Archives du mot-clé English

Gen Con 2015

This is it, my demand of accreditation has been send… Now, I just need to wait for the answer. I would love to cover the Gen Con and discover the « Essen of the U.S. ». Tell me what would you like to see cover if go?
Thank you and cross fingers for me!!

Ca y est, ma demande de passe Press a etait envoyee… Maintenant, je dois attendre la reponse. J’aimerai bien couvrir Gen Con et decouvrir le « Essen Americain ». Dites-moi ce que vous voudriez que je couvre si j’y vais?
Merci et croisez les digits pour moi!!


Happy new year 2015!!!

It is with great pleasure that I wish you a happy playful new year 2015.

May this new year be full of good times with friends and family around new games. 2014 brought us a lot of good games to try if you have not already done so and I think 2015 will be also a good vintage!

When a year is over and another begins, it is also the time for an assessment . That’s a little over a year ago(November 2013) I started this blog as an amateur enthusiast and I am always surprised by the success (modest success) that this generate. Over 19,000 views of 97 different countries, over 750 subscribers who have seen 131 posts! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to all of you who follow me and a huge thank you to all the people of the game world, authors, illustrators and other who have given me their precious time to answer my seven questions. I am pleased also to see that other bloggers have decided to focus on the authors or illustrators games and present them with interviews.

It is true that since my return to Texas in August, I did not publish much, yet the interviews are there in my files! It was the reunion with my family, our move and I have not managed correctly my time. The days became weeks and weeks months … I promise, in 2015 La Tour à Dés will be back in full force with new projects and more regularly. One of my plan for a new year, will my participation to Gencon in Indianapolis late July early August. The discovery of the world of the game industry during the biggest game event on this side of the Atlantic  will be very interesting!


As always I’m open to your suggestions, feedback and comments. I want this blog to be a place for discussion and reflection. So feel free to comment my posts or contact me  on the Facebook page of La Tour à Des.

Ideal board game café?!

Snakes and Lattes
Snakes & Lattes, Toronto

In my « mission » to pass the « good word » of the game to the world, to bring the game to the people and to make them discover the people behind this industry, an idea stuck in my head for quite some time.

There are major problems for the players and for the world of games. Here are some one:

  • Find players to play when you feel like it.
  • Find a friendly place to be able to play that suits all players.
  • Finally, for non-players to try games before they buy them.

In short, the answer to this: A board game cafe.

A board game café is a place open to all, where you can enjoy a selection of games and a selection of beverages and food. This place is furnished with tables and other furniture for easier playing in a good atmosphere.

There are some in the world of all kinds and sizes. One comes to my mind among others: Snakes & Lattes in Toronto. Snakes & Lattes was created by French and knows a growing success.

Of course every person, every player has different needs and expectations and it could be difficult to please everyone or most people.

So this idea of ​​opening a board game cafe tickles my brain and I like to know what you want, expect from a board game cafe? What kind of atmosphere, service, games, furniture, menu or/and beverages, events, etc … In short, what would be, for you, the ideal board game cafe?

So feel free to comment on this post and describe your ideal board game cafe.

Thank you everyone!

La revanche, photo de atelier scd
La revanche, photo from atelier scd

7 questions for Richard Garfield

Richard Garfield
Richard Garfield

In the board games family, there are games that everyone knows even if not everyone played them such as: poker, chess, Monopoly. And more recently: Carcassonne, Dungeons & Dragons, and of course Magic: the Gathering.

I was lucky that the creator of one of the pillars of the game world, answered my 7 questions.

Richard Garfield, this American creator native from Philadelphia, who has a Phd in combinatorial mathematics is the creator behind Magic :the Gathering, a global success that has influenced many other game designers since its release in 1993. Richard is the man of day.

Richard is well known for Magic but he also created between other, Android :Netrunner, another card game and more recently King of Tokyo a board game released in 2011.

