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Coming the Week of July 15th (12 Jul 2019)

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We Need to Talk about Thurn and Taxis

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11 Jul 2019 22:55 - 12 Jul 2019 04:29 #299585 by Frohike

Greg Aleknevicus wrote: most people acknowledge that SdJ winners are generally good games... so what's wrong with trying to design a game generally regarded as good?


Sometimes focusing on meeting award criteria can come at a cost, a pocket of "unfun" that seems to develop in a blind spot where design conceits are just assumed to be fun because of precedent rather than actual creative intuition, an understanding of context, or attentive playtesting. It can come off feeling formulaic to the player.
Last edit: 12 Jul 2019 04:29 by Frohike.
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12 Jul 2019 09:23 #299596 by hotseatgames

Greg Aleknevicus wrote:

hotseatgames wrote: ...I would like to say that if anyone is actually designing something specifically to try to get a SDJ award... well fuck that.

That's overly harsh. First off, most people acknowledge that SdJ winners are generally good games... so what's wrong with trying to design a game generally regarded as good?


Don't twist my words. Obviously designing a good game is, or should be, the goal. But designing it in such a way as to maximize its appeal to some arbitrary committee, as opposed to making it for the players.... to me that is cynical and soulless.
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12 Jul 2019 09:38 #299597 by Vysetron
Hotseat is right on this one. Designing to win an SDJ is the board game equivalent of Oscar bait. Cynically made to sell copies, not to innovate or create a unique experience.

Also I'm surprised at the Niagara hate. Game's not amazing, but it's clever enough and cute.
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12 Jul 2019 09:51 #299598 by Sagrilarus

Vysetron wrote: Cynically made to sell copies, not to innovate or create a unique experience.


For someone that designs games for a living "cynically made to sell copies" may be a fundamental design requirement before they start working on it. Those bills don't pay themselves.

But in order for a product to sell it must appeal to someone. If that person isn't me I'm ok with it, at least for any one particular title. SDJ winners are generally popular with the public if not with me personally. It's a big market.

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12 Jul 2019 10:36 #299599 by jpat
I (effectively) lost my copies of both T&T and the expansion when I moved in 2009. I had to move a lot of stuff in a truck, and we chose to chance the rain potential and lost, although only T&T/expansion and a few other things ended up being unsalvageable. My memories of the game are pretty good, though hazy.
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12 Jul 2019 11:50 #299603 by Shellhead

Vysetron wrote: Hotseat is right on this one. Designing to win an SDJ is the board game equivalent of Oscar bait. Cynically made to sell copies, not to innovate or create a unique experience.


Yeah, I was thinking Oscar bait too while reading this thread. It's admirable to strive to make a great game, but attempting to please a specific award committee is more likely to cause a designer to just mimic previous winners. It can become a self-destructive feedback loop that ultimately suppresses creativity and undermines the award.

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16 Jul 2019 00:48 #299677 by ratpfink
It's weird. I don't think this game is great, but I have played it a lot online. Like a lot a lot. I think 2 player is the sweet spot as it reduces a bit of the chaos from the card draws. I don't know why I've played it so much. There's probably not much more to learn about it, but it's just simple to get into some kind of flow with this game for me. There's opportunities for screwage, tempo considerations, timing to get right, racing and press your luck.

One comment about player interaction. I'm not sure what the definition of "player interaction" is these days. In my mind, this game is nothing but player interaction when played competitively. Every single action the other player takes is considered. Every action I take is viewed from multiple angles, how it could hurt my opponent, how it helps me now, how it helps me later, what my opponent is trying to do. To do otherwise would be to resign myself to losing.

I don't care about SDJ one way or the other. I think this is a game that leans more towards "classic euro" vs the trend of spreadsheet optimization solitaire games that really started to pick up steam a year or two after this came out. I think for the 2006 euros, it is probably best of a weaker bunch.
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16 Jul 2019 01:39 #299679 by Space Ghost
If I was a collector and my goal was to collect every SdJ game, I would decline to put this in my collection -- this is just such a bad game. It reminds me of the Traveling Salesman Problem...which no game should be built around.

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16 Jul 2019 13:12 #299698 by ubarose
Milch & Gerkins
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16 Jul 2019 15:56 #299709 by dysjunct
Suggestion for new article series: "We Should Probably Talk About X So We Can Get It Over With."
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16 Jul 2019 17:01 #299712 by Sagrilarus

dysjunct wrote: Suggestion for new article series: "We Should Probably Talk About X So We Can Get It Over With."


Thurns & Taxis eulogy?

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16 Jul 2019 17:03 #299713 by dysjunct
"I come not to praise Thurn & Taxis, but to bury it."
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16 Jul 2019 19:47 #299717 by WadeMonnig
I'm thinking about stealing sags idea and swapping it to "Games that aren't in my collection anymore and why"

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16 Jul 2019 20:23 #299718 by Jackwraith

WadeMonnig wrote: I'm thinking about stealing sags idea and swapping it to "Games that aren't in my collection anymore and why"


I could write a fair amount about that topic.
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16 Jul 2019 22:10 #299722 by san il defanso
About halfway through my review of my whole collection I'm going to do a piece called "Dearly Departed" about beloved games that still got traded. I might do another about games that I somehow kept for way too long trying to convince myself they were good.
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