Monday, March 12, 2018

The Joy of Gaming: Women Game Designers - Thurn & Taxis

Women's History Month: 

A Joy of Gaming Tribute to 

Women Game Designers


Karen Seyfarth (with spouse)

Thurn & Taxis is a card drafting and route-building game. When we started playing it, it conjured a very similar player mindset in me to Ticket to Ride. Now, I LOVE Ticket to Ride. For some reason it is my JAM, yo! (Sorry... it's one of the games I'm really good at and can play a ton of before I get bored.) Thurn and Taxis is spiritual kin to TtR where instead of building train routes, you are playing cards to form postal routes and attempting to build post offices in cities to gain points. Unlike Ticket to Ride, no one blocks off your potential progress and you can retread the same cities and instead of collecting sets of cards to play routes, you are playing individual cards connecting cities in a row. The turn mechanics allow you to wipe the city card selections and draw one card, draw one and play two cards, draw two cards and play one card, and then you have the option of scoring one of your routes to progress the end-game, build your post offices, and possibly claim bonus point tokens. There are various ways to earn victory points and the winner is determined by the numbers of points you have at the end, minus the amount of post offices you have left unbuilt. Definitely a game I'm adding to my list after I return this borrowed copy to our friend.

Karen Seyfarth is a 2006 Spiel de Jahres winner. She is a euro-style game designer and is married to boardgame designer Andreas Seyfarth (Puerto Rico, San Juan). Both hail from Germany, where her husband works in finance. According to two different wiki-articles, Andreas credits his wife with "playtesting and helping design most of his games." Even though her name is not on every publication, Seyfarth clearly plays a vital role in the development of her husband's creations. 

I completely understand this type of creative blending and I do see it quite a bit in the gaming community, even with my coworker and her husband, who created HEXplore It. My husband and I blend creatively often, as we use each other as springboards for our ideas and, of course, run everything past the other as a trusted critic of our work. (You don't think I have him read these before I post them?) But it's not about who took control of what in the game, it's that there are strong women in the shadows helping to create some incredibly memorable games and at least Andreas Seyfarth heaps credit onto his wife for her efforts, which I love dearly and think is indicative of a strong relationship.

No comments:

Post a Comment