I always hate when people apologize for not posting enough, but I really have to do just that! Lots of personal things have been going on that have gotten in the way of developing Random Encounters, but for the most part it’s all good! First thing is first – Jordan and I had a nice time at Haven Con! The attendance was fairly low, but for it being a first time event and taking place on Easter weekend I say it went well. More importantly, it was a very important event for those that went, and I salute its focus on being an LGBT event. At first I admittedly didn’t think it was really… necessary? I say that only because convention and gaming conventions have been some of the most welcoming groups I’ve ever met (especially board game conventions)! But concerning the absolute garbage laws being passed in some states (looking at you, Indiana – and even our own Texas has some similar laws), I think events like Haven Con are vital to our community.
This is something that I’ve gone back and forth on since we started Random Encounters, but I guess this is as good a time as any to stick with a decision: Reginald, the Stubborn Spellsword is homosexual and Artina the Enchanting Storyteller is bisexual. We’ve been really nervous about if having this in our game would hurt us – after all Random Encounters is a game aimed at early teens and being family friendly. But just saying that out loud makes me realize that there’s nothing wrong with either of these characters, and it’s a part of what makes them special. As these characters were created, this was something that I had in mind for them, but was worried about actually sharing because it might give us negative attention. It’s a real eye opener to think that I was worried about a potential reaction to a fictional character from an unreleased product vs what an actualy human being has to go through. That’s why Haven Con is important – to let people know that there is nothing wrong with being themselves.
When I told someone about Reginald, they made the comment “but he doesn’t look gay”. Just think about that for a moment: we are so used to being able to immediately identify if a character is homosexual because of their expressions and outfits are overly flamboyant. We need more characters to be diverse. NOT for the sake of diversity, but for the sake of having interesting characters. Their sexuality is just ONE aspect of their character, and it’s a shame that homosexuality isn’t fully accepted as being more than a character stereotype in our entertainment medium. We met a lot of fun folks at Haven Con and are looking forward to going back again next year (with more than just a demo)! So a big thanks to Shane and all the volunteers of the event for making us feel so welcome!
We’ll post a photo gallery and give you an update on the Kickstarter’s status soon. We’ve sent out more prototype copies and are expecting to get some reviews soon!
Thanks for sticking with us through this ride!
-Joshua and Jordan