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The Elephant Game

Did you know that Earth’s most widely-played boardgame (Xiangqi) is also one of Earth’s oldest boardgames? Xiangqi (pronounced “Shang Chi”) is also known as Chinese Chess (or “The Elephant Game,” as it translates to in English.)  Chess scholars can trace the roots of Xiangqi all the way back to the 2nd century B.C.E..  In addition to being a “must play” …

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Making board games more fun with modern design

Design is about so much more than aesthetics — something software designers, especially user experience designers, have known for a very long time. In the analog gaming world, the discipline known as “user-centered design” is starting to come into its own as well, making games not only look good, but helping players understand what’s happening while they play.

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Analog gaming is winning with the smartphone generation

One of the reasons cited for the downturn in RPGs and board games was the popularity of video games. Home consoles and advances in personal computers created a market where no one had to leave the house to visit an arcade, making video games a surprising recession resistant market despite the high price tag. With the invention of tablets and …

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Marrying Mr. Darcy-More Cutthroat Than You Think

You don’t need zombies and swords to make the gentle, mannered works of Jane Austen into an aggressive, free for all. Although, there is an Undead Expansion Pack for Erika Svanoe’s inspired game. I first found out about Erika’s game while at a local convention. A comic book writer, Michael May, who writes about giant city-destroying monsters and his tweenage …