Design Article Jul 4, 2013

It’s Design Article Thursday, and I wanted to begin this weekly feature by digging a little more in depth about the purpose of GameDesignerChronicles.com. That story begins some time ago.

I’ve always been interested in game design and gaming. At just a few years of age I designed “Follow the Trail”, a roll-and-move fiasco that required travelling down a 1000-square track 1d6 at a time – all drawn in pencil on the back of a paper grocery bag. Thankfully it was all uphill from there. I designed thousands of games in my school years, filling hundreds of notebooks. Most games were never played by anyone but myself – and quite fairly most were poorly designed customizable card games.

My first forays into the gaming industry were in 2001. During the boom years of CCGs I operated a web-store (Bob’s Quality Cards) selling cases and singles of popular titles (Magic, Star Wars, Star Trek, LOTR). I also built and operated a website (CardMarket.net – no longer operating, but you can see an archive here) to facilitate online trading of CCG cards.

In early 2006 I launched RoleplayMarket.com, a play-by-post roleplaying website. It has been running successfully for seven years now and still has a sizeable active user base (though it is in desperate need of updates and a graphic design facelift).

Life and work caught up with me. Feeding eight kids is expensive, and I’m not a 9-to-5 job kinda guy. I was forced to put my gaming interests aside and focus on building an income to support my family. Recently, I have seen some success in that endeavor and spare time is slowly re-entering my life (hooray for no more 16 hour days!). Outside of CCGs I was really unaware of the wonderful world of modern board games. I moved to a larger town two years ago and stumbled across a group of college students who exposed me to all kinds of new favorites.

In mid-April of this year (2013) I began to look into what it would take to pursue game design in a more professional capacity. My creative side had been long neglected and the new wave of enthusiasm for this hobby seemed like the perfect opportunity to “get back in the game”. I quickly realized that board game design wasn’t just about creating an interesting game. It was about building relationships. From that, the idea for GameDesignerChronicles.com was born. I wanted to record my journey into game design, but even more I wanted to hear your journey. I wanted to share and collaborate together. Learn from those with more experience in a topic and teach those with less. I wanted to work together with others to help each other create really great games and have fun playing them.

I have to admit, I’ve been blown away by the board game community. There’s a great group of designers, publishers, podcasters, and bloggers all eager to share their experience and help each other out. I’m thankful to all of you who have shared what you know to make this community better, and I look forward to meeting more of you as time goes on. I hope GameDesignerChronicles.com can add to that community and complement what is already here.

I’m eager to hear about your journey. Contact me via social networks using one of the “Follow” links to the right, leave a comment, or e-mail me at pidgepot@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

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