So, seriously, where did 2018 go? No, seriously! It just flew by for me. And now here we are in 2019, with me turning 31 before the end of this month, and I’ve now got to look at the next 12 months and work out what I actually want to do to grow this little blog of mine.

But rather than keep my ideas all to myself, I thought I would share them with all of you awesome people. First, though, let’s look at how things expanded, changed and grew over 2018, shall we?

Over The Past Year

So, I started 2018 without any real plan for growth. Let’s just be honest about that, shall we? I went into last year completely blind when it came to how I saw my blog progressing, other than the fact that I wanted it to progress. So, rather than have a bunch of plans for 2018, I decided to just go with it and see what works and what doesn’t. It was a very experimental year, really. But rather than get bogged down in detail for everything that happened, here’s a brief summary;

  • I cut down the number of reviews I do on the blog (rather considerably, in fact) so that when I actually do write a review, it offers more quality content.
  • I pushed YouTube hard, then started live streaming on the platform, before then expanding to Twitch and streaming to both simultaneously.
  • I then reached Twitch Affiliate status, meaning that I could only stream to Twitch, and then upload the recording to YouTube 24 hours later.
  • I won the Best Digital and Tech Blog Award at the UK Blog Awards 2018.
  • I tried out a series of videos for RPG Retrospectives, but the editing took too long for them to be regularly created within my current amount of spare time in a week.

So yeah, I tried a lot of different things throughout 2018. But as I said, there wasn’t really any structure to what I was trying. That’s where things are going to be a bit different this year. Let’s see what I am thinking so far, shall we?

Upgrading The 16-Bit Awards

Last month was the second annual 16-Bit Awards post (find that here) where I basically give out my own virtual awards to games and gaming personalities. The idea initially came about because I wasn’t particularly happy with the general industry awards so I thought I would just do my own… Admittedly, they don’t really mean anything to anyone, nor is the Awards post anything more than just a blog post at the moment. However, over the next few years, I want to change that.

Firstly, I want to get you guys more involved in it. I did try that last year but it didn’t really take off. This year, I’m thinking of making it so that you guys can nominate your favourite Indy game, retro gaming personality and game of the year. Then, I will have a Public version of each of these categories. In other words, there will be a 16-Bit Awards GOTY and a 16-Bit Awards Public GOTY.

That way, you guys get to have your voices heard as well. Of course, nominating can’t just be all. So for the public awards, you’ll be able to vote as well! I haven’t determined the dates yet, but I think that would be a good way to go about it.

But that’s not all!

Expanding My OBS Knowledge

Now that I’m getting my head around Open Broadcast Software, I plan to use its abilities to make both my weekly streams on Twitch and the 16-Bit Awards more entertaining. For the streams, this will involve sound effects, animations and other such stuff. However, the big thing is that I want to learn how to use different video files and switch between them with a degree of fluidity.

The reason for this is that I can then create and host a live 16-Bit Awards digital event on Twitch! The plan is that each category gets its own nominations video package, followed by a winner reveal. Sure, it won’t be a true ceremony just yet… But if I can pull it off, it’ll be a damn good start.

Quick note to say thanks to Michael from Prudent Gaming for giving me the idea of a streamable 16-Bit Awards!

Creating A Defined, Monthly Series of Posts

I had originally planned for my “History Of” posts to be an ongoing monthly series of posts where I delve deep into the history of gaming, but I completely let that slip out of focusing on so many other experiments with content. However, I really like the idea of doing a monthly series. The problem with the History Of posts is that they can end up getting rather long. I mean, my History of Final Fantasy post is over 6,000 words! That took hours upon hours to write…

As we all know, being a Dad with a full-time job as well means that I am limited in the amount of time I have available. So, having posts that take that long to write is really difficult to do. So, what I need to do first is put more structure to the idea of a monthly post.

I’m thinking that I might do a series of short monthly posts going through my top 101 games, as listed in the #16BitDad101 on Twitter… That would mean I’m sorted for monthly posts for the next few years. Just not sure what I would write about for each one. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know! And let me know whether you would prefer that or a better planned out History Of series.

And That’s All Folks

As you can see, I’m limiting my experimentation this year. Rather than just shooting out ideas left, right and centre, I’m trying to be a bit more strategic and thoughtful about how I grow and expand the content offered through 16-Bit Dad. Let’s see how well things go, shall we?

I’d love to know what you think about these ideas as well, so let me know in the comments below!