Here are a series of 10 youtube videos covering mostly the game Tigris and Euphrates. Part of episode 9 and episode 10 cover the future (now the past) and other games like Lord of the Rings. The rest of the episodes focus directly on T&E. Reiner Knizia, the designer, speaks (by phone) on game design, theme, strategy, mechanics, play testing, and more. They were produced in 2000 when Mayfair Games first brought T&E to the US market. T&E started out as an epic 3-4 hour game and completely engrossed his mind such that he could work on no other game. Playtesting began on Aug 23, 1995, to almost complete failure. But with some rework, they had a prototype by the 31st.
It’s very interesting to hear Reiner discuss the removal of concepts to simplify the game including a military leader that could become a dictator in a kingdom and grab victory points as if he were all colors of leaders. This dictatorship formed when more military tiles destabilized the religious influence in the kingdom. In addition, if people (black) out numbered farmers they’d begin to starve, revolt, and kick out the farming leader for mismanagement.
His interest in the complexity of the game began to lessen with the war-gaming aspect of resolving conflict and the monitoring of tile counting that was necessary to play well and accurately. He didn’t like this due to what he considered unnecessary complexity. After simplification it began to solidify into the jewel that it is today.
For the rest of the videos, click the read more link.