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Subject: Geek of the Week #348 - cybernex rss

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Mark Thomas
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Hello all,
It's been great being Geek of the Week, answering all your interesting questions. I hope you'll extend just as warm a welcome to the next Geek, Roberto di Meglio, aka cybernex! Roberto has been in the industry for quite some time, as his introduction will tell you:
Quote:
I'm really honored to have been indicated as Geek of the Week!
Thanks to
Mark Thomas (TheGelatinousCube) for thinking of passing the mantle to
me. I don't know Mark personally, but we've been in touch on Geeky
matters a few times in the last couple of years, and I am glad to see
him transitioning from 'standard' Geekery to Uber-Geekery with his first
published game designs!
My name is Roberto Di Meglio. My nickname, Cybernex, dates to a time
before the World Wide Web as we know it even existed, and of course
hints at my former (and now deceased - or dormant?) company, Nexus.
I've
been in boardgames since I was a children, experimenting by tweaking
simple boardgames and creating rules for our toy soldiers battle with my
brother Ugo since we were kids. My first exposure to "serious" games
was through a slightly older friend, Marco Benato, who had a precious
collection of Avalon Hill and SPI's titles and nobody to play with...
that was in 1978, and I was 12 at the time. In the end, the roots of my
life spent in the gaming world, publishing and designing games, are in
that lazy summer afternoon when, with Ugo and Marco, we had our first
game of "Caesar's Legions".
My life was changed once again a couple of years later, when our
boardgaming routines were disrupted by the "discovery" of Dungeons &
Dragons (actually, AD&D, as it was called back then). Very soon,
tanks, airplanes, and legions of Romans (and the occasional heavily
armored car in an arena) were replaced by wizards, dragons, and warriors
(and LOTS of giants!). I soon started to DM my own campaign, and
continued to play mostly RPG (but without forgetting the "first love" of
boardgames) for many years afterwards, mostly D&D and Call of
Cthulhu.
During my college years, I was very busy "converting" my mates to
gaming, introducing them to RPGs and boardgames both - I remember we
played a LOT of SJ's Illuminati, happily backstabbing each other in long
evenings (and breaking a couple of not-so-good friendships in the
process). At the same time, I started my first "professional" attempts
in the gaming industry - organizing a convention, writing and printing a
fanzine (which at the time required a xerox machine, lots of glue, and
anything from a typewriter to an Amiga, depending on which year we're
talking about - but the glue and xerox were required all the time).
Since 1990 (the same year I took a quite useless - for me - degree as a
Computer Scientist), I've been a "professional" in the industry, as I
founded and was enlisted to edit one of the first and longest running
gaming magazines in Italy, "Kaos".
In 1993 I founded my first gaming company, Nexus Editrice. In the
same year I took an even more useless Ph.D. in Computer Science, which I
set aside to pursue my gaming career!
I am now working with Ares Games, a new gaming company founded in 2011,
which is raising from the ashes many of the IPs which Nexus left behind
when closing doors.
To be honest, since I have become a professional, I have LESS time on
hand to play than before (three small children to care of may have
something to do with that, too!).

I am on BGG since 2004. At the time, my first important game design, War
of the Ring, was close to being published around the world, and on the
forums there was a lot of discussion about it. I realized that this was
"the" place to give answers to people who were curious about the game,
and gladly threw myself into the discussions. At the same time, I
discovered the wealth of information that BGG was providing, and started
using a little bit of its capabilities here and there - but I am not
zealous in things like adding games to your collection or recording
play!
As a gaming enthusiast, I find that BGG is wonderful from an
informational point of view, and enjoy reading the forums on the game I
like most. I mostly participate in the discussion only on the games I'm
involved with professionally. I am focusing a lot on BGG, as I think
it's a wonderful tool to reach a lot of people with any answer and
information that we need to provide, and for the same reason it's a
wonderful way for me to FIND the info I need. I think that in the end I
spend at least one hour every day on BGG, and I have the feeling I am
only scratching the surface of what this forum really is! Apart from the
technical savvy of the people who created it, BGG has a wonderful,
educated, civil, and nice community behind it, much superior to the
average level of the Internet, and I'm very proud to be a part of it!


