Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

31 August, 2015

And now we reach the end of #Blaugust
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 6:28 AM

Blaugust, Day 31

With weary fingers and teary eyes, we reach the end of the Blaugust adventure. Time for a bit of thoughtful reflection about the adventure.

My exultation

HOLY SHIT I MADE IT!

I’ll admit, when I first started Blaugust I wasn’t sure I’d be able to maintain a post a day. My last post on this blog was in April, and I didn’t feel that I had much motivation. And, frankly, blogging can be a liability when you’re an employee; you never know when something might get you in trouble, no matter how pure your intent. I wasn’t sure that I’d have enough enthusiasm to dig deep and find things that I felt comfortable talking about.

But, here we are and I have 31 posts to my credit for the month. I feel that I produced a lot of good posts; I really don’t feel like I phoned it in for any of the posts, and there’s not really any filler.

And, I have to once again praise Belghast for issuing the challenge. It’s great to be reminded how many people passionately care about games, to the point they’re willing to blog.

My strategy

As I mentioned on day 16, I laid out a plan for what I wanted to talk about. I write a few notes for each day, and then I mostly followed the plan. The third week was planned as whatever topic struck me as interesting, an attempt to be topical if something came up.

This absolutely helped me, because I wasn’t staring at the blank screen at midnight trying to think of what to write. I also got into a good habit of writing a bit at night, then doing a light editing pass the next morning before work. It helped me produce a lot of quality posts. Although, sometimes I think I did go a bit long, particularly with the business posts. Sometimes a few hundred words isn’t enough to cover things in depth, and even then people commented about some aspect I had neglected!

But, if you’re going to do Blaugust yourself some year, I highly recommend working out a small plan for what you want to do. You don’t have to follow it exactly, but it’ll help for those moments when you just need to write. I’m pretty sure I would have stumbled and fell without that gameplan.

My lament

As I said yesterday, I really didn’t get to participate in the Blaugust community as much as I’d like. I’ve found that my blog reading has really fallen off in the last year, so it was hard to find the time to go read blogs and participate. I wish there were more hours in the day so that I could read all the great blogs I want. But, what I have read is great!

I also think that participation in general is a lot lower than usual. Truth be told, I was a little disappointed how few questions I got from the AMAA post I made. In the good old days of MMO blogging, that sort of thread would have been swamped with comments, many of them testing the boundaries of what I would and wouldn’t do. Maybe I just don’t have as many readers these days, or maybe people just don’t have questions to ask anymore. I could just pretend my posts are so insightful that everything relating to game development is like an open book.

My usage statistics don’t show a particular increase in traffic this month. I suspect part of that is because the majority of traffic is spammers, and because most people are probably coming in via readers which don’t necessarily reflect all the people actually reading the site. But, usage statistics don’t matter because at this point I’m mostly writing for myself.

My future

What now? Well, I don’t think I’ll be keeping up with the daily post routine; my plan was only for the month, after all. But, I think I will make an effort to post more often. I might go back to my old goal of posting about once a week on whatever topic strikes my fancy.

I’d love to hear feedback, though. What did you like about my posts this month? Was there anything you didn’t particularly like? Anything you would like to hear more about in the near future?







9 Comments »

  1. Do your stats capture those of us who read via RSS?

    I tended to skim the social media posts, but always enjoy reading gamebiz notes, and the bartle typed analyses were a nice blast from the past.

    Comment by Tom H. — 31 August, 2015 @ 7:01 AM

  2. Speaking for myself only, I have gone through some crazy times this year, and commenting already was a kind of effort. That might account for the slightly jumbled, not 100% on topic comments I did make. So thinking of questions really wasn’t much of an option.

    Next year. I keep telling myself I’ll also blog again next year. Might work out, you never know ;)

    Comment by unwesen — 31 August, 2015 @ 7:09 AM

  3. Congratulations on completing Blaugust! Achievement unlocked. :)

    I thought you hit a lot of strong notes on the experience of teams building commercial games. I tend to focus on game design, so it was nice to learn some more practical things.

    I do wonder whether, unless one is a super-celebrity, the days of the personal blog may be over. Eyeballs seem clustered these days around Reddit, or around long-winded and self-centered YouTube videos and inflammatory tweets. Thanks, Millennials! (I kid. Mostly.)