If you’ve never tried Magic, I invite you to do so and discover what millions of players around the world already know. And of course try his other créations.

Here are 7 questions for Richard Garfield.

1. How old were you when you played your first board game and which board game was it ?

« That is hard to say, I played cards and classic games like chess very young. The first board game I remember really getting hooked on was Stratego. The game that pushed me from game enthusiast to game devotee and game designer was Dungeons and Dragons. »

2. Why and how did you decide to design a game ? 

« After discovering Dungeons and Dragons I felt that anything was possible with games, and I used them as a creative outlet for my ideas. I was quite serious about it — in fact – I envisioned a school where every subject was taught through games. I still like to design games around complex phenomena to understand better how they work – like in economics or evolution. »

3. What are your 3 favorite games ?

« I can’t answer that – I am instead going to give you 3 games that would appear on my top 10 game list.



Go »

4. For you, what is the best combination for a successful game ?

« I am constantly looking for games that have enough luck in them that anyone can win, but enough skill that investing in it feels good. Part of that is making it fast enough that when you lose despite superior skill you can play a few more times to make up for it. I also like games with a lot of interaction, but without much picking on particular other players. I also like games with a lot of variations of play.

You can see from that why Poker is on my top 10 list – it is perfectly described by my criteria above. »

5. How do you proceed to design a game ?

« I design games slowly and often more by intuition than reason. I am very critical of my designs and tend to put games that don’t satisfy me in the closet for a long while and revisit them when I am a different person. I design games both starting from a mechanical principle and adding flavor (Magic, King of Tokyo) and from a flavor and figuring out mechanics from there (RoboRally, Pecking Order). »

6. What tips could you give to someone who wants to design a game ?

« Get a wide variety of playtesters. When your playtesters have a problem they will often think it is one thing but it is actually another, with experience you can figure out what really isn’t working for them. This is important because often what the playtesters think they want  will undermine your whole game – but you can come up with fixes that get them what they actually want.

Get new playtesters after working on your game a while – if you always use the same playtesters your game will be developed only for experts, not for new players as well – and new players are, if anything, more important to a game.

Play lots of games. The more games you have the more solutions you will have at your fingertips for problems that come up with your designs. »

7. Could you give us some information about your future projects ?

« King of New York is finished and will be out in a few months. I am working on a trivia game and a number of card drafting games as well. In the online world I am currently shopping around some designs in the customizable deck genre to see if I can get any interest. »

To know more about Magic: the Gathering :

7 questions for Ignacy Trzewiczek

Ignacy Trzewiczek
Ignacy Trzewiczek


In the world of games, there are game designers from all around.

During the Spielwarenmess of Nuremberg in 2014, I discovered a lot of good board games from the eastern europe which never hit the shelves of french or US stores !!!

With this in mind, today I decided to ask someone from Poland to answer the 7 questions. Someone who created a lot of games and games that actually are on our shelves in France and in US.

Ignacy Trzewiczek.

Ignacy Trzewiczek is a game designer and a long-time RPG writer and he is also a publisher of games under the logo Portal Games! He designed the famous Robinson Crusoe : Adventure on the Cursed Island, also Stronghold, The New Era and a lot of expensions for Neuroshima. He last releases are Imperial Settlers and The Witcher Adventure Game.

Without waiting, those are the 7 questions for Ignacy Trzewiczek.

1. How old were you when you played your first board game and which board game was it ?

I don’t know. I remember that as a kid I played a lot The Amezing Labyrinth from Ravensburger. This is an incredibly smart and entertaining game for kids. Now, I played it with my kids and still I have a great time.

2. why and how did you decide to design a game ?

I was a gamer for a long time and at the beginning I was designing stuff for my own purpose and my fellow players. At some point I tried to earn money – I wrote scenarios for Warhammer Role Playing Games and sent to publisher. They were published, I got paid and that’s how it started to be my job. I write about this in my book Boardgames That Tell Stories, I encourage you to check this book and read the whole story.

