Reflections on the First Year of Livingdice.com

Before it gets too far into 2009, I thought a brief reflection on my first year of role-playing blogging appropriate. I started livingdice.com on January 8th, 2008 with absolutely no idea what the hell I was doing. I posted whatever game-related topic sprang to mind, five days per week on a Joomla-based site. Ironically, the blog was a device to drive traffic to a game scheduling system I created. The game scheduler part of the site was a total bust and quickly forgotten, but the blog actually gained a following. Not a huge following, but enough to keep me motivated to post.

I also met a great group of people in the rpg blogger community. As a group, they really helped get livingdice.com off the ground. Dave over at critical-hits.com and Phil, the Chatty DM deserve special recognition for their ongoing assistance in making me a better blogger and in resolving technical issues.

So I stumbled and fumbled along for a few months, posting encounter ideas, rumors about new games and the occasional publisher interview. Honestly, I was quickly losing interest in blogging. My traffic was pitiful and the joy of writing the blog began to fade. One event changed all of that, a gift from the blogging gods that was a sign.

Gen Con’s Bankruptcy and associated legal issues with Lucasfilm.

Gen Con filed Chapter 11 in January and many blogs duly reported the Gen Con press release. However, the bankruptcy quickly faded from memory with no new information. May comes around and I have heard nothing, so I go searching the internet for an update. Nothing. I could not believe that no one had an update and was about to quit searching when I remembered that most bankruptcy filings are public record. Two hours and a trip to the federal court’s website later, I had the complete bankruptcy filing, filings that included a previously unreported $400,000.00 debt to Hasbro. It was excellent content for a post

The Gen Con post was popular, widely linked and generally got LD noticed. Watching the forums, blogs and various gaming sites discuss my post and the information therein was very exciting. It  encouraged me to keep blogging.

Several people asked how I was so timely with my posts about “”Gen Con Acquisition Group’s” attempted purchase of Gen Con and other related legal issues. It was quite easy. I checked the Gen Con and Lucasfilm filings every business day…for seven months. I even beat the press releases from the various parties more than once.

Re-dedicated to the cause, I sought a new focus to set my blog apart from the crowd. Reviews, news and the occasional encounter or plot idea were still a part of the site, but I wanted to focus more on the gaming industry. I started interviewing game publishers, providing resources for aspiring game designers and kept an eye on the Gen Con bankruptcy filings.

I hope you liked the new direction I took for the blog. It demanded I go from posting every day to 2-3 times per week, but the quality went up (in my opinion anyway), so I thought it a fair trade.

This first year for me was very rewarding and I look forward to continuing my efforts in 2009. Here are some things to look forward to on the site:

Trask goes to the GAMA Trade Show in Vegas

Trask’s first trip to Gen Con

A continuing focus on independent and exotic RPG offerings outside of the mainstream. “Wizards of the Coast” gets no special treatment here! We will post about “Dungeons and Dragons” occasionally, but there is simply so much more to the RPG community than one company.

More posts with ideas and resources for the aspiring game designer.

Most importantly, honest, independent commentary about games.

Stick around, it is going to get interesting.

Trask, The Last Tyromancer

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trask

Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.

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