Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Five or So Questions with Martin Ralya on New Game Day

I interviewed Martin Ralya from Gnome Stew about New Game Day, upcoming on February 2, 2014, as well as Gnome Stew and Engine Publishing. Today's Five or So is a special edition to give people time to plan for the holiday!

Tell me a little bit about Gnome Stew, and about this new holiday you're starting, New Game Day. Why should I be excited?

Gnome Stew is a system-neutral, multi-author GMing blog that's been running since 2008, with over 2,400 articles (all free). We've had almost 2,000,000 visitors to date.

New Game Day is my attempt to jump-start a gaming holiday in the vein of GM's Day (March 4): a free annual event for tabletop gamers worldwide, dedicated to playing new RPGs and board games.

You should be excited about it for lots of reasons: it's fun to play new games, and even more fun to share them with friends; it's fun to celebrate our hobby with shared events like this one; and because playing new games expands your horizons in good ways.

It was one of those ideas that hit me and wouldn't let go until I'd done something about it. It seemed so simple that I was surprised not to find it out there already. So I put together a website, hired my friend Darren Hardy to create a logo for it, and now I'm trying to get the word out.

What goals do you have with this New Game Day?

New Game Day happens on 2/2 (yes, it's also Groundhog Day -- and, this year, Super Bowl Sunday), and the idea is that folks will get together to play new RPGs and board games, or just one or the other, and share their love of games.

Who should be interested in the New Game Day?

Anyone who plays tabletop RPGs and board games (including wargames, card games, etc.). There's a lot of overlap between those two hobbies, but if you don't already do both New Game Day is a great excuse to try the other one. And if you do already play both kinds of game regularly, take it as a challenge instead: Play something outside your comfort zone, or see how many games you can play in one day.

Gnome Stew is also sponsoring a giveaway to celebrate New Game Day, with over $300 in prizes just for dropping by to tell us what you play on 2/2 (Click here for the giveaway!).

Tell me a little about your work with Engine Publishing. What's new and upcoming?

I started Engine Publishing in 2009, and I've worked with the authors of Gnome Stew, as well as other talented folks, to produce a book a year since 2010: Eureka, Masks, Never Unprepared, and Odyssey.

Our fifth book, also a system-neutral resource for GMs, is currently in editing. I'm not ready to talk about it yet, save to say that it's different than the first four but should appeal to the same audience.

What big plans does Gnome Stew have for 2014?

We're going to be hiring a couple of new gnomes (authors) to replace Patrick Benson and Kurt Schneider, who left the site in 2013. We have a conference call and a bit of discussion between us and posting that announcement, but it should happen sometime next month.

Apart from that, we're going to keep doing what we've enjoyed doing so much for the past six years: writing about GMing, talking about GMing with our readers, collaborating on Engine Publishing books and other projects, and featuring articles by our readers.

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