Announcing Tabletop Season Two!

Finally! I can announce that Season Two of Tabletop will premiere on April fourth! I’ve wanted to talk about this for months, but I couldn’t, because of reasons.

But now we can talk about it, so…

We have some amazing guests this season, including Jeri Ryan, Seth Green, Bobak Ferdowsi, Ashley Clements, Patrick Rothfuss, and my son, Ryan Wheaton.

We have some amazing games this season, including Smash Up, Star Trek Catan, Shadows Over Camelot, Lords of Waterdeep, and The Resistance!

Back in January, I wrote a post called Thinking About Tabletop. It turns out that everything I want to say today, I already said then. So, take it away, me from a few months ago:

About a year ago, I finished shooting the first season of my show Tabletop, and had a few weeks off before we began editing the games we played into hopefully entertaining television.

I don’t remember what I did during those weeks — probably slept a whole lot — but when we got into editing, I clearly remember how terrified I was that the show wouldn’t work. The first cut of the first episode was (following my direction) too long, tough to follow, and just not as interesting as I wanted it to be. Luckily, Felicia Day was in the edit bay with me, and she knew exactly how to fix it. She gave notes and advice to the editor (who was amazing), and when we came back two days later to watch the second cut, it was an entirely different show. It was funny, it was entertaining, it captured how much fun it was to play the game. It was what I had always hoped Tabletop would be.

For the next few weeks, we cut the entire season, three episodes at a time, with three amazing and talented editors. By the time we got to the end of everything, we almost knew what we were doing!

As we got closer and closer to the premiere, I kept looking for the familiar nervous anxiety about how people would react, but it wasn’t ever there. I believed in the show in a way I’d never really been able to believe in myself, and I just wanted to share it with the world.

Tabletop’s premiere was a huge success that exceeded my wildest dreams. I think we got close to half a million views almost immediately, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. My friend John Rogers says that you should expect comments to be weighted 3:1 in favor of people hating on a thing, because someone who loves a thing goes “I loved that! I guess I’ll go back to my life now!” instead of going “I loved that! NOW I WILL ENGAGE ALL CAPS TO TELL THE PERSON WHO MADE IT HOW MUCH I LOVED IT.” Even with that adjustment, we were at like 10:1 positives to negatives.

As the season unfolded, I began to hear from game shop owners. When we played a game on Tabletop, it sold out. I heard from designers that when we played their games, they sold thousands and thousands of them. I heard from a distributor that one of the games we played sold out and had to go into a new printing — they thought 30,000 copies of the game would be enough, and they were wrong.

But the most amazing thing, that I didn’t even expect or think about even a little bit, were the personal stories from people who had been inspired to start up their own game nights with their friends and families because of Tabletop. One father told me that his tween kids spent every evening in front of their own computers or televisions, and after dinner he pretty much didn’t see his family until breakfast. But after watching Tabletop together, the kids were inspired to start a family game night. Tabletop, he told me, literally brought his family closer together.

There are dozens of parents of special needs children who have emailed me or talked to me at conventions, thanking me for giving them something that helps their children.

I even heard from a guy who felt like his marriage was drifting apart until he watched Tabletop with his wife and they started playing games together.

My ulterior motive with this show has always been to make more gamers by showing how much fun it is to play games, and I’m pretty confident that I can declare that effort an unqualified success.

Tabletop means more to me than I ever thought it would, and the community that has grown around it makes me incredibly proud, but I didn’t do Tabletop alone. We had an incredible crew who could film people playing games in a visually interesting way. We had an incredible director who kept us together and focused on what was important. We had friends who came to play with me just because I asked, and game publishers who took a chance on our show without knowing exactly what it would end up being. I had an incredible creative partner in Felicia Day. I had a tremendously talented team of producers who pulled together an equally talented team of editors, who are the true unsung heroes of this entire effort.

And then there’s the community, which is as much a part of the success of Tabletop as anything. Whether you’re posting in the Geek and Sundry forums, sharing your stories and pictures on the Seen on Tabletop Tumblr I made, talking about games we played at Board Game Geek, or actually playing games with people who are important to you, you’re part of something wonderful.

And speaking of wonderful things, we’re working really hard to make International Tabletop Day the best celebration possible of the tabletop gaming culture we love. At the moment, there are 2,250 events in 55 countries, and more people are joining and adding their own every day. I want to point out that a few hundred events would be considered an epic success by any measurement, and a thousand events was something we never dreamed would happen — in a year or two, sure, but right away? No way. The point is, you, the Tabletop audience, my fellow gamers, my fellow geekdads and gamerdads and geekmoms and gamermoms … your enthusiasm and joy of gaming has built a truly global community. We are all part of something amazing, now, and I hope you feel as good about it as I do.

I really excited for you to see Season Two, and I hope we live up to your expectations.

Trust me when I say that this wouldn’t have happened without you … so thank you for watching, and until next time, play more games.

117 thoughts on “Announcing Tabletop Season Two!”

  1. I just made the most incoherant series of excited noises ever when I saw this on Twitter. Pretty sure my whole office thinks I’ve lost my mind, but MOAR TABLETOP YAY!

