We will be performing LIVE at PAX East 2018! It's four days this year, so come find us in tabletop freeplay if you miss the panel!
The 40 Tabletop Games you Must Play
Sunday, April 8th
These may not be the top 40 board games ever designed, nor is it the top 40 influential or otherwise important games. If you aspire to really understand tabletop, or if you have visions of designing your own games, these are the 40 games that, if you play them, will give you the widest possible perspective on what it means to make a good game (and what "good" even means). Join the GeekNights crew for an exploration of the boundaries of tabletop gaming. There are some gems in there.
We will be live at the inaugural PAX Unplugged 2017! Some of you may be old enough to remember the workshop-style talks we gave at PAXes in the past (Mastering Game Mechanics, Practical Game Theory, and several how-to-play/win events), and this is a return to that format.
Learn and WIN: Carcassonne
Go deep on the strategy of Carcassonne with a lecture from Rym and Scott, hosts of the GeekNights podcast. Then stick around for a special single-elimination Carcassonne tournament and put those tips to work. Cut-throat competition armed with the most dangerous tools we can provide.
If you want to get a head start, check out our longstanding Play (Dirty) to Win talk from PAX East 2017, or our ancient How to Win at Games talk from PAX East 2011. Rym even did a solo version at PAX Australia 2014!
Play (Dirty) to Win
Friday 3/10 6:00pm
Ostensibly, you play games to win. (Assuming we're talking about competitive games: you're not playing to "win" Dungeons & Dragons... are you?) But are really? Shouldn't you be winning a lot more often? Maybe you should try that cheap strategy you've heard about. Punch below the belt. Memorize the deck. Read the FAQ. What's the line between playing to win and cheating? Is "playing dirty" even really a thing? Come for the degenerate strategies, stay for the soul-crushing revelations on winning.
We will be giving one talk at the Penny Arcade Expo South!
Grind Mechanics in Games
Friday 1/27 4:00pm
We've all experienced it. We've all complained about it. Some of us secretly love it. But ask 100 people what it actually IS, and you'll get 40 different answers. Join us for a mechanical discussion of what "grinding" really means in games. Is it necessary for a "classic MMO?" Is it part of the genre of a "JRPG?" Does it exist in board games? Is it bad? Is it good? Is it necessary? Part storytelling, part game design, part game theory: let's explore the grind from all angles.
GeekNights will be performing live at PAX West 2016!
Saturday, Sept 3rd
The Grind. We've all experienced it. We've all complained about it. Some of us secretly love it. But ask 100 people what it actually IS, and you'll get 40 different answers. Join us for a mechanical discussion of what "grinding" really means in games. Is it necessary for a "classic MMO?" Is it part of the genre of a "JRPG?" Does it exist in board games? Is it bad? Is it good? Is it necessary? Part storytelling, part game design, part game theory: let's explore the grind from all angles.
The point of a game is to win. Or is it? Can you "win" Gone Home or The Stanley Parable? Is losing a game of Dwarf Fortress the same as losing a game of chess? Why is Super Meat Boy's difficulty exciting, while Silver Surfer's is painful? Does one lose Monopoly due to player skill, or because you flipped the table? What if we played games that focused not on the "narrative of victory," but instead on the "narrative of failure?" Do games need to have a way to "lose" in the first place?
Afterward, we will be able to answer some questions in the hall and hang out with you guys before we head back to Tabletop Freeplay!