they aren't samey at all. They also are dependably correct on first release with very little need for clarification or house rules.

    He was one of two names I thought of when I saw the question -- John Butterfield and Tetsuya Nakamura.

    In the Euro and Ameritrash genres it's tougher, because most designers have a good game, but not all their games are good. So I never really know how to answer when this question comes up. To some extent I think you almost have to not ask the question about designers, but instead about individual games.

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Melody Klein
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Abiezer Coppe wrote:
But I think I approach games differently than you; I tend to try and get a wide variation of diverse approachs to similar playing experiences. I'm not really a gaming "omnivore".


Did I give the impression of a gaming omnivore? I'd be curious to know which of the games in my collection indicate that.

I'm very much into a wide variation of diverse approaches to deck building, for instance (and some nearly redundant approaches asw ell). Beyond that there have been a few seemingly random bleeps from other genres in my collection, and while the ones that don't feature deck building outnumber those that do, that's just because that category is far smaller than every other category combined.
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Melody Klein
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Re4isnumber1 wrote:
I looked at your games, sorted by designer, and you have a good number of games by the same designers. Donald X. Vaccarino seems to be your favourite designer because you own 3 different games by him. With that said, there is a good chance he isn't your favourite designer but at the same time, maybe he is. One of my favourite games is Glen More and even when that was the only game I had from him he was up there with my favourite designers because I love that game so much.


2 of Donald's games have a permanent place in my collection (Dominion & Kingdom Builder) indeed, but the third (Greed) might be out as soon as I find a better drafting game. I don't feel I nailed that category just yet.

Using the same measure that made Cramer your favorite at the time, Jeremy Lennert is and will always be my favorite, as he made my absolute favorite game, and I doubt it'll ever be surpassed for me. Unfortunately none of his other published designs interest me in the least.
 
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Andreas Pettersson
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No favorite but looking at my games I find that 10% of them are designs by Bauza or Cathala without any conscious effort or intention of mine.

Possibly this thread made me realize I have a favorite.
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Melody Klein
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I guess if a particular designer or publisher was into revisiting deck building again and again with significantly different designs (rather than expansions to one original designs or just rethemes of one design) they's be my favorites, but they all seem to be happy with having only one entry in the genre, each.
 
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Matt Brown
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Designers: Vlaada, Knizia, Kramer & Kiesling, and Pfister

Publishers: FFG, PHG, RGG.
 
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