Quelques uns se sont inquiétés que je n’aie pas mis ce site à jour depuis bien longtemps. Je les rassure, je vais très bien, je fais attention, je reste chez moi, et je ne suis pas malade. Quelques amis le sont.
Si je n’ai rien posté ici depuis longtemps c’est parce que j’ai mis le jeu et le monde ludique un peu de côté. Je n’apprécie pas trop le jeu en ligne et, malheureusement, je ne pense pas qu’il convienne bien à mes créations, tant j’apprécie de plus en plus les jeux om l’on doit regarder ses adversaires dans les yeux.
Du coup, comme beaucoup je crois, je me suis mis à écrire. J’ai repris ma thèse d’histoire sur les licornes, vieille de presque vingt-cinq ans. Mon idée l’originelle était de tailler dans le gras, de mettre un peu à jour ici ou là, et d’en faire un joli livre moins académique, mais néanmoins sérieux et documenté, à mi-chemin entre essai et livre d’art.
J’ai rapidement découvert à quel point l’accès aux sources était devenu plus facile. Des manuscrits médiévaux dont je n’étais pas parvenu à obtenir des photos, des revues victoriennes que je voulais feuilleter mais qui n’étaient visibles qu’à Oxford, voire à Bombay, tout cela était désormais accessible en ligne d’un simple clic. Du coup, j’ai repris les recherches et ai passé des journées entières sur les sites de la BN, de la Bodléienne et de la British Library, et en même temps que je supprimais les passages redondants et ennuyeux, j’en ajoutais de nouveau sur des sujets que je n’avais que peu ou mal exploré. Je suis encore assez loin d’avoir fini, mais je commence à en voir le bout.
Côté jeux, donc, pas grand chose. Une mauvaise nouvelle, un grand éditeur que j’aime beaucoup a annulé une grande partie de ses sorties prévues, et a renoncé à publier un de mes jeux, peut-être ma création préférée, pour lequel nous avions signé il y a presque deux ans. Tout s’est passé de manière très sympathique, et j’ai conservé une avance tout à fait correcte, mais j’ai imprimé quelques prototypes et cherche maintenant un nouvel éditeur. C’est un jeu d’enchères et de bluff assez méchant, aux mécanismes extrêmement originaux, pour 4 à 8 joueurs et avec pas mal de matériel. Je l’ai déjà proposé à trois ou quatre éditeurs avec lesquels j’ai vraiment envie de travailler, mais s’ils répondent non, je prospecterai les autres. SI vous êtes éventuellement intéressé, envoyez-moi un mail.
Sinon, la raison pour laquelle j’écris ce post, et la raison pour laquelle il y tout en haut une bannière de Citadelles, c’est qu’Asmodée vient de mettre en ligne une version light de Citadelles, avec juste les neuf personnages de base et une sélection de quartiers spéciaux, à télécharger et à jouer chez vous avant, éventuellement, de décider d’acheter la boite. C’est disponible dans plein de langues, ici.
I didn’t update this website for quite long, and got a few worried emails. Be reassured, I’m well, I’m cautious, I stay home and I’m not ill. A few of my friends are.
The reason I didn’t post anything here for quite long is that I’ve set games aside for a few weeks. I don’t like online gaming that much and, unfirtunately, I’m afraid my creations are not the kind of game one can easily playtest without looking fellow players directly in the eyes.
Like many people I know, I started writing. I went back to my twenty-five years old PhD thesis about unicorns. The original idea was to remove some of the academic fat, update a bit, and make something lighter, half essay, half art book. I soon found out that research is now much easier than in the nineties. Medieval manuscripts which I could not see, and not even get a picture of, are now viewable online, as well as victorian magazines which could only be read in Oxford, if not in Bombay. As reasult, I dove back into research and spent whole days on the webistes of the French National Library, the British Library, the Bodleian and a few other ones. And while I indeed removed a few boring or redundant pages, I also added several lighter ones on topics I had not or very superficacilly considered. I’m starting to see the end of it, but it’s far from finished yet.
Nothing new with games, except a bad news. A major publisher I really liked trimmed down its program and cancelled a game of mine, may be my favorite design ever, for which we had signed two years ago. Everything went smoothly, and I keep a confortable advance, but I printed a few new prototypes and I’m now looking for a new publisher. It’s a four to eight players auction and bluffing game, with extremely original game systems. I’ve already contacted for publishers I really like and I really would like to work with, but if they decline the offer, I will look elsewhere. So, if you may be interested, drop me a mail.
Last with the reason why there’s a Citadels banner at the top of this post. Asmodee just put online, in several languages, a trimmed down print-and-play version of Citadels, with one set of characters and a selection of buildings. You can download it here, print it, play it, and may be later buy the boxed game.
