Starstruck – I Finally Get It!

Several years ago my wife and I went to a convention in Melbourne that is a pop culture convention (not an RPG one).  We largely went because we found out that Nicholas Brendon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame was going to be there with his twin brother, Kelly.  We stood in line for three hours for my wife to get a ticket to have her photo taken with them and then another hour in line for the photo.  My wife (it was her birthday) got all shy and giggly when she went in to have the photo – so much so I had to poke my head in and tell them that it was her birthday.  As we came out I said that I did not really understand the shyness and she was telling me they are famous.  I just said that they are just people.  They have their own ups and downs, just because they are in front of a camera does not mean much other than that is there job.

Later that day we went back to get the phot, and you guessed it – waited in line for another hour to get it.  Just after she got it my wife was staring in amazement at her photo with the two boys that a couple of people walked past her, said excuse me as they pushed gently past.  My wife said that is OK without looking up and then I burst into laughter.  Nikki looked at me with that “Why is that funny look” and I pointed out the pair that had just pushed past, that she spoke without a momentary issue, were Nicholas and Kelly Brendon…

I never really got fame.  I think that this is because the world seems a bit small to me.  Most of my idols have all come and gone from this small corner of the world and I see them when they come.  No one has stood out to me as an amazingly brilliant human that I must be in awe of, just that they are people that entertain me.

Picture of Mark Knights
As hard as it is to believe, I found out I am not as cool as I thought I was this week!

But the past couple of weeks I have finally “got it”.  I now know what that feeling is and I will tell you how I found out.  The past few weeks I have been head down working on my project of a new store.  You may have noticed it ;).  If not, get on over to and sign up, there are still VIP places left.  Anyhow, a large portion of this has been attracting customers, but on the flip side has been trying to get publishers to join the site.  This has not been, largely, a pleasant job as most people seem to be tied up in exclusive contracts or they have “a good range of electronic distribution and we are not looking to add another venue right now.”  It is like looking for work or pitching an idea and getting these knockbacks can be tough.

But there has been a couple of silver linings.  One of the publishers I approached sent me an email back and the person typing that email?  Wolfgang Baur!  It was a rejection unfortunately but I could not help myself and I wrote back when I realised who it was, in what is a pretty gushy email for me at least.

Thanks for the reply Wolfgang,

I have to say, just while I have a moment of attention.  I am a massive fan of your writing and just wanted to tell you that the work you have done has had a massive impact on my own work.

I started to get an inkling of what my wife had felt at that convention and I was pretty embarrassed after I hit the send key.  But if someone did that for me I thought I would feel good about myself so that is all good.

Then, two days later when I was so down about the whole site after the content going up had stalled I got another email.  The name on it was one I instantly recognised, but I thought, no – couldn’t be.  I am just sitting over here in this little corner of the internet.  The email read;

Hi Mark.

I’m interested in having my games included on Games On Board. Are you interested in carrying them?

You can see them here, if you’re not familiar with them already:

Then there was a link that I clicked on and I have to admit a little squee for joy came from me and there may have been dancing.  The images of his games were staring back at me.

  1. Apocalypse World
  2. Dogs in the Vineyard
  3. Killing Puppies for Satan

The list went on.  D. Vincent Baker had heard about the site and wanted to sell games on it!  The reason I had been a bit hesitant was he had signed the email Vincent, and I should just call him that as it is his preferred name.  I could not help myself but I wrote back.

“If you’re not familiar with them already” lol – I have such a man crush on you because of Dogs In the Vineyard.

Which would be a big yes, we would love to sell your stuff online.

Much more embarrassing than the first but here was the gentleman that was key in some of the best games I have played since finding the Indie scene of RPG’s.  Luckily he replied and we got his games to sell, and he even gave us an exclusive being Murderous Ghosts: Northampton State Hospital that had been sold with a bundle in 2013 but nowhere else.  Now it is available exclusively through us and I could not be prouder.

So, there you have it.  When it comes to the crunch I do realise what it is to be starstruck (don’t tell my wife – I will never hear the end of it!).  It is just that for me the people I am starstruck by are those that write games (and I have a sneaking suspicion that if I ever got emailed by Neil Gaiman or met him I would lose it too) or books.  I quite like that idea.

I also want to point out though that even though I am in awe of these people, I love all of my publishers that have signed on.  Each of them are supporting me in my quest to get this store up and running and I want to ensure that all of their products are selling through the store.  If you are a publisher and feel like you would like to get involved in the store at this stage, contact me and I will try not to send you man crush messages, but there is no guarantee 🙂  Keep rolling!


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