And for 2 truths and a lie (sorry I was having some trouble with the poll system)-

1) In 2003 I managed to sneak through with 15 kg of precious Colombian
products through a Bogota-NYC-Amsterdam route to Rome, and police was
sooo nice to me all the time!

2) When I married, at the young age of 24, all my unmarried friends gave
me as a wedding present a single-person, one-way ticket to Brazil,
scheduled to leave the day of the wedding.

3)At the time I was designing War of the Ring, I was hospitalized for
lung surgery and two friends of mine entered without permission into the
hospital at night, and we played a full playtest session.

And finally, a few starter questions!
1. What is your favorite musical artist?
2. What is your favorite movie?
3. What are the most and least played games in your collection?
4. Have you ever bought the same game more than once?

Have a great week!

Poll
Which one is the lie?
1) In 2003 I managed to sneak through with 15 kg of precious Colombian products through a Bogota-NYC-Amsterdam route to Rome, and police was sooo nice to me all the time!
2) When I married, at the young age of 24, all my unmarried friends gave me as a wedding present a single-person, one-way ticket to Brazil, scheduled to leave the day of the wedding.
3)At the time I was designing War of the Ring, I was hospitalized for lung surgery and two friends of mine entered without permission into the hospital at night, and we played a full playtest session.
      44 answers
Poll created by Octavian
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Paul Incao
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Congrats Roberto. Enjoy your week !!!

Roberto Di Meglio
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Mark, you may want to create a poll for the 2 truth section of the announcement.

-Paul
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Tom
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Congrats and thanks for the games!
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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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Congrats Roberto!
I have bought the 2nd ed. of WotR and am blown away by the production, it's everything a Middle Earth fan could hope for. I'm looking forward to learning the rules as soon as I have time. I also have had fun with Rattlesnake in family gaming type settings, great family game. Thanks as well to your BGG presence, it's very cool when designers engage in discussions with players and answer questions etc.

As for my question:
You clearly like to tackle known literary presences and make epic games out of them: WotR, Marvel, Conan.

Given unlimited budget and any license you wanted, what would your next big literary game be? What kind of game would it be?
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Ludovic Roy
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Congrats Roberto!

I actually just played WotR for the first time a few months ago, it's a fantastic game!
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Sim Guy
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Nice choice, Mark. You're broadening my horizons, which seems like a proper calling for the lead Geek.

CONGRATULATIONS Roberto!

Another game designer to interrogate:
d10-1 You say that your first exposure to board games was to AH and SPI games - what were some of your favorites?
d10-2 Do you think Sci-Fi and Fantasy based board games appeal to more customers than conventional wargames?
d10-3 Other than games like WotR and Conan, do you expect Ares to produce a wargame on a conventional/historical subject any time in the future?
d10-4 Do you still have your Amiga? (mine is sitting here on my computer table, but I don't think I've turned it on in three or four years. blush)
d10-5 Can a guy with a Ph.D. in CS really do better as a game designer/publisher?

Have a great week!
Salute!
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Chris B
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Congratulations! Enjoy your week!
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C. Rexford
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Congratulations cybernex!

"War of the Ring" = why we play boardgames!
Thank you.
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Paul Brillantes
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Congratulations! Truly much deserved GotW! thumbsup

Age of Conan is another reason I play games!
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Leo Zappa
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Congrats! As someone who owns and plays War of the Ring and Age of Conan, let me just say "Thank you" for creating such fines games, with which I've had many hours of enjoyment!

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Marco Arnaudo
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BRAVO!
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Witek W
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Congratulations!

And quick question: what you like most in your top 5 rated games - Citadels, Hannibal, LOTR: Confrontation, Space Hulk and Wiz-War ?

Cheers!
W.
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D B
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Mount Doom size congratulations. With less lava.
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Yoki Erdtman
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Congratulations Roberto!

1 What game would you like to play if the two of us got together for a game?

2 If you had the chance to go back in time and give a young you, who is just about to fall in love with board games some advice or perhaps even a stack of games, would you?