  1. What are your 3 favorite games ?

It’s hard to answer. 3 favorite Role Playing Games? Or 3 favorite miniature games? Or board games? Card games or party games? I play a lot, I have few hundred games and depending of mood and fellow players I play different games. 3 favorite games I can play with my son are Neuroshima Hex, X-Wing and Memoir’44. But 3 favorite games I play with my wife are different. And with guys from my club are different too…

  1. For you, what is the best combination for a successful game ?

It has to be engaging. It should immerse players and entertain them. It should have simple rules, and yet, give a meaningful choices during game.

5. How do you proceed to design a game ?

I start with picking a theme, then I read books and watch movies about this theme and I learn about it. It takes about 3 to 6 months. Then I begin with building prototype. I focus on building tools that will help players explore and feel the theme. It takes another 4 to 6 months to build prototype that will work smooth and will be interesting. Then it’s time to balance the game and then production may start…

6. What tips could you give to someone who want to design a game ?

Be patient. And have courage to trash ideas. Designing games is trashing ideas and always looking for better. 

7. Could you give us a small info about your future projects ?

I run blog where I write about design process and games industry. I invite everybody to subscribe to the blog to learn about games. This year I will publish my new game called Imperial Settlers. I hope it will be a title that players will like. It’s about building your small Empire.

dziękuję bardzo ! Thank you very much Ignacy for your time and if you want to know more about Portal games :

Ignacy is writing a great blog about game design as well :

Portal Game

Trip to the States, voyage aux Etats Unis


Dear La Tour à Dés followers, you must be wondering what happen to me and my weekly interview/post?

I went to the States to spend some time with friends and family. It was a great, but short visit. I should be back in Texas permanently by mid-August.  After all, Texas is my home since 1997.

During this time I played games with my children and friends, multiple classic games like Dixit, Cards Against Humanity, Andor, Formula D, etc…

I also visited my local game stores in Texas like Rogues Gallery Comics and Games in Round Rock and also some stores in California like Metro Entertainment in Santa Barbara and Pair a Dice Games in Vista. Pair of Dice was well supplied in all kinds of games even the newest ones available in the States!! It was interesting to see the difference  between the selection of games in France and the U.S.A. I may talk about that later on.

I am flying back to France today for a short time and will resume my posts. Thank you for following them and sharing them. As always if you have any questions or suggestions let me know!

Keep playing!!

June 6 1944 D Day, June 6 2014

D DAY 70 banner

Today June 6, 2014, we remember and commemorate the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy. At 6:30, 70 years ago, thousands of young people have landed on the beaches Code Names: Gold, Sword, Juno, Omaha, Utah, preceded by thousands of Allied troops parachuted overnight behind German lines and the work of the French resistance. Opposite stood young people as part of the German troops and in the middle French civilians.

Today marks the beginning of the liberation of Europe.

For me, the memory of that day is of great importance on several levels. I am Normand and stories of war, liberation and post-liberation rocked my childhood and part of my family history as all the Normans of my age. Also, my wife is American and in 1999, I made a donation for the construction of the National World War II Memorial in Washington as a small token of my gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice of all these young people.

DDay prep

In the world of games, this event was of course was used, narrated, illustrated several times and I will mention just a few. Those games, even if they are games can be today or any day, used to remember and explain, tell this history to the youngest among us. We must never forget this day.

In games that have for subject this day and period, here are the ones I retained but there are many other:

Memoir 44, and a special expansion « D-Day Landings » that just came out.

Combat Comander Europe with its extension Battle Pack # 3 Normandy.

D-Day Dice.

Axis and Allies.

And today released a great new game on this theme: Heroes of Normandy and a special expansion « D-Day Scenario Pack. »

There are a lot of War game of course like Battlefront, Flames of War among others that will allow lolders to « relive » that day.

