State of the blog: 2012 recap and preview of 2013

Hey, this is just a little note to update you readers on some changes going on here at the Opinionated Gamers as well as in my (work) life.   The end result of these changes will hopefully not be noticeable from your end, but I still wanted to get people up to speed on what’s going on.

2012 was the second year of the blog (we started on January 24, 2010) – and by all accounts, I think that the Opinionated Gamers had a very successful year.   We had over 450,000 hits over the course of the year – spread out over approximately 250 columns and 100 comic strips.

Interestingly, our five most popular columns were all written by different writers!

  1. Czeching Back In – Tom Rosen
  2. Review of Kingdom Builder – Nathan Beeler
  3. Report from the Gathering of Prototypes – Dale Yu
  4. Professional Looking Prototype Creation – Ted Alspach
  5. Mage Knight Review – Andrea Ligabue

But, we had over 250 different columns over the course of the year. The bulk of the columns were game reviews, but we also had a number of interesting roundtable discussions, convention reports, and even a book review or two!

There was a fair amount of discussion in the comments, and we even added a writer or two to the list of contributors from some of those commenters.  In 2012, we welcomed Ben McJunkin to the list of writers for the blog.

The big announcement at the end of 2012 is that Ted Alspach is taking a sabbatical from Board2Pieces.  At this time, it’s not sure whether or not B2P will return to the blog, but Ted has said that he needs a break from the comic strip as well as a bit more time to work on some of his other gaming projects.

Now… looking forward to 2013 – things will hopefully be the same (other than the loss of the Board2Pieces comics) from your standpoint. We still plan to review and comment on boardgames as well as the industry as a whole.   There has admittedly been a little dip in productivity in the past two weeks – some due to the holidays and some due to some life changes for a number of our writers.

As some of you might know from other conversations with me, 2013 is going to be a challenging year for me at work.  The end result of these changes is that my “freetime” will be significantly reduced for the foreseeable future, and that means that some of my volunteer or optional activities will have to give way to my kids or my real job.
First, and foremost, I will have significantly increased responsibilities at the hospital.  Previously, I was in a call group of three physicians, and while I still took the bulk of the days, I had some coverage for weekends and vacations.  As of this week, I am the only one left in my group.  Having to be in the hospital every day is a tough grind.  I’ve been at it for 6 weeks now, and it definitely beats you down.  It also cuts down on the amount of free time in a given day.

Second, 2013 is my year for re-certification of my Internal Medicine license.  Essentially, I have to take (and pass) an examination that shows that I know what I’m doing just like I graduated from my residency.  I have to pass a test just prior to my Essen trip in October – but before I take it, there is a butt-ton of home study modules to be completed as well as likely going to a review course and study on my own.  And, let me tell you, there’s a lot of things that have slipped from my memory in 10 years.

I should be able to continue many of the things that I have committed myself to:
•       real work (all 3 jobs)
•       kids’ soccer practices and matches
•       kids’ basketball
•       weekly game night (if it fits in)
•       organizing the Opinionated Gamers
•       writing 2-3 pieces a month for the OG
•       Development work on Suburbia and for Lookout Games
•       one article per issue for the new version Counter Magazine
•       platform tennis league night

What I will probably have to cut back on are:
•       writing more reviews for the OG (outside of the 2-3 month)
•       other volunteer work
•       boardgame traveling other than GoF, Essen
•       sleeping
•       wasting time
•       procrastination

I do intend to stay active in almost everything that I was doing in 2012, but I don’t think that I will be as instantly responsive as I was in the past.  I’ve actually tried to sit down and make a schedule to set aside time each week for gaming, boards studying, OG, BGG,
Suburbia, Counter, platform tennis, etc. But as you can see, I’ve got a bunch on my plate for this year!

Also, as far as reviewing games  goes – I intend to continue trying to do this work.  I think my efforts will be a little hindered in the fact that I will probably have at maximum 1 gaming night per week.  It will be much harder to play the new games at least three times in order to write a proper review of them.   I will try to continue to write up the Essen releases as I’ve now played many of them three times.  Others that have been played fewer than 3 times may get a “First Impressions” piece instead.

Furthermore, I have recently sent out about 20 games from my house to the other Opinionated Gamers to allow others to have a chance to play the games so they can add their comments to the reviews when they are read.  I know that this process sometimes causes our reviews to take a bit longer to create, but we think that the multiple viewpoints that are given from the different writers helps to give a more balanced look at a game.

In any event, I know that many of the writers are currently working on pieces for the blog, and we’re going to try to stick to our schedule of three posts a week.  I’m glad that you’ve chosen the Opinionated Gamers as a place to stop while you browse the Net, and I hope you keep reading in 2013!


Until your next appointment

The Gaming Doctor


About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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3 Responses to State of the blog: 2012 recap and preview of 2013

  1. peer says:

    Thanks for good reading!
    So Mr. A is focussing more on games – I wish him luck! Im always interested in his designs. (Hes one of the few designers I would like to collaborate one day)

  2. Great! I was really happy to see 5 different Opinionated Gamers contributors in the top 5 and I’m also happy about my review of Mage Knight. I think Mage Knight has been one of the greatest games of the last years and, unluckily, probably too much deep and complex to be able to get enough votes in the different contest. I’m waiting the The Lost Legion to play and, hopefully, to review!

    good play

  3. Jacob says:

    You do great work and I certainly appreciate it. It didn’t take long for OG to become a place I check every day for updates. Thanks!

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