2009 in Review

Every year I take a few moments to reflect on how I did in that year, what I did right, what I did wrong and what I can see about the future.

So how was 2009? Over all better then I had thought. I was for sure that the year was going to suck, and while sales were down over all, they were nowhere as bad as I thought they were going to be.

I did though have troubles with One Book, nothing new there of course, since their merger with Drive Through, RPGNow has gone to shit. This summer they lost all my preview files, all of them, that’s like 200 plus files they just dropped. Course they tried to blame me for it at first, but after I yelled a them a lot they came clean that they had not backed them up and lost them. Course I had to remake them all, no we are sorry, or anything on their part, just tough luck. Once more I wonder why I work with them, then I remember, ya that’s right, they are the only game in town, so I have no choice.

So what did I do right. Hum, kept working away on my games, kept a strong product release schedule as well. That’s always been my strong suit, getting product done and out the door so to speak. I diversified a bit this year by making stuff other the S&G games. 2008 was all about S&G, and while I knew it would be a drag at times, and kept me from being as diverse in products as I would like, I also knew that getting the different lines out was important. Now in 2009 I had the time to work on and get out other types of games. Star Fury and Land Ships have both done well, and continue to sell strong.

Strong customer relations as well, I tried real hard this last year to get the word out as much as I could and in as many different ways as possible. Hit a lot of forums and posted all over the place.

Course the big change this last year was putting Bad Baby to bed and starting up Avalon with William. This change I hope, will lead to increased sales and exposure, as well as the opportunity to work with some freelancers and thus get more stuff out.

So that’s a big deal, get some freelancer stuff going this last year near the end and should be able to get some Pathfinder stuff out in 2010.

That’s the next big good thing I did this last year, and that was start to move into the RPG market. I have always known that Print-to-Play board games were a small part of the very small market, but it’s what I liked to do. RPG’s though are much bigger and do better sales over all. So this last year I started work on Arcana, and some Pathfinder stuff, so that in 2010 I can release a whole slew of RPG stuff. Course it could all suck and not sell and I will have wasted a shit load of time and effort, but then it might sell well and be worth the time. You never know, I gave up trying to predict the market along time ago.

Started Game Geek finally. I have been thinking on a monthly magazine for a long time, but just never had the time or the energy to work on it. So I took the dive this last year and worked on it, getting all 12 issues done more or less. It was fun and I hope it does well so I can continue to work on it.

So what did I do wrong. Hum, Battle Axe flopped. I spent seven months working just on that line (Way more then I ever want to do on a single line or know better to do, if it doesn’t hit, then I have wasted a lot of time and effort on a line that sucks). Course a lot of the problems with Battle Axe where my own. I miss priced it, way to high, which made it hard to sell. Then of course I made yet another game which is a small nitch, so there are not that many folks out there to start with. I have though, dropped the price way down and now am seeing some sales once more, so I think in the end it will start to pay off a little bit.

Other errors on my part, hum, YGN was a bust. Not my fault but still I put a bunch of time into getting it all ready and then watched it not sell at all. They talked a big game, but could not deliver on the customer draw, so I have sort of stopped uploading product there. Just not worth the effort I hate to say. Nice folks, but in the end time is a tight commodity this coming year and I have to chose what I spend it on.

Got into flame wars with too many fools on various boards and forums. I know better then to do it, but sometimes they just draw me in. Will work hard at not do that so much in the coming year.

Worked too much of course, but then I always do that. I will make an effort to spend less time on the computer making games and more with the wife and kid.

Didn’t add any new product for like two months. My customer’s expect new product all the time from me but the conversion of Bad Baby files into Avalon Files was a real effort, and took forever. It had to be done and I just could not do that and get more games out, so new products had to go for awhile. This hurt sales I know, but it just had to be done.

So what do I expect for 2010. Well about the same in sells as 2009. While I hope that working with William will bring more customers and sales, I think the economy is still going to be real slow and that will hurt sales over all. I might be wrong, but I don’t see a big increase this coming year. I do though want to get more products out there, and see this as a good thing.

Hit the market big with lots and lots of stuff. I have games all the way unto next December, and lot of stuff is coming out this year, so I hope one or two of them hit and make it a good year, you never know.

In the end its not about money for me, I have said that before, but about making fun games and doing something I enjoy.

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