From my perspective it all started in 2007, when Portal presented Neuroshima Hex in Essen. I remember words that Greg J. Schloesser said that year. It was: "I honestly don't know much - OK, anything - about the gaming scene in Poland but if Neuroshima Hex is any indication I am impressed."
Poland was a blank point on the boardgames scene. No gamer known anything about Poland and Polish games. With Neuroshima Hex we had a really good entrance.
Today Neuroshima Hex is worldwide known game, 138th place in BGG ranking, thousands of copies in gamers collections, six new armies published as expansions, more than 20 fan armies published as a PDF files. There are US, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian (Polish of course) editions, new editons are in progress. This is great what Neuroshima Hex achieved.
Two years later Portal published Stronghold, another great epic game that was widely discussed, was nominated for International Gamers Award, for Golden Geek, for Game of the Year in Poland and then was licensed and published worldwide by Valley Games. Without false modesty I do believe that designing Stronghold was an important for many players. There wasn't such a game before.
We did a bunch of other games like 51st State or Pret-a-Porter, but Poland is not only Portal...
In 2010 Polish company - Rebel.pl - published K2, great family game about climbing the second-highest mountain on Earth. It is a great board game, with easy rules and engaging gameplay. It was designed by my friend, Adam Kałuża, who lives 20 miles away from me. This year Adam and his K2 was nominated for Kennerspiel des Jahres. It is a huge success. Many players now decided to try K2 and I believe they will love it, they will try to climb and risk a hard path or easy one, and will have to decide when to attack the mountain and when to rest... Simple rules, great game play. I do believe that designing K2 by Adam was adding a small gem to our hobby...
If we talk about gems... There is a guy called Edrache, my friend from Poznan, who in March 2010 started a tremendeus project called Minimalistic posters. His geek list gathered 886 thumbs and this is not a surprise. It was a great stuff. He decided to design posters for different boardgames. His work was so great that Hans im Glück contacted Edrache and asked him to design 12 posters for their games. They published it in a form of calendar.
I was happy to have my games 'postered' by Edrache. Poster of Stronghold is hanging in passe-partout in my room. I love it. I have pleasure to know Edrache and play with him my games.
This 886 thumbs is quite a few. Edrache introduced to our hobby something that is interesting and new, something that enriched our hobby.
We have two war gamers who brought something really special last few years. Rober Żak designed Strike of the Eagle - it was published first in Poland and then licensed and published by Academy Games. I haven't played it yet, but the reviews are quite clear - this is a great war game. The same situation is with Conflict of Heroes: Price of Honour - Poland 1939 co-designed by Michał Ozon and published by Academy Games. I haven't played it yet, but it is on my short list to play, already on my shelf, waiting for free evening. These are great games from Polish designers. I am eager to play them.
And last but not least, my close friend Pancho. In 2000 when I was publishing RPG magazine Pancho was one of writers and he wrote a really great stuff for Warhammer RPG. When in 2010, ten years after he came to me, said that he founded Big Daddy's Creations and asked for license for Neuroshima Hex for IOS I couldn't refuse. We knew each other for a decade.
But, I am lucky bastard. Big Daddy's Creations did one of greatest apps for IOS.
Neuroshima Hex is an example of best adaptation of board game for electronic devices. It was chosen as second best board game app by IGN magazine. They got iOS Game of the Year (GameShark), they got Best Card/Board game – runner up (TouchGen)... They did an awesome job.
And then they did Caylus. And now they do Eclipse. This is great crew from Poland.
In 3 weeks I do another edition of boardgame convention in Gliwice. We will meet together.
Pancho will bring me some screen shoots and stuff from Stronghold for iPad. I am very excited about this release. I now they will do a wonderful job with this app.
Michał Ozon will bring pre-production copy of CLASH: Jihad vs. McWorld. This is rethemed version of R.R.R. great abstract strategy game I brought from Essen two years ago and showed in Poland.
Adam Kałuża will show Cave, his new game about exploring caves. This is his great passion and hobby and as far as I heard, games is as good as K2. Once again Adam put his whole heart into this design.
I will show them my Robinson Crusoe, another take for epic game with strong theme. Like in 2009 with Stronghold, this time I again spent almost whole damn year working on it, and once again I believe I was able to put into Robinson's box my passion, imagination, my heart. This is great adventure co-op I was dreaming about for years.
We will sit at the table, share our ideas and designs, drink a beer or tea, and have fun. We are a nice bunch of gamers. This year we will have good stuff for you. Again.