When we launched our Kickstarter for Season 2 of Cards an Chit, we had a tremendous vision for the show. One that included creating an entire network. Not only did we want to continue to produce our reviews, but we wanted to delve into creative theater. The schedule we created for ourselves was an absolute nightmare.
If we funded at and unlocked each stretch goal, we would have given ourselves an impossible workload. Two episodes of different shows some weeks, and 4 episodes for others. We could barely get a single review out on time and we wanted to disappear into our work load.
This was something I was tremendously excited for. I loved every aspect of the process. I loved the reviews, the sound design, the editing, publishing, community involvement, networking. All of it filled my soul with joy. Even though I was going to university full time, I could not wait to get started on this insane task.
There were quite a few things going on that lead to the dissolution of the "network". Personal lives got in the way, and we ended up falling behind on review obligations we had with publishers, and tensions ended up running high. I was determined to review games with the respect they deserved (even if they weren't good games), and avoided at all costs putting out a sub-par product. This pressure I was putting on the team created a hostile environment towards the hobby itself. The show was no longer a fun activity that we did in our free time, but rather a job we were not being paid for.
There was one other situation where we ran into this problem. About 7 months in, we ran into a string of bad games. Moral was low, as we mentally decided that the game we were going to play was going to be bad before we even opened the box. We skipped days, we fell apart in our reviews (with people often walking out literally in the middle of a review). We ultimately made a point to play games that were already established as good to keep up moral.
I was confident that we would prevail as we had before. And yet...
In December 2015, we fell over a month behind on our review queue. On January 23rd, we launched our Kickstarter. On February 8th, we shut down that Kickstarter, and in early April, I disabled our the majority of our RSS feed and stopped paying for audio hosting.
It has since been 2 months since the show has officially been out on hiatus, and I am struggling with some things. For start, I miss everything about it. Second, I cannot bring myself to follow through with a reboot.
In the process of shutting down, I was forced to burn so many bridges. I lost relationships with designers, publishers, and I lost a significant amount of money (I was the sole provider of recording equipment, and ended up being the only one paying for audio hosting) from my own pocket. My ability to get games to the table, and my personal enjoyment of my all-time favorite titles has dropped to near zero. Still, every fiber of my being wants to do reboot the podcast.
I should mention that I am currently involved in another online/radio show, but I do not have creative control over any aspect of it. I simply sit in and comment where needed. It is fun, and right now, I live for every Tuesday when we go into studio, but it isn't something that I take control over.
The State of the Meta
I have been talking to Charlie Bink about coming on as a co-host. We have been kicking around a few format ideas and I have thought long an hard about what I want the show to represent when it comes back.
The short of it is, I have no F*ing idea.
There are a few types of boardgame podcasts.
Where does Cards and Chit fall into this formula? Where do we fall into the market?
This is the question that I have been asking myself since February 8th.
It hurts my soul that we ended the way we did. There is nothing I want more than to get back to the table top and produce content to help my favorite hobby.
So what does this mean for Cards and Chit? Will it return? Who will it consist of? I have no idea. I am torn, I am hurt, and I cannot stop thinking about getting back into the thick of it.
Yet every time I break out the equipment, all I want to do is toss it in the garbage.