What’s happened so far
2021 was, overall, a little bit of a mixed year compared to 2020. On one hand, quite a few things got done and done, which is always a nice thing. On the other, a couple more long-term things didn’t really get going in a way that would have been useful. So like I said, mixed year. Still, the good news at least is that most of what was done is a good foundation for going forward.
I had hoped to make more (any?) progress on the book, but 2022 is looking to have some better prospects for that. 2021 was a lot of “oh, well I guess this IS going to be a thing”, and that included a lot of people changing plans and, well, just realizing that going back to the “old” normal just wasn’t going to be happening. So a lot of people’s plans shifted. Couple that with a pretty rough fall for myself, and we are where we are.
What’s happening next?
The next thing that needs to happen is working out what the upcoming 2022 goals are going to be. Some of them are going to be rollovers from 2021, but I’ll be seeing about what else I want to be adding in as well. Ideally some other tasks that aren’t reliant on other things, or more cleanup or organizational work. Hard to say exactly what, but I’ll be putting some time to thinking about them. In any case, I expect to have the 2022 list done and posted by the end of January.
One thing I had been hoping for 2021 was attending game conventions. Obviously that didn’t really end up happening, and at this point it’s kind of hard to say what the summer of 2022 is going to look like as well. It’s probably not going to, unfortunately. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Gencon 2022 (because MAN do I miss going), but it’s just such a crap shoot right now…
The final thing is of course looking at my Sketch Sunday. I’ve still got a small stockpile of sketches, but I’m thinking that sometime this year I’m going to have to dial it back a bit. I had been doing it primarily as a way to “hopefully” drive some kind of traffic or ongoing interest, but that doesn’t seem to have happened. At least as best I can tell. But it has helped me build out the universe a bit more, and more crucially gotten me more and more used to the feel of putting out regular content. So not a waste overall. I’m going to spend some more time thinking on this; I imagine that sometime in summer I’ll start by tooling it back to every other Sunday, and then cutting it with something else. Just have to think about what, now…
These goals are approximately in order of priority and in order of precedence (IE have to do #1 before you can do #2). There’s some goals from 2020 that are coming back, but a lot of them are going to be brand new ones as well. It’s also a longer list as well, but some of those entries are one-and-done tasks that shouldn’t be as hard as others to complete.
1) Finish 3rd Elysium
Written, completed, and posted! This was a big win for 2021 overall. 3rd Elysium was the biggest operation that I’ve ever done in Starfire, and there was a lot of hard lessons that were learned in the process of getting things done. But it was so worth it.
2) Complete turn processing for all empires up to turn 160
This unfortunately proved to be a couple turns too far. It was predicated on getting 3rd Elysium completed timely, but that didn’t happen (mainly because the campaign proved to be more complicated than I had anticipated). And the simple fact is that the battle needed to be completed in full before I could run more turns. In the end, I didn’t even get to 145…
3) Do a full overhaul and update of my map (as seen on Fleet Management Mk2) so it’s all on one well-organized map WITH space to expand
Done! The Mk1 was good, but it really wasn’t much more than a good proof of concept in practice. Fortunately, the improvements were straightforward to identify and implement (especially once I found little flag pushpins online). One of my friends helped with getting the various systems to be laid out more efficiently (thanks Vulp!). The Mk2 has been proving its value ever since.
4) Write up a new Mk2 commissioning contract
Another completed task in 2021. This one was spawned off of some panels I attended at Gencon Online 2020 where they did a few panels on commissioning contracts and the like. As part of it they provided a sample construct contract that was very informative. I took in most of the suggestions, as well as a bunch of formatting ideas and folded it into an updated Mk2. The downside is that it did get bigger, but it’s also got a lot more white space built into it, so it’s not THAT bad. It’s also a lot more explicit about a bunch of points.
5) Update my internal deWulf Story Document
I’ve filled in the gaps that were missing in on my personal word document from what was on the website (I can’t believe I was sloppy enough to post here but not saving in the smooth copy!), but I’ve realized I have another problem; all those sketch sundays have built up a pretty big chunk of lore and worldbuilding that literally isn’t anywhere else… so I guess I’ll have to archive all THAT next…
6) Finish playtesting and balancing for Scenario Book 1 – The First Contact War
This had been a hope, but really with Elysium sucking up my time, this didn’t happen. But it’ll be moving it’s way up the 2022 to-do list.
7) Finish the writing work for Scenario Book 1 – The First Contact War
Same thing as #6, it was a plan, but didn’t happen for the same reasons. To be honest I need to take a look at this again and see just what is left to be done.
8) Introduce and post completed artwork
Done! This was just a matter of digging in through the various bits of commissioned work and posting them up.
9) Go do a second pass on the artwork for Scenario Book 1, incorporating new details and design concepts over the past year
This was predicated on the completion of the commissioned work (which was done) and then taking those redesigns and porting them back into the 3d models. That’s still not even started, but there’s a lot of good work here. This’ll probably be combined with an explicit “3rd gen” design that’ll also incorporate a lot of other detail and design concept notes.
10) Start fishing in my contacts to find someone who can do proofreading for Scenario Book
This is sitting up on waiting on entry #5 and #6; it’s one of the final steps before I send the book out for layout and actual production.