Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Saturday, October 16, 2010

BGTG 109 - Essen Anticipation 2010 Part 2

Whew! I hurried up and recorded Part 2 of my annual "Essen Anticipation" episode so I could get it posted before the Spieltage itself. Hopefully some of the people who wanted to listen to it before the show opens (even when traveling there?) will get it in time.

This episode is more like my Essen shows from previous years. I talk a little about about general things, then launch into a long list of titles that catch my attention for one reason or another. Either they are high-profile titles that don't interest me for some reason, or more likely they're a game that looks good and hopefully I'll get a chance to play sometime soon. If you want to follow along, this year I again took some notes in a private geeklist.

Finally, I wrap up with a quick overview of the games I was anticipating last Essen. Which ones turned out to be as good as I'd hoped, which didn't, and which have I not bothered to track down at all? Similarly, I look over last year's Fairplay Scout Aktion and Geekbuzz lists of the top games from Essen. I maintain that these early indicators--despite all of the reasons they shouldn't be accurate--actually turn out to be good predictors of the best games released every year at Essen.


Friday, October 15, 2010

BGTG 108 - Essen Anticipation 2010 Part 1 (with Scott Alden & Lincoln Damerst)

It's that time again. Time for excitement about the Spiel game expo (Internationale Spieltage) held in Essen, Germany every October. Even when my fall season gets busy with work, kids' school, and other activities, there's always this time when I start living vicariously through the pre-, post-, and (now) during-the-event reports. Over a decade ago we heard about the new titles debuting at Essen through reports from Mike Siggins, Ken Tidwell, and others posted to The Game Cabinet in the weeks following. Then we started getting more contemporary online reports from Frank Schulte-Kulkmann & other attendees. People started taking digital cameras with them, and we got to SEE the games we were hearing about.

Last year the Boardgamegeek team had a booth at Essen for the first time, and they improved the vicarious experience for us again with live video, recordings of the same, and Geekbuzz. This year they're returning with the same goals in mind. In fact, the video turned out to be such an exciting feature that they've got a schedule loaded with designers & publishers anxious to show off their new offerings. It's going to be fun for many of us sitting at home to tune in and enjoy Essen from afar. Not as much fun as being there, of course, but at least it's something! Hey, take some of that money you saved on international travel to buy some new titles, or throw a little donation money toward BGG for providing this.

In part 1 of my Essen Anticipation show, I called Scott Alden and Lincoln Damerst to talk about BGG's presence at Essen next week. This year Aldie is staying home to mind the store for BGG, but he's always full of ideas. Lincoln is returning as one of the guys at the booth, and his job is being in charge of the technology they'll use (cameras, mics, laptops, networks, etc.). These guys talk about their plans for Essen, and drop a few references to games they're looking forward to, as well.

In part 2 of the show (posted later), I'll record my own personal list of games to watch out for, as well as a quick look back at what I thought was going to interest me from Essen last year.


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Back to normal (and Facebook)

Not only has the podcast not blown up yet (at least I think that's right), but this morning I managed to Undo something I fiddled with on the feed that I later regretted. Though it hasn't gotten me any closer to having all of the podcast archives in iTunes--that's still my major project--I'm hoping I've restored things back to their previously working condition. That's because a listener reminded me that my annual "Essen Anticipation" show ought to be posted soon, and I needed to be sure I could still do that! Look for it sometime during the next 10-14 days (just before Essen, in other words).

Also, if you're not a fan of BGTG on Facebook, you should be! That's where I'm starting to post little snippets about the games I play on game night and other opportunities. I think those posts get linked to Twitter, and then automatically posted over into this blog's sidebar, but on you can see the entire blurb, usually along with a photo or link.


Saturday, October 02, 2010

In case the podcast blows up...

You should know that I'm still here. And by "blows up," I just mean that the feed may disappear from iTunes, or stop showing podcasts attached at all.

Or it may be just fine.

Either way, Boardgames To Go is still going strong, just publishing erratically as usual. All that's happening is that I'm transitioning the hosting location and blog/podcast feed details from a multi-site mess to something that's much cleaner and more integrated. That's for my convenience, and (hopefully) to your benefit as well once it allows BGTG's 5-year show archive to be available in iTunes.

I tried fiddling with the first part of this transition, and I think I may have screwed something up. That's why I'm posting this. I'm an engineer, but not THIS kind of engineer, and I'm pretty confused about these settings! It may take me a little while to sort it all out. I think the podcast will continue in its current form while I work on it, but if it disappears for some reason, you'll know why . . . and know that it's temporary.