Dominique Metzler on why Spiel is a must-attend show for game inventors and publishers alike
Hi Dominique. It’s great to catch up. Spiel is just around the corners, taking place in Essen from October 6th to 9th. For any game designers new to the show, what makes Spiel special?
Spiel is the world’s largest fair of its kind. This means that publishers and authors from all over the world meet there in a highly concentrated way; they all interact closely at Spiel.
What is there for designers to engage with at the show? What should they make time for?
Many authors come to present their prototype at the Authors’ Workshop. Some would like to have their prototype tested by a large number of people, while other designers hope that their game will be discovered by a publisher and then produced.
Other designers don’t have a table at the Authors’ Workshop and try to get in touch with the publishers directly at their booths. Many publishers have all of their editorial staff at the show – they meet with authors all day and look for new ideas.
Yes, it’s a huge show for anyone pitching games. For any companies or publishers reading, what makes Spiel a great platform to unearth new game concepts?
It is simply the biggest platform for board games. Here, designers meet publishers from all over the world. It’s also the case that different markets have different preferences – that’s why it’s relatively easy to find potential publishers for different types of games at Spiel.
Out of interest, has Spiel always catered for pitching or has this side of the show evolved over the years?
Well, the fair started very small 40 years ago! This, like many things, developed all by itself!
Brilliant. Now, looking at what’s set to be showcased at Spiel next month, do you think the industry is in a good place creatively at the moment?
The industry is bigger than ever before. Accordingly, it’s also more creative than ever. Personally, I don’t think that will change again, because as long as more and more people around the world discover board games for themselves, more and more game publishers will arise worldwide and more and more games will be published.
Yes, it’s difficult to put the genie back in the bottle! Now, the entire spectrum of the industry is at the show, from hobby firms to mass market companies. Do you think both of these corners of the industry can learn important design lessons from each other?
Games should always be visually appealing, regardless of whether they were developed for the mass market or for a small target group. Today, the visual aspect is more important than it was 30 years ago. Also, the challenge will always be to develop games that are not too overloaded in the end.
Dominique, with the show just around the corner, I really appreciate you taking the time. For anyone interested in attending Spiel this year, info on tickets can be found here: https://www.spiel-messe.com/en/visitors/entrance-opening-times/.
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