You Can Probably Predict What I’m Thankful for This Year

I was lying in bed the other night after listening to a Kickstarter-themed podcast about board games. Finishing and manufacturing Viticulture has become such a part of my daily life now that it’s hard to conceive of a time when I wasn’t publishing a board game.

In reality, it’s been just over a month since I raised nearly $66,000 in my Kickstarter campaign. It’s been just over two months since the day when we hit our funding goal ($25,000). It’s been a year since I put my ideas for the game to paper and created the first prototype. It’s been 8 years since I was introduced to Euro games after playing American strategy games my entire life. And it’s been 23 years since I made my first board game, Medieval Quest. I was 8 years old at the time.

I lay in bed, going back and back and back to the first time I made a board game, back when all I wanted was for people to play my game with me. I wasn’t thinking about publishing a game back then. I didn’t even know that was an option.

I lay in bed, comparing the simple hope of 8-year-old me to what has come of this hobby, this dream of mine…if I could send a note from the future  to that version of me to say that 942 people pledged to receive 1,300 copies of a game that I invented, I wouldn’t believe me.

Heck, I wouldn’t believe me if I traveled back in time 4 months ago. It simply does not seem possible that a first-time designer and his friend, another first-time designer, neither of whom were “in” with the gaming community, could form their own gaming company and raise $66,000 for a game that no one had ever heard of before August 22. It’s unfathomable. Even on a booming website like Kickstarter.

I try not to get caught up in the incredulity of it all. There’s only so much wide-eyed, “I can’t believe this happened to me” one can say before it gets old. But it’s Thanksgiving. And I’ll be damned if I don’t say that the 47 days my game went from 0 to $66,000 on Kickstarter–days that were filled with interaction with backers and bloggers, designers and artists, friends, family, and strangers–were some of the best 47 days of my life. I’m someone who needs 8 hours of sleep a night, and I slept very little over those 47 days. But I barely even noticed.

I am so, so grateful for anyone who offered their support over those 47 days, whether you pledged to the game or Liked the project on Facebook or sent me a kind word or thoughtful piece of feedback. Thank you, thank you for making those 47 days some of the best days of my life.

Happy Thanksgiving. If you’re on the fence about thanking someone this Thanksgiving, give this a read. I think it’ll help get on the right side of the fence.