Therefore on this day, play to remember and to not forget this June 6, 1944 and thus start a conversation with the younger about these events.

HoN DDayddaydice

7 questions for Farid Ben Salem, game design teacher

Farid Ben Salem
Farid Ben Salem. Carré & Kawaii Photographie

In the game world, I interviewed game designers, illustrators, publishers, etc … But never yet somebody who teaches game design! Today is Farid Ben Salem who answers the 7 questions.

This father from Paris is a jack of all trades. He is: fencing-master, project manager, editor for Casus Beli and Ravage magazines, inventor, game designer (SpellShot a successful hybrid game published by Hasbro in North America), he also worked on rewriting Detective Council for Ystari. As I mentioned earlier, Farid teaches game design, games and gamification at Sciences Po, E-artsup, Paris 8 and Paris 3 universities. And if that were not enough, Farid is also a presenter on WebTV GameStars! All this to serve his purpose: « to promote the game at the world’s largest and virtues of the game. »

Without waiting here are 7 questions for Farid Ben Salem.

1 . How old were you when you played your first board game and what was it ?

« In fact, besides the big classics, I create a lot of games or copy games before playing. Because I had a very strict father, for who only school and conservatory were important I had few toys and games. So, when I was playing a game with a friend, I went home, I hastened to recreate it from my vague memories with paper, tape and pencils. I even created a cardboard pinball my comrades worshiped. The first real game I played, for me, is D & D, a  real slap discovered in Games & Strategy at the time. The first games were stressful and chaotic but it was a good lesson for the future. « 

2 . How and why did you decide to teach game development company ?

« In fact, I teach fencing for over 20 years with children and adults, and I was regularly training because of my oldest professions in the private sector. Suddenly, one of my students in fencing , responsible for licensing in P8 university, was seeking new vectors for students in information science and communication , he asked me if I felt to teach games creation to youth with my background . I obviously jumped at the chance and it was a first successful experience. 30 students gave me as year-end project board games proto. while they knew nothing about it at first. Apart video games. I was amazed . thereafter , I had different applications in great schools and universities. I also animated workshop with and for professionals . « 

3 . What are your favorite games company and why ?

« So I mostly like what we call American style games (ameritrash), I’m more in the mood and the immersion than in the calculation. Undoubtedly, the first is Battlestar Galactica board game from FFG. Never seen a transcript as pleasant and also true of a TV show. Each game is tense and it is possible to interpret the character that you play. In second place, I will choose RuneAge, also from FFG, because it is a deck building, I am a fan of this type of games, but that Corey Konieczka (I burn a candle on behalf of Corey saint, the saint of the game designer, every Sunday) was able to make a themed game, immersive and scripted. and always with FFG, sorry, role playing game Edge of the Empire, a technical marvel, the Rolls-Royce of RPG. « 

4 . For you what is the best combination for a successful game ?

« Either you decide to make a public game, which can affect all classes, all ages, and is easy to access, or you touch a specific public of gamers, or type of gamers, with their corresponding mechanisms . In both cases it is not easy, especially if you’re looking to make money with. The main thing is not to lose some. The approach is different and vectors of distribution are not the same. For me, the creation of a good game is the game that you want for yourself. Working on a command is never easy. I work on games that relate to both publics and the pleasure is different. « 

5 . How do you proceed to create a game ?

« The ideal is to have on hand a few “guinea pigs”, which will be helpful when you have one or more game mechanical ideas. It is essential to have tools and basic materials that will allow you to set up quickly a proto that you will show to your “guinea pigs” and start playing even if it has nothing written, nothing drawn. This allows for a visual representation of what may be the game . The concern is that ideas often arrive around 3am at night, or it makes you cogitate and you make the effort to take notes or you’re too tired hoping you remember them in the morning. Thereafter I’m making a more important proto, retrieving images on the net, and I tweak on InDesign and Illustrator.”

