[Musings of a Game Store Owner] With Love From the Trenches
I have talked at length about the design process and how games get from designers’ heads and onto the shelves of my store. I’ve spoken about the process of getting a game published and what goes on in the various stages. I have tried to be pretty objective and give you a sense of the work it takes to get a game off the ground, and done what I can to offer support to people that I encounter in the business.
I have come across some of the very coolest people you will ever meet either through blogging or personal networking. I’ve been introduced to some serious legends and some of the most special friends I can ever imagine. I’ve talked to everyone from giants like Owen Stephens and Clinton Boomer and regular people who want to be just as awesome (like Jason Ward, who is Kickstarting a new game). I have also met regular people, just dreaming of a finished project or a published book.
In the light of crowdfunding, I have seen a lot of wonderful ideas come in front of me, and I’ve backed more than a few. Every single one of the folks I have come in contact with are smart and fun – they have brilliant ideas and they want to share them with the world. Some of those ideas are far more successful than others.
One of the projects I have told you about has gone beyond successful- it’s nominated for an ENnie. I’m close friends with the layout editor of the project. This has been his baby for the majority of the time I have known him. I have seen him working on it since pretty much the beginning. I got sneak peeks of design pages well before they were readily available for the public.
My buddy is enjoying the success of his project, but his enjoyment is very likely short-lived.He’s sick- very sick. He transitioned to hospice at the end of May, and has been steadily declining since then.
His love for gaming and my store has been incredible. His enthusiasm and support have gone far beyond loyalty, and when he brought this beautiful tale to me for support, I went far beyond casual backing. I pimped his project to every single person that would pay attention, boosting his signal as loud and as hard as I possibly could. I personally gave, and the store also backed at a very high level.
His project was the first project that I have backed that was on time- despite his four strokes during the project build time. He lost his ability to speak and write several times, but he rehabilitated himself repeatedly and lumbered on like some incredible giant. He refused to let any of his physical issues get in the way of a finished product, and delivered a book that’s beyond lovely.
When my physical copy arrived on my doorstep, I had to celebrate- the hardcover book was a literal dream of his that he held onto to keep his daily motivation up. I took pictures of the book and showered them all over every media source I could. Showing support for my friend and his project was the best way to let him know how much I love his work. He made a special trip to the store (despite being barely able to walk) to see it in person. Knowing that a copy of his book was in a game store was like seeing the Mona Lisa for art lovers- a true joy. He was thrilled to see it behind our counter, and his happiness was beyond infectious.
This is one of my few privileges- seeing projects from beginning to end, and then showing anyone that is willing to look at the magic that my friends and customers have wrought. My store, my community and my family have helped make great products and I get to witness it. I love every moment of fostering people and their projects. I will probably never get tired of sharing awesome stuff with you guys.
You can send me your stuff and I’ll try to share it, too.