Epistolary Richard runs a Patreon to fund investigations and trends in the tabletop RPG hobby.
The project has been run for 9 years but is typically presented at Dragonmeet in London, where gamers could discuss the findings. This is the first year where the write-up incorporates both content from that seminar and data from the original survey work.
Richard’s analysis is free/pay what you want and runs to over 10,000 words. It’s worth noting that it’s delivered as an HTML file, not a PDF. In some ways, that’s easier for your phone, but some security settings may have problems with the format.
Over 20 game designers, podcasters and hobbyists/commentators contributed to the work. It also includes Kicktraq data for several high profile Kickstarters.
As a result of the analysis, Richard estimates nearly 3,000 standalone tabletop RPGs were published in 2021. He puts the figure at about 2,900, which means 8 games a day.
Other trends identified in the work is the growth in designed-for-online play RPGs, the evolution of working co-operatives, organised labour and the rise of SRDs with the formalisation of licensing rules for popular TTRPGs.
Contributors include Austin Ramsey, Charlie Etheridge-Nunn, Chloe Mashiter, Chris McDowall, Fiona Howat, Gabriel Kerr, Jon Starshine Greenall, Josh Fox, Lloyd Gyan, Logan, Nate Magnuski & Richard Sullivan, Nem Ginty, Paul Beakley, Rach Shelkey, Ramanan Sivaranjan, Randy Lubin, Robert Carnel, Ryan Howard, Sean Smith, Sharang Biswas, Thomas Manuel and Yeonsoo Julian Kim.
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