The Anthology Begins...
MikeSelinker_120 von Mike Selinker:
Happy autumnal equinox, everybody, and I hope you enjoyed our first little Stonehenge puzzle. Welcome to the new occasional design diary on Titanic Games' upcoming release, Stonehenge. It's a strange and exciting game for us in a lot of ways, and one that we've spent a lot of time developing. It's my job to give you the rundown on how this game came to be, preferably (...)

stonehenge-alan_180RestoredPlan-250
MikeSelinker_120 von Mike Selinker:
Happy autumnal equinox, everybody, and I hope you enjoyed our first little Stonehenge puzzle. Welcome to the new occasional design diary on Titanic Games' upcoming release, Stonehenge. It's a strange and exciting game for us in a lot of ways, and one that we've spent a lot of time developing. It's my job to give you the rundown on how this game came to be, preferably in small enough morsels so you still want to know more when we actually release it early next year. This design diary will not be just my own, but also that of many people who are associated with the game, some of whom you've actually heard of.
Stonehenge is Titanic's second big boxed game, following the stunning new color edition of Kill Doctor Lucky, which releases in just a couple weeks. (And by the way, if you haven't preordered KDL yet, now's a great time, because you can still get the exclusive Doctor Lucky miniature for free. Go ahead, I'll wait right here.)
OK, now that you're a bit poorer but richer with anticipation, I'll start talking about Stonehenge. At some point I'll twist James Ernest's arm to tell you the full story on this. For now, suffice it to say that shortly after James and I formed our game design studio, Lone Shark Games, James mentioned an idea of his in which multiple game designers would agree on a set of pieces and make different board games that worked with those pieces. For me, the idea was like a story anthology from the 1950s, where renowned sci-fi authors would all gather under a banner like
9 Tales of Space and Time and write somewhat related pieces. So I came up with the term "Anthology Board Game™," and convinced James that it was a practical idea, assuming one knew the right people.
Here's the cast of characters I rounded up for our first Anthology Board Game:
JamesErnest_120
Stop number one was James himself. James Ernest is the founder and game designer of Cheapass Games, the little game company that could. Over the years he's put out dozens of modern classics like Give Me the Brain, Button Men, and Diceland. He and I started working together on the game Fightball in 2001, and later started Lone Shark to make games like Cowpoker, Dungeonville, and the really-coming-out-soon Gloria Mundi. I was pretty sure I could get more out of James than just the idea for this enterprise.
RichardGarfield_120
Next on my hit list was Richard Garfield, a longtime friend from our Wizards of the Coast days. When you hear his name, you may first think of his card game Magic: The Gathering, but he's also a major-league board game designer, having come up with RoboRally, Filthy Rich, Rocketville, and What Were You Thinking? Professor Garfield was the guy that a way-out-there project like this needed, as he's one of the most intellectually curious people I've ever met. Set him a bizarre proposition like an Anthology Board Game, and he'll poke around the edges till he figures out what makes the beast tick.
BrunoFaidutti_120
I then called across the pond to Paris to talk to Bruno Faidutti, designer of Mystery of the Abbey, Citadels, and many other games. Bruno is the ultimate collaborator. Check out this crazy map of game designers and you'll see why. I'm in the middle, connected to James, Larry Harris, the late Paul Randles, and Bruno (the latter two on the game Key Largo, which I hope comes stateside soon). But Bruno's the freakin' hub, with—count 'em—nine connections to other designers. Most designers get through their lives not having issued nine board games. But Bruno has been involved in at least nineteen collaborations, because everybody likes working with him. This anthology group wouldn't make sense without him, and he signed on enthusiastically.
RichardBorg_120
I'd worked with all these guys before, but there was a connection I'd been meaning to make for years. You might notice that on that map, I'm near—but not linked to—Richard Borg, the designer of Battle Cry, Memoir '44, and Liar's Dice. He and I are in a very select fraternity: we've both been honored to design games for Risk, me with Godstorm and him as part of the Lord of the Rings expansion. We'd been looking for a project to work on together, so when I started the anthology project, I dragged him in.
(I also dragged in his buddy, Alan Moon. Alan is the creator of
New England, Ticket to Ride, and other classics. Unfortunately, as the project got going, Alan had to drop out, but I hope to sign him up for another anthology some time down the road. You never know what these nutty game designers might do.)
OK, so now we had a crew. All we needed was a subject. Next time I'll let you in on how we decided on a bunch of rocks.
See you then!
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