6 month look back.
What an interesting six months it has been, we were just getting ready to go to Airecon, the last big convention to be held almost anywhere. We’d just rushed to remake our life size Tsuro, after auctioning off our first version for £120 for charity.
We had a roller banner and had a graphic designer help us bring out signage up to scratch. Ready for a year of visiting conventions and showing off our giant games as well as running events ourselves.
We had just started the engine to try and get prizes for our May charity day. last year we had £2000 in prizes, entertained 120 people and raised £2245
We could have easily shut our doors when the lockdown happened. We didn’t, we had a charity event in two week. Despite all of us still working full time we ending up learning and experimenting, buying and borrowing kit (Did you try and buy a web cam in March and April!)
We found ways to run our games online, found online games like Jackbox, found browser games. Wrote user guides and articles, shared good new stories and lots of amazing free resources put out by companies. We ran every single event we planned. We ran our May event albeit a lot smaller.
We’ve raised over £1000 since lock down.
That alone is amazing, loads of clubs and societies have just shut their doors, we did more! We added more weekly events, escape rooms and unlock games, Role play sessions, video game nights and custom codename session involving such puns as codegames, codebrains, Codegame of thrones and codedames.
The extra sessions are made up of games nights, charity events, computer and video game session and RPG one shots. They don’t include the atleast 5 active RPG campaigns 3 of which started during lock down, most of them meet weekly online.
We ran an amazing Secret Santa and commissioned a celebratory tankard with profits going to cover club costs (so we can keep our events free)
We ran two emoji (Film and Board games quizzes to raise money for Mind and to provide some fun.
We formed a sister division to manage the new Role play section. We’ve played Dungeons and Dragons 5e, Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 4e, Alien, Masks, Zombie World, Mothership, Hostile, Savage Worlds Explorer edition, Cthulhu, Fiasco, Dungeon Crawl Classic.
We’ve taken players from their very first Role play game to running their own sessions, coaching and supporting them all of the way. Atleast three weekly campaigns have started too.
Despite being the face of HB, I am shy and very introverted, I’ve appeared on the local radio 3 times (first ever radio appearance) explaining the value of gaming and community especially during lock down.
For me personally I’ve run online board games for the first time, ran online RPGs, ran online games for strangers and joined strangers in online games. I’m proud of my self and am loving my new found skills and confidence.
This also came with learning various new systems including Roll20, discord, Foundry, OBS Studio and more.
Thats not all! We took our fledgling free game library from 30 titles in March to 120 in August. Thanks to grants, publisher donations and personal donations we 120 games covering the full alphabet and with something for every from light family games like My First Carcasonne to award winning titles like Wingspan.
We’ve been delivering games into families into isolation and lockdown, providing even more free fun and letter them try before the buy.
we have delivered / lent over 100 games (since November), around 1/3 of the collection is on loan at most times!
I’ve also migrated and revamped the main website to massively lower costs and created a brand new website for games library.
It has been a hard six months for everyone. The team and I have worked hard to provide free entertainment and social outlets. I know our games nights are the highlights of more than one persons weeks, that is a huge honour and responsibility.
Keep on being awesome to each other all.
Finally if you’ve struggled during the last six month but you are still here struggling on, that is winning too, don’t feel bad or any pressure to do lots of things if you aren’t in a place to be able to
We are going to stay online for a bit longer, we will meet in person when we can delivery a great games night safely.
We are aiming to continue games nights weekly and atleast 2 RPG nights a month
We will aim to continue online sessions as they are accessible and inclusive in ways in-person events aren’t.