Post Mortem of Year 2008 – Predictions For The Year 2009

It’s the last day of the year, and time to look back for my plans & predictions for the year 2008. I must say that the plans I laid have not been happened as such, but rather in different forms. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Weekly updated blog didn’t happen. I ‘tried’ doing it, but it simply didn’t fit my style. I tend to make complex things simple, and long short so this type of ‘long weekly articles’ was a dead end for me. It meant that several months passed with little updates. It wasn’t until August 2008 I got back to (almost) daily updates. This ‘update daily’ style fits me, so I’ll stay doing brief updates but more often.
  • I think due lack of updates, the site didn’t receive 100,000 monthly visitors (the traffic actually went down, but is now increasing – due daily updates I think). Getting back to WordPress was a move to better times.
  • I didn’t form an ltd as I didn’t see it necessary (I hate extra paperwork… ;). We’ll see if I can tackle the paperwork and reports next year. Right now this current situation feels good about me, nothing to complain.
  • Monthly Dead Wake zombie game updates was ‘close’, and I think the biggest good thing I did was first switch the engine back to something old I knew in September and then to BlitzMax and Leadwerks in November. This caused some delay in monthly updates, but I’m very positive about the current path. It feels right, so I’m happy about the progress.
  • Insiders got new upgrades (several ebooks, article resources, press release consultation), and there’s new fancier services coming (and price will go up) next year.

I’m not sure if it’s quite strange or very common, but I feel that my plans for the year 2008 have been changed, even though the goals have remained same. If I think about the idea of ‘weekly updates’ in this blog, I think the thought behind this is what matters (I wanted to try and see how it would go, and provide value). It became clear to me that my style is better suited for daily updates. I shall write longer articles every now and then, but it’s fun to update daily, so I’ll do that.

Also, the ‘vision’ behind ‘forming an ltd’ was to make my mind feel more that I have a ‘true’ company (I have a registered company, but still ‘ltd’ feels ‘more’ like a company). Business wise at this point it would have some benefits, but also some hindrances. I think the important thing is the vision behind the plan.

Top blog posts and things for the year 2008
Here’s some stuff that people really seemed to enjoy based on the page views:

And here’s some of my own picks for the year 2008

If you want to check more articles, simply check out the archives. All the blog posts are listed there.

Crystal ball, year 2008 predictions…
You can go an take a look at the crystal ball – predictions I had for the year 2008 – and while it’s bit difficult to name whether most of those stuff happened, it seems that DRM, micro-transactions, ad-supported games and casual games are being talked more and more (in retrospect it seems pretty understandable). Social gaming didn’t flop, in fact – I think it’s getting bigger than ever. Just think of Little Big Planet for example.

My foggy crystal ball tells me that in year 2009:
Please notice that all this is totally guesswork. Don’t buy stocks based on these.

  • Valve’s Steam will open a program crafted for indies to publish their games (just a hunch – can go totally wrong)
  • The so called ‘worldwide recession’ (or ‘panic created by some people’) will mean loads of dead companies, but it will also mean great opportunities and more and more gaming companies will be born. Those who (still) deal with physical gaming products will shift more and more to digital products: Steam will get competitors.
  • Blizzard will announce a new MMO game called the World of Diablo – the MMO that will combine Diablo 3 (Metacritic score 91 in the end of year btw) and WoW and will become so big hit that the recession will end.
  • Big Fish Games will start buying more and more indie game studios under their wings, recruit more people than ever and grow so big that people start to resent it (but still keep buying their products) and complain how ‘Casual Games’ category should be renamed to ‘Clone Games’.
  • 89% of computers will support DX9 according to Steam hardware survey.
  • Makers of Crysis will introduce a DirectX11 supported game prototype.
  • Windows 7 will be delayed and people will hate Microsoft and then go buying their products.
  • Alan Wake will be published and it will introduce a new type of gaming genre: thriller.

Disclaimer: I really gotta point out that these are guesswork. I know squat about anything, so you should not believe me or try doing anything stupid (or anything to be exact) based on these predictions.

My visions for the year 2009
Besides making predictions for the year 2009, I also want to point out some plans and visions I have for my own company. These are some of the points where my focus will be in year 2009.

  • Daily updated blog: like already mentioned, I really enjoy doing daily updates. If I miss some days, that’s fine – but on average I’ll stick with the daily updates. 5-7 blog posts every week still feels fun. I don’t have traffic goals other than I’m sure it’ll increase. That 100 000 monthly visitors sounds reasonable to me. The main vision is, that many people would enjoy the site – and people would like the articles and get inspired to do games. (And of course share their sales statistics ;)
  • Finish Dead Wake: I switched to Leadwerks engine in November (and I warmly recommend the engine to anybody who wishes to make games) and I’ve set an internal goal to make Dead Wake in releasable shape during the first quarter. No promises yet, but that’s my goal – the ultimate visualization being the release of Dead Wake.
  • Prototyping – something tells me that I will be releasing some sort of prototypes (similarly made in short time: bit like Highpiled that was created in 20ish hours). This is a gut feeling, so we’ll see how it goes.
  • The community for Game Producers: There’s now close to 80 Insiders, and I feel like I want to create a great service for those developers who want to make a living making games. I want to give people tools and aid them in developing games. The next year Insiders service will get bigger and better than ever.

