Tuesday, 28 October 2014

My Future with the Hobby

Greetings friends!

It's been a while since I've posted here and that is largely down to me being stricken for the past three weeks with a number of sickness related issues.

I've wanted to write about a number of things including but not limited to: the video games Alien: Isolation and Evil Within, more thoughts and plans for First Law: Override and even more besides including how my studies are coming for my looking resit exam and what developments and lies are being told regarding the online movement that is GamerGate.

Sadly however due to sickness I have not had the energy to do any of this and instead this half thought out nonsense post is all you are likely to get for the rest of the week - maybe even longer.

This time spent away from many of my usual online haunts largely focussed around wargaming has given me a lot to think about where I see things going.

Yes it's one of those posts, but all the same I think it extremely important that I share this with you all.

In the past year I have bought only a handful of miniatures; these were all for the game HellDorado.

I have also painted that small handful along with some of my outstanding Malifaux models I have now owned for going on 18 months.

I have played not a single game with any of them.

A large reason for the lack of use is down to me and other people. It is true that a couple of years ago I used to play a lot of games this was largely due to two factors; my time spent as a henchman for Wyrd and the close proximity of my good friend Tom.

Around the same time I stopped being a henchman, Tom also moved away so it was no longer convenient to meet up and play. Plus there was the malaise that set in following my issues with Wyrd.

Of course I was able to scratch my gaming itch with Internet based CRYPTS testing, but last December that was stopped as it had largely filled it's purpose and was becoming more problematic for time than it was worth.

Around the time of this year's summer I started work on First Law, but already I am beginning to get a little defeated by the scope of it. It's a game that I would love to play, but it is becoming more and more apparent that I am pretty much alone there.

Back when I did the unpublished game designer guide I spoke about one of my first rules for game design; Have Fun, and I have to ask myself if I am having fun.

I don't know.

I'm enjoying framing the world, and I do think that if structured correctly a "choose your own sci fi coop strategy RPG adventure" would be just what I am looking for: but what is the point if it's only me playing?

My other games including CRYPTS was something that others were interested in including my awesome wife, I knew that as it developed I would always have games available. First Law does not appear to be the same.

Now I enjoy creating games, don't get me wrong! But First Law is a massive undertaking requiring judgements of when to use a scalpel and when to use a chainsaw (for example: in order to keep a unified theme/feel and make terrain easier to source, should I set it only on a single planet and not a whole host of them? Does adding space combat enrich the game or detract?) and I don't think that I, by myself, am in a position to even begin tackling these issues and the reward will not be anywhere near the effort required.

Then there's my involvement in wargaming in general.

Like I said; I haven't spent any money in roughly a year. There are some games that I do really enjoy playing and I can play at home, things like Star Trek: Attack Wing and I am looking to try out the Batman game, but I can get a lot of enjoyment out of these without spending money especially Batman thanks to the availability of stat cards online and my already exhaustive collection of Heroclicks I have at home.

So really I'm left wondering what the point is.

My blog has become less and less about wargaming because I'm just not doing it. Most of what remotely interests me is old news and even what does interest me I don't buy it and don't play, so any discussion would be largely vacuum based theory crafting, and that's hardly interesting to anyone.

What is still interesting me and enthralling me to no end; my time with videogames.

As you with hope know; I've started doing the occasional weekly stream over twitch. So far I have played through the entire of Outlast: Whistleblower (you can catch that on my YouTube channel) I have also done the first (2?3?) chapters of Evil Within and a few random levels of Alien: Isolation.

This has been extremely fun! I've been able to play what are essentially single player games, but do so in a multiplayer environment; capable of chatting with friends, give opinions on things as well as share jokes and memes.

It goes back to my earlier question: who am I doing this for?

I'm this case I am playing games and streaming because I'm enjoying it. I know I'm not the next Pewdiepie and I'm not trying to be, so I don't have any pressure to be entertaining or keep to a regular schedule, instead all I have to do is have fun when I want to!

Anyway, I think I've kinda talked myself into the ground here, I don't really know if I have or had a point, but if you can see one I hope you will share with me whatever it was.

Take care

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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