Adventure Rules Update: Forward March

Greetings, adventurers, and welcome to another monthly update here on Adventure Rules. It’s time to talk about February and March! In that order, of course. We’ll take some time to reflect back on the previous month and then talk about what’s coming in the month to follow.

I’m technically writing this post before February 28th is over, so I suppose it’s possible that a sudden and unexplained influx of viewers could change everything I’m about to say, but let’s assume for now that today is going to go no better or worse than any other day this month. The month of February seemingly marks an end to the positivity streak here on Adventure Rules, sliding in at roughly 1240 views compared to January’s 1272. So while we’ve seen three months of bigger numbers in a row up until now, it looks like February is wrapping up as a disappointing loss…
Ace Attorney Hold It.pngThat is, until we take a look at the data in a different way! You see, adventurers, February is the shortest month of the year. December and January both have 31 days, and even November had 30. That means that February has 2-3 days LESS than the other months in the positivity streak. And yet here it is surpassing November and December and just BARELY falling to January. I think the daily average shows it best: in January the typical number of views in a day sat at 41. In February, daily views averaged around 44! So, in conclusion, February is still another month of positivity and growth!

Ace Attorney Objection.pngThat’s a technicality, right? February still has less overall views, and looking at the data from another perspective won’t change that. Still, I’m proud of what the blog has accomplished in February, and I certainly am not planning to say “oh, woe is me” over a difference of less than 32 individual clicks. Particularly when we consider other positive steps taken in the month of February!

In the January-February monthly update, we discussed how the number of viewers who found the blog through search engines dropped lower. Now as February turns to March, we’re seeing the same thing – an overall decrease in hits from search engines. It’s down to 872 from January’s 911. Still, when you look at it from the perspective of the average number of search engine hits per day, February is still coming out on top:

January Search Engine Average Hits per Day – 29.39
February Search Engine Average Hits per Day – 31.14

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the adventurer community dropped the ball. Hits from the WordPress reader and social media sites were still better than January:

January Follower Average Hits per Day – 11.65
February Follower Average Hits per Day – 13.14

All of this data works together to show that the only reason February dragged behind January at all is because there are literally less days to work with. And that’s something I am pretty happy about! 2017 is about developing my consistency and community as a writer, not necessarily increasing my metrics. However, I’ve mentioned here before that I felt improving those aspects of my blog would organically lead to growth, and that does seem to be the case. It’s rewarding to see that sharpening my craft directly influences the success of the blog, even if the impact is only in small increments.
Fire Emblem Birthright.jpg
Of course, some things never change, and on this blog the thing that never changes is the most popular post of the month. The Fire Emblem Fates Children’s Guide: Birthright Version is still the big winner in February, drawing in nearly 300 views all on its lonesome. That’s a whopping 23.95% of February’s views! Second place fell to How Will Pokemon Sun and Moon Affect the Nuzlocke Challenge?, which rode in around 185 views or 14.92% of the monthly views. As always, guides are reigning supreme here on Adventure Rules, which honestly makes a lot of sense because they are the most accessible outside of their original context (i.e., the circumstances and news surrounding the date they were posted).

Now let’s take a second to check out the posts that were actually posted in February:
The Underutilized Awesomeness of Princess Peach – 12 views, 5 likes, 2 comments
Adventure Rules Monthly Update: What Was and What Will Be – 9 views, 2 likes, 0 comments
Issue the Summons! – Summoning Magic in Role Playing Games – 8 views, 5 likes, 0 comment
Tabletop Tuesday: Editing a Custom Class – The Aberration – 5 views, 2 likes, 1 comment
Tabletop Tuesday: Pen-and-Paper RPGs I Want to Design – 5 views, 1 like, 1 comment
Fire Emblem Fates Character Guide: Conquest – 5 views, 2 likes, 0 comments
Tabletop Tuesday: Embracing Your Style – 4 views, 2 likes, 0 comments
Tabletop Tuesday: In Search of the Epic Final Boss – 4 views, 2 likes, 0 comments
Man, folks really love a good update, eh? Those always seem to be my most-viewed posts within a given month. But this time, something toppled the update king: Princess Peach! Honestly, I was really surprised with the overwhelming positive reception for that post, given that Peach isn’t a character that I thought anyone cared all that much for. It just goes to show you how important social issues really are to the gamer community. Representation for females is so limited anyway – let’s make the ones who are in the limelight something to be proud of.

My personal favorite Peach – Paper Peach!

One last thing about February before I move on to March. One of my stated goals for the year of 2017 is to work on developing community around the adventurers. I want Adventure Rules to be a part of the game blogging community at large, and to develop my skills as a community member by utilizing social media and WordPress more effectively. I know one or two other bloggers with similar goals. Well when it comes to a shining example of community, I met (well, internet-met…INTERMET!) an awesome blog that really shows what community should look like: Later Levels!

