Warners Group’s Tabletop Gaming Magazine, which covers board games and RPGs, will relaunch. The company is recruiting a new editor as Christopher John Eggett is set to leave.
Geek Native talked to Christopher about his time at the magazine, which you can find below. The magazine, YouTube channel and site he’ll be leaving also offers in-person events and, from issue 77, will shift focus to new players and offer new hooks into the hobby. That’s in line with Geek Native’s founding principles.
Claire Ingram, the publisher of the magazine, said;
We wanted to get new gamers to the table and give everyone a way into the hobby, whether they’re coming from the point of view of nostalgia, totally fresh, or someone who has just dabbled in the hobby before,”
The relaunch includes;
- The Gateway – Tabletop Gaming’s introductory feature for new players. Learn the basics of a classic gateway game, why everyone loves it, and even a few tips on winning. Ideal for handing to someone who has never played a hobby game before – and getting them hooked.
- Connect 4 – The team take a big-name game, hobby gem, or cult classic and gives readers four next games to try out based on one of the main game’s key features.
- Out of the Box – A dedicated look at all of that stuff that doesn’t come with rules. The Tabletop Gaming crew will look at gaming accessories, puzzles, building activities and other weird and wonderful stuff that might catch the eye before you dive into the reviews.
- What’s In Your Attic – A look at gaming discoveries players have found in their attic, and work out whether they’re selling or keeping for the nostalgia. A great way for the community to reflect on the good, bad and sometimes ugly of classic games of their childhood.
An interview with Christopher John Eggett
Editor & Head of Content, Tabletop Gaming
What’s your most fond memory of Tabletop Gaming?
It’s hard to put a single moment in amber because I really like the people in this industry. Everyone is motivated by the love of games to such an extent that it’s all good. I am very proud of my Oath interview with Cole Wehrle, as it hit home on so much of gaming that connects our childhoods and, with my having recently becoming a parent at the time, the future. I was also very pleased with the Carcassonne 20th Anniversary cover we did for subscribers
What’s been your bleakest moment there?
It’s all sunshine! But really it’s the middle of the pandemic, where we were all in lockdown, no games were coming out, and there were more pages in the magazine to fill than usual as advertising was largely paused. It felt like the world was ending in a general sense, and in that moment it’s hard to know if it’s important that we talk about games. But the answer is that, yes, it is important to talk about games – even at our darkest moments as they transcend whatever is going on around us at any given time. The fact that we made it through the pandemic and all the associated difficulties in the industry is an important win for me – and the hobby, I hope.
What’s been your most mind-blowing story?
I recently got to talk to Daniel Sell of Troika! fame – and apart from being a supremely articulate individual has made one of the great ‘weird’ roleplaying games. In the piece Daniel eloquently expands on the concepts of wonder that he develops in the game and talks about the
What’s the most challenging part of being an editor of a gaming magazine?
The readers, naturally.
No, in honesty it’s a pretty easy job. You just have to be totally submerged in the hobby and ready to write about it a lot. The challenge comes from developing your sense of what’s important to include, what to ignore, what’s important to the reader. But that becomes second sense…
Do you have, ahem, any tips?
How about three?
- Get ahead. If you can have pages and interviews in your back pocket, or arranged well in advance, that will help when the inevitable chaos of publishing and gaming arises.
- It’s a contact sport. You need to be able to talk to everyone, ask for anything and not be particularly shy about it. The industry is made up of real people who are extremely lovely and passionate, they want to get on with what they love and if you can be direct, that helps.
- If all else fails, do a list.
Do you know if there are any plans for Tabletop Gaming Live? What changes would you personally like to see made?
Not as of yet. We’ve got a few cool mini events coming up, including one where you can play ticket to ride on a real steam train (yes, really!). You can read a bit about that over at the site.
What’s your helicopter view of the board game scene? What’s on the horizon?
I think we’re looking at a world of gaming that refines itself further. So we’re going to get blended RPG/Board games more – but from the roleplaying game direction. We’re going to get some really slick lighter Eurogames that are going to be family level in weight. And the indie scene is thriving across the board. Elsewhere I think we’re going to see miniatures games pick up a bit more and wargames become a little more mainstream over the next few years as those gamers who came in during the pandemic wave look to find their permanent home in the hobby.
What are your top 5 tabletop games, including board games, card games, and RPGs?
- Oh my goods
- Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile
- Call of Cthulhu
Is Kickstarter and crowdfunding nothing but wholesome goodness for board game makers?
Yes. It keeps people employed that would not be in the hobby otherwise, or wouldn’t be getting paid at all. We can moan about the practices of large companies as much as we like, but Kickstarter is one of the main drivers of professionalising the industry. We need that if we want to keep people in it and to be able to expand it further.
Do you think RPGs get edged out of consideration by businesses due to the big numbers sometimes attached to board games?
Sometimes, but also board game publishers don’t go round comparing every game they make to Monopoly. Roleplaying and D&D are the same in most people’s minds, and getting over that barrier can be tricky.
Any predictions for what Asmodee, CMON or the other giants might do next?
Asmodee will probably slim down the in-house production a bit, and focus on the core range and supporting retailers further. We might see some more miniatures stuff from them too, although that’s pure speculation.
CMON will bring out a miniature that is bigger than you.
The one to watch is Hachette Board Games, who are do so much for the hobby right now it’s unreal. They’re bringing games in that might not get a release in the UK otherwise and producing stuff under their own studios. It’s going to be interesting watching them grow further.
What next for Chris Eggett?
I’m thinking of running another silly Kickstarter for another stupid little game I’ve made. Oh, and I’ll be crafting some of the worst tweets you’ve ever seen @CjEggett – follow me there for information on my future gaming follies.
- Want the job? Head of Content.
- Tabletop Gaming Magazine
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