The 40 Tabletop Games you Must Play

The 40 Tabletop Games you Must Play

Presented at PAX East 2018 on Sunday morning in the Arachnid Theatre!

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.

Balance in Game Design

Balance in Game Design
PAX South 2018

Balancing games is deceptively difficult. Even worse, there are subtle reasons why even if a game is perfectly, mathematically, demonstrably balanced, players will likely have even LESS fun. From systems like Microsoft TrueSkill or ELO rankings to everyone complaining about how overpowered Hanzo is (he’s not), join GeekNights for an exploration of how and why (and sometimes why NOT) to balance games.

Presented by Rym and Scott at PAX South 2018

Learn and WIN: Carcassonne

PAX Unplugged 2017
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.

We begin by teaching the full rules of Carcassonne, with visual aides and examples. We then dive deep into the strategy of Carcassonne, teaching players not just now to play, but how to WIN.

The Rage of the Quitter - PAX West 2017

The Rage of the Quitter
PAX West 2017

The table gets flipped. The healer sits down in spawn and plays Rick Astley over the voice chat. The tournament ends in chaos. Friendships die. Why does the quitter rage so? This panel will explore the inglorious exits of gaming. Presented live at PAX West 2017 in the Hippogriff Theatre.

The History of Losing

The History of Losing
PAX Australia 2014

I presented "Losing" at PAX Australia 2014. This is an excerpt from that lecture covering, essentially, single player videogames. From Super Meat Boy to Silver Surfer, Don't Shit Your Pants to The Stanley Parable, Five Nights at Freddy's to Gone Home, I consider Narratives of Victory, and Narratives of Failure.

Is Gone Home a Game?

Is "Gone Home" a Game?
PAX Australia

Rym presented "Losing" at PAX Australia 2014. This is an excerpt from that lecture concerning the definition of the word game. Particularly, I consider "Gome Home" and the widespread "debate" over whether or not it is a game. (Spoilers: Gone Home is a game).

PAX Australia - Death in Shadowgate

Death in Shadowgate
PAX Australia

Rym presented "Losing" at PAX Australia 2014. This is an excerpt from that lecture concerning the ridiculous deaths in Shadowgate and how, in a sense, they allow us to explore a narrative not of victory, but of failure.

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