Have a great week Roberto, and enjoy the honor of being Geek of the Week.
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Ik ben een kleine boefje
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Congrats .

a) Have you ever been to Spain or The Netherlands?
b) What game in my collection would you like to have in yours?
c) What game in my collection you dont like?
d) If you could save just three of your games... what games would you keep and why?
e) Brunetes, blondes or redheads (boys or girls, whatever your taste is)?


Happy week as GW pal.
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Nick R
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Hoopy congratulations, enjoy your week.

Regards

Gnome
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Jan
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Congratulations!

My usual questions:
- Nice RPG's you played, still play any?
- Have you ever visited the RPG side of the site? Do you contribute?
- Have you ever visited the VGG side of the site? Do you contribute?
- Will you congratulate you're RPGG and VGG counterpart?

Have fun this week and may you play many games.
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Paul Bradley
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Congrats Roberto!! Have a great week.
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Roberto Di Meglio
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Wow! I wake up in the morning, and find all this great replies and questions!
Thanks to Mark for nominating me, and I am honored to receive all this attention!
Next, the replies to Mark's questions:
Quote:
1. What is your favorite musical artist?

Always a tough choice, but the first that came to my mind are Dire Straits, so here they are! Of course it's a sign of old age, but my children like them, too, so clearly they stand the test of time.

Quote:
2. What is your favorite movie?

Twelve Monkeys, and mostly anything from Terry Gilliam, except TIME BANDITS! Tim Burton is also one of my favorite directors, and I like almost anything he did.

Quote:

3. What are the most and least played games in your collection?

Don't look at my collection on BGG because it's horribly out of date!
I think that the classic card game Grasshas been the mostly played, considering the number of years I owned it and how much it has been appreciated by friends. I'd consider Citadelsover it, though, but in the end what you play is not always what YOU want to play... As to least played... there might be several with 0 plays, but I think that there was nothing I had so little interest to play as the copy of ChizoI got at a show!

Quote:
4. Have you ever bought the same game more than once?


I own different editions of Wiz-War and Illuminati.. and I would like to buy a second copy of the original SPI's Middle Earth pack including War of the Ring, Gondor and Sauron - I have the games separately, but not in the "combo" version, which unfortunately is one of the few boardgames to have a real collectibility value!

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JohnnyDollar wrote:

You clearly like to tackle known literary presences and make epic games out of them: WotR, Marvel, Conan.

Given unlimited budget and any license you wanted, what would your next big literary game be? What kind of game would it be?


I'd definitely like to do more of the same.... more LotR, more Marvel, more Conan!
I came to GAME OF THRONES very late, but now that I've been through the books, I'd like to do a game based around them, possibly a purely political-diplomatic cut-throating game set around the King's Court.
And the other great literary property I like and can think of is Asimov's FOUNDATION series... Hard to say what game that ought to be, though! I can see it should be something grand, overarching the millennia, History of the World-style.
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SimGuy wrote:

d10-1 You say that your first exposure to board games was to AH and SPI games - what were some of your favorites?
d10-2 Do you think Sci-Fi and Fantasy based board games appeal to more customers than conventional wargames?
d10-3 Other than games like WotR and Conan, do you expect Ares to produce a wargame on a conventional/historical subject any time in the future?
d10-4 Do you still have your Amiga? (mine is sitting here on my computer table, but I don't think I've turned it on in three or four years. blush)
d10-5 Can a guy with a Ph.D. in CS really do better as a game designer/publisher?


d10-1 I'd definitely rate Third Reich and Squad Leaderamong my AH's favorite. I used to like SPI's simulation games less than AH's, but I liked a lot Swords and Sorcery and the original War of the Ring (even if as a designer I have a lot to say about it, as kid it was an amazing experience!).

d10-2 I think that history has a great appeal, and a well-done game based around history has a very similar potential to SF or Fantasy. However most historical games have a tendency to be overly complex, but the success of series like Conflict of Heroes or Wings of War/Wings of Glory prove that such games can be as popular as any.

