Happy new year everyone and welcome to 2017, Year 2 of The Crafty Players blog and podcast. We’re going to do a small review of our first year, and where we hope to go from here, in episode 9 of the podcast. But for now, Emmet and Paddy have made some gaming resolutions for 2017. Let’s see what they are!
I’m not really one for resolutions as I find that if I drop or fail them I just say “Ah well, maybe next year!”. However, I know that this year will be a very busy year both in work and at home so to avoid just letting myself lounge around on the couch I wanted to take a leaf from Paddy’s book and set myself some targets for this year to stay motivated.
So there’s a popular “10 x 10” challenge that floats around BoardGameGeek and /r/Boardgames every now and then. The idea is often touted to help people curtail spending and involves playing 10 games from your collection 10 times each. Now that seems pretty daunting to me so I’m going for a “5 x 5”, and try to play 5 of my games 5 times each. If I achieve that I’ll either create a brand new 5 x 5 list, go to 5 x 10, or, if I’m feeling crazy, go for the full 10 x 10.The games, and reasons for choosing them, are below
- Alchemists: This is one of my absolute favourite games but I’ve only played it a handful of times, normally with months in between. The infrequency leds to me having to re-read the rules and drags the game down. I aim to eliminate that! Plus there’s a lovely new expansion out so I can confuse myself with even more rules.
- Descent: Journeys in the Dark: We had a good run at this but due to our expectations going in as role-players I don’t think we gave it a fair shout. I want to play this more and remove the weight of a campaign to see how much I enjoy it. Plus the new companion app means it’s playable solo and purely co-op rather than many vs one!
- Pillars of Eternity – Lords of the Eastern Reach: We had a great time the first time I got this to the table, but it hasn’t been seen since! I’m hopeful about the potential systems and combinations that could emerge after multiple plays.
- X-Wing: I bought two starter sets of X-Wing last year but so far have only managed a single game. This is another that I really enjoy that deserves more love.
- Fury of Dracula: I am determined to get this game down to less than 4 hours! This is probably the most likely to naturally hit 5 plays but I still wanted to include it. It’s such a big beautiful undead beast and I want to see what stories are created from playing more games. Plus I haven’t even played as the hunters yet!
Last year, after years of telling myself “Gee, I sure would love to release my own adventures for D&D some day”, I finally did it. The Graveyard Shift has seen 500+ downloads to date and has facilitated guilt-free D&D product purchases so all in all I’m very happy with my first self-published adventure. This year I’ve set myself the goal of publishing 4 separate adventures and then bundling those together for the DriveThruRPG Christmas sale next year. I have a meaty chunk of the first adventure completed (which I’ve talked about before and outlines for the other three.
My aim is to release the next adventure by the end of February and then subsequent adventures every three months after. To me this seems very realistic but I’m sure life will find a way of slowing me down. Well bring it on Life! Creating and writing adventures is something I love doing, and it’s something I do in my spare time anyway so I’m excited to set myself this challenge and to see what happens.
You may remember in early December I wrote a post about using the development of positive habits as the fuel for my board game budget. I’m still moving ahead with that and trying to put together a board that I can track things on. But it’s proving to be a big challenge to stop it making like a bunch of boxes to be ticked, so I’m tracking it on paper for now.
Having said that, following Emmet’s lead, there are a few things specifically within gaming that I would love to achieve this year. Like Emmet, they fall into a playing and creating category, with a small wish at the end.
In the grand scheme of things, my collection isn’t that big, currently 61 games (not including expansions, but they’re few and far between). But there’s somewhere between 15 and 20 games in there that haven’t been brought to the table with Emmet and our group, not to mention another handful of Kickstarter projects due to deliver this year. My aim in 2017 is to get most of these to the table! I want to slow my rate of acquisition, and focus more on playing what I have. I’m also thinking to spend money on games I already have and love, perhaps by buying inserts or custom meeples. I think this will give me the board game buying endorphin rush without buying new games!
When we started the blog, we said we didn’t want it to change how we play games, or let the need for content impact the group. I feel like I did let it affect me, but frequently playing the or purchasing games to be able to talk about the newest, hottest items. Now, I’m going to wrest control back, play what I want, and spend more time with the games I have, and hopefully explore something new in these games I never knew existed before.
In the creating category, I’m aiming to get three board game designs to such a stage to enter them in the Cardboard Edison Award at the end of January next year. I already have two designs in the works which I’m hoping to enter this year, but the three for next year have to be completely new, as of 2017! I’ve come up with one idea already that needs to be prototyped to see if it has legs. A year may seem like a long time to work on this, but my game design process is…slow!
Finally, my wish. I’ve played some games in my time that resolve things with the roll of single d6. Even when there’s abilities, items and other ways to mitigate the randomness, or to increase the chances of getting the desired result, I really loathe this mechanic. My wish for 2017 is to see this mechanic disappear, for board game designers to come up with more engaging, original ways to determine the outcomes of actions. I will never use rolling a single d6 to determine in outcomes in one of my own designs, I promise you that!
So there you have it, Emmet and Paddy’s gaming resolutions for 2017! Have you set yourself some gaming goals? Will you do a 10×10 challenge? Or work on your own game design and hope to get it published? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter, our Facebook page or on our Instagram.