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Subject: Has Reiner Knizia Designed 75% Of All Board Games Made? rss

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Rory
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Since I'm still new to this hobby, I don't yet really know the big names of designers in the board game industry. However, there is one name that I'm pretty sure I see 75% of the time when I check out a new game. That name is Reiner Knizia. I see he's done all kinds of games, many of which are in the Top 50 here on BGG.

Is Mr. Knizia considered an excellent designer or someone who throws a theme onto a proven concept? I'm curious what people here on BGG think of him.
 
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Clark Rodeffer
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With over 400 published titles, Reiner Knizia is very prolific. But that's still only a very small percentage of the tens of thousands of games published in the last 25 years or so.

Clark
 
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Jonathan Takagi
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roboman wrote:
Is Mr. Knizia considered an excellent designer or someone who throws a theme onto a proven concept? I'm curious what people here on BGG think of him.


I think you'll find that there are people that would classify him in both of those categories. I love many of his games, but I would freely admit that many of them are disposable, most likely released because of his stature in the board game world.

I would say that "excellent designer or theme-thrower" is a sort of false dichotomy. You'll see that most of the big name designers have both acclaimed and disdained games. Not every game can be a keeper.
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I have about a dozen of his games. I hope to get another dozen more in the next year.

To me, his best games are often my very favorites, but I'll admit that it is very rare for his themes to be strong. For example, Ra is great fun, but it doesn't really have anything at all to do with ancient egypt.

What I like about his (best) games is that they combine two of the most important things:

* They aren't too complex and don't take too long to play, so it's easy to find time and opponents.
* At the same time, there is enough complexity and strategy or tactics involved to make them worth playing.
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Hunter Shelburne
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Pretty sure its like Bob Dylan: He has written every hit song since 65, we just don't have any proof. We just KNOW its true, jsut like Knizia designs all Euros in his hideaway suite.
 
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Len Robinson
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I think it's fair to say that a new Knizia game is always worth a look if not a purchase. I also think that 'throwing a theme onto a proven concept' would be the last thing of which he could be accused. Knizia seems to keep coming up with new mechanics most of which are clever and nearly all of which reflect his mathematical background.
 
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I think he makes great games. Sometimes he makes a great game and throws a theme at it. But its not like he borrows a game (e.g. monopoly) and throws a theme at it (Harry Potter).
 
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DK Kemler
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Reiner Knizia has actualy designed every game ever published, he just doesn't bother taking credit for the other 25%
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roboman wrote:
Since I'm still new to this hobby, I don't yet really know the big names of designers in the board game industry. However, there is one name that I'm pretty sure I see 75% of the time when I check out a new game. That name is Reiner Knizia. I see he's done all kinds of games, many of which are in the Top 50 here on BGG.

Is Mr. Knizia considered an excellent designer or someone who throws a theme onto a proven concept? I'm curious what people here on BGG think of him.


I think of him more like an artist, with games being his canvas. He'll slap out something to meet some deadline or contractual obligation, but can also take the time to create and develop a true classic.
 
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Verily
In the days of high adventure
In the shadows of the Wall
Reiner Knizia descended
From the high and holy mountain
With its holy water fountain
And, behold and lo,
On his tablets it was written
"there shall be no dice to roll"
For he brought his games for all,
Verily and Amen.
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Bill Eldard
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roboman wrote:
Is Mr. Knizia considered an excellent designer or someone who throws a theme onto a proven concept? I'm curious what people here on BGG think of him.


Dr. Knizia is indeed one of the most prolific designers, as well as being among the best (I consider him #1).

Most of his designs are highly original, although over time, I'm sure folks can find some aspects of his designs that are seen in other games, too. But her rarely starts with theme to which a design is constructed and attached. And usually, the publisher picks the theme, from what I understand.
 
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Jonathan Takagi
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Eldard wrote:
But he rarely starts with theme to which a design is constructed and attached. And usually, the publisher picks the theme, from what I understand.


This is not what he says. If you listen to his GeekSpeak interview, he explicitly states that he starts with the theme first, not the mechanics. After hearing him explain it, I believe it, though I would understand if many do not. I think that sometimes the publishers choose to retheme it, but that doesn't mean that he didn't necessarily start with the theme first.
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Ryan Newell
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I think one could say he's guilty of throwing themes on a proven mechanic that he originally designed. Some of his games seem redundant to me. I guess that's going to happen when you design a game every other week.

Disclaimer: I base my opinion almost primarily on what I've read about his games, not from personal experience. Take my opinion on this topic for what it's worth.
 
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I enjoy most of the games he designs and consider his name on the box to represent a sign of consistent quality. Plus, the man has hit a Golden Age in the past 6 years or so, producing superb work year after year after year. His quality control must be excellent; a thing I ralely feel about others.
 
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roboman wrote:
Is Mr. Knizia considered an excellent designer or someone who throws a theme onto a proven concept? I'm curious what people here on BGG think of him.

