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.


  1. well, it's good to see that you're not planning to be too ambitious in the next year! Okay, seriously, nice collection of resolutions.

    In regards to trying a play by post, check out There's a number of different Keepers running games in the BRP system, mostly Call of Cthulhu, but also some custom settings (a zombie apocalypse and a Silent Hill version, for example). Even if you don't want to play over there, it might be worth checking out as it's one of the best sites I've found about it.

  2. Thanks for the kind words- and thanks for the heads up on that site. I will check that out. I need to do that kind of research to figure out the what and how of it.

  3. Sounds like a great list of goals.

    In a bit of coincidence, I bought Cat's collection of short stories over the holidays and I'm eager to delve into it.

  4. I'm pleased to hear that- I hope you enjoy the collection. I'm hoping to get Cat to do a guest post this year. She's the one who actually taught me how to play rpgs.

  5. I'm anxious to see #1 and #2. Sure, I've seen various versions of Action Cards, but I'd like to see a completed core product. If there are any posts you are missing, let me know. I have some of them pulled down in Word format. I don't think it will be a big help to you, but if you think it will, let me know.

    Should I start gathering board game production company contacts for you? I probably have some sitting around my Eden-work email.

    You should be able to build a website that feeds from here. It was an option being advertised at some point by Google/Blogspot. Barring that, there should be enough of us locals that can help you with building such a beast.

    I want to hit an extra smaller con or two this year. It would be nice if there was a reliable list of them in the Chicago area. I know the indie publishers do a few events up there every year. I've heard some good things about a con in Indy that is new. There is a new con in FW, as well.

    Hell, let me (or us) know if you want help or participants for any of that. Really. I'd like to get my ass out and doing more...and Patti's always up for hanging out, playing games, or whatever.

    I'd like to simply get organized enough I could come up with a list like this, let alone accomplish 50% of it!

  6. Most relevant to me:

    >1. Write an RPG
    Mostly because I want to see Action Cards

    >4. Submit Proposals
    I in awe of you going out and doing this. If I could establish a solid writing habit, I'd try to follow in your footsteps. But baby steps first...

    >6. Set Simple and Regular Blogging Schedule
    I'm right there with you

    >7. Recruit New Players
    We've had some luck in that department, so much so that that our group may be able to switch to bi-weekely games regardless of whether or not any single kay player (like me) can make it.

    >8. Manage Campaign Transitions
    I'm always up for new games, but my players will kill me if I don't conclude at least one of our current games first.

    >9. Play a Skype-Based Game
    Love to do it, but it's so hard to fit into my schedule. I would love to get in on some of those Google+ games.

    >11. Play New Games
    This is what cons are for...

    >12. Go to Conventions
    DC and NC Gamedays for me, and *possibly* a return to GenCon. We'll see...

    >13. Do More Writing

    >18. Daily 30 Minutes of Exercise
    Fortunately got that covered. :)

    23. Be a Better Friend
    An awesome goal.

  7. @Derek: I think I should be able to pull everything down from the blog using export and then I had most of the files for the AC material back up elsewhere. I'd appreciated your insight on BG publishing, as you have good contacts in that regard. If I decide to do Kickstarter, the key will be getting a solid and pessimistic assessment of unit cost.

    @Risus: the DC Gameday sounds pretty awesome given what I've heard about it. I'm glad to hear you've been able to get some people recruited. It is always nice to have some people to spare when it comes to gaming, especially when vacations and holidays start hitting.

    I'll look around to see what kinds of tools there might be- it hadn't occurred to me that Google might offer something like that.

    I enjoyed that Wisconsin con we went to and there must be some decent stuff in the Chicago area. I'll keep my eyes open for that.

  8. Add a trip to Games Plus to the list.

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