Weeks and Barnes Talk to Reiner Knizia!!!

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Reiner Knizia
There Will Be Games

I did not expect to be enlightened so much in this interview. Knizia is truly no game hack, a brilliant man who was also super nice. Michael Barnes was also brilliant here and what a great time we had with this project.

There Will Be Games
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ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #205042 27 Jun 2015 21:29
Great interview.
Secret Satan's Avatar
Secret Satan replied the topic: #205046 27 Jun 2015 22:49
My work here is done
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #205048 27 Jun 2015 23:14
This was absolutely the high point of my career as a games writer and commentator. To hear someone that I deeply admire and respect say "you got it right" just completely blew me away. For the first five minutes, I was literally thunderstruck and couldn't even think of anything to say. But once we got talking- and Weeks' gift of gab kicked in- I was really surprised at how conversational, charitable and easy going Dr. Knizia was. Yet also very wise and very assured. This is a man that I think still has a lot to teach game designers, game players and the games business. And we all should listen.

Weeks and I both failed to bring up Beowulf, which was one of our main agendas. But Weeks did bring up Clash of the Gladiators, which may be the first time anyone's asked him about that.
The*Mad*Gamer's Avatar
The*Mad*Gamer replied the topic: #205049 27 Jun 2015 23:24
You did a great job Michael , your points were brilliant. I was nervous at first also, I had to laugh when my voice cracked at the beginning, that's the first time that has ever happened. The fact that he posted your article on his website was a total surprise, people will think we planned to talk about that but we didn't. I had no idea about it.
KingPut's Avatar
KingPut replied the topic: #205050 27 Jun 2015 23:32
Player elimination is the Anti-Christ of games. Brilliant stuff. Love it.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #205052 27 Jun 2015 23:55
That was really kind of the ice breaker moment...I'm pretty sure he meant "antithesis", but he rolled with it.

I honestly had no idea that he had read that article...let alone put it on his website.

Can we get this on the front page?
The*Mad*Gamer's Avatar
The*Mad*Gamer replied the topic: #205053 27 Jun 2015 23:58
DW Tripp just sent me a text and said the Kickstarter discussion was excellent.
Sevej's Avatar
Sevej replied the topic: #205054 27 Jun 2015 23:58
It's back to Knizia golden age again with both T&E and Samurai reprinted!
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #205055 28 Jun 2015 00:20

Michael Barnes wrote:
Can we get this on the front page?


Is that a rhetorical question or a request for assistance?
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #205056 28 Jun 2015 00:52
Assistance! I won't be back on a desktop until Monday, can't post it up front.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #205059 28 Jun 2015 01:36
Done
Hex Sinister's Avatar
Hex Sinister replied the topic: #205060 28 Jun 2015 03:20
That was pretty cool. Thanks, guys.
Pug's Avatar
Pug replied the topic: #205061 28 Jun 2015 08:24
What a great interview, thank you for sharing. Does anyone else want to just go out and by all the good doctor's games?
Matt Thrower's Avatar
Matt Thrower replied the topic: #205063 28 Jun 2015 08:31
Fantastic job guys, but still think he's overrated as a designer. A few absolute gems like T&E, Ra, a slew of very forgettable medium weight euros and a handful of vastly overrated games including Samurai and LotR.

That said, I suspect most designers are overrated if you judge them over their whole careers. Almost all of them are remebered for a few high points amidst a sea of briefly popular games. So perhaps I'm being uncharitable.
repoman's Avatar
repoman replied the topic: #205069 28 Jun 2015 16:40
The man who designed Pikomino is not over rated at least in my mind. I love that game.
The*Mad*Gamer's Avatar
The*Mad*Gamer replied the topic: #205070 28 Jun 2015 17:06
Yes, you are right. The real challenge with this interview was to decide what to talk about he's done over 600 games. I had Pikomino and Beowulf sitting right in front of me but didn't get to them. Just no enough time.
KingPut's Avatar
KingPut replied the topic: #205072 28 Jun 2015 20:34

MattDP wrote: Fantastic job guys, but still think he's overrated as a designer. A few absolute gems like T&E, Ra, a slew of very forgettable medium weight euros and a handful of vastly overrated games including Samurai and LotR.

