This interview is part of a series focusing on candidates in the running for the 2014 ENnie Awards. The Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (the “ENnies”) are an annual fan-based celebration of excellence in tabletop role-playing gaming, with voting beginning 7 a.m. Central on Sunday, July 20 through 7 p.m. Central on Wednesday, July 30. The winners will be announced at Gen Con, the Grand Hall at the Historic Union Station on Friday, August 15. To vote, see http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/. In this installment I interview Tim Brannan, author of the Other Side blog.
Michael Tresca (MT): Tell us about your company.
Tim Brannan (TB): The Other Side blog has been my personal blog dedicated to all sorts of role-playing. Old School, Horror, D&D, all sorts of games.
MT: Has your company been nominated for any ENnies in the past?
TB: This is my first time!
MT: Congratulations! Tell us about your nominated site.
TB: From my site: The Other Side Blog is a game design blog from Timothy S. Brannan, author of the Ghosts of Albion RPG, The Witch, Eldritch Witchery and contributor to many horror themed RPGs. Follow his thoughts on game development or even just game playing. Named after the author's 10+ year old website "The Other Side". Currently working on "Strange Brew: The Ultimate Witch and Warlock" for Pathfinder and Castles & Crusades. See http://timbrannan.blogspot.com for more.
MT: What distinguishes your entries from your competitors?
TB: My competition talks about the number of posts and articles they have. I have the same number and I am just a one man operation! Ok, so are some of my fellow nominees. I feel my blog offers insight to gamin because I do not focus on just one game or one style of play. In a week I could have posts about D&D, Vampire, FATE, Ghosts of Albion, a character build in Pathfinder or Unisystem, a review of a game product and my thoughts on a new horror movie I just saw.
Plus I have several features that set my blog apart such as "Plays Well With Others" a semi-regular posting on combining two different game products together to get better experience. "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading" where I look at lesser known blogs and tell everyone why I think they are awesome. Weekly posts like "White Dwarf Wednesday" were I reviewed White Dwarf magazine and now Owl & Weasel and "Zatannurday" my Saturday posting about the DC character Zatanna. Of course there are my witches. I post a lot about various witches from movies, television and books.
In fact here is one for you! http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2014/06/maleficent-for-basic-games.html
MT: What does it take to produce a successful digital presence like yours?
TB: Constant output and engagement with my readers. This is not just a soapbox for me to air my thoughts, but a place of solid community. A place where the reader is just as encouraged to post their own thoughts and even tell me I am wrong. I don't delete posts, I don't insult or belittle my readers and care about what they have to say.
MT: Any tips for newbies just entering the field?
TB: Write! Write day and night till you get better at it. Nobody will think your 1st draft is genius so keep at it. Do this for love of the hobby.
MT: Any metrics on the number of listeners/viewers to your site?
TB: I typically get a little over 1300 hits per day. I have been posting daily (giver or take) since 2009 and have over 2300 posts up.
MT: What do you think of the new edition of D&D?
TB: I like it. I am playing a 1st Ed AD&D game with my kids now and we are considering switching over.
MT: Will you be at Gen Con? Where? Will any new products debut at Gen Con?
TB: Yes! Walking around with my kids mostly. No new products to debut. Strange Brew will be out in December though.
MT: Where can we find out more about your site online?
TB: At my blog at http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/
MT: Anything else you'd like to share?
TB: Keep coming back after the ENnies for more detail on Strange Brew!