Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Space Lions

This post comes out of a new series of writing I do on ASOIAF meta and other topics of popular culture over at the Patreon of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour. If you like to read stuff like this, chime in just 1$ and you get access to everything I write. If you throw in 2$, you even get access to mini-podcasts I'm doing with Sean T. Collins answering questions by listeners of the podcast. Give the Patreon a look!

I watched Shut Up And Sit Down's documentary "Space Lions" about Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition the other day. For those of you uninitiated to any of these terms: Shut Up and Sit Down are a great YouTube review channel about boardgames and "Twilight Imperium" is the definitive game of epic space operas, about which I wrote before
The documentary, which I can only recommend, tracks the development of the current fourth edition of this behemoth of a game. I really love the hell out of the third edition, so I am really excited to seeing this stuff about the fourth one.
The documentary itself really surprised me in some respects. It started with a look back to previous editions, the first of which FFG founder Chris Petersen produced himself back in the day. FFG has certainly come a long way since then, to becoming a key player in the modern boardgame market. 
What was really weird to me were the early discussions, where they aimed at a price point of 250$ and beyond (now: 150$). There were thoughts of including only six races (now: 17), but each with their own set of different plastic units. It would have been ridiculous, and luckily, they backed away. As it seems, Kickstarter - or better, their caution and reprehension towards it - played a big role. But they are very conscious about the fact that this game is a luxury, and treat it like that. 
In regards to design, FFG continues its current trend to streamline clunky designs, and oh boy did TI3 have some clunky designs, so this is definitely welcome. It also seems like will not publish any expansions, which is a weird move from a publisher point of view. 
So, if you don't know TI yet, but you are interested in boardgames - check it out! It's worth the high price of entry.

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