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State of the Donut - 2018 
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Esteemed Fellow Genesis Enthusiasts,

As is my annual impulse, I have spent the past week reflecting on the year
that was 2018, and analyzing the data available so that I might come to you
with this, my State of the Donut Address. Before we get started, I will offer
forwarning and apology to those who like things neatly stated in brief. My
tendancy tends towards the verbose, and I am a man who enjoys graphs, charts,
and statistical calculations the way some people enjoy a freshly opened carton
of chocolate ice cream. There will be many spoonfuls ahead!

Context is always important. Last year's Address for 2017 was noteworthy in
that it stood at the 10-year-mark since I became Keeper, and laid out my
vision for the future of Genesis, and my plans for what I felt needed to
happen to take the game forward. I spent a good deal of that address looking
back over the decade, making comparisons between where we started and where
we had travelled in terms of progress along the lines of that vision. It
showed how very much we have built the game and grown our numbers. It gave
us all a lot to smile about if, for no other reason, that it always
feels good to meet your goals. Ten years from where we set out in 2008, we
had done that and more!

This address will not take that path. Looking back over the ten years is
good, however, and all the things we have learned in that time period are
very much worth recalling. If you feel like you would like to do that, I
offer you this link which will take you to the repository I created last
year so that all of the annual progress reports made in that time period
can be easily browsed at your leisure:

    https://www.genesismud.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=4452

To read all of that, you will probably want to give yourself an entire
weekend! (and a couple bottles of wine ...)

Looking now at 2018, the context to consider is that we have just come off
of 2017, which was the most fantastically successful year we have had in the
new millenium. I did not present specific goals at the end of that year, but
if I had, it might have been to maintain the momentum we had, and make sure
we used our resources well to continue to grow, strengthen, and promote the
game for the future. How well have we done in that regard? Let's take some
looks at data first!

It is always good to firstly describe the way we chart data in Genesis. In
2007 my first act as Keeper was to create a tool we could use to measure the
population of the game. This tool, the census, takes a snapshot once per hour
of the people logged in, taking note also of their guilds. The 24 snapshots
together give us an Average Per Hour (APH) for any given day in Genesis. The
higher the APH, the more people came to play the game on that day, and we can
imagine that anyone who visited Genesis on that day would have seen at least
that many people with them in the game.

So, let's start out with a truly lovely graph from 2018. In July, something
remarkable happened. PC Gamer magazing surprised us with two online-only
articles that mentioned Genesis, one of which put us into a category of games
from the 80's and 90's that (amazingly, to them) still were running and
getting development updates. These articles were seen by many people worldwide
which resulted in a spike in July like nothing we have seen before. The effect
on our numbers is evident in this chart for July, which is a good way to
understand what APH is:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
20180701  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX               (31)
20180702  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX                (30)
20180703  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX               (31)
20180704  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX              (32)
20180705  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX         (29)
20180706  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX              (32)
20180707  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX              (48)
20180708  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX          (44)
20180709  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX             (41)
20180710  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX <----!! (56)
20180711  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX          (55)
20180712  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX              (48)
20180713  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX          (44)
20180714  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX               (39)
20180715  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX                (46)
20180716  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX               (39)
20180717  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX           (43)
20180718  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX            (42)
20180719  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX                (38)
20180720  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX              (40)
20180721  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX         (37)
20180722  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX                (38)
20180723  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX               (39)
20180724  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX         (37)
20180725  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX          (36)
20180726  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX             (33)
20180727  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX               (31)
20180728  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX                (38)
20180729  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX                (38)
20180730  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX             (33)
20180801  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX          (36)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For each day, an X represents one player, and you can see the number of
players in parenthesis - the number is the APH for that day. The highest day
in July was the 10th, which we can look at by itself to see those snapshots
all lined up for each of the 24 hours:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Hourly player activity for Jul 10 2018
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   92| <--------- INCREDIBLE!!!                                          .   
   90|                                                                   O   
   88|                                                                   O   
   86|                                                                   O   
   84|                                                    .           O  O   
   82|                                                    O           O  O   
   80|                                                    O  O  O  O  O  O   
   78|                                                    O  O  O  O  O  O   
   76|                                                    O  O  O  O  O  O   
   74|                                                    O  O  O  O  O  O  .
   72|                                                    O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   70|                                                    O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   68|                                                 .  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   66|                                                 O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   64|                                              .  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   62|                                              O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   60|                                              O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   58|                                              O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   56|                                              O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   54|                                              O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   52|             .                          .  .  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   50| .           O                    .     O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   48| O           O                    O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   46| O           O  O        O  .     O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   44| O        .  O  O  .     O  O     O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   42| O        O  O  O  O     O  O     O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   40| O        O  O  O  O     O  O     O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   38| O        O  O  O  O  O  O  O  .  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   36| O        O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   34| O     O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   32| O  .  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   30| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   28| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   26| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   24| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   22| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   20| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   18| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   16| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
P  14| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
L  12| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
A  10| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
Y   8| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
E   6| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
R   4| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
S   2| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hour | 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mean daily average players per hour = 56.79
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stunningly beautiful! As you can see, the snapshot that was taken at 22:00
on July 10th showed 91 people on the who list! This was not at all the most
seen that year, but we have never captured such a high number on our census
data. Seeing a number like that was thrilling, and on this day a few of us
noticed that the who list got as high as 108 people at one point. This was
a new record for us, and generated a lot of excitement.

