The Board Game Design Course

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Game Design

Giving Thanks

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada (I know those of you in the US celebrate Thanksgiving next month) and that’s always a good time to pause and reflect on all the things we should be thankful for. So, I wanted to take a moment to share my gratitude and give thanks.

First, I want to thank you. Thank you for being one of more than 2,400 aspiring game designers who decided to take a chance on this long-haired freaky guy and for reading my emails. 😊

It really means a lot to me when I hear from others like you about how an article really resonated with them or gave them the courage to take the next step in designing their game. It warms my heart that I’ve been able to help so many people through my courses, books, blogs, and discussions.

I am very lucky to be doing this. To be designing, publishing, writing about and helping others in the board game world. I am very privileged to do so and I understand this very well. I know that most people aren’t in a position where they could just walk away from their day job to work in an industry where the pay is much lower than most others and there is way less stability.

But I do it out of love. Not the money. I do it for the love of the game. That feeling when you’ve solved a problem that’s been nagging at you and holding back your game. That feeling when other people are having fun enjoying something that you created.

I am grateful for the opportunity to design games and teach others how to bring their ideas to life. I am very privileged to be able to do something that I love for a living. Something that I get up every day looking forward to. Something that much of the time doesn’t even feel like work. That’s why I get a lot out of giving back and helping others to achieve their goals.

I am so thankful for those around me. My incredible wife, who has supported me every step of the way and always encourages me to keep going. My amazing son, who is so kind, caring, and kooky (in the best way) and who I always miss every time I need to attend a convention or Protospiel. My parents, my brother, my sister, and my whole family, all of whom are always willing to play another one of my prototypes, no matter how terrible they may be at the moment.

I am thankful for my friends, who are always there for me. Whether it’s to listen, hang out, or just be there in a time of need. I will always be there for you as well.

I’m grateful for my fellow game designers, who keep me inspired with all their amazing ideas and willingness to swap playtesting time and share their honest feedback. I’m so thankful for all of the collaborations, co-designs, and camaraderie.

I am so thankful to live in a wonderful, peaceful country. Canada’s not perfect, but I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

I am thankful for my home, my neighbours, and my community. For having a safe place to live and raise my family.

I am thankful for good health and the chance to travel, explore, and chase my dreams without fear. I am very fortunate to live in a land of opportunity, to have more than most people in the world will ever have, and to be able to help others in need.

I am thankful for being able to help a friend who lives halfway around the world to get his business up and running.

Even though sometimes life is hard and new challenges and obstacles are thrown my way, I am physically and mentally prepared to take on anything that life can throw at me.

I am thankful to be surrounded by so much love and joy every day. And I hope that you are surrounded by just as much love and joy.

What are you thankful for?

Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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    Well written and thank you. I too am Canadian ( Maritimes) and share much of your sentiments. Keep up the great work.

    Joe: thanks for your very uplifting post. Don’t see enough of these from folks these days. Best wishes.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Joe!
    Got back from Essen last night – lots to unpack and talk about. Very thankful for the many communities that interlink to create and enjoy board games – the gamers that play them, the reviewers that help to publicize them, the publishers that produce them, the designers that make them, the editors and proofreaders and artists and graphic designers and localizers and translators…

    Thanks, Chris! Absolutely. There are a lot of wonderful people that hold this amazing board game community together.

    My kind of game

    My name is Hector, I am from Mexico living now in Costa Rica. I´m teaching environmental education at the Costa Rica University. I would like to design a board game related with climate change. I more or less have a general idea, but I am looking for information that can be helpfull for my project. Saludos amigos!

    A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.
    Marcus Tillius Cicero