The Networks, designed by Gil Hova, is a game about running a t.v. station, developing shows, and scoring the most viewers after 5 full seasons. The game has a unique setup that helps to simplify all of the action. Players take one action on their turns either developing a new show, adding a star or ad to another show, drawing a network card (action card), or ending their season. Shows degrade from season to season, so those initial shows one develops will have to be replaced. The game offers a lot of strategy and humorous show names for players. The game is on Kickstarter until September 30th.
Our discussion covered a lot of interesting topics from how Gil finally created The Networks to design theory. We covered such topics as agential vs. experiential, input vs. output randomness, and interesting decisions vs. optimal decisions. While I had a list of questions that focused more closely on the game, Gil is always a fountain of game design knowledge, so we let the discussion flow organically.
If you are interested in The Networks, please go to the Kickstarter page and consider backing the game. You won't be disappointed when this one comes out. It boasts a player count of 1-5 where the solo and 2-player game plays very differently from the 3-5 player one. You have until September 30th to back.
Addendum: Gil Hova, Ian Zang, and Tony Miller are launching a brand new podcast about the board games industry called Breaking Into Boardgames. For any young designers out there, check out this podcast for some fantastic insight into what it is like to be new in boardgaming.