07 March 2012

A complete line of components

From Dragon #50, June 1981, comes this wonderful glimpse into the gaming industry.

It is an ad for a game manufacturer, which is to say, they offer publishing services specifically for RPGs and board games.

What do they provide? Dice? Check. Spinners? Of course! Die cut counters? All day, everyday. Maps? Dude, they have game technicians ready to review your needs.

For such a company to exist and advertise, it implies a demand. This was a time just before "TV games" invaded every home. Even then, people had time and money for leisure. The game market was on fire, like some sort of analog dotcom boom. A lot of little startups, like Patch Press, were trying to get a piece of that sweet, sweet hobby pie.

Everyone want to have a cash hoard, to have "Gygax money."

Actually, I see something like this happening now with the OSR community. Just look at the success of recent projects like Adventurer Conquerer King, The B/X Companion and the Dwimmermount kickstarter. The "Patch Press" of today are companies like Lulu, DriveThru RPG and Dragonsfoot.

I don't expect the hobby to generate a lot of wealth this time around, but the cost of production is so much lower than ever before. Some one or two people will make a tidy sum.

Life (and hobbies) will find a way.