Category Archives: Tabletop

Chicago comicon wrap-up

I had a truly wonderful time at Wizard Comicon in Chicago this weekend. I met thousands of people who love the things I love, and spent a whole lot of time geeking out about the games we love to play and the universes we love to visit.

Here’s some of the really awesome cosplay I saw:

Rick Grimes and Darryl Dixon Cosplay Captain Planet Cosplay

I love love love that these young women decided to cosplay as the characters they love, even though those characters are male. I’ve seen tons of Doctor Who cosplay from women, and I think it’s extremely awesome that these ladies are not letting gatekeeper dipshits tell them that they can’t cosplay as the characters they love because of their gender. Kick ass!

I also got to see some really great examples of people getting excited and making things:

LEGO Tabletop painting!
LEGO Tabletop painting. Please enjoy the photobombing.
LEGO Tabletop painting!
Closer view of the LEGO Tabletop painting.

 

Wooden Gordie
This guy made this with a wood burning thing.
Watercolour Wesley
This young woman (I think her name is Amanda) painted this Wesley in (I think) Watercolour. I wish I’d taken a closer shot of it, because it’s beautiful work.

I also made some custom Cards Against Humanity cards, that you shouldn’t look at, because they’re kind of NSFW.

 

They don’t all have to make sense, you guys.
The is the underlying premise of my script "Doctor Screw".
The is the underlying premise of my script for “Doctor Screw”.

 

I got to see some really neat stuff that I didn’t know existed, like Cosmic Boy action figures (I was excited because I played Cosmic Boy on Legion of Superheroes).

Cosmic Boy

I also got to sign a bunch of Robin stuff, because I play the Tim Drake Robin in DC Universe Online, as well as a bunch of cool Blue Beetle stuff (I played Ted Kord on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and so far I’m the only actor to play that particular role!) that I wanted to just keep for myself.

Finally, some of you may remember Wesley Crusher’s Sweet-Ass Motherfucking Bouffant. If you do not remember Wesley Crusher’s Sweet-Ass Motherfucking Bouffant, I suggest you go look at Wesley Crusher’s Sweet-Ass Motherfucking Bouffant right now. GO NOW I WILL WAIT.

At the con, I met a delightful young woman called Marty. Marty’s friend Hannah is the creative genius who made sure the world knew about Wesley Crusher’s Sweet-Ass Motherfucking Bouffant. I was so excited to meet her, I had to sign special pictures for the two of them:

Wil Wheaton's Bad Ass Motherfucking Fez

To Hannah: Look at this fucking sweet bad ass motherfucking fez. And what the fuck?! That’s right, it’s a false fucking moustache on top of a real motherfucking hot shit panty-dropping real moustache!

Back Right the Fuck Up And Look At This Motherfucking Picture

To Marty

Back right the fuck up and look at this sweet-ass motherfucking non-bouffant.

Fuck.

Yes.

In gold, Wil fucking Wheaton

We laughed really hard while I was writing these things down, which made me very happy, on account of me being easily amused.

I had a great weekend, and I though I have a few more stories to recount, I’m in the airport waiting to go to Indianapolis for GenCon, and it’s time for me to get on my plane and go PLAY MORE GAMES!

next time on tabletop: star wars x-wing

My editors at Geek & Sundry are amazing, and work very hard to turn hours of footage from several cameras into an awesome episode of Tabletop.

This is what the timeline looks like for next week’s episode, Star Wars X-Wing.

Star Wars X-Wing edit timeline

You can click that to embiggen and get a closer look. For those of you who do editing, you are probably going O.o right now. For those of you who don’t, each one of those boxes and lines represents a cut or a graphic or some other thing my editor, Steve, had to do to create this episode. I think he spent about 40 hours on this one episode.

All creative work for television and movies is a collaboration, and everyone is working together in service of something that’s bigger than all of us individually. Everyone works hard on their specific part of the process, and if we’re lucky, it all comes together to be something awesome.

Not the Flog 3

We are having entirely too much fun making Not The Flog.

This week, I’ll discuss some smartphone and tablet app versions of games we’ve played on Tabletop, forgetting to mention one of the very best, Forbidden Island.

Oh, and the intro that Sean Becker made is maybe the best thing on the Internet today.

Enjoy!

going behind the scenes at tabletop, and embracing your inner nerd

My friend Amy came to Tabletop to shoot a behind the scenes vlog for Geek and Sundry. You can see a little bit more of our set, and meet some of our crew. I can’t embed it, so go watch it and then come back to read something awesome.

Okay, here’s something awesome: I got this lovely note on tumblr, and wanted to share it with as many people as possible. I asked reader RM if I could have permission to reprint this note that she sent me, and she said yes. I hope it makes you feel as happy as it made me feel.

