With this week’s last blog posted, that marks the end of KD blog content for the year. There are plans to release a prerecorded Know Dierction 215 on or around December 25th, and that will be it from us until blogs return on January 6th of next year. You can still find us on Discord and social media, but otherwise the Know Direction staff is taking the rest of the holiday season off.
Ah the holiday seasons. When the frigid drought of the dead of winter forced us as a people to stack reasons to be happy and want to go out and see people until it was too high to resist. We cram a lot of holidays between the solstice and the new year.
Two Years In One
For us, most years feel like they can be split in two: January to Gen Con, then GenCon to January. That split may never have been more pronounced than 2019. The first half of the year was a slog. It started right after playtest reporting had ended, leaving us with seven months to wait, speculate, and digest, the future of the game and our network uncertain. The highlight was a major upgrade to PaizoCon coverage, spearheaded by Perram and a partnership with Paizo, and an overall encouraging PaizoCon for all members of the network. Otherwise, finding topics was harder, interviews with normally solid guests had an intangibility to them, and reviewing the balance of 1e releases felt fruitless.
As Gen Con approached, we planned and produced a bunch of material to coincide with 2e’s release. There was a glimmer of hope finally, but that run up to 2e also took a lot of work that took a lot out of us.
Then, Gen Con
2e came out and was a hit with the staff. Momentum picked back up, then built bigger and better than ever. New books came out in rapid succession for the rest of the year, seemingly each better than the last. We rode that momentum for a few months but eventually the highs and lows of the year meant we needed a break. So we hosted a blog takeover that was a lot of fun and a huge success. It gave us content to read and helped us refuel our tanks.
The Know Direction staff continues to grow in size and prestige. Many a 2e and Starfinder contributor bar listed names like Alexander Augunas and Vanessa Hoskins. Luis Loza developed some of 2e’s most exciting material.
Our headcount grew as well. Monica returned from a hiatus. Rob Pontious and Dustin Knight stuck around after the takeover. And, no offense to the rest of our staff, most impressive was Owen KC Stephens joining Know Direction: Beyond as a cohost.
A moment from the most recent Know Direction: Beyond encapsulates the significance of that and captures the latter half of 2019 perfectly for me:
Owen compared us in content and quality to the days of Dragon magazine. This was a huge compliment from a significant figure in the game industry. Then I thought “Oh, wait, when Owen’s talking about us, he’s talking as one of us.” Then it sunk in that Owen is one of us.
What does the future hold? What doesn’t the future hold? As pointed out on Twitch, 2020 has critical hit written all over it. Hopefully that success applies equally to Pathfinder and Starfinder and the other games we love, all of you at home, and all of us at the Know Direction network. Until then, happy holidays!
Banner art by Alan Cooper for the Costello family’s 2019 Christmas cards