Home Board Game News Adventures on the Tabletop: A Board Game Design Documentary

Adventures on the Tabletop: A Board Game Design Documentary


Adventurers on the Tabletop KickstarterI recently was made aware of Adventures on the Tabletop. If you are not familiar with the project, documentary film maker Douglas Morse is taking on the subject of tabletop game design in his latest project. A avid gamer himself, Morse has been wanting to make a film about board gaming but was just waiting for the right story to tell.

Adventures on the Tabletop is a documentary about board game designers. For a long time, I’ve wanted to set a documentary in our world. The problem was that I didn’t have a storyline I thought would be compelling. After I saw Caine’s Arcade, the short film about a boy who makes an arcade out of cardboard, I know I would have a great time making a film about the designers. I dreamed that somehow I would follow a game from prototype to Spiele Des Jarhes.

I was immediately intrigued by the idea of this documentary. I think most every board gamer would love to know what goes into the making of their favorite games. To tell that story, Morse is planning on conducting interviews over the course of the next 18 months.

Documentary filmmaking is about discovery. So in addition to high profile designers like Alan Moon or Mike Fitzgerald, I’ve been conducting interviews with new designers. Many new designers are coming onto the scene for several reasons. First of all, the hobby has exploded. And it’s no surprise that the numbers of people trying their hand at design has increased as well. The barrier to entry has fallen as a polished and well run Kickstarter campaign has opened doors for many.

PAX wide shot
Money raised in the Kickstarter campaign will be used to fund travel to conduct interviews.

In case you can’t tell by now, Adventures on the Tabletop is still in the production phase. And that’s where Morse needs your help. He has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the making of the documentary. For those not familiar with what goes into a the production process for a movie, Morse has elaborated on why he is seeking our help in making his dream come to reality.

The project is still in the early stages and I am still traveling to gaming events in the US and in Germany this year and next. To that end, I am running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for my extensive travel. It might sound like fun, getting other people to pay for trips to gaming conventions, but in some ways I am saddened because I am lucky to play a handful of games over a few days and really just shoot every day.

That said, filmmaking is my passion and I am capturing these moments that gamers and designers will likely find fascinating. What is great about Kickstarter is I can build a community of people who are thrilled to participate and who are enthusiastic about seeing the final film. There is a bit of frustration in that they have to wait eighteen months as I continue shooting and begin the post production process.

Doug Morse Director
Doug Morse has already completed 6 films in his career and is confident he can make Adventurers on the Tabletop happen.

So you might be wondering what’s in this for you as a backer. Good question, everyone wants to make sure their money is being well spent.

To make it better for the backers, I am offering hours of uncut interviews that may well not make it into the movie. Even if the interviews do, I will likely only use a couple of minutes and the backer of a project such as this might appreciate a half hour long chat with Alan Moon or any of the other luminaries we are able to capture. My goal is to offer as much value to early backers as I can in terms of content. And the more is pledged now towards digital downloads, DVDs, and sponsorship, the more comprehensive the documentary.

So that’s the vision behind Adventures on the Tabletop. If you are intrigued and want to help back this documentary on our hobby, then head over to the kickstarter page to make your pledge. The good news is that as of this writing, Adventures on the Tabletop has already met its funding goal. However Morse is promising that the extra money will be put to good use by brining additional crew to the conventions and including more extended interviews to the backers. If you’d like to check out some of Morse’s previous works, find out more information or become a backer, head over to the Kickstarter page and check it out.

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While he will play just about anything, Tony loves games that let him completely immerse himself in the theme. He also is a bit of a component addict.

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