2020 Tabletop Writers Diversity Initiative: Challenge Five

Welcome back to the Tabletop Writers Diversity Initiative! I’m Dustin Schwartz, writer and editor of tabletop game rulebooks. Since I first stepped into the freelance waters six years ago, I’ve contributed professionally to more than 150 games that have gone on to publication, and plenty more that have not.

One of my favorite things about working on so many games is the opportunity to see the broad array of what games have to offer: mechanical design, subject matter and tone, physical design and affordances, presentation and packaging. There are so many different cross-sections, so different angles for enjoyment and analysis.

Some people gravitate toward a specific genre or subgenre because of how the gameplay creates satisfying combos or puzzles. Others like games of a certain theme because its narrative arc facilitates the types of stories they want to tell. Still others engage games on a visual level, appreciating them both as Art and art. This breadth and depth of possibility is part of what makes the hobby so appealing.


Challenge Five:

Mechanics, Theme, and Artistry


This week’s challenge is to identify a particular cross-section of gaming that excites you – then write about it!

Is there a particular game mechanism that you find yourself thinking about often? Tap into that energy. What about a theme that you gravitate toward? Explore that further. Maybe topics of art and presentation are what move the needle for you. In which case, move with it.

Whatever it may be, find that specific avenue which resonates with you that you could talk about at length and commit those thoughts to writing!


Additional Challenge Info
  • While free to mention others in the piece, such as in reference or contrast, you are picking just one mechanic, theme, artist, or art style as your focus.
  • Aim for 800-1500 words for this Challenge. 
  • Once completed, post your comments or your article to your site on or before Monday, October 12th at 9AM EDT. We’ll start sharing them out ourselves the next day, but if you want to circulate it yourself too with the #TWDI2020 tag, by all means.
  • Also, when finished, be sure to claim your Week 5 Merit Badge below!


That’s it for now. Happy writing!