Reiner Knizia

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name = Reiner Knizia


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caption = Reiner Knizia (left) and Bernd Brunnhofer at the Deutscher Spiele Preis awards at Spiel 2003 in Essen, Germany
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nationality = German
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known_for = Game designer
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Reiner Knizia (pronounced|ˈraɪnɚ ˈknɪtsiːə) is a prolific German-style board game designer. Born in Germany in 1957, he developed his first game at the age of six. He has a PhD in mathematics, and has been a full-time game designer since 1997, when he quit his former job as a quantitative analyst ("quant"). Knizia has been living in England since 1993.

In addition to being quite prolific, with over 500 published games, he is highly acclaimed as a designer, having won the Deutscher Spiele Preis four times, a Spiel des Jahres (in addition to a Kinderspiel des Jahres and a special award), a 2002 Origins Award and numerous other national awards. His games make frequent appearances on various "top games" lists, including seven games on the GAMES 100 list, fourteen games in the BoardGameGeek top 100, and sixteen games on the Internet Top 100 Games List. Several gaming conventions host "Kniziathons", tournaments dedicated to Knizia-designed games.

Reiner Knizia started developing games for his play-by-mail game zine "Postspillion", founded in 1985. The zine still exists and the game Bretton Woods (also a Reiner Knizia design), started in 1987, is still going.

According to Knizia, his best selling game as of 2005 is "Lord of the Rings", published in 17 languages with over 1 million copies sold.

Knizia has entered into a partnership with Merscom to adapt his current games for the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade, Windows PC, and Nintendo DS, as well as to develop future original titles. The first game published under his name was "Dr. Reiner Knizia's Brainbenders" for the DS.

Game characteristics

Knizia's games cover a huge range, as he has designed small two-player card games, children's games, simple games, sophisticated games, and even a live-action roleplaying game.

One element of modern game design that Reiner Knizia has pioneered is abstract theme. Older themed games like Monopoly have traditionally developed their themes by trying to model or emulate the environment or situation they are thematically tied to. So Monopoly has players buying and developing properties as a real developer might. Knizia's thematic game designs tend not to try to model a specific environment, but instead try to invoke the thought and decision-making processes that are key to the theme. For example, his game Medici has a fairly abstract game system of drawing and buying cards which does not try to model any particular environment, but in the game-world the players are always attempting to price risk, the key success factor in the investment banking business in which the Medicis made their fortune. This approach has allowed Knizia to develop games which are comparatively simple but require thoughtful game-play, while still retaining strongly thematic elements.

As Reiner Knizia was himself a quantitative analyst, pricing and evaluating risk are frequently recurring elements in his games. Many of his most successful games use auctions as a vehicle to price risk, as in Ra, Medici, and Modern Art.

Notable games

:"see also "
* "Amun-Re"
** Winner, Deutscher Spiele Preis 2003
* "Auf Heller und Pfennig" (released in English as "Kingdoms")
** Winner, Origins Award for Best Abstract Board Game of 2002
* "Blue Moon"
* "Einfach Genial" (released as "Ingenious" in the US and "Mensa Connections" in the UK)
** Winner, Schweizer Spielepreis best strategy game 2004
* "Keltis"
** Spiel des Jahres 2008
* "Lord of the Rings"
** Winner, Spiel des Jahres 2001 special prize for "best use of literature in a game"
* "Lost Cities"
** Winner, International Gamers Award 2000 for Best 2-player strategy game
* "Medici"
* "Modern Art"
** Winner, Deutscher Spiele Preis 1993
* "Ra"
* "Samurai"
* "Taj Mahal"
** Winner, Deutscher Spiele Preis 2000
** Winner, Essen Feather 2000
* "Through the Desert"
* "Tigris and Euphrates"
** Winner, Deutscher Spiele Preis 1998
* "Tower of Babel"
** Winner, Schweizer Speilepreis best strategy game 2005
* " Vampire"
* "Wer war's"
** Winner, Kinderspiel des Jahres 2008

External links

* [http://www.knizia.de/english.htm Knizia Games]
* [http://www.postspillion.de/ Postspillion] De icon
* (includes complete list of games)
* [http://gametable.blogspot.com/2006/04/reiner-knizia-by-numbers.html Reiner Knizia by the Numbers] , interview with Reiner Knizia, 12th April 2006


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  • Reiner Knizia — bei der Preisverleihung des Deutschen Spiele Preis 2008 in Essen Reiner Walter Knizia (* 16. November 1957 im schwäbischen Illertissen) ist ein deutscher Spieleautor. Von seinen über 400 veröffentlichten Spielen wurden bisher mehr als zehn… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Reiner Knizia — à gauche Reiner Knizia (né en 1957) est un auteur allemand de jeux de société très prolifique. Il est capable de sortir plusieurs jeux par an et souvent plusieurs succès. Il obtient le Spiel des Jahres pour la première fois en 2008 avec Keltis.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Reiner W. Knizia — Reiner Knizia bei der Preisverleihung des Deutschen Spiele Preis 2008 in Essen Reiner Knizia (* 1957 im schwäbischen Illertissen) ist ein deutscher Spieleautor. Mehr als zehn Millionen seiner über 400 veröffentlichten Spiele wurden bisher… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Reiner-Spiele — Reiner Knizia bei der Preisverleihung des Deutschen Spiele Preis 2008 in Essen Reiner Knizia (* 1957 im schwäbischen Illertissen) ist ein deutscher Spieleautor. Mehr als zehn Millionen seiner über 400 veröffentlichten Spiele wurden bisher… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Knizia — Reiner Knizia Reiner Knizia à gauche Reiner Knizia (né en 1957) est un auteur allemand de jeux de société très prolifique. Il est capable de sortir plusieurs jeux par an et souvent plusieurs succès. Il obtient le Spiel des Jahres pour la première …   Wikipédia en Français

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