Since many people from outside Macedonia were interested in reading my interview for the magazine Tea Moderna, I had it translated. Here it is, enjoy!
The Return of the Board Games
Interview by: Jelena Dimovska
Photo by: Igor Todorovski
He’s the first Macedonian that created an original board game. According to players and reviewers around the world, his board game is an interesting game that quickly captures the attention of players. His goal is to help develop the board gaming industry in Macedonia, as well as enrich the social life of the people here.
In spite of the developing video game industry, the board games apparently still haven’t lost their attraction. Milan Tasevski has created a new, interesting board game called “Small Star Empires”. This is a first original board game created in the Republic of Macedonia. He spent almost a year creating it and is now in a phase where he’s arranging for production of the game. Months ago, he promoted the game at the largest board game fair in the world Essen Spiel, which is held in Essen, Germany each year.
“I was always interested in games, and I have designed games since I was little, thinking about mechanics and rules, what will be the theme etc. Last year I made a step ahead and I’ve finally fully designed a game.” – says Milan, who sees his future in the board gaming industry.
Achieving a long-lasting dream:
The game he created is a result of a year long designing, testing, and making the graphics to finally come to the latest version of the game.
“We went to Essen Spiel 2014 with my friends and it was a new experience for me. It was an additional motivation for me to sit down and finally design a game.”
After they got back from Essen Spiel 2014, “Small Star Empires” was born. It is a game for 2-4 players that colonize the galaxy.
“The essence of the game is to outsmart and block your opponents, while going for the best star systems in the galaxy to gain the most points. This is a quick game, which is very important to many people because we all live very busy lives and rarely have time for longer games to play.”
Soon, we can expect his game to have an official Kickstarter campaign, where he will be selling it after he presented it on Essen Spiel last year.
“Two years ago, I was a visitor at the fair and last year I was exhibitor. I am now in the pre-production and marketing phase, where I need to find the money for the production of the game. For this purpose, I will start a Kickstarter campaign to collect the money for production.”
The importance of the social aspect:
In the past few decades, video games have suppressed the board games, or at least it seemed that way to us because outside our borders, the picture is different.
“We can’t even compare the status of the board game industry here with, let’s say, the United States or Germany. These are actually the countries that make most board games per year. I can just say, it is a golden age for board games. Each year, thousands of new games are made and young people all over the world, enthusiasts like me, are creating and contributing to the board game community and industry.”
There’s only one board game store in Macedonia – Goblin Games, where you can find many new and older games.
“I try to contribute to the popularization of the board games here in Macedonia as much as possible. I am running “boardgames.mk”, a web portal where I post reviews about games, info about events and together with my friends from Goblin Games we organize Board Game Days each month, where a lot of people gather, meet new fellow gamers, play and have fun. But despite that, we cannot expect a quick growth in popularization of board games because of many factors, one for instance being the bad economy.”
Board games carry a social aspect, which in latest years is in decline among the young.
“Video games sometimes turn off the social moment, unlike board games. But that’s not the only advantage of board games. An important segment of playing board games is learning new skills, developing your logic, learning strategies and management. These are not your basic types of games where you just roll a dice and move a figure on the board. You have to think a lot in order to win.”
They have an interesting tradition with his friends, which he hopes it will become more popular
“Each year we go for a weekend at the monastery of St. Joakim Osogovski, where we bring and play a bunch of board games, hang out and enjoy the beautiful nature!”