The Board Game Book Coming To Kickstarter

Honestly, I don’t read a lot of fiction. I’m much more interested in non-fiction. So the upcoming The Board Game Book looks to be right up my alley. It’s all about last year’s greatest hits in terms of games, including interviews with the designers and insight into what made those games such a hit. Expect to see it on Kickstarter in June.

From the announcement:

A group of leading games writers has unveiled an upcoming book exploring the biggest tabletop hits of 2018.

The Board Game Book – coming to Kickstarter in June – will be a high-quality hardback featuring over 100 games from across all sections of the hobby. Weighing in at over 250 pages and 120,000 words of original games journalism, it will combine insightful critical reviews, designer interviews and stunning studio photography.

Editor Owen Duffy said the book aimed to reflect surging interest in analogue games.

“The tabletop gaming scene has grown explosively in recent years,” he said. “There are some incredibly talented creators bringing out new releases faster than players can snap them up. We want to celebrate these games and the community of players who love them.

“We’re taking a critical look at some of the best games of the year, focussing on how they feel to play, the atmosphere they generate at the table and how all of their different elements come together to create compelling gameplay experiences.

“We’ll also have Q&As with some of the world’s most interesting game designers. We’re getting a behind-the-scenes look at their creative processes, and the stories of how these games are made can be really fascinating and often surprising.”

Confirmed interviewees include a ‘Who’s Who’ of game design, with more to be announced in the run-up to the book’s publication:

• Isaac Childres (Gloomhaven)
• Eric Lang (Rising Sun)
• Matt Leacock (Pandemic Legacy Season 2, Forbidden Sky)
• Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy Season 2, Fireball Island)
• Alex Davy (Star Wars: Legion)
• Jonathan Gilmour (Dinosaur Island)
• Bruno Cathala (Kingdomino, Queendomino)
• Michael Kiesling (Azul)
• Reiner Knizia (Sakura)
• Corey Konieczka (Twilight Imperium: 4th Edition)
• Martin Wallace (AuZtralia, Lincoln)
• Jacob Jaskov (Fog of Love)
• Emerson Matsuuchi (Century: Eastern Wonders)
• Nikki Valens (Legacy of Dragonholt)
• Inka & Markus Brand (EXIT: The Game, The Rise of Queensdale)
• Hjalmar Hach (Photosynthesis)
• Remi Amy (CIV: Carta Impera Victoria)
• Aaron Vanderbeek (Castell)
• Jerry Hawthorne (Stuffed Fables)
• Alex Roberts (Star Crossed)
• Helge Ostertag (Gaia Project)
• Andrea Mezzotero, Colby Dauch & J. Arthur Ellis (Crystal Clans)
• Scott Frisco & Steven Strumpf (Rhino Hero Super Battle)

Owen added:
“We’re approaching games in the way critics treat other forms of entertainment, like movies, books or music, and I absolutely think they deserve the same kind of respect. If you look at how well games tell stories, how they appeal to players on intellectual and emotional levels, how beautiful their artwork and their physical design can be, they’re just an incredible medium full of fun and creativity.

“And I think there’s something very special about this physical format. Holding a proper, hardcover book in your hands is something that you really can’t replicate with a smartphone or a tablet. I think tabletop gamers especially appreciate that kind of tactile, tangible appeal, and I hope people are going to take a lot of pleasure from having this book on their shelves.”

Project collaborator Teri Litorco said a big part of board gaming’s resurgence was down to the sense of community it fosters among players:

“What makes games remarkable is the special magic that happens when you gather around a table to play them,” she said. “They let you connect with people around you, and also with a large, diverse, global community of fellow gamers.

“We’re currently in a renaissance of gaming. There’s been a cultural trend towards ‘geek-chic’ that’s seen games growing in popularity, and game companies are catering to people of all kinds, not just the traditional ‘hardcore’ side of the market.

“That’s great, because it means there are games out there for all sorts of different tastes. But it also means there’s an overwhelming amount of choice, and navigating your way through all of those options can be a real challenge. I’m excited by the prospect of a book to help people explore the hobby and find games they love.”

The Board Game Book is the first in a planned series of annual editions examining the year’s best games. Its creators are seeking £15,000 to cover its production costs. The book’s Kickstarter campaign launches on Tuesday 5 June. Backers will receive a copy of the book as well as a free digital PDF edition for a pledge of £20 ($27.30 US). For a pledge of £25, backers can also have their name included in the book’s acknowledgements section.

The cover price at retail will be £23.

The Board Game Book team includes some of the world’s top analogue gaming authors and journalists:

• Owen Duffy is a board game columnist at The Guardian and has written for Ars Technica, Tabletop Gaming Magazine, VICE and IGN. He has also appeared discussing games on BBC television and radio.
• Matt Thrower is the author of the Haynes Tabletop Gaming Manual and has contributed to The Guardian, Tabletop Gaming Magazine, Pocket Tactics, IGN, PC Gamer and Shut Up & Sit Down.
• Teri Litorco is the author of The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming, a contributing editor for the geek culture network Geek & Sundry and the owner of a hit YouTube wargaming channel.
• Richard Jansen-Parkes writes regularly on roleplaying games for Tabletop Gaming Magazine and publishes RPG adventures through his company, Winghorn Press.