Back when I was a gamer who had nothing to do with designing and publishing of board games, the last month before Essen would always be a bit of a sweet torture. I’d look at all the new and shiny boxes that I would still have to wait weeks to get my hands on. Now, things are obviously a bit different.
Now, being a game designer and part of the NSKN team, I’m more like: “Wow, Spiel 2015 is in, like, a few days, and there’s so much to do!”. And while in fact Spiel is already an even month away, if you’re a publisher that plans to launch some of new games in Essen, as we will with Simurgh, the European retail debut of Mistfall, and a long awaited reprint of Exodus: Proxima Centauri (now with the Edge of Extinction expansion), time starts warping, as days become shorter and more action-packed.
There’s a bit of madness involved with all this, especially that the gamer in me wants Essen to come tomorrow, and is secretly happy to see time fly, each passing day bringing me closer to the awesome moment of seeing all those new games, including the ones we will take Essen ourselves. But there is one more thing the gamer in me wants. And that’s to sit down and play now.
We live in the cult of the new. As gamers and hobbyist, we are interested in all the stuff that is yet to come out, some of that making way to our tables. We are so interested in fact, that we sometimes simply forget, that we already have good games around us, sitting on shelves and gathering dust.
Don’t get me wrong: I love getting to know new games. I get really excited when I think about a number of new releases. And I am a game designer working for a game publisher. Still, before going to Essen, I will deliberately slow down and sit down to play a few of the all time favourites. Putting Catles of Burgundy, Dominion, Through the Ages on the table will be like slipping into a comfortable armchair after a long day of work – and reminding myself why I love gaming.
In fact, this is something I would suggest you do as well. Play all those great games you know and love, remind yourself why they are so fun, and when you do go to Essen, go there with your appetite whetted, your senses keen, and your eyes open to where board games are going, how they build on classics and how they innovate.
Because, yeah, Essen’s gonna be legendary!