So the last thing I thought I’d do was send fan mail to Wil Wheaton. Yet, here I am doing this happily against the wishes of my past self who constantly told my dad I would never like the ‘stupid nerdy things’ he enjoys.

He always told me one day I would. I didn’t believe him. Then I discovered everything you’ve ever done and made and I realised a lot. I do enjoy ‘stupid nerdy stuff’ but I learnt that what I thought of as stupid nerdy stuff isn’t stupid or in fact how I viewed something being nerdy.

Because looking back I noticed that I always really loved science and super Heros or vampire slayers but I thought in order to like that I had to be a certain way. I was wrong. And I’ve learnt to leave the part of me that stereotyped behind. So thanks to you and my dad I’m not ashamed to share my love for astronomy, Mythbusters, and discoveries.

I will never say to myself ‘I’m not supposed to like that’ anymore because no one is in charge of what I’m supposed to like. And if I like it then that’s what I am supposed to like because I do. I’ve never been supposed to like anything either so why should I not be allowed to like something. Plus, what fifteen year old doesn’t like super Heroes anyway. We all secretly want to be one anyway. No shame in that.

Thank you,

RM

RM’s note to me delights me, because she’s learning to feel comfortable with who she is, and what she loves. One of the many things I just adore about Amy and her vlogs for G&S is how unabashedly enthusiastic she is about the things she loves, and how infectious her love for those things is. I don’t know if RM will grow up to become as enthusiastic as Amy, but hope that RM’s note inspires other young people — especially young women — who are struggling to embrace their inner nerd so they can share her with the world.

The new Tabletop is a real Smash Up.

We wrapped production on season two of Tabletop on Tuesday night. When I got home from the set, Anne asked me how I was feeling.

“Do you feel sad that it’s over, or relieved that you get to catch your breath?”

I grabbed a glass out of the kitchen and walked across our living room.

“I’m tired, so I’m looking forward to a couple days of being a fat piece of shit on the couch, but I’m going to miss playing games all day for my job.”

I poured an Arrogant Bastard Ale out of my kegerator — a gift to myself — that’s been in the living room since it arrived a little over a month ago.

“That makes sense,” Anne said.

“Yeah, and I’m really proud of what we did this season, so I feel sort of sad to say goodbye to my crew for another year.”

I filled my glass and took a sip. “Ahhh that’s good beer.”

“This thing is the Leg Lamp,” she said, pointing to my kegerator.

“You mean it’s a thing of indescribable beauty that should be in the front window?”

“No, I mean that it’s a thing that really needs to be in your office and not the living room.”

I took a drink of my beer. “But if it was in my office, we’d have to walk all the way down the hall to get beer.”

She hesitated and I pounced. “See? That’s science. I win.”

I sat on the couch and she looked at me. “I’m going to move it as soon as I clean up the disaster that is where my office used to be*. Thank you for being patient.” I hoped she would not use up all the glue on purpose, as we settled down to watch the season finale of Game of Thrones.

Today, I’m starting to get back to normal. I’ve slept a lot the last two nights, so I only feel a little fuzzy in my brain. Also today, the newest episode of Tabletop was released! It’s Smash Up, with Rich Sommer, Cara Santa Maria, and Jen Timms.

Watching this today, I am once again blown away by the magnificent work of our editors. This game has a lot going on, and they worked very hard to make it understandable and entertaining. Tabletop is a show that is made in editing, and I realized while watching Smash Up today that the last five days of production, while very long and intense, represent only the beginning of the process that makes Tabletop possible. So, Yasu and Steve, if you’re reading this: thank you for your incredible work. I’m grateful to have you on my team.

*During production, my office becomes a huge pile of boxes and games and all kinds of stuff that just gets set aside until production wraps. It’s currently the worst it’s ever been, because in addition to the usual cruft from production, there are several boxes of things I brought home from conventions last month, as well as a whole lot of homebrew that’s bottle conditioning. It’s a hot mess.

Beginning production on Tabletop Season 2.5

Last year, we shot the entire season of Tabletop in 10 straight days. I think we maybe took two days off in there somewhere, but my memory is a haze of rolling dice (badly), having all kinds of fun with awesome people, and losing games. Oh, the losing games.

This season, we had to split production into two different weeks, and in three hours, we’ll start production on the back half of season two. To prepare, I’ve spent tons of time in the last month or so playing the games we’re featuring, so I not only know them well enough to guide players who are new to them, but maybe have a chance at just winning one fucking game on my show. Just one, Gaming Gods, that’s all I’m asking for.  IS THAT SO WRONG?!

Um. Sorry. Lots of coffee at the moment.

So last night I set my alarm for 7am, managed to fall asleep around midnight even though I felt like a little kid on Christmas Eve … and then woke up at 5:45 because I’m so damn excited to get into production. It’s going to hurt my brain around the time we wrap tonight, I’m sure, but the excitement and joy of playing games I love with awesome people is going to keep me going all day, like it does during every day of production.

