The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Rick's Rec Room

June 9, 2012

Kingdom Builder: building a following

Game designer may have another Game of the Year

Donald X. Vaccarino has been thrust into the forefront of the tabletop gaming community as a designer and that stature is on the verge of getting even larger.

Vaccarino designed the hugely successful Dominion from Rio Grande Games, which won the 2009 Spiel des Jahres Award as game of the year. That award is to game designers what the Oscar is to people in the film business.

He hasn’t stood on his laurels to be sure. He has released three more games into the marketplace. There is Nefarious, where gamers became mad scientists creating weird invention. Nefarious has been released by Ascora Games and is now becoming more widely available in the United States. Then there is Infiltration, released just a week ago by Fantasy Flight Games.

Yet it is Kingdom Builder, released last year by Queen Games that has drawn another game of the year nomination and many industry insiders believe it is likely to win.

“I started working on Kingdom Builder after Dominion, but it has older elements in it,” Vaccarino. “The piece placement rule came from a game from 1999.”

Kingdom Builder has some of the feel of Dominion, thought its mechanics are completely different.

“Well,  I made games for years before Dominion, and applied lessons from those games to both Dominion and Kingdom Builder,” said Vaccarino. “I am not sure Dominion itself really taught me so much for other games. It has taught me how to make Dominion better. I guess I have learned some stuff about playtesters.”

Kingdom Builder started as one thing and developed into something else.

“I wanted to make a deckbuilding board game,” said Vaccarino. “You would play cards to put pieces on a board, and put pieces on a board to gain cards. Gradually I convinced myself to take out the deckbuilding part. It wasn't needed, and I didn't want to do deckbuilding just to do deckbuilding. So I replaced the deckbuilding with, draw a terrain card, put three pieces on it. It was just a very simple way to determine what you could do.”

 

Text Only
Rick's Rec Room
  • quarriors lvd.jpg Expansions take center stage

    As more and more time passes and I am involved I this great hobby, my anticipation and tastes are changing.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • soccer blast cover Soccer Blast a real kick to play Most every great tabletop game has, at its core, great ideas about how to make the game engrossing, playable in a reasonable amount of time and a way to capture the fun.

    June 2, 2014 2 Photos

  • game box front.jpg Blood Bowl among the best card games ever

    Well over two years ago now, Fantasy Flight Games released Blood Bowl Team Manager The Card Game.

    April 8, 2014 5 Photos

  • Steam Park - Box NON FINAL.jpg Steam Park not just hot air

    Just getting into my collection under the wire before the end of 2013, Steam Park by iello could be the very best game to hit my tabletop last year. It will hit it again and again in 2014 without a doubt.

    January 2, 2014 4 Photos

  • lords cover.jpg Lords of Waterdeep released for ios

    There’s two paths that can chosen when converting a board game into an
    iPad product and both can be fraught with as many dangers as the streets
    and back alleys of Waterdeep.

    November 22, 2013 7 Photos

  • RISE_OF_AUGUSTUS_US_BOX3D2_reflet_170513.png Rising to power under Augustus

    Sometimes a game doesn't have to be 100 percent full of new ideas to be brilliant in design and execution. Rise of Augustus from Hurrican Games is just such a creation.

    August 12, 2013 4 Photos

  • dr image.png Dungeon Roll delves into fantasy staple

    I have rarely had this much anticipation for the release of any tabletop game and certainly never for one that I paid just $15 to own. But that was certainly true for dungeon Roll from Tasty Minstrel Games.

    August 11, 2013 5 Photos

  • box.jpg Building a better suburb

    Since discovering Carcassonne many years ago, I have kept my eye out for new tile-laying tabletop experiences to investigate. To go with that, I have long enjoyed the idea of city-building as a theme for gaming.

    July 25, 2013 5 Photos

  • RAC-box-3D-base.png One plague not to avoid - Rattus Cartus

    Let me start right at the beginning by saying I have not played Rattus, the very popular board game about the The Black Death that darkened Europe in the 1300s.

    July 24, 2013 3 Photos

  • box front.jpg Keyflower sets sail across tabletops

    The first thing that will strike gamers about Keyflower is the enormous number of components included in the box. The lasting thing that will stay with those players after several games is how seamlessly all of those parts are included and work toget

    July 16, 2013 2 Photos

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Poll

Will you be attending Colts camp?

Yes, at least once
Yes, I plan multiple visits
No
     View Results