It’s January 1st, 2014. That means it’s New Years Day in many parts of the world, and it also means it’s a time for reflection on the past and speculation about the future.
2013 was a great year for me personally and for Accessible Games, as well as the hobby game industry in general. If it’s any indication of where we’re headed, I’m really looking forward to 2014.
Before I get into detail about my plans for the future though, let’s take a look back at the past year.
Accessible Games 2013 Year in Review
2013 was a huge year for Accessible Games and will be marked as the year we graduated from a randomly-updated hobby blog to a much more regular blog and publishing house. This year we ran several successful weekly columns, launched several new RPG titles, and even found time for the occasional game review.
In case you missed these, here are some highlights from the year:
- In February, we ran a 3-part accessibility spotlight on the Fudge RPG: Why Fudge is a Great Accessible RPG.
- Beginning in April, we ran a weekly 11-part Game Publishing Lessons Learned series which culminated in the launch of an eBook.
- In May, we published a wildly successful tutorial on How to Bookmark and Tag PDFs for Accessibility Using Adobe Creative Suite.
- Perhaps the biggest news of the year, we launched Psi-punk on May 23rd, 2013. With the game’s official release, we marked the fulfillment of a successful Kickstarter campaign from 2012 and the first major product launch of Accessible Games. To date, the game has sold over 200 copies (including those sold to KS backers and as part of charity bundles)
- To kick off the Summer convention season, we offered some tips on Gaming With People Who Have Disabilities.
- In July, we started weekly updates about the progress of our upcoming Fudge-based racing game for families, Monster Kart Mayhem. Despite some delays, the game is still scheduled for release in 2014.
- In September we ran a short, 5-part series called Off the Cuff, a series about GMing without borders. We also had our first guest post by Phil Vechione of Gnome Stew fame.
- Also in September, we reached our 100th post.
- We participated in RPGGeek’s Virtuacon 2013 in October. During this online gaming convention, we ran a game of Psi-punk, two games of Monster Kart Mayhem, and co-hosted a panel about Accessibility in Gaming with Russell Collins of Robot Claw. We added these to our new Videos page for easy reference.
- In November, we finished a 30-day Product Creation Bootcamp and launched Fire Starters: 10 Adventure Seeds to Spark Your Cyberpunk Campaign, a system-neutral sourcebook.
- Also in November, I was asked to do an Industry Professional Interview at RPGGeek.
- I participated in RPGGeek’s 2013 48-Hour Design Contest and submitted a single player game called Conservation of Ninjutsu. As of today, voting is still going on, so it’d be great if you could take the time to give it a look.
- Finally, the website received a new coat of paint. It’s still a bit of a work in progress, but the new design uses HTML5 and CSS3 (instead of HTML4 tables) for the layout. In laymens terms, that means better accessibility and page load speeds, as well as comparability with new devices and browsers.
What a tremendous year it’s been, and those are just the highlights!
I’d like to thank everyone who has been reading, commenting, and sharing along with the rest of us so far. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have much reason to continue. You’ve all made 2013 a great year for Accessible Games and the hobby gaming industry in general, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings.
And speaking of which…
2014 – Looking Ahead
Hoping to build on the success of the previous year, I’m really excited about what 2014 will bring. We have several games nearing completion and I hope to launch them all within the first half of the year.
Monster Kart Mayhem
As we’ve mentioned before, Monster Kart Mayhem is coming along quite nicely. We just launched Alpha version 5 of the playtest document and it’s looking better than ever. I’m working with the talented Bradley K. McDevitt to finish up the logo, and then there’s the matter of internalart to finish. I haven’t decided yet whether or not to revisit the Kickstarter idea to get this game funded, but if so you’ll be the first to know!
Work on the next two Psi-punk supplements is nearly complete as well. In case you haven’t been following the Psi-punk blog (which I may try to consolidate with this one in the future), the two upcoming sourcebooks are the 64-page setting guide Corps and Criminals and the 16-page World’s Edge Arena. Each book contains a ton of information for GMs about major players and places to run campaigns, and some info for players about how to better integrate their character’s story with the rest of the Psi-punk world.
Melissa Gay has agreed to reprise her role as the Psi-punk artist and I hope to have an art piece for Corps and Criminals to show off in the near future. In the meantime, these are two more games that are still awaiting funding before they can be completed.
I’ve mentioned this briefly in the past, but I hope to begin launching products in this whimsical Pathfinder line in the near future. January 6th marksthe beginning of the next 30-day Product Creation Bootcamp from Gamer Lifestyle, and my goal is to prep several titles for launch.
I have already finished most of the writing on the Abjuror’s Appendix, Conjuror’s Compendium, Archon Archive, and Goblinoid Guidebook. During the bootcamp, I intend to work on the Diviner’s Dissertation and wrap up work on the other titles to get them ready for a staggered release.
Accessible Games isn’t just about cranking out book after book. My goal is still to bring great reviews and detailed tutorials for gamers and publishers alike.
Though I haven’t had many opportunities lately to play a lot of board games, I do have several new RPGs in the queue that need to be read and rated. I hope to find some time for some VOIP gaming, and I’d love to try out some of these titles hands-on.
On the tutorials side, I’d like to go more in-depth with the Bookmarking and Tagging tutorial. I’ve been looking at the possibility of setting up a SkillShare class to help facilitate this.
Also, there has been talk of putting together a guide on Accessibility Best Practices specifically for game designers and publishers. I’ve already begun researching this topic and hope to collaborate with some other industry professionals to bring an in-depth guide that’s still easy to read and use (by contrast, Adobe’s PDF Best Practices overview is 94 pages long, and it’s only part 1 of 4; I hope to make my guide a bit shorter and easier to digest than that).
There’s another big year ahead for Accessible Games and hobby gaming in general. 2013 was a great year, and I hope to continue improving on its successes.
While I do have a lot of games planned for the coming year, they’re only a fraction of the things I hope to accomplish in 2014. The Accessibility Guide is likely to be a huge undertaking, but it’s at the heart of everything I believe in, so I’m particularly keen on getting it going.
Here’s to a great new year, everyone!