I know, I should save these for the end of the year for better visibility and click rates but I feel this is a better milestone for me for reasons I’ll explain right away. Plus, I worry about enough of that in my daily work, Medium is my breathing space!
So, why is it a good milestone? I have two points.
Point one is that I’ve just been elected to be a Top Writer in Gaming. I know Medium isn’t a big environment but this is actually very encouraging. I also want to salute Medium curators for they’ve curated some articles of mine that aren’t traditionally what you’d expect from “an online read.” I initially thought I’d have to write things like “10 things I learned from gaming” or “Here is the reason why games are actually beneficial for your mental health” or “How I discoverd my inner self through games” to be recognized, but our curators seem to value my ideas for a business model for a game that will probably never happen, or even my crazy ideas on a hero design for a particular game.
I appreciate that. Truly, I do. Not saying this because they’re my articles, believe me. I appreciate that there is an online space where the creativity of a non-native English speaker’s (ie someone who might not be excellent at the written expression) creativity and passion camn be recognized.
With Top Writer comes great responsibility, as the saying goes of course. I now feel even more pressured to write! However, it’s not unwelcome because…
The other reason that I feel this is a good milestone is a combination of my recent build-up of thoughts, triggered for effect by my trip to BlizzCon. I was truly inspired by the community, by seeing Blizzard employees, by hearing all the stories of all of them. I know it’s a big cliché but I feel like I was really inspired to be a better version of my self.
I’ve started DMing a new D&D game recently. Unlike the usual me, my players are online and I’m using a lot of digital tools to make it happen and you know what? I’ve been loving it.
Now, combining that experience, plus my desire to share my perspective and my take on gaming, combined with encouragement from brilliant people from Blizzard to share things online has really got into my skin. During BlizzCon, I decided to create detailed content the same way I did for my D&D campaign. I always wanted to make games but the multi-disciplinary part has been challenging. So what I’ll do is to focus on the things I want to create.
I don’t know if you read my Valerian Mengsk hero for SCII. That’s just the concept. What’s coming after is a more detailed design that has some numbers, actual list of units and so on. I’ll be going to TL forums to get feedback and adjust. I’ll be playing a lot of co-op to get a better sense of things. In the end, I’ll have something close to an actual proposal.
I’ll write about this more, but suffice to say I have a lot of content incoming.
And I hope this shows you why I’m publishing this now. I don’t need a calendar to tell me where change starts. I’m right now in a milestone where I’m moving from “I’ll just give this a bit of thought” to “I’ll work on a psuedo-design”, which hopefully will be the milestone before moving to “I’m an actual game designer now.”
Of course, more happened this year. I’ve published 23 articles so far (not counting this,) which generated thousands of views. While I’m far from being a big writer around here, the numbers are much better than last year, and I’m happy to get constant viewers! Overall, I’m still very happy that I picked Medium. I still enjoy the simplicity combined with elegance. That said, Medium is not perfect and I’ve written about that a couple times.
One topic I touched was how stats were lacking in Medium and some expectations regarding them. Stats have recently received a facelift to quote Medium, giving us more insight into the views and reads of regular users compared to members. Useful indeed, but nowhere close where I’d like them to be. I really hope this part will be improved further as I enjoy observing the stats in detail, even if I’m not a big name here.
Another topic was making publications more practical to use and add more functionality, which did not really happen.
A change that I’d like to talk about is the partnership and curation, at least what I think happened. Earlier this year, I thought about moving into the partner program. I knew I’m not big, but I wanted to see how it worked. I was sad to learn that all my articles would be behind a paywall and I had to ask the support to take me out of the program. If I understand correctly, we now have the option to be curated per article. I’ll be talking with support about details, but I think this is a better way to handle things: I’d rather be able to share some articles with everyone.
Moving forward, I have two major requests:
- Improved App: I’ve been using Medium on iOS and there are clear problems with UI/UX, lack of functionality etc. I ended up using Safari (literally what I’m doing as I write.) Medium isn’t a complicated site and I’d like to think Medium has the developers to handle a full-conversion between versions.
- More focus and a new direction for Publications: Right now, publications act sort of like magazines: A gathering for opinion leaders, who are already “out there”. But what about fanzines and enthusiasts without that visibility or network? I think it would be great if Medium came up with a “Looking for Group” function (I write about games, of course I think of game-related tools!) where enthusiasts could find each other and form publications. Even if it’s too much, suggesting writers to publication owners and publications to potential writers would’ve been great. A sense of community is a powerful driving tool, and a group of minds talking is a beatiful thing. Do it Medium!
So that’s all for this one, it turned out to be a longer article than I thought anyway. Thanks for following, thanks for reading and I hope to see more comments from my followers on 2020!