Recommend
35 
 Thumb up
 Hide
58 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Hey what was the hobby like before BGG? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Edward Gorzek
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So what was the hobby like before BGG? How did you find out about new games? Who were the major publishers?
7 
 Thumb up
6.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris B
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

There were fewer games around, but we all played more cuz we didn't spend all our time here. devil
35 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Heldt
United States
Harper Woods
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Two panzer jocks in the South Seas hoping that soon they'll get lei'd--
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dice weighed thirty pounds each; hernias whilst playing Axis & Allies were quite common--
18 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve R Bullock
United States
Palm Coast
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I had more money in my pocket...
43 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Yeackle
United States
San Luis Obispo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Most of my information came from various blogs and personal websites I would stumble across. I remember pouring over various Gathering of Friends reports, and learning about a lot of the newer (and older) games from those. Funagain Games was also one of the stronger resources at the time, especially for euros.

While I have always been into boardgames, I was much more into RPGs when BGG came around. I only came to BGG since some dude named 'Aldie' happened to have these great reports on what was new. I never really peeked under the hood until much later, and even then I didn't really become involved until 2004 although I was a frequent visitor before that. It was all downhill since then, and now easily 95% of my gaming budget is consumed by boardgames thanks for a good part to BGG.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mattia Zabini
Italy
San Giovanni in Persiceto
Bologna
flag msg tools
We found games at local stores and at the cons. Major companies were Games Workshop, Avalon Hill, Steve Jackson Games. Games where somewhat more oriented to simulation than anything else, and where much less playtested. This is the golden age of boardgaming!! meeple

Oh I was forgetting...how much money lost to buy horrible games. BGG is great, it has taken games to a new standard
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Larkin
United States
Novato
California
flag msg tools
badge
Twinkies... YUM!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just like video games, we bought our games from the FLGS based on the pictures and text on the back of the box, this burned us more than it helped us I think.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Lewandowski
United States
Accokeek
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I remember spending a lot of time on rec.games.board and rec.games.board.marketplace. Or something like that. I also remember a lot of the personalities over there moving to BGG, and at some point the newsgroups became more and more quiet, and BGG started to take off.

It was also a time when buying the German version of a game was not just a means to get it early, sometimes it was the only way to get a game simply because no English version was planned, or there was no concept of a multi-market version.

Also, Civilization and Advanced Civilization were widely available at retail price.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Aleknevicus
Canada
Victoria
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
Stuart Dagger's perspective:

http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/GermanHistory.shtml

...and Bob Scherer-Hoock's:

http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/GermanHistory2.shtml

...and my own:

http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/BestofTimes.shtml
6 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Alden
United States
Dallas
Texas
flag msg tools
admin
badge
Aldie's Full of Love!
Avatar
mb
SavageSpawn wrote:
So what was the hobby like before BGG? How did you find out about new games? Who were the major publishers?


I found out about games by reading session reports on Rec.Games.Board:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.board/topics

Also, a private mailing list called DIGers (it still exists today) - from 1999 was a goldmine of information on Eurogames.

Rio Grande Games and Mayfair were the major American publishers and importers.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SavageSpawn wrote:
So what was the hobby like before BGG? How did you find out about new games? Who were the major publishers?


"...the boardgaming hobby, circa 1998..."



As for myself, how'd I find out about new games back before this newfangled BGG-thingy? I would stop at my local game store every once in a while, look at the shelves, buy a gaming magazine like "Moves" or "Fire and Movement", and read the handful of reviews and advertisements within. Wasted a lot of money on bad games back then, what with nothing but liner notes on the backs of boxes and the occasional magazine review to go by. Those were dark days, they were.
24 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A Derk appears from the mists...
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Aldie wrote:
Rio Grande Games and Mayfair were the major American publishers and importers.



...and most of the games came in German language. You could either learn a few words of German and muddle on (what I did) and or you could gripe about the lack of extremely rudimentary paste-ups (what Aldie usually did).

goo
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
"that's a smith and wesson, and you've had your six"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Before BGG I frequented Yahoo groups like Spielfrieks, DIGErs and Nigglybits. Newsgroups like rec.games.board, CSW, and SpielBox.de. I also had a subscription to Sumo and Counter magazine. I bought my games either locally or from Europe through Adam Spielt(Defunct). Most of the english titles came ported through Rio Grande Games or Mayfair. Others, we just had to get english translations form people we knew on places like Spielfrieks and the Game Cabinet..
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Wesley
Nepal
Aberdeen
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
Re: Hey what was the hobby like before BGGleemax?
soblue "it" LACK 'moi'... whistle
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Johnson
United States
Cottage Grove
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Kovacs
United States
Elyria
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I got my information from the ConSimWorld and Web-Grognards websites. Also subscribed to the General and Nexus magazines until both disappeared. Didn't do much gaming from 1992-2008 anyway due to marriage, kids (born 1997 and 1998), changing jobs (by choice and not by choice), and life in general. I did pick up a lot of used games on eBay, though, once I learned their publishers had become history.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Leet
United States
Burlington
Vermont
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For me it was initially just going to game stores. By 1991 it expanded to include the rec.games.board usenet group and through that decade it was usenet, game stores and cons. I can distinctly recall meeting Jay Tummelson that way (before he launched Rio Grande Games) and Tom Lehman as Origins (in the TimJim/Prism era). In that time period it was not at all uncommon to show up at Origins and find dozens of games you'd never heard of, and more than half of those designs seemed to be from folks who'd never played another game either. Seriously there was some bad stuff floating around.

