2023 was a busy year for us at GMPuzzles, even if it didn’t always seem obvious from our publishing schedule. Setting up a new method to have a blog subscription service took some time, and we had a successful first season of web content and a good response to our new Discord platform for puzzle discussion for subscribers. We exceeded our first goal for subscriber numbers, but still need many more to make this a self-sustaining product. We also put together the World Sudoku and Puzzle Championships, which was a very rewarding experience although it took a lot of energy that we’re just now slowly getting back.
In 2024, we are going to continue the focus on subscription seasons as our main effort. This week we’re posting the last (delayed) week of Season 1 for subscribers; if you don’t see those puzzles but expect you should, please login again to the site using the subscriber login link at the top.
Then later in January when we have some site updates ready, we will have a preview week for the start of Season 2, free for everyone on the blog, which will show how we’re using warm-up puzzles, regular puzzles, hints and walkthroughs, new Sunday content, and Discord to make an interesting subscriber experience. After that Season 2 will begin and we’ll see how the 2024 plan evolves from there with the current goal for Season 3 to start two weeks after the end of Season 2. This allows us a break after 12 weeks of puzzles for some improvements to be implemented.
In more personal news, many of you know that 2023 was a year I took off from working in science (and having cell phones interrupt me and other things) as I was focusing on my mental health and recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder. While I’ve learned a lot by reading textbooks about mental illness or memoirs written by people with mental illness, I’ve also learned that I can’t outthink my bipolar disorder and need to be diligent in watching my sleep, stress levels, and taking medication to stay healthy. My focus in 2024 is going to continue to be on my health and on reconnecting with science/bigger mission. So this year I’m going to be having a much diminished role in puzzles, including here. The GMPuzzles team led by Serkan has already started to take over web-posting and other tasks that I had done for 11+ years, and I am very happy to have their support so that we can continue to deliver great puzzles to you without any change in quality.