Map of Arch Aen

State of PhD20 2019

2019 was chaotic. Moments of heartbreak, loss and challenges throughout. I didn’t have much direction with PhD20. I published a few articles, shared a few things on social media but was mostly silent. Let’s take a look at the year and what’s ahead in 2020.

2019

End of Project Starfire

Partway through 2019, I announced an end to Project Starfire. This was an initiative I had started for building my own campaign management software. I learned a lot while on that journey, enough to land me a job as a software engineer. In the end, I’d found better alternatives (see the next section) and was losing my excitement/energy over my own solution.

It’s a significant investment (time and money) creating software on your own. I don’t regret the time I spent on it because of what I learned. It was invaluable. I only regret that I failed to deliver what I’d hoped to for the people out there that were following along.

Campaign Management

I dabbled in using GitHub for campaign management. I spent hours experimenting and moving things over there. I became re-obsessed with Google Drive as a campaign manager. I spent dozens of hours moving everything back to Drive.

In the end, I gave World Anvil another try. The rest is history. I’ve spent dozens more hours, recreating my entire world on World Anvil and I’ve loved every minute of it. The community, the founders, the product. The first two have always been wonderful. More recently, the product has reached a place that I’ve long hoped for. I look forward to the future of this product and my campaigns and worlds on it.

Back on Twitter

I rejoined Twitter sometime in 2019. Come follow me. A good friend drew me back and I’m truly grateful. The Dungeons & Dragons community on Twitter is wonderful. If you’re not there, I’d encourage you to try it. I’ve become so inspired by so many people and found amazing D&D products. Found Familiar coffee, anyone? I’ve even started painting miniatures again!

D&D Raid

In October, I helped run a truly, one-of-a-kind Dungeons & Dragons event. The scale was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. I’ll leave it at that since I’ve already written about it. Someday, I’ll write a recap.

Content Crisis

Perhaps the most recurring theme for me during 2019, was one of content crisis. I felt the urge (largely due to content creators on Twitter) to create content again. But I couldn’t nail down the direction I wanted to take. What resulted was a half-dozen brainstormed projects that never came to fruition and the occasional blog post here.

I designed 3–4 different Patreon setups for various avenues of content, but never actually published one. I also dabbled with the idea of Kickstarting a published adventure (more on that later on).

One thing I’m certain of is that I have no interest in getting back into video content. I don’t have the time or energy to produce videos or deal with YouTube anymore (though I occasionally consume others’ content from the platform). Along those lines, I don’t have interest in a podcast, either. At least not now.

So, I stick to writing. Not my strongest skill but an easy medium to express oneself and a skill I want to improve. Hopefully this reflection and the upcoming hopes for 2020 will slowly resolve the content crisis that I find myself in.

2020

Despite frustrations and disappointments in 2019, I look forward to 2020 with hope and excitement. One chapter ends and another begins. I’ve got some goals in mind for what I want to accomplish.

RPG Adventure

My biggest goal for 2020 is to write an RPG adventure. I’ve had one in mind for years and I want to finish it. Stretch goal? Publish the adventure. I know little to nothing about publishing written content. So it’ll be a learning experience for sure.

I’d love to Kickstart it so I can produce something really high quality with some commissioned artwork. But step one is writing the damn thing.

My World Map

I want to get into mapmaking again. Years ago, I had a Patreon for it. Though I don’t plan on going that far again, I do want to create more maps for myself and my games.

My main map goal is to finish a canvas version of my world map. I’ve drawn a version I’m happy with on paper. Now I want to produce something I could hang in a gaming room.

Painting Miniatures

I’m going to continue painting miniatures. It’s relaxing and takes 100% of my focus. A very mindful activity in a world of constant notifications and distractions.

A friend ordered her character’s custom miniature from Hero Forge. That’s my first goal. Finish painting her Loxodon barbarian. Secondly, I purchased a beautiful, large Fomorian figure. I’m fascinated by their lore and want to finish painting that beauty.

With those goals in mind, I’m ready to charge into 2020. Keep an eye out here and on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout the year.

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