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Subject: So uh...what's changed in the past 8 years? rss

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Keith Block
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I followed boardgaming for a while back in 2005. Then school and work kicked into high gear and I didn't have much of a life for a while.

Now that I'm poking my nose into gaming again, I can sense some shifts in the industry have already happened? Anyone care to share the Cliff's Notes of the major trends, or any articles describing recent history? Seems like boardgames are slightly more mainstream-visible than before.
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Zeb Larson
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Well, Kickstarter happened. That's been a pretty major shift.
Card games really took off as well: Dominion, Ascension, Thunderstone and Race for the Galaxy started kicking down doors and taking names.
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Liam
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Cooperatives, Deck builders and Kickstarter.

That little BGG site - it got big.
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GeekInsight
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I'm sure someone will be much more thorough, but I think two of the biggest trends are deck-builders and Kickstarter.

A deckbuilder, like Dominion, is a game where each player starts with a small deck of cards. They draw those cards and then use various currencies to purchase additional cards from a central set. Purchased cards are put in your own discard pile. Then, you re-draw. When you run out of cards, you shuffle the discards and start again. Thus, the cards you purchased a few turns ago will now be playable as you draw them.

There are tons of variations on this. Deck-builders were huge after Dominion had blockbuster success in 2008 and 2009. I think interest is starting to wane, but there have also been games that have done really interesting things with the mechanic.

Kickstarter is a site where people can pledge money for projects and, if the project gets enough funding, the project will be completed. Many board games, from both individual developers and big publishers, have appeared on Kickstarter. While many use it as a pre-order system, it has some unique advantages and disadvantages.

Kickstarter backers often get promotional items or unique giveaways that are later unavailable or harder to obtain for those in the retail chain. Conversely, there is no guarantee that a successfully funded project will be up to snuff and, in some rare cases, produced at all. Many Kickstarters are also late in delivering promised games.

Those are the big gorillas from the last 8 years. Lots of other stuff going on, too.
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Justen Brown
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Some dude with a weird name, Vlotta Shovelottel or something, released a bunch of goofy games that are almost universally in the top 100.
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James Pinnion
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I dont know that much has changed. Amongst my more recent gaming circles the cult of the new seems much stronger than with my earlier ones; but it could be that's down to different gaming groups rather than different times.
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Byron
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Do you like zombies?
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Brody Lipperman
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soiledshortz wrote:
Do you like zombies?


Do you like scantily clad miniatures?


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Mathue Faulkner
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Euro games seem to be exploring unique themes, etc. (vs medieval merchants only), and the art & component quality is better than 8 years ago imo....which comes with a price tag.

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Keith Block
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mfaulk80 wrote:
Euro games seem to be exploring unique themes, etc. (vs medieval merchants only)


Very intriguing.

mfaulk80 wrote:
and the art & component quality is better than 8 years ago imo....which comes with a price tag.



That's surprising to hear. I thought A&C quality was already stellar 8 years ago.

Quote:
Quote:
Do you like zombies?


Quote:
Do you like scantily clad miniatures?


I like scantily clad zombie miniatures. Aaaaand I'm on the list...

Quote:

A deckbuilder, like Dominion, is a game where each player starts with a small deck of cards. They draw those cards and then use various currencies to purchase additional cards from a central set. Purchased cards are put in your own discard pile. Then, you re-draw. When you run out of cards, you shuffle the discards and start again. Thus, the cards you purchased a few turns ago will now be playable as you draw them.


I recognized quite a few more card games of that ilk at Barnes & Noble the other day. Interesting.
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Greg Schmittgens
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There's appears to be more mainstream availability.

For example, boardgames are available at Barnes & Noble, with one or two newly stocked games every time I go to the brick and mortar store.

Boardgame conventions are growing - in number of conventions and number of attendees.

BGG Con outgrew the previous venue.

Geekway to the West (St. Louis, 9-12 May) - Under 300 attendees last year; over 525 this year.

http://www.geekway2west.com/
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Shawn George
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Kickstarter, cooperative games, and deckbuilders have all already been mentioned.

I'd also mention a hybridization of Euro (strategic) and Ameritrash (thematic) games. The line is starting to blur between the two. You'll definitely find plenty of games that are purely one or the other, but many of the most popular games on BGG these days are a healthy mixture of both.