So, how did this translate for us throughout the year? Let's take a look at
the overall graph so we can get a sense of how 2018 was in terms of the
number of people who were playing the game on average:

+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                                                                         |
| Average player activity by week for entire year, beginning January 2018 |
|                                                                         |
+---------+----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+----+-----+
|    45.5 |    |    |    |     |    |    | X   |    |     |    |    |     |
|    45.0 |    |    |    |     |    |    | X   |    |     |    |    |     |
|    44.5 |    |    |    |     |    |    | X   |    |     |    |    |     |
|    44.0 |    |    |    |     |    |    | X   |    |     |    |    |     |
|    43.5 |    |    |    |     |    |    | X   |    |     |    |    |     |
|    43.0 |    |    |    |     |    |    | X   |    |     |    |X   |     |
|    42.5 |    |    |    |     |    |    | X   |    |     |    |X   |     |
|    42.0 |    |    |    |     |    |    | X   |    |     |    |XX  |     |
|    41.5 |    |    |    |     |    |    | X   |    |     |    |XX  |     |
|    41.0 |    |    |    |     |    |    | X   |    |     |    |XX  |     |
|    40.5 |    |    |    |     |    |    | XX  |    |     |   X|XX  |     |
|    40.0 |    |    |    |     |    |    | XX  |    |     |   X|XX  |     |
|    39.5 |    |    |    |     |    |    | XX  |    |     |   X|XXX |     |
|    39.0 |    |    |    |     |    |    | XX  |    |     |   X|XXXX|     |
|    38.5 |   X|    |    |     |    |    | XX  |    |     |  XX|XXXX|     |
|    38.0 |   X|    |    |     |    |    | XX  |    |     |  XX|XXXX|  X  |
|    37.5 |   X|    |    |     |    |    | XX  |    |     |  XX|XXXX|  X  |
|    37.0 |   X|    |    |     |    |    | XX  |    |   X |  XX|XXXX|X X  |
|    36.5 |X  X|    |X   |     |    |    | XX  |   X|   X |  XX|XXXX|X X X|
|    36.0 |X XX|    |X   |     |    |    | XXX |   X|   X |  XX|XXXX|X X X|
|    35.5 |X XX|X   |X   |     |    |    | XXX | XXX|   X |  XX|XXXX|X X X|
|    35.0 |X XX|X   |X   |     |   X|X   | XXX |XXXX|   X |  XX|XXXX|X XXX|
|    34.5 |X XX|X   |X X |     |  XX|X   | XXXX|XXXX|   X | XXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    34.0 |XXXX|X   |X X |     |XXXX|X   | XXXX|XXXX|   X | XXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    33.5 |XXXX|X  X|X XX|     |XXXX|X   | XXXX|XXXX|   X |XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    33.0 |XXXX|X  X|X XX|     |XXXX|X   |XXXXX|XXXX|X  X |XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    32.5 |XXXX|X  X|XXXX|     |XXXX|X   |XXXXX|XXXX|X  XX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    32.0 |XXXX|X  X|XXXX| X   |XXXX|X   |XXXXX|XXXX|X XXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    31.5 |XXXX|X  X|XXXX|XX   |XXXX|X   |XXXXX|XXXX|X XXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    31.0 |XXXX|XX X|XXXX|XX  X|XXXX|XXX |XXXXX|XXXX|X XXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    30.5 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX XX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|X XXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    30.0 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX XX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|X XXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    29.5 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX XX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|X XXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    29.0 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX XX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|X XXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    28.5 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    28.0 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    27.5 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    27.0 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    26.5 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    26.0 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    25.5 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    25.0 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    24.5 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    24.0 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    23.5 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
|    23.0 |XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XXXXX|
+---------+----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+----+-----+
|  Month  |Jan |Feb |Mar |Apr  |May |Jun |Jul  |Aug |Sep  |Oct |Nov |Dec  |
+---------+----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+----+-----+
|                                                                         |
|               Mean yearly average players per hour = 34.71              |
|                                                                         |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

This chart's resolution of one column for each week of the year gives us a
very clear look at that July spike, and how much the PC Gamer articles did
for us in terms of people coming to try the game. But this was not to be the
end of that type of effect. See that nice fat bulge from mid October on
through November? PC Gamer had one more trick up it's sleeve for us. But
that deserves its own discussion, so more on that later. What we see by
looking at the year overall is that Genesis had another strong year, on
average guaranteeing that you would see an average 33-36 players in the realms
with you just about any time you chose to log in. Peak hours and low hours
would be a bit different, of course. And, we have a way to look at that, too.
We can use our comprehensive charting analytics to compare 2018 to the prior
year 2017 to see how the two match up:

