Mon, 10 October 2016
Opener: I should've made it more clear in the audio, but the obvious opener is that I will be going Essen this year, and you can find me on Saturday afternoon at the NorthStarGames booth, Hall 3 P-103. It’s near a corner by a restaurant, and the same hall where Amigo, Z-Man, Pegasus, Stronghold, and others are. Please stop by and tell me if you listen to the podcast. I'll also be around on Saturday morning and all of Sunday, just taking it all in myself. I'm not wearing a BGTG shirt or anything, so just try to keep a lookout for this guy.
By now we know the drill... Look through BGG's Spiel (and Gencon) Previews, and flag too many titles that catch my attention. How do they grab me? Theme/setting matters, but hints about the gameplay/mechanisms (especially playing time) matter more. So does the designer and publisher.
Anything that has its roots in Kickstarter makes me instantly wary. It's not an automatic NO, but I'm so skeptical of that platform as a development tool (as opposed to merely funding), that I'll let others take the plunge first. Wait & see.
Expansions rarely grab my attention. I'm just not an expansion guy, expect for a few rare favorites (e.g. Port Royal). Similarly with abstracts--not my thing, but there are rare exceptions.
In general, my ranking of factors is
1. Publisher (which goes to development process & production quality)
2. Gameplay/mechanisms (looking for the types of games I know I like, though sometimes something unique & new. I steer clear of games rated at over 60 minutes--wait & see only, for those)
3. Designer (I'll let someone else take a flyer on a new, unproven designer...in most cases)
4. Theme/setting (I have distinct preferences toward real-world, historic subjects, and away from zombies/elves/spaceships. But I've learned from long experience that this is the least reliable indicator of whether a game will be a hit with me, alas)
Full list including many more Honorable Mentions, and some additional comments on my geeklist.