Weekend Watch: Game Crafting with DM Insomnia

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Weekend Watch: Game Crafting with DM Insomnia

As we’ve written about before in this column, tabletop and roleplaying gaming are more popular than ever. These gaming hobbies are very much maker hobbies. Unlike board and card games (which are also exploding at the moment), tabletop miniature games and RPGs require players to finish the game.

For miniature games, you need to assemble and paint the minis, build the table terrain you are going to play on, and create other game elements you might need. For RPGs, like Dungeons & Dragons, you need to design adventurers, create non-playing characters, and build any visual aids you want to use in telling your collaborative, interactive story. In the current D&D renaissance, lots of dungeon masters (DMs) are going deeper than ever to physically represent the environments of their stories. And that means lots of making.

Lee Eddings is one of the many DMs who has taken to his workbench to give physical form to his fantasy worlds. And to document his humble efforts on YouTube. Below are a few of his videos. I especially like his Noobtube series where he introduces various aspects of game crafting to newbies to the hobby.

I especially enjoyed his introduction to what a bitz box is. Every game crafter has a stash of food packaging, shipping trash, and other bits of cast-offed materials that only a gamer could see the potential in. Lee goes through his bitz box and explains what sorts of potential he sees in the trash he’s amassed. (I once had a refrigerator box in a closet filled with such material. In a Spring cleaning fit, I threw the entire thing out — OK, my late wife made me do it! I have regretted that decision ever since.)


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn