2015 Wrapup and 2016 goals

Last January, I wrote about my gaming goals and plans for 2015, and this year, I’m looking back at those goals and setting some new ones for 2016.I wanted to write more last year. But I only wrote 41 articles in 2015, which was down from the 70+ posts in 2014. That actually surprised me that I had written so much more in 2014. I suspect I spent a lot of the time I had previously used for writing on making new prototypes and preparing for events.¬† My goal for the next year is about 1 post a week.

I was anxious about Unpub 5, but I didn’t need to be. I did need to put more effort into choosing the games. The two I thought were going to be my new games fell flat and saw little table time, in lieu¬† of playing New Bedford and group tests of the surprisingly popular One Card Wonder, which I brought mostly as a backup. The convention was quite different from what it was in Dover, and while you can still test out new designs, you need to have something solid during peak hours. I wasn’t fully prepared for that last year. This year, I’ve reorganized my game designs to better choose what to work on and what I’m going to take. I still need to actually design and build prototypes, but I’ve got a much better plan, at least.

I was working on several games at this time last year, and I’m still working on many of them. One Card Wonder was just starting its journey last year, and there are big things ahead for it this year. Human Resources is still in progress, and while the design is moving at corporation speed (i.e. very slowly) the game is getting really tight, and I’m hoping to have success with it this year. The tailoring game was functional but not fun, and an oil drilling game I was designing, had some mechanical problems. I set both aside to return to my Titusville game, which advanced substantially.

I did a much better job of focusing on my design work in 2015, and it paid off. I went to lots of conventions last year in support of New Bedford, and really enjoyed most the experiences, for the most part. Doing so helped me expand my network, and I now have a couple of games in the publishing pipeline, and several more in the works. I’m planning on attending several conventions in 2016 to continue that. Right now, I’m confirmed for UNPUB, and plan to attend Origins (to help support New Bedford), Metatopia (a new favorite) and BGG.Con. And as of yesterday, SaltCON in Salt Lake City although regrettably, I didn’t know in time to submit something to the Ion Awards.

After going a little too Kickstarter crazy, I was much more selective with the games I bought in the second half of 2015. Nevertheless, I’m really happy with almost all the games I got last year. And though I didn’t play all the big hits, my favorite games from last year were, in no particular order: Isle of Skye, Wharfside, Seven7s, Between Two Cities, Bottom of the 9th, and Xenon Profiteer. My best “new to me” game of the year was Medina.

New goals for 2016

I would like to sign at least 2 games, as a sign that I am continuing my growth in the hobby. I want to create great things and share them, and that’s also great personal validation. I’m nowhere near turning professional, but if that’s ever going to happen, I need to prove that I can continue that level of output.

To do that, I need to finish more games. And I especially want to finish another bigger game. 2015 was more focused on smaller games and new ideas, so it’s time to bring some of those bigger ideas to fruition.

One way of doing that is by increasing my collaborative design. I’m already working on a game with the talented Josh Mills, and I’m really enjoying being able to bounce ideas off of someone else.

I want to explore more unusual themes. I’m typically attracted to relatively mundane themes, like industry and history. Typical “euro” fare. There are lots of great subjects to cover there, (and I plan to continue covering them) but I want to expand my range, too. A lot of publishers are looking for games that stand out thematically as well as mechanically.

Most of all, I’m looking forward to finally releasing New Bedford in 2016. It’s been an long but exciting voyage and I can’t wait to get it into the hands of players. 2015 was a good year, and I’m hoping to make 2016 even better.

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  1. #1 by Robert J on January 14, 2016 - 3:22 pm

    Good to know about having a solid game during peak hours at UnPub. Fortunately I have a design that I’m feeling is pretty strong along with a bunch of ‘experimental’ designs I want to run by other designers/media personalities to get feedback and impressions.

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