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  • September 2, 2009

    Part 2: How Two Hobbies Become a Profession

    Gero Zahn

    Last time – in the first part of this blog posting – I told how in 1997, before “The Starfarers of Catan” was published, a friend and I designed our own “Space Settlers” scenario –  as a result of which Klaus and I stayed loosely in touch since fall 1998. …

  • August 20, 2009

    Part 1: How to Meet a Game Designer

    Gero Zahn

    On the “About Us” page here in the Catanism Blog or at, my (slightly grandiose) job title is “Web Content Manager” (or it least it was when this blog post was initially published). What exactly this means – apart from the obvious “rearing and nurture of websites” – will be the topic of another blog posting. What’s probably more interesting: …

  • August 10, 2009

    Can You Buy Fresh Strawberries on Catan?

    Peter Gustav Bartschat

    How does the perfect Catan lunch look like?  Lamb chop in puff pastry with a glass of sheep milk, sheep’s milk cheese with bread for dessert… but in the evening at least a wheat beer to wash it down with? You’d think that life must be rather monotonous on this island where only grain and trees grow, sheep are the only living beings apart from the settlers themselves, and wooden beams and bricks are the only available building material. …

  • July 31, 2009

    Sprechen Sie Catanisch? Do you speak Catanish? Parlez-vous Catanais? ¿Usted habla Catanol? Talar ni Catanska?

    Dr. Reiner Düren

    Illustration 1: Back to the roots The Catan games have been translated into many languages by now, Bulgarian, Chinese, and Hebrew being the most recent ones. Players from all over the world meet at world championships and in the Catan Online World to jointly settle the small isla. From there, they board their naves and head for new shores to find freundliche Nachbarn or even the legendary countries El Dorado and Catlantis. Sheep Oveja (Spanish) Schaf (German) Schaap (Dutch) Mouton (French) Får (Schwedisch) They defy sjörövare and struikrover, build osada and upgrade them to πόλεις or use рыцарь cards to set the salteador on each other. …

  • July 22, 2009

    Hello, I’m a producer …

    Arnd Beenen

    In his blog posting, Guido already commented about how challenging it is for him to give people he meets a description of his work. I can definitely relate to that – the same thing happens to me. It’s even a little worse, because the next thing for me to explain is my function in this company, given the fact that I’m apparently not a game author. …

  • July 16, 2009

    Catan – an Introduction to my American Journey

    Guido Teuber

    My wife Emily (then girlfriend) and I had arrived in Charlottesville, VA, the charming and historically significant city of Jefferson, Monticello, and the University of Virginia. Two days earlier, on July 23rd 1997, I had stepped off a plane in New York, arriving from Germany and ready to start my new life in the USA. …

  • July 8, 2009

    Favorite FAQ

    Benjamin Teuber

    “What does your father do all day long as a game inventor?” People have asked me different versions of this question all my life. Everyone who has ever used a rolling pin more or less knows how a baker works, and you don’t need to have a green thumb to know how the workday of a gardener might look like. …

  • June 29, 2009

    What do you do for a living?

    Guido Teuber

    “So, …what do you do for a living?” New acquaintances always seem to ask this kind of question. Over time, I have tried different responses. At first, I used to say: “I’m in the board game business.” Usually, people reacted with a wide-eyed “Oh ….” I always wondered what people meant by “Oh ….” Perhaps they meant to say, “Oh … I am so sorry,” or maybe, “Oh … can you really make a living this way?” Indeed, the more generously inclined often gave me a compassionate look, as though they were equating the board game business with a state of long-term unemployment. …

  • June 22, 2009

    How Good Should an Artificial Intelligence in an Electronic Catan Game Be?

    Klaus Teuber

    If someone had asked me this question roughly half a year ago, I would have answered: Of course it has to be as good as possible. A computer opponent can never be a substitute for a human player in a Catan game on a real game board, so it should at least be able to play well. What’s missing in a game against computer opponents are emotions: …

  • June 16, 2009

    The Vikings and Catan

    Klaus Teuber

    When I started developing “The Settlers of Catan” in the early nineties, I was inspired by the Vikings. The story of the men and women of early medieval Scandinavia had already captivated me as a child.  Maybe those high-quality plastic Viking figures manufactured by the company Hausser were to blame for it; I received them as a gift when I was 10 or 11 years old. …


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