As I was going over the nominees for this year's Charlies, I was drawn to the awards for people who are involved in bringing us the games we love so much. Of course, some of the names I hoped to see aren't there now because they've won these various awards in the past and are therefore not eligible. But they continue to bring us some stellar designs. Certainly there is no shortage of design and developer talent out there and the quality of the goods we see today is light years beyond what we enjoyed fifteen, twenty, even twenty-five years ago (and possibly even earlier).
Who is your favorite game designer producing games TODAY? Why?
Here's my pick--and I'll admit it's pretty tight competition:
Joseph Miranda. Never mind that he's outproduced Jim Dunnigan in the number of titles designed. Never mind some of his past work that is still state of the art (I think NICARAGUA! is the most sophistical strategic game on insurgency/counterinsurgency ever made--only competition is Kim Kanger's ICI, C'EST LA FRANCE). Just look at what he's been doing for Strategy and Tactics magazine as well as World At War magazine in just the past year. His designs are innovative and fresh, whether he tackles wars that get very little coverage elsewhere (such as the War of the Austrian Succession in his FREDERICK THE GREAT AT WAR, 1740-1748) or topics that you'd think you don't want to see again (such as his recent AFRIKA KORPS).
In my mind, he's not only the most versatile designer out there, he's also the most innovative. The strategic interplay in FREDERICK THE GREAT AT WAR is simply amazing. A four-player game in a magazine format that is incredibly suspenseful and full of friction/surprises. Just when you'd think you'd yawn at another Rommel versus the British in North Africa game, he brings a title in that has tons of chaos and uncertainty such as AFRIKA KORPS. And it just "feels" right!
Let us know who your favorite wargame designer is these days--and why!