GenCon 2018 - Game Development

Release Date: August 9, 2018

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Running Time:   39 min.

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Every game makes a journey from designer to publisher to manufacturer to seller and at last to the players.

But there’s part of this journey that's often invisible to those outside the industry: game development.

Games go through different stages of development between designer and publisher, with each trying to bring the game into a finished, polished publishable form. It’s part negotiation, part balancing act between great ideas and basic logistics and costs.

We delve into how different designers and publishers approach the development process, hoping to walk away with a better appreciation of how important this step is to the life of any game.

This panel features:

Matt Leacock (designer, Pandemic & many others)

Christopher Badell (Greater Than Games)

Ray Wehrs (Calliope Games)

Jason Hill (Flying Frog Productions)

Geoff Engelstein (designer, podcaster, teacher)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 300: Anansi and Take The A Chord

Release Date: June 26, 2018

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Running Time:   150 min.

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The Coleson-Conway era of The Spiel comes to a close with a celebration of our shared passion and love of trick-taking card games.

We review Anansi and Take the A Chord and delve into the history of Jeux de Tarot.

Anansi is a role-selection trick taker where players gain the abilities of animals from West African myths. Score points based on the tricks you take and avoid becoming the Fool.

Take the A Chord is a jazz themed trick taker where the Key (and the game) can change with a single card. Watch out for improvisations and try to take just the right number of tricks to win.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 299: Heaven & Ale

Release Date: June 14, 2018

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Running Time:   118 min.

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In Heaven & Ale, you are the master brewer at a German monastery in the Middle Ages. Your goal is to create beer that will please your fellow monks, the people in nearby towns AND (hopefully!) the big guy upstairs. 

Gather hops, water, barley, and yeast and recruit monks to build your brewery from the sunniest hilltop to the shadiest grove.

Each decision is fun and challenging and leads to an innovative scoring system that packs a great cerebral punch. 

Heaven & Ale will leave you wanting to explore the game from a new angle every time you play. 

And if you’re like us, the game will also make you thirsty. Make sure you’ve got at least a few dunkelweissen’s nearby any time you decide to play.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 297: Decrypto

Release Date: May 28, 2018

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Running Time:   80 min.

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Your team of spies intercepts a secret transmission... 3 words... a code tied to a sequence of numbers. There it is again! Another transmission, but this time with 3 new words.

Can you decipher these words into the proper sequence when the pressure is on? Remember, the other team is listening and trying to unravel your words and your seuqence at the same time!

Decrypto is a wonderful call and response party game where the challenge is to come up with clues that are just enough left of center to keep the other team from connecting the dots AND not so crazy that you fool your own team in the process. 

The more clues you give, the harder this becomes and the more laughs you'll have. And that's a sequence that spells Major Fun!

Listen in for a full review and discussion.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 296: Spirit Island

 

Release Date: May 16, 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: R. Eric Reuss

Publisher:  Greater Than Games

1-4 pl  | 90 min  |  ages 13+  |  MSRP $80

 

Spirit Island is a cooperative game where each player becomes a force of Nature, hellbent on forcing European invaders to abandon their colony. Each Spirit has its own set of powers and playstyle that will help stem the invaders' progress.

Fear is your ally but time is short. Can you build enough terror in the hearts of these would-be conquerors to send them home before the island succumbs to Blight? Can you Spirits save the Island, the last place of true magic on Earth?

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 295: Professor Evil & The Citadel of Time

Release Date: May 10, 2018

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Running Time:   105 min.

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High atop a mountain in his castle, Professor Evil uses his time machine to rob the world of priceless antiques: the Mona Lisa, the Rosetta Stone, even Excalibur. He revels in his private gallery, the most secure one-person museum in the universe… his very own Citadel of Time.

Your small group of adventurers has been sent to sneak in to the Citadel and rescue at least four treasures before they are locked away. You must work your way past traps and locked doors and avoid Professor Evil himself as he wanders through the castle.  

Whether you play Destiny Bradshaw, Mistress of Randomness, or Edward Wire, Lord of the Gears, the clock is ticking and time is not your friend. Get in and get the treasures before they are lost forever!

Professor Evil & The Citadel of Time feels like a game from a bygone era mixed with the care and thought of modern design. It's charming, engaging, great for players young and old, and sure to provide many hours of Major Fun.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 294: Linkee

Release Date: May 4, 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: D. Tempest, T. Hyatt-Williams, Ben Drummond

Publisher:  Bananagrams, Big Potato

2-200 pl  | 30 min  |  ages 12+  |  MSRP $22.50

 

Linkee is a party game that asks each team to find an off-kilter link between four questions/clues. First to find the link wins a letter card. The first team to spell Linkee wins the game!

Linkee is simple, addictive, collaborative fun that builds as you play. It’s a game that will bring lots of laughs to any party – a game where it’s easy to lose yourself in the fun of playing, no matter who wins or loses. And that’s the measuring stick of any great party game that calls itself Major Fun.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 293: Azul

 

Release Date: Apr. 30, 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: Michael Kiesling

Publisher:  Plan B Games

2-4 pl  | 30-45 min  |  ages 8+  |  MSRP $40

 

In the late 15th century, King Manuel of Portugal visited the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. He fell in love with the beautiful decorated tiles called azulejos (borrowed from the Arabic word az-zulayj meaning polished stone). Manuel ordered his royal buildings, including his palace at Évora, to be covered with these beautiful tiles. The tile artists who traveled from Spain followed the Islamic stricture prohibiting any depictions of people or animals in the design. The result was a vibrant geometric style that is part of the soul of Portugal’s art and culture even today.

In Azul, players are artists decorating the walls of Manuel’s palace at Évora. Each turn you select colored tiles, hoping to fill rows and build part of a larger pattern to score points.

Azul’s simple elegance and beauty make it accessible to many while its ornate patterns hint at amazing layers of depth and strategy to explore each time you play.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 292: Cursed Court

Release Date: April 16, 2018

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Running Time:   74 min.

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Each year, a different group of nobles comes to court, hoping to curry favor with the royals. From Spring to Winter, you and your fellow players watch from the shadows and try to predict who will appear, hoping to increase your fortune and power in the realm.

Cursed Court is a clever and wonderfully accessible auction game that draws its inspiration from an unlikely source: stud poker.

Each season, you will place a bid on a noble or grouping of nobles based on hidden and public information.

You share two face down noble cards, one with each neighboring player. The rest of the nobles are revealed one at a time, face up to all.

The problem is, your knowledge is always incomplete. You must place a bid after each card is revealed.

Do you bid on a sure thing, bluff to keep others from claiming the best nobles on the board, or take a risk hoping for a big payout?

Bid wisely and you'll gain power and influence at court. Bid poorly and you might be scrubbing pots!

Nearly anyone can enjoy this inventive and beautiful mashup. It's quick, simple, engaging, and full of tense moments with each new noble revealed. 

Listen in to explore the game. You don't have to have a royal pedigree to discover why Cursed Court is Major Fun!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 291: Candygrams

 

Release Date: Apr. 10 , 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: Johnny Landers

Publisher:  Candygrams LLC

2-4 pl  | 15-20 min  |  ages 6+  |  MSRP $25

 

Candygrams is a colorful crossword game that offers fun and challenging twists to a traditional word game.

Roll dice, build words from the colors rolled. Use all your tiles to win and reuse tiles already played, if you're clever.

Young players can play on one level and word nerds can appreciate it on another. The magic is both groups can enjoy playing together without the game bogging down. 

This makes Candygrams a delight and most surely a delicious helping of Major Fun!

Written review continues after the break.

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