The Birth of Ties That Bind Gaming


An Idea

This all started rather quickly. The idea has been in my head for quite some time but I never felt motivated to do anything about it. I kept experimenting with how I wanted to put everything together but I felt that each attempt was a failure. This time is different though. I feel like I have finally found the right avenue. That is how Ties That Bind Gaming was born.

I’m a Video Gamer

I am a gamer at heart. I always have been. My grandmother told me stories of my love for video games. When I was very young and she would take me to the mall, she would have to walk between me and the arcade games in the middle of the mall floor. If I saw them, I would create an embarrassing scene until I got to play them. I couldn’t tell you how long I played before I was satisfied enough to walk away.

The first console that I played was an Intellivision Entertainment System. It was my fathers and I watched him play most of the time but I did get a shot at Pac-Man or my favorite Intellivision game, Night Stalker. The game console was hooked up to a large CRT television that sat on the floor in this big box. It looked something like this:

Vintage Console Television
An old CRT Television that sat of the floor and weighed a ton

The first video game console that was mine was the Nintendo Entertainment System. I remember hooking the console up to a 13-inch CRT television and booting up the Super Mario Brothers / Duck Hunt combination game cartridge. I played Super Mario Brothers for the first time at the kitchen table on Christmas morning.

The rest is history from there. I’ve put in an extravagant amount of time into video games throughout my life. I’m almost 40 years old now and I still love video games just as much as I did when I first started to play them.

My favorite video games series ever is the Souls franchise (Demons Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne). I mostly play single player games but I have been playing Phasmophobia with family and friends lately. One strategy game that I really enjoyed last year was Frostpunk.

Add a check to the idea of Ties That Bind Gaming.

I’m a Board Gamer

I’ve enjoyed board games for as long as I can remember. I’m pretty sure I started out with games like Battleship, Trouble, Chutes & Ladders and so on. Monopoly was probably one of the first more complicated games I played. I can’t tell you how many Monopoly games I have played but I feel confident in saying that only around 10% of them were ever played all the way through.

Fast forward to about six or seven years ago and my wife and I purchased Smallworld. After a few rounds and a few months later, we wound up owning all of the expansions, too. We fell in love with that game. We then discovered that board games have come a long way since our younger days. Since then, our board game library has grown vastly and we are still waiting for a few to get delivered from Kickstarter campaigns. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on Nemesis.

Add another check to the idea of Ties That Bind Gaming.

I’m a Role Playing Gamer

The first Tabletop RPG game I played was Rifts. It was just me and a friend of mine. If I remember correctly, we only played a couple of sessions. However, the impact was gigantic. I fell in love with role playing games instantly and I wanted more.

I was in high school when I played Dungeons and Dragons for the first time. It was a group of six. I played a sorceror named Bayne Hellbringer. I still have my original character sheet.

We played Dungeons and Dragons in a trailer that sat on Church grounds. One of the players in our group had a pastor as a father. We took turns each week supplying drinks and snacks for each session. The dungeon master got a pass. He did a lot of work to run the game for us. There was some backlash for us playing at the church.

There was a time when Dungeons and Dragons was synonymous with devil worshiping. About two years, my grandmother was staying at my home while visiting from out of town. I told my grandmother (who is now 87) that I was playing Dungeons and Dragons one night and she immediately asked me if I was worshipping the devil. I consider myself to be Agnostic but I was gentle with her and simply told her no. She stuck around that night and watched us play. She loved it.

With that said, I have played several campaigns through my years. I recently joined a Dragon Age Tabletop RPG. The rules are slightly different but the concept is basically the same. I play a Necromancer named Irithyll Ariandel. If you know a bit about Dark Souls III, then you will know that the first and last name come from a couple of areas from the game. Our Dragon Age group has been playing for almost a year.

Something magical happened this past Christmas. I found a new tabletop RPG that is so far up my alley that I couldn’t resist getting my hands on it. I found out about it a couple of months before Christmas so I asked for it. One of my cousins got it for me. When I got my hands on the book, I started reading it right away. I got through the book in about a week. I fell in love and I knew immediately that I wanted to run my first campaign as the ‘dungeon master’. The new tabletop role playing game that I found is Alien RPG.

Add another check to the idea of Ties That Bind Gaming.

Alien RPG

The Alien franchise is one of my favorite franchises (Predator is my other one). The survival horror genre is one of my favorite genres. Alien RPG puts two of my favorites together and gives me the power to write a homebrew campaign based on my favorites. I mean, how much better can this get? For me, it doesn’t get much better.

As I mentioned, I read the book in about a week. After I made the decision to write a homebrew campaign based on Alien RPG, I immediately began to recruit players. I got two players off the bat. However, I ran into trouble after that. It wasn’t until I starting playing Phasmophobia that I met someone else interested in playing. Once I got him on board, my wife decided she wanted to join, too. It took me a couple of months but I got my crew and I couldn’t have been more excited.

I began to write my homebrew campaign. The title of the campaign is The Halifax – Precious Cargo Betwixt Dragons and Ghosts. The Halifax is the name of the crew’s ship that they use to run cargo across the Stars of the Middle Heavens, also known as the known universe. Their goal is to make enough money to have a nice retirement.

Want to know more? Well, you’ll have to tune and watch our Alien RPG episodes as they come in which should be bi-weekly.

That’s it, no more checks. Let’s do this.

Ties That Bind is Born

Alien RPG served as the final straw to finally follow a dream of mine to create a website featuring what I love best…gaming. With that said, Ties That Bind Gaming has been born. So, buckle in and get ready for the ride. We are in for some chop, but an experienced crew is all that is needed to navigate a steady ship.

Thanks for taking the ride with me.

  • Abstract Engineer (Joe)