A Grown-up Game Business

Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Business, Publishing, The Work | 2 Comments

On Facebook recently, my friend Miranda Horner — an accomplished game editor who works primarily on Dungeons & Dragons for Wizards of the Coast — posted this: I want my chosen industry, the tabletop gaming industry, to be so successful overall that it can afford to take people away from the computer gaming industry instead of […]

The Mariachi Metaphor

Posted by on Mar 31, 2011 in Business, Social Games | No Comments

Yesterday I read the most intelligent and least douchy thing I’ve ever read about making money from free-to-play games, in an interview with social game designer Brenda Brathwaite: Brathwaite explains [her studio’s] approach to monetization with a metaphor: A lone mariachi playing a song on one side of the street and someone asking for money on […]

We Don't Tell Stories Anymore

Posted by on Feb 21, 2011 in Business, Movies, Story | One Comment

Over the weekend, Will threw up a tweet pointing to a relatively short GQ piece called “The Day the Movies Died.” It laments Hollywood’s apparent wall-to-wall dismissal of Inception‘s critical and commercial success. [I]t’s really bad news when the industry essentially rejects a success, when a movie that should have spawned two dozen taste-based gambles […]

DIY Catan

Posted by on Feb 10, 2011 in Board Games, Business | 2 Comments

Brett Myers tweeted a link to a blog post examining the legal questions surrounding the recent availability of files for 3D-printing your own Settlers of Catan components. The analysis’s short answer: This probably does not violate any laws. Should this be illegal? Probably not. If this were illegal, it’s hard to know how the law […]


Posted by on Feb 8, 2011 in Business, Design, Video Games | 3 Comments

Daniel Clark blogged at Lostgarden recently about the Declaration of Game Designer Independence. More interesting still is the unfiltered Project Horseshoe group report that includes and precedes the Declaration. It advocates—among other things—a certification board for game designers as an alternative to a guild or union. Worth reading.

Steve Long on Licensed RPGs

Posted by on Jan 13, 2011 in Business, Design, Licensing, RPGs | 11 Comments

The Indie Press Revolution blog posted an op-ed piece by Steve Long about licensed RPGs yesterday. You should read it. Steve argues that in the last decade the tabletop roleplaying hobby as a whole has been creatively diminished by the tendency of publishers to produce licensed games rather than creating new settings for their games. […]

Con-going Advice

Posted by on Jul 30, 2010 in Business, Conventions | 3 Comments

Gen Con is next week, so the advice for attendees is going around. The best advice I’ve ever read about convention attendance comes from Derek Sivers, who’s not a gamer (as far as I know). Even so, his advice on how to attend a music conference is also the best advice I’ve ever read for […]


Posted by on Jul 28, 2010 in Business, Design, Publishing | One Comment

Craig Mod has written a profoundly beautiful and informative essay, “Kickstartup,” about how—and why—he used Kickstarter to republish his book Art Space Tokyo after it had fallen out of print. If you read nothing else this week, Craig’s essay deserves your time. He has achieved and effectively communicated what’s frankly profound insight about using Kickstarter […]

Do Game Designers Need an Organization?

Posted by on Apr 2, 2010 in awards, Business | 12 Comments

You’ve seen, probably, the recently released list of Origins Awards nominees for games released in 2009. I dig the Origins Awards. Congratulations to all of the fine nominees, many of whom are Friends of Gameplaywright. The Origins Awards are given annually by a body called the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design. The Academy […]

Arguing with the Line Editor

Posted by on Mar 9, 2010 in Business, RPGs | 11 Comments

Being a tabletop RPG’s line developer is an interesting job. It involves work that draws on diverse disciplines not frequently united in the same person. A good line developer has top-shelf creative chops, both in-the-trenches writing and editing abilities as well as long-term vision for a whole line of creative works. A line developer must […]