When I got started with board game writing, it was as part of a group blog called Gone Gaming, which lasted from 2005-2007. As 2007 came to an end, we decided to close up the blog. This was my final article for Gone Gaming, which was largely an ode to the blog.
After the days of Gone Gaming, I moved on, first to Board Game News (RIP), then to Board Game Info (RIP). At that point, I decided it was best to have my own blog, which I could control. I’ve since been transferring all my old gaming posts to this singular location … including this one, even if it’s a bit less gaming relevant than most. But, read on for some of my notes about writing and gaming in 2007. —SA, 12/29/14
It’s two and a half years now since Coldfoot sent me an email asking if I’d like to contribute to a new group boardgaming blog that he was putting together. I’ll admit to being a bit passive aggressive about that initial invite, because I was feeling very busy at the time.
I was very pleased in late 2007 when Knucklebones magazine commissioned me to write not one but two articles for their May 2008 issue. I was less pleased several months later when it became clear the Knucklebones had ceased publication … and positively bitter a bit later when I started to hear rumors that these articles had been commissioned to aid in the sale of the magazine — though my editor said that wasn’t actually the case when I queried her.
One of the worst things that can happen to an author is to have a finished work sitting around, unpublished. Sure, I love to get paid for my writing, but I love even more to have my writing read by others. Unfortunately, My May 2008 Knucklebones articles sat around for a long, long time. My editor at Knucklebones convinced me to leave the articles with her for a whole year and a half, saying that the magazine was going to be relaunched and/or sold, and so the articles would eventually be published.
They never were.
Seven years after I wrote those unpublished articles, I’m collecting all the boardgame writing that I own into a single web site, and so you can now to read my primer on roleplaying for board game readers for the first time. There’s one other unpublished article, on Atlas Games, which will appear in the January 2008 archives. —SA, 1/12/15
Role-Playing Games: A Primer
In early 1974, Tactical Studies Rules — who would later become known as TSR Hobbies — published an innovative new game named Dungeons & Dragons. Authored by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, it was the earliest public release of an entirely new type of entertainment, the role-playing game (or RPG). Continue reading
In a mass-market game, that wasn’t really much of a question, because in Monopoly, Scrabble, Chess, or any number of other traditionals, the answer was always obvious: the next player.
However, as games continue to evolve, adding on new levels of complexity, the answer is becoming more difficult, and the question of who goes next isn’t always so obvious. Continue reading