I didn't carve a ZP pumpkin for the first time in 14 years. I actually only carved 2-3 simple smiling jacks into some rotting pumpkins just to make something of them. My daughters carved mermaid, Jack Skellington and pumpkin mask. None of those new for 2017. And, I didn't even take proper pictures. I just snapped a couple iPad shots.
I have 3 pumpkins left. If they last to Thanksgiving, I'll try to do something with them.
Honestly, I don't watch TV, no NetFlix, etc. Add to that, that I have lived in Japan for 18 years now and so most of the US related pop culture is a bit lost on me. That means a lot of the recent patterns don't hold any special value to me, but many times what Ryan comes up with still looks cool, even if you don't know what it is - Night King, the Penguin, Withered Walker, Eleven, Silver Shamrock group, Burnt Walker, Nemesis ...
The forums have died a bit. That definitely can be blamed on social media. Keeping up any forum is hard work these days. I do think Ryan hasn't been as present on the forums as in the past and I feel that probably has something to do with the forum slow down. I think people want to show Ryan what they did and hear from him. However, as a nod in his direction, his past efforts on here really made this place the great Halloween hangout it is. I think there were some personal issues in the last couple years that kept him away a bit and busy. I don't have any inside info, it's just what I gleamed from conversations.
On the Monster Harvest front, I can see how the long time users feel a bit slighted. The deal back then was 10 secret patterns for that year and then they were gone forever (maybe?). So, it was a real draw to pay at that time and get those limited edition patterns. Having them show up later is what it is. They were some pretty awesome patterns and I understand that never publishing them again is a bit of a waste as well. Plus people who found/find the site later are probably more motivated to join if they can get those 20 extra patterns.
I usually get my monster harvest membership in September and I have actually signed up more than once in a year, because I get much more than my $20 worth of Halloween out of this joint - that's a pat on the back to all of the fellow minions as well as Ryan. That was a personal choice (spending more than $20) and everyone absolutely has the right to question Ryan as a customer on this site. There do seem to be less patterns per year from a long term user stand point. And each person needs to look at that, I guess. In the end, this is a business and if you are not happy, Ryan needs to know that.
This year I signed up on October 20th. The forum being down and all, I just wasn't that in to it. Plus, I've been more into" party" than pumpkins in the last few years. I'm also getting older and carving 2-3 pumpkins after spending 3-4 hours on decorations isn't as tempting as a beer and my comfy chair ... It might just be the getting older part.
But, life rolls on, things happen. There was a period when the forum got a little dark and I didn't really want to participate anymore. Then, it turned around and hit an even higher note. Some of the patterns have really missed me recently, but there are certainly winners as well. This place is a big part of my life, not just Halloween. I spend months of the year on here and I have made some great friends in the process. I don't doubt Ryan's dedication to place for a second. So, I'm still here. I'll be here through the winter. I'll be here next year and I'm looking forward to Halloweening with you all for years to come.