The Next Level

I have been quite busy this last year continuing to improve and expand my crafts. I have continued to write about video game mechanics and narrative analysis. I expanded this with more news-y types of articles while I wrote for Cliqist. I learned a lot there but I quickly found that editorial content wasn’t my calling. Feature pieces have always been, and probably always will be, where I am the most comfortable. So I decided to focus entirely on that. I tried the freelance thing for a while but rarely even had a reply email, much less did any of my stuff get picked up. That’s when it hit me! None of my favorite critics write for publications, they are all do video content. “I have none of the skills for video editing,” I thought to myself though. But I didn’t really have any background in any of the skills that I had acquired in the last two years. I mean, I learned how to make a video game, sound effects, and proper-ish music production within the span of 3 months when I released Tiny Knight. Then I went on to make Space Rage which was leaps and bounds better than Tiny Knight — I even had cutscenes and dialogue. If I could learn this then I could learn video editing. Somewhere in that time frame I also acquired a Steam Controller and realized there was a dreadful lack of information regarding it’s complex configurator. So I set out to combine all of my skills: music, essay writing, and my newly found ability to create videos. After getting a hang of all of that I decided I would try my hand at a video essay in the vain of my old written articles. My first shot at this was a look at Downwell’s mechanics with and emphasis at showing that complexity, or lack there of, does not influence a game’s depth. And that brings this to today. I know have a series on YouTube called Steam Controller Essentials that provides a 101 class style to the Steam Controller and it’s software and a second series called Critical Attention that looks at video game’s under a critical lens. As of writing this I have a modest 300 subscribers, though that number is always on the rise.

So what does that mean for this site that has quickly dwindled from a decent article site to a blog? I intend to convert this into a hub for everything revolving around my creative output. It won’t be place with a singular goal anymore. Whenever I create a game, music, video, article, essay, story, or anything I will create a post regarding it. This will be the best way to keep up with my creations regardless of medium. For my older fans who want to read more articles, I will be including scripts alongside any of my videos. Hopefully this strikes a happy medium between my old fans and new ones.

Most importantly, I want to thank everyone who I have had the pleasure of meeting, talking to, and working with over these last four years. When I started writing for GamerJockies it was amateur at best (which is pretty obvious since I had no training). I thought I was writing great pieces but I look back and I can see just how much I’ve grown as a writer. Between then and now I have acquired so much useful criticism from so many people and I want to thank you all. I still have a lot of growing to do, especially know that I’ve picked up so many new crafts along the way, but I wouldn’t be here without all of the support and tutelage.

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An Alteration in Focus

For the past two years I have written for both myself and for Indie Haven. I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts about video games with “The Internet” as well as helping smaller and new developers by critiquing their games and trying to get more people to see their works. However it has slowly begun to feel like a job and it has brought me little joy as of late. Not only this, but it has distracted me from what I really want to do in life: make games. I have already spent the beginning of this year participating in the My First Game Jam and am close to releasing version 1.0 of my sophomore game. I plan on making a few more smaller games before taking on one of my large projects. I will continue to use this site to post my thoughts from time to time but I will no longer attempt to meet a schedule for articles as my free time will be spent programming games.

Productivity Experiment Update

I have now been at full productivity mode for a week and have decided to provide an update on how progress is going. The first few days went well and I have a lot of progress to show for them. My musical compositions folder has been entirely reorganized and I am half way finished with transferring all of those projects from Cubase to Music Creator. For reference, I have been slowly working on this for the better part of a year and only in this last week have I felt like any progress had been made. I have also read through two books and only have a single trilogy left until I have completed my book backlog. While this doesn’t seem like a lot of work for seven days, please remember that I am a full time father of a two year old so free time is often limited for me. Without disregarding sleep I find I usual have two to three hours a day to myself. The other inhibiting factor is the unfortunate loss of my Chromebook. Without it I am now confined to writing within my free time, metaphorically linked to my desk.  Continue reading

