Episode 220: Changes

Release Date: Jan. 18 , 2016

Running Time:   73 min.

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New year, new format. The Spiel and Major Fun have joined forces! We'll be reviewing games over the course of a season and bestowing each game reviewed with a Major Fun or Spiel of Approval award. In addition, we'll be producing roundtable interviews at GenCon and Essen with designers, publishers and artists in the industry.

The Spiel 2.0: We discuss the new format for the show
The Game Sommelier: 5 designers with whom Dave wants to design a game
The Game Sommelier: 5 Star Wars themed games that dont exist but should.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

The Spiel 2.0

The Spiel will produce two kinds of game related content:

game reviews and convention interviews.

Game Reviews

Game reviews will be done as a season of reviews. There will be 30 reviews in each season.

A season will take place over a calendar year. The season will be split into two 5-month parts. The first half of the season will be Feb - Jun. The second half Aug - Dec.

So, 15 reviews in each half a season.

3 game reviews will be released each month. 2 audio reviews and on one written review.

Additional bonus reviews are possible in any given month.

Audio reviews will release at the beginning of the month. Written review releases 2 weeks later.

Each game reviewed (audio or written) receives an award: Major Fun or Spiel of Approval

Major Fun games are kids or family or party games.

Spiel of Approval games are more strategic but not necessarily just for gamers.

Games reviewed will appear in The Spiel’s podcast feed in one of two ways.

The Spiel on [GAME TITLE]   The Spiel on La Granja for instance


[GAME TITLE] is Major Fun    Terra is Major Fun for instance

The idea is that Major Fun and the Spiel of Approval are badges of quality.

We play many games but only a select few earn these awards. Publishers can include the award seal/graphic for either award on a game box.

Games reviewed can be part of our personal collection or can be submitted by publishers for consideration.

Stephen will be “in charge” of the final determinations on Major Fun games since he's wearing the Major Fun hat in addition to his Spiel hat. Spiel of Approval games will be determined by consensus.

Convention Interviews

Gone are the days of 28-35 interviews at each convention. Here’s the new plan.

7 interviews are scheduled and recorded at GenCon and Essen (7 per con)

Each interview is a roundtable discussion or in depth chat.

Interviews will be done in a talk show format, a directed discussion on a specific topic (think Inside the Actors Studio or Charlie Rose).

The interview is never a demo or rules explanation of a game. 

Guests will be the movers and shakers in the industry - designers, publishers, artists

The goal will be to schedule an interesting mix of people based on the topic of the interview.

Most will be roundtable discussions but a few people might merit a one on one conversation.

Interviews will be edited and released as GenCon or Essen Week 1 per day.

We will promote and market the each one as much as we can.

The goal with this format is to take advantage of 2 key things:

1. all these great designers and publishers are together at the same time and place 

2. we have a TON of contacts in the industry so we can gather together a really interesting mix of people to chat with us.

Each interview is an event, in other words. A reason to take note and tune in.

Parting Thoughts

I'm excited and energized by the new format. I'm also honored and humbled to start my tenure as Major Fun! I know its a big change in some ways, but in many others, we're doing what we've always done - just in a new way. I look forward to this season's slate of game reviews and interviews and I think these changes can open fun new doors as the show continues to grow!

The Game Sommelier

Dave's Selections

Stefan Feld   BGG  |  Feld's web site

Antoine Bauza   BGG  |  Bauza'a web site

Reiner Knizia    BGG  |  Knizia'a web site

Inka & Markus Brand    BGG - Inka |  BGG - Markus  |  Brand's site

Mike Fitzgerald    BGG  

Stephen's Selections

(Agricola) Moisture Farming on Tatooine  BGG

Dejarik - Holochess  BGG  |  Wookiepedia  |  Make

Escape from the Trash Compactor   

Droid Protocol    

Jedi's Path    


Music credits include:

Changes   by Butterfly Boucher & David Bowie  |  the song  |  YouTube


I'm sure there are some goofs in there somewhere

Let us know if (when?) you find one: