Dijkstra & Van Dijk playing Targui

How Targui was developed

About 30 years ago, Ben van Dijk and Wil Dijkstra were students at the Technical University of Delft (in The Netherlands). They became friends, partly because of there common interest in playing games. They not only played existing games, but also developed variations of, for example, Stratego and Monopoly.

Ben van Dijk became an architect in Delft, whereas Wil Dijkstra became researcher and teacher at the Free University of Amsterdam. Despite their busy lifes, they always found time for playing games. And always they had the wish to develop a completely new game themselves. Just the theme was missing. But the idea about a theme came in 1981 when they undertook a journey of some months through the Sahara with their two Landrovers and accompanied by their wives and children.

The journey went through Tunesia, Algeria and Niger. In the evening, at the campfire, in the complete silence of the endless desert, originated the idea for a new game. The starting points were both the way of life of the proud nomads, the Touareg, and the ever changing landscape of the desert: because of the wind sanddunes move slowly from one place to another. In the desert there are not only sanddunes, but also mountains, oases, saltlakes, saltmines, settlements, and so on. All these elements were combined into an original game concept.

They planned to work out this concept after the journey and to develop a playable game. Because of other duties, it took more than two years, before they started the development. Then it appeared that developing an exciting game was far from simple. It took hundreds of hours of hard work in the evening and at night, before they were satisfied. The game was played with friends and family and was constantly improved. And they were adviced to show the game to a game manufacturer, which wasn't the original intention. To this end a marvelously designed prototype was made. This prototype was shown to JUMBO who reacted with great enthousiasm. In 1988 the game was presented in Nurnberg.

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