Considering the the ongoing impact of Covid, I'm pretty pleased with how things went in 2021. Sales of The Black Hack were solid, but we ran out out of print copies in June and so funded a reprint with a Kickstarter campaign. Stock of The Black Hack will go back on general sale in early January 2022 and we should have enough stock to last another 18-24 months. The Black Hack in PDF form clicked up enough sales to become a DriveThruRPG Adamantine best seller, which is quite an achievement when you consider that only 136 other titles have managed to reach the same status.
We ran 2 other Kickstarters during 2021. The first was an intentionally small project to print some Dungeon Geomorph mapping pads. The second (Dungeon Master's Little Black Book) was also intended to be a small project. However, it smashed its goal and went on to get over 1800 backers, which is more backers than we've had for any previous project. The welcome success of that project generated a lot of extra work. I did have another small project ready to go, but I had to shelve it to focus on The Black Hack reprint.
2021 saw a tentative return to conventions. Squarehex had a stand at both the UK Games Expo in August and Dragonmeet in December. We were anxious about returning the the shows, but thanks to the rules in place we felt safe at them. It also helped being part of an island block of stands with our friends at All Rolled Up and Patriot Games.
The first job of the New Year is to put The Black Hack books and boxed sets back on general sale. At the same time I'll attempt to tidy the Squarehex webstore up a little. There's also a fair bit of admin work I'd like to do including a full stocktake and reorganising our storage, show stock, and getting new convention signage.
We'll be back with more Kickstarters. My list of potential projects now runs to several pages, and there are at least 8 that could potentially be selected to run this year. In no particular order they are:
- Another dungeon geomorph project
- The Lichway
- The Black Hack Classic Characters book
- A small notebook project
- A Black Hack adventure/s
- Another Little Black Book
- A game box project
- 2.5D Dungeons
I expect that we'll run 2 or 3 from that list and there's always a chance that something else will come along that manages to jump the queue. I'd also like to print some more mapping paper pads, but the rising cost of Overseas postage is making it increasingly hard to distribute them.
Italian fans of The Black Hack will be interested to learn that we have signed a license deal for an Italian Edition of the game. I'll share more details about it when it's ready to launch.
If they run, we'll be back at conventions in 2022. We've booked a stand at the UK Games Expo in June already. We also hope to be at Continuum (local to us in Leicester) in August, and Dragonmeet in December.
Thank you to everyone that supported our work in 2021, I hope we can tempt you back with something new this year.