Continuing my series of articles on the Alea games, I’m now moving into what may be the line’s lowest ebb. From 2002-2003, following the line’s well-acclaimed release of Puerto Rico, Alea published a number of games that didn’t get the same level of respect as what had come before. Two of the games weren’t even translated into the English. Some saw it as the end of a tradition of serious gaming. It might have been at least a road block, as I personally haven’t played any of the games since my Aleathon of 2009.
In any case, I’ll be looking at those three games — the ones that were unfortunate enough to be published between Puerto Rico and San Juan — today. I also invite you to take a look at the pervious articles in this series. For Ra, Chinatown, and Taj Mahal, see the first article. For Princes of Florence, Adel Verpflichtet, and Traders of Genoa, see the second article. For Wyatt Earp, Royal Turf, and Puerto Rico, see the third article. Continue reading
Corey Konieczka is the VP of R&D at Fantasy Flight Games. He may also be the most prolific professional designer of cooperative games, with a half-dozen games to his credit. He’s best-known for the traitor game Battlestar Galactica, but he’s also designed two true co-ops — Gears of War: The Board Game and Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game — and two overlord-led co-ops — Middle-Earth Quest and Mansions of Madness. Finally, he was involved with developing the second edition of Descent: Journeys in the Dark.
This interview was conducted by email in May, June, and July of 2013.
Shannon Appelcline: Thanks for talking with me, Corey. Let’s get started with the basics: what got you involved with the cooperative genre in the first place?
Corey Konieczka: Co-op games are very exciting to me because they can provide unique social experiences. The emotion of playing a co-op game can be drastically different than the emotion of playing competitive game. Knowing that you need to rely on teamwork to win leads to dramatic events that you won’t find in too many other games. You can have those moments where everyone is cheering and high-fiveing around the table; you don’t get that often in competitive games.