  2. I am absolutely confident that Season Two will be just as awesome as Season One. I can’t WAIT for April 4 now!! I even had to bust out my extra exclamation points!!!

  3. Can’t wait for the Shadows Over Camelot episode because we have yet to beat that @#$%@#%! game, even with no Traitor… You’re going to show us how to win, right? Right?

  4. I’ve already bought Last Night on Earth and I’m pretty sure Pandemic and Settlers of Catan is going to be next on my list. Can’t wait to see what other games I might be adding to my collection come April 4th.

    1. Good luck on Pandemic. My local game seller has been trying to get it for me ever since the episode came out back in October. He is still having problems getting a copy. Of course it might be easier if you go with a big box store, but I like supporting my local game shop.

  5. Any chance of getting a list of games that will be played this season, or can you not “because of reasons.” I now have a game shelf because of TableTop. Various games I have bought on my own and after seeing them on tabletop.

  6. @Mark Schneider (and everyone else)
    There are a ton of games out there that are worth a shake, but may not be suitable for airing on Table Top.
    I watched a video-blog message of Wil’s where he discussed this a little bit.

    Let me know what sorts of games you like the best right now and I will take a lash at recommending some that you could try out.

    1. Oh, I don’t care what games are going to be played, I would just like to get a list in advance so if it is something that look interesting I can get a copy of it before the “Tabletop Effect” kicks in and it is sold out for months.

  7. Congrats on a new season! It would be great it you guys could coordinate with us Brick & Mortar retailers to give us a heads up on what’s being played in advance so we can stock up on them too. Even just giving a heads up to our distributors…something so we can kinda keep up and be in advance of the loop here ;)

    1. As far as I know, we’re in contact with your distributors, so they know. Ask you reps, and if you don’t get a good answer back, let me know. I’ll see what I can do.

  8. OK, Reader Poll – What are your top 3 favorite games to play from season 1? (Not to be confused with what is your favorite episode)

    Mine:

    #1 Zombie Dice – Compact, easy to carry, easy to play (even very young kids can play it) and fun.
    #2 Dixit – Wonderful game that sparks your imagination.
    #3 Small World. Fun game that is equal parts wits, luck and planning. I do strongly suggest getting the “Grand Dames” to have more female choices in the game.

  9. Awesome news, one of my favorite shows. Assuming Mike and Jerry will finally be making an appearance, was asked at PAX East Q&A and they seemed to know of Season 2. As well a winners of S1 esp. Day9 epp

  10. Since watching table top I have gotten more time with my kids. Being disabled I cannot go running around with them and this allows me to have that quality time I hope they remember later on.

  11. Had The. Worst. Dream. last night. We couldn’t find anywhere to play on TabletopDay because everyone else was already playing and there was no room to start a new game!

  12. I’m really looking forward to seeing your episode on Smash Up!

    I got back into gaming – both with friends at work AND with my kids – thanks to your show. Before TableTop, I thought Settlers of Catan, at a glance, looked confusing and abstract. Then, after watching your episode, I realized it was simple AND cool, and it’s one of my favorites to play with the guys at work.

    And now there’s a stack of new games at home that I’ll play with my kids on a regular basis – it’s been a great way for us to spend some family fun time together. Thanks for creating this great idea, and I look forward to season 2!

  13. I just watched the raw episode of Castle Panic. I love games where you have to work together and this was a blast watching the four of you defend your castle against the gob hordes. The other day I was in a gamestore in Toronto where in a display case at the front of the store was a laptop with Tabletop playing. Behind the counter many of the games you have featured including Dragon Age which I don’t see around often, it was their last copy. Yeah, you are definitely having an effect on the tabletop gamer pastime. I’ll be starting up a Dragon Age group when I move closer to my friends in the city this year. I also have my eye on Castle Panic and Last Night on Earth.

    Greatly looking forward to season #2.

  14. Woohoo! Congrats on season 2, Wil! (That reminds me, though, I do need to check out the latest extended episode you guys posted a couple days ago — btw, suggestion #1? You guys should do extended episodes of everything. I’d watch the hell out of ‘em!)

    And suggestion #2: You should talk to Felicia and see if she can’t get Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles or Jared Padalecki from Supernatural to come on (Misha especially) — they’re hilarious guys, although I don’t know that any of them are active gamers as such. Still, table full of newbies who are exceedingly funny, funny people? That’s a no-lose situation, man!

  15. Very happy to finally see this — all the G&S people at ECCC a few weeks ago kept talking like it was going to happen, but were always really quick to add that “um, I mean, if there’s a season two.”

    Congratulations and/or yay!

  16. Very excited about the new season; but, dang it, Patrick Rothfuss needs to finish up the third volume of his book and not getting distracted by board games. Bad Wil, Bad!

  17. YAY!!!

    *starts putting aside more money to buy more new games to play*
    *wonders how expensive an addition to the house for storing last season’s games and all these new games would be*

    Awesome news!
    Will Anne be on again to destroy another board? :)

    Also, I think Watson, Luna, Seamus, Riley and Marlowe should get cameos as well.