d10-3 I really hope so! We've already miniature games like Wings of Glory and the upcoming Sails of Glory, but we've a few interesting ideas for board-wargames in historical settings I hope we can develop to completion!

d10-4 Actually, I never owned one! I was just borrowing one from my friend Nicola, sneaking in his house to use it! At the time, I owned an Apple-II clone (was called a LEMON if my memory does not fail me!). I don't have any of my old computers - my first one was a Vic-20, but I never really treasured my computers as "emotional" items.

d10-4 Well, the thing I somehow regret is not to have been able to merge better the two "sides" of my personality, which at the time might have been possible. There is a lot of interesting interactions between technology and traditional gaming, and I was in theory in a position, at the beginning of my career, to make good use of such possibilities. But at the time I got quite tired of the academic environment, and somehow wanted to "reject" all my career until that point...


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godunow wrote:
Congratulations!

And quick question: what you like most in your top 5 rated games - Citadels, Hannibal, LOTR: Confrontation, Space Hulk and Wiz-War ?

Cheers!
W.


Interesting questions... looking at them, I can see some common elements.

I like fast games (which may be long, like Hannibal or WOTR, but have little downtime), with a lot of interaction, hidden information and, more often than not, some possibility of backstabbing your opponent or throwing against him a nasty surprise!

And I think that cards are a great way to achieve several of the goals above in one sweep...
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Yokiboy wrote:
Congratulations Roberto!

1 What game would you like to play if the two of us got together for a game?

2 If you had the chance to go back in time and give a young you, who is just about to fall in love with board games some advice or perhaps even a stack of games, would you?

Have a great week Roberto, and enjoy the honor of being Geek of the Week.


1 Well, WAR OF THE RING, of course

2 If I could go back in time... One of the things which I remember fondly was the sense of discovery with every new game, at a time when games were difficult to find, especially in Italy, and every time we could find a shop with some, or a way to mail-order them, was like finding a gold mine! So I think I would do a big disservice to my young self by presenting me with a stack of games at once. Some advice about trying to make a good use of what I learned in school when I decided what my career should be, could be useful, though! But probably my parents gave me such an advice, and I ignored it... So if I travel back in time, I think I could make a better use of it going to bet at a horse race

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Gelete wrote:
Congrats .

a) Have you ever been to Spain or The Netherlands?
b) What game in my collection would you like to have in yours?
c) What game in my collection you dont like?
d) If you could save just three of your games... what games would you keep and why?
e) Brunetes, blondes or redheads (boys or girls, whatever your taste is)?


Happy week as GW pal.


a) In Spain, I've only been in Barcelona, which according to our Catalan friends, does not qualify as Spain . I'd really like to spend some more time there, because I only had very short trips. In the Netherlands, I've been a couple of times in Amsterdam thanks to Decipher's Lord of the Rings TCG - again, short trips, and I'd like to visit the country properly!

b) Your copy of AH's Civilization, please!

c) I don't know if I would like it or not, not having played it, but the one I'd have less interest in getting from the shelf would be 1830.. I was never attracted to the 18XX series.

d) Three games... that's tough!!!! Citadels, War of the Ring, and as the third one, may I get a deck of poker cards to play more games?

e) Well, as I married a brunette, there's only one answer I can give
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Barad_the_dwarf wrote:
Congratulations!

My usual questions:
- Nice RPG's you played, still play any?
- Have you ever visited the RPG side of the site? Do you contribute?
- Have you ever visited the VGG side of the site? Do you contribute?
- Will you congratulate you're RPGG and VGG counterpart?

Have fun this week and may you play many games.


- RPGs: I am still very fond of D&D and Call of Cthulhu. It's a long time since I played any, but I am considering to start playing D&D with my sons, possibly some old rule set as I was not much into 3rd or 4th edition...

- No, I've been so out of touch with the genre lately... and I don't have so much time for forums overall, BGG is quite an exception for me!

- No. I've my children providing me with all the VG info I need (that is, what to buy them

- I will! And maybe once I go there, I will not be back!
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