Our New Year’s Resolutions: a Conversation


This year I noticed a big trend among the game designers I follow, who all started posting up their resolutions for the new year. Some were really straightforward: play new games, get more people playing, etc. But some were inspiring: make more inclusive games, make games about diversity, that sort of thing. So we thought it would be interesting if we came up with our own New Year’s Resolutions, partly for you, our dear readers, but partly, too, for ourselves, to have a clear outline going into our first full year as a website. So I’ll start:

In 2018, I will publish at least one microgame.


To me, resolutions are about changing behaviors. Non-smokers don’t make, “I’ll quit smoking,” resolutions. I get up every morning at 5:30 AM. I walk the dog and make a pot of coffee for my wife and me. I generally then loaf on the couch and read gaming blogs and G+. I resolve to write three mornings a week instead of loafing.


Changing behaviors, huh… oof, you’re gonna make this more challenging. I have a habit of playing games with the same people, over and over. There’s a reason for this, I love those people, but I do feel like I should also play with others, and that goes along with inviting new people into the hobby. (“Hobby,” at this point, feels like so frail a word.) All right, I resolve to bring in new players from all walks of life–people who have heard of roleplaying games and who haven’t, and especially the disenfranchised. I believe that roleplaying games can be a powerful force for change, and I resolve to put that force to work.


I should probably point out that there is a trio of game publishers trying to make January New Gamemaster Month (https://newgamemastermonth.com/), their attempt to bring new people into the hobby.

Resolution two: targeted reading. I’m lucky and I play a lot of games. I’m often the GM and I regularly run games that I haven’t written, so more often than not I’m reading a published scenario. This is good. To learn how to paint, students study and copy the masters’ paintings. To be a better scenario writer, I’m reading scenarios that are considered standouts in the industry: Horror on the Orient Express, The Temple of Evil, and Rogue Mistress. (Okay, Rogue Mistress isn’t a “standout,” but I like it and think Keith Herber did a bang up job.) But a good writer reads more, she reads outside her field and comfort zone. I resolve to read more of the original stories that formed the Cthulhu Mythos, my primary writing zone of late.


While you’re deepening your reading, it’s important to me to have both a deeper and wider understanding of games, both their narrative and mechanical elements. So I’ll resolve to play in as many new systems as possible, always with my eyes and ears open to how the games are structured.


Finally, I’m going to make a resolution to continue a specific behavior that has worked well for me in 2017. I’m going to continue to make Friday night a date night with my wife. There will be the occasional Friday night game, due to extenuating circumstances with scheduling, but Friday night will be reserved for my lady love and for spending time with her away from the gaming table. I’m very fortunate that she likes to play games, and plays many with us, but there are other activities that we both enjoy as well.


And I’ll make a very different resolution, I think our final for this post: I’m going to make more queer games. Matt, you asked me what that meant a few day ago, and I’m working through it still myself, yet the phrase hasn’t stopped swirling around my head since I thought of it, so I’ll post it here, as one final bonum. Games with queer characters, about queer subjects–we simply need more of them.

Ta for now.


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