Happy new year!

So, looking back on my plans and intentions from last year, how did I do?

I said I would share more games as print and play prototypes, and utterly failed at that. 

I also said that I would continue to read up on historical events (I have mostly been reading about the middle ages, focussed on the C9th to C12th), and have a number of ideas jotted down in a notebook, so that's something. I did say that I would make some of these ideas into prototypes, and I failed to do this (mostly), but am sure I will develop some of these concepts.

Sometimes research for a game involves playing with a pile of toy animals.
The reason I said "mostly" there is that I have talked with a couple of game designer friends about the bizarre "medieval battle snails" that appear in various medieval manuscripts, and did make a light card game prototype inspired by this as well as a very rough version of a more serious boardgame on the same theme.  Neither went beyond that, but more recently I have been discussing with these same friends something more solid, and we are planning to get together very soon to see if we can rough out the basis of a collaboration.

I also didn't do another proofreading course last year, but I have the intention of signing up for one in the next few weeks.  I have worked on a few rulebook proofreading jobs over the last year; they have all been pro bono, done for people I really wanted to help out, but I feel I should probably start charging soon.

So what did go according to plan?

Well, I successfully ploughed through the year drawing a picture on paper every day and sharing a scan of that picture on Twitter.  This did contribute to wiping me out a little some evenings, meaning that I was short of energy for other things, like game design. Overall, though, I feel really good about this whole project -- I think the average quality of my pictures improved a bit during the year, the speed of my work certainly increased, and I got to experiment with some different media along the way. Plus I am very proud of a few of the pictures.

Other than that, a year ago I was talking about wanting to work on a couple of my game projects, and that was a definite success, with Scurvy Crew now signed (and in development), and The Castle War still with a publisher who has not given a final decision but has said some positive things, and I will be seeing them next week so will be able to discuss it at that point.

I mentioned collaboration earlier, and something else came up towards the end of the year. I was chatting with another designer at Dragonmeet, and ideas started bouncing around. We've been exchanging emails on this since and are working on an initial version of the game (I'm just waiting for the arrival of some components), and hope to meet up soon to see where we can take the idea. This is something exciting for me, partly because the collaborator is such a nice guy, but also because it is a style of game I probably wouldn't have approached on my own. 

In summary, then, 2019 didn't really take the shape I had originally intended, and for various reasons I had spells of being unproductive, but overall things went really well for me. 

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