Albert Mach wants to help you lead a Viking clan. He wants you to compete for honor and treasure and the control of islands. He wants you to tame the wild dragon. And he wants the masses of the Internet to bankroll all of it.
That’s because he’s a board game designer. When I talked to Mach, he and his two brothers were about two weeks into a monthlong fundraising campaign to launch their first game, Vikings of Dragonia. Mach had never made a serious go at creating a game before but figured why not — we’re living in a golden age of board games, after all. The Settlers of Catan, first published in Germany in 1995, introduced many Americans to so-called Euro-style board games — games with elegant gameplay, deep strategy, compelling themes and attractive art. Since then, the quantity, quality and variety of new board and card games seem to increase every year. Attendance at gaming conventions has boomed. One of the biggest, Gen Con, set its sixth straight attendance record this year. Sales of games are swelling, too: The hobby game market had an estimated $880 million in sales in 2014 in the U.S. and Canada, up 20 percent from the year before…….
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