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Artikel vom 19.01.2015

Autor: Smuker

Kategorie: Interviews
Umfang: 2 Seiten

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Interview mit Alexander Argyropoulos und Michael Andresakis

Deutsch | English Hi Alex, you are the founder of MAGE Company, a new publisher from Bulgaria. Can you please tell us how you came up with the idea to found a board game company?

Alexander: Hi and thank you for this interview. Basic I’m not the founder exactly as I did not do it alone. MAGE Company was created by my partner Michael and me. The ideas came up about 13 years ago when we were playing several card games and we though to start creating our own games. We started MAGE at the end of 2010 and now here we are. What did you do before the foundation of MAGE Company?

Alexander: I was working mostly at night in restaurants and clubs. Thankfully all these stuff belong to the past. Are there many publisher and gaming stores in Bulgaria?

Alexander/Michael: As far as we know just a one or two more publishers who also act as distributors too. Game stores are not many, but we know that the big bookstore chains sell games too so that increase a lot the places you can find a board game. There are gamers in Bulgaria more that you imagine, is just that people do not have somewhere to go and play games, so they stay home. Thankfully this has started to change with small cons in big cities like Sofia. What type of games are popular in Bulgaria at the moment?

Alexander/Michael: Any kind, and that’s really surprising. They jump into everything. Eurogames, Ameritrash, cards games. Classic stuff like Warhammer and Magic the Gathering are on the table but I think Eurogames mostly like 7 wonders, hive, catan et cetera. Is there a difference between German boardgamers and Bulgarian boardgamers?

Alexander/Michael: We believe that is a little more difficult to spread games in Bulgaria. They are not familiar with this kind of entertainment, is more something like new, they discover it now and they do it step by step. Jut few games are imported in Bulgaria but the gamers welcome every game. In Germany the games are more like science cause if the many titles and companies and we feel that some people criticize games instead of enjoying them or prefer very few big companies instead giving a chance to smaller publishers too. Of course they are much more familiar and they can make a game known easily and they can be really helpful to test a game, to give their feedback. The point is that everywhere there are people who play games. Höyük was invented in the year 2006. Why did you publish this game in your company?

Alexander/Michael: Well it was a really nice eurogame and we were wondering why it was not published so we took this chance and we did it but after changing some things, adding some new rules and variants. Why is the title of the game "Höyük"?

Alexander/Michael: The title was given by the designer of the game, Pierre Canuel. It means the mount, the hill and he found it cause at that time he was looking to make a game like Hoyuk and he started reading several articles about how people were building houses back then and the name came up. Is a real word, in fact is a Turkish word. Please tell the people who don’t know the game, where it takes place and how the game flow works.

Alexander/Michael: Hoyuk takes place about 10000 years ago in Anatolia and is about how people were building their houses back then. In Hoyuk the players must build the best village in the valley through construction boards. During the game you can add pens, cattle, villagers, shrines and ovens to your village to make it better and stronger and all these elements will help you get additional victory points at the end of the game. Is a city building, tile laying eurogame. It has simple rules, is language independent, easy to learn but when you play it then you understand how deep it goes. The way you play, the strategy you follow is very important. What was changed in the 2014 version in comparison to the former design?

Alexander/Michael: Firstly we added a huge board that show the valley and the grid helps you place your tiles. We remove some more complex rules. We added several elements and new rules like the cattle and villagers, we made three different modes: basic game, medium and advanced, simplified the catastrophe cards and added a lot of more and of course we finalized the rules, box, art and components. You used crowdfunding platforms to help you with the realization of your games. What are the advantages of this new method?

Alexander/Michael: We have more chances to expose our work to more people, we come in direct contact with people, we get a lot of feedback, we learn new ways to promote our games, and we increase the funds to make our productions better. What does the new expansion add to the game experience?

Alexander/Michael: We added new mechanics and rules in Antolia, that’s how is called: Hoyuk Anatolia. First of all is recommended to play Anatolia using all the rules and components of Hoyuk. Is the only way if you want to really enjoy the expansion. Anatolia has to do with the progress of the clans, with the progress of the world back then. We have created three different achievements. One is to build a water supply system, the second is to make the best Fest in the valley and last build two different artifacts. Each of those achievements work differently and you can score additionally victory points at the end of the game. We have also created some new stretch goals for this campaign but we will reveal more info during the campaign. We’d say that Anatolia increase a lot the critical decision a player must take during the game.

 How long did it take to develop this expansion?

Alexander/Michael: We were designing it before we publish Hoyuk, it took us about 7 monts. It was easier because we knew well the basic game and what we wanted to do. We already had discussed it when we originally saw the game for a first time, you know we were planning what we would do in the future. Will there be more expansions in the future?

Alexander/Michael: Yes and one of them is Hoyuk: Messopotamia where clans will fight each other, in order words we deploy more the art of war at that time. What are your next projects?

Alexander/Michael: We cannot reveal yet all the projects but one of them will be for sure Aether Captains which is a really good air-battle dice pnp game set in a stempunk world and we develop it further to make it as big as we can. As soon as we have some art and more info we will make sure to post them online. And around on March we will launch on Kickstarter the 2nd big expansion of 12 Realms, Bedtime Stories. With this expansion and Ghost Town that just ended we will have a total of 13 Realms for this project. This will be a big campaign since all the 12 realms items will be ready along with painted minis and a lot of new material. Which games do you like to play in your free time?

Alexander/Michael: We do not play the same games except very, very few games. We always play new and that’s because our time is limited and we need to see many games. So we check, board games, cards games, eurogames, ameritrash, party, sci-fi, anything that can be played we play it.

The Interview was held by Andreas Buhlmann for Thanks to Alexander Argyropoulos and Michael Andresakis for the support.


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