The vagarities of the calander and the publishing schedule here at Campaign Mastery have resulted in the need for an article to be posted at-or-about Midnight on New Year’s Eve – Australian time. the subject matter that this post should deal with seemed fairly obvious to me, as a result of that coincidence of timing.

It’s been a year of Highs and Lows, (in general terms) the same as any other. But when the specifics are examined, 2012 was both far better and far worse than it could have been.

On the plus side of the ledger there was the incredible ENnie nomination, and a number of articles of which I can be both proud and satisfied. One the negative, Johnn called stumps on his involvement here at Campaign Mastery, and there was the passing of my long-time friend, player, and supporter, Stephen Tunnicliffe.

2012 in Site Statistics

the statistics for the year make for some startling reading. (Not counting this post) there have been 101 published in the course of the year – that’s a couple more than there might have been because I chose to upload extras In July regarding the ENnie nomination. those 101 articles total 440,447 words – if I ignore the extras and focus on the content-driven articles alone, an average of about 4487 words each.

Johnn provided a half-dozen, Michael Beck 4, and other contributors 3 of those articles – leaving me with the lion’s share of the writing, some 88 articles. the shortest article – excluding the ENnie announcements – was my article speculating on the future of the hobby (The Future Is Bright – The coming boom in RPGs) weighing in at only 925 words in January. the longest (by a slender margin) came in April – 11,524 words in part ten of the history of the alternate-earth (The Imperial History of Earth-Regency, Part 10: the Crumbling Of Icons – 1980-1997 continued) which serves as the setting of my superhero campaign. Every one of them worth reading, I assure you!

In response to those 101 articles, there have been 594 comments and pingbacks – an extremely gratifying average of over four per article. these have resulted from the visits of 104,005 visitors – of whom 33.5% were from repeat visitors.

Unsurprisingly, 57.5% of those visitors come from the US. 7.15% from Canada, 6.2% from the UK, 4.04% from Australia, 3.58% from Germany, and 1.61% from – wait for it – Brazil! Hello to all my Brazilian readers!! Also in the 1% range are France, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Spain. We also had more than 500 visits from Denmark, Poland, Russia, Finland, the Phillipines, and New Zealand.

But when I look at the traffic statistics, it’s the other end of the scale that stands out the most to me. the oddities, the places where I would not have expected to generate any traffic at all. 121 visitors from China. 62 from the United Arab Emirates. 54 from Lithuania and the same from Slovakia. 52 from Puerto Rico, and 34 from Saudi Arabia. 22 from Bangladesh! 15 from Ethiopia, and from Nigeria, and Sri Lanka, and Trinidad & Tobago! NINE from Mongolia, 7 from Zimbabwe, 5 from Cambodia – three from Nepal, of all places!

It only goes to show how universal Gaming is, as a hobby. It’s everywhere!

Milestones

In July, we hit a couple of milestones.

  • 300,000 visitors,
  • 550,000 page views
  • 37% returning visitors
  • 3300+ comments
  • and 386 posts.

August 16th brought our 400th blog post, a milestone in anyone’s language.

Currently, those totals read:

  • 355,912 visitors,
  • 645,275 page views,
  • 36.9% returning visitors,
  • 3,585 comments,
  • and 438 posts (not counting this one).
  • Oh, and 509,683 spam comments zapped.

Extrapolating from the 2012 average of 4487 words that comes to a massive 1,965,000-plus words – but earlier posts were much smaller, about half the current average – so I would expect the grand total to be closer to one-and-a-half million words.

1.5 million words. I can’t get over that number.

this is the result of just over 4 years of solid effort – but the rewards are obvious!

Looking Ahead

So, what can I expect – and therefore, what can you expect – in our fifth year here at Campaign Mastery?

In the next twelve months, I am looking forward to:

  • our 500th post
  • our 4000th comment
  • our 400,000th visitor
  • close to 750,000 page views
  • our 2,000,000th word in an article.
  • We’re also about to hit a monthly average of 10,000 visitors (now at about 9,300 and growing about 6% per annum)!

All of which is incredibly satisfying, and I can’t thank our readership enough!

Enough Stalling – talk about the content to come!

Change is good for the soul, or so they say. Well, good or not, it is inevitable, and there are going to be some small tweaks to the material that I’m going to present in the course of 2013.

the Sequel To Assassin’s Amulet and other e-books

the current schedule of publishing here at Campaign Mastery has left me with minimal time for Game Prep (fortunately I don’t usually need a lot) and none at all for working on these publications – and they are what is supposed to be funding all of this. Heck, I haven’t even had time to look after Site Admin properly! Clearly, something has had to give.

That something is the appearance of a new article on Mondays.

The original intent was for at least half the Monday articles to be guest posts from other GMs of my acquantance – but that simply hasn’t happened. The second solution tried was limiting the size of the monday posts to small articles that I could knock out relatively quickly – the 11,000 word monsters that have appeared over the last couple of months show quite clearly that THAT hasn’t worked. So it’s time to try a different solution.

Orcs and Elves

But I don’t intend to go to a once-a-week publishing schedule – instead, I’m going to be taking the brave step of doing my game prep (and campaign background development) in public. this is something that I’ve been keeping in reserve as a measure to be enacted if necessary for quite some time. So, now, I’ve decided that the only way to get everything done is to do two things at once – and this plan does just that.

I’ve been dipping my toe into the waters in this respect for a while now, with the “On Alien Languages” series and the “Imperial History of Earth Regency” series – but they have significantly more original writing involved than the content that will be on offer under the new monday banner, at least for quite a while.

What I’m going to be starting with is a background document for my Fumanor Campaign which reveals to the players for the first time, the true origins of Elves, and Drow, and the true relationship that Elves have with Orcs, and a great deal other such things. the first part of this series will start a week from now, with some context and background material to help readers interpret what’s to come – because I don’t intend to stop and explain anything unless I absolutely have to.

So why might Campaign Mastery’s readers be interested? Well, it’s full of interesting plot twists and ideas that can be parachuted into other campaigns, for a start. then there’s the value in seeing how I go about such things – a real-life example. Hopefully it will also make interesting reading in and of itself. And finally, I would like it to set for each GM who reads it a standard to aim for – an indicator of the degree of conceptual prep that I consider necessary in a major campaign.

Thursdays are the new Mondays – sometimes

Everything that has, until now, been appearing on a Monday will now slot into the schedule of articles to appear on Thursdays – starting this week with the third installment of the series on Villains. there are also articles on Language, on Video Games, and on Strategy and Tactics. And that’s just the start of the year!

the More things Change

Some things aren’t going to change – like my dedication to using this website to improve the games of others. the primary purpose of Campaign Mastery isn’t going to change. So bring on 2013 – and let’s see how much fun we can have!

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