Les neuf :personnages” de base, non ?
C’est écrire en français depuis un mois, l’anglais me manquait !
Make another expansion with a new set of characters and purple buildings!
And FINALLY publish an app version!
14 new unique purple district cards in the US!!!
WHO MADE THIS MINI EXPANSION? YOU?! IT IS YOUR OBLIGATION TO MAKE THESE CARDS AVAILABLE IN EUROPE AS WELL!
I wish I knew more. I didn’t design it but I proofread the files and there are a few great ideas there. I didn’t get a copy yet and have no idea when it will be available.
Tell me now what you think about this new #8 (red character): Deserter
Does not get any income and cannot build any of his own buildings (but still gets 1 gold for each red building). Chooses a player. He may steal one of that player’s buildings. He may take ANY building completely for free and put it into his own city, no matter the original building costs.
Afterwards, the Deserter changes sides. The player who has just lost the building, receives the Deserter card and can use it for a normal turn (in addition to the character he has chosen regularly for that round – and has already used in most cases (unless he is queen or tax collector or artist). He gets income for the Deserter, receives gold for each red district and may also build a new building. But of course he cannot use the special ability again and steal another player’s building.
Tell me what you think about it!
Sounds a bit convoluted, but I will try it.
Maybe you have this impression because my English is not perfect and therefore my rule text is a bit clumsy.
Of course it is not as simple as Warlord, but certainly it is still way more streamlined than say Magistrate or Blackmailer.
There are rumours about a German reprint of Citadels by Hans im Glück. What do you know about it? Will the scenic route expansion be included? Will it be published in 2022?
I don’t know, you should ask them. I wish they gave up the unnecessary elements they added to the big box.
How dare you? Stop patronising the players! If you don’t like certain elements that are included in the game, just leave them in the box or sort them out and throw them into the trashcan! But let other players who enjoy these elements play with them. Live and let live. It can be so easy.
I’m entitled my opinion like anyone else, and probably more than any one else. It’s my game, there’s my name on the boex, I dislike having my signature on things I disapprove or even only dislike.
Any new edition is an opportunity for improvement. Removing what’s left of the Circus expansion would make he game better, simpler and more accessible.
With all due respect, but that’s rubbish. The game remains just as accessible if the Circus expansion stays. Simply recommend in the rules that new players stick to the base cards and leave the Circus expansion to those who are more experienced and find it a fun alternative. One sentence in the rules is enough to point that out. Nothing wrong with that. No need for patronising anybody.
Let’s be more specific.
The Circus expansion was an error because it introduced unnecessary new systems and card types to enrich the game. The whole point of the new edition was to get to the same result in a more efficient and elegant way, without adding a new type of card.
I was extremely susrprised, and extremely sad, when I found out that, for no reason thatn I can imagine, the German publisher had decided, unlike all other publishers in the world, to keep that expansion with the new edition, thus making the rulebook extremely convoluted and the game feel muchj more complex than it should be.
A basic rule of game design is “remove every unnecessary stuff”. This has not been here, I hope it will be a good opportu,nity top do it. And it’s my name on the box, not yours. I’m not pratonizing anyone, you can play this game or any other, I’m trying to have my game be as good and accessible as possible.
As a general rule, I’ve noticed that publishers who want to remove something from a designer’s game are often right, and publishers who want to add something nearly always wrong. The Circus cards were a case study on unnecessary stuff, adding only complexity without enriching the game.
Oh yes you are obviously patronising people if you try and use your influence to make certain elements of the game disappear, thus hindering players from enjoying all the components they grew accustomed to from older versions.
And again: A false statement doesn’t become more true by repeating it over and over again: The game’s accessibility will NOT suffer if the Circus cards stay. This is purely ridiculous. How many cards does the game include in total? Hundreds? How many Circus cards are there? 15? Every new set of characters makes the game way more complex than those 15 little Circus cards. Just leave them in the game, let people who like the Circus expansion play with them and write a note for newbies: “Only recommended for more experienced players.” That’s it – simple as that. Nobody loses anything if the Circus cards remain in the game, except your ego perhaps. But your personal taste is not of absolute importance. And what appears like a bad or unnecessary expansion to you might enrich the game significantly for other players. Accept it, get over it. Show some respect to people with varying opinions. Nobody is trying to hinder you from playing Citadels the way you like it best, nobody is trying to ban your favourite cards from the game. Just show the same respect to other players and nobody has to suffer.
