Author Topic: History of Carcassonne?  (Read 8193 times)

Offline domergamer

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History of Carcassonne?
« on: August 31, 2015, 07:55:22 PM »
I'm currently writing a history of all of the Spiel des Jahres winners.  My next entry will be Carcassonne.

Two quick questions from the community:
1.  Are there any great resources on the history of the game?
2.  KJW is answering my questions about the game's history, so while I have him, is there anything I should ask about?

Thanks! 

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=2035.0

Offline Whaleyland

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 08:16:17 PM »
I don't know of any resources regarding it, but that's more kettlefish's domain. I'd like to know what inspired him to make the game with a Carcassonne theme? I assume he's been to Languedoc in France and that's where the idea came from, but I'd like to hear that story.

Offline domergamer

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 08:32:15 PM »
I do know that part already!  Yes, he visited the south of France in the late 1990s while on vacation.  He was actually working on the book that was released this year, researching the history of the crusade against the Cathars.  He fell in love with the landscape, and after visiting Carcassonne he decided to make a game that imitated the growing of cities and castles. 

Offline kettlefish

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2015, 10:42:20 PM »
Hi domergamer,
I don't know what you like to know about Carcassonne.
Do you have a blog side for games or what is it?
Could we get a link to your homepage?
----------------------------
We did an interview with Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, but it was not only about the history of Carcassonne.

Here is the link: Interview with Klaus-Juergen Wrede
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 03:07:51 AM by kettlefish »

Offline danisthirty

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2015, 11:30:15 PM »
Hi domergamer, and welcome to the forums! :) :(y)

There's just one thing that I can think of which may be of interest, but I'm not 100% sure about it (I am sure others here will correct me if I'm wrong though). This is that the design of the world-famous meeple, as introduced by Carcassonne, was a bit of an after-thought and was designed in a single evening by Bernd Brunnhofer of Hans im Glück.

Good luck with the project. Please post your report here afterwards for us all to enjoy!

:blue-meeple:

Offline Paul

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2015, 12:10:10 AM »
Can you ask him how many tiles from v1 of Carcassonne he privately owns?  :yellow-meeple:
World record holder for a single game of Carcassonne using 10 007 tiles!

Offline domergamer

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2015, 08:13:20 AM »
Hi domergamer, and welcome to the forums! :) :(y)

There's just one thing that I can think of which may be of interest, but I'm not 100% sure about it (I am sure others here will correct me if I'm wrong though). This is that the design of the world-famous meeple, as introduced by Carcassonne, was a bit of an after-thought and was designed in a single evening by Bernd Brunnhofer of Hans im Glück.

Good luck with the project. Please post your report here afterwards for us all to enjoy!

:blue-meeple:

Kettlefish: Your interview was helpful!

Here's the write-up as I've drafted it.  This is not the final version.  It'll be appearing on The Opinionated Gamers on Friday.


The first ideas for Carcassonne came to Klaus-Jürgen Wrede when he was touring the south of France on vacation in the late 1990s.  He was tracing the history of the crusade against the Cathars for a novel he was writing, and his travels took him through a region covered with castles and walled cities.  He fell in love with the landscape, everything from the countryside to one of the huge fortressed cities, Carcassonne. 


His trip gave him an idea for a game where the players imitate the growing of cities and castles.  The first prototype was completed soon after he returned from vacation, but it was more complex than he had hoped: he wanted the game to have simple, intuitive rules while still featuring a strategic touch.  He started reducing the game to its essentials, experimenting with different iterations.  He painted the first tiles by hand with watercolors.  The first prototype was ready by early 2000. 


Wrede -- who was, at the time, a completely unknown game designer -- sent the rules and some photographs for Carcassonne (plus similar materials for a couple of other games) to Hans im Glück.  They landed on the desk of Dirk Geilenkeuser, who saw potential in Carcassonne.  The publisher asked for the prototype of the game, and HiG agreed to publish it in May 2000.  The game then entered development, with HiG hurrying to have it ready by October. 


Doris Matthäus did the game’s artwork, but it was Bernd Brunnhofer (founder of of Hans im Glück and designer of St. Petersburg) that gave the game its most iconic feature: the meeple.  Wooden figurines representing people weren’t new to boardgaming, but Carcassonne was the first game to use the shape of the modern meeple.  One account of the history of meeples attributes the word itself to gamer Alison Hansel, who used the term when playing Carcassonne as a portmanteau of “my people.” 


