Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

It's certainly been a momentous year. Healthcare.gov crashed and burned, and then sortakinda recovered. Catholics got a new, South American, Pope. Miley Cyrus crashed and burned, and then didn't recover. But there were some things closer to home that I'd also like to look back on. Nothing like a self-referential post to end the year!

In terms of this blog, I made 214 posts (including this one), or one every 1.7 days. Not too shabby. The top ten in terms of page views were (with most-viewed at the top):

From this, I gather that folks who read this blog are really interested in D&D Next/5E. They also like reviews (resolution: more reviews in 2014), and are keenly interested in what's going on in the RPG industry (probably vis-a-vis WotC's position therein). Feminism, anti-feminism, and the debate about the appropriateness of sexuality in gaming and at conventions is, predictably, of interest as well. No Greyhawk-specific posts made it into the top ten, but a few were close contenders.

Personally, this has been a great year for me gaming-wise. My game, Adventures Dark and Deep™, made a bit of a splash this year, with all three of the core rulebooks being released in 2013. Two of them, the Players Manual and Bestiary, were funded through Kickstarter, and both were released months ahead of schedule (3 and 5 months, respectively). The Game Masters Toolkit was funded through profits from the Players Manual. The Bestiary in particular is something I'm very proud of, with over 900 monsters and 400 new pieces of art, it was a real challenge to get together, let alone so far ahead of schedule. I was also a full-fledged convention vendor for the first time. So, yay me!

Kickstarter was pretty kind to me this year. Some long-awaited projects finally landed (Ogre Designers Edition, Myth & Magic Players Guide), a lot of other projects came in either on time or within a reasonable amount of time of their deadline, but there is still a depressingly large number of overdue projects (Dwimmermount, Cityographer, Champions of Zed, Star Trek: Renegades, Tavern Cards, Domains at War, Busty Barbarian Bimbos, and Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition). Cthulhu Wars is late as of tomorrow.

For gaming as a whole, it was a pretty quiet year. It seems everyone is holding their breath in anticipation of D&D Next/5E landing. 4E is being left to wither on the vine, it seems, and Pathfinder is taking advantage of the editiopause to build its own market share. Some other neat games hit this year; Star Wars X-Wing, with its absolutely gorgeous figures, being chief among them in my house.

Predictions for 2014:

  • D&D Next/5E, when it is released at GenCon, will be very popular, and will ultimately take back 1st place in RPG sales. Mechanically, it will hearken back to the 3.x days, which will make a lot of people happy and peel at least some away from Pathfinder. In terms of feel, it will hearken back to the 1E/2E days, which will make a lot of OSR people happy and at least get them to try it, even if it doesn't become their go-to game.
  • The long-awaited Castle of the Mad Archmage™ will be released early in 2014. This isn't much of a prediction, since I just ordered the proofs, but thought I'd throw in a "safe" prediction to bump up my odds.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy will edge out X-Men: Days of Future Past in terms of box office for the year. Both will beat Spiderman 2, but all will be trumped by The Hobbit: There and Back Again. All those records will be crushed by Avengers 2 and Star Wars Episode VII in 2015.
  • The OSR will see a tilt more towards supplements as opposed to self-contained rules. 
  • The so-called "employer mandate" in Obamacare will be delayed for an additional year, as its effects would be hitting just as the November elections were in full-swing. Despite this, the Republicans will win a 1-seat majority in the Senate, and will gain seats in the House of Representatives. 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will get better. Promise!

Happy New Year, everyone!


Chris Stevens said...

"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will get better. Promise"

I'm holding you to it!

Tim Shorts said...

Excellent year Joseph. Looking forward to what you produce in 2014.

Rachel Ghoul said...

*Miley, not Mollie.

jdh417 said...

You forgot to mention that your website has likely taken over as the blog hub for OSR this year.

Joseph Bloch said...

Oh I don't think that's at all true, jdh, although I greatly appreciate the thought. There are quite a few OSR blogs that are more likely to hold that honor - Tenkar's Tavern chief among them.

Joe Kushner said...

I'll be real real real anxious to see if the GOP gets that Senate control. From Chicago land, they appear to be self exploding and I'm sure as the new Pope continues to talk the woes of evil and the GOP continues to flounder about... well, I've been wrong before.

Joe Bardales said...

My predictions:

Democrats will keep control of the Senate and make some gains in the House but won't be able to retake it, so business as usual (i.e. partisan bickering between special interest groups on both sides of the aisle) for another two years. Traditional Republicans will take back some ground from Tea Party Republicans.

The first quarter of 2014 is make or break for Agents of SHIELD and we will know by May if it will be renewed.

The CW's Arrow will continue to kick all sorts of ass, but will the upcoming Flash/Barry Allen spinoff live up to expectations?

In an effort at reconciliation with Protestantized American Catholics like Paul Ryan, Pope Francis will elevate Ayn Rand to sainthood. Atlas Shrugged will be renamed the Gospel according to St. Ayn.

The Red Sox will not repeat two years in a row, but the Yankees will manage to blow it in the post season.

Castle of the Mad Archmage will be the best selling product from the OSR in 2014, possibly all time. Statues will be erected to its creator. The cartographer will be given a life time supply of Turtle Wax.