Thoughts on the old year

December 22, 2015

Inox Brute Around this time last year, I looked forward to 2015 and sort of set out some goals for myself and made predictions about what the year would bring. I kinda wanted to take a moment to look back on that and reminisce about 2015 and how it all shook out for me. I think the biggest takeaway from that post a year ago was that I wanted 2015 to be monumental, and in that I feel I succeeded. It certainly didn't feel like just another year, but instead a year of significant events that grew the success of Cephalofair Games in a big way. If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would be running a $400,000 Kickstarter in September, well, okay, I may have believed you, but I still would have been blown away by the prospect. As I spent more and more time developing Gloomhaven, though, I began to realize that the game truly was something special, capable of the widespread success it has seen so far. And it really has been the year of Gloomhaven. Very quickly into the new year I decided to focus on working on Gloomhaven instead of the deck-building area control game I had been working on up to that point. And then my brain has been focused on Gloomhaven ever since. It went from a vague idea of a legacy dungeon crawler into a monstrous, full-blown, crazy, living thing that to this day I am still trying to wrangle in and fit inside a reasonably sized box. Plus, in the middle of that, I launched this insane-ridiculous Kickstarter for it that really did explode beyond my wildest expectations. 2015 has indeed been a fabulous year for Gloomhaven, and I'm looking forward to continuing the journey into next year. But I don't want to sit here and talk about Gloomhaven all day. I already spend a lot of time think about it and working on it, and certainly 2015 had some other momentous events. forge war retail The biggest of these would certainly be the release of Forge War, which I spent a significant amount of time fretting about last year. The game was released in April and was definitely successful for my first outing. The 1000 extra copies I printed sold out at retail almost immediately, and the game was a pretty hot item for about two or three weeks. Of course, two or three weeks isn't really that long of a time in the grand scheme of things, but it's about what I expected. I would have liked more time in the spotlight, but it is really a rather niche game. Everyone who wanted it got their hands on it, and for the most part really enjoyed it. There was a lot of great feedback, but it is a heavy, challenging game, so it wasn't a break away success or anything. Notably, Tom Vasel pretty much hated it, but I don't really think that phased things that much. It was just never going to be a mass commercial success because it is aimed at a very limited audience. It is the game I wanted to make and play, and in that sense, it was most definitely a success. I did end up doing a second printing of the game, which just released in retail last month. The sales have been alright - not super great, but I'm glad that I finally have stock available to sell at conventions - gotta get the game into as many receptive hands as I can. I expressed hope last year that Forge War may wall into the BGG top 100 list. Perhaps that goal ended up being a little lofty, but that's all right. We're sitting at somewhere in the 800s currently and I'm cool with that. I don't know that it will get much better, but I hope that with the success of Gloomhaven, Forge War will find its way into the purview of more people who will rate it kindly. 2015 was also a great year for conventions, which I have mentioned on previous occasions. Not only did I attend GenCon for the fifth time and Origins for the second, I expanded my travels to three other conventions: Geekway to the West, Grand Con and BGG Con, all of which were truly great experiences. Conventions are the best. Personally, everything went pretty well for me, too. My wife is awesome and we're having a great time together in our fifth year of marriage. She even went to BGG Con with me and genuinely enjoyed the experience, despite me declaring earlier that she hated board games. I also continue to enjoy playing board games with a regular group every Wednesday and another semi-regular group on the weekends. I also formed a Gloomhaven play test group where we have been trying to run through a full campaign. In addition to being very helpful for development, it has also become a nice substitution for a Dungeons & Dragons group, since I don't have the time to run one of those anymore. Obviously Gloomhaven doesn't have the role-playing potential, but it's still nice to get in some regular tactical combat with cool people. So, anyway, 2015 has been a nice, fun year. Monumental even. But now it is time to look forward to 2016 and expect even bigger and better things.


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