2016 In ReviewMy new job, which I started in October 2015, took up a lot more time than I was expecting. It was my first time leading a team of any reasonable size and so I had a lot to learn in terms of leadership, budgeting, strategy and people management. On top of all that I ended up doing a lot more travel than I was originally expecting (four trips to the US, 20-30 to Manchester - often overnighters, and a frantic week-and-a-half long tour of Taiwan, China and Japan), which sounds great if you're not doing it, but it's very tiring and all you really see is offices, airports and hotels. This led to a double whammy of less free time and wanting to spend that free time with my wife and daughter, so I had a lot less time for games design-related shenanigans. I only made it to Newcastle Gamers once (out of at least 24 opportunities) and Newcastle Playtest probably only five times our of twelve. I've not played a prototype since September!
I failed both my blogging goals, giving up regular blogging as I had very little progress to report, most of it about designing mobile apps rather than board games (I've been coding since I was ten, the lack of coding in my new day job meant I fancied doing more of it in my limited free time, to the detriment of my games design) and doing nothing in November for NaGa Demon.
Gaming was the one area I aced, I played a lot of games in 2016. This was helped by starting a games club in the office on Wednesday lunchtimes (when I'm in the country!) and my weekly games night, plus a few trips with Ian (including to the US twice and round Asia) and my trusty iPad full of games. I even played 24 new games in the year (three of those on Dec 29th - games I got for Christmas!).
I did get the hand-made limited edition of Zombology finished in January and the print on demand version up on Drive Thru Cards in March/April (copies sold to date: 3!), so that was Games Design passed, but other than thinking of some rules tweaks to Zombology I did very little games design after that.
I didn't even finish my German language app that I wanted to wrap up. I made a lot of progress on it, but it's still not even ready for a beta release. I did tweak BGG Last Plays at the end of the year though - someone on BGG with a collection of 3,500 games tried it out and found it crashed on a collection of that size, so I fixed that and tweaked a couple of other things. He's got another couple of requests and so I'll do another version of that shortly. It's still my most popular app (150 downloads - on Windows Phone!), and if you've got someone keen enough to engage with the creator you should try to keep them happy!
2017 AspirationsSeeing as I did so badly last year I'm going to change things up this year. No goals. Just some more vague aspirations:
- Get back into Games Design. Maybe Codename: Vacuum (I've a few ideas floating around in my head - it's probably been a couple of years since I last touched it, so maybe that distance will help when I come back to it)
- Blog when I have something to say. No regular weekly schedule, just talk when I've something worth discussing. Hopefully at least once a month.
- Code. It's been a passion of mine since I was a little kid and my day job for 13 of the last 16 years. Release apps. Enjoy it.
- Game. I only managed 36/52 possible Games Nights due to my travel schedule, but I want to game on Wednesday evenings at home, at work during Games Club, on the iPad on trips and also try to get to Newcastle Gamers and Newcastle Playtest more.