6 . What advice would you give to someone wishing to create a game ?

« Above all, I speak for young people, have a steady income that allows you a peace of mind. Because a game, if it works, will allow you in most cases, to pay for a weekend off or may be some vacation. Otherwise, I would advise you to create multiple games and rotate them in the game conventions, to test them in all directions hundreds of times. This is to get the maximum return and come up with a great product from publishers. « 

7 . Could you give us some information on your next project ?

« In fact, I have several ongoing projects and even some who are terminated, a board game that I have already presented to Volumiques Editions, 2 hybrid games that have already received CNC grants, a party game, a Role Playing Game from a license and the reissue of an old RPG, among other things. « 

Thank you Farid to spread the « good news » of the game and for answering the 7 questions.

Here are some links to learn more about Farid including a link on the WebTV shows about games (in French) :

A paper for the U.S. vice president on violence in games (in French) :

And finally a video on the future of games  (in French) :


Fete Internationale du Jeu/ International Game Day

  • Aujourd’hui, 31 mai, c’est la fête mondiale du jeu!!! Sortez vos jeux et jouez en famille ou avec des inconnus! Allez voir votre ludothèque, rendez visite à votre boutique de jeux en famille ou entre amis et choisissez un ou plusieurs jeux ensemble! Il y en a pour tous les gouts, tous les âges, toutes les durées. Surtout, surtout, amusez-vous bien, et passez un moment avec des personnes réelles loin de vos téléphones, tablettes, télévisions et ordinateurs!!

  • Today, May 31st is the International Game Day! Get out your games and play with your family or strangers! Go to your game library, visit your games shop with your family or friends and choose one or more games together! There’s something for everyone, all ages, all durations. Especially, especially, have fun and spend time with real people away from your phones, tablets, televisions and computers!


7 questions for Mr Phal from


Photo par Christelle Besseyre
Photo par Christelle Besseyre

In the game world, when one is Francophone and he want, amongst other things, get information about new games or an explanation of the rules of a game, there are magazines like Ravage, Vae Victis or Plato, etc … And of course there is a Web site created in 2000: is a Web site about news from the world of games which includes more than 15,000 versions of games. It is since 2009 the property of Flat prod a company owned with 49% by the company Plume Finance own by Marc Nunes (former Asmodee) and 51% by Philippe Maurin aka Mr Phal. Mr Phal and Dr. Mops (Thierry Lebourg) are the creators and main writers / animators of this site.

So this is to this colorful character from Orleans (France), passionate of cyclism, Mr Phal, that I asked those 7 questions.

1 . How old were you when you played your first board game and what was it ?

« 4 or 5 years old, and that should be the card game ‘war’. »

2 . Why and how did you decide to create Tric Trac ?

« Arrived at 35, I thought that maybe time for me to work one day, but from my house. What could be done from home, safely, with minimal cost, from a blanc screen … Internet … A website. But the idea of Tric Trac was not the original idea. It was a topic among others. « 

3 . What are your 3 favorite games company and why ?

« Tigris & Euphrates, El Grande, poker because I like opportunism, rich games, refined and with few rules and it reminds me of good memories. »

4. For you what is the best combination for a successful game ?

« This is a complicated issue because there are as many combinations as people. We do not create a geek success with the same recipes that mainstream success. And yet, if we knew the recipes. The base is a truism, the first ingredient is a good game, the second a material to the task. « 

5 . How do to write about a game ?

« I have no method. I launch Word and let slip the fingers on the keyboard. I write it as it comes. « 

6 . What advice would you give to someone wishing to create a game ?

« I am not a creator myself, so I do not really know what to give as advice except that I love games where you will do 2 actions during your turn from six possible actions, so make me games like that …  » 🙂

7 . Could you give us some information on your next project ?

« A makeover of the v4 that it looks more like the TTTV. »

Thank you Mr Phal for answering the 7 questions. For more information on TricTrac :