Issue #254 – Giveaway continues! Board Game Tables


The Best in Board Games – In 5 Minutes or Less!
Mar 2, 2015 – Issue #254

Star Wars: Imperial Assault Giveaway!

It’s your last chance to get in this awesome giveaway! This week you can win a copy of Star Wars: Imperial Assault from Fantasy Flight Games! You can enter now on the contest page. The contest is open through 11:59 MST on Tuesday evening, March 3, 2015. You can come back each day and gain additional entries.

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Today In Board Games Is:Roger Hicks (Editor)
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Jessica King (Editor)
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Board Game Tables

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Customize your table with optional drawers, off-table drink holders (never spill your drink on a game again!), and covers to quick-convert the table for non-gaming purposes. the best part? These tables are affordable! Board Game Tables has worked hard to provide a high-end gaming experience at an affordable price without compromising on quality. I encourage you to have a look – browse the site and see for yourself what your gaming experience could be!


Articles for designers, publishers, and other industry professionals

Interview with Jim Pinto designer of Gondola

af315ce32a9cbb33121318609b74d104_largeToday’s interview is with Jim Pinto designer of Gondola now on Kickstarter!

Give us an overview of your game and how it’s played.

Gondola is a tile placement racing game through the canals of Venice. Players race to be the first through three checkpoints to win the game. You draw tiles into your hand and place one on your turn, so you build the course as you play. Then, you move your gondola. Each tile has three values on it: speed, drift, and capacity. Speed tells you how fast you can go (how many spaces you can move), but drift limits this; you move the lower of the two values. Capacity determines how many boats can occupy a given tile. There are also special tiles in the game that can help your strategy or block other players.

What innovative mechanic or creative idea distinguishes your game from others?

No one has made a tile-laying game like this. The drift mechanic is the most important mechanic in the game. It stops the person who draws the best tiles from running away with it. If you played a racing card game and one person drew all that 6s and you drew all the 1s, you’d lose. Period. In Gondola, the drift mechanic is a throttle for controlling just how fast you can move off the tile you are on. So, unless you’re very good and play all the elements of the game, simply having all the 6s won’t help you. You’ll need to plan where you’re going and how you’re going to land. For such a simple game, there’s a lot of strategy to it.

Tell us about the spark or inspiration for this game.

Just sort of came to me in the shower one day. The drift mechanic popped into my head and the rest of the game wrote itself.
Let’s talk about the design process. Tell us a bit about the iterations the game has gone through and the refinements you’ve made along the way.

cf2dcf189526d1e0a98fc0cc06a9750f_largeWhat has been your biggest challenge in designing this game?

Every playtest, people wanted to give feedback that clearly showed a lack of understanding of the game. And these were top designers in the industry trying to change one minor thing, which would end up causing two problems. In the end, the game hasn’t changed at all since the original design, except for the values on the tiles. I’m just lucky, I guess.

Let’s shift gears and talk about you. How did you get into game design?

My story always annoys people, I think. I fell backwards into game design from tech writing, back in 1997. I heard about an opening for a magazine editor and I applied. The magazine died within a year, but I stayed on as a writer/editor after that. Then an art director. And years later I was writing roleplaying games and board games. You might know me from Dominare. Maybe. If you’ve played that. I have a passion for design. I would be doing this even if I wasn’t getting paid. By the way. I’m looking forward to getting paid.

What is your greatest moment as a game designer?

I don’t think there’s a singular moment. I recently received an encouraging e-mail from a teacher saying that he was using one of my games to teach kids about colonial-era America. That was pretty cool.

Tell us a little bit about your life outside of game design and gaming: family? work? other interests?

There’s a life outside of game design? How many people answer this question that way?

Actually. I’m particularly private. I don’t really talk about my personal life. If you friend me on Facebook, you might find pictures of places I’ve hiked. Or read one of my classic screeds about bad writing. That’s as personal as I get.

Do you have any works-in-progress or game ideas you would like to share?

100 A.D. is coming next. It’s about about the Roman senate and all its corruption. Then there’s Forum, which is finished, but I’m tinkering with how I want to produce it. I’m working on a card game about kids building a time machine. It’ll be cute and simple. Maybe a $15 POD game, or something. I write a lot of roleplaying game stuff too. And that keeps me busy.

What games have you been playing lately? What have you liked, what have you disliked, and why?

I played a bunch of Dominare recently. I even took some time to make 110 totally new characters and rules for it. I even printed them out. I can’t sell it, but I might give the PDF away to people. I love Orleans, but hate hate hate the graphics. Hate. And not because they are archaic or historical looking but because brown, gray, and black are not good colors to distinguish your jobs with. Not to mention, nothing on the main board is in the same order as the elements on your own individual board. Awesome game, but graphics need a lot of work. Bush league mistakes.
I’m tired of solitaire games (like 7Wonders) that try to disguise themselves as something else. I could do without those. I really like Mysterium (which isn’t available in the US yet). Jaipur and Longhorns are fantastic two-player games. Genius, really.

d00fb70f348ff9068496ef5c03e02e8e_largeShare your favorite game you haven’t designed and why?

Dominare. Hands down. I can’t say why without sounding arrogant, but I designed it, I’ve played it over 100 times and I’m not tired of it. I think that’s reason enough, right?

A word of advice to your fellow game designers?

Design what you love. Stop worrying about making the next crunchy-Euro and make sure you design something you want to play. You’ll be involved with it for the next five years or so. So make sure you enjoy it.

Anyone you’d like to give a shout out to?

There are tons of players out there who are ambassadors of the hobby. They teach games, run events at stores, help at conventions, and all of it without getting a paycheck. Those guys and gals deserve a medal for doing our jobs for us.

Tell us how (and where) we can find you (social networks, BGG username, website, cons you plan to attend).

I’ll be at gamestorm at the end of March. Gencon as well. has this and one of my previous board games. You can find me on facebook, twitter, and the web.

Insider Review #38 – Eliane Rigby of Board Game Innovation

Insider Review is a podcast from Today in Board Games. Each episode looks behind the scenes into the board gaming industry as we interview a special guest. The podcast contains success stories and tips from publishers, designers, and many others as well as information on current games and projects.

In today’s episode I interview Eliane Rigby of Board Game Innovation – makers of fantastic acrylic overlays for popular games such as Eclipse and Through the Ages.

We would love your feedback on this episode! Please leave a comment here or visit us in ITunes and give us a rating and review!