The Year Ahead 2018


2017 has been a year of investing in projects behind the scenes.  From the Boardgame Opinions channel to the development of new games, we have been working hard to improve the quality of what we do and provide some foundations for the future.

2018 holds great promise.  It’s the year when we ought to see the fruit of our labours.  Today I’d like to give you a rundown of where our various projects are up to and what we have planned for the year ahead.  I’m super excited!

BGO LogoBoardgame Opinions

I’m starting with the Boardgame Opinions channel because really that was where everything started.  We always used to discuss what we thought of a game after we played it and one day I thought, “Why don’t we film those opinions?  I’m always interested to know what other people think of games – maybe other people would be too?”

The channel has been running for a little over a year now and is growing really well.  Warning!  Stats incoming!  The channel currently has approximately:

  • 250 videos
  • 500 subscribers

Our most popular video is our review for The 7th Continent, which has nearly 5000 views.  Many of our videos are posted on BGG and about 40% of the channel’s traffic comes from there.  Of the videos that aren’t linked on BGG (ie. the traffic comes direct from YouTube), our most popular videos (by far) are our Top 10 Games of All Time videos, which is not surprising really.

The percentages of viewers in different countries are as follows (I’m just listing the most popular ones):

  • USA – 35%
  • UK – 20%
  • Canada – 7%
  • Germany – 6%
  • Australia – 4%

The Maths channel I started a few years ago had 180 subscribers and 14,000 views after a year.  It now has 6000 subscribers and over half million views.  I realise these are two very different channels, but I still find it really encouraging: we are far exceeding the rate of growth of the Maths channel at the one-year mark so if we keep going, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t grow substantially in the future.

So what are our plans for 2018?

The Studio

We have a recording studio!  Well, mostly.  We’re still installing the last bits of equipment, but it should be complete in the next week or two.

The Studio

We’re installing an overhead camera to show the game on the table and we’ve ordered a custom playmat to make it look a bit more professional.  We can’t afford a gaming table just yet!  There will be a few more lights to brighten up the space ultimately, but I’m pleased with how it looks so far.

What do we need a studio for?

Game playthroughs!  We are planning to start recording playthroughs of games as soon as the studio is ready.  A-Bomb and Chantal have already made a great start in this endeavour, but having a permanent studio for recording in will allow us to record far more.

Our first playthrough will be Legacy of Dragonholt, which I think you can just see under the TV in the picture.  Assuming this goes well, we hope to record many more playthroughs throughout the year.  It’s quite a technical challenge as these will be multicam recordings, but tests have proven very positive so far.

I’m also super keen to record a series on Hanabi strategy.  I love Hanabi, but I’ve found it remarkably difficult to play with people because you need to have an agreed set of conventions to play at the higher levels.  It’s possible to just figure these out to a certain extent by playing a lot with the same group, but most people don’t have the time required to do this.

So my intention is to do a number of videos detailing the conventions that my group play with, along with examples, to allow people to quickly jump into advanced play should they wish to.  Personally, I find the game much more enjoyable at this level.  This will also be coupled with a regular Hanabi night at The Dice Cup, my local boardgame café, where people can learn and practise.



We will be increasing our convention coverage this year.  As well as our usual UK Games Expo coverage, we will be covering AireCon (in Harrogate) and going to Essen Spiel (in Germany) in October.  We love going to the Expo each year, so it will be great to fit more conventions in.

Maven Games

Of course, the vision for Maven Games is to publish great games, so we will also be putting a lot of energy into developing games this year.  Our first prototype, Doomsday: Atlantis, has made it through initial playtesting and feedback has been very encouraging.

Doomsday: AtlantisThe next stage is artwork.  This is a big deal for me; it has to be stellar.  So we’ll be taking our time, making sure it fits the game and looks really good.  There is a bit more work to be done on the app and then Kickstarter beckons.

Kickstarting a game is a huge undertaking and will require months of preparation.  In fact, it is something I have been busy preparing for for several months already.  So the Kickstarter should take place later this year.  I want to be sure we don’t rush into anything.

Doomsday: Atlantis isn’t the only game we’re developing, but we will be focussing on this one – giving it our all – before we put too much energy into other projects.  More information and artwork will be added to our project page as it becomes available.  You can also subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to get the updates.

Well I hope that gives you a taste of what’s to come.  Are there any playthroughs you’d particularly like us to do on the Boardgame Opinions channel?

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Jonathan Hicks

Jonathan is the director of Maven Games. He blogs and records podcast episodes several times a week. Whenever he isn't doing anything else, he designs games.

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