Friday, September 7, 2012

Let's See How Far We've Come: 6 Months in Review

As of today, Catalyst Games has been live for 6 months. I’ve really enjoyed writing for this blog and interacting with everyone through the comments, so I thought I would take a moment to reflect on what’s been accomplished so far and where I’d like to go in the future.

Where We’ve Been

I started this blog on March 7th, with the goal of posting two articles a week. Since then there has been one week where I posted only one article, and there was one week when I didn’t post at all. But there have been several weeks where I posted three articles, so I’ve definitely kept my average at two or more articles a week. I’m extremely happy with this. It has been fun writing for this blog, and most of the time the ideas just seem to flow. It is rewarding to look back and see how much I’ve written in a relatively short period of time.

I’ve written a lot of general articles, such as the ones on my approach to gaming, how I started roleplaying, and why I design my own games. From early on I’ve been writing some general commentary on game design – discussing such concepts as how randomness enters agame, how the complexity of a game can affect its appeal, or how character advancement could work in an RPG. I’ve also written some articles giving, and asking for, advice on Game Mastering an RPG. I’ve covered such topics as whento say “Yes” and “No” to your players, how to handle pacing, and how to dealwith GM burnout.

I’ve also started a few different series of articles, such as my Design Review, Building Character, and Stacking the Deck series. These have been fun to write, especially since Building Character and Stacking the Deck involve a lot of creativity.

One of the most exciting things I’ve tackled with this blog is the Open Design project – collaborating with others to create an entirely new game from scratch. We’ve all ready made a lot of progress on this project. I’m afraid that lately it has gone rather stagnant, but I’m looking forward to getting back into it soon.

My infrequent Design Journal articles have been a nice way to talk about my own game design projects. I wish I wrote more of these, but for some reason I have a hard time writing about my works in progress.

By the Numbers

Here are some interesting statistics about Catalyst Games:

In 6 months, this blog has had over 1,600 pageviews. Last month alone I had 486 pageviews – a new peak over my previous record of 293 pageviews in May.

The most popular articles, by pageviews, have been:
…and several of the Open Design articles. (34 on one of them)

The most popular articles, by comments, have been:
A number of the Open Design articles, by far!

On a whim, I devised a system for scoring the popularity of different categories of articles based on the number of views and comments they get, and adjusted by the number of articles in that category have actually been posted. The most popular articles have been those attached to the Open Design project by far. Following that, more general articles and articles on game design seem to be popular. My Design Journal and Stacking the Deck series get the least attention of all.

Another interesting fact is that my blog has reached people in the United States, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Brazil, South Korea, Canada, Italy, and France. I never imagined that I would have such an international audience!

Going Forward

I’m really excited about continuing to write for this blog. I’ve got four more articles written and ready to be posted even as I write this. I really can’t see myself running out of material anytime soon.

Things that I would like to write in the coming months are:
More articles for my Building Character and Stacking the Deck series.
More Design Reviews.
I’d like to keep people more up to date on my own projects through more Design Journal articles.
I’d like to finish up our Open Design project.
More general articles on game design – specifically: exploring the function of classes, and other approaches to character creation, in an RPG.
More advice articles for GMs and Players.

I’m also looking forward to publishing some articles by fellow game enthusiasts. Expect a new series of Building Character articles to be forthcoming from an author other than myself. If you have an article you’ve written, and would like to have published on this blog, please let me know!

As I move ahead, I’d also like to get a better idea of what types of articles interest you, my reader. As shown above, I’ve run some numbers on which articles seem the most popular, but I also know that numbers don’t tell the whole story. If there is an article or series that you’ve particularly enjoyed, please tell me! I’d love to get your feedback.

In closing, I’d just like to say a big “Thank you!” to everyone who has been reading and commenting in the last six months. Your enthusiasm is one of the things that keep me writing here. May the dice be always in your favor!


  1. I really like this blog, though I've been following it for a short time. I've been reading some of your older posts, and I think everything is really cool and interesting. Just keep posting! :)

    1. Thanks for the complement! I'm glad you're enjoying it. ^_^

  2. I've REALLY been enjoying this blog! Interesting to hear some of the stats!

    1. Hey, I'm glad you're enjoying it! Yeah, I thought some of the stats were interesting myself.

  3. Btw all this post is missing is this:

    1. Yep, that's pretty much what I had in mind when I wrote the title for this article. ^_^