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Abstract Games» Forums » General

Subject: Contacting Kris Burm - GIPF project rss

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Gustavo
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Does anybody know a way to contact Kris Burm?

His games fascinate me more than any other abstract out there. It's amazing to think that one man conceived all these games in such a short timespan.I would really like to write congratulating him for his masterpieces and asking for more details on the process behind their creation. Sadly, the website seems to be completely abandoned. I wonder if he still designing games, and what games would those be.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Mark Steere
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Kris ran off with his money, which is all he ever wanted. Fortunately there are other abstract games, many of which are vastly superior to the gipf series, such as Havannah, Ketchup, Slither and Hex Oust. They can be played online (at iggc, etc.) or with standard equipment. They're all scalable to accommodate skill levels beyond beginner. No cheesy, out of production expansion pack required.

Think outside the shrink wrap.
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Clint Meyer
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Wow, what is the cause of vitriol towards Ken?

I see that you are a game designer of Abstract Games. Are you jealous of his critical acclaim? I highly doubt he has made a lot of money as his games while having high critical acclaim do not have sales to match. What is wrong with trying to get paid for the fruits of your labor? Are you a communist? Is it wrong that a painter should want to get paid for his art?

I would not call those other games you mentioned VASTLY superior to GIPF project, nor would I call GIPF games beginner level and un-scalable. The expansion packs are optional at best, and at worst not even needed.

This post seems odd, it made me look up your other posts (lots of LOL gipf hate) and visit your website and want to play your games. It also made me realize you are a prick (am I going to get yelled at for calling you names?).

I will play your games.....BUT I AM GOING OT USE THE GIPF pieces and boards to do it.

To the original poster:
You can reach Kris Burms at donco@gipf.com He will happily respond to you and would probably love to hear your praise.
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Richard Hutnik
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There are two types of people who Mark Steere has an ax to grind against. One of them is board moderators who get fed up with him being a jerk, and ban him. Mark ends up calling them spineless communists and other things.

The second individual Mark Steere has an ax to grind against is designers of abstract strategy games. They are rivals to Mark. Keep in mind the ONE attribute of Mark's games is there are no draws. I would take that as a sign that Mark has to win, and be right all the time. It is a pretty pathetic claim to fame actually, but others need to decide this for themselves.

There is also individuals who Mark doesn't agree with, who end up on his firing line. In this case, someone brought up Kris Burm, who Mark hates, so he fired upon the person asking the question, to take a shot at Kris. Mark's failure at being able to make a living designing abstract strategy games has resulted in him hating Kris Burm, who had some success at it.

You can see the record of Mark by his rival, Ralf Gering, here:
http://mancala.wikia.com/wiki/Mark_Steere_(critical_views)

Pretty much, with Mark, you don't ask "What's the cause of the vitriol?". With Mark, you have to ask about the times when he doesn't have vitriol and wonder why he didn't go off.

By the way, good luck getting in touch with Kris.

clintmeyer wrote:
Wow, what is the cause of vitriol towards Ken?

I see that you are a game designer of Abstract Games. Are you jealous of his critical acclaim? I highly doubt he has made a lot of money as his games while having high critical acclaim do not have sales to match. What is wrong with trying to get paid for the fruits of your labor? Are you a communist? Is it wrong that a painter should want to get paid for his art?

I would not call those other games you mentioned VASTLY superior to GIPF project, nor would I call GIPF games beginner level and un-scalable. The expansion packs are optional at best, and at worst not even needed.

This post seems odd, it made me look up your other posts (lots of LOL gipf hate) and visit your website and want to play your games. It also made me realize you are a prick (am I going to get yelled at for calling you names?).

I will play your games.....BUT I AM GOING OT USE THE GIPF pieces and boards to do it.

To the original poster:
You can reach Kris Burms at donco@gipf.com He will happily respond to you and would probably love to hear your praise.
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Clint Meyer
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Well, that kind of makes me sad. I was hoping he was a mad/genius and that his games would be worth appreciation.

I wish I could delete my posts as this type of activity will only stroke his ego and bring him back to posting.

I am not sure how I found this post, but I wanted to answer the original posters comment as I had just contacted Kris (who promptly returned my email).

