Thursday, 9 February 2017

Meta: One Year Blogiversary

I started my blog on the 9th February 2016, after learning about GURPSday from Gaming Ballistic and taking a look at the mess of textfiles on my harddrive containing hastily-typed notes on homebrew content. By coincidence, the one-year anniversary of the blog falls on a GURPSday! Nice. As a celebration, I'll look at the past year and look ahead at what I want to do in the next, along with giving two of my top fives: my five most-viewed posts and my five favourite posts.

The Year Behind
In terms of growth, it took a long time to get bootstrapped, mostly because of my own insecurities. When I first started, I had some weird idea that I needed a back catalogue of posts before adding myself or people wouldn't stay and read. It's silly in retrospect, especially because the GURPSday listings only show new content. Either way, once I had a few posts on the blog I added myself to the listings and had my first burst of traffic. It was pretty small, since GURPSday viewers seem to account for a smaller chunk of people interested in GURPS than the forums do.

The main problem was that because I posted so irregularly, I wasn't building up a consistent reputation or following. So back in November I made a commitment to make two posts every week. From then, I started to really accrue hits as I was regularly found in the GURPSday listings. There were a few hiccups in the target, which I beat myself up over a bit before I realised the commitment of two posts was to myself, not to anyone else. It's an aspiration, not a requirement!

It was this point I discovered and joined the GURPS Discord and got talking to some people there. It turned out I had a few fans there who really enjoyed my stuff, which helped spur me on to write more of it. People complemented not only the content but also my writing style. I put an immense amount of effort into writing because I'm a perfectionist so it was nice to see this validated. On this feedback high, I sent a query letter to Steve Jackson Games about publishing my shield design system in GURPS Pyramid and got another positive response. Other commitments have stopped me from finalising a draft for that – hopefully I can get it done before the edition I was targeting is released!

After that my self-doubts had been dismissed and I felt comfortable enough to make a content thread for my blog on the official Steve Jackson Games forums. Especially early on, quite a few people were discussing things in the thread, though it's quieted down a bit after my two long breaks. But the forum thread is still where the majority of my traffic comes from.

Top 5 Most Viewed
  1. Equipment Locker: Sonic Disruptors
  2. Playbook: Armour Damage Threshold
  3. Equipment Locker: Pressor Weapons
  4. Equipment Locker: Lightning Guns
  5. Dramatis Personae: Arilith, Demon-Touched Sellsword
The top five most-viewed was actually quite a surprise when I looked at it. The last time I checked this list it looked totally different. The damage threshold one comes as a big surprise – I expected the rules to be far too complicated for most people to take any interest in (although perhaps its controversial nature is to thank for that). The slight over-representation of weapons-based articles is no surprise though – it comprises a large amount of what I make because they're fun and easy to do. I'm very happy that Arilith made the running, since she was fun to write about.

Top 5 Personal Favourites 
  1. Equipment Locker: New Beams for Blaster and Laser Design
  2. Equipment Locker: Prismatic Muskets
  3. Ars Mundi: Redpowder
  4. Meta: Dude, Where's My Shield (Design System)?
  5. Equipment Locker: Battlesuit Point Defence
I picked these mostly because they were the most fun to write. The beam design additions were fun to find, as it was nice to dig into GURPS Ultra-Tech and find a structure inside it. The twin posts on redpowder were something I had thought about long before I started the blog, and it was nice to be able to arrange it into a coherent whole for other people to read. Number 4 is picked as a stand-in for my shield design system, since I haven't produced a full draft yet! And battlesuit point defence spurred some interesting discussion both in the comments here and on the forum thread.

The Year Ahead
My post catalogue so far has been dominated by posts based on weapons. I want to do fewer of these in the future – GURPS' ability to de-emphasise combat is one of my favourite features. I have some posts on armour incoming to balance it out a little, as well as a few bigger posts on certain superscience technologies, and those technologies as specifically applied to spacecraft. I'd like to do some more rules discussions and dissections like my post on the rules for gravity, too. I've got a few "discussion"-style posts in the works about how to manage or evoke certain themes or playstyles, though my lack of experience as a GM feels a bit limiting for them.

Normal posting resumes this coming week!


  1. Cheers to your first year of blogging good sir. Keep em coming.