Guess what? Alternate Fire is back, and now we’re going to cover tabletop games!
Perhaps some explanation is in order. As mentioned last time the site went quiet for an extended period of time, I’m a new parent. Again, this can be a great excuse for not keeping up with the site, but my ultimate goal is to not make excuses, great or not, and to just keep up with the friggin’ site. Anyway, being a parent means two main things regarding how I’m going to approach Alternate Fire from this point forward.
First of all, no more running it like I’m trying to fool you guys into thinking this is PC Gamer: Indie Edition. We are two dudes, give or take; and while we would love to fool you into not being able to tell the difference between two dudes writing from home and an office full of paid staff, it’s just not going to happen. From now on, coverage will be compromised solely of stuff we think is interesting, worth talking about (either positively or negatively), and most importantly, stuff that we have the time to spend covering. Quality over quantity.
Secondly, my consumption of new video games has slowed considerably. This is partly due to Rocket League being incredibly addicting. That being said, it’s mostly due to a new appreciation of tabletop gaming. For those not in the know, we of the developed world are in the middle of a tabletop gaming renaissance, and I’ve found myself placing more value on face-to-face interaction with my friends ever since a large part of my time has become dedicated to rearing my spawn.
In this site’s maiden editorial, I asserted that “creative autonomy”, and the ability to deliver products and creations directly to consumers and fans, were essential tenets to the “indie” label and keys to the indie experience. That description also applies succinctly to the tabletop market seen today, being a market largely built on a surplus of independent spirit and DIY sensibilities. This fact makes coverage of the board gaming scene a very natural evolution for Alternate Fire. For example, independent funding models such as Kickstarter have enabled the development of myriad creative, even niche, tabletop projects to see completion. Many of the larger tabletop publishers, while perhaps not-so-indie in many ways, are still comprised of enthusiasts of the hobby, rather than a group of slave drivers with MBAs, and a penchant for milking creatives for profit. Furthermore, unlike video games, tabletop gaming is still anchored by a significant number of brick-and-mortar retail shops which are mostly operated by owners local to their areas. All these items factor into my extreme comfort with the decision to bring the tabletop world under Alternate Fire’s coverage umbrella.
Keep an eye out for all sorts of new content about board games, beginning with our first impressions of the second edition of Vast: The Crystal Caverns. Of course, we will continue to cover indie video games, starting with several overdue items from last year. Soon to come are my much procrastinated-upon reviews of Dogos, Honey Rose, and Armello’s expansion, Usurpers. I will also be running several news and preview features for several games which I’ve been wanting to talk about for quite some time. You know you’ve been neglecting your gaming website for too long when some games you were going to do a preview feature on aren’t even called the same thing anymore. Hey, I’m working on it. Maybe we’ll only go quiet for four months next time.