widthA good hat board game? Of course, smart authors have good ideas. An editorial team in a game publisher who discusses their ideas, may adjust them and turn them into marketable products. And engineers. Every game. Because everything that the creative department thinks must also be technically feasible. The iceberg of penguins, the medieval world of knights and merchants, escape the scene through hotels, ports and abandoned houses. If possible, all of these are packed in a box measuring 28 x 28 cm and a maximum height of 6.7 cm.
Sebastian Runge is responsible for technical product development at ASS Altenburger, one of Germany’s largest game manufacturers. “The more adventurous, the more inquiries,” he said, while cautiously stating that some game ideas are not technically as easy to implement as some game inventors imagined. “The mode of the game is one thing, it is another thing to produce thousands of times on one machine.” It is the job of a graduate engineer to accompany the way from idea to realization.
“How thick can the game board be and how is it printed or finished?”
“Every game requires us, and ideally we would meet at the publisher and get involved in the early stages.” Then Runge can very clearly say what is possible and what is impossible. He studied printing and packaging technology at the Leipzig University of Technology, Economics and Culture (HTWK). “It’s a bit of a coincidence,” said the well-trained media designer, who was actually very interested in learning media technology, and ended up with the engineers on the University Open Day. “I’ve always been interested in paper and cardboard and things that can be folded with it.” After working for a T-shirt printer in Spreadshirt in Leipzig (during study) and Hassia in Bad Vilbel (after studying), he found a source from Recruitment advertisement for ASS Altenburger.
“I really don’t know what will happen, and I really don’t want to enter the game industry, so my interest is not from games, but from materials,” Runge said. In Altenburg, Thuringia, he has been venting for eight years. When his classmates had to deal with food and tablet packaging, for example, Runge was accompanied by Kosmos Verlag’s extremely successful Exit game series from the beginning. Anyone who knows the game knows that puzzles depend on even the smallest details on the packaging and game materials, and must undergo a lot of repairs, folding, cutting, and kinking. “We have a very good collaboration with the editors of Kosmos,” Runge said. This makes it possible to dismantle the puzzle to find the code. “What glue do we use to make it work instead of destroying the entire box?” Lange described his challenge this way.
Combination of electronics and classic board games
ASS Altenburger is also the producer of the new annual game “Micro Macro: Crime City” by publishers Spielwiese and Pegasus Spiele. Players must identify and reconstruct crimes on a huge city map. “The challenge here is to find a supplier for this size of paper, and the plan can still be folded into a convenient format.” The result is a 75 cm x 1.10 m city map, which is very large for the game. That is the area of about seven sheets of A3 paper. “This is also a big problem,” Runge said. As an engineer, he and his colleagues must always pay attention to delivery time, production capacity and the machines available in production. In the annual game, sales and awards have doubled, and hundreds of thousands of games have been sold in the first year.