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:
- How to create your first game – interestingly enough, this was the most popular article in year 2008, even though it was written in May 2007…
- 100 ways to be more productive – I really enjoyed writing this article, and many people seemed to like reading it.
- Consider different cultures in games production – written in 2006, and VERY interestingly enough this was also one of the top 10 read articles in year 2008.
And here’s some of my own picks for the year 2008
- I’m a Vista user – good thing.
- Good signs – about Dead Wake.
- Wicked marketing plot – can get you banned in some places…
- Game producer Christmas calendar – I enjoyed doing it, hopefully you enjoyed checking it (even though I messed up things).
- Producer roundtable – producers from AAA companies answer questions
- How to set up the world’s simplest version control and backup system in 5 minutes – So easy and simple that anyone who can read this blog can do it.
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!