That said, I suspect most designers are overrated if you judge them over their whole careers. Almost all of them are remebered for a few high points amidst a sea of briefly popular games. So perhaps I'm being uncharitable.


I don't have a Reiner Knizia game in my favorite top 20 games. But Knizia would be one of the first game designer I'd put in the game designer hall of fame. Sorry for the baseball reference but Knizia is more of a Cal Ripkin or Derick Jeter who got into the baseball hall of fame because of consistency and longevity rather than putting up crazy home run numbers over a couple of seasons.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #205080 28 Jun 2015 22:56
Wow! What a coup!
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #205087 29 Jun 2015 08:50
Bullshit on him being overrated. I may not love most of what he's done, but it's impossible to not be impressed by what he's trying to communicate and how he's doing it in any one of his games. The fact that his games read so dryly on paper but do tend register some sort of emotional response (granted, some more than others) is all the proof one needs to make the claim that he designs with feelings and themes in mind. Add the fact that he's responsible for so many games that have proven to have staying power, yeah, he's first in the designer hall of fame. We're always saying that some game has replaced another one for us...You never hear some one say they're replacing Ra/T&E/Lost Cities/LOTR:TC/etc. Hell, as much as I love Omen, I still think Battle Line is top dog due to how pure of an experience it is.
Mr. White's Avatar
Mr. White replied the topic: #205098 29 Jun 2015 10:41
This is fantastic! Great job, fellas, and Steve, awesome song at the beginning!

Wow. This was unexpected. Gave me a warm feeling towards boardgaming that I hadn't had in awhile. Thinking about it, I have more Knizia games than I do from any other designer. Though his titles may not be my absolute favorites, I like them a lot. A whole lot. I would totally put him in first ballot. My favorites are:

Battle Line
Kingdoms
Colossal Arena
LotR: Confrontation
Lost Cities
Beowulf
Lord of the Rings

I've never played T&E and am interested in Blue Moon Legends (can I get a recommendation? I don't hear much about it.)

One thing I've come to learn about myself the past few years boardgaming is that I actually prefer, what some would call, slightly abstract boardgames. TITAN, Manoeuvre, Neuroshima Hex those sorts of games. And well, A lot of Knizia's are like that as well which may be why I have and enjoy so many. For pure AT, I like to create my own characters and such (Blood Bowl, RPGs, etc), but for boardgaming I find I like the more chess-like, maybe even euro-style of play.

Again, great job here!
VonTush's Avatar
VonTush replied the topic: #205100 29 Jun 2015 11:04
It is hard to talk in generalities when the man's designed hundreds of games...But the element that I most admire about many of the games of his that I have played is that they are so focused and efficient. He has a restraint that puts just enough into the game to deliver the theme and/or setting but avoids any sort of heavy-handedness. And that restraint is something that I feel has been sorely lacking from game design for a while, though there has been a bit of a resurgence of it as of late.
engelstein's Avatar
engelstein replied the topic: #205105 29 Jun 2015 11:40
Really looking forward to listening to this!
The*Mad*Gamer's Avatar
The*Mad*Gamer replied the topic: #205108 29 Jun 2015 11:49

Gave me a warm feeling towards boardgaming that I hadn't had in awhile.


That's a great compliment and exactly what I was going for and in fact I told Michael that I didn't want this to sound like an insurance seminar or a corporate thing , more a fireside chat.
Ska_baron's Avatar
Ska_baron replied the topic: #205110 29 Jun 2015 11:55
Amazing song, great interview and obviously a great subject. Thanks for putting the effort in, guys - great listen.

EDIT - to be honest, when I saw the headline pop up on Facebook, I actually assumed it was going to be a comedy bit of yours Weeks. Very pleasantly surprised.
Ken B.'s Avatar
Ken B. replied the topic: #205114 29 Jun 2015 12:06
As someone who seemed to have the most run-ins with Weeks, I'll say that the reason for that was that I knew he was talented and capable of really doing great things for this site and the AT cause, but always wanted to piss that away trolling the shit out of everyone and biting every had that dared to feed him.

This podcast is proof of what he is capable of doing--being entertaining and actually a positive force for the hobby.

Excellent work, Steve.