(put back together by Drew Davidson)
A mid-week dump of the Fab Four blog posts of the last 7 days.
C’mon bloggers! Spread out your posts throughout the year, will you? Don’t save your best posts for when a dozen other bloggers are posting their best, too…
Herewith are this past week’s Fab Four blog posts, ranked in order of enjoyment, along with an additional 4 Honorable Mentions…
1. An Introvert’s Guide to a Successful Convention (The Socially Inept Gamer)
2. Which Beer Would Your Favorite Game Be? (Clever Move)
3. The Whole Package (Business of Play)
4. Kindergarten Pop: Gaming With a 6-Year Old (iSlaytheDragon)
POST OF THE WEEK
Considering that the accepted view of a typical gamer is that of a shy, withdrawn grownup-child, this is a vital post. It’s not easy for an introvert to put themselves in the middle of a large crowd for 2+ days.
Among Tiffany’s suggestions are Room Alone, Bring a Close Friend (those two suggestions are not mutually exclusive), Find an Extrovert, Schedule Buffer Time, and – most important of all – Have a Plan:
My planning for a gaming convention always involves understanding where I’m going and what I want to do before I arrive. … The first thing I do is study a map of the location, set up my GPS, and lock in a good place to park. I also get a good idea of the route I want to follow through the vendor hall on my first pass. … That might be a little overkill, but that first day of the con is usually the most jarring for me. All the people! All the newness! Having set goals of what I want to try allows me the opportunity to put things on autopilot for a bit.
If you’re fearful of attending your first con, read her great suggestions here.
THE REST OF THE FAB FOUR
Man, am I a sucker for articles like this….
While families play board games together, game nights often involve gatherings of grown men and women with adult beverages in-hand. We thought it would be fun to find beer-equivalents for some of the most well-known board games.
Casey threatens to derail the thread with his very first choice: Monopoly = Bud Light. I mean, what serious Gamer even puts Monopoly on the table any more? But read on…
Everyone has had a taste of this one. It’s well-known and has broad appeal, but people who have ventured deeper into the category generally conclude that it’s not very good. They return to it only when forced to.
So, he has a good reason behind his game choices as well as his beer choices. Going down the list he mixes classic games (Risk, Stratego) with Euros (Ticket, Catan) and provides a well-reasoned brew for each. Check out his entire list here.
A lot of game inventors & publishers hate Wal-Mart (and Target, and Toys-R-Us) because they’re big and they’re exclusive. A lot game inventors & publishers love Wal-Mart (and the rest) because they reach a lot of game-playing eyeballs.
Don’t hate a publisher because they want to sell a game through Wal-Mart. Hate Wal-Mart for limiting the number of games they display in their big boxes.
Why would Wal-mart, or any of the big boys, neg a smart and bold layout? Why? For exactly that reason. The package is too sophisticated. They are selling to the common market, and want consumers to look and say, “wow.” They understand that a layout can pigeonhole a product into a much tighter demographic simply by being overdesigned. An understanding of the marketplace is the most powerful tool a designer can utilize.
Wal-Mart’s not the enemy. They’re just another player in the market, albeit a gigantic one, picky and stingy. But if you’re still interested in developing a game for the masses, Scheidler’s post is very helpful.
Anybody with a 6-year-old could write an article about playing games with their kid. But Jason gives some very solid examples of easily adapting certain adult-level games to a kindergartener’s level without sacrificing any key elements. Caveat: He argues against ‘dumbing-down’ a game, but merely performs a few small tweaks to make a game more accessible. Some examples of games he’s played intergenerationally are Carcassonne, Cinque Terre and 2013’s Steam Park.
It doesn’t hurt that Jason’s daughter loves to organize the game components and quickly set up a game with lots of fiddly bits. She’s already way ahead of some adults I play with…
THE HONORABLY MENTIONED FOUR
This post suffers from readability issues in Firefox, but at least the memes stand out. Increase the font, brighten the screen, and enjoy a great article in the learn-from-me-or-I’ll-kick-your-ass-at-this-game genre.
I have some friends (Dan & Kim!) who had a board game-themed Engagement. Maybe they can get some pointers here about their next step!
CCGs Generally Have Great Art. These Guys Make It Better, by Matt M. Casey
Clever Move, June 21
A post you have to see, for the beautiful art created on the borders of Magic: The Gathering cards.
Fourth in an unnecessarily long series on the rarely-seen Friend-or-Foe mechanic, otherwise known as the Prisoner’s Dilemma. What makes this installment noteworthy are the suggestions Kevin has for incorporating this mechanic into familiar games like Formula D or Munchkin, and mashing it up with other mechanics like elections, area control, or civilization building.
Which was your favorite post of the week? Tell us in the Comments section and we’ll compare notes!