I was excited to get a message back from Michael Schacht – yes, you guessed it! Another one of my favourite designers. BUT, in this case, not only mine but also my wife Pam’s! Michael has designed two card games that my wife loves and if you visit us she will badger you into playing. These games are In Limbo (also known as Diabolo) and Coloretto. Coloretto also boast one of my favourite card/resource drafting mechanisms which Michael has incorporated into the great gateway game Zooloretto (a nice light Euro about building your own zoo) and the similar Aquaretto (building an aquarium but with a few more twists added). Zooloretto is another favourite of Pam’s.
If you want light to medium weight Euros that are easy to play but at the same time make you think then Mr. Schacht is your man. I own Valdora and cannot wait to get my hands on, or at least play, the two other games in his Gold-Trilogy: The Golden City and Felinia. Also worth trying are California, Fist of Dragonstones (co-designed with Bruno Faidutti) and Mondo.
Without further ado, here is Michael Schacht’s advice for aspiring game designers (I like his sign off – wish I had though of it):
Thanks for the interest.
If you have further questions maybe in some weeks it would be easier for me as i’m in the middle of preparing two fairs.
Here’s what i can offer at the moment:
– Don’t trust your friends, they will like your prototypes anyway. Test with new neutral test groups.
Publishers hate to hear: “my friends do like it very much”, then they know it is not tested in realistic situations.
– Don’t take part in all the test games. And if you don’t take part don’t give advice during the test game, just answer rule questions. Otherwise you may influence the way of playing and get adulterated results.
– Put your finished design away for some time and the play again. If you still think it is finished you can offer it to publishers.