Published on March 2nd, 2016 | by Nicole Jekich2
State of the Board 2016 & Happy Birthday to Us!
3 Years of Across The Board Games!
It is easy to miss just how our much our site has grown over the past three years…but then something like this shows up on your doorstep to remind you:
On March 24th Luke and I will be celebrating our third year of running Across The Board Games. We started this website in 2o13 to be a place where we could talk about games and especially build a positive community for people who are passionate about games. We also wanted to show our support for indie games and designers by reviewing, previewing and sharing Kickstarter campaigns. March will be a time of reflection, celebration and welcoming a whole new year of games to play and opportunities to expand our growing community.
We’ll be hitting the Seattle convention scene starting in March as part of playtestNW and the first conventions on our list is Norwescon (March 24-27) and Emerald City Comic Con (April 7-10) as both volunteers and game designers. We have a number of tables that will be dedicated for playtesting games all convention-long from local designers. playtestNW is a growing community that encourages game designers of all levels to bring their prototypes, play their game with playtesters and collect feedback to improve their game. As a bonus, playtesters who come out and support designers have the opportunity to win new copies of great games that have been generously donated by local Seattle game stores and indie game companies. It is a great group of people and we love being able to directly support game designers looking to make their game a reality.
In addition, Luke and I will be on a panel at ECCC with fellow gamers, designers and creators on Saturday, April 9th at 3:45pm. This panel will specifically focus on Building a Tabletop Playtest Community. Come to the panel, learn about community building and say hi!
Opportunities Come with a Price…Lots of Emails
Over the last 3 years, AtBG has grown in popularity and we’ve seen an increased number of game review requests and contacts from designers. I can happily say that we have reviewed 70+ indie games on our site and established lasting relationships with these designers and companies. Thank you everyone for all your support and for spreading the word about AtBG.
Saying Luke and I have been busy since January is a grave understatement. With our time split between a couple day jobs, community building, playing games, writing articles, reviewing Kickstarters, and trying to make our first game (Food Truck Frenzy!) we haven’t had much time for the ever-growing stack of emails. I originally thought everything would work itself out and I could easily find the time between these jobs to get to all the emails and all the game review requests we received. I was wrong. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to have it all. That is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I appreciate your patience as we get through all our emails and requests.
Want to Make Sure We See Your Game?
The best way to get your Kickstarter game or upcoming shared on our social media or covered on AtBG is to have all your ducks in a row before hitting that send button. We lose precious time trying search and track down information for submitted games to even see if this is a game we want to cover. For example, I’m less likely to respond to an email if I receive a review request and the name and description of the game is nowhere in the email. A great email for us would have:
- Name of the game and brief description
- Link to the game’s website or company page (not a BGG page please)
- Links to all social media where we can follow your updates
- A couple preview images of the game
- A link to the game rules
- The date of your Kickstarter campaign or when your game is available for people to buy
The easier you make that information about your game available, the easier it is for us to share your game. Also Luke and I prefer tabletop games with a strong theme and story tied with interesting game mechanics. We are artists and animators by trade so if you have a game that appeals to our love of stories or beautiful art you are welcome to exploit these biases.
So Here’s Our 2016 Plan:
As of now, Across The Board Games is drastically limiting our Kickstarter game reviews until we can a) have more time for reviews b) get caught up on delayed reviews and/or c) add more staff to AtBG to share the reviewing load. The growing Kickstarter market is astounding and the two of us are just not able to play and review all the requests that we receive including games that we want to play.
We have many games still in our review queue and even games we backed on Kickstarter that haven’t come off the shelf. We are taking the next couple months to get through these games we’ve ignored and get our prototype games together for the convention season. If you have already organized a review of your game from Luke or myself we will still be fulfilling those requests.
Luke and I have decided that to keep our dedication to Kickstarter game coverage we will be launching a weekly Kickstarter article which will showcase a small number of campaigns. This new article segment is similar to our previous “Kickstarter Updates” but will launch on a weekly basis and will have a snazzy new title: called “Fund It Friday!” to avoid any confusion.
The second part of our plan is to return to our website’s community mission. Luke and I want to get back to writing more creative content, not just churning out reviews, that are more informative and inspiring. We also want to talk more about community building, gaming trends and our personal stories revolving around games. We want this year of Across The Board Games to be all about creating and making things and continuing to share our passion for games with you all.
I want to thank everyone who has support AtBG over the years! We couldn’t have grown this much without your support and we look forward to another year filled to the brim with games.