Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Back On 2013: What Did I Accomplish? Achieve? Contribute?

I've been seeing some "2013 Retrospective" blog posts surfacing here and there as the year winds down. I thought that was as good a reason as any to look back at my own gamer achievements for the year and assess what I've managed to accomplish over the last 365 days.

And I gotta tell you: I was stunned.

I went back, month-by-month, and assessed my productivity -- what I managed to write, produce, run, edit, or release gaming-wise. I truly do not want this blog post to become a "LOOKIT ME" self-promotion fest, but rather I wanted to share my personal achievements toward my own projects, this blog, and the OSR community at large.

** I am a book editor by trade, and in January I began offering free editing services for smaller
publishers and garage press folks who had written RPG materials and supplements. Over the year, I have edited and/or proofed 15 products ranging from micro-supplements of a few pages to full RPG rulesets of several hundred pages. Just my way of contributing to the community, and the offer still stands for anyone working on something for 2014!

** I attended Gary Con for the second time. I really enjoy the yearly pilgrimage to Lake Geneva, "Where It All Started." Ran games of Chill, Timemaster, Mutant Future, and, of course, Thundarr the Barbarian! I also played in games of Dungeon Crawl Classics (a playtest run of a new module, in fact), Mazes and Minotaurs, Metamorphosis Alpha, and Mutant Future! Attending conventions is a great way to sharpen your teeth behind the screen and to try out games you don't normally get to play at home. And, upon getting home, I posted the adventures for both my Thundarr game and my Timemaster game for anyone who wanted to download them for their own home games.

** I spent the summer trying to find a classic dungeon map pattern to use for a project I had in mind. When I couldn't find anything that looked right, I went ahead and designed it myself. The Classic RPG Map pattern is now on sale at Spoonflower, and -- judging from sales -- lots of other folks wanted this cloth pattern as well. And that project I mentioned? Well, I wanted a dice bag made from it. I asked Michael AKA "greyedout" on Etsy to mke one for me and it turned out so nice, he added it as a regular offering in his shop.

** One of the biggest secrets I was asked to keep all summer was finally revealed in October when the new Pacesetter horror RPG "Cryptworld" was released. Dan Proctor initially approached me for some input and opinion on the new game he was writing. Well, my contributions to the book swelled until he asked me to join him as a co-author of the game. As a huge fan of the Pacesetter Action Table System, it was quite an honor to be a part of it.

** The Savage AfterWorld reached several milestones this year. First, it's the fourth year that this blog has been running. Next up, TSAW now has 300 followers, which was a huge shot in the arm for me. To think that 300 folks enjoyed the blog enough to come back regularly, well, that really means a lot. Thank you! And finally, today's post is number 178 for the year, officially beating last year's blog post count by 1 and making 2013 my most productive blogging year since I began.

** Con on the Cob is a yearly gaming convention in Ohio that I had missed attending for years. This year, I finally made it, staying on-site for the entire event. Had a great time, playing Fiasco, Labyrinth Lord, and other fun stuff. Ran Thundarr for some enthusiastic fans, but my highlight was running the first public convention game of Cryptworld (which had just come out the previous month). And that CW module was the seed of a future CW project I'm wrapping up "behind the scenes."

** I released my second Mutant Future supplement titled "One Year In The Savage AfterWorld." This book (several years in the making) is a collection of 52 micro-adventures that can be run over the course of a weekend. I've had the concept of the supplement in mind for several years, and it turned out exactly as I envisioned. I'm particularly pleased with the "nearly destroyed book" cover.

** My dream of appearing in a Thundarr the Barbarian cartoon came to near-fruition. As a higher-level backer of the "Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3" Kickstarter, I got myself drawn and statted up as the wasteland wanderer known as "Snydorr"! (I still get a huge kick out of my cartoon visage...)

** After four years of focusing solely on the post-apocalyptic RPG genre, I relaunched The Savage AfterWorld to encompass gaming in all of its forms and facets, allowing me to discuss, cover, and support many other games and systems I enjoy. I was afraid that the new direction of the blog might alienate some of my long-time readers, but folks stuck around and I even picked up a few new followers. Glad you're enjoying the new material, folks!

** For my yearly Christmas freebie for the readers, I wrote and released a free Cryptworld scenario for the holidays. "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" is creepy, eerie, deadly, and yet oh-so-festive! Also throughout the year, I created and posted new scenarios for Last Best Hope, Mutant Future, Ghostbusters, and other RPGs!

** Over the month of December, I organized the Obsolete Simulations Roundup which went live on December 29.  I had 17 folks sign up to participate (though only about half followed through), and it is my hope that this becomes a yearly celebration of our favorite forgotten games.

* * * * * * * * * * *

So, what's to come in 2014? Well, it's a bit early to reveal all of my grandiose plans for the coming year, but I can let you know that I have plans to:
  • Wrap up the editing and layout of my Mutant Future module "Dead in the Water," which has been in the wrap-up-stage for far too long.
  • Finish writing a Cryptworld adventure for a potential future release next year.
  • Release a card game I've designed now that I've discovered how Drive Through Cards works.
  • Edit more RPG materials for anyone who needs the professional help.
  • Attend Origins Game Faire for the first time in years.
  • Re-attend Con on the Cob, as I really enjoyed myself at my first one.
See you in 2014!

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