“The world is your game board. Get ready for CATAN – World
Explorers, an upcoming massively multiplayer augmented reality game that
transforms the entire Earth into one giant game of CATAN.”
Catan (1995) by Klaus Teuber
is one of the classic European board games that shepherded in the modern age of
board games. Winner of Spiel des
Jahres in 1995, and still beloved today, Catan introduced the world to
resource collection, trading, and city building.
The world of Catan had already expanded onto digital devices, but now will take over the entire world. Catan World Explorers, announced at Essen Spiel 2019, is a new digital game in which players explore the real world, a la Pokemon Go, searching for classic Catan resources. Players collect wheat, sheep, wood, etc. on their device, trying to then construct roads and cities. However it won’t be all that easy… your neighborhood may have an abundance of one type of resource, but you will likely have to trade for something else. Team up with friends for victory points, and compete locally or globally to become seasonal champions.
It is with a very heavy heart I report that we have recently lost a giant in the industry, Darwin Bromley. Darwin started as the co-designer of Empire Builder (1982), one of the first popular route connection games, and founded the company to distribute it, Mayfair Games. Later, Mayfair was almost single-handedly responsible for bringing European style board games to the U.S., distributing the English versions of Catan (then Settlers of Catan), Agricola, and many many others until Asmodee bought the company in 2016. Numerous outpourings have come from the gaming community, best summed up by famed Munchkin artist John Kovalic, who called Darwin’s passing “the end of an era.” I know that my life would be very different if Mr. Bromley had not made all those boxes, now in my shelves, available and popular on these shores. Thank you Mayfair Games. Thank You, Darwin Bromley.
Sony Pictures is currently negotiating for the rights to adapt “Catan” into a movie. Apparently the studio is looking forward to turning Catan into a possible franchise, and is fast-tracking the film towards production. Could Knights and Seafarers follow in the future, or will the franchise pivot towards attracting 5-6 additional moviegoers?
“We’re excited to be working with Sony to bring the iconic world of Catan to life,” Katz said. “As huge fans of the game, we’re struck by the endless possibilities of stories that it could inspire. It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to work in a world beloved by millions of people, and expand its story for the screen.”
Blaise Hemingway has been tapped to write the screenplay. Blaise has just one released film as writer, 2006 short film The Bracelet. Hemingway is credited as writer for two additional films in pre-production, Ugly Dolls and an untitled Playmobil Movie.
(Settlers of) Catan
Catan, designed by Klaus Teuber, has sold over 25 million copies worldwide and is available in 38 different language. It was often credited as launching a renaissance in board game design following its 1995 release. It spawned a seemingly endless stream of expansions, including the recently 2017 release Catan: Legends of the Sea Robbers.
In the original Catan 2-4 players try build settlements, cities, and roads in an effort to dominate the island of Catan. On each turn a pair of dice are rolled to determine what resources are produced on the island. Players whose cities and settlements are adjacent to resource producing hexes collect resource cards and spend them to build up their civilization in an attempt to get 10 victory points and win the game.
In 1995 Catan, then still referred to as Settlers of Catan, won the coveted Spiel des Jahres award and in 2001 was inducted in two the Originals Hall of Fame. A partial list of awards won includes:
Jellybean Shirts has started a Kickstarter Campaign for some great board game related T-Shirts, with three shirts in the initial offering. Shirt: The Game has a collage of many board game related icons, which you can challenge your game geeks to identify. The Settlers Of Cat shows that all too familiar image of a cat sitting in the box lid for CATan during play. Finally, The Meeple’s Republic has a great soviet themed “Sieze the Means of Placement” meeple design. Several add-ons and stretch goals are available, including an option to custom insert your own pet into the Settlers of Cat T-Shirt.
This past weekend, in Durango, CO, the Catan World Championships (CWC) were held to determine who is the best Catan player in the world. 60 players from over 34 countries descending upon the town in Colorado to play against each other in the historic Strater Hotel. Part of the tournament was broadcast live online so those not able to attend could still look in on some of the best players in the world. As of now, the winner had not been announced on their Facebook page. For more information you can check out the Catan Facebook page.
Do you enjoy Catan? I mean, do you really like Catan? Then you might want to set aside some time at the end of April to attend Catan Con 2016 in Nashville, TN. At Catan Con you will see and be able to play all things Catan, and also the other games in the Mayfair library, but mostly Catan. Some of the show highlights include:
Catan National Championship Qualifier
Settlers of America Tournament
Cities and Knights Tournament
Blast from the past Catan games
Catan: The Big Game
Mammoth Carpet/Floor and Giant Tabletop Games
The convention will be held in the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center on April 22nd thru 24th and you can register through the Mayfair site for your ticket today.
Meanwhile over on the Canadian comedy Youtube channel CBC Punchline you’ll find a humorous trailer for Settlers of Catanada, the Canadian version of everyone’s favourite gateway game. To say any more would spoil it, so head over and take a look and enjoy some board game humour to start your day.
Now all those worries of losing or damaging the Catan game components as you travel are over! Mayfair Games has announced a travel edition of Catan that will feature a space-saving box that unfolds to reveal:
“The variable board. Roads, settlements and cities are safe in their locking drawers. Cards are held securely in holder trays. Even the dice, thanks to the practical hex-shaped shaker cannot get dropped and lost. CATAN compact is handy, fits easily into your luggage and contains all of the components and fun the “big” CATAN.
A copy of Catan Traveler will contain:
1 folding tough plastic box
6 double-sided plastic game board parts
1 dice shaker
97 plastic game pieces
2 plastic card holders
It is important to note that this version of Catan, due to its unique design, will not be compatible with any of the Expansions or Extensions in the Catan line of products. This new travel version is scheduled for release in the summer of 2015.
Recent news of the Settlers of Catan movie and TV rights being sold in recent days has left many people scratching their heads as to how, and even wh,y this could this could translate to the big or even small screen. Washington Post journalist Alexandra Petri takes a stab at the potential movie in her latest piece here.
Settlers of Catan, known officially now as simply Catan, could possibly be attributed as the game that brought the world into a new century of tabletop gaming possibilities. Now, twenty years after designer Klaus Teuber gave it birth, Catan has brought hours of exploration, trading, and civilization building fun to living rooms all around the world.
One such home that has become permeated with the iconic game of hex tiles and wooden bits is that of Hollywood producer Gail Katz (The Perfect Storm, Air Force One). Ever since her college-aged children introduced her to the game, she has wanted to see an adaptation of the game come to the big screen.
“The island of Catan is a vivid, visual, exciting and timeless world with classic themes and moral challenges that resonate today,” says Katz. “There is a tremendous opportunity to take what people love about the game and its mythology as a starting point for the narrative.”
Katz has obtained the TV and film rights to Catan, and therefore now has an opportunity to see a dramatization of the game come to life.