+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|             Comparing player activity over two time periods:               |
|                      A: Jan 01 2017 - Jan 01 2018                          |
|                      B: Jan 01 2018 - Jan 01 2019                          |
+-------+-------+-------+----------+--+-----------+-------+-------+----------+
| Hour  |   A   |   B   | % change |  | Weekday   |   A   |   B   | % change |
+-------+-------+-------+----------+  +-----------+-------+-------+----------+
| 00.00 | 40.83 | 39.40 |   -3.50 %|  | Sunday    | 36.86 | 35.05 |   -4.89 %|
| 01.00 | 38.12 | 36.01 |   -5.53 %|  | Monday    | 35.59 | 33.86 |   -4.88 %|
| 02.00 | 37.83 | 34.77 |   -8.06 %|  | Tuesday   | 35.70 | 34.82 |   -2.46 %|
| 03.00 | 38.20 | 35.29 |   -7.60 %|  | Wednesday | 35.66 | 34.52 |   -3.20 %|
| 04.00 | 38.48 | 34.97 |   -9.12 %|  | Thursday  | 35.55 | 34.11 |   -4.06 %|
| 05.00 | 36.36 | 33.14 |   -8.87 %|  | Friday    | 35.00 | 33.72 |   -3.66 %|
| 06.00 | 33.56 | 31.20 |   -7.01 %|  | Saturday  | 36.12 | 34.75 |   -3.77 %|
| 07.00 | 31.47 | 28.46 |   -9.54 %|  +-----------+-------+-------+----------+
| 08.00 | 29.84 | 27.78 |   -6.91 %|                                         |
| 09.00 | 29.50 | 28.27 |   -4.17 %|                                         |
| 10.00 | 28.79 | 28.68 |   -0.37 %|  +--------------------------------------+
| 11.00 | 28.04 | 29.13 |   +3.88 %|  |       - - - Field  Sizes - - -       |
| 12.00 | 28.46 | 29.83 |   +4.79 %|  | Number of days in Period A:     365  |
| 13.00 | 29.57 | 30.28 |   +2.39 %|  | Number of days in Period B:     365  |
| 14.00 | 31.86 | 32.18 |   +0.99 %|  +--------------------------------------+
| 15.00 | 34.90 | 34.61 |   -0.83 %|                                         |
| 16.00 | 37.91 | 36.46 |   -3.82 %|                                         |
| 17.00 | 40.41 | 39.12 |   -3.18 %|  +--------------------------------------+
| 18.00 | 43.00 | 41.43 |   -3.65 %|  |           Overall Summary            |
| 19.00 | 45.52 | 44.63 |   -1.95 %|  +--------------------------------------+
| 20.00 | 47.34 | 46.12 |   -2.56 %|  | Overall average for Period A:  35.79 |
| 21.00 | 48.21 | 46.45 |   -3.64 %|  | Overall average for Period B:  34.40 |
| 22.00 | 47.47 | 44.89 |   -5.44 %|  |                                      |
| 23.00 | 45.06 | 43.01 |   -4.54 %|  | Overall increase/decrease:  -3.86 %  |
+-------+-------+-------+----------+--+--------------------------------------+

Right away, it is clear that 2018 was not quite as strong as 2017. We were
down about 4% from the prior year. Am I worried about that? Oh, no ... not
even a little bit. More on that in a minute. First, let's look at what we do
see here. As with the prior year, the peak hour in 2018 was 21:00. Logging in
at that time meant you were likely to be playing with 45 or more other people
in most cases. The low hour, however, changed a bit. In 2017 it was 11:00,
but in 2018 it was 8:00, where you typically saw just 26 other people in the
game with you. One of the most interesting things I notice looking at all of
this is that 2018 saw a bit of a flattening out of the peaks and valleys
over the course of a day. You see those hours from 11:00 - 14:00 all gained
in APH from the previous year, such that our formerly lowest hours all rose
a bit. People are either logging in at more times of the day, or they are
staying logged in over periods of the day that they did not used to.

One graph that became somewhat more familiar to wizards like myself who like
to spend many long hours sipping cocktails while pouring over census data is
well-represented by this particular graph from December:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Hourly player activity for Dec 20 2018
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   48|                                                                      .
   46| O                                                              O  O  O
   44| O           O  O  .                                            O  O  O
   42| O           O  O  O                                         .  O  O  O
   40| O  .        O  O  O  O     O                       O  .     O  O  O  O
   38| O  O        O  O  O  O  .  O                 .     O  O  .  O  O  O  O
   36| O  O  .  .  O  O  O  O  O  O        .  O     O     O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   34| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O        O  O  O  O  .  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   32| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  .  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   30| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   28| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   26| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   24| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   22| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   20| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   18| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
   16| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
P  14| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
L  12| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
A  10| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
Y   8| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
E   6| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
R   4| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
S   2| O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O
-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hour | 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mean daily average players per hour = 39.04
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More and more often we are seeing this type of login pattern, where there is
not that great a difference between the hours of the day, and you have a good
chance of being surrounded by a very healthy number of players no matter when
you choose to play. For comparison, look back at that graph from July 10th
above, and you'll notice how different this looks. I actually find this very
exciting, indeed!

