It took a long time before I was able to formulate a coherent text again. I completely underestimated what my first “SPIEL” would do to my brain. I wonder how the people who explained complex expert games fared….
Useful Dating Tips
I really hit a lucky shot with “Treehouse Diner” – as a good family game brings people together in a fun way. You notice that even as an explainer. I often had the opportunity during the rounds to have some anecdotes told to me. When people are a little distracted by their kitchens and orders, you also get to talk and learn a lot about the people at the table. (My insider tip for dating!)
Yes, I am a homebody
This past week I have been in a state of contented exhaustion. I’ve been lying on the couch a lot, trying to think and talk as little as possible. Unfortunately, one is forced to do so from time to time.
Left in my natural habitat, I like to be alone and do things as quietly as possible. The calmer and more solitary, the better. So it’s no secret that attending the largest international board game convention goes against my natural inclination. My first impression was a kind of overwhelmed amazement. I was a little late to the party. (The “Deutsche Bahn” is a difficult company to deal with.) That’s why I had to squeeze through a tenacious stream of people as quickly as possible to find the Funtails booth. That took me 25 minutes! Once I arrived, I still had to find the restroom. That was at least as difficult – although I was helped! You know that feeling of being a rank beginner? Helpless and confused? That’s exactly how I felt.
Finally, a living room replacement!
Once I got to the booth, my overwhelm completely turned around. I was greeted very warmly, provided with water, food, and shirts, and was able to devote all of my time to the “Treehouse Diner“. From that moment on, the booth felt like a living room. Admittedly, it was much more crowded and noisier than in my living room – but I could focus only on the people at my table. This is exactly where all the wonderful fair experiences took place: the conversations, enthusiastic kitchen helpers, little winners, and all the cough drops that were gratefully offered to me.
I expected to go into a gaming and buying frenzy on my day off at the fair. Instead, I missed the Funtails living room. Time seemed to pass a little different there. Here, I could explain the rules and converse at my leisure.
Acting at its best
A visitor told me that he was looking for a birthday present for his seven-year-old niece. While playing the game, he was impressively intense about how she would play it. This was an emphatic feat, which left me very impressed. I couldn’t even play a game like my niece while tired and drunk! Kids build such unexpected twists into games. It’s hard to figure that out as an adult.
The limits of my gaming achievements
The rounds with real kids were by far the best. Even the acting performance of the man I just mentioned could not compensate for that. Here and there I also had a round of adults who were cheering loudly to see if the right ingredients were being replenished or matching orders were being laid out. But the little ones put everything in the shade. Of course, they were especially happy when they had collected the most victory points – which didn’t happen that rarely! I even played in one round and lost by 6 to 21 points to eight-year-old Caroline. Before someone asks again: Yes, I tried hard. Even very much! At that moment, I briefly doubted whether I should really aim for a Master’s degree. But Caroline was a really strong opponent!
Normally, I’m a headstrong expert player who squeezes efficiency out of every move like the juice out of a lemon. But this round against Caroline had awakened my ambition. Later I played a few more rounds to rebuild my broken pride. I was completely involved each time, even though the basic mechanics of the game are much more family friendly than I’m used to.
High praise from little people
The younger players often asked me about the Funtails staff. So of course I was proud and pointed over to Maikel or Hans, who were always busy sailing on the “Instabil”. I don’t think any of the kids really dared to go over to the pirates to say “Hello!”. But you were marveled at – especially Hendrik, who was -I quote- “paintering” the cute animals.
I can only tell you from a distance about the huge crowd in the “Feed the Kraken” half of our booth. We overheard the shocked exclamations and the discussions. Sometimes I picked up a snack behind the counter and had time for a quick look at the “sailors” – those tables were always extremely busy! In retrospect Andreas told me that about every 6 minutes a copy of “Feed the Kraken” found a new owner. We in the “Treehouse Diner” were also well occupied. But this seems to have been a real regatta!
You may have read it on Facebook or Instagram: I really enjoyed being part of the Funtails team for this ” SPIEL”. There’s something really special about seeing these games being well-received after looking behind the scenes and talking with their passionate creators. Every “That was fun!” makes you really proud. Although I had only worked as an intern for 2 months, the Funtails fever really got to me. When it was time to head home, my emotions swung wildly between anticipation of my own bed and melancholy.
PS: Former intern Ingelis also reported on her first impression of “SPIEL” for the blog in 2019. Click here to go back in time.