So I’ve been thinking, there are certain boardgame creators who I will always at least look at their next project and usually be up for getting it almost regardless of theme or type of game. For example, Level 99 Games. They’ve done a variety of games - one on one duelling across several quite different approaches, worker placement, uh…CCG simulator?, train game, puzzle game - and the ones I’ve played have been so good, so varied, so creative and attractively produced that I’m there for nearly anything they do. I don’t really “do” train games, for example, but Empyreal? I was on board. And it’s good! The only things I’ve skipped are older and mostly unavailable titles and Exceed and Sakura Arms, both of which seem like they hit basically the same niche as BattleCON but are less appealing to me for different reasons. (Exceed introduces randomness I don’t find appealing, Sakura Arms apparently involves building your deck every time and a steep learning curve, which is not for me.)
Similarly, my experience with Tainted Grail was so good, and what I’ve seen of games like Nemesis, The Edge: Dawnfall, Etherfields and The Great Wall so exciting that at this point I’m pretty sure I’m all in on Awaken Realms unless they do something completely outside my interest space - a big traditional miniature-based wargame where every model is $10+, a full on hidden role game (Nemesis has elements, but you can play without and it’s a bit more complicated than just “there’s a traitor”, so I’m still interested), that sort of thing.
I briefly felt this way about Stonemaier Games - Viticulture, Euphoria and Scythe are all my jam and super well produced…but I honestly haven’t been interested in anything they’ve done since Scythe. And even before that, Between Two Cities didn’t really light my fire. So I think that bloom is off.
I might be getting there on Chip Theory Games - so far I just think Too Many Bones is terrific, but Cloudspire and burncycle look cool enough that I’ve backed the Cloudspire reprint/expansion and burncycle, and I imagine I’ll be there whenever they do the Hoplomachus solo game project to try that out. If those all turn out as good as TMB. Well then.
And finally, I’m pretty much up for whatever Vital Lacerda does even though I can rarely get his games to table. Especially Eagle Gryphon’s gorgeous productions. My one caveat is that I like his stuff because of how heavy they are. Mercado de Lisboa, while clever, was a little too watered down to catch my interest. I probably won’t grab anything else in that vein either.
There are other designers and companies whose stuff I like, of course, but either they’re not so consistently up my alley that I’ll just get whatever they do (e.g. FFG does games I like but plenty I don’t too, Vlaada is a genius but only some of his games are doing stuff I want to play with), or they’re really basically only doing one thing so far, and I don’t have any idea if I would want a different experience from them (e.g. the folks making Hexplore It - the two volumes so far are great, looking forward to Sands of Shurax and eventually Domain of Mirza Noctis…but it’s all variations on the same game and they can be combined, so.).
How about you?