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    Most recently, ABBYY moved to a new office. This was, of course, the largest move in the history of the company, because the number of employees is growing every day. The process went very smoothly: on day X, all things were neatly packed in special boxes, which some ABBYY people had up to 5 pieces of. But at one of the loaders' jobs there was a surprise in the form of 30 such boxes.
    A collection belonging to my colleagues was carefully packed in them. Moreover, not all, but only part, because the owners transported the most valuable items on their own.

    Meet Maxim Kalenkov ( mkal ), a programmer and co-owner of a collection of more than 300 board games. He will tell you what games are popular with our employees, when they manage to play them, and how this hobby began.

    “How long have you been collecting all this?” Do you remember how it all began? Which game was bought first?

    From 1.5 to 2.5 years. In my opinion, the initiators were our employees from among the programmers Timur and Dima. Timur brought the “Colonialists”, Dima - “Civilization”, and then it’s already gone ... At some point they ordered a huge game, “Twilight of the Empire”, then I joined the players.

    - Tell me, where and how often do you play?

    We meet every Saturday, except holidays, because many people leave. Usually we play in the dining room, it happens that in the meeting room. We sit for 6-9 hours. Previously, when they gathered irregularly, they did the newsletter, but now we write only if the meeting is canceled. Sometimes we have time to play some quick game over tea.

    - How long does each game take?

    Well, there are different games. Now there is a tendency to reduce party time. For example, “Twilight of the Empire” takes from 8 to 16 hours, and those games that have been released recently have a format from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours per game.

    - Mostly on the shelves of the game of foreign manufacturers. Why is this so?

    Several times I bought games that were released from us under a license, and there were always some problems either with the bundling or with the quality of the translation. In addition, we publish very few games. Interesting ones started to appear quite recently, and earlier only the most popular ones were available: “Colonizers”, “Carcassonne”, “Cow 006”, “Monopoly” - this is a classic with which everyone usually starts. Well, as for some of their developments, they do not stand up to criticism in comparison with Western games.

    - By what criteria do you choose games?

    We prefer strategies where the game is based on competition between players and you need to constantly make difficult decisions, figure out situations, make choices, and sometimes bluff. The exact opposite is Monopoly. Everything is primitive in it. You roll the dice, you go, and you have practically no choice: either you buy something, or you don’t buy. Very little depends on the players here, it’s for children, in fact. It is characteristic of children's games that almost everything depends on luck. This is done so that children can play with adults and not lose much to them, so as not to lose interest in the game, because it is very important for them to win. And in adult games, almost everything depends on the players; there are games in which there is no chance at all. Actually, I almost never met similar Russian games.

    - Do you play corporate parties?

    Here at the last celebration of March 8, we were asked to organize a small game library. Although usually do not play. A bit of a different event format. We like to play thoughtfully, in a relaxed atmosphere.

    - Can you name your favorite games?

    This is pretty tricky. Tastes change: every month or two a new game appears, which for a while becomes a favorite. In principle, when such a large collection, it is difficult to choose, because there are many genres, and each has a game that you like more than others, and games of different genres are generally impossible to compare. Here is “Twilight of the Empire” - a large-scale epic game in which there is almost everything, but it is very long. Or Roboralli is very funny and we like that it is about programming.

    - Are all the games easy to get or are there some rare ones?

    Games that have been published in the last 10 years, you can buy almost everything. There are three to four major publishers; they release 90% of all games and support their availability. But there are games that are very difficult to get. For example, the games of the publishing house Avalon Hill. After its ruin, they were reprinted only 1 time, but at some point we managed to buy, because they were sold from old stocks for a very long time. And now, once a month, one copy appears on Ebay and sells for $ 100-150. In Russia, for such a price they can only be bought by maniacs. Well, for example, of the rare ones we have the Nexus Ops, even two copies.

    - Tell me, what is the most expensive game in your collection?

    In general, the average price of a standard-sized game is from 1,500 to 2,500 rubles, if you count it with delivery from America. Most expensive? Hard to tell. Recently, the publisher releases a game for $ 30, and then once a month publishes an extension for it for 10, in the end, if you like the game, you buy all these extensions, and it costs $ 50-70. If you count one box without extensions, then the most expensive ones are probably Starcraft and Planet Steam - they cost about 3,000-3500 rubles with delivery. We have several games for which there are five extensions, but I am not ready now to say how much they cost. Usually, if a game costs more than $ 70, then we don’t buy it, because these are some collection editions that are not of particular interest. If the game is really good, then it will be published in large quantities,

    Natalya Varkhacheva
    ABBYY Russia

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