Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking back on 2013, Looking towards 2014

This post is going to be a bit light on game stuff (although there is some) and a bit heavier on the personal life stuff as I reflect on the past year and make plans for 2014.

All things considered, 2013 wasn't too bad. In fact it was pretty good, especially when compared to 2012. Last January I decided that 2013 was going to be “the year I got better,” and in many ways it has been. I've accomplished a good many things this past year, more than I realized until I sat down to write this.

2013's Accomplishments
I have managed to keep my depression under control, even while off medication. This has mostly been due to positive life changes and the constant support of sympathetic friends.

Delilah the Cat died at age 9, but my wife and I managed to rescue two newborn kittens abandoned by their mother in our garage. Marceline and Hero are 5 months old, healthy and energetic.

I got promoted at work, which included a significant pay raise, full time hours for the first time in 2 years, benefits, and the prospect for further career growth in the company. It's the first “grown-up” job I've had since the dot-com bust. I love my new position, and it's certainly helped with me turn things around this year.

Hobomancer, a game I helped develop, won an Ennie Award. I'm very proud of this game, and I was so happy it got some recognition. It was a major win for Hex Games.

Leopard Women of Venus, a game I am very, very proud of finally saw a print edition. In color no less!

My submission to the One Page Dungeon Contest won “Best One-Shot.”

I completed Acheron: Son of Hades, a mini-comic I'd been working/dithering on for some time. I promise I'll share it soon.

For the past 48 weeks, I have posted a map to this here blog, every week, without fail. The maps sometimes don't show up until Wednesday or Thursday, but they go up every week.

Let's talk about the maps for a bit. I started the Mini-Map Monday thing for a couple of reasons. First, I like making maps, and I wanted to share them. Second, and I'll be honest, it was a means of self-promotion and trying to build my rep in the RPG community. But mostly, it was an exercise in discipline. One of my long-standing personality quirks is getting things started and getting things done. It's a fear thing, honestly, and it's dogged me my entire life. With Mini-Map Mondays I said to myself. “Look, JB, let's start small. Maps. Little maps you can bang out in 15 minutes. If you can do that every week without fail, then that's a seed you can grow from. Work up from there.”

So it's been almost a year since I started the map project, and it's worked exceptionally well. I am producing something every week, and that's key. Constant production helps stave off depression and misery, and it's been a boon. From the feedback I've gotten, people seem to actually like the maps, too. Thank you, everyone, for your support.

My Plans for 2014
My wife bought my this banjo a couple of years ago. I swore I'd learn to play it in 2013, and I didn't. Let's see if I can fix that this year.

Get this dank basement wrangled back into a functional office and creative space. More lights, more houseplants.

Hobomancer Companion is in layout right now, so that will be out soon. A good way to start the year!

I have a sword & sorcery mini-RPG I've been fiddling with for over a year. Let's see if I can get that out sometime this year.

For Hex Games, I have plans for a non-historic caveman supplement for QAGS. The ideas are still brewing, but it's the project I want to get our for Hex this year.

More maps!

Comics! Oh, this is the big one. I haven't talked about it much here, but I have two web comics that I've abandoned--”Adventure Jeff” and “Legacy League.” My big goal this year is to get those back up and running. These are actually the projects that Mini-Map Monday was designed to prepare me for. Get them out each week, keep on producing. I'm very excited about it.

2014 will be a good year. I command it!


  1. Okay, so I'm not trying to sound snarky or offensive, but as a longtime friend of yours, I can agree you (and I, and everyone we know) have major issues with starting projects, focusing on them, and getting them done. It's a fact of life, plain and simple. With the map thing, I'm glad to see you're doing it, and keeping up with it. Not only are maps awesome, it's just a cool little thing you don't really see too much. So for that (and all your other positive accomplishments), I tip my bowler hat to you, good sir. Both of them.

  2. Congrats on your accomplishments Josh! Keep up the great work my man, love what you do! Let me be the first to sign up for 2014 (sincerest apologies, I thought I was already a member!). Keep one brogan in front of the other and good luck in the new year! :)