Hey! Wow. You clicked on the Donate button. That is incredibly generous of you, and I am deeply thankful for even the thought that you enjoy my work enough to want to support it further. I am brand new to game design, and getting the support of people like you is incredibly flattering and awesome. However, let's have some real talk for a second. Yes, I may only be starting out, but because of what I am - a cisgendered straight white male game designer - I'm "starting out" worlds ahead of some absolutely stupendous and groundbreaking creators in game design. I'm entering this industry on top of a mountain of privilege, and it is my responsibility to not only recognize that, but to use what platform I have to try and build support for others, especially those who the game design industry and gaming communities continue to marginalize and who have not benefited and continue to not benefit from the same privilege I do.
Below are just a handful of amazing creators, all of whom have acted as a DIRECT inspiration to me and to the games I make. If you want to support me as a game designer, please consider donating instead to these amazing people whose continued work not only helps me make better games, but helps make our community one that we can be proud of.
Meguey Baker is one of my biggest game design role models. I have an incredible amount of respect for Meguey and for the huge number of games she has written and had an impact on. From Apocalypse World to Psi*Run to One Thousand and One Nights, the list goes on. Recently, her collection of games in Playing Nature's Year was named a runner up for Most Innovative Game in the Indie RPG Awards.
I have Meguey to thank for motivation toward the release of Ten Candles, and inspiration behind To Serve Her Wintry Hunger (an upcoming microgame RPG project).
Caitlynn Belle is a groundbreaking game designer. I can't get enough of her work. Recently, she wrote A Real Game which was named Game of the Year in the IGDN Groundbreaker Awards, in addition to being named a runner up for Most Innovative Game in the Indie RPG Awards! She's written a number of other awesomely innovative and wildly fascinating games. Right now, she is the most influential designer on my work, hands down.
I have Caitlynn to thank for inspiration behin Key and My Name Is Not Alex (two upcoming game projects).
If you haven't heard the name Emily Care Boss, you haven't been paying attention. She is a pioneer in the indie LARP and RPG scene, and absolutely brilliant about a great many topics. She was the first to extend a welcoming hand to me when I started designing. Recently, she has released the gorgeous Romance Trilogy, and was on of the judges in the IGDN Indie Groundbreaker Awards.
I have Emily to thank for motivation toward the release of Ten Candles, inspiration behind Last Call (an upcoming parlor LARP project), in addition to my participation in the Indie Bazaar, Jiffycon, and my connections with dozens of game designers.
Anna Kreider is a game designer, freelance writer, illustrator, photographer, graphic designer, and feminist consultant. Recently, her game Autonomy was nominated for Most Innovative Game and Game of the Year in the IGDN Groundbreaker Awards, and won runner up for Best Free Game in the Indie RPG Awards. I recently hired Anna as a Game Consultant for an upcoming project and am thrilled to work with her!
I have Anna to thank for inspiration behind, as well as Feminist Consulting for Uncanny Valley (an upcoming parlor LARP project).
Avery Mcdaldno's work in game design has provided a incredible foundation for and an undeniable impact upon the indie design landscape as it is today. One of my biggest regrets as a designer is that I wasn't designing when she was, and did not have a chance to collaborate with her on a project. Every game is a game design masters class in how to make engaging and atmospheric games.
I have Avery to thank for Ten Candles as it exists today. When I launched my Kickstarter for Ten Candles, the game was done. Then I read The Quiet Year, and promptly went through a six-month process of rewriting basically the entire game. She taught me how to give games a voice, and for that I am grateful.
Hannah Schaffer is THE. BEST. Her first game, Questlandia, hit Kickstarter the same year Ten Candles did, so we got started into this crazy adventure at roughly the same time. Since then, Hannah's been all over the place, putting out amazing new games almost nonstop and being a host on not one, but two gaming podcasts. Recently, her game 14 Days was named a runner up for Best Production and Most Innovative Game in the Indie RPG Awards, as well as runner up for Best Rules in the IGDN's Indie Groundbreaker Awards.
I have Hannah to thank for keeping me motivated! She's one of my biggest fans and supporters among my fellow designers. Also, for inspiration behind And With A Kiss We Split The Stars and Gather (upcoming projects).
The Indie Game Developer Network is a great organization that is doing very cool things to expand the diversity in the indie tabletop game community. One example of this is the IGDN Metatopia Scholarship, which is built to bring new designers to Metatopia. This year they are especially dedicated to bringing more marginalized communities to Metatopia. This grants new game designers the change to playtest their games and network with a wealth of game designers.
Different Play is an amazing organization all about supporting diversity in analog games, from the people who make them to the play experiences we create. Their Patreon pairs fresh, new designers with mentors, playtesters, artists, graphic designers and editors.
The Different Play Patreon helps them pay everyone involved with the projects: the writers, the editors, the artists, and the layout people at market rates. It helps support their designers, as well as the ecosystem of people creating independent analog games.
(Note: All photographs are from Google+ profile pictures)