Now, just a bit earlier I was saying that I do not find it troubling that we
fell slightly from the prior year. This is another one of those areas where
context and history are extremely important. If we consider the totality of
the census, and each year that has lead up to this, we can see just how well
we are continuing to do:

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|              Population Levels in APH over the last 11 Years             |
|                          ( quarterly histogram )                         |
+-------+------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  40.0 |                                                          X       |
|  39.0 |                                                          X       |
|  38.0 |                                                         XX     X |
|  37.0 |                                                        XXX     X |
|  36.0 |                                                        XXX    XX |
|  35.0 |                                                        XXX  X XX |
|  34.0 |                                                        XXX  X XX |
|  33.0 |                                                        XXX  X XX |
|  32.0 |                                                        XXX  XXXX |
|  31.0 |                                                    X  XXXX  XXXX |
|  30.0 |                                                    X  XXXX  XXXX |
|  29.0 |                                                   XX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  28.0 |                                              X    XX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  27.0 |                                           X  X  X XX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  26.0 |                                           X  X  X XX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  25.0 |                                           X  X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  24.0 |                                           X  X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  23.0 |                                           X  X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  22.0 |                                           X  X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  21.0 |                                           XX X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  20.0 |                                        X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  19.0 |   X                                    X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  18.0 |   X                                    X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  17.0 |   X   XX                               X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  16.0 |  XX   XXX           X                  X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  15.0 | XXX   XXX           X                  X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  14.0 | XXX   XXXX  X      XX            X     X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  13.0 | XXX   XXXX  X X    XXX           X     X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  12.0 | XXXX  XXXX  XXX   XXXX     X  X  X  X  X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  11.0 | XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX     X  XXXX  X  X  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|  10.0 | XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  X XX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|   9.0 | XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
|   8.0 | XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX  XXXX |
+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+------+
| Qtr.  | 1234| 1234| 1234| 1234| 1234| 1234| 1234| 1234| 1234| 1234| 1234 |
+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+------+
| Year  | 2008| 2009| 2010| 2011| 2012| 2013| 2014| 2015| 2016| 2017| 2018 |
+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+------+
|Yr. Ave| 15.8| 16.1| 13.0| 14.0| 10.7| 12.5| 13.3| 24.2| 29.1| 36.6| 35.2 |
+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+------+

So, yes, we had a slightly stronger year in 2017. But look how much stronger
2018 is than what we had in 2016 or 2015, both of which felt (at the time)
like very good years where Genesis was growing in ways that gave us all a
great deal of hope. And, of course, now we can look back on those years of
2014 and earlier and simply smile in gratitude. Those lean years where the
game was in TERRIBLE need of growth and support seem happily in the rear-view-
mirror. Falling 4% from an amazing and beautiful year means that we are still
in amazing and beautiful territory. Genesis is strong and healthy, and we
ended the year with our best quarter, as high or higher than every quarter
in 2017 but one. Excellent!

Quantitative data is fun, but let us turn now to qualitative data, putting
details and stories of the doings in Genesis in front of all these numbers
and charts. The game, as wonderful as we all know it is, is but an empty
hall without the people who visit it every day to fill it with energy and
life. First, let us look at the accomplishments of those of us who come to
build the game as developers - our esteemed wizards.

Perhaps more than any other, Arman has carried Genesis forward in 2018 with
his tireless and brilliant efforts to not only maintain his steadfast watch
and work on balance as AoB, but also with his work in the Krynn domain,
opening two new major areas, two new guilds, and a complete update and
re-imagining of the warfare system implemented by Aridor nearly 20 years
ago. Few years since the VERY early days have seen such rampant development
by a single individual. Suffice it to say that we are all DEEPLY grateful
to Arman for his amazing work, his professionalism, and his helpful and
friendly attitude. What a godsend!

Also noteworthy has been the work of Nerull, who returned to Liegehood in
Faerun to oversee matters there, bringing to life a new guild for those
who would darken their souls in the (disturbing!) ways of the Warlock.
Genesis is not just a place for cuddles and cookies - oh no ... there will
be sacrifices and screams for the feeding of the darkest spirits. I'm a
sucker for that stuff. Well done, Nerull!

Perrigrine has been a mainstay in the cartography sector, working unceasingly
in his relentless pursuit of no-room-left-unmapped. We are all so grateful
for his ongoing efforts, and very real impact on the game's overall quality.

Finwe has returned to take the mantle in Middle Earth once more, and we
look forward to seeing where things will head now that management is in
place in this important sector of the game.

Zignur did quite a few improvements to Kalad, working on areas that have
been much beloved in the past, but faded into obscurity for most of the
game's population in recent years. We hope these will bring some life back
to the place.

