Saturday, June 30, 2012

Games I Like (Alex)

Greetings everyone, I’m getting a late start on this blog authorship but I’m very excited to take part and hopefully find some interesting gaming topics to dissect and evaluate.

I want to take a moment to thank Matt for inviting me to join him on this reflective journey of gaming. As a brief introspective on how I got to this point in gaming I would say I really turned the corner in 2003 with the sudden and explosive poker boom.

When ESPN began showing the 2003 World Series of Poker I certainly was one of the millions captivated with the game of Texas Hold’em. While I had plenty of fun and success playing online I became interested in other poker varieties. I was hopeful the peak of the poker expansion would embolden friends and other local opponents to diversify and try other games like Seven Card Stud Hi/Low and Lowball but thus it did not and I burnt out on poker as a whole. Nowadays I just enjoy the occasional home game.

A few years later I stumbled upon a website called Boardgamegeek.com of which you are likely familiar with. After trying out a number of gameway games that are widely available such as Blokus and Loot I ordered several more after reading the rules and reviews others had done on the games.

I’ve been fortunate to try a large selection of games and while a single category or genre doesn’t stick out I have seen a few trends in my taste of games. One of my very first experiences with the Michael Schacht’s China really made area control and network building mechanics stick out as particularly interesting. I find the player interaction and population redistribution of La Citta to be a prime example of the level of interaction I enjoy in games.

Imperial is one of my absolute favorite games initially due to the straightforward game play and the player driven chaos of a perfect information game. Over time in Imperial I’ve become less and less interested in the conflict between nations and the power to control nations and far more interested in the stock aspect of the game, after the first few turns you’ll rarely see me in control of a country and I am usually just diversifying my European portfolio.

Over the last few years I’ve been in and out of the hobby of game design. I’ve wavered in my passion for getting published one day but that is probably because I’m focused on designing the right game to bring to publishers. The experience has been priceless though and I hope to bring a slightly different perspective in reviewing games and examining their designs, in order to give the reader an idea about the origin of a mechanic or why everything in a game fits so particularly well.

I’ve got several articles on the way that I anticipate will provoke some new thoughts and ideas of some games that may have been overlooked or whose ideas could be implemented into an even better design. I hope you are looking forward to it as much as I am!