SUBMIT YOUR STORY
story

Royals for Royalties

I’m Peer Sylvester, a humble teacher (is that an oxymoron?) of math and chemistry in Berlin, Germany. I also design games and, boy, I’m not so humble about that.

I grew up with games. My father always loved abstract thinking, so I learned chess when I was four. I was never too gifted though, and I probably only beat him twice in the last 37 years. But my parents also always bought the game of the year for me and… OK, suffice it to say: I grew up with games.

analog games

In 2003 I moved from my home town Hamburg to Thailand, to teach and to live with my then-girlfriend-now-wife, who also taught there. I loved it, but the problem was: Boardgames were a no-show there back then (it has changed a bit since). I printed out a lot of PnP games just to play something.

I also got interested in the history of Thailand and especially the fact that Thailand was never colonised. That was a great starting point for designing a game! How could that translate to a game? I thought it would be nice (even if historically incorrect) to imagine some faction fighting for control, but still showing unity towards the outside. That would be the starting point for King of Siam.

analog games

I opted for a majority game, because there was no civil war—just vague political powers trying to gain control. Also, in case a province would be tied, the British would colonise that province—without unity they fall. Unfortunately the rest of the ideas didn’t quite work out and I put the project in my box of prototypes that need an overhaul (Yes, there is a box for that. And it’s quite full too!).

analog games

Two years later I had married and moved to Berlin to work as a teacher. There I played prototypes with other Berlin-based authors. One of them is Bernd Eisenstein and he had a prototype called Alfred the Great in which you form majorities by removing pieces instead of adding them. That game gave me the needed idea: You form majorities on the board, but you gain your own majorities by removing the pieces from the board. A conundrum! That is something you need in a good game. Looking through my “List of ideas” I found the idea of using a set of actions once and then be out of the game. Both ideas could be combined perfectly! In fact, once I sketched a map and thought about logical actions everything clicked quite easily. The first trial game was already a great success and few things have changed since then—mainly making a game with 4 players team based (after some boring games where everyone opted for the same cubes), and adding the Anti-Kingmaker rule.

analog games
First prototype of King of Siam. Photo by Peer Sylvester.

In 2006 I showed the game to Richard Shako of Histogame and he decided to publish it in 2007. A couple of years later my contract ended and I looked for a new publisher via Boardgamegeek. Osprey Games contacted me and I signed a new contract with them. I took the opportunity to think up a new variant, just so there is something for the people who knew the old game as well. Osprey also wanted to change the theme to something their audience would be more familiar with. We brainstormed together and settled for the King Arthur theme. Using an old map, I made a list of all possible ways of having the 8 kingdoms neighbour each other. While not a huge thing, I wanted a topologically different map then before, but without giving a faction too big of an advantage or disadvantage. I believe I succeeded.

analog games
“Working map” to figure out the region borders. Photo by Peer Sylvester.

analog games

I mainly design games for fun, and also to play games that don’t exist yet. This is my main (and probably only) fixed rule: There shouldn’t be a game out there with the same set of mechanisms! There should be at least one—or even better two—new ideas in every game. I also dislike fiddly rules, so I usually design games “bottom up”: Starting with as few rules as possible and a general concept (which may be, but is not limited to, a theme), only adding things if necessary. I believe my games are easy to learn because of that. Which does not necessary mean they are easy to master, because I think the decisions you have to make are the heart of playing a game. Every decision should be hard. Every decision should matter. If that’s the case, the game is good. And, as a not very humble man, I can proudly boast that this is an apt description of The King is Dead.

Get The King is Dead on Amazon here.



Did you like this story? Please share or comment. Go to this page to submit a story yourself. Subscribe to our online magazine here!

38 responses to “Royals for Royalties

Hi. I just found this website through reddit and I wanted to comment about this game. I got this game because I was looking for a 3 player game and this is a great game for it. The mechanics reminds me of Sun Tsu (which I have) but is only a 2 player game. This game is different than Sun Tsu because you have to consider which cubes (Followers) you have in your possession. Fun game. I recommend it.

For analoggames.com, your website seems to load slow. I have to wait 5 seconds after I click on a link before I am redirected to a page. Maybe upgrade your WP plan or something 😉

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!
한국야동

As I am looking at your writing, I regret being unable to do outdoor activities due to Corona 19, and I miss my old daily life. If you also miss the daily life of those days, would you please visit my site once? My site is a site where I post about photos and daily life when I was free.keo nha cai

The cost-effective Toto site provides reasonable dividends and useful events to Korean Sports Toto users. Major safety playgrounds, private Toto, and Toto sites recommended by the food and run verification community are considered the most useful websites among online betting sites.

When I read your article on this topic, the first thought seems profound and difficult. There is also a bulletin board for discussion of articles and photos similar to this topic on my site, but I would like to visit once when I have time to discuss this topic. 메이저사이트

I praise your view as an expert on the subject you wrote. How can it be so easy to understand? In addition, how good the quality of information is. I know your efforts to write this article better than anyone else. Thank you for sharing a good message. 메이저토토

I’m so happy to find you. I also wrote several articles similar to the theme of your writing. I read your article more interesting because there are similar opinions to mine and some parts that are not. I want to use your writing on my blog. Of course, I will leave you my blog address as well. 메이저토토

I’m an expert on your writing. Your writing stimulates my thinking as an expert. It can be seen that the article was written based on accurate reference materials. I even praise non-major for making it easy for them to understand. Thank you for sharing a good article. 메이저토토

I’m glad to know your blog. I’ve been writing for a long time for personal reasons and your writing makes me want to rewrite it. I will write and share a similar article to the topic of your article. I hope I can share my opinion with you on that. 메이저토토

When I read an article on this topic, baccarat online the first thought was profound and difficult, and I wondered if others could understand.. My site has a discussion board for articles and photos similar to this topic. Could you please visit me when you have time to discuss this topic?

I want to thank you for the effort you have put into writing this blog. I hope to get the same high quality post in the next blog as well. In fact, your creative writing skills inspired me to get mine. blog now. Really, blogs are spreading their wings fast. Your article is a good example of this.

Now that I’ve studied some of the blog posts on your site, I really like the way you blog. I’ve added it to my favorite sites list and will be checking back soon. Please also visit my website and let us know what you think.

techstory12

Best fitness apps for small business owners can help you stay healthy even during the busiest times. The apps can guide you on what to eat when to eat, and how to exercise.

techstory12

inventory management system
https://www.techstorytime.com/best-inventory-management-software/
Inventory Management System or sometimes also called as store management systems help businesses keep track of their inventory. Having a proper idea of their inventory can boost the productivity, and make businesses process easier.
There are a lot of inventory management software tools out there, so we’ve created a guide to help you choose the right one.

Leave a Reply to 메이저놀이터순위 Cancel reply

About   |   Store   |   Submit


Subscribe

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.