The "SPIEL 98" Report - The "Deutscher Spiele Preis" award 1998

On wednesday evining the time had come - as in the years before the "Deutscher Spiele Preis" was awarded to authors who had published outstanding games during the last 10 months. After a greeting for the audience by Essenīs mayor Anette Jäger, Dominique Metzler from the Friedhelm Merz Verlag was congratulationg the winners. This yearīs winners are:

"Euphrat & Tigris" by Reiner Knizia

2nd: "Ursuppe" by Doris & Frank

3rd: "Elfenland" by Alan R. Moon

The following ranking was:

The "Deutscher Kinderspiele Preis 1998" for the best childrens game went to "ZICKE ZACKE HÜHNERKACKE" (itīs actually a childrens rime involving chickenīs dump) went to Klaus Zoch.

Finally the special award at Essen for the best game rules, the "Essener Feder" was awarded to Karl-Heinz Schmiel for the rules of his new edition of "Die Macher".

After seeing all these games awarded, I think itīs very interesting to observe the fact that actually all four games which were awarded the top rankings in "Deutscher Spiele Preis" and "Deutscher Kinderspiele Preis" were designed by Doris Matthäus. Today, Doris is the most sought german graphics artist, and I think that it was a great view to see actually four of her games sitting in top positions.

During the evening, a representative from Hans im Glück brought up quite happy moments from his life, actually from his first visit at the Essen Games Fair in 1983. This was the time when Hans im Glück presented their first game at Essen ("Dodge City"), and they were quite happy to present it in a number of about 100 copies. He remembered that they were sold out on the afternoon of the first day - and after this they were free to roam the convention themselves. Actually it was also the last time that they could visit the con with some quite hours to play games - in all later years business at Hans im Glück had grown too much to allow any free time at the convention.

Another quite funny story was told by author and publisher of "ZICKE ZACKE HÜHNERKACKE". They confessed in front of they audience that they actually tend to spend quite a lot of time on the names of their games - sometimes longer than designing those. Whenever they are looking for a name, they tend to use the brainstorming-method to get a lot of possible names. In the case of this game the naming must have been quite hillarious. In fact, during the brainstorming period absurd titles like "Die Hühner von Catan" (=The Chickens of Catan) did regularly appear.

Concerning any news from bigger companies, the evening was quite uninteresting. Most companies were asked to reveal a look into the future, but they all did put on pokerfaces and said nothing concerning this theme. Kosmos actually didnīt say anything either, but they came up with quite interesting numbers. So the "Settlers of Catan" now have been sold over 600.000 times, and the whole Settlers-products-family has be sold 2.4 million times. This are numbers which are so far absolutly unheard in the german games scene.

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Copyright © 2003 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Trier, Germany