10 Fragen an Simone Luciani
Lorenzo der Prächtige
How did your career as a board game designer begin? Can you describe the first steps?
I started to create games more than 10 years ago. I participated at "premio Archimede", the most important Italian prize for unpublished games, in 2004, 2006 and 2008. In this year I won the prize for the best Card Game, with "Portobello Market" that in 2009 was published by "piatnik" with the name "frutti di mare".
In 2012 you designed "Tzolk´in: The Mayan Calendar", an extremely successful board game. Did you expect such a great success?
"Tzolk´in" is my 6th published game, but it’s my first great success. I knew that the game was really good, but I had no idea of the success that it has achieved.
"T´zolk´in" and other great board games like "The voyages of Marco Polo" were designed by you and Daniele Tascini. How and where did you get to know him? Are you perhaps good friends?
We met more than 20 years ago, playing magic. And we are good friends.
Many people hope that a big expansion of "The voyages of Marco Polo" will be published. Are these whishes realistic or unimaginable ;)? And what are your next projects? Can you already tell us anything?
We're working on the expansion of "Marco Polo". Actually I work as developer for "Cranio Creations", and in the past months I worked on the two Cranio’s Games for Essen. The first, "Lorenzo the magnificent" is Lorenzo The Magnificent, a great German Gamer’s game, from Virginio Gigli. I’m really happy of the final result, I think people who like Grand Austria Hotel or Marco Polo will really like it. The second game I worked on it is "Microworld", a fast 2 player’s game, with a lot of tension and replayability from Martino Chiacchiera. I’m working on three my own games but they are all in the middle of the development process.
How do you characterize your development style with three words?
Really different from game to game. I like to work on different projects, the only important thing is that I like the central idea of the game, so my style is very different when I worked on "Soqquadro" or "Marco Polo".
You come from Italy. Can you describe the Italian board game community? Are there many players, companies and designers?
In Italy there are a lot of gamers association, a lot of events, but playful culture doesn’t reach families. I met Inventoridigiochi.it, the Italian community of game authors many years ago, and this helped me a lot. In Italy game designers have many opportunities to collaborate, and I have good friend in the community, and I worked on games with some of them (with Virginio Gigli in "Grand Austria Hotel" and "Lorenzo the Magnificent", with Paolo Mori in "Insoliti sospetti", as developers, and some unpublished games).
What do Italian people think about German board games? ;) Of course you can list negative aspects ;)
A lot of Italian Gamers love German Games , but there is another kind of gamers that love more American Game and RPG. We are a mix of German and American game style.
In 2015 your board game "Grand Austria Hotel" was published by "Lookout games". Can you give us an insight into the development phase? What were difficulties and how long did the development take?
Really strange story. The game is the ecounter of a really nice dice mechanic from Virginio and the idea to create a Gamer’s game themed on an Medioevo’s Inn. We create a complex game, and we met Vlaada in an author’s meeting in Turin and he liked it. But in our opinion the game was too heavy so we worked a lot on it and finally we had an 1-hour-light-gamer game. We present it to "lookout" at Essen 2011 and they like it very much. But they had a lot of projects and the game wasn't published in 2012 and also in 2013. Then Stefan Stadler has become part of the lookout team, tested the game and sent a mail to us saying all the central part of the game wasn’t really fun. Me and Virginio discussed the issue and tried to re-design all the game starting only from the dice’s mechanic and the theme. We worked really well and 4 months later the game was ready. It became again a complex game, but we like the final result very much. And also lookout team liked it!
What are your favorite German board games and why?
"Puerto Rico", "Notre Dame" and "Dominion".
Have you ever met German board game designers or artists?
Yes, of course.