A long, LONG hiatus
Hi folks. I know it’s been a long time. A long, LONG time. We’re talking over a year. A lot has happened in the past year. It has been my privilege to be the dungeon master to a great group of players. This experience has been very rewarding. But being a DM has also occupied much of my writing time. At least that’s my excuse. I have several projects underway that should allow us (me and our group) to be better content creators overall. I hope you will stay tuned for these developments.
In the meantime, let’s catch up on the local gaming scene!
Our current location
This July will mark our second year at 851 W. Laketon Avenue, just a block west of Henry Street. We will likely stay there another year. I know most of you might wonder about this. I can hear your questions now…
“Aren’t you tired of dealing with the gypsies?”
Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here. So long that you are still asking about the gypsies. The gypsies move out in 2018. A furniture maker moved in since then. Now they too have moved out.
“But Chris: what about the Reservoir Dogs room?”
The Reservoir Dogs room is currently empty and is available for lease.
“Aren’t there several issues with the current location? Such as parking and the shared bathroom?”
Yes, those are genuine problems. But the landlords did install central air a couple of weeks ago. Furthermore, we are the longest-standing tenants there so the landlords are willing to work with us on some things.
We may move into another part of the building. Some space is available that includes a (non-shared) bathroom and much more space than what we currently have. As this news develops, I’ll keep you informed.
As I mentioned above, I’ve launched a D&D campaign. I’m the dungeon master for five players. We meet a couple times of month. These gaming sessions have augmented our lackluster Sunday turnouts.
For several years, The Gaming Annex did not have any active RPG campaigns. We were strictly a board game group. This was probably a mistake. We could have had much greater reach into the gaming community if we played D&D.
Since we started this campaign in the fall of 2018, we’ve had a ton of requests for more D&D. Indeed, two of our D&D players were new to The Gaming Annex before the campaign began. There is so much demand for role-playing games that we will launch another campaign this year. Nick Sima has committed to starting a Curse of Strahd campaign this summer. Check local listings for more details.
But it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. Creating my own campaign world has taken a lot of effort. That is the biggest contributing factor to my hiatus to this blog. But we have other things in the works to mitigate this…
More content creators
We have restarted our podcast. The original podcast of which I was a part has been retired. That podcast, called Beer and Pretzels, has been replaced with the Status Phase. Brian has lots of projects he’s working on that have kept him from being able to contribute. So I grabbed Tasha and Nick Sima to be my co-collaborators.
We are still working on the format and other technical aspects of the project. But we do have a website: www.statusphase.com. We have lots of ideas. We have a good team. Now we have to execute.
In addition to Status Phase, we have promoted young Jared to our inner ranks. (Long time readers will remember we have tiers of membership.) Young Jared is a prolific writer. He keeps a blog of his own: Lakeshore Game Night. Jared is also an admin for our Michigan Gamers page on Facebook. I’m happy to promote his content here and on our social media platforms.
Despite our blog, our podcast and our collaboration with young Jared, we could always use more content creators. So here’s my pitch to all you readers of my blog: if you would like to create gaming content, just message me! I’ll do what I can to help publish you.
Our attendance in 2018 took a dip over previous years. We had 1,022 attendees in 2018 versus 1,145 in 2017, giving us a net -10% drop in attendance.
But our attendance in 2019 is back to 2017 levels. This is in part because of our new found love of RPG’s. It’s also because we are the best gaming group in the world.
But some weaknesses persist. Here is a table from January to May. We’ve had stronger turnouts on Tuesdays and Saturdays at The Gaming Annex. But our Thursdays have been much weaker. This is a sore spot for me and I’m working to remedy this.
Other News and Events
Our biggest event of the year has just concluded. The Muskegon Area Gamers rent a cabin and play games for four straight days. We’ve been doing this for six years now. This tradition is colloquially called, “CabinCon”. And it’s a blast!
Every Father’s Day Weekend, a growing group of us head to West Olive to a fancy retreat called Into the Woods. We had 17 attendees at this year’s event. The event is so large, we’ve had to rent the downstairs as well as the upstairs.
This spot is a nice out-of-the-way cabin. It’s large enough to accommodate large groups such as ours. It’s quiet. It sits on a river, making our gaming sessions extra tranquil (except when Dusty bitches of course). Indeed, the retreat we’ve been using is so nice, Dusty’s wife has even used it for one of her (non-gaming) weekend retreats.
In addition to CabinCon, we are having our first Geek Yard Sale. This is coming up in a couple of weeks. I have partnered with a local store called Timeless Treasures. We will be having a flea market/yard sale event there on Saturday, June 29th. Everything geek related is fair game: comics, toys, collectibles, and of course games.
I’m going to make an effort to write more for this blog. My goal is to have lots of great content. Unfortunately, I alone cannot do that. I can either create lots of content or I can create great content–not both. This is part of the reason why I’m collaborating.
I will try to provide great content to this blog going forward. But that will mean less overall content since I can’t do both quantity and quality. But I will provide other types of content through collaboration with others in the Muskegon Area Gamers. I’ll keep you, my readers, posted on this!
Until then, game on!