- Reiner Knizia
name = Reiner Knizia
image_size = 125px
caption = Reiner Knizia (left) and Bernd Brunnhofer at the
Deutscher Spiele Preisawards at Spiel2003 in Essen, Germany
birth_date = 1957
nationality = German
known_for = Game designer
Reiner Knizia (pronounced|ˈraɪnɚ ˈknɪtsiːə) is a prolific
German-style board gamedesigner. Born in Germanyin 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 Englandsince 1993.
In addition to being quite prolific, with over 500 published games, he is highly acclaimed as a designer, having won the
Deutscher Spiele Preisfour times, a Spiel des Jahres(in addition to a Kinderspiel des Jahres and a special award), a 2002 Origins Awardand numerous other national awards. His games make frequent appearances on various "top games" lists, including seven games on the GAMES 100list, fourteen games in the BoardGameGeektop 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 360via 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.
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.
:"see also "
** 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)
Schweizer Spielepreisbest strategy game 2004
** Spiel des Jahres 2008
* "Lord of the Rings"
** Winner, Spiel des Jahres 2001 special prize for "best use of literature in a game"
** Winner, International Gamers Award 2000 for Best 2-player strategy game
* "Modern Art"
** Winner, Deutscher Spiele Preis 1993
* "Taj Mahal"
** Winner, Deutscher Spiele Preis 2000
Through the Desert"
Tigris and Euphrates"
** Winner, Deutscher Spiele Preis 1998
* "Tower of Babel"
** Winner, Schweizer Speilepreis best strategy game 2005
* " Vampire"
** Winner, Kinderspiel des Jahres 2008
* [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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