Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > March 2018 (#16) > How We Made

How We Made

Marc André reveals how his childhood hatred of chess, discovery of roleplaying and love of maths led to the creation of a true gaming gem


In 2014, French studio Space Cowboys released Splendor. A game of rival medieval jewel merchants, it challenged players to build an empire of mines, trade routes and showrooms, attracting the patronage of wealthy nobles and carving out a reputation as Europe’s most prestigious gemstone traders.

It’s the kind of theme that might seem to lend itself to a long, complex, economic game. But Splendor took exactly the opposite approach, avoiding clunkiness and complexity in favour of a slick, simple and fast-playing design. While its minimalist ruleset meant new players could pick it up in minutes, it offered a constant stream of tricky decisions, rewarding careful planning and sharpelbowed opportunism in equal measures.

In the relatively short time since its release, it’s been recognised alongside the likes of Catan and Ticket to Ride as an ideal gateway game, perfect for introducing new players to the tabletop hobby. I spoke to its designer, Marc André, to find out how Splendor came into being, and how it earned its reputation as a modern classic.


Marc André had a typical introduction to gaming. The third of four children, he spent countless rainy days playing mass-market games with his family.

“Of course, I was subject to the curse of Monopoly,” he says. “We played it, and other mainstream games. I started playing so young that I never read or understood the rules, but what really mattered was having fun, and the atmosphere around the table. Those are my earliest memories, so really I’d say that I was born a gamer, and I still am.”

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Tabletop Gaming - March 2018 (#16)
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - March 2018 (#16)
Or 999 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 8.33 per issue
plus 3 free back issues
Was $99.99
Now $99.99

View Issues

About Tabletop Gaming

Dive into March’s issue of Tabletop Gaming read our whopping exclusive interview with Blood Rage mastermind Eric Lang about his next legendary strategy game, the incredible Rising Sun. You won’t want to miss it! As Pandemic turns 10 years old, we catch up with series creator Matt Leacock and some of the designers, artists and publishers that helped bring the groundbreaking co-op hit to life, hearing how a simple idea became one of the biggest board games of all time. Also taking a look back is Francis Tresham, the inventor of original empire-building epic Civilization. In a rare interview, he tells us about turning his fascination with history into a brand new genre and the lasting legacy of the game almost four decades on. The next instalment in our ever-popular How We Made feature meets up with Splendor designer Marc André to peek behind-the-scenes of his chip-collecting gem, discovering how his childhood hatred of chess and love of maths inspired one of the most absorbing card games in years. There’s plenty more to discover inside the latest issue of Tabletop Gaming, from tips on taking a board game holiday and a look at Legend of Korra sports game Pro-Bending Arena to new columns diving deep into indie games you might’ve missed and the history of the tabletop’s most influential mechanics. Not to mention our regular buffet of hobby tips, designer interviews and more. Of course, there’s no shortage of reviews, either – this month we give our definitive thoughts on Dinosaur Island, Escape the Dark Castle, Altiplano, Transatlantic, Favelas, Dungeon Draft, Kitchen Rush, Elite: Dangerous RPG, Empires, Nusfjord, Time Barons, Coaster Park and many, many more.