The primary difference was in fewer different tactical and strategic games (board, card, and miniatures games), from 30 and 26 in previous years to 18 in 2017. And for this I blame: Gloomhaven. We played that game so much since we got it in February 2017! If I tracked hours spent per game instead of just game titles, we would see a very different pie chart.
On the narrative game front (role-playing games, story games, and live-action role-playing), we were on the rise again: from 32 in 2015 and only 21 in 2016, to 26 in 2017. The main reason was more presence at conventions: we went to KublaCon in May, and I was able to play more games at Big Bad Con because I had more energy. I also started running games again. Of these 26 games, I ran 8, or 31%: The Warren, Monster of the Week, Spooky Fun! (playtesting a Fate Horror setting), Over the Edge 2e (playtest), Fate Accelerated: Loose Threads, Alas for the Awful Sea, Blue Rose Fantasy AGE RPG, and Fairies (a homebrew for a friend’s young daughter.)
Some 23 of these different games (52%) were new to me, I had never played them before 2017. And of these new games, 7 were playtests (30% of the new games or 16% of the year’s total.) Only 5 (11%) included at least one woman or enby among the designers (Hayley Gordon, Vee Hendro, Renee Knipe, Anna Kreider, Tara Zuber, and myself) ; I remain unable to properly track other minority types. I keep being disappointed by that stat, and at Big Bad Con I ran only games that included women or enby designers, in an effort to get them better known.
I also rated each game subjectively, from 1 to 5 stars:
- Among the 21 games I had played before, the average rating was 4.0 — no surprise there — with my favourites being Fate Accelerated played in the Loose Threads Fate World, and Sentinels of the Multiverse, each scoring 5 stars.
- Among the 23 new games, the average was nearly as high, 3.9; my favourite new games were Gloomhaven, Spirit Island, Relicblade, and Alas for the Awful Sea, each rating 5 stars, and I did not end up playing warranting anything less than a 3. That’s pretty good for new games!
I played with a total of 80 different people, 44 of which were new to me (55%.) The higher number compared to the previous year’s 46 different people (with 21 new) reflects my improving health which allowed me more contacts and more convention gaming.
- Of these 80 people, 31 (39%) identified as women or enbys (compared to 23 or 50% in 2016), and 8 (10%) presented as persons of colour (compared to only 1 or 0.5% in 2016.)
- If we look only at the 36 people I already knew, we find 14 women and enbys (39%) and 5 POCs (14%.)
- 7 (9%) of the people I played with were under 18 (and of these, 6 were under 15), compared to only one under 18 the year before.
In the future, I really want to welcome more diversity at the game table and share this hobby which has been so generous to me.
Here is what my list of games looked like:
Alas for the Awful Sea (Storybrewers Roleplaying)
Blue Rose RPG (Green Ronin Publishing )
Boss Monster (Brotherwise Games)
Castle Falkenstein (R. Talsorian Games / Fat Goblin Games), playtest
DramaSystem (Pelgrane Press)
Dungeon World (Sage Kobold Productions)
Ehdrigohr (Council of Fools)
Elder Sign (Fantasy Flight Games)
Fate Accelerated: Loose Threads (Evil Hat Productions)
Fate Hack: Call of Cthulhu (Evil Hat Productions / homebrew)
Fate of Karthun (Evil Hat Productions)
Ghost Stories (Repos Production)
Golden Sky Stories (Starline Publishing)
Headspace (Green Hat Designs)
Helionox (Zeroic Games)
Honey Heist (Grant Howitt)
JUGGERNAUT (Bully Pulpit Games)
Leaving Earth (Lumenaris)
Legendary: Big Trouble in Little China (Upper Deck)
Lord of the Ring: Journey to Mordor (Fantasy Flight Games)
Monster of the Week (Generic Games / Evil Hat Productions)
Mutants & Masterminds 3e (Green Ronin)
Nephews of Dune (friend’s homebrew)
Over the Edge 2e (Atlas Games), playtest
Pandemic (Z-Man Games)
Parsely: Action Castle (Memento Mori Theatricks)
Relicblade (Metal King Studio)
Scythe (Stonemaier Games)
Sentinels of the Multiverse (Greater Than Games)
Spirit Island (Greater Than Games)
Splendor (Space Cowboys)
Spooky Fun! (Fate) (Evil Hat Productions), playtest
Tales of the Arabian Nights (Z-Man Games)
The Grizzled: At Your Orders! (Sweet Games/Cool Mini or Not)
The Lost Age (Leiker Games), playtest_
The One Ring (Cubicle 7)
The Others (Cool Mini Or Not)
The Warren (Bully Pulpit Games)
The Watch (Peach Pants Press), playtest and published versions
Venture City (Evil Hat Productions)
Witch: The Road to Lindisfarne (Pompey Crew Design)