Lucius has needed to fade into retirement, finding RL demands made it
impossible to continue his work as AoD. He made a huge difference in many
ways during his tenure, and I am hopeful he will be able to find time for
such work in unknown days ahead. For now, AoD duties have shifted back to
myself.

Petros, likewise, found RL impossible to escape from. Even so, he was
able to run an Easter event before needing to retire. Fortunately, Cherek
was waiting in the shadows, and popped into the AoE position like someone
born to do it (which he very likely WAS.) Since then, he has run two events
and done so with his standard good cheer, creative themes, and awesome fun.

Quite a few new wizards made their interests known to the Admin, and have
been in the process of getting their feet wet. In some cases, quite a bit
of excellent progress has been made and we look forward to 2019's list
next year where, doubtless, some of those things will have come to fruition!

Mirandus has done his job brilliantly, keeping tabs on the needs and woes
of the players in his AoP role. This role is often very thankless, so let's
be sure to give him a hearty THANK YOU if you ever get the chance.

Cotillion has continued his steady watch of the game - he being our most
accomplished developer and master of the coding arts. Many tweaks,
improvements, and conceptual workings have been thanks to him, as always.

I have been working on things, and taking my usual thirteen centuries to
complete even the smallest one of them. *sigh* I hope to make the 2019
list a bit more than this year's!

As always, it is more than likely that I have omitted important things -
always the danger of trying to write such addresses as this. That being said,
here is the rundown month-by-month of the major doings of development:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
January:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - Update of Kalad for modern player sizes (Zignur)
 - Combat specials changed to prevent pvp bouncing (Arman)
 - Website modernized and made more mobile-friendly (Cherek)
 - Magic Map addition: Top area of Minas Tirith (Perrigrine)
 - Magic Map addition: Terel Trolls area (Perrigrine)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
February:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - Thanar race guild altered to admit demi-humans (Mirandus)
 - Magic Map addition: Ruins in Raumdor (Perrigrine)
 - Magic Map addition: Crystal Palace in Calia (Perrigrine/Macumba)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
March:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - NEW AREA: Tharkadan Mountain Pass in Krynn (Arman)
 - New Balance Rule: Tank rotation abilities limited
                     to occupational guilds (Arman/Gorboth)
 - Angmar's Army guild given occupational tank rotation abilities (Carnak)
 - New mana system implemented globally (Cotillion/Petros/Eowul)
 - Easter Egg Shard Event (Petros)
 - New Krynn Guild: Order of the Stars - layman cleric (Arman)
 - Magic Map addition: Ranger Guild (Perrigrine)
 - Magic Map addition: Zuggrat, Forbidden City, dark underground
                       in Avenir (Perrigrine)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
April:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - Decades-old Shire bug fixed to reduce money awarded by npcs (Cotillion)
 - Mail-reader <from> feature extended to allow sorting emails you
   have received from players who may no longer exist any longer (Lucius)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
May & June
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - Nothing! Well, people are busy coding for the amazing accomplishments
   of the coming months, obviously.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
July:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - Genesis written up briefly in online PC Gamer article on "The 80s and
   90s PC games still unbelievably being updated today". Genesis gets
   more visitors and logins in this month than any other time in the
   new millenium.
 - New quest added to Faerun (Nerull)
 - NEW GUILD: Warlocks of Faerun - layman (Nerull)
 - Ghastly Keep improved to remember access over logouts. (Cotillion)
 - Heralds of the Valar recode complete! (Arman)
 - NEW GUILD: Wizards of High Sorcery - recoded! (Arman)
 - Tweaks to monk guild to address certain issues (Ckrik)
 - Magic Map addition: Hall of Warriors in Iron Delving (Perrigrine)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
August:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - Nerull becomes Liege of Faerun
 - Necromancers of Vile Darkness lay guild closes (Nerull)
 - Interviews given to author Lewis Packwood for feature article due
   to come out in PC Gamer about Genesis by two wizards and two players.
 - Storytelling Contest run by mortals! (Goldbezie & Zillian)
 - Lucius steps down as AoD, Gorboth assumes AoD duties.
 - NEW AREA: Kurinost in Krynn (Arman/Kellon)
 - Warlocks now admit occ membership with lay powers if desired,
   like Archers and Thornlin Militia (Nerull)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
September:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - Cherek replaces Petros as AoE (Arch of Events) - his dream job!
 - PC Gamer UK issue #323 is published, including author Lewis Packwood's
   feature-length article on Genesis, giving (brief) worldwide exposure
   to our little corner of the internet. Gorboth loses his mind.
 - Glowing item system replaced by "everything saves" mechanic when
   you quit. (analysis of new realities by Admin remain ongoing)
 - Quest fixes: Porter, Oats, Denethor quests in Gondor (Gorboth)
 - Update of Darconian Auraks to follow standard magic system (Arman)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
October:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - Genesis article is also published in PC Gamer US Edition.
 - Scavenger Hunt event launched with new twist! (Cherek, AoE team)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
November:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - <quit> changed so that you start in the room you quit out of
   if you have been gone less than 15 minutes. (Cotillion)
 - Specials that use quickness changed to use new formula. (Arman)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
December:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - Wheel-of-Fun Event makes it's annual appearance! (Cherek)
 - Massive improvements of Krynnish Warfare System (Arman)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well done, wizards! We are lucky to have you with us.

