Tenth Anniversary Festivities; A Time to look Forward.

Has it really been 10 years? This fall marks a decade of DDM, and the tenth GenCon to feature DDM. And as a lesser celebration, its been five years since the Guild took charge of the game.

So what do we have planned leading up to the events at Gencon?

In the coming week, we are going to launch into one of our most dense series of online publishing ever. We will begin with a series of articles on the history of DDM, compiled by our own Moraturi (J. Prather) with minor add ins by everyone's favorite guildmaster. (technically, that would be David, since he keeps the lights on and the game going, but since I'm lawful evil, I tend to want to believe its me.) We are also going to have a series of interviews from people involved in the development of the game, (including one of the original designers). By the beginning of July; we'll have a new set of items to shake up the metagame released early enough for europe's championships. And we'll also have two new maps that are legal, based on the dungeon command tiles. These will feature the tiles being set up in an obligatory way, just as we did with the first map after the game was released. We need a little more playtesting, but a new multiplayer format called Kill Stealer is in the works. Its more of a beer and pretzels format than a formal format, but its good fun.

and on the Decade to Come...

Lastly, we need to talk. As you know, I'm developing a game with my son that nominally competes for the same niche as DDM. It plays a little faster and its a little grittier, but they are both warband building games. On the one hand, this means that anything I develop in it we own, and can license back to the guild with no issue and no cost. (You know, things like maps, and tiles). Its really doing something that implements mechanics that I want to see in a miniatures game, so its a personal project.

On the other hand, it does create at least the appearance of a conflict of interest. Will I have as much time available for DDM? Will I lose my grasp on the current metagame, compromising my capacity to design new and interesting miniatures? Am I guiding the guild in the right direction? Should our main game and main articles be related to Dungeon Command? Do I have the correct high standards for guild products? Should they be higher (Kevin was awesome at quality control)? Should they be lower, allowing more into the game (I've sort of done this with OE, as it really needed something, and I couldn't be the one to do it.)

I think these are Good questions. I'd like to get your input again.

Maybe its time the current Guildmaster took that proverbial 'long walk off of a short pier.' Or, maybe the status quo is just fine. But there are other options. Maybe others might want to step up and things could reshuffle, with me taking on a more peripheral role.

I'm not claiming the guild is a democracy. It is not, and never has been. The guildmasters are, quite frankly, overlords. I like to think 'benevolent overlords,' which clearly also means they are egomaniacs who talk about themselves in the third person. But even despots need advisors, and tyrants that do not minister to the key needs of their populace must step down, flee, or be put down. This, I know.

So what do you have to say?

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alepulp's picture
Member since:
7 July 2011
Last activity:
14 hours 58 min

Great to see that the EU Champs got a mention in there. Also great to see that GenCon will have some proper DDM this year.
Personally, I support the idea of developing the game further, but I have been playing since the first ever release (OK, I didn't play the pre-plastic, metal version, Chainmail). I loved tile placement of the very first edition, getting that selection and placement right was an awesome addition to the tactical enjoyment of the game - it could make all the difference, especially with a first round fireball LoS created into the start area of an opponent, or by creating strangle-points. Each game was more different, and, yes, a bit more unpredictable.
Your Sellsword game is interesting because it seems to allow minis from all makers to enter a miniatures game.
I like rolling a d20, and as long as that is in place, with the frustration and unpredictability that introduces, I am happy. Card collecting and playing never appealed to me.
New Maps - hell yeah... since we're now playing with maps, why not have more? The guild introduced some great new ones, unseeing temple, fallen fortress both are favourites of mine. And, yes, why not use those from Dungeon Command. Sure. I might not buy the boxed sets - they're expensive, so I might only ever play with them when others bring them.
As for the question of who and whom that runs the guild. I remember that there were once three of you and, at that time, it was run effectively. Then, ideas of own games and introductions into WoTC and the inevitable problems of three "despots" gradually emerged (I should say that I don't actually think you're so despotic).
Whoever is going to be in charge of this amazing game must have certain objectives and be able to deliver them:
1) Introduction of new minis - even pathfinder, if possible (sellsword does some of that)
2) Generate interest in the game, not just see it as a background task - tournaments, involving and promoting the game to new players, even if indirectly
3) Run community games
4) Keep it fresh, but keep its history
Maybe this becomes split between groups of people?
We, in the UK, play once per month, for fun, but also in preparation for the greater prize of the European championships. There is no-one really in charge. Wonderer13, Bugging-bear, Microelf and I simply SMS eachother, and chat at length. We have three venues and move between them to share the travel burden between us. The European Championship is the same. We have great games shows in Europe, in fact, three are way bigger than even GenCon (Lucca Games and Comics, Rollspiel Convention and Spiel, Essen), but we have had our events across Europe, partly because many of us like to see new places, but also because it encourages people to rejoin the fray who are local. There are gaming groups in France and Spain, but, apart from 2007 and 2008, when some French arrived, we've not heard much from them.
The Italian contingent was one person last year, a brilliant guy called Luigi! Hope to see him again - so much fun Smile
To date we've had events in the UK, Belgium, Holland, Germany and, this year Finland. Maybe Czechia in 2014, under the eye of Matob?
So, who chooses for us? We do that at the previous convention. It's genuinely democratic. I *might* have a little more input than most because I've been around a bit longer, but, I think, I don't mind being over-ruled or outvoted. That's what a democracy does.
So, what's my view?
1) We need a figure-head - I suggest you carry that crown still. You have the organisational memory and still have a vision of the games' mechanics.
2) Minis are developed by teams - I think that's how it is done right now?
3) The Guild stops being under any control from WoTC and we can start bringing in Pathfinder and DCM minis into the game.
4) We continue with bringing in maps from DC and Sellsword
5) We operate a genuine location rota to bring in players from around the world by hosting it around the world. It's expensive to travel, but if we know we'll be taken care of at the other end we can have a genuine championship. It doesn't have to be at a convention - the Dutch EU Championship was held in a dilapidated business park. This would reduce costs. The first ever international EU event was held at Fanboy 3 in Manchester and had 27 players including 5 Italians and a German (the German won - Adkainen). Sirokh and Demetri0us travelled to the Belgian one, Microelf and Wonderer13 have been to GenCon a few times. I see postings from Korea here... There are gaming groups in Costa Rica and Brazil. Having something we all move around to might just re-invigorate those communities (hopefully more so than the Belgian one, which didn't really turn out in the numbers I had hoped for).
6) Combine events with Star Wars minis gamers and Sellsword gamers to make the event a little bigger and allows cross-fertilisation between games.
My (long) 2c worth.

Justjooaivan's picture
Member since:
7 July 2011
Last activity:
2 hours 37 min

Just read this due to the downtime. Will get to the Head of State matter later. But a history series sounds excellent. New items before the EU champs here in Finland? That sounds deliciously fun. New maps from DCM? Yay! Tried, you have breathed new air into the hobby again, and are atotal creative machine. Thank you for that!

CCC's picture
Member since:
20 August 2013
Last activity:
32 weeks 1 day

Looking forward is the thing we should do. There is no point in looking behind if it drags us. - Scott Sohr Nashville