Monday, January 2, 2012

Goals (Gaming and Otherwise) for 2012

Three years ago today I began this blog with a set of resolutions. And I keep coming back to that well. So goals...measurable? Perhaps in some cases. I've tried to be more concrete, but I fear these are more resolution-y than I want them to be.

1. Write an RPG

We've been playing our homebrew Action Cards for over a decade now, with many versions and variations. I think, though, with the most recent variants drawing from FATE, we've come to a pretty workable base system. I want to write up those core rules in a clear and useful way. Ideally, I want to get that put together and laid out so that the players can print out nice bound copies for themselves. I'll include a number of the optional modules we've used, but focus on a simple set of mechanics for campaigns, plus the options for running it as a pick up game.

2. Assemble and Develop the Age of Ravens Book

I have three years worth of posts here on the blog. Let's assume that at least three-quarters of that is trash, reviews or specific to a time and context. Of that remaining quarter, I'm guessing half is fluff and and half is solid with ideas. I want to pull that material together, edit and focus it and assemble a single book. I had some additional material I unfortunately lost when the primary hard drive died on my machine. I envision quite a bit of rewriting of the ideas, removing duplications, and expanding my discussions. I think that would be a useful exercise and perhaps one other gamers might find helpful.

3. Produce Board Game

We've been playtesting and refining our design of Right of Succession now for two years. I think it is pretty solid right now. I've tried it with a number of groups. Now I have to rebuild the layouts (lost with the hard drive) and rewrite a final version of the rules. I need to price prototypes and figure out a unit cost. Ideally, I'd like to get a couple more blind playtests done as well. Then I want to see if I can get finance, backing or even a Kickstarter to get the game done and published this year. My first step will be to make a solid list of project steps and outside labor I'll need (art, etc).

4. Submit Proposals

I have a number of comic pitches I've been working on, and several more in process. I want to get some of those out the door and into people's hands. I need to get packets with my recent work out to editors. I've put those together, but I really need and want to get things moving forward this year.

5. Build a Website

Related to that, I need to get a website built- at least to establish a brand identity. I want to keep blogging, but I need to have that channel draw more opportunities and offer an easy place to check on my work.

6. Set Simple and Regular Blogging Schedule

Two posts a week, plus an extra post every once in a while. Generally a game review, plus another gaming related post. I probably won't post session reports this year, unless I can use them to illustrate some point about gaming. Those posts tend to be the least read.

7. Recruit New Players

Ideally, I'd like to recruit at least one new and solid person into our regular play group this year. I'm going to be changing over a number of campaigns, so there might be an opportunity. We've have some people leave over the last couple of years- some for the better, some not. But I think it is important to change things up every once in a while. I don't necessarily mean completely new people, but people I haven't played with for a while.

8. Manage Campaign Transitions

I have six on-going campaigns, many of which will wrap up this year. I really want to make those go out with a splash- especially the ones we've been playing for a long time. And I want to get some new and exciting campaigns off the ground this year as well.

9. Play a Skype-Based Game

I haven't done any games over Skype. I really want to try that, just to get a sense of the restrictions, structures and benefits of that approach. Ideally I want to play a session or two of that before I'd try to put anything together myself. I'd like to do something rules light, like FATE or GUMSHOE.

10. Try a Forum Game

I also haven't tried to do any play-by-forum gaming. I want to at least play in a game like that this year, again so I can get a sense of how they work. I'm a little nervous about the time commitment and what's involved with it- I really don't know all that much about it.

11. Play New Games

This year I got to try many new board games, but fewer new RPGs. I read many new games, but haven't had a chance to play them. I want to fix that this year. I want to play at least a dozen new rpgs. That may mean going outside my comfort zone and seeing about sitting in on games in the local area.

12. Go to Conventions

Related to the above, I want to see about going to at least one gaming convention this year to play. I've only run at cons over the last decade. And I haven't been to a gaming convention in a couple of years. I want to have the chance to sit down and play with new people. I also want to see about doing more networking and building contacts through that. My sister, the esteemed author Cat Rambo, is very good at that and I wish I had her talent. I am going to C2E2 in Chicago again this year, so perhaps I can meet up with some gamers there. IIRC The Hopeless Gamer attended last year.

13. Do More Writing

Beyond comic scripting, I have some other writing projects, including two novels, that I need to focus on. I lost some work with the HD crash, but much of that involved sketches rather than finished material.

14. Obtain More Work

Ideally I'd like to get more freelance work this year, and even perhaps some steady part-time work. The economy has been a drag around here and I've gotten more than a little tired of sending resumes out into the void every week. I'd really love this year to be able to actually buy my wife a Christmas present. But that's stuff I can only just keep working at and hoping for the best.

15. Get on a Podcast

I had the chance to be on the comic book podcast, Raging Bullets this year and I really enjoyed it. I want the chance to be on a gaming podcast this year. Not as a regular thing, but I'd like to do that- especially for a field I enjoy so much. I don't know how I'm going to do that, but I'm going to strategize...

16. Finish Video Games

I want to finish off more games before I start any new ones. I did manage to complete a number of CRPGs this year, but I have more I'm part-way through. It does help that the gaming industry is producing fewer and fewer games I'm interested in. I like turn-based games, and that has declined in recent years.

17. Play More Rock Band

On the other hand, the industry has produced games I keep playing solidly. I still can't get past Medium on Guitar or Bass, but I love singing in RB. I didn't play nearly enough of this in 2011. I want to play more in 2012.

18. Daily 30 Minutes of Exercise

I've fallen behind on walking regularly over the last couple of months, and I need to get back in that habit. I need to do thirty minutes of something each day- walking, exercise biking at the gym, playing Dance Central, or do the routine with the sledgehammer.

19. Reorganize Game Room

Sherri wants to reorganize some of the game room. Right now we have the board game collection downstairs along with the rpgs. She want to move the BGs upstairs to the front room. That's not a bad idea- and we really need to get things reordered now that we no longer have a houseguest living with us.

20. Finish Outstanding Reviews

I have two reviews that I've found difficult to do because of the flaws in the products. I need to finish and submit those.

21. Read Projects

I have several different longer pieces by friends which I need to seriously read through. I want to do that by the end of January.

22. Be Mindful Consistently

I've read and listened to a number of books this year addressing mindfulness. Most importantly, they talk about a conscious acknowledgment of happiness. When I don't do this, I'm fine. When I do do this, I'm great and even awesome. I want to be more awesome this year.

23. Be a Better Friend

I want to strive to be a reliable friend this year. I want to make sure I'm listening to other people and be someone that people actually want to hang around and talk to.