But these stories of wizards are much less than half of the full picture.
As always, it is the players who bring the most life to the game, minute by
minute, hour by hour, day by day, and month by month, playing out the roles
which will be remembered as we look back on 2018 in future years. These
roles are most clearly defined by the occupational guilds of Genesis. And,
as in year's past, it is useful to see how each guild represented itself
in the people who came and spent time in the realms.

Using the census, we can see how each guild ranked in terms of popularity
in 2018, comparing also to the year prior. The second column shows this most
recent year:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        2017 Ranking (Entire Day)       2018 Ranking (Entire Day)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
         1.  Mercs     (5.553)           1. +Mercs     (6.561)
         2.  SoHM      (5.120)           2.  SoHM      (4.320)
         3.  DArmy     (2.430)           3.  DArmy     (2.572)
         4.  Angmar    (2.043)           4.  WoHS      (1.625) new!
         5.  Knights   (1.336)           5. ^Calian    (1.435)
         6.  Cadets    (1.282)           6.  Knights   (1.150)
         7.  Glads     (1.279)           7.  Rangers   (1.098)
         8.  Mages     (1.131)           8.  Glads     (1.065)
         9.  Rangers   (1.117)           9.  Cadets    (1.030)
        10.  Calian    (1.038)          10.  Mages     (0.884)
        11.  Neidar    (0.832)          11.  Neidar    (0.863)
        12.  Ogres     (0.583)          12.  Clerics   (0.855) new!
        13.  Monks     (0.460)          13. *Monks     (0.704)
        14.  PoT       (0.378)          14.!-Angmar    (0.608)
        15.  Academ    (0.350)          15.  Ogres     (0.569)
        16.  Kender    (0.246)          16.  Academ    (0.350)
        17.  Union     (0.221)          17.  PoT       (0.084)
        18.  ScoP      (0.024) gone!    18.  Kender    (0.046)
                                        19. @Union     (0.002)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                + Biggest APH gain (Mercs at +1.008)
                - Biggest APH loss (Angmar at -1.435)
                * Biggest growth   (Monks at 53% growth)
                @ Biggest decline  (Union at 99% decline)
                ^ Biggest rise     (Calians up 5 ranks)
                ! Biggest fall     (Angmar down 10 ranks)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Most popular, by far, is again the Free Mercenary guild, owning the top
spot for many years in a row. The School of High Magic and Dragonarmy
guilds retained their 2nd and 3rd place. Going on from there, however, things
changed quite a bit from the former year. Something seems to have devastated
the Angmar's Army guild in 2018, which fell a staggering 10 ranks in the
largest drop in the history of these lists! Calians, by contrast, rose
a significant 5 ranks, to figure just beneath the Wizards of High Sorcery,
who (perhaps because new guilds are naturally interesting) occupied the
4th rank.

Things can look very different, however, if we just take the peak hours of
play:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  APH Representation During Peak Hour
         (21:00 gametime in 2017)       (21:00 gametime in 2018)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        1.  Mercs     7.991  (16%)     1.  Mercs     8.419  (18%)
        2.  SoHM      6.358  (13%)     2.  SoHM      5.747  (12%)
        3.  DArmy     3.731  ( 7%)     3.  DArmy     3.767  ( 8%)
        4.  Angmar    3.616  ( 7%)     4.  WoHS      2.680  ( 8%) new!
        5.  Knights   2.416  ( 5%)     5.  Calian    3.008  ( 6%)
        6.  Cadets    2.372  ( 5%)     6.  Clerics   2.233  ( 5%) new!
        7.  Mages     2.336  ( 5%)     7.  Cadets    1.994  ( 4%)
        8.  Glads     2.232  ( 4%)     8.  Monks     1.915  ( 4%)
        9.  Calian    2.063  ( 4%)     9.  Rangers   1.909  ( 4%)
       10.  Rangers   1.701  ( 3%)    10.  Glads     1.838  ( 4%)
       11.  Ogres     1.457  ( 3%)    11.  Knights   1.797  ( 4%)
       12.  Neidar    1.435  ( 3%)    12.  Mages     1.728  ( 4%)
       13.  Monks     1.210  ( 2%)    13.  Neidar    1.630  ( 3%)
       14.  Academ    1.123  ( 2%)    14.  Angmar    1.520  ( 3%)
       15.  PoT       0.931  ( 2%)    15.  Ogres     1.367  ( 3%)
       16.  Union     0.882  ( 1%)    16.  Academ    1.060  ( 2%)
       17.  Kender    0.599  ( 1%)    17.  Kender    0.605  ( 1%)
       18.  ScoP      0.372  (<1%)    18.  PoT       0.435  ( 1%)
                                      19.  Union     0.424  (<1%)
     ----------------------------------------------------------------
            Gamewide  48.21  (%pop)        Gamewide  46.45  (%pop)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Indeed! Here, the Elemental Clerics, Genesis' other new guild in 2018,
display what we would expect to see, with lots of players trying them out,
and figuring for 5% of the total population. In these top hours, it is
interesting to note that nearly 1 in every 5 players is a Mercenary.

