Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How Do We Support Creators?

Patreon’s quite sudden change in its fee structure – shifting fees more to patrons than creators, inciting outrage and exodus from both groups – inspired me to not only re-evaluate my own support on Patreon (and my own potential to use it as a creator) but also to look at how we as game consumers support those who design material to inspire us and enhance our games. Patreon isn’t the end-all-be-all means to support creators in the adventure gaming hobby. Sure, it’s a pioneering platform in the ever-changing Internet Age, but I’ve come to regard the interwebzes as a fickle mistress where little if anything remains the same (or reliable) for long. Creators and their patrons have many ways to connect online, both for interaction and appreciation.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Themed Gaming Gift Ideas for Non-Gamers

It’s the holiday gift-giving season again. Goodness knows I’ve rambled on enough over the years about the magic of the holidays, how this is a great time to indulge in fantasy and gaming, and what gifts can best entice non-gamers and kids into gaming. I suppose I just can’t stay away. This year I’m recommending gifts for non-gamers that focus on a theme they enjoy. I’ve discussed the relationship between game mechanics and theme before in “Introducing Newcomers to Games: Theme & Mechanics.” The gist is that, while the turn sequence, player choices, interaction mechanics, and other systems of play are just as important in providing an entertaining game experience, often just getting new players to the table requires an enticing theme. “Do you want to play a game where you fly X-wings against TIE fighters?” sounds a lot better than “Do you want to play a starship miniatures game with maneuvers, special combat attacks, and upgraded ship abilities?” So I’ve perused my library shelves for board games I own or have played with interesting themes appealing to fans of certain genres. Most of these buck my past recommendations: they’re not necessarily the best games for introducing newcomers to gaming; few are kid-friendly; and the price points often soar past the $25 threshold a past “survey” indicated is the optimum cost of games to risk as gifts for non-gamers. Few of these are ideal starter games for newcomers to the adventure gaming hobby, so if you give them as gifts, expect to take the lead in introducing them to the rules through an actual game. I’ve listed them according to which fans might most enjoy each recommendation: