Don't forget all the lovely Star Wars and Marvel television shows and films we've been teased with by Disney...
Thursday, 31 December 2020
As I hope you've realised by now, Alice in Wonderland is my all-time favourite book - it's why our beloved Havenese is called Alice.
So I'm always delighted to discover another visual interpretation of the tale by an amazing artist, in this case legendary album cover painter Rodney Matthews.
I originally came across some of this artwork on Tumblr, and that sent me down a rabbit hole in pursuit of more to share.
The Rodney Matthews illustrated edition of Alice in Wonderland is available via Amazon here.
Wednesday, 30 December 2020
One year ago today I decided to launch an "old school RPG" group on Facebook (because I felt there weren't enough already) called I'd Rather Be Killing Monsters, an evocative title I've toyed with for several gaming-related projects over the years.
It's a private group, meaning you have to belong to see what has been posted, but we're currently sitting at 334 members.
We've pulled ourselves up from 327 at the start of November, but membership has pretty much plateaued of late - possibly because, as with most of "enthusiastic" projects - I worry that there isn't really a focus to the group.
In such a crowded market (for such a niche of a niche hobby, there are a lot of Facebook groups with 'old school' aspirations), having a USP is very important.
Thus, to mark the start of I'd Rather Be Killing Monsters' second year, I've co-opted a couple of new administrators to help me sculpt the rough clay of our group into something that will stand out.
The new names on the marquee should be familiar to readers of HeroPress, as they are fellow gamers I have a lot of respect for: Justin 'Pun' Isaac of Halls of The Nephilim and Timothy S Brannan of The Other Side.
I'd like to get more members of the group to become "active", that is publish posts, leave comments, like articles etc
But, again, I believe this requires settling on a theme for the group that's probably tighter than simply "good natured banter about old school gaming".
The group was supposed to emphasise inspirational comics, films, and TV shows and elements that could be adapted from those, as that's a favourite topic of mine to talk about on HeroPress.
But in my unwillingness to alienate anyone from the group, I have rather allowed it to become a site for people to plug their own products.
Now, I don't mind this (everyone is very respectful of "once only" rule), as long as it's just one part of I'd Rather Be Killing Monsters, but, at present, it feels as though these account for the majority of posts... which, possibly, explains the lack of engagement from other, "less active", members of the group.
It probably doesn't help that my own gaming (that is RPGs I'm working on for a future campaign, rather than any particular campaign I'm currently playing in) is also rather up in the air.
Yes, I am still chipping away at my Frankengame, but ever so slowly and certainly nothing worth sharing with the group at present.
Perhaps in the New Year, I'll start sounding people out as I get to parts of the system that I'm stuck on (for instance, I'm having problems with a couple of character classes I've been kicking around for months).
In the meantime, if you're a tabletop gamer, please consider signing up and adding your voice to the conversation.
We have a solid foundation, now let's see if we can build a dynamic monument to old school gaming.
Tuesday, 29 December 2020
|This blog's daily visitor numbers in 2020|
Let's not forget that during the shitstorm that was 2020, Blogger decided to completely overhaul its perfectly decent user interface (as it was entitled to do, of course, it's not as if we pay to use it), much to the chagrin of many blog writers (myself included).
Don't worry, I'm not going to bang on about that again (although inserting pictures and videos can now be an object lesson in quantum mathematics), but I was interested to see how that period had affected the HeroPress visitor numbers.
As you can see from the chart above (one of the nice new bits of replacement interface is a deeper dive into blog statistics), my "blogging break" from the end of September to the start of November (which saw a reduction in posts, but not a complete halt) didn't really hit my numbers at all.
Throughout 2020, I've pretty much averaged just above 2,000 views a day - which isn't that bad, really, is it?
Slow and steady wins the race, right?
Except for the minority who are dropping off spam, I'd like to say a massive "thank you" to each and every one of you.
My most popular post of 2020 was my review of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom for some reason, even though it was published in 2018!
I suppose this is something I've long dreamed about for the blog actually coming to fruition: I'm creating a catalogue of posts - a library if you will - that people can browse at their leisure, rather than simply focussing on the most recent article.
Also, rather oddly, the series of GIFs I posted as untitled "holding posts", during my break from regular daily blogging, have also proved very popular... which I guess I could take as mildly insulting, but I choose not to.
And where did all these discerning visitors come from?
Overall, I'm very pleased with how HeroPress has fared, statistically, during 2020.
It's nothing game-changing, but it's solid and reliable.
I wonder how my numbers would improve if I actually found a focus for the blog?
After all, I've only been looking for one for 14 years.
You can't rush these things.