I look forward for the next year. What about you? What did you finish in year 2008 and what plans you have for the year 2009? Feel free to share your story.

Happy New Year everybody!

Patience Grasshopper

“Patience grasshopper” is the phrase I repeat to myself. I’ve had fever for several days, but things are getting better and now I just need to get my sore throat better, throw away the headache and remember that it takes time.

I have several things that I meant to do a few days ago (like send some of you readers some gifts, program my game a bit, write some blog posts and so on), but now I try to remind myself that getting healthy again takes some time. Gotta be patient (and I hope you guys bear with me…)

Some things simply take time.

Oh Shit, I Messed Up Something…

So… I was wondering why I didn’t see posts from 23-25 and the reason was that I had only scheduled & saved those posts but never pressed the “publish” button.

That’s bit crappy…

Oh well, check out the scheduled posts now:

P.S. I still got fever, hopefully feeling better tomorrow so that I could give you all those Xmas presents and stuff.

I’ve Got Fever (Feels Like Living In The World of Goo)

I’ve got fever. My head hurts. My neck hurts. I feel weak. My head is full of goo (I think). Getting ill is not fun. (Hmm, and I start to feel like becoming a master complainer).

I don’t get sick often, and I wonder why this many times happen when my vacation begins? I can’t recall when I had fever in other time than on holidays. I wonder if my body realizes that now I have time to get sick since I’m on holiday? Does anyone else get sick mostly only on holidays?

I noticed that I had couple hundred unread emails so I’ll deal with some of them now and then go back to bed. Same goes for all the gifts and stuff I’ve promised to do – I’ll deal with them when I get better (hopefully soon).

Mailbox Flood

Juuso is out-of-town now and will come back maybe tomorrow (or so). This is a scheduled post.

Darn, it’s Xmas time and my mailbox is dangerously flooding. At the time of writing there’s over 60 unread messages in my inbox (which is bad since I try to keep it as close to zero as possible). The fact that I’m away almost a week probably makes the mailbox even more cluttered with emails.

Usually my basic strategy for dealing with email inbox is quite simple: mark read & delete posts in batches – read only the ones that seem reasonable to read (and reply right away instead of thinking that “I’ll deal with this next week”). Usually there’s still several emails that are waiting to get answered. This way I hope to have a “clean inbox”, thus I can rest assured that I’ve dealt with the important posts.

What’s your strategy on dealing with emails, and how you keep things effective?

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 23 (And The Winners Are…)

Juuso is on Xmas trip, and will be back after some days… Sorry, this means that the winners also shall receive Training in Patience as it takes some time for Santa to get those presents to you.

The Xmas contest is now officially over, and there were so many witty posts that this was really difficult for me to decide who shall win the game.

Games go to:
Penny – Return to Ravenhurst (for suggesting me to ask a game too!)

Sargon – The Tales of Bingwood (which goes to his friend)

luke seddon – copy of Dead Wake :)

Tyler – also a copy of Dead Wake!

Ivane Gegia – Unreal Tournament GOTY (since he has got almost no presents for decades)

Steven Egan – The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning (because of the bloody long letters, and the fact you thought about your little sister)

While I won’t be giving more games this Christmas, I have couple of more comments to other:

Jake – You asked more time, and since playing all those games (that you asked) would have meant loads of time spent in playing games, now you don’t need to worry about that. By not giving you those games, you’ll have plenty of time to do Christmas pudding, right? :)

Lumooja – Perhaps your dad can buy you the one?

Katherine – It’s dangerous to give games to your boyfriend. (As for Lemmings, try this abandonware link and click ‘download’)

NeoLithic – Leave the neighbours dog alone, and consider playing Lego Star Wars (or just with Legos) with your kids. Much safer route.

Dreyke Boone – Sorry, this time Santa could not get you this game… but maybe next year!

moravanda – Sounds good. Your wish is my command.

psycho – This was not the place to ask for Jesus. Tsk tsk! (just kidding ;)

Shane – Not making an mmorpg is a good sign. Fallout 3 is nice, and I’m sure your dad will be happy to buy that game.

Sargon – I asked Carmack about Doom 5 and he said that he had already made a youtube video preview about it, and the source code will probably leak soon.

Rorkimaru – Sorry, no more stickers and stuff like that is available.

Emanuele D’Arrigo – I have big bones.

Janette – Puppies can be really messy, so how about a live reindeer?

Coco Guo – Hmm, it’s bit too far away, but maybe at some day there will be more COD content in your country?

DJW – The game is so good that I’m sure you enjoy it even more if you spend the money on it. Maybe then we could play it some day online?

Bilbo – I tried decrypting it but the end result was “apple pie”, so I’m not sure if I did it right. Maybe next Xmas we’ll get non-encrypted version?

Game Producer Christmas Calendar – Day 22 (Steam Hardware Survey)

Before the year ends, it’s worth checking out Steam hardware survey results. The graphs show that Intel is dominating on the CPU side (64%), most people have Windows XP (69%), have more than 2 gigs of memory (56%) and 85% have better than DirectX8 GPU (amazing I think).

Check out the stats – those are pretty interesting figures there.