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Designer Michael Schacht releases a handful of games each year, both expansions for the ever-growing zoo in Zooloretto and stand-alone games like The Golden City and Valdora. If you want to play every Schacht design in existence, however, you have your work cut out for you as one title – Ruhrgebiet – is available only in an edition of one. Here's how that situation came about, as described by Schacht:
Most of the designers start by creating games just for themselves and their friends. I know some that started to offer games to publishers only after more than ten years of developing their designs. In 2010 fortunately I found the time to finish a game just for private use in my own game groups, an old-school economic game with a theme of my preference.
And so I'm back where it started.
Those interested in seeing what Ruhrgebiet is all about should swing by booth 4-303 at Spiel 2010 in October. As Schacht notes in his September 2010 newsletter, "The European Society of Game Collectors will present in an exhibition called 'Das Ruhrgebiet und seine Spiele' (The Ruhr district and its games) with corresponding board and card games." Ruhrgebiet will be included in that exhibit, although its not clear whether anyone will have a chance to actually play the game. If you like what you see, though, start lobbying publishers to pick up the design. I'm sure Schacht won't mind if you do...