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Meet Reiner Knizia: The person who’s designed over 700 board video games


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Reiner Knizia is like royalty within the board recreation neighborhood. 

With greater than 700 printed video games, spanning a 25-year profession, he’s one in every of, if not probably the most prolific board recreation designer on the earth.

“I’ve performed video games and liked video games so long as I can assume,” remembers Knizia. “Once I was eight or 9 years previous, I created my first video games simply to expertise new themes, new challenges, which I could not get available on the market.”

Reiner initially had a profitable profession in banking however ultimately took his board recreation pastime to the following stage.

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“Initially, I began with strategic video games, which fascinated me most once I was youthful however, in fact, I very quickly learnt that solely working in a single style may be very restrictive. So I attempted to open my horizons, beginning with card video games and with cube video games, however then additionally kids’s video games and even the very hardcore lengthy two-to-three-hour video games.”

Even after creating greater than 700 video games, Reiner swears he doesn’t wrestle arising with new inventive concepts.

“Should you open your eyes, video games mirror our life… In an effort to design video games, you could have your eyes open on the earth … And so that you see recreation concepts wherever you look,” he says.

How you can create a board recreation

As soon as Reiner has an thought in his head, he spends time researching the subject to present him some concepts of how you can mannequin it in the true world.

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Through the first stage, which he calls the _conceptual stage,_he tries to mix the theme and idea with recreation ‘mechanics’. These are the particular parts, guidelines, strategies and bodily parts that present gameplay. This stage usually ends with the creation of a prototype recreation.

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In accordance with Reiner, the second stage, the playtesting stage, is the “lifeblood” of recreation design. This era includes taking part in with plenty of completely different folks to see their reactions and collect their suggestions.

Usually the primary playtesters are skilled gamers, “who will put the finger into the wound each time there’s a weak point within the recreation… and that is necessary,” says Reiner. 

Nevertheless, he additionally checks his video games on the right track audiences, whether or not that’s households and even kids. 

“That’s the place you get a real reply,” he provides. 

This stage is adopted up with a variety of reviewing, adjusting and discussing.

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“Then, if we’re fortunate, we get the ultimate good recreation,” says Reiner. “In fact, the best goal is at all times… to invent a recreation which has worldwide success and which turns into a family identify.”

The timeless pleasure of taking part in board video games

Though Reiner likes to play video games, it’s uncommon now for him to play strictly for enjoyable.

“There are at all times so many concepts to be examined and developed at each alternative.”

He additionally stays away from different folks’s video games. Whereas it’s necessary for him to grasp market tendencies, he doesn’t wish to be influenced by different folks’s concepts.

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“As soon as an answer in a design course of for a sure downside… it’s a lot tougher to think about your personal revolutionary resolution,” he explains.

Reiner believes that board video games have a novel skill to deliver folks collectively, no matter age, faith, pores and skin color.

“We’re all equal across the desk,” he says. “Now we have all the identical possibilities. Now we have all the identical alternatives. And my expertise is that the video games actually open the door to different folks, create many friendships.”

He additionally isn’t apprehensive about the way forward for board video games in an more and more digital world.

“For me, it would not matter if I’ve a printed board or if ultimately, I’ll roll out a digital board the place I add the board. The necessary factor is I sit across the desk with different folks. I see of their eyes. Now we have enjoyable collectively. And this won’t get replaced digitally except all our brains might be in bottles after which it would not matter anymore.”

“So I’m very constructive that we really get new and richer experiences by means of the digital world in our bodily gaming.”


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