Thanks for the links
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Caleb
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Is this the point where someone asks why the Abstract Games forum is dying? Or why more people don't play abstracts?

shake

To help the OP, Kris Burm does have a 'public figure' Facebook page:


https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kris-Burm/135073053192002

Not sure if he himself ever checks it, but you might have luck there. I'm seldom on Facebook so I'm not even sure if you can interact with that page, or if it's more like a public profile that only he (or his surrogates) can update. Good luck though!
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christian freeling
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clintmeyer wrote:
Well, that kind of makes me sad. I was hoping he was a mad/genius and that his games would be worth appreciation.

One does not exclude the other. Some of his games are certainly worthy of appreciation, and I'm probably not alone in my opinion that Oust is a stroke of genius.
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Russ Williams
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Luckily there are so many games worthy of appreciation by designers who are nice friendly people that one really wouldn't be depriving oneself if one didn't play games by someone who is not a nice friendly person.
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Harvey Wasserman
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Which is why so many games are published with the designers "uncredited." It's the games that those publishers would like to sell, not the designer(s).
 
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christian freeling
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russ wrote:
Luckily there are so many games worthy of appreciation by designers who are nice friendly people that one really wouldn't be depriving oneself if one didn't play games by someone who is not a nice friendly person.

Much as I agree, still Oust is quintessential and as such one of the games that I consider discoveries rather than inventions. It's not difficult for me to separate the find from the finder, or more generally a game from its inventor (even if I'm the inventor).
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Richard Hutnik
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clintmeyer wrote:
Well, that kind of makes me sad. I was hoping he was a mad/genius and that his games would be worth appreciation.

I wish I could delete my posts as this type of activity will only stroke his ego and bring him back to posting.

I am not sure how I found this post, but I wanted to answer the original posters comment as I had just contacted Kris (who promptly returned my email).

Thanks for the links


You referring to Mark Steere or Kris Burm as some sort of mad genius? I was thinking you meant Mark, but you might of meant Kris. Kris seemed to be decent enough when I corresponded with him.

As far as Mark goes, I get a feeling he is trying to be as annoying as possible, as a way to prove his games are real good. It says something if you can be a complete jerk and still get people to like your games. I personally don't have this luxury, and not sure who else does.

I am glad you got in touch with Kris. I hope he is doing well.
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Richard Hutnik
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CrocWrestler wrote:
Which is why so many games are published with the designers "uncredited." It's the games that those publishers would like to sell, not the designer(s).


Those who do this today are doing games that have track records for sales. I believe that designers get connected to their designs, because having a face with the game, gives it character. Looney Labs isn't the same without the Looneys, and Friedemann Friese with his green hair and Fs abounding in his game have character. At least on the commercial side, not being a jerk helps. I believe even the Gipf series managed to get to where it is commercially because Kris Burm happened to be accessible and had a hook to get people interested. It seems now the hook of having every other game link to the Gipf game, has really fallen to the wayside though.
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docreason wrote:
At least on the commercial side, not being a jerk helps.

Also on the web-published side, not being a jerk helps. I have no idea what MS's motivation for his behavior is, but he's long since successfully soured me on his games.
 
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christian freeling
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Apparently being as objective and honest as possible regarding the merits of abstract games has somewhat falling from grace in this community.
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christianF wrote:
Apparently being as objective and honest as possible regarding the merits of abstract games has somewhat falling from grace in this community.


Would you care to say more about what you like about Oust? I think there are a very large number of low-profile abstract games with small or non-existent player communities. If I were to consider seriously the merits of an abstract game, I would do so on the basis of the observations of people who have thought carefully about it. In many cases the only person who has thought carefully about the game is the author. But I need to weigh the author's observations against what I know about the judgment of the author. If, hypothetically, a game designer seemed to be insane, or not particularly clever, or bad at games, or wildly arrogant; then his observations would become completely worthless, because his observations would be unreliable.

Do you see the idea? Our personal evaluation of the author shapes our faith in his testimony, his testimony is a major source of information on his games, and our information about his games is how we decide which of the many new abstract games are worth a go.
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Justin R
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docreason wrote:
There are two types of people who Mark Steere has an ax to grind against. One of them is board moderators who get fed up with him being a jerk, and ban him. Mark ends up calling them spineless communists and other things.

