A Brief History of Stonemaier Games

8 August 2019 | 8 Comments

While preparing for my announcement of our 9th game, Tapestry, I realized something: If someone discovered Stonemaier Games for the first time today, they unless they did an extensive amount of research, they would know almost nothing about how my company started or how it’s evolved over the last 8 years.

People discover new hobbies, brands, and companies all the time, so I decided to sit down in front of the camera and simply tell our story. It’s a single take with some visuals.

It ended up being longer than I thought, even though I tried to only touch upon the highlights and key moments (it’s nearly an hour long), so I’d recommend watching it at 1.5x speed or faster.

I’d love to hear what you think of this video, as well as other ways you’ve seen companies tell their stories.

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8 Comments on “A Brief History of Stonemaier Games

  1. I’ve been following SM games since Scythe, so although I’m familiar with a lot of its history, I thought I’d watch this video for only a few minutes as my pre-sleep treat. Besides, I had come to the blog today seeking a new Design Diary entry for Tapestry, and wanted to follow up on that. But, before I knew it, I was staying for the duration. (I cannot imagine watching it at the suggested 1.5x speed because you talk as fast as my ears can decipher at normal speed, and I found myself wanting to hear every word.)

    What hooked me: a near-hour of “all-in” personified; pure love of everything associated with SM; the dominating consideration, what’s best for the product and the experience of those who use it, and the desire to share—including, especially, mistakes to spare others from repeating them. All told, rare and delicious!

    My usual sign-off is especially true for SM.

    Best Ahead!
    Dorothy

  2. Thanks for sharing – I discovered Stonemaier games in late 2016 and it was neat to hear about what happened before then.

  3. Really interesting!
    Specially that there were few times in the beginning that all of this could’ve fallen down! Glad it didn’t :)

    Also, I really don’t mind 1h-long videos, you’re good company while cooking!

  4. Hello! Great to hear the full story. I have a question about your choice to remain the only full-time employee.

    There so many examples of companies that prioritize share price/profits over employees (massive layoffs because their quarterly earnings are low, for example). I think there’s a definite need for companies that seek to serve the people they hire. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the gig economy/subcontracting, but it does tend to create a lot more instability and offloads many responsibilities that companies used to shoulder on to the subcontractors (health insurance, taxes, retirement fund matching, etc).

    This isn’t a criticism of Stonemaier Games or any company that chooses not to hire full-time employees – I don’t believe it’s a moral imperative to create jobs, I’m just curious how you made that decision.
    Thanks again for the video, it’s wonderful and inspiring!

    1. Thanks for your question! I think the main reason is that I don’t have a constant flow of work that would keep another employee busy. There are lots of ebbs and flows in my business, as well as a lot of different talents. Each of the people I work with are really good at a few specific things, but for me to justify another full-time employee, I would need to find someone who is good at a number of those things (and in doing so, because I’m so entrenched in the people I already work with, I would be hesitant to make such a change).

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