And one last thing: Your name may be on the box, but why should that be so important? The game’s core identity does not change – whether the Circus cards are included or not. Don’t be a fascist. It is not YOUR game. What arrogance! You have decided to share this game with millions of players all over the world. You made that decision more than 20 years ago. People have grown up with this game, learnt to love this game and many different regional variants have developed. You have earned zillions of Euros thanks to the players you are now trying to patronise and whose opinions and personal preferences you are now trying to belittle. Again: What arrogance! What chutzpah! For the love of whatever entity you put your trust in: Let the German players enjoy their Circus cards if they want to. Show some decency and respect. Humble yourself. Live and let live. Buy a German copy of that game, burn all the Circus cards, rub them with feces, but leave other players at peace. Is that really so difficult? Again: Humble yourself. You have invented the game and you deserve credit for this. But it is not YOUR game. It is the game of everyone who loves it and who has spent hundreds of hours playing it since his childhood days and who has therefore bought several copies of this game in the course of all those years, thus contributing to your personal wealth. Be considerate, be humble, be respectful, show some class.
This is becoming utterly ridiculous. Please let me design the game I want to play with my friends and I want t be associated with as I like it. I was angry when this meaningless expansion came out, I was even more angry when it was kept in the big box edition, I’m trying to have it removed from the future print runs because I want the design to be as clean and elegant as possible. I want it for my reputation as a designer, and because I want the game to sell (and, no, I didn’t earn zillions with it).
If you want your game to be elitist and unnecessary convoluted, that’s your problem, you can play something else or design your own games.
Wanting to have my name only on stuff I can be proud of is not arrogance, it’s a necessity in my job – and one of the pleasures of life. Dealing with people like you who think they know a game better than its designer is one of the drawbacks.
You are right, your claims are indeed getting more and more ridiculous, truly absurd. You are a perfect example of a man who has got on the wrong track and is just too stubborn and too oblivious to admit it.
Pride, seriously…?! That’s exactly your problem. You are a proud and angry man. How sad. Without doubt, you are a brilliant game designer but your presumptuous, condescending attitude is just so sad to witness. All your words are oozing with arrogance and disrespect. You think you know the game better than I do just because you have invented it? I have cerainly spent more hours in my life playing Citadels than you ever have or will. So who knows a car better? The guy who invented it or the guy who has disassembled and reassambled the vehicle over and over again, thousands of times, throughout the course of many decades?
All your talk about the game becoming “elitist” and “convoluted” seems to me like pure hypocrisy. Why weren’t you “angry”, as you appear to never get tired of emphasising, when “convoluted” characters like the Magistrate or the Blackmailer, who each even require additional material just for the sake of one single character entered the game? Because you smelled money? So what is your goal after all? Feed your pride by having your name on the most streamlined game ever published or earn money? And yes, you DID earn an unbelievable amount of euros with all the editions of Citadels that have been published worldwide throughout the years. If your sole ambition is to keep the game as lean and streamlined as possible, why publish expansions in the first place? Why are you currently working on a fourth set of character cards if you are so afraid of “convoluting” the game?!
You are acting as if these 15 tiny little Circus cards were so powerful that they are able to draw the line between a well-designed, streamlined game and “elitist, convoluted” garbage one has to be angry about. You were right indeed, that is ridiculousness of the highest order. You are making a mountain out of a molehill.
As a game designer, your chief ambition should be to make other people happy, followed by earning money in order to pay your bills. Pride should not be part of your motivation, neither the fascist idea of making your personal taste into an absolute.
When you made a contract with Hans im Glück over two decades ago, you could have integrated a clause forcing them to guarantee you that they will never publish any version of the game that is not 100% identical to the French edition. You didn’t, so you agreed (at least impliedly), to the possibility of the publisher making slight changes througout the course of several decades. To be more precise; nothing was even changed here. A tiny little additional playing mode was added, leaving adult gamers who can think for themselves with the opportunity of adding some extra variance to their game if they feel like it. Hans im Glück acted according to the law when they decided to put the Circus cards into the game as an extra gimmick. This was more than ten years ago. Thousands of German players have grown accustomed to these cards ever since and banning them would make many people very sad and disappointed, whilst leaving the cards inside the game wouldn’t make a single soul sad (again, except your ego perhaps). Like I said, it is not YOUR game. It is also the publishers’ game and – above all – it is the game of every gamer in the world who loves it and who cherishes fond memories of countless hours playing this game laughing, crying and screaming together with his friends and family. And for some people, even if you are incapable of imagining this to be true, the Circus cards are a relevant part of all that. Contrary to your oblivious ivory tower claim, there is NOTHING elitist about that – actually quite the converse.
