Alright, the last day of the year isn’t that Apocalyptic, but there was a New Year’s Eve in 1991 that was pretty damn awesome…I think, anyways. As we start to think about the year that was, and look forward to the year that will be, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for being a reader. I started writing this blog on a whim in early November, something that was spurred on specifically from my first experience being involved in the hobby. Just prior, I decided to pitch an idea for an article to Casual Game Revolution, who publish the magazine, Casual Game Insider. The article is about avoiding rules headaches when teaching games. Not just the teaching part, but the art that kept new gamers from being overwhelmed. With a bit of discussion to ensure it didn’t overlap with previous articles, they gave it a green light and I set out to try to differentiate it from other, similar articles.
One thing I wanted to do was get input from people inside the industry; find out what their thoughts were around the art of explaining game rules. I wanted to speak with publishers, convention organizers, designers, podcasters, and other enthusiasts.
I sent quite a few emails, expecting to hear back from, well anyone hopefully. What happened was almost everyone responded, and they were all more than happy to speak with me. In short, the response was a tad overwhelming and spoke volumes about the kind of people who enjoy, and are involved, in this hobby. It was a grand experience, and the result is an article that will appear in the 2015 Winter issue (Street date is approximately January 10th) of Casual Game Insider. Check Barnes and Noble, your local game shop, or click here to subscribe.
As I alluded earlier, that experience spurred me to create this blog. Before I started on the article, I hadn’t written much of anything for a number of years. Nothing coherent, at least. Well, I had a brief and rather unsuccessful attempt at a blog a few years prior, but that really boiled down to a lack of discipline on my part and in the end, only one of my other personalities realized that it wasn’t being updated anymore. So my goal for creating this blog was a bit of an early New Year’s resolution in itself; put something out there regularly, and have fun doing it. I could say that I didn’t expect anyone to read it, but I think it would be more accurate that I didn’t set solid expectations or goals about growing readership. Regular content and writing was the real end-game. The response has been really positive and I have had over 1100 views since my first post on November 8th, 2014. It is honestly about 1017 more than I expected in this time frame. Again, it says a lot about the people in and around the hobby. The willingness to check out what someone else is doing and pass it along if they like it.
All this has driven me to create some game related goals and resolutions for the New Year. Plus, there are a few things regarding the blog that may be of interest to you as well. Will you adopt any of these? Let me know. Have yourself a Happy New Year.
1. Once I hear the New Year’s chimes, I will start 10 games for 10 times: BoardGameGeek user SilvaShado started the Play 10 Games 10 Times Each challenge in 2014 (Click here for the 2015 challenge) as a way to combat the cult of the new and encourage digging into the strategy of a game by committing to playing it multiple times. I unofficially started this challenge and subsequently failed miserably. This year I am on it from day one.
2. I will learn about someone else’s hobby: As a hobby, board gamers are stalwart in their attempt to promote the hobby and encourage other people to try modern board gaming. This year, I will make a concentrated effort to pay it forward by not only learning about someone else’s hobby, but participate in it. Man, I hope it’s macrame’. I love hanging ferns.
3. I will eat healthier at game night (except for Gwarkoni-Con): I am diabetic. While I do a mostly admirable job of working out regularly and eating healthy, game nights for me are about as stereotypical as it gets. There is something about gummy bears, Red Vine’s – small diameter are better than the tree trunks, pizza (intentionally third), and other assorted goodies that seem to fall in place when a board hits the table. Not this year. As a family we are going to do a better job of shopping local, eating healthier, and setting a good example for our kids. This will carry over to game night as well. *sigh* Goodbye Red Vines…
4. Come Hell or high water, I will play D&D 5th edition: My Mom bought me the red box in 1981 and my life was changed forever. It’s been over a year since my dice have hit the table and the pencil struck paper. I love what I have read so far of the new rules, but the cost of entry in relation to time is huge for RPG’s and modern board game design has enabled a satisfying role-playing experience compacted into 2 hour sessions. Still, nothing will take the place of D&D and my oldest daughter has been asking to playing again. 2015 is the year I will dust off the old dwarf personae.
1. More Content: Actually, WordPress wouldn’t let me post this without committing to more content.
2. Guest Columnists: In all seriousness to the above goal, you will see some more content, both from me as well as a guest or two. The dogged pursuit of Roll and Groove will expand out a bit and you may see some content pertaining to comics in the near future. Interested in contributing? Shoot me a message and pitch me an idea.
3. New Logo/T-shirts: While I really like the current logo in all it’s simplicity, I have had something in mind for a while that has my fancy. I made a mental note that when 1000 people took a gander at the site, I would work up a new logo. I figured that would buy me about a year or so. Thanks to you fine readers, we have well crossed that line. The old one will stick around, but look for a groovy new one to adorn some t-shirts in 2015