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2009 At Flash of Steel

January 3rd, 2010 by Troy Goodfellow · 12 Comments · Blogs

Last year was a big one for the blog. Buttressed by the Three Moves Ahead podcast, traffic almost tripled.

This is good, but I also blogged less. With less reviewing going on, I had less time to devote to games that I would not have otherwise played, meaning there were a lot more “look at this link” posts than I usually like to have. One of the strengths of this blog, I think, is that there is more content than there is simply pointing to something neat I saw somewhere else.

The most popular original content post – both in terms of comments and views – was my post about The Sims and religion, an issue that the podcast team revisited late in the year. The map series was also very popular, but some posts there more than others. I regret that the series took forever to finish, but then I look at my slow moving decade series…. This is part of the problem with working with a team, but I’m not changing. Rob Zacny and Bruce Geryk have done great work, and I want to be a platform for the rest of their pieces even if this takes us to June.

As a community, FoS continues to exceed my expectations. Comments are civil, questions are good, and I read them all even if I don’t comment myself. I don’t answer every question, of course, though I probably should. On Quarter To Three, one listener commented that he suspected we’d still record TMA even if we only had 25 listeners. I feel the same way about FoS – I started this blog back on Blogspot and was thrilled when I got over 50 readers a day. For much of the fall I averaged 700. This is still small beans in the blog world, but I don’t promote this place the way I should. I also deal with a niche topic in a fading genre that aims at men my age who have better things to do. That I have found a like-minded audience is a daily thrill and I thank you all for lifting the site as far as it has gone.

As for the podcast, it also has exceeded my expectations, though most of the credit for that goes to my dear friends on the show. Julian was there with invaluable advice on day one, without which I never would have moved forward. Bruce Geryk has always been one of my favorite writers, and eagerly volunteered to be on the show before he realized the havoc his life would play with regular planning. And Tom Chick, the “name” on the show, came through for me almost every week as he always has in my career. The increasing difficulties in scheduling all of us could mean some subtle changes to the show as we move along, but the show has been my personal highlight of 2009. We’ll have a proper one year anniversary show in late February, and more on that later.

On to 2010.


12 Comments so far ↓

  • Thomas Kiley

    Here’s to another! I love the pieces this blog does (in particular the map series) and would stick around even if the post count fell . I play games in all genres, but thanks to this blog and Three Moves Ahead (the only podcast ever I have managed to keep up with!), strategy games continue to hold a very special place within my gaming spectrum.

    Plus next year is the Year of the Starcraft, so maybe the strategy market will be reinvigorated for a little while.

  • Warren

    Glad to hear your heart’s still in it, and we can look forward to continuing to hear your views.

  • Sean

    Always a great show Troy. :)

  • Alan Au

    I’m happy that FoS is still being updated regularly. TMA definitely helps. Anyhow, I’m hoping Troy will do a rundown of where traffic is coming from.

    I’m also looking forward to the one-year anniversary of TMA, which reminds me, I need to catch up on the podcasts!

  • OblivionSHO

    I really enjoy Three Moves Ahead and your website. Keep up the good work Troy.

  • Roland Gunner

    I’m looking forward to the last season of Lost almost as much as I look forward to each episode of your podcast..

    If changes are made I hope they are subtle, and the original cast of irregulars can make frequent guest appearances.

    Thanks to each of you, for all your work.

  • Andrew Doull

    Three Moves Ahead is by far the best game related podcast I listen to. I suspect it’s because you have a specific genre and a team which is very knowledgeable about this genre. Even journalists like RPS tend to forget stuff podcasting which they should know, when it comes to a more generalist discussion.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Primemover

    Troy, your efforts with both FOS and TMA have had a huge influence on my strategy gaming life. Your format allows us strategy geeks to get honest opinions on games we like, as well as get exposed to games that one may not be familiar with or missed out on. I am very appreciative that you do all of this, as there are precious few venues that address strategy gaming these days.

  • Jon Shafer

    Troy (et al), thanks for all your hard work with both the blog and the podcast. It is definitely appreciated.


  • Ian Bowes (spelk)

    TMA was a revelation to me earlier this year, I struggled with many a gaming podcast, and always found them to be lacking, in content, in intelligence, in debate. Most of them seem to see themselves as in-jokey comedy radio shows, rather than any sort of information or debate forums.

    I wanted to listen to a podcast where the discussion made me question my thoughts and values on games, where it lifted the curtain so we could peek at games past, present and future. Where it had people with credibility, and knowledge and opinions. People who would enthuse about gaming, and pass on that infectious curiosity to try games outside of the norm and look towards outlyting diamonds in the rough. Who cares if the general gaming consensus thought it ‘sucked’ or ‘rocked’? Not I.

    So, finding TMA was like finding a home, a place to come to regularly and enjoy discussing games and their wider role in our entertainment. Strategy gaming touches on all aspects of what I enjoy about gaming, history, paced decision making, tactical choices. TMA nurtures the very essence of what it is to enjoy Strategy gaming. So I was hooked.

    The players in the podcast, all genuine and unique individuals make for a heady mix of opinions and backgrounds. Approaching each topic from very different angles and highlighting a more fuller appreciation for the subject. I consider them all respected Internet “friends”.

    And finally, Flash of Steel itself, a place for well versed comment, and thought provoking debate, that acts as the germination incubator for many TMA discussions.

    Kudos to you Troy for fronting such a site, and kudos to your podcasting colleagues for making gaming discussion interesting again.

  • Andy

    awesome show as always, hope 2010 is even better!

  • Skyrider68

    Troy, and all your regular hosts: I feel a debt of gratitude. Thank you for all your efforts. In the 27 years I have enjoyed PC-based gaming, I equally enjoyed reading the informed commentary on computer gaming in both print and online media. I don’t think it’s too gushing to say that each of you has at some point written a review that persuaded me to spend my hard-earned gaming dollar on a worthy game, or saved my time and money avoiding junk that wastes too much space on software shelves. Each of you has a talent when it comes to talking and/or writing about games. Thank you for sharing your talent with those of us who share an enthusiasm for the hobby.

    Though I have grown a bit older and have accepted the melancholy of my gaming time diminishing in the face of increasing life responsibilities, I look forward to listening to your podcast regularly, even if reality dictates I won’t always to be play *all* the good games you guys discover.

    It’s a bit discouraging to think of strategy games as a “fading genre,” as Troy described, because for me it’s one genre I haven’t become bored with, even after many years of gaming. I hope that you all continue to find strategy gaming a subject worthy of your continued interest for the forseeable future. I for one will continue to enjoy reading and/or listening.

    –Mike H.