Damn my mouth!
Why did I say: “hey, why don’t we write a nice report about IdeA G on BoardGameGeek?”…
- “Great, great idea, Gianni! So you’ll write the report in English, won’t you?”
- “Errrr… I am not so good… my English is quite broken…”
So, this is the result. My pals in IdeA G are expecting my report. Oh my.
I consider myself a quite literate man, but I am awkward in writing as much as I am quick in reading… and writing in English is an additional difficult.
I apologize for all the mistakes this text could contain.
What is IdeA G?
“IdeA G” is for “Incontro degli Autori di Giochi”, which means “Meeting of Game Designers”.
The first meeting of Italian Boardgame Designers (and would-be ones) took place in Piossasco, a place near Turin, northern Italy, during the weekend of January 22nd and 23rd, 2005.
About 20 authors and 20 players registered and showed up at the meeting, quickly filling all the available tables with colorful boards, tiles, cards, pawns, dices and even unusual objects like curtain rings… Each author had the possibility to present two prototypes, but nobody complained about third or fourth ones: the atmosphere had been very friendly and nice.
Organizer of the meeting has been Walter Obert (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/wallover), who did a great work in finding: a big room for the playtestings, a good and cheap restaurant for the meals, a comfortable accommodation for people who came from distant places (and a threatening ninja to ensure I write this report).
“Guest Stars” of the days were Andrea Angiolino (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/angiolillo) and Angelo Porazzi (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/WarAngelo). Both presented the beta version of the their latest creations, and both two were games about fighter planes! Andrea showed the third set of Wings of War (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/15953), and Angelo the game TATATA (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/15407)
I tried a fair number of games, some good, some not-so-good. Here are some themes:
- Small dinosaurs that try to pursue a bigger and ferocious one without being eaten.
- Travel towards counties buying the most valuable resources (no random factor in this game!).
- Monkey and kangaroos jump from rock to rock in attempt to cross a lake.
- Connect island in an archipelago and collect the seven kinds of fruits.
- Buy the best second-hand objects at the flea market, before the time ends.
- Carry the right team of workers (they must have different specializations and the same language) at the top of the Tower of Babel.
- Bats pushing each other for the best positions on a tree.
About the best game I played… well, I don’t know how much I can say about that, because it has been already presented to a publisher, and it is scheduled to be published in the 2006… I can only say that in my opinion, it could enter in the BGG’s top-50 (Do you want a little glimpse? O.K.: brass men work twice than humans, but you can’t send them to buy raw materials: they are robot , anyway). Authors are Acchittocca Group, a team of four nice people from Rome, which decided to work together on creating boardgames. The most known person of Acchittocca Group is Stefano Luperto (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/search.php3?designerid=2729).
There were two very good authors of abstract strategy games: Andrea Mainini (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/search.php3?designerid=4389) and Francesco Rotta (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/search.php3?designerid=2432). Their games were almost perfect and already worthy of being published. Mainini is also a skillful artisan and his game with monkey and kangaroos that are moulded with resin was simply gorgeous!
“Most Requested Player” and “Most Hated Player” awards, were both assigned to Luca Iennaco
(http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Luke+the+Flaming) whose great analytical skills are inextricably united to a scarce inclination towards kindness.
Other BGG people who came at IdeA G were:
Paolo Vallerga (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/search.php3?designerid=3718); Marco Averone
(http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/mapagames) and Giacomo Sottocasa
I tried myself for the first time as an author, and presented two games: they worked, but there was no fun in playing them (anyway, Luke The Flaming said that “there is an interesting mathematical problem” inside one of them, but this is not enough to make it enjoyable). Well, playtesting is used for this. I buried them now, perhaps one day I’ll take a piece from one of them for another game.
It’s all for now. I am sure that I left out something of noticeable, so I invite the other people who participated to IdeA G to add comments and thoughts about the experience.
P.S.: please, Walter, I think you can call back your now…
"IdeA G" was a good idea
It was a nice meeting (well, for me at least ).
I'm looking forward to the next edition!
Thanks for the report. It was very interesting and it was great to see so many BGG people there. I love content like this on BGG. I hope this becomes more regular and furthers Italian game design.
Thank you, Gianni. Now I can call the ninja. I hope to see you and many other friends very soon, for others IDeA Gs.
More shots and comments on our meeting here (only in italian, for now):
Thanks Gianni for the article, Walter and Paolo for inviting as "guest star".
I reported of IDeA G here
, on my website www.warangel.it and on next interview of Tom Vasel where I reported about many Italian meetings and cons that invited me and my selfproduced games.
This is what I mean for "Join Forces Together"
See at next con... Torino Games?
My experience at IDeA G
I have been at the IDeA G too. Yes, IDeA G means "Incontro Degli Autori di Giochi". If you know that we are speaking about games we could translate it into "Inventors', vDesigners', Authors' Gathering". If not, as "meeting of Inventors, Designers, Authors of Games".
The IDeA is simple: take 20 authors and 20 players, have each author bringing 1/2 prototypes, have all the authors and players play all the games they can and give impressions and advices. High quality, intense playtesting among a great choice of experts, in a nice hall far from any fair where everybody is busy buying, selling, promoting and doing so many things apart from testing games. The organization register everything on their little pieces of
paper, takes pictures and so on, just in case anybody has the ugly idea to copy anything. Pretty sure nobody will.
The idea came to Walter Obert and Paolo Mori.
Walter is one of the best Italian designers around. He did quite a lot of things here around, so there can be several reasons why you can know him. For example his first game ("Jagd der Vampire" by Ravensburger, 1991, with Alex Randolph and De Toffoli) or the last one ("Word Jam" by daVinci, 2004). And you will for sure know him for the
next one, but everything is still secret about it. All in all, Walter is a great candidate for Tom Vasel's interviews.
Paolo Mori is the inventor, designer and author of the www.inventoridigiochi.it site about game designing. In Italian, sorry. You will hear about him again soon, I'm pretty sure of it.
Piossasco is a nice medieval village in Piedimont, a region in Northwestern Italy with gorgeous alpine landscapes, some of the best wines of the nation (and probably of the world), a great cooking, impressive medieval castles (we visited one in Piossasco itself) and so on. Worth a visit, with no doubt. Just next to Turin, that's connected by bus: but local gamers were so kind to give visitors a lift.
Piossasco is the place where Walter Obert lives. He was surprised to find another international game author in the very same place: Andrea Mainini, that just published his first boardgame. It is called "OutFox" and it is designed together with Maureen Hiron. That's almost the same of saying that a guy just published his first book - a thriller written together with Stephen King. As the authorities explained, genius is quite common at Piossasco - even the inventor of the lightbulb was born there. But that's another story.
In two days we played a lot. All the prototypes I tried were interesting: some more "definitive", some less, but we worked on them just while playing. In the meantime I had the pleasure to know many interesting people, some of them just heard of on the net. Socializing meals have been a real pleasure. The playtestings of my own games (a coming soon Obscura Tempora and a new version of my old Ulysses) have been useful and fun.
The city council and the press were very interested in the happening. A new cultural center is currently being built in Piossasco, so all in all it seems that there will be a new and larger edition of the meeting. Maybe next year, maybe sooner... Who knows. And if anybody wants to cross the Alps and join us, I am pretty sure that it would be worth.
See you there then! Bye bye...