The second individual Mark Steere has an ax to grind against is designers of abstract strategy games. They are rivals to Mark. Keep in mind the ONE attribute of Mark's games is there are no draws. I would take that as a sign that Mark has to win, and be right all the time. It is a pretty pathetic claim to fame actually, but others need to decide this for themselves.

There is also individuals who Mark doesn't agree with, who end up on his firing line. In this case, someone brought up Kris Burm, who Mark hates, so he fired upon the person asking the question, to take a shot at Kris. Mark's failure at being able to make a living designing abstract strategy games has resulted in him hating Kris Burm, who had some success at it.

You can see the record of Mark by his rival, Ralf Gering, here:
http://mancala.wikia.com/wiki/Mark_Steere_(critical_views)

Pretty much, with Mark, you don't ask "What's the cause of the vitriol?". With Mark, you have to ask about the times when he doesn't have vitriol and wonder why he didn't go off.

By the way, good luck getting in touch with Kris.

clintmeyer wrote:
Wow, what is the cause of vitriol towards Ken?

I see that you are a game designer of Abstract Games. Are you jealous of his critical acclaim? I highly doubt he has made a lot of money as his games while having high critical acclaim do not have sales to match. What is wrong with trying to get paid for the fruits of your labor? Are you a communist? Is it wrong that a painter should want to get paid for his art?

I would not call those other games you mentioned VASTLY superior to GIPF project, nor would I call GIPF games beginner level and un-scalable. The expansion packs are optional at best, and at worst not even needed.

This post seems odd, it made me look up your other posts (lots of LOL gipf hate) and visit your website and want to play your games. It also made me realize you are a prick (am I going to get yelled at for calling you names?).

I will play your games.....BUT I AM GOING OT USE THE GIPF pieces and boards to do it.

To the original poster:
You can reach Kris Burms at donco@gipf.com He will happily respond to you and would probably love to hear your praise.


This was epic.
 
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sollnurspielen wrote:
christianF wrote:
Apparently being as objective and honest as possible regarding the merits of abstract games has somewhat falling from grace in this community.


Our personal evaluation of the author shapes our faith in his testimony, his testimony is a major source of information on his games, and our information about his games is how we decide which of the many new abstract games are worth a go.


I'm not 100% sure what Christian meant, but it sounded like his implication was that "being as objective and honest as possible" somehow requires or excuses seemingly psychotic trolling attacks.

Well, no, not for me. No matter how insightful and interesting a conversationalist someone might allegedly be, I don't want to talk with that person if they constantly defecate on the dining table and then pick up their feces and throw it at the other diners shouting obscene hateful insults at us while they utter their objective honest pearls of wisdom. (And then occasionally act surprised and innocent and say "What? It was just a joke! We're all having fun here, right?")

Sure, everyone has eccentricities and annoying habits, but some people go way over the line of what I'm interested in putting up with.

And it's not as if there's a desperate shortage of people who strive for objective honest talk about games (and any other interest) while also managing to be polite or even friendly.
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christian freeling
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sollnurspielen wrote:
christianF wrote:
Apparently being as objective and honest as possible regarding the merits of abstract games has somewhat falling from grace in this community.


Our personal evaluation of the author shapes our faith in his testimony, his testimony is a major source of information on his games, and our information about his games is how we decide which of the many new abstract games are worth a go.

I try to sepatate my personal evaluation of an author from my personal evaluation of a game. The fact that Mark obviously doesn't, and you admittedly don't, doesn't change that.

My personal evaluation of Oust is that it is a highly original game with formerly unknown mechanics, a good balance between tactics and strategy, and a beautiful structure. Not many annihilation games start on an empty board. Actually I can only think of Emergo at the moment.

My personal evaluation of Mark is that he did a fine job playing the nutty Highpriest of the Church of Cyclophobia an Hard Finitude, and I'm certainly not the least among his 'victims'. His attempts to discredit Symple and SyGo, and me in the process, are only two and a half years ago and almost drove him over the edge. The current silence seems uncanny by contrast.
 
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russ wrote:
I'm not 100% sure what Christian meant, but it sounded like his implication was that "being as objective and honest as possible" somehow requires or excuses seemingly psychotic trolling attacks.

Well, no, not for me.

Is there any particular reason why you address the community rather than me?
 
