Opener: Mansions of Madness (2nd edition), TIME Stories, Terraforming Mars, Great Western Trail
This is really a double-episode. In the second half we talk about more Essen titles, and the experience of my two guests who attended from England. However, these aren't just any two guests--they are collaborative game designers. Their big release at Essen 2016 was Armageddon, and they tell about the experiences designing, pitching, and launching the game. Along the way there are other stories about the collaborative design process, and how those designer-publisher pitch meetings go behind-the-scenes at Essen. It's a fascinating discussion.
Then I asked them to share just a handful of particular titles they acquired and enjoyed from the event. More good stuff.
Closer: The pitfalls of looking at BGG ratings without context; the Splendor app...and its achievement system; does a game become classic when people forget the rules?