Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The first SPIEL newsletter

Late last week I received a letter in the mail addressed to "Frau Lorien Green," which could mean only one thing; this was a missive from Essen! Sure enough, it was the first newsletter, a welcome message for the press.

And it was entirely in German.

Luckily I have a friend at work who is fluent in German, and she was kind enough to translate it for me. I'm making efforts to learn German before I go, and I was encouraged to see that I could pick out an awful lot of what this newsletter had to say, but certainly not enough to effectively read it.

I've been working hard at scheduling interviews for Essen, and so far things are looking good for some time with Reiner Knizia (Poison), the Lamont Brothers (Snow Tails), as well as reps from Funagain Games and Days of Wonder. In addition to the Essen plans, I'm juggling scheduling some follow-up interviews with two local independant game designers, and trying to figure out how to get to some folks in DC and NY state that I'd REALLY like to interview.

And the Funagain Photo Contest - I've seen some great stuff come through from that, nice work, all! Definitely a number of shots I'll be including in the movie. Keep them coming, the contest runs through August!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Funagain Photos Contest

The cool people at have launched a contest for Going Cardboard! Send in pictures of your family gaming (either old games, or designer games) for a chance to have them included in the movie AND a chance to win a gift certificate:

Funagain Games is teaming up with the makers of Going Cardboard (, a documentary currently in the making about modern day board gaming, to bring you a photo contest. Entering is simple and you can win a Funagain $50 gift certificate. We're looking for 2 kinds of photos:

  • Childhood photos of your family playing board games
  • Pictures of modern-day designer board gaming.

There are 2 ways to enter:
  1. Upload your photo and a caption of what's happening to our Facebook page(
  2. E-mail the photo, your name, and a caption of what's happening, to

If you have a picture, send it in! I can't wait to see them. Big thanks to Funagain for their support of the documentary!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Board games based on movies

I just read a blog entry on Flavorwire on a great topic, board games based on movies, and how they often suck. Just like movies based on video games...

Sometimes, of course, they don't suck. Sometimes somebody cares, and makes a really GOOD game to go along with a really good license. Fantasy Flight does a great job with licensed IPs, and because I interviewed one of their designers, and because they made the Battlestar Galactica board game I really like, and because in my former life I worked on The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online, this is an interesting topic for me.

However, what really got me excited about this blog entry was ZOMBIES. Bloggers, if your content is rich in zombie references, you will rise to the top of the geek SEO pile. Within their list of good board games based on movies was my all-time favorite movie...Dawn of the Dead (the original, though the remake wasn't bad). Are you kidding me? There's a Dawn of the Dead board game and I didn't even know it? And it's GOOD?

This classic ’70s game proves that sometimes the best things in life involve nothing more than a maps and some pieces of cardboard — things like pretending to be a murderous zombie terrorizing humans in a mall. Ah, sweet childhood.

Wait, this gets better...

you can download it free.

Oh yeah. This day just got off to a great start. Not to mention, the large Dunkin Donuts coffee on my right, and the NOS my "friend" Justin just dropped off to my left. Hang on, this could get rocky...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Carcassonne coming to DS

Just saw an article on Destructoid announcing Carcassonne for the Nintendo DS.

Catan has also been announced for the DS.

These two are the widely hailed "gateway games" for the hobby, so the question now is, how much further into designer gaming will Nintendo venture for DS titles? And...which board games would make for a good port over to this system?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What's going on

So when some time goes by without a blog post, one has to assume that either nothing is going, or...everything is going on. I assure you, it's the latter in this case.

Since my last blog post, the following has happened on the documentary front:
  • Filmed a game day event, the day before the 2009 Spiel des Jahres award winners were announced. Congratulations to Dominion on that! The Intrigue expansion has just been released, that's gotta be nice timing for them. :)
  • Started listening to possible music tracks to license for the film (including some songs that are actually about board games)
  • Started formatting dialog notes into spreadsheet form (this will be important when I start cutting together segments, which should start SOON)
  • Started posting more on BoardGameGeek. It's hard not to feel like an interloper, though I've lurked there for a long time
  • Bought the plane ticket for Essen

Oh, and Going Cardboard got a mention on a Polish website called Games Fanatic. The blogger for Transparent Language's Polish Blog was kind enough to translate:

Lorien Green chose a different medium to popularize board games - she's making a movie titled "Going Cardboard." It's supposed to show the phenomenon of modern board games and its subculture. The film includes a game review, meetings with ordinary players, extraordinary designers and visits to the most important international events (Essen). The filmmaker takes her subject very seriously - you can visit the website of Going Cardboard and read the blog. The work on this film has been going on for 4 months already and it's scheduled to finish fall/winter 2009. The film should be available on DVD in winter 2010. It's a long time away, but it just goes to show you the scope of this project.

Some of the big impending to-dos include getting some images up from the interviews I've done, and possibly some teaser clips. Many more interviews yet to shoot before Essen rolls around. It's going to be one busy summer. Stay tuned. :)