|| Just over a year ago, I spoke with a few fellow Tak players and shared a crazy idea I had. What if the Tak community had a monthly publication like a magazine or newspaper? One that did player interviews, tournament coverage, puzzles and trivia, and let players publish their opinions, commentary, and strategy ideas?
It seemed like an incredible idea to imagine, but impossible to pull off. Some community members I spoke to expressed at least some skepticism that it could be done. But with reckless optimism, I pulled together a couple players who, despite their reservations, agreed to support the project. Within days, we announced the Tak Times.
Looking back over this past year, I can proudly say that the Tak Times has largely been a success. It certainly hasn’t been flawless and we've struggled at times, but overall it has exceeded expectations and has been a remarkable year.
At the beginning, we were lucky. Due to some combination of winter and COVID-19 restrictions, new and old players alike were suddenly joining (or returning to) the online Tak community in droves. The Tak Talk Discord was alive with chatter, the 2020 Tak Open was drawing lots of attention and excitement, the USTA was active with plans for more tournaments in the near future, and Patrick Rothfuss and GTG announced a reprint of Tak that would soon be available for purchase. In the midst of this buzz of activity, we launched the Tak Times which, I like to think, contributed to the growing momentum.
Since that initial strong start, we have grown, shrank, shifted, and evolved both as a group of volunteer contributors and in our goals, projects, and priorities. We have tried to adapt with the challenges of maintaining a consistent high-quality publication ran entirely by volunteers on spare time. And this is what those volunteers have accomplished this year:
- Five issues released (with the 6th issue coming soon)
- 50+ articles written, edited, and published.
- Over 12,800 pageviews
- 85+ email subscribers and 100+ Twitter followers
Most Popular Articles
Our most popular article this year was, unsurprisingly, our oldest article and one that announced some exciting news: Tak 2.0: Newest Version Revealed. Our second most popular article was the blockbuster Interview with James Ernest, creator of Tak and legendary game designer.
Alongside these two major hit pieces, our other most popular articles from 2021 were:
- 5 Tips on Capstone Placement from the 2020 U.S. Tak Open by Reid
- Why Play Tak? by Kieran O’Connell (T0afer)
- Let's Talk Tak Variants by ManaT
- Cheaters Never Prosper by Simmon
But these articles certainly do not tell the whole story. Over a dozen different players have contributed their time, ideas, and energy into supporting the Tak Times behind the scene. I’d like to specifically thank the following volunteers for their published contributions to one or more of the past issues:
- Kieran O’Connell (T0afer)
- Jakob Gowell (Gowellja)
Also a big thank you to James Ernest, Fwwwwibib, NohatCoder, PlutoTheBrave, EssenceOfAaron, and AWCookson for agreeing to answer interview questions for their respective past or forthcoming articles. Lastly, a special thank you to Simmon for his tireless and consistent editing of nearly every sentence published by the Tak Times.
The future of the Tak community is looking bright. However, the future of the Tak Times is, admittedly, uncertain. Once the initial excitement and interest by volunteers started to wane, our group of contributors and editors has dwindled to a dedicated few, despite the fact that our audience of readers remains strong and growing. While we continue to search for fresh ideas, authors, and contributions, it is clear that our current state is unsustainable to maintain a monthly publication schedule over a year and also cover “breaking news”. Nevertheless, it is my hope that we will continue to adapt so that this time next year we will be looking back on 2022 and can judge it to be another enormous success.
If you want to join the Tak Times team of volunteers and support our work, you can contact me (Reid) on Discord or e-mail us at email@example.com.