by Michael (Arcane Tinmen)
It has been a really busy time for me these past weeks. Well, truth be told, my time is always pressed, but having our fiscal year end at the same time we prepare for Essen Spiel just isn’t the brightest of plans. Now I just need to figure out which is easier: talk to the Danish tax guys or move the game fair. Bright suggestions on this topic are most welcome!
Essen is always a fun time. There are always a bunch of meetings and loads of schnitzels (we never go to Germany without stuffing ourselves with this precious dish!). Some meetings are just greeting old friends and business partners, while others are brand new leads or possible partnerships.
Three of these meetings really stood out. One was with Fantasy Flight Games, who is Arcane Tinmen’s master distributor and long time partner on Dragon Shield. We are not working with them on Spoils, however, as they have their hands full with all their own games.
Another quite interesting and fun meeting was a late night playtest session with Mark Rhein-Hagen, who some of you may know as the author of the Vampire the Masquerade RPG (and all the other World of Darkness RPGs). We would have come anyway, but he baited us by saying that Richard Garfield was also invited, so it was hard to pass up. Richard didn’t show, but it was quite fun anyway, and the meeting actually put a fun thought into my mind (more about this later).
The third meeting that stood out was a meeting with a Polish card manufacturer called Trefl. We were not actually looking for a new supplier, but they stopped by the booth and introduced themselves, so I decided it couldn’t hurt to sit down with them for a quick chat. I will admit to being impressed with their product samples. The printing is great and they actually buy their cardboard from the same French manufacturer as Cartamundi. Though I am not easily swayed on this, I have agreed to give them the opportunity to convince me to use their services, so that’s what they are trying to do right now. It will be interesting to see if they can!!
So, as said, the playtesting with Mark Rhein-hagen and a talk with a couple of board game designers put an idea into my head that I thought could be fun to try at one point. My idea is to gather some bright and well-known designers within the industry and have them create cards for a special set; a sort of “Greatest Hits of Gaming Brainiacs” or “The Spoils: Celebrity Edition”, where each of them would design five cards (one for each trade) and then see where this would end up. The cards would of course still have to be playtested and weighed the same as any other cards, but I imagine that we could have some quite interesting concepts come from this. But as I said, this is just a stray thought appearing in a tired and coffee-accelerated mind at a busy game fair – but it kind of stuck itself in there, and I really wish we could make something like that happen at one point >
Now of course I don’t know if this idea will fly at all; if these guys will have the time for it; or if it will be too expensive to really do (probably is as I imagine these guys don’t come cheap), but I guess we can always toy around with it a bit! If for nothing else, then just for kicks! So with that in mind, who would you all like to see contribute to such a set?
Disclaimer: This may never happen for all the reasons above, so even if we don’t do it, I will still be able to claim to stick to our overall principle of not promising anything if we don’t know hundred percent that we will be able to deliver on it. And with that being said: Let the fun begin and send in your suggestions!!
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