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.
Why No One Will Game with You
Presented by GeekNights at PAX East 2014 on Friday at 1:00pm in the Badger Theatre.
In gaming forums around the world, variations of the same thread forever grace the front page: "Looking for a Gaming Group." Games are ubiquitous, barriers to entry are ever-lower, and the Internet (never mind conventions like PAX) provide what should be a sea of gamers ready and willing to play games with us. So why all the trouble? Why, in 2013, is it still so hard to form a gaming group? Why won't anyone play Air Hockey with me?
In exploring the "LFG" space, there are a myriad of issues which come to light. Skill gaps leave players stranded. Matchmaking systems hurt as much as they help. The longer tail of games available spreads niche audiences further into increasingly specific sub-sub-sub-genres. Play styles differ. (Indeed, in some groups it is impolite to spend more than ten seconds on one's turn, while in others spending less than ten MINUTES is the height of rudeness)!
Let's explore why it's so hard (or why it SEEMS to hard) to find people to play games!
Mastering Game Mechanics
Presented at PAX East 2013 on Saturday in the Tabletop Theatre, our 21st PAX panel/lecture, in "Mastering Game Mechanics" we take you through a variety of "game mechanics" and consider their use and purpose.
Despite the staggeringly vast variety of games out there in the world, they draw primarily from a core set of basic mechanics. Many games which at first seem very different share fundamental design patterns, subgames, and strategies. What is a “draft,” and more importantly, what is its true function? Where to rondels come into play? What is the purpose of an arbitrary decision? What does “skill based movement” mean for a game? Are all auctions created equally?
Whether you are a player, maker, or even simply observer of games, understanding these core components will provide a surprising degree of insight into their nature. Join us in our 21st PAX panel to explore the nature, lexicon, design, and strategy of game mechanics, drawing from videogames, board games, even role playing games and sports.