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christianF wrote:
russ wrote:
I'm not 100% sure what Christian meant, but it sounded like his implication was that "being as objective and honest as possible" somehow requires or excuses seemingly psychotic trolling attacks.

Well, no, not for me.

Is there any particular reason why you address the community rather than me?

Because I was replying (for context) to sollnurspielen's comment, which quoted you, and I was musing to the thread readership at large about the subject (MS) generally - musing which was simply sparked by your comment as well as sollnurspielen's comment, but not really dependent on whether I correctly understood what your comment meant.

There was no hidden meaning intended to it being written that way. I could have more or less equivalently replied to your comment and said "I'm not 100% sure what you meant, but..."

In any case, I certainly invite you to clarify your "as objective and honest as possible" comment, since I think I sort of understand what you meant, but I'm not sure (perhaps because it's apparently rather different from my own thinking/feeling about it).
 
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christian freeling
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russ wrote:
christianF wrote:
russ wrote:
I'm not 100% sure what Christian meant, but it sounded like his implication was that "being as objective and honest as possible" somehow requires or excuses seemingly psychotic trolling attacks.

Well, no, not for me.

Is there any particular reason why you address the community rather than me?

There was no hidden meaning intended to it being written that way. I could have more or less equivalently replied to your comment and said "I'm not 100% sure what you meant, but..."

In any case, I certainly invite you to clarify your "as objective and honest as possible" comment, since I think I sort of understand what you meant, but I'm not sure (perhaps because it's apparently rather different from my own thinking/feeling about it).

Fair enough. It's quite simple. A game is a game and through the years I have come to value the behaviour of simple, uniform games that have an intricate merger of object and mechanics that makes them lean towards being self-explanatory. I 'feel' such a game as an organism and trust the usually unknown implications to show a refinement over time that is not visible, cannot be visible, at the time of its "discovery rather than invention". Oust is such a game and I stand in admiration.

As for the inventor, I don't care as far as the game is concerned. Sure, I don't like Mark's behaviour anymore than you do, but neither do I feel threathened by his attacks. Simple and Sygo are excellent games and more and more players at mindsports discover that. I can leave them (the games I mean) to look after themselves. Mark won't change that.

His work as an inventor is sadly marred by his obsession with finitude and decisiveness. Some games just won't let themselves be constricted that way. Invention is a dialogue between the inventors ideas and the self-explanatory side of an organism, not a set of directions of how it should behave.
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Rey Alicea
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Quote:
obsession with finitude and decisiveness


Quote:
not a set of directions of how it should behave.


Perhaps Mr. Freeling it is this constraint in which he finds his creativity and inspiration.
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reyalicea wrote:
Quote:
obsession with finitude and decisiveness


Quote:
not a set of directions of how it should behave.


Perhaps Mr. Freeling it is this constraint in which he finds his creativity and inspiration.

Certainly, and more than once successfully so. On other occasions the means used to achieve that goal are dragged in, resulting in rules that carry their intent on their sleeves as a filthy stain.
 
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christianF wrote:
reyalicea wrote:
Quote:
obsession with finitude and decisiveness


Quote:
not a set of directions of how it should behave.


Perhaps Mr. Freeling it is this constraint in which he finds his creativity and inspiration.

Certainly, and more than once successfully so. On other occasions the means used to achieve that goal are dragged in, resulting in rules that carry their intent on their sleeves as a filthy stain.


Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
 
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I'm certain it's possible for a person who comes across as a jerk to have designed one or more wonderful games. It seems that Mr Freeling (at least) thinks of Mark Steer's Oust that way (and I value his opinion as an expert in abstract games). For someone like me, for whom abstract games are one part of what is at most a part-time hobby (gaming), I don't have the time or inclination to sample every game out there. Instead, I rely on reviews and opinions to direct my activities toward games I think I'd enjoy.

Mark Steere's boorish, juvenile behavior is inextricably linked in my mind to games bearing his name. Therefore, his antics and buffoonery have soured me on trying any games by him - not because I automatically think they're bad games, but because I'd just rather not think about him at all, if I can avoid it. It may be I'm missing something great that I would enjoy, but I already have a back-list of interesting abstracts I don't get to play often enough (and others I have yet to try) that I don't feel I'm missing anything by avoiding Steere's catalog.
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