By the end of the decade there were more resources out there, in particular the excellent Game Cabinet by Ken Tidwell, and Mik Svellov's blog. Still, everything was very individual, you pretty much got the information that person had on games, but not necessarily an overview.

I started using BGG pretty soon after it launched, but it did take a couple years for it to become apparent how dominant a center of the universe it was to become. The impact of BGG has been not only to exponentially expand the market, but also to much more effectively separate the best from the worst within the gaming options. These two things are not unrelated.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Wesley
Nepal
Aberdeen
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
Aldie wrote:
Rio Grande Games and Mayfair were the major American publishers and importers.
derk wrote:
...and most of the games came in German language. You could either learn a few words of German and muddle on (what I did) and or you could gripe about the lack of extremely rudimentary paste-ups (what Aldie usually did).

goo
AND even had played that at Georgia Tech in spring 1998, thanks mostly to their "foreign exchange" students, and a dearest friend with Mike Terrana! cool
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Kearns
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
flag msg tools
Silence is golden.
badge
Your sea is so great and my boat is so small.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Avalon Hill
Steve Jackson Games
Milton Bradley Gamemaster Series
Games Workshop
Cosmic Encounter
and
a little something called Magic: the something something.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Boykin
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
For BJ.....
Avatar
mb
desertfox2004 wrote:
SavageSpawn wrote:
So what was the hobby like before BGG? How did you find out about new games? Who were the major publishers?


"...the boardgaming hobby, circa 1998..."




HAH!!

Actually, its interesting-
Had this same conversation with a guy at my FLGS who basically proclaimed that there were no 'good games' prior to the mid 1990's- ie, before 'Euro' games really started making their way to the US.

Which was just an odd thing to say. Sure, prior to the 1990s and the CCG explosion, gaming was dominated by RPGs and wargames, but there were some really cool little gems that defied easy categorization even then.

Games like Kremlin, Republic of Rome, Pax Britannica, Kings and Things, Merchants of Venus, Titan, Speed Circuit, 1830, Rail Baron and hosts of other games. There were the weird SPI games Galactic Outreach- still, one of the seminal '4x' space empire games ever made, done before people even knew what a '4x' game was.

And then, there were the glory days of the Ameritrashy games from the UK- Warrior Knights, Rogue Trooper, Blood Royale, Talisman.

Great, great games- many of which presaged the rise of what would be known today as 'Euros'.

But yet, still, Euros might never have been in the US as they are now if it wasn't for the fact that Mayfair Games took a HORRIBLE beating with their DnD books and their AWFUL SimCity:2000 Collectible Card Game and were desperately looking for a way to turn a quick buck.

Their solution was to bring in this cute little game from Germany....


....Settlers of Catan.

And that's how it all started, me droogies.

Darilian

9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
"that's a smith and wesson, and you've had your six"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Darilian wrote:


But yet, still, Euros might never have been in the US as they are now if it wasn't for the fact that Mayfair Games took a HORRIBLE beating with their DnD books and their AWFUL SimCity:2000 Collectible Card Game and were desperately looking for a way to turn a quick buck.

Their solution was to bring in this cute little game from Germany....


....Settlers of Catan.

And that's how it all started, me droogies.

Darilian



Don't forget to mention that it was because Jay Tummelson(Rio Grande Games) talked them into printing them in english that it really happened. It's an important part.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill H
United States
Absecon
New Jersey
flag msg tools
"Shijuro" in Awatum (Serpent's Tongue)
badge
"A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation." LP Jacks
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In the olden days, it was word of mouth -- finding out what your friends were playing.

Then, magazines like Adventurer and GamesMaster International came along and gave an inkling that there were others with interests in board games, miniatures and RPGs. In the mid-1990's when Magic: The Gathering took off, a number of CCG magazines appeared.

Some computer bulletin boards had areas where these were discussed (can't remember names now), and usenet groups like rec.games.board were useful.

When the World Wide Web appeared and made the Internet accessible to the public, sites like The Game Cabinet were tremendous sources of info, rules translations, etc. (and where I heard of a German game called Catan that I convinced some importer in New York to pick up for me --a friend teased me about spending 70? dollars on a board game... Here's that same guy's Catan collection now).

Finally, when trying to find the name of a nuclear wargame I'd played in England a decade earlier, I stumbled over this site.

It was exactly what I was looking for in many ways.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fraser
Australia
Melbourne
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
badge
Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SavageSpawn wrote:
Who were the major publishers?
SPI, Avalon Hill, GDW - yeah OK that was a fair while before BGG

I found out about games, new and old:
d10-1 Have a large group of gaming friends who between them were into role-playing games, board games, war games with a reasonable amount of cross over
d10-2 Having one of more friends working in one of best stocked games shops in the country.

Through the above, my first exposure to Settlers of Catan was via a German copy (possibly before the English language one existed) I still love that original tile artwork.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
word of mouth and what I just happened to stumble across. When I heard a game was good I'd try to order it. Sometimes I could and sometimes not.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Leet
United States
Burlington
Vermont
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oh, and I realize I left out Dragon and White Dwarf magazines! In the mid to late eighties these were a genuine source of news on upcoming or recently released games across the hobby, not just the house organs dedicated to specific internal products that they eventually became.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.