Best Board Games of 2015

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My tastes in board games are always evolving and changing, and 2015 was a very different year that marked a turning point for me. Looking at my play statistics, it’s clear that something changed: I played fewer games than in previous years, and, most importantly, I played many fewer new games than other years.

2015 was the year when I started focusing on playing more often the games I loved, and stopped chasing after trying all the hot new games.

Towards the end of 2014 it dawned on me that most new board games I was playing were ranging from bad to just OK, and only a selected few made it into the good or very good category. So why was I spending so much time and energy playing new games? It’s not like I had played the old ones too much and was done with them. As a matter of fact, I was frustrated with how little I was playing them, and how, if I only play a game once every six months or a year, I’m basically starting over from scratch. So I was always playing games at a very superficial level, without being able to get deeper into them. Not to mention it’s a pleasure to pull out a game and not have to worry about reading or explaining the rules!

2015 was the year of depth for me.

Of course depth comes at the cost of breath, so when it comes time to make a best-of list for 2015, I don’t have nearly as many different games to draw on as other years. Because of that, I’ll limit my list to just 3 games.

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Noel’s Best Board Games of All Time – 2014 Edition

There is no doubt that my game tastes are changing over time. Last year I was very much in love with point-salad games, and now I’m craving games with interesting player interactions or economic systems. This list is my attempt at capturing my top 20 favorite games at the end of 2014. It should be very interesting to compare it with the 2015 edition and see what has changed.

This list was inspired by Casualgod’s 3rd Annual Top 20 Games of All Time. David and I have a lot of overlapping tastes, so if you like what you see here, make sure you check out his list as well. Continue reading

Best Board Games of 2013

Looking back, 2013 continued my trend of diving deeper in board games, both playing and designing them. It’s no coincidence that Subterfuge, the game I’m working on with Ron Carmel, has very strong board game influences. I’ll talk more in a future post about the design part, what kind of games I tried making and which ones I’m still working on. This post will focus on the best games I played that came out on 2013. Continue reading

Why Am I Making Games?

A couple of weeks ago I posted my GDC micro-talk titled Why are you making games?. From the feedback I got, it seems that it resonated with a lot of people, and it also made some people stop and ask themselves that question (along with a few sleepless nights).

However, the question I was asked over and over was why am I making games? What are my answers to that question? As I said before, there are no right or wrong answers. Everybody needs to find their own answers, so in that respect, my answers don’t really matter.

On the other hand, since what I write here is purely personal, and a lot of people are curious about it, I figured I would give it a shot and answers those questions publicly.

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