  18. Yes yes yes! I’ve started a gaming day for the kids at the high school I teach at and was worried about running out of ideas for new games to show them! Season 1 has already gotten be through the first few weeks but I was afraid the end of the school year was going to come up short. Viva La TableTop!

  19. HOOOOOOOORRRRAAAAAYYYYY!!! \o/

    You can’t see it but I’m totally running aroung the garden in circles while waving sparklers. You know, like in Scrubs… not like in Beasts of the Southern Wild, because then most of the world would have ended and that would be kinda depressing and who wants to think- LOOK PUPPIES!!

    Yay for more Tabletop!! :)

  20. Wil–

    My seven year-old son (Logan–indeed, named after the X-man) is a video game junkie. If it has a screen and buttons, he wants to play with it. Naturally, since he fights against interacting with people, this concerns my husband and me. We’ve tried a lot, mostly to no avail–and then I watched the “Ticket to Ride” episode, and downloaded the app.

    We play TTR in the car, passing my iPad around as we take turns; for Christmas, he begged for a tabletop version of the game (which we bought), and it’s one “regular” game he gladly puts aside the tech for in order to play *with* us. Thanks for leading us to something we ALL love!

  21. Season two, SCHWEET!

    Does anyone have ideas for games that little kids can play? Something beyond Candyland or Chutes and Ladders type games. I’m trying to institute family game night starting on ITTD and I need some suggestions that don’t make me want to scoop out my eyeballs with a rusty melon baller.

    1. Kids of Carcassonne, Pengaloo, Hey, that’s my Fish, and for somewhat older kids, Der Schwartze Pirat (The Black Pirate) are fun.

    2. I would suggest Zombie Dice. All that is needed is simple math skills (count up to 13, and the ability to add) and is fun. I took to my friend’s house and him and I played a game. His 4 daughters (aged 5-10) just watched us play the first game, and then they all joined in and were playing on the 2nd game. An advantage of Zombie Dice is that just about any number of people can play.

      1. That is a great suggestion, except they already played it :D I bought a copy for myself, and then a second along with Martian dice as gifts for friends after watching the show. It’s a great game. I just wish they would sell a rubber brain supplement to go along with it, like the brains the used on the Tabletop episode!

    3. My daughter is almost five. She loves games like Sleeping Queens, Duck Duck Bruce, Ghost Blitz, Looping Louie. Most importantly, adults have a lot of fun playing these games too!!

      I’m very excited about TT2.0, both for the awesome games I already know (LoW, Resistance) and also new games I’m looking forward to meeting.

      1. So many good choices I had to make a Pinterest board so I can remember them all. Now if only I could afford them. Thanks!

  22. I’m doing the Kermit flail.

    Also, I’m calling it now – there will be some, none or more of the TNG cast on the Star Trek Catan ep.

    At least one, anyway.

  23. Finally! I can breathe a sigh of relief!!! I’m so used to regular network TV screwing me over with every show I truly love, and now I get a second season of a show I adore. :D I LOVED the special extended version you put out and I hope we’ll see many more in the future so those of us who really enjoy the camaraderie between game players and the full width and breadth of a game can experience it all.

    Thank you and all the people who helped bring us TableTop for your incredible work. I STILL say if Kevin Smith can get Comic Book Men on cable TV, there HAS to be a spot for TableTop somewhere. :) :) :)

  24. YAY!!! So excited about this news — you just made my day, week, etc.

    I hope you guys are doing Forbidden Island this season. I bought it based on your recommendation and I like it, but I could really use some strategy tips. I was doing so well on novice level, but I’m finding it much harder to win on “normal” level.

  25. CONSIDER ALL CAPS ENGAGED!! I AM SUPER DUPER OOOOOOOOOOOOOOPER EXCITED ABOUT SEASON TWO OF TABLETOP!!!!!

    WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

    AND EVEN….

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. I was cutting onions to put in with the roast for dinner earlier, so it could be that my eyes are watering from that, but I suspect it’s actually tears of joy on hearing this news! I was passionate about games before tabletop, but then I had kids who were too small to play, and life got in the way. Now that the kids are old enough to play, Tabletop has really helped us to find new games to rekindle that passion, and we’ve ensnared the entire block and have regular games at least once a month with many of the neighbors and their kids. :) Thanks for helping to build our neighborhood community through gaming. I don’t think we would be as close-knit as we’ve become without it.

  27. Yes! Season 2! Best day ever. :)
    Jeri Ryan’s been promoting Tabletop on Google Plus so it’s awesome that she’s appearing on the show.

    I played Pandemic at Zenkaikon VII and loads of people kept on referencing Tabletop.
    It took us five rounds of Pandemic on Hard mode to finally win the game and it was a rule that we never thought about until we looked at the manual!
    “You can transport between spots with research stations as one action. You don’t have to have the city’s card to go.” – little summary
    After we won, we celebrated our victory by playing Star Fluxx and the original Fluxx.

    Clearly the show’s super popular and has brought back gaming to the masses. Thank you so much Wil Wheaton for giving gamers more reasons to polish our tabletops.

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