My 2016 Christmas List

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Ah, what is Christmas if not a time for traditions? This season¬†gives me the chance to ruminate on the games published in the last year or so and decide on which I would like to own. By now, I’ve iterated many times how I don’t buy board games.

The newest board game in my collection, I believe, is Arkwright, which I traded Capstone Games for at Gen Con with a copy of Forge War read more…

2nd Annual Cephalofair Awards for BGG Con 2016

Cephalofair Awards

And the Cephalofair Awards are finally back from a hiatus! After going to a number of conventions to work and not really play games, I was finally able to attend a great and glorious convention where most of my time was spent enjoying people’s company and beating them at Euro games. I did end up running six Gloomhaven demos, each lasting about two or two and a half hours, but the rest of it, from Wednesday morning to Sunday afternoon, was me time. read more…

Time for Another National Novel Writing Month

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Well, it’s that time of year again. The orange-colored candy in the supermarket makes way for pumpkin-related paraphernalia, and I find myself with a desire to write. Last year I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo for the first time because I was under a lot of pressure to get all the story text for the Gloomhaven scenarios written, and I needed some motivation to get it done.

I didn’t get it all done, but the process was still helpful, and I felt I succeeded in my task, despite falling short of the 50,000-word goal read more…

My experience at Essen Spiel

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So here we are, roughly three days since the halls of Essen closed and everyone went back to their normal lives. It took me a day and a half to get back to my life in Indiana and then another day and a half or so to physically recover and answer all the emails that had piled up since I left. At this point, I think I’m finally ready to talk about my experience.

In one sense, it was really great. I met so many fans and Kickstarter backers, and everyone was very impressed with the game and so excited to see it and talk to me read more…

The Endless Adventure

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As production finishes up for Gloomhaven, I find myself returning to the game to complete some unfinished business. It has always been my plan to release some extra content for the game online once it is finally released, but that day has been so far off for so long, those plans seemed perpetually stuck in the back of my mind.

As the release of Gloomhaven grows ever nearer, however, it looks like I should actually put in the time to get the extra content finished and make it special.

One of the main reasons I want to provide additional content for a game that already has a stupid amount of content is that I still feel beholden to my backers and supporters. We raised almost $400,000 during the Kickstarter for Gloomhaven, constantly unlocking crazy stretch goals, but in the year since then (I know, it’s been a year…), I’ve received over $100,000 in additional pre-orders. It seems to me that that is deserving of at least one more massive stretch goal.

Equally important, though, is my hope that releasing more content for Gloomhaven digitally will encourage other people to do the same. It’s the same reason I ran the contests for fan-made scenarios during the Kickstarter. I wanted people to see how easy it was to pick up the game system and run with it in new directions, either within the campaign world or in an entirely different world of their own creation.

I really hope Gloomhaven will attract a vibrant, creative community that will come up with stuff I never imagined. I think I was the right person to build the system, but I will be the first to tell you that there are better story-tellers out there than me. I think people will be pleased with the campaign and the world I created, but the systems full potential has yet to be explored creatively.

Of course, there are some inherent issues in releasing digital content. Gloomhaven is not a video game after all. It is a physical product, and its physicality is a large part of its charm. When I offer you a PDF of new item cards you can download and print out, there’s no way they’re going to look the same as the item cards that came in the box. Since you don’t have to randomize your items at any point, the difference isn’t game-breaking, but it can still be disappointing.

In the grand scheme of things, what I’d like to do is, after a year or so, possibly round up all my favorite digital content for the game, and actually get it professionally printed as a mini expansion. As for bigger expansions to Gloomhaven, well, that’s a discussion for another time.

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