Why is it your intention to throw feces at German Citadels fans who have been loyal to the game for such a long time? Streamlining everything just for the sake of streamlining is not the holy grail when it comes to defining what accounts for a good game. Reducing the ending condition to seven districts was anoher foolish idea. It was a concession to the American taste, because Americans are primitive and dull-witted. They like Big Mac, fast food and fast games that do not require too much patience or concentration. But not all peoples are like that. Still, European publishers went along with this change, so be happy about it! Can’t you realise that different countries have different gaming communities and player tastes that require tolerance and flexibility? Reducing the game’s content to what you hoped would not provoke a core meltdown within primitive redneck brains might have been a good decision for the US market. However, players in Europe and especially in Germany sing a different tune. The completionist approach is way more important over here. Your unwillingness to realise these differences and adapt to them will eventually DECREASE your sales, not increase them. In this regard, you are contradicting yourself when simultaneously gibbering about your “pride” on the one hand and your intention to maximise your profit on the other hand. These two ambitions cannot be pursued at the same time.
Pride has never been a good advisor for anybody. Pride is the root of many evils and many people fell due to their pride. Get over it. Show tolerance and respect with regard to the fact that the German gaming community (one of the biggest and oldest gaming communities in the world) has different preferences than you do. This would have a positive impact on BOTH your reputation over here, your wallet AND your karma.
Leave the German players alone and let them enjoy their 15 Circus cards together with that handful of extra purple districts. Don’t patronise. Don’t be a totalitarian.
Were you by any chance involved in the design of these cards ? Wounded pride sounds like the most likely explanation for all this nonsense.
Is this last statement your ultimate intellectual oath of manifestation? I was certainly not involved in the developing process of the Circus cards (although I would have liked to). However, like countless other players, I was deeply involved in PLAYING with and enjoying the COMPLETE material, some of which you are now trying to rob us of due to your utter oblivious arrogance and your striking lack of empathy.
I am speaking on behalf of many German Citadels players. If you check the BGG forums, you will find an entire thread with people complaining about the Ballroom missing in the new editions. And that was JUST ONE CARD! Imagine what will happen if you rob people of an entire set of cards!
Again: Why throw feces at the German gaming community, to whom you owe a significant share of your fame and financial well-being?
I actually wanted to keep the Ballroom. This is a completely different issue – this card is fun.
I didn’t say anything bad about the German gaming community, only about you, but you seem to identify yourself with all German gamers. You also seem be wery good at overinterpretation, and to be obsessed with the money you think I am earning. I suggest you stop making a fool of yourself.
Dude, seriously? “This card is fun, those cards aren’t.” The attitude behind such a statement is the whole problem I am trying to explain to you. Cards that aren’t fun to you may very well be fun to other people – and vice versa. I guess publishers and players have pampered you and frozen in awe whenever you raised your voice for way too long. Or is this emperor-like attitude innate? You may be from France, but you are not Louis XIV!
When I wrote that you are throwing feces at German players, I didn’t mean that you insulted them verbally. However, you are throwing feces at some of your most loyal fans by trying to rob them of the opportunity to play with the cards they love the most or simply have the completionist experience – just due to your false pride and because you think you are entitled to make your personal taste into an absolute.
Again: 20 years ago, when making the contracts with all the different publishers, you had the chance to arrange for legal measures that would have prevented even a single card from ever being added to the game without your personal prior authorisation. In such a scenario, indeed nobody would have had the right to tell you what to do with “your game”.
You missed that opportunity. Today, the cards have been around for over a decade. You could have tried to hinder Hans im Glück from publishing them ten years ago. Now it is too late. Now you cannot remove them from the game without being encroaching, without creating a feeling of severe disturbance and unnecessary violence, without throwing feces at your loyal German fans.
Now that you’ve explained me how to design games, how the boardgame business worked twenty years ago, and how it works nox, I suggest you go back playing with the Circus cars you seem to be enjoying that much – you’re actually the first person I ever heard of who likes them – and let me play and design games in peace.
Nobody wants to prevent you from playing or designing games in peace. Next time when you have finished a game, just make sure from the very beginning to pick only publishers that will 100% comply with your totaliltarian agenda.
As for the cards that are already published and have been around for many years, I suggest the following. You leave those alone who like the cards and who grew accustomed to them and you do not try to spoil their gaming experience by removing these cards.
Thus, everyone can have peace. The only thing you need to do is get off your high horse and become a little bit more tolerant and less patronising.
Wow, « totalitarian agenda » ! Do you realize we’re talking about games ?
Do you realise the point of rhetoric? You just seem to be such an unfriendly man. That is sad. 🙁
You complain about the game becoming too convoluted, yet AT THE SAME TIME you are developing a fourth set of nine new character cards. Apparently I am simply unable to grasp what is going on in your mind…
I agree with the things Werner Zurbelkopf has written.
Hey Faidutti: LEAVE US ALONE! LEAVE US AT PEACE! We want all the cards. Stop the shabby and arrogant behaviour.