So a Quick Little Background First…
The idea behind Assorted Meeples started getting thrown around about three years ago. While the length of time it took to get going might not say much about our ability to defeat procrastination, we take pride in the fact that we feel like we’re doing this the right way. Our bi-weekly board game nights were competitive, hilarious, and often a highlight of the month for all of us.
The many times we had various friends join us they made similar comments. These game nights were a blast, as a group we had a really unusually entertaining back and forth, and our game nights became something a lot more people wanted to join when they could. Plenty of friends told us we should look at streaming, look at being YouTubers or Twitch streamers, or doing something like that.
So we hemmed and hawed for way too long because, you know, professionals. Go-getters. Insert your favorite sarcastic/ironic term here. It probably applies.
In the past year we became more serious about trying this, and part of the honest reason it took so long was because while we were definitely open to the idea, we wanted to make sure we did this the right way.
So what did that mean to us?
- Above all this still had to be fun – if it wasn’t, then we wouldn’t be able to capture, much less share, the magic that made these get-togethers so much fun and so special
- We had to have honest, positive feedback early on to make sure this was fun for our viewers
- We wanted to work hard at making sure chat was treated just like another friend at the table – we needed to make them a part of our experience
- We had to be serious about finding our voice and pushing this – no half-a**ed busying up a hobby
- We wanted to create an actual community for gamers, RPG-ers, and fellow culture geeks that was about the fun, the joy, the passion – all the good things with none of the ugliness
- Someone had to come up with a good name (harder than you’d think)
Obviously, we’re doing this, so we at least found enough to give it a serious go. We soft launched in October to work out a lot of kinks (boy howdy were there so many problems and kinks we didn’t plan on) and officially kicked off Assorted Meeples with that great New Year’s Eve marathon gaming session.
Our Community: Amazing Beyond Our Wildest Expectations
So in our mind we had milestones we wanted to reach. Among the group we all work full-time jobs, some of us are self-employed (which means we work insane numbers of hours), about half of us have families. We’d give this a run, and we knew that things took time to build, but there were some milestones we had to make over the next couple years to keep running.
Affiliates on Twitch by gathering 50 followers? We could probably do that by May. Getting steady streams of strangers to join our channel even at 1-3 followers a week because we were just putting out that much good content? We could probably do that by summer. First 10 actual subscribers? Really should shoot for that by 4th of July, if possible. First donation? Maybe by Labor Day? First Patron? Well, we really should find a way to attract them before the fall holidays.
Even with goals like that, many people told us they were overly optimistic, and they probably were for the average group. But Assorted Meeples had something many others don’t: the MOST AWESOME community ever!
So all those goals up there? Thanks to you guys – we hit ALL of them in January. Seriously pat yourself on the back, take a bow, treat yourself to your favorite alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage of choice – because frankly that is so far beyond amazing there has to be a German word to express it. Truly freaking awesome.
Our community in the chat is amazing, and you guys have built an environment that others have checked out, liked, and wanted to join. That is no small feat. It is a really cool thing and we’re frankly floored by the level of support everyone has shown us. As of this writing we are blessed to have just short of 60 followers, we have 10 subscribers, 1 patron, and have received our first donation.
Honestly, we could put up nearly every single person following us as a special shout out (and there will be many of those in the future), but special mention needs to be given to Madclaw for being our first Patron (you’re beautiful), to TridentDragonite for taking the time to help us moderate while on stream (not all heroines wear capes, and you’ve done an amazing job making sure both newcomers and returning players are welcomed and feel at home), and of course to AlmightyFalker, who has done a ton of things to support our channel, including our first donation via Twitch.
Everyone in chat rocks hard. Right now you three stand out as rocking even harder. Good on all of you!
Keep Doing It Right
The biggest thing to celebrate isn’t even the followers, the subscribers, the slow trickle of money that someday might reimburse camera expenses. It’s the fact that we look forward to weekly game nights as much as ever. Those of us streaming video games look forward to meeting everyone during their stream. You guys have told us over and over just how much fun it is to drop in and watch whether you’re hamming it up in chat or just lurking on the side and enjoying the chaos.
That’s what means the most to us, because it means we’re doing things right. We’re creating an actual community that brings value to all of us who are involved, and this is something that we look forward to doing on an ongoing basis as well.
You guys have been beyond amazing, and just like we said on last stream: Thank you, thank you, thank you! Let’s keep building this thing together, see where it goes, and as the community keeps on growing and pushing us to new heights, we’ll be able to do more of the things we all love and kick off those special creative projects that we know you guys will absolutely love down the line.
So keep being your awesome selves – and thank you so much for the truly unbelievable support all of you have given us so far!
Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.