“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
This week’s post is up a little early, since we’re observing a fun little thing called Creator Appreciation Day. You can find the full “decree” HERE, but the basic idea is to share some love for the creators who’ve inspired and continue to inspire us to produce. Activities like this can be a little challenging when you’re honest with yourself, because there’s just so many creators out there that really set fires and improve our quality of life. It’s hard to whittle the list down to three, even when we limit ourselves only to the living. To try and make the task more manageable this time, I’ve decided to focus on a few who have helped me transform Past Go Gaming & Geeking from a tiny blog with zero subscribers into a developing small business. In no particular order, here are three of them:
The Brawling Brothers Boardgaming Podcast
LINK TO THEIR WEBSITE
There’s ten thousand podcasts out there about the boardgaming hobby alone, but Josh and Brandon of the Brawlin’ Bros. stand out among the best. Truthfully, I was averse to listen to their show for awhile, because the average episode is round about 2 hours, and my drive time to work (a.k.a. “designated podcast listening time”) is only about 30 minutes at the most). However, I gave it a shot, and I’m glad I did. For those of you in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas, you may be familiar with the Mark & Brian show on 95.5 KLOS. I used to listen to that show all the time on my “walkman” (remember those?) at school and then in my first car. Josh and Brandon remind me of those great radio shows. Their production quality is high, their energy is high, and while there is a boardgaming theme, the focus of the show is really more about being silly and cutting up with your buddies. The camaraderie these two share really shows through. And then on top of it all, this show is one of my primary resources for keeping up to date on the gaming hobby/industry. So thanks very much, Brawling Brothers. Keep up the good work.
Randy Hoyt & Foxtrot Games
LINK TO THEIR WEBSITE
As stated on their site, “Foxtrot Games is an independent board game publisher committed to publishing engaging, beautiful, and approachable board games. The company is owned and operated by Randy Hoyt and Tyler Segel.” I have much respect for the quality and theme of the designs that the people at Foxtrot put out. They really care to make interesting and unique games—games that don’t easily fit into any of the same old tired genres. And though I love wargames and war-themed games, I respect that Foxtrot’s position is to stay away from this kind of thing in their own product line, keeping their brand pure. Beyond this, Randy writes an incredibly helpful blog series on the ins and outs of independent design and publishing, and he is extremely approachable for questions and advice. Randy and his writings have been absolutely instrumental in teaching me how to get my designs (specifically Sans Alliés) off my living room floor and into the public eye. Along with Jamey Stegmeier of Stonemaier Games and his thorough blog on Kickstarter advice, I owe Randy a great debt in the development of my own independent board game company.
LINK TO THEIR WEBSITE
Just as I have my “designated podcast listening time,” so too I have my “designated blog reading hour.” I probably subscribe to twenty different blogs at this point, ranging from board games and RPGs to comics and movies and even to weightlifting (even though I’m about as far from a weightlifter as you can get). Creaking Shelves is one of my favorites, especially in helping me grow my business, because it’s helpful and concise. They’ve got a “Quick Reads” section for basic first impressions, and believe me: I really like my blogs to be relatively quick reads. Then there’s a more thorough game reviews section, which, like the Brawling Brothers Podcast, helps keep me apprised of a wide range of new and different games that I might not have the time to play. But perhaps my favorite offering by the Creaking Shelves folks is their segment called “Kickstart Your Week,” where they feature some of their favorite Kickstarter projects in their final week or two of campaigning. This is really helpful to me because I just don’t care to struggle through the search-and-filter process on the Kickstarter main site (there’s a LOT to trudge through), but I do try to back at least one project every month, so I am always on the lookout for projects that I think are really innovative or deserving. Creaking Shelves does the hard work for me and serves these projects up on a platter once a week.
So that’s basically it for this round of Creator Appreciation Day. A list of three falls very short of all the ten thousand influences, motivators, and teachers in my life, but it’s a start. I fully encourage you to check out all three of these creative groups, and feel free to spread the love by sharing this post and/or their respective sites. I also encourage you to participate in Creator Appreciation Day as well, even if you don’t go into something as massive as a full-length blog article like this. Social media sharing is what it’s all about, so give your favorites a bit o’ recognition on Facebook, Twitter, whatever. Until next time…
Namaste and happy gaming!
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