Let's now look at how guilds did in comparison to themselves, accounting
for growth or decline from the prior year:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        Growth from Former Year
    =================================================================
        Ranked by APH increase           Ranked by relative change
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

         1.  Mercs     + 1.008       1.  Monks      53 % growth
         2.  Calian    + 0.397       2.  Calian     38 % growth
         3.  Monks     + 0.244       3.  Mercs      18 % growth
         4.  DArmy     + 0.142       4.  DArmy       6 % growth
         5.  Neidar    + 0.031       5.  Neidar      4 % growth
---------------------------------------------------------------------
         6.  Academ      0.000       6.  Academ   - no change! -
---------------------------------------------------------------------
         7.  Ogres     - 0.014       7.  Ogres       2 % decline
         8.  Rangers   - 0.019           Rangers     2 % decline
         9.  Knights   - 0.186       8.  Knights    14 % decline
        10.  Kender    - 0.200       9.  SoHM       16 % decline
        11.  Glads     - 0.214      10.  Glads      17 % decline
        12.  Union     - 0.219      11.  Cadets     20 % decline
        13.  Cadets    - 0.252      12.  Mages      22 % decline
        14.  Mages     - 0.247      13.  Angmar     70 % decline
        15.  PoT       - 0.294      14.  PoT        78 % decline
        16.  SoHM      - 0.800      15.  Kender     81 % decline
        17.  Angmar    - 1.435      16.  Union      99 % decline

         *   SoHM      (new)         *   Clerics   (new)
         *   WoHS      (new)         *   WoHS      (new) 
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I actually feel this type of list shows things about the health of guilds
perhaps more truly than simple rankings. Here we see the Monks doing
fantastically well compared to their former year's membership. The Calians,
likewise, rose significantly in their population, with Mercs, Dragonarmy
and Neidar Clan having better years than in 2017. The Ogres, Rangers,
Knights, SoHM, Glads, Cadets, and Mages all had somewhat weaker years
than in 2017, but things turned downright dire for the Angmar, PoT, and
Kender. The Union appears to be flirting with oblivion.

What I appreciate and want to be sure people understand, though, is that
some guilds function just fine with few members, and can even feel more
correct this way. As with the concept of Master and Pupil, some guilds
prefer exclusive and highly restrictive roleplay to foster intimacy and
deep singular roles and experiences. We cannot judge based on these numbers,
and we do not have those deep stories displayed in rankings. Not every
guild is an Army, nor should they be.

The stories of the mortals this year have been many and fascinating, as in
every year of Genesis. Yet there is one very special mention I wish to make
of a type of roleplay we have not seen in many years. Not since the days
of Strider, known as the Vociferous Opiner of Calia, have we had so singular
a reknown for one person in the way of posting on bulletin boards. That
person, of course, is Zillian the Troubador. It began with delightful and
sometimes strange verse appearing place after place, almost like a tag in
each town throughout Genesis - something written to capture the spirit of
things around that area. Gradually, verses became more regular on the boards
in Sparkle, leading up to this Christmas where the evolution had grown to
include artwork to illuminate the already picturesque wordplay. Cries went
up of the master's hand! We all fell to our knees, tears of joy and
gratitude flowing from our eyes upon each new offering. And then, picking
up from this example, others began to take up the pen. Verses began to
sprout from other minds. What an unexpected and powerful contribution! So,
we offer our thanks to Zillian for filling Genesis not only with adventure
and persona, but also with art. We are all richer for your gifts to the
community!

It is on this note of the written word that I must now turn to that tidbit
I mentioned early on in this address, the thing that I had said lead to
the wonderful blossoming of our playerbase in October and November. Genesis
is an old game. We have been doing this thing we do here for decades. In
fact, in April of this coming Spring, Genesis will celebrate its 30th
Anniversary. All of us who come here, we tend to like computer cames. Most
of us don't exclusively play Genesis. We appreciate other great games. We
might play The Witcher III, or we might play a bit of Hollow Knight, or
perhaps Stardew Valley ... other really wonderful games. But, many of us
know that Genesis is special - Genesis is better than those games in the
minds of many of us. We don't play those games year after year after year.
We play those games a bit, and then move on. We don't move on from Genesis.
Perhaps like me, many of you have read PC Gamer over the years. As game
enthusiasts, we like to know about the industry, the many titles that are
in the landscape, what we can look forward to, what there is to know about
the games people are playing. Perhaps, like me, you have thought, "Wouldn't
it be amazing, and TOTALLY CORRECT, if Genesis were to somehow get a
writeup in PC Gamer magazine? Maybe one of their writers might stumble on
Genesis and give it a try. Of course they'd love it and then maybe we'd
get some actual exposure! It ... it could happen?? Couldn't it????" Well,
those have been my thoughts, at least. I've been thinking that for the
last 20 years.