Later Levels is a two-person team, bloggers Kim and Ben. They are not only solid content creators in their own right, but they really help to establish connections between other bloggers and to help their content reach a larger audience. I have found multiple new blogs to follow thanks to their retweets and Facebook shares, and a couple of folks found me thanks to them as well. They have a wonderful thank-you page where they acknowledge bloggers who follow, like, or support them, and scrolling down that page is an awesome way to find other members of the game blogging community. If you’ve never checked out Later Levels before, be sure to go and see what they bring to the table, and then follow their links to other great bloggers with great content!

Breath of the Wild.jpg
It’s pretty much impossible for me to talk March without talking about Breath of the Wild. This game has been heavily anticipated for years, and now Wii U owners and Switch pre-orderers (totally a word) will get to experience this title in their living rooms. Assuming that GameStop doesn’t flip me the bird at the last minute, I have this sucker pre-ordered and will be playing it on a brand new Nintendo Switch at launch. I absolutely plan to cover it here on the blog – in fact, my hope is to make Breath of the Wild my next big guide series!

For Breath of the Wild, I think what I’ll do for guides is create them relatively early on and then update them as I complete more of the game. For example, I’ll create a guide for shrine solutions and then add a new shrine every time I discover and complete one. I’ll post a recipe guide with which combinations create useful recipes and which ones create duds, to be updated as I experiment with more and more ingredients. My hope with these expanding guides is that small updates over time will be easier to manage than full-length guides churned out all at once. Plus, a work-in-progress guide will allow me to get them out quicker than if I tried to complete the whole game first. I’d love to have the time to play the game for 80 hours in a matter of days and then write a bunch of content for it, but as a husband and father with a full-time job and on-call duties, there’s just no way. This method of guide creation seems like it will be the most effective for my schedule, so hopefully it is one that adventurers find useful!
Of course, with a whole new console in my grasp, I definitely plan to cover more than just Zelda. I am incredibly excited for Snipperclips and now it has been confirmed for Launch, so I’ll likely pick that up early and at least do a review, if not a guide as well. Snipperclips is co-op, though, so I’ll have to manage to pull my wife away from Overwatch competitive season in order to make progress on that.

The Nindies presentation yesterday showed off a lot of cool indie games coming out, and some of them are slated for a March release. I don’t honestly know how many I intend to get, but I may pick up the occasional five dollar game here and there for reviews and to promote smaller content creators. Honestly, I’d love to have the disposable income to pick up a ton of indie games and find the diamonds in the rough, but it’s tough enough just to invest in first party titles I want and I’m gonna be saving up for things like Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.
City of Mist.jpg
Of course, video games aren’t the only kind of game I am excited for in March. Tabletop Tuesday will continue to be a weekly segment, and I want to deliver quality content for that segment. This weekend I am trying out an upcoming tabletop RPG called City of Mist. The game is a Powered by the Apocalypse game in a noir setting where superpowered individuals called Gateways have to balance their mysterious abilities with their daily lives. I downloaded the free starter set for the game and have a large enough group of people that we can try out every included character in one big session. After we’ve tried the game, I’m going to post a review for Tabletop Tuesday discussing everything that worked well with the game and everything that didn’t. If you like superhero games, mysteries, or the Powered by the Apocalypse genre of tabletops, you definitely won’t want to miss that post!

Other than hosting a session this coming weekend, I currently don’t have any active tabletop games going on. I’m in two different groups that are both in the toddler stages of getting ready to play, so my hope is that those games get started soon and I can use them as fuel to keep me going when it comes to tabletop content. In particular, one game will be my second ever experience with Dungeons and Dragons, which I hated the first time, so this might be a chance for me to form a second opinion of a game I otherwise never talk about on the blog.
adventure-rules-logo-small-2017Finally, if you haven’t checked out the “About This Blog” page yet, I’ve updated it in two main ways. First, it now reflects the brand new Adventure Rules schedule: Tuesdays and Fridays at 9 AM! That’s right, I’m officially beginning the “two posts a week” cycle, so you’ll now be seeing me twice as often as before. I also edited the page to include brief descriptions of all the different categories you can find on the sidebar. That list of categories has been there for quite some time, but if you’re a newer followed there’s pretty much no explanation of what each one is. So now you can look at that and know exactly what each one refers to. I also spent some time this week cleaning up those categories so that totally irrelevant ones aren’t around anymore. Honestly, of the ones that do exist I still consider two to be irrelevant, and if I become un-lazy again I may clear them out before April. It’s a pain to go backwards through posts and get rid of categories, though, so for now they will stay.

Well, adventurers, that’s about it for today. I appreciate you taking the time to read this update and hope it has you stoked for the coming month. Whether you’ve been following for a month or a year, I am thankful for your continued support of the blog. If this update post is the first time you’re seeing Adventure Rules, welcome! Feel free to use the journal entries or the categories listed on the sidebar in order to look through the content here. If for some crazy reason you ENJOY reading what I post, you can follow via WordPress, e-mail, or your preferred social media site in order to stay up-to-date on the latest content. Thanks again and I hope to see you all soon!

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