2011 in review, 2012 ahead

The last hours of a year for me always are a wonderful time for reflection and planning. The plans for 2011 didn’t quite work out as laid down – but I’ll get to that in a couple of minutes. I’ll also try my hand at some predictions for 2012 to see if I’m getting better at this business.

The business plans for 2011 worked out somewhat:

  • QuinScape went through its wonderful tenth year and enjoyed a strong period of growth (almost +30% to 60 employees at the end of the year). I think we did a pretty decent job although as usual the things you try to focus on at the start of the year rarely are the things you work on at the end of the year. But all in all everything related to QuinScape worked out great.
  • My focus on OpenSAGA did not work out as planned. 2011 was so busy that many of the strategic undertakings relating to our open source project OpenSAGA failed to get enough attention. I have talked about that in more detail in the OpenSAGA blog. One of the plans for 2012 thus is a much stronger focus on developing the OpenSAGA platform and property.

For both of these areas I managed to present on a new record number of conferences. Which was a wonderful experience and an experience I hope to extend in 2012.

My private plans didn’t hold for too long and came around different than planned (but for the better):

  • While I intended to bring out ADOM for the iPad, a new release of ADOM and a completely revised edition of ADOM named iADOM (for iPhones) none of that happened. Instead something completely different and (to most folks unexpected) happened: JADE – the Java-based successor to ADOM – was finally released on my birthday and started to grow strongly from then on.
  • My roleplaying interestes went through a very wild phase:
  1. Hexer & Helden didn’t get much expansion. This is another area I’m going to focus on in 2012 but with a more pragmatic angle – I finally want to resume playing RPGs at a steady pace with friends and family in 2012 and if I can decide that Hexer & Helden will be the system to be used. But not much new happened to the system in 2011.
  2. For a while I started writing my own pos-apocalyptic roleplaying game – Gaia Gamma. The blog was very successful for a brief moment in 2011 but then things started to falter due to JADE (see above). For now Gaia Gamma is in hibernation but I will resume it at some point.
  3. Then I proceeded working on The Fantasy Game – a new attempt to re-experience the very first months of 1974, when RPGs where something completely new and exciting.
  4. And in secrecy I have been developing a Shadowrun clone with awesome layout and images and the ideas to include all necessary rules in an exciting and blazing fast rules system of 128 pages DIN-A4 hard bound gaming bliss. I didn’t even start a blog for that game but like the others above I definitely want to continue working on the game at some point.

All this broke down and stopped when some day during our June holiday I wondered about what to focus on (while I noticed that I spread my resources much too wide). And the decision was easy and right from todays point of view. I decided to go for JADE and finally launch the game. Which I did (see above). Six months later I’m still having a blast every minute I can work on the game so everything feels right. More on that below.

What remains of 2011? Oh yes, my social media plans:

So what is going to happen in 2012?

  • Business-wise the focus (once again) will be on QuinScape and OpenSAGA. OpenSAGA 2.0 is looming on the horizon and we have some big things in development for the platform. Additionally 2012 should be the year when OpenSAGA becomes a lot more user-friendly product-like platform (right now it’s something for developers). QuinScape will need to be grown (again) in a stable and controlled manner.
  • Regarding my personal pleasures I intend to d a lot with JADE: JADE will see a very steady flow of updates and releases and JADE: The Ultimate Edition will be released as a business venture in very early 2012.
  • Finally I want to transform Hexer & Helden into a finished game – by actually playing it!
  • I want to learn and improve in speed reading… right now my standard reading speed seems to be around 320 words per minute and I want to improve this significantly. Preliminary tests already put me around 1.000 words per minute but I’m curious if this is just a trick or something I can steadily maintain.
  • And I want to live through happy and wonderful times with my beloved wife, my family and all our wonderful friends and colleagues.

All in all not too different from 2011 – so I guess I manage to follow my bliss for some time now – which feels as wonderful as suggested by Joseph Campbell.

So my most important wish for 2012 is that we (and you) all remain healthy – all the rest will come from that. God bless you and I wish you all a great and wonderful 2012!

Thomas Biskup
during the last hours of 2011 in Germany
while watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” – one his most beloved movies

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