And so, by whatever hand of fate the donut spins in the oven of the Creator,
nearly 30 years into its happy history, this very thing actually, ACTUALLY
happened. Unless you were away for most of the year, you heard my many
breathless reports of the lead up to the publication of the article. You
heard of the interviews given by myself and others. You heard us all
speculate about the potentials. You probably could practically taste my
salty tears of joy and incredulity as it all came to pass. In September,
we were published in PC Gamer UK with a feature-length (6 page) article.
The following month, the same article was published in PC Gamer's USA
Edition. Let's say it again - PC Gamer wrote about Genesis. At length.
They told our story. They told it REALLY WELL.

Now, bear with me here. This is a thing. I am not going to be writing about
this and thinking about it in future addresses. This happened in 2018, and
so it needs to be chewed a bit. Let's really get at this. Consider. There
are hundreds, thousands of games that people are working on all the time.
Some of them have a lot of money behind them. These little teams or single
coders pour their lifeblood and do anything they can to get their game to
be noticed, to get it out there, to be heard of. Any of these thousands of
games would feel that they won the LOTTERY OF LIFE if they got just a small
mention of ANY KIND in PC Gamer. If they got a three paragraph review, they
would LOSE THEIR MIND. But ... a six-page feature length article? Who gets
that? Maybe World of Warcraft when their new expansion comes out? Sure. They
do. They get that. Who else? No one, because you can't get that. It isn't
available.

Except - we did.

Somehow ... we did. It happened. Geez. I'm actually getting a bit teary
eyed even typing this again.

Well, anyway. That's a thing. 2018 is the year PC Gamer wrote about Genesis.
Did it change the game? Did it take us to a new planet of players? Did it
represent a turning point we will always look back on? I guess not, but I
am still so happy about it that I feel lucky to be alive. I hope it felt that
way to you too.

*grabs handkerchief*

*blows nose*

Ahem ... okay! So, let's wrap this up. If we look back on 2018, we see a year
where our favorite place on the internet had another 365 days of interesting
and fun times, quietly doing what it does and growing how it grows, fostered
by the developers who make it what it is behind the curtain, and the players
who light up the stage. We are now the ongoing product of 30 years of very
painstaking, careful, labour-of-love crafstmanship by countless individuals
to gift to the now and to the future this story of the Donut. Even Lars
himself, who has sat out most of the development since he created this game
with the original Founders back in 1989, has begun to reach out to us with
renewed fondness and appreciation for what we have grown with the little seed
he planted. He likes what he sees, and he has told me that he might have some
fun himself again one of these days.

Won't that be nice. :-)

In the meanwhile - we roam and we ramble, we kill and die, we read and write
and keep the stories going - year after year.

2018 was a grand one.

Onward and upward, my friends!
G.


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12 Feb 2019 09:06
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Joyful news in a general sense yet I can't help but be saddened by minute details within the report (those who know me know where my heart is). Hopefully things will improve for those who aren't doing well, and will continue to be great for those who are thriving.

Looking forward to an eventful 2019.

Thank you for sharing, Gorboth.

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12 Feb 2019 10:45
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Thanks for sharing this Gorboth and thanks to all the wizards who put their heart in the game.
And really great you ve mentioned Zillian. She made the game so much funnier with her
songs and stories (certainly kept the storytellersclub alive)

Brings up a question... Isnt it possible she could really have the title troubadour?

(i hear Gorboth think: man... here comes Goldie with her demands again...)/grin

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12 Feb 2019 19:58
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She lives out the title with her works above and beyond what any wizard-gifted tweak to her introductions would bring. Maybe one day we'll hold an AoE event dealing with verse which gifts such a title. Naturally, she'd be hard to beat in such a contest. ;-)

G.

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12 Feb 2019 23:14
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Thank you, Gorboth and all the wizards. Thank you players, especially some of you, most especially one who knows who she is. Reading this actually did make me tear up, which I never would have expected - not from playing the game, let alone reading about it. Such is Genesis, for me anyway. I'm truly grateful.


12 Feb 2019 23:28
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gorboth wrote:
Code:
Am I worried about that? Oh, no ... not
even a little bit.



You should be.


21 Feb 2019 20:52
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Zugzug wrote:
gorboth wrote:
Code:
Am I worried about that? Oh, no ... not
even a little bit.



You should be.

Can you say more about why you think so? I said a great deal about why I am not worried. I would be very interested to hear why you believe I should be.

Thanks,
G.

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24 Feb 2019 04:10
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gorboth wrote:
Zugzug wrote:
gorboth wrote:
Code:
Am I worried about that? Oh, no ... not
even a little bit.



You should be.

Can you say more about why you think so? I said a great deal about why I am not worried. I would be very interested to hear why you believe I should be.

Thanks,
G.


Word. ZZ playing Yoda here.


26 Feb 2019 00:15
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lol


26 Feb 2019 05:36
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