FFG's Living Card Game (LCG) style of games came about in the last few years and have really taken off. They're basically CCGs (like Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon) with non-random booster/expansion packs.

Gaming has become somewhat more mainstream as you mentioned. Whereas 8 years ago, you'd run into a fair number of non-gamers that have heard of or played Settlers of Catan, today you'll find that those same people have probably played games like Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Pandemic, and Dominion, and you can find many of these games in big box stores now.

The advent of tablets have done a lot to bring boardgaming into the digital age. There are a lot of well-produced, extremely popular board games now available on iOS, and Android has a fair selection and is still catching up.
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Dave K
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MyParadox wrote:
I'm sure someone will be much more thorough, but I think two of the biggest trends are deck-builders and Kickstarter.


Definitely agree on these. I got back into the hobby a little over a year ago myself as well.

Co-op games have really taken off as well, such as Pandemic, Zombicide, and Wizard's Tower.
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Moe45673
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Caylus (worker Placement)

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (a masterpiece and what I would call the grandfather of more recent euros that take pains to go with the theme)

Agricola (another masterpiece)

Dominion (deckbuilder)

Cyclades (hybrid)

The Castles of Burgundy/Troyes/Alien Frontiers (Introducing dice to Euros)

Everything else is variants
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Ryan Meeker
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For me, Stefan Feld happened. Or, I should say, once the bank account allows for a spending rampage, he's gonna happen.

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Max Lampinen
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Moe45673 wrote:
Caylus (worker Placement)

Agricola (another masterpiece)

Everything else is variants

If everything else is variants then isn't Caylus variant of worker placement games made before it too, and then Agricola of Caylus? [/nitpick]
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Moe45673
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max_s wrote:
Moe45673 wrote:
Caylus (worker Placement)

Agricola (another masterpiece)

Everything else is variants

If everything else is variants then isn't Caylus variant of worker placement games made before it too, and then Agricola of Caylus? [/nitpick]


While Rosenberg explicitly said Agricola was his attempt to make Caylus better, there is so much that it has that Caylus does not. Very few games have come close to the genius of Agricola.
 
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M M
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No mention of the influx of dice games?

One Dice Geeklist

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Mike Norris
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And Monoploy added a cat playing piece!!!
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Anwar Dalati
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Moe45673 wrote:
Caylus (worker Placement)

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (a masterpiece and what I would call the grandfather of more recent euros that take pains to go with the theme)

Agricola (another masterpiece)

Dominion (deckbuilder)

Cyclades (hybrid)

The Castles of Burgundy/Troyes/Alien Frontiers (Introducing dice to Euros)

Everything else is variants


Don't take this the wrong way, but wow - I have rarely seen a list of games that I despise as much as that.

Regards,

Anwar
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Moe45673
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He asked what he missed in the last 8 years. These games all significantly changed the way we think about gaming. What would your list be?
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Dave VanderArk
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Moe45673 wrote:

The Castles of Burgundy/Troyes/Alien Frontiers (Introducing dice to Euros)


Hare and Tortoise, Dampfross, Settlers of Catan, and hundreds of other classic Euros use dice or other ways to introduce random elements into games. Euros don't need to be introduced to dice. What has changed is that the modern definition of a Euro game is nothing like what we played in the '90s.

To respond to the original question, one trend in Euros seems to be to try to make them more and more devoid of luck. That results in a style of game that reduces your decisions to what hurts you the least, because everything you do helps everyone at the table in some way.
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Matt
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lipman wrote:
soiledshortz wrote:
Do you like zombies?


Do you like scantily clad miniatures?




"Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"
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Dex Quest
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Small box games around the £20 mark seem to be all the rage, after which you decide to take the game further in £20 installments (LOR cards, Rune Age, Elder Sign, Netrunner, star wars cards and models, etc) along with minimal component kickstarter games for around the same price.
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Chris Smith
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Putts wrote:
The advent of tablets have done a lot to bring boardgaming into the digital age. There are a lot of well-produced, extremely popular board games now available on iOS, and Android has a fair selection and is still catching up.


It's a trick...that's video gaming, not board gaming.

Doesn't matter how much people keep saying they're virtual board games or such, in my mind they are still completely separate entities & board game 'apps' shouldn't be considered board games.
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