“UK board gaming has a punk-rock attitude, and it’s wonderful”: The Board Game Book author Owen Duffy on the indie gaming scene

The UK’s board gaming scene has been likened to The Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks and The Clash for its punk-rock attitude and DIY ethic in celebrating the raw talent of independent publishing.

The UK has lagged noticeably behind the likes of the US and German markets when it comes to size and creative output of the board, tabletop and hobby gaming landscape, however, it is now undergoing ‘monumental changes’ in regards to its popularity and the emerging talent within it.

These are the sentiments of board game enthusiast, journalist and co-author of the Board Game Book Owen Duffy, who’s campaign to launch a new title that takes an extensive look at the most critical board game titles, publishers and designers of 2018, has just hit Kickstarter.

The crowdfunding campaign went live earlier this week with the aim of securing £15,000 to bring the title to retailers and enthusiasts across the country. In just over two days, The Board Game Book Kickstarter project has already secured one third of the target.

“Board games are really getting huge with literally thousands of new titles being released each year,” Duffy told ToyNews. “The really encouraging thing is that this growth has been sustained over a number of years so it is a perfect time to bring a book like this to the market.

“The hobby is so rich now that people’s biggest problem isn’t finding good games to play, it’s narrowing down their selection from the huge number of really clever, innovative games that are being released.”

The Board Game Book will cover the broad spectrum of the hobby with a breakdown of titles across it; from simple games that newcomers can pick up and play to the more intense titles that appeal to more experienced gamers.

It will also feature a chapter dedicated to some of the best ‘gateway’ games for those just getting into the hobby.

One of the four co-authors of the book, Duffy has “been a gamer his entire life,” progressing from the likes of Mouse Trap and Guess Who as a child to Warhammer and Dungeons and Dragons in later years.

As such, the book will take a deep-dive in to the entire hobby with interviews from British designers and publishers as well as a foreword from the ‘Godfather of tabletop gaming’ and co-founder of Games Workshop, Ian Livingstone.

“The UK actually lagged behnd the US and Germany in recent years in terms of the size of the market and in creative output, but it’s really coming back at the moment, and a lot of the emerging talents are either one or two person studios or small publishing companies,” said Duffy.

“There’s almost a kind of punk rock, DIY ethic to the gaming scene in the UK at the moment, and it’s wonderful to see.”

Should the campaign prove a success, Duffy and the team already has a distributor lined up for the toy and game trade with plans to take the title to bookshops as well as toy and hobby retailers.

“The reaction has been incredible. Game designers have been very keen to line up interviews and people have been keen to pledge their support,” he added.

“There is easily enough interesting new games coming out every year to fill an annual instalment and if anything, we’d like to do a bigger and more comprehensive book next year, maybe including some elements like artist showcases and games accessories.

“Our focus right now is making the first book as good as it can be and getting it into readers’ hands.”

Check out Owen Duffy’s Kickstarter campaign for The Board Game Book here

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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