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Some Heartfelt Thanks

First and foremost, to my wife, Sheryl Suko, the love of my life. While I had talked about having a web site for years, she was the one made the crucial first step by buying me my own domain name as a birthday surprise. She is also serving as site Web Master (Mistress?) and is responsible for the physical and graphic design of the site. She even designed the logos! Simply put, this site does not exist without her efforts. Thanks, sweetie!

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the folks who have playtested my designs over the years. The two people who served that role most faithfully are Bill Moore and Al Dunn, both of whom made many useful suggestions and served as the sounding board of even more. Kalen Kahler, Bob Hopkins, and Jim and Sharon Kraftchak also served as guinea pigs for a number of my mad experiments, helping to make these games better. Thanks, guys.

My current source of inspiration and great gaming is the DC Gamers, a group of gaming fanatics based around the nation’s capital. We meet once a week to play all kinds of games (mostly German-style board, card, and dexterity games) and socialize. The regulars include Ben and Marcia Baldanza, Jason and Vonda Matthews, Ken and Lisa Sheffield, Kurt and Marion Adam, Marc Houde, Shawn Metcalf, Christian Leonhard, Justin Veazey, Joe Jackson, Justin Chan, Doug Minami, Tamara McGraw, Doug Hoylman, Stuart Hendrickson, Doug Austin, Pete Cressy, Jennifer Travasos, and Eric Erickson. I consider myself extremely lucky to be a part of this group, as they are not only uniformly good players, but also uniformly friendly and personable folks as well. More than a few new game designs are bandied about and they’ve been kind enough to playtest a number of my prototypes. See you next Saturday, guys.

Thanks to two prominent gamers, I am now part of a couple of other extended gaming communities. These are the people associated with Gulf Games and The Gathering of Friends, two of the most established and best run gaming get-togethers in the country. Not only is there fantastic gaming available at these two affairs, but a wonderful group of people as well. I have developed some rewarding friendships thanks to my participation and I fully expect to gain more each year. My thanks, therefore, to the two people who originated and organize these two gamefests and who were kind enough to invite me: Greg Schloesser and Alan Moon.

The single biggest influence on my early development as a gamer was a copy of Sid Sackson’s A Gamut of Games I bought when I was fourteen or so. Not only was this volume full of new and interesting games, they were presented with the kind of thoughts and thinking that go into sound game design. For the first time, I realized that games didn’t just magically appear on the shelf of the local toy store, but were the product of the creativity and sweat of real live people. People who were clearly described in Sackson’s book. My interest in game design really begins with my introduction to A Gamut of Games. For this great compilation, as well as the creation of dozens of great games, I (and every other gamer) owe a huge debt to the late, great Sid Sackson, the Dean of American Game Designers.

Finally, a big thank you to the designers of the great games that keep so many of us enthralled throughout the year. Reiner Knizia and Wolfgang Kramer; Alan Moon and Klaus Teuber; Rosenberg, Dorra, Wallace, Friese, and all the rest: yours is the most rewarding of gifts, the gift of happiness. I look forward with great anticipation to your next set of creations.

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