I’m sure I’ll be posting pictures and maybe a few stupid cell phone videos from the set on Twitter, so if you want to see them, I’m @wilw.

I have this idea, and I need your help to make it happen: I’ve heard amazing stories from thousands of people over the last year about how Tabletop has touched their lives in a positive way. I would love to share some of those stories with my crew, so they know how much the show they’re working on matters to people they don’t even know. If you have one of those stories, would you please post it in a comment here? Every morning, I’ll print one or two out and read them to the crew before we start shooting.

 

in which i play games for my job, and i am grateful

Last night, my friend and associate Tabletop Producer, Boyan, came over to play some games with me as we prepare for season 2.5 of Tabletop, which we start filming a week from tomorrow.

We’re going to play Ticket To Ride: Europe, because I think it’s a wonderful example of a Tabletop game that’s a variation on a theme, with some minor changes, that’s just as fun to play as the original. In fact, this is the version of Ticket To Ride that made me fall in love with the game. I didn’t like the original the first few times I played it (it wasn’t the game’s fault; I was carrying some baggage from a few really bad games of Power Grid with me), and the smaller map, stations, and tunnels made Europe a game that I still love to play.

2013-05-30 20.22.34

As you can see by the blurry hand up there, trying to hit the table, I asked Anne if she’d come back on the show and play this game with us.

2013-05-30 21.00.28

She said yes, so the three of us played this game and a couple others last night, to prepare for filming next week. And not that it matters, but I won all the games we played, because the cameras weren’t rolling.

But here’s the thing … for almost 4 hours yesterday, I got to sit in my dining room and have a beer while I played boardgames I love with my friend and my wife … and it was legitimately for my job! I was actually working and loving it. So I want to take a moment and just say thank you to everyone who watches Tabletop, and everyone on our crew and at Geek and Sundry, for making this life I currently have possible.

Another Tabletop Day success

WARNING: FEELS AHEAD.

This was submitted to As Seen On Tabletop:

When I first heard about International Tabletop Day, I was very excited. Every day I typed the postcode of my nearest city into the page and was thrilled when I found an event listed. Growing up in regional Australia meant that I wasn’t exposed to gamer culture growing up – as an adult living in a city means there are opportunities to find other like-minded people and to share the joy of gaming with friends and family.

But when the date drew near I realised that International Tabletop Day was on Holy Saturday. I couldn’t attend the big function I was so excited about. The Easter Holidays have always been spent at my parent’s house in a small coastal town. And this Easter was going to be a particularly difficult one. My father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in December, just before Christmas He was only in his early 60’s, and seemed healthy. His death has devastated our family, especially my mother. She has really struggled to come to terms with his death. There have been a lot of challenges in the past few months, especially with my younger sister leaving for a semester studying abroad in America just three weeks after Dad’s funeral. So this Easter would not only be spent without Dad, but without my sister as well.

The rest of the family all headed down to Mum’s house for Easter. I wondered what could be done to make it less of a gloomy occasion. Inspiration struck – International Tabletop Day could still be marked. After dinner everyone sat around the dining room table and played Fluxx. It was suitably chaotic (I was the only person who had played Fluxx before) but soon everyone was laughing and groaning when the rules got more and more complex. Even though Mum had never played the game before, she won every game but two. I hadn’t seen her laugh so much or so hard since before Dad died. It helped bring everyone together for something joyous, a fitting was to pass the Vigil before the joys of Easter Day.

So thank you, International Tabletop Day, for helping make our first Easter without Dad that little bit easier.

Stories like this just keep coming in, from all over the world, and I honestly don’t know how to fully process them. At the moment, all I can do is smile, weep joyfully a little bit, and feel immense gratitude to all the people who helped make Tabletop Day happen.

Tabletop Day Success: “I just spent 9 hours with complete strangers playing games I have never seen before, and not once did I feel uncomfortable.”

I went through my Tumblr queue this morning, and approved over 325 submissions from people who did things on Tabletop Day to As Seen On Tabletop.

This is a lovely note I got from an anonymous Tabletop Day participant. It made my heart grow three sizes, so I wanted to share it.

Tabletop Day Note

Keep an eye on Seen on Tabletop for the next couple of weeks. There are a lot of great stories and pictures in the queue that will hopefully inspire you to play more games.

A little Felicia Day for your Tabletop Day

Due to popular demand, Lar created and sent me this Felicia Day standup to go with the other stand ups he made for Tabletop Day.

Felicia Day Stand Up For Tabletop Day
Click to download the PDF.

You’ll have to make your own Doctor Hannah, however. I suggest crumpling up some foil and stomping on it.