    As someone who prefers more thoughtful writing, I’ll keep reading your blog as long as you keep writing to it. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

    Comment by Bart Stewart — 31 August, 2015 @ 9:37 AM

  4. I am not sure there was less participation as much as more participants (up 9 from last year) that managed to overflow my buffer when it came to actually finding time to read things in Feedly. Combined with an end of project busy cycle at work and I ended up not getting out and visiting, commenting, and what not as I might have otherwise.

    Comment by Wilhelm Arcturus — 31 August, 2015 @ 10:43 AM

  5. Enjoyed reading all your posts (through AOL Reader, a web client RSS reader) this month. As for the future, as a fellow game developer I would like to hear about specific experiences you’ve had and the insights you gleaned from them. Good examples of that would be Raph Koster’s recent series on Star Wars Galaxies development: http://www.raphkoster.com/2015/04/16/a-jedi-saga/ and your business posts.

    Comment by Sean Boocock — 31 August, 2015 @ 5:22 PM

  6. Tom H. wrote:
    Do your stats capture those of us who read via RSS?

    It recognizes when a reader accesses the site, but it probably doesn’t catch cases where an online reader is serving up a cached copy instead of the original.

    unwesen wrote:
    That might account for the slightly jumbled, not 100% on topic comments I did make.

    Bah, you’re fine. Your comment was coherent; you worry too much. :)

    And, I didn’t expect everyone to post quests, but I was expecting more than 3 questions. I think other people did as well.

    Bart Stewart wrote:
    Eyeballs seem clustered these days around Reddit…

    Well, I think there will always be aggregators, and a lone blog isn’t going to attract as much attention as a big site. I think “discoverabiity” is still a big thing; in the olden days of blogging we did it via blog rolls and links to major discussions. That seems to have waned, though.

    As for who to blame, I would blame Google more than the Millennials. Killing Reader hurt blogs a lot more, and honestly I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop with Blogger being closed down. Probably still great ways to add ads to non-premium accounts, I guess. (And, yes, I’m still bitter.)

    As for writing, I’ll probably write on here until something catastrophic happens and I can’t anymore. I still like writing even if the audience is just myself. :)

    Wilhelm Arcturus:
    I am not sure there was less participation as much as more participants…

    That’s probably fair. As I said, I didn’t get to read and participate in as many blogs as I would have liked to. Probably would have gained more traffic if I had done more commenting on other blogs, too. :)

    Sean Boocock wrote:
    [A]s a fellow game developer I would like to hear about specific experiences you’ve had and the insights you gleaned from them.

    I’ve done some of that under the “Design Lessons” category, found on the left side of my page. I did mark most of the Blaugust topics in that category, so you might have to go back a bit. But, when I pontificate on insights from experience, they do tend to fall in that category.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments, all! :)

    Comment by Psychochild — 31 August, 2015 @ 5:53 PM

  7. Grats on getting through Blaugust. I also wasn’t able to get involved in the community as much as I wanted, but Wow was there a lot of blogs. It looked like you’d need a full time job just to engage with them all through the month. I think because of this, a lot of engagement was probably down this month, especially towards the end.

    Comment by Tyrannodorkus — 1 September, 2015 @ 8:56 AM

  8. I really enjoyed your series this august, the posts about how to go about designing a game but also those on internet communities and social media. A topic I’ve been pondering a lot lately is intrinsic playstyles and how game/MMO design or rather specific mechanics can further and facilitate that….also the question if this is not in fact a contradiction. :) It often seems like intrinsically motivated gameplay is completely detached from “intended design” but I don’t actually think that need be true. What’s your opinion on this?
    Maybe a topic for another time!

    Comment by Syl — 4 September, 2015 @ 9:10 AM

  9. Thanks, Syl! I appreciate your kind words, and am glad you liked my posts.

    As for intrinsic motivations, Richard Bartle expanded his four player types into eight in his books by adding an “intrinsic vs. extrinsic” axis. So, each of the four types split into two other types. I might have to review that and write something up! But, I think you might be onto something, as game designers would tend to focus on extrinsic motivations since that’s the one we actively control. Designing for intrinsic motivations is harder, but I think still possible. You just have to make a rich environment to tickle someone’s fancy without making it a guided path.

    But, yeah, now you got me thinking!

    Comment by Psychochild — 8 September, 2015 @ 12:25 PM

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