The following is a guest post from Doug’s wife, who wanted to give her side of the “What do you DO during a Kickstarter?” blog…
So, people keep asking me, “What’s it like to be married to someone launching a game on Kickstarter?”
Usually the question takes me by surprise and I have to think for a moment. Then I chuckle a little, which turns into a deep belly laugh, until I’m in hysterics. And then the tears start. So many tears.
The truth is, anyone in a relationship with someone who has a hobby that they don’t share can probably relate to much of what I’ve experienced. In my case, the courtship and wedding came before Gothic Doctor, so I was not aware of everything that being married to a board game designer would entail. However, a large part of being in a committed relationship with someone is supporting them in their pursuits and caring about their interests, and from the moment that Gothic Doctor entered Doug’s head, it was something that became part of my life as well.
“That’s all well and good, but what’s it really like?”
Ok, first of all, being married to someone launching a game on Kickstarter means a lot of time listening to that person talk about the game. And Kickstarter. A lot of time. Normal conversation:
Me: “Ready to go bathing suit shopping?”
Doug: “Sure! When we get home, I just have to email Jeff about the art, email John, check social media, and listen to a review.”
Me: “Sounds good! Hey, what color bathing suit should I get?”
Doug: “I don’t know. Whatever you want. Did I tell you about the art from Jeff? It’s really awesome!”
Me: “Yeah…you showed me! It’s great! I was thinking this string bikini in black.”
Doug: “Ok. I sent him a description of the werewolf from…”
[Five minutes later]
Doug: “…and John likes it, so yeah.”
Me: “Uh huh. I want to strangle Gothic Doctor with a bikini bottom.”
Ok, maybe not that, but like that.
There’s always something going on with either Gothic Doctor or Kickstarter. Always something that Doug could be doing, and always some update or something on his mind for him to share with me. When he asks for my advice, I give it. Usually, he ignores it and does something else. Sometimes, I was right and he tells me. That feels good. But mostly, I’m a sounding board and I listen (or half-listen) when he talks about the game.
Another big part of being married to someone launching a game on Kickstarter is playtesting a lot. Luckily, I avoided most of this because it’s a four-player game. “What, you’ve never played? Well, take my spot…I can play anytime!” Hey, at least I know the rules. And I also know the strategy from watching. I’m the dark horse of Gothic Doctor.
Being married to someone launching a game on Kickstarter means not seeing that person whenever you want. Sometimes he’s in the house with me but locked away in the office in a podcast or getting things done. Other times, he’s away demoing at game days or Cons.
Unfortunately, few Cons are right around the corner and since they tend to go late, it’s best for Doug to stay overnight even at the ones in reasonable driving distance. Of course, I could go to the Cons, and I did once. I went to Unpub in Delaware last January and had a nice time. In poor game wife form, I insisted on bringing a bowl of candy for the table, which is apparently the same thing as having a booth babe (luckily, I didn’t also wear my bikini). But everyone was very pleasant, and I can see why Doug enjoys spending time with other game designers. I was also mistaken for a high school student, and that was a fantastic boost to my ego. Still, I learned that Cons are not my thing, and I opt to stay home. It helps Doug focus on what he needs to do and not worry whether I am having a good time.
Sending photos while Doug is at Cons helps to keep the romance alive.
Being married to someone launching a game on Kickstarter means learning a lot of gaming terminology. Draw one, play one. D20. Runaway leader. Point salad. Potato salad. Macaroni salad. There is also a lot of debating about whether theme is more important than mechanic.
Being married to someone launching a game on Kickstarter means you wonder if you could also design a game, and so you try. Scorpions in Your Mouth is a great game, regardless of what Doug says.
Being married to someone launching a game on Kickstarter means watching that person realize their dreams and create something that they are incredibly proud of.
Being married to someone launching a game on Kickstarter means watching that person get kicked in the junk (figuratively) when something doesn’t work out right and not being able to do anything about it.
Being married to someone launching a game on Kickstarter means looking at their Kickstarter page almost as much as they do to see who has pledged. It also means proofreading webpages, descriptions, emails, and blog posts when necessary.
Being married to someone launching a game on Kickstarter means awkward conversations with acquaintances who say they’re into board games. And then asking, “What games do you like?” and if they answer, “Settlers of Cataan” continuing to tell them about Gothic Doctor (if they say anything Milton Bradley, just moving on).
While I can’t say that being married to someone launching a game on Kickstarter is fantastically amazing, it certainly does have its benefits. I know that Doug is excited for the opportunity to launch and equally thrilled that the Kickstarter is doing so well this time. I’m proud of him for taking risks and throwing himself into the entire game design process. His happiness is what makes it all worth it.
Also, he says things like, “I owe you dinner for that.” and “Why would I get mad that you bought another pair of shoes? I’m running a Kickstarter; you deserve it.” So, that makes it worth it as well.
In closing, thank you for supporting my husband. You make me happy by making him happy.