State of Paper Dice Games 2023

2022 was an amazing year for Paper Dice Games. I’ve included some brief highlights below.

I am super thankful for many things. First, that I can enjoy game design as a hobby, and worry about silly things like design timelines and grammar errors in published pdfs. I am also thankful for the health and love of my family and friends around me.

Second, I am thankful for all of you. As I’ve stated before, watching people enjoy my games is the best thing about this hobby – and as of 2022 more people are playing (and hopefully enjoying) the games I’ve designed than ever!

2022 Lessons Learned

I also learned a lot in 2022. Many of my initiatives and projects didn’t work out. I’ve included a short list below to show that it wasn’t all roses and cotton candy this year.

  • I finally tried to run a Patreon. It didn’t quite hit my goals (in fact, it was an utter failure), and I was spending more time than I wanted on it, so I ended my page.
  • I probably spent too much time creating Youtube videos. I pulled back in November, and will be creating fewer in the future. I still enjoy the process though, and will continue in 2023.
  • I ran a big playtest for a game called “Spellbook.” I learned a lot in the playtest, and need to rethink combat in the game.
  • By the end of the year I was burned out.

That last bullet point is the most important. I really pushed hard in 2022 in some of the design-adjacent areas like marketing, publishing, etc. It was a lot, and by the end of the year I needed a break – so I took one. This has greatly impacted my plan for 2023.

Looking Forward to 2023

I am going to spend more time playing and enjoying games in 2023. 

Don’t worry – I will still be designing new games, and updating existing games this year! I have some very fun ideas planned! I just need to re-balance a bit, and make sure I am enjoying the hobby more than I am trying to publish in it.

I have a very cool idea for a new Dwarf Mine game. If you want to keep tabs on what’s going on, and learn more about the lore in Dwarf Mine, sign up for the mailing list below.

I also have some other big projects that could see the light of day, but since I am focusing on playing and enjoying this hobby space more, I can’t commit to them at this time.

An Amazing Designer Highlight

Before I close out this article I want to highlight another designer in the paper and pencil space that I learned a whole lot from in 2022. I’m talking about Anna Blackwell and their game DELVE.

If you are an aspiring paper and pencil designer, take a look at how Anna runs Blackwell Games. Specifically, take a look at DELVE, and how Anna achieved success with this game. 

It’s really amazing and inspiring. Though I haven’t spoken with Anna directly, I did a bunch of research on Blackwell Games back in March and April of 2022. What Anna has achieved is spectacular. From a hobbyist perspective, there is so much to learn from what they have done. 

Anna has released new games since DELVE, and has some real fun ideas. The success Anna has in creating a very fun game that can deliver hours of joy to lots of fans – it’s really something I am trying to learn from. Much of what I learned in 2022, and the success my games saw, are from what I learned from Anna.

Closing Out

I’m very excited for 2023. I have some fun ideas, and want to see if I can bring my designs to the next level while maintaining a balance of enjoying this hobby as well as creating in it.

If you have any feedback or additional comments, please send an email my way at: paperdicegames (at) gmail.com

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