Interview – David Morrison (Thistle Games)

David Morrison is the founder of Thistle Games, a games design and learning games company based in Scotland.

Starting off with a more personal question, according to your website, Thistle Games is a games design and learning games company based in Scotland which consults on topics such as active learning, shared gaming, RPGs and ARGs (Alternate Reality Games). So what keeps you going? What keeps you enthusiastic about working in the RPG industry?

When players talking after a game launch into what their PCs plan on trying out next week,

Earlier this year, your site was nominated for Best Website. What did you think of the ENnies when you found out that you were nominated?

The nominations are through the ENWorld community. The site is packed with expert GMs and games designers – so it’s appreciated.

Did your nomination affect site traffic?

Not a lot.

What projects do you have on the schedule; anything you can talk about?

Over the last couple of months the site has been re-organised to make the most visited content more accessible. That’s included folding our tabletop RPG feature posts into an ‘RPG Cookbook’ section.

At the same time RPG Treasure has received a polish and the collaborative production layer of RPG ARG Renegade went on to the site in August. There’s more Cookbook material to tidy-up and post, but Renegade’s next layer has been soaking-up time recently.

D&D content is also being developed. This may have something to do with forking Renegade – but any passing ARG players would feel cheated if they weren’t left to piece together what’s under development from various posts on various sites.

Overall, the site is becoming more focused on supporting and offering gameplay. The independent reviews and gaming news coverage has lost out recently but, so far, visitors have been patient and keep coming back. Perhaps because a lot of them arrived from the Treasure website, where nothing seems to happen for a while, then a full upgrade appears in mailboxes on Christmas morning or the 4th July. (It was kind of pleasing when one guy emailed to say thanks, as it was the only present he’d been given).

Facebook integration is an option that may offer a good way to streamline and improve news and reviews coverage.

Now that we’ve been around for over a decade, what do the ENnies mean to you both personally and professionally?

Personally, I’m not good with praise. Professionally, the ENnies are one of the key ways in which RPGs are promoted to wider audiences and any content developer working in the industry is going to want to take part.

If someone who had never heard of the ENnie Awards walked up to you today and asked, “So what are these ‘ENnies’ you keep talking about,” how would you answer them?

Like the Webbies for roleplaying games.

For more information about Thistle Games, you can visit them at thistlegames.com.

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