I consider him to be an excellent and original designer. I have about forty-five of his games and I think most of them are good to great. Not everyone likes his style, though; he likes to have simple rules that lead to complex situations, and many gamers prefer to have more detail in their games so that they can feel more involved in the theme. For that reason you will often hear people criticize his stuff as being soulless or abstract (which I would disagree with, but to each his own). Sometimes his designs are so outwardly simple that people assume that there's nothing to them, but there's usually some subtle and interesting stuff going on if you take the trouble to look for it.

A good indication of how much you'll enjoy his games is how you feel about traditional card games and games like backgammon. If you can enjoy a good game of spades or cribbage, you'll probably enjoy Knizia's stuff. If a game isn't a game to you if it doesn't have a heavy rulebook or a million different pieces, you'll probably want to steer clear. (That's not to say that all his games are as simple as spades or cribbage, though...they just tend to have that kind of general feel to them).

If you think you might be somewhere in the middle, I'd suggest going slowly, getting one or two and playing the heck out of them before you get more. Yes, Euphrat & Tigris, Ra, Amun-Re, Taj Mahal, Through the Desert, etc., etc., really are great, but they only really start to shine when you get to know them; if you get ten Knizia games and only play each of them twice, you're going to end up hating his guts.
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roboman wrote:
Since I'm still new to this hobby, I don't yet really know the big names of designers in the board game industry. However, there is one name that I'm pretty sure I see 75% of the time when I check out a new game. That name is Reiner Knizia. I see he's done all kinds of games, many of which are in the Top 50 here on BGG.

Is Mr. Knizia considered an excellent designer or someone who throws a theme onto a proven concept? I'm curious what people here on BGG think of him.


See http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/12001
 
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Vinay Chandrasekhar
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I think Reiner Knizia is an excellent designer. His highly regarded/rated games are often innovative and I tend to like them. He also has produced a lot of mediocre games but given his output that is unavoidable I think.

It is difficult to put a finger on why I like his games but I will try.

His games are usually easy to learn and teach, yet offer depth if bother to look carefully. he also keeps the games short and yet engaging. This I think gives his games a broad appeal.

He is an excellent at designing simple yet fun card games which again gives allows him to reach a wider audience.

Another important factor is his games tend to be more interactive than other euros in general, atleast in my opinion.
 
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The thing with his games that sets them apart from so many others can be summed up in one word: balance. Every element seems carefully crafted to interact with others. The starting choices are often not potential backbreakers. The various ways to win are equal in their ease or difficulty to attain. This is what makes him a superb designer in my eyes.
 
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degamer wrote:
Reiner Knizia has actualy designed every game ever published, he just doesn't bother taking credit for the other 25%


I think you mean Sid Sackson.

Reiner Knizia just throws themes on games designed by Sid Sackson and claims ownership...
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pwn3d wrote:
Bagherra wrote:
degamer wrote:
Reiner Knizia has actualy designed every game ever published, he just doesn't bother taking credit for the other 25%


I think you mean Sid Sackson.

Reiner Knizia just throws themes on games designed by Sid Sackson and claims ownership...


Pablo Picasso wrote:

Bad artists copy. Great artists steal.


If he said this then he was only paraphrasing Mark Twain, something that went like "amatuer humorists borrow; mature humorists steal."
 
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J.L.Robert wrote:
I think of him more like an artist, with games being his canvas. He'll slap out something to meet some deadline or contractual obligation, but can also take the time to create and develop a true classic.


Not true. Knizia never rushes anything out, but he does acknowledge differing tiers of quality/fun in his designs - and he shops them to appropriate publishers; great games to the great publishers, less great games to the less great publishers. You can generally tell how good the game will be by who he deemed fit to publish it.
 
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disclamer wrote:
J.L.Robert wrote:
I think of him more like an artist, with games being his canvas. He'll slap out something to meet some deadline or contractual obligation, but can also take the time to create and develop a true classic.


Not true. Knizia never rushes anything out, but he does acknowledge differing tiers of quality/fun in his designs - and he shops them to appropriate publishers; great games to the great publishers, less great games to the less great publishers. You can generally tell how good the game will be by who he deemed fit to publish it.


lol

anyways this got me browsing his designs and I came across a reworked monopoly.

I have tried 7 or 8 of his games and liked every single one of them. Except for Amun-Re, which I've only played once and don't "get" yet. So I'd count his success rate with me at a hundred percent with an asterix *word still out for amun re.
 
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oh sure, so HE is to "blame" for the LAME acclaim of the "M~opoly" infame! damm HIM! devil
 
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yeah? well… y’know, that’s just like, uh… your opinion, man…
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Puerto Rico is my favourite Knizia design.
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Kris Verbeeck
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Osiris Ra wrote:
Verily
In the days of high adventure
In the shadows of the Wall
Reiner Knizia descended
From the high and holy mountain
With its holy water fountain
And, behold and lo,
On his tablets it was written
"there shall be no dice to roll"
For he brought his games for all,
Verily and Amen.


Pickomino
 
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