The game went viral shortly after its release.  It won the Spiel des Jahres in 2001, a strong year that featured nominees or recommendations from Reiner Knizia, Alan Moon, and Uwe Rosenberg, among others.  After the relative complexity of Tikal and Torres, the jury veered towards a lighter game, praising the simple yet tactical gameplay of Carcassonne.  The game won the Deutscher Spiele Preis that year, and it received a nomination for the Gamers’ Choice Award (which would become the International Gamers Award), ultimately losing to The Princes of Florence.


Carcassonne and its expansions have sold more than ten million copies, making it the third bestselling SdJ winner (behind Rummikub and Catan, respectively).  It has received dozens of expansions and mini-expansions, as well as a few spin off games: too many to recount here.  There are also several fan expansions.  I asked Klaus-Jürgen Wrede what his favorite expansion was, and he said it was the dragon from The Princess and the Dragon. 


Wrede has gone on to design other games, most notably The Downfall of Pompeii (2004), Mesopotamia (2005), and Rapa Nui (2011).  The book he was researching when he visited the south of France was released this year: it is called "Das Geheimnis des Genter Altars" (“The Secrets of the Ghent Altarpiece”).


Carcassonne -- and its many, many expansions and spinoffs -- is still in print today.  The game has been released in more than 27 languages.  Carcassonne received a fresh coat of paint late last year, with minor changes occurring to the cover and the tile artwork. 

The game received an iOS edition in 2010, and to date there have been more than 3.2 million online games played. 


Offline Jéré

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2015, 08:39:38 AM »
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Offline kettlefish

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2015, 09:17:43 AM »
Thanks domergamer for your very interesting story. Here are some more information about Carcassonne:

Carcassonne has 9 big expansions.
The base game is for 5 players but with the first expansion "Inns and Cathedrals" came a 6th player colour  :gray-meeple: .
Some parts of the 1st expansion were originally in the prototype from KJW.

HiG has published the Carcassonne BigBoxes - till now 5 BigBoxes (included base game, 1st+2nd and some other expansions) - all two years a new BigBox since 2006.

With the 1st BigBox from 2006 each expansion has become a watermark.

The new edition:
graphics artist: Anne Pätzke (landscape tiles):
The design of the rule books changed with the new edition.

In the next weeks there will come the 1st and 2nd expansion in the new edition. And the 6th player colour will be  :pink-meeple:

Spin-off games (some examples):
some games almost like the standard Carcassonne:
- Carcassonne - Winter-Edition
- Carcassonne - The Wheel of Fortune
Around the World - series:
- Carcassonne - South Seas
- Carcassonne - Gold Rush
new Spin-off games will published this year 2015:
- Carcassonne - über Stock und Stein (across Country)
- Carcassonne - StarWars

Carcassonne World Cup
This year is the 10th Carcassonne World Cup at Spiel 2015 in Essen.
There will be more than 30 nations at the World Cup.
 
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 04:18:24 PM by kettlefish »

Offline evmillan

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 04:07:45 PM »
Thanks for sharing!  :(y)

Offline kettlefish

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2015, 04:39:00 PM »
one more important information about Carcassonne:

Since many years there are fan-meetings with KJW (together with the Carcassonne-on-Tour team = Udo Schmitz) and the Carcassonne fans in Germany.
at "Fortress Königsstein" and at "Castle Konradsheim"

The community helped with the mini expansion "Castles in Germany". They were looking for Castles in Germany and decided which ones come onto the landscape tiles.
-----------------------------------------------------
HiG published at their homepage fan-expansions for download - in cooperation with the fan community.
-----------------------------------------------------
Here you can read something about the change of the rules in the past - (download-file):

S-CAR v7.4
page 308 - Scoring: A historical perspective
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 04:48:36 PM by kettlefish »

Offline kettlefish

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2015, 11:43:42 PM »
Here is now the review from The Opinionated Gamers

Offline danisthirty

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2017, 06:08:18 AM »
The game received an iOS edition in 2010, and to date there have been more than 3.2 million online games played.

I think this is just by me. Surely others have played too? ;)

I can't believe I didn't mention it at the time, but thanks for that potted history of Carcassonne. Great job! :(y)

Offline Mr Meeple

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2017, 02:04:54 PM »
Thx, I did not know that it is released in 27 languages - wow :(y)

Offline domergamer

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Re: History of Carcassonne?
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2017, 05:14:17 PM »
Thanks, everybody.  Since I wrote that review (about two years ago!), my love of Carcassonne has grown considerably.  I can't say this about very many games, but my love of Carcassonne seems to be growing with each play!


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