A Life Experiment and A New Site Direction

Hey everyone. As presented in the subtitle for this WordPress page, this was supposed to be a place where I put all of my thoughts on any number of subjects, games just being one of them. And, as anyone who has read my ramblings long enough would know, 99% of the articles have been regarding video games. Long time readers will also have realized that I have been slacking quite a bit at getting content out. Thus, today — technically yesterday — marks an experiment I am trying. For the entire month of September I am removing many distractions in an attempt to become more productive and to work on my backlog of projects. I have removed myself from Twitter, drastically trimmed my RSS feeds, removed Feedly from my phone, and have uninstalled every game from both my phone and my PC. Hopefully this will have a positive correlation with the amount of work I get done on my projects. As to what those projects are, I have a few ideas in mind. I will continue to write articles for this webpage, though video games will not be the primary focus anymore. I have a slew of backlogged topics I would like to cover but without any exposure to the hobby I won’t be writing about anything current. You can look forward to some really great articles about music, life views, movies, and possibly even some more personal stuff. My aim is adhere to my original vision for this site and have it become more of a thought box where I can put my opinions on everything, not just being pigeon holed into being a video games writer. For those who will stop reading my content because of this, I want to thank you for reading my stuff thus far and I encourage you to stick around for just a week or two and give my new direction a chance. For those of you who find this new direction exciting, I want to thank you as well and I hope you enjoy the future content I produce here.

New Additions to the Website

I started writing about games because I enjoy breaking down narrative and mechanics while providing constructive criticism for the developers. For the most part, my articles have covered AAA and mainstream indies. I’ve enjoyed Twine games ever since I discovered Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha and I’ve followed the altgames hashtag since its inception. Somehow, it took until last month for me to realize that I wasn’t talking about these games that I was enjoying. Thus Twine Weekly was created. I also covered the <5 Minutes of Play Jam earlier this month. Both have received quite a bit of praise from smaller developers who rarely receive any sort of press coverage or reviews/criticism.

Wanting to expand on this type of coverage I will be introducing two new weekly articles. One will be akin to the Twine Weekly but I will be talking about non-text based altgames. The other will be interviews with some of the developers whose games I have covered. As I am hoping to eventually become a paid journalist it would behoove me to learn and improve upon my interview skills but these interviews could be helpful to developers as well. Most upcoming devs don’t receive much media attention resulting in a lack of experience in dealing with the press. I’m hoping these interview sessions can provide a comfortable atmosphere for both me and others to learn, practice, and engage in their craft.

So that is everything I have planned for the site. I hope others find this as exciting as I do. Make sure to follow me on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS, follow the site on WordPress to ensure you are kept informed about all of these new additions.

Contributor at Indie Haven

As I’m sure some of you have noticed this site has been a little barren lately. I haven’t written anything in a couple of weeks and there is a good reason for that, I am now a contributor for Indie Haven. That doesn’t mean this site will become useless, I will still write about AAA stuff here, maybe comment about some topic. But ample free time is not a luxury I have so I can’t guarantee this will be updated regularly. Who knows, I might re-purpose this site for another project of mine.

Anywho, if you enjoy my work please check out Indie Haven. All of the people I have met so far are pretty awesome and there is a lot of talent there.

Patreon Campaign

I have finally found the time to create a Patreon page for those of you that wish to support this me and this website. For those of you who do not know of Patreon, it is an alternative funding option for creators. It is a little like Kickstarter in that it is crowd funded but there isn’t a time limit or goal and the supporters contribute on a regular basis. As I have it set up, contributions are made for every article I write and I plan for 1 article a week: 3 smaller ones and 1 larger one.

With that said, I would love for this to be my job/career and every dollar helps push me towards the goal. This campaign might also allow me to release my projects for free and to keep ads off of this website. That goal is a little ways off but it is a goal I seek. So, if you enjoy what you read, hear, or play from me and want to contribute, you can do so via my Patreon. Thanks for all of the support!