This week I had to renew the domain registration for Hexcell Games – the site has just enjoyed it first anniversary.

Setting a date for the anniversary somewhat arbitrary. I started coding the site in October 2009, registered the domain in late November and invited people to it the day before Christmas. I guess it ‘came alive’ on December 24 2009 when the first people other than myself learned of its existence, but that puts its birthday in the shadow of a certain Messiah. So late November feels like as good a time as any.

Being an anniversary it is a good time to reflect on what has been achieved in the last year.

2.5 games developed. Blue Max, Deduce or Die! and Blue Max campaigns (which is the half game) were all developed in the space of this first year. Deduce or Die! actually came together in the space of about eight weeks.

500 games of Blue Max played. And I personally have only played in 40% of them…

200 users. So maybe that’s not a very big number and maybe only a third of them are active, but I think its pretty good for a site that has a marketing budget of $0. Seriously I would like to see the number of new and returning users increase, and the way to do that is to make the games and the site as compelling experience as possible.

Countless updates, fixes and changes. I do not think a week has gone past in the last year when there was not something new on the site. Most times the changes were even for the better.

So what about the coming year? Well, constant improvement of the existing site and games is a given. Also one or possibly two new games. I am already working on some mock-ups for the next one.

And it is the site’s birthday so I think I will give out some presents…

Elsewhere: I came across this article about the war time diaries of a WW1 German infantryman. Ernest Junger was awarded the Iron Cross first class and the ‘Blue Max’.