Do you know what happens when you start designing a Euro-style game? You start to live one. Some Euro games have mechanics in them like worker-placement, resource management, possibly even bidding. A lot of times you’re planning a few turns ahead.
If I get resource A this turn, next turn I can get resource B!
I’ve been designing a Euro-style game called Asking for Trobils pretty hardcore lately, and the effects on my daily life are actually productive!
Sometimes you wake up with the first thought in your head being “uuuhg, I have so much to do today”. I used to hate those days, but now I think of them like a bunch of small quests in a game. If you’ve ever played Lords of Waterdeep, then think of picking up the groceries as a couple of orange cubes, cooking as a purple cube, and serving everyone as a white cube for the Quest of “Making Dinner”.
It sounds cheesy, but for some reason when you break down “quests” that you have throughout the day in short turns that get you to that completed quest and on to the next one, it makes the day more fun. Life can be like a Euro-style game. In fact, if you think about most traditional Euro-style games, the themes are fairly life-like: farming, city building, politics, worshiping the right god that will allow you to attack your neighbor with troops. Okay, maybe not the last one.
What if I hate Euro Games?
Then you hate life. Just kidding. Actually, I find the difference between Euro-style gamers and American-style gamers to be their outlook on life. People who love Euro-style games tend to be more analytical and calculating in nature. They like to figure out the complexities of everyday life in the same way and find joy in that.
American-style gamers tend to be adventurous and find themselves entrenched in stories of fiction. To them, the joy of discovering a new restaurant or vacationing to a new place is the best part of life. So if you’re not a fan of Euro-style games, you can still love life, just for different reasons.
When I was designing Evil Intent, I found the theme (evil villains taking over the world) popping up in my everyday life. No, I didn’t take over the world, but I did let out a lot of “Mwuhahaha’s” and strike villainous poses. Designing a heavily themed game can enrich your life.
Of course these are just generalizations. I’m not telling anyone’s fortune here, and no one, I think, is 100% to the left or right of the issue. I feel that I’m actually in the middle. I love games with heavy theme as much as I love games that challenge my planning and analytical skills. With the boardgame community expanding with more games and more players, I think that we’re starting to see players liking games with a sort of middle ground.
I thank games like Euphoria, Yedo, and Lords of Waterdeep for that (there are many more of course). These are great Euro-style games, but that have fun themes as well. Traditionally you couldn’t get an American-style gamer to play a Euro game because the theme would be farming or… stamp collecting (or something like that). Now with games both rich in theme and analytical game mechanics, we’re starting to see both sides meet a little more in the middle.
That’s one of the reasons I started designing Asking for Trobils. It’s a whacky space themed Euro-style game. While the Euro mechanics have had me working out quests in my everyday life, the theme has me smiling and goofing off along the way.
Even if you’re just playing games and not designing them, taking a lesson from how you like to play games and applying them to your life can enrich your day. No one’s going to give you victory points at bedtime, but you’ll have more fun getting those “quests” completed.
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An ameritrash life could be exciting, but I’m nervous about the player elimination.
@Brad LOL, yeah, unfortunately, that’s true with any life.