Scheduling Updates

tl;dr: Right Click to Zoom is no longer being scheduled to Fridays but will now be released as I write them, hopefully with one every fortnight or so. Backlog Battle Reports shall continue on Mondays as always. Reviews should be coming soon, assuming I can finish a game to write about.


As you may have noticed if you check up on this blog for updates, I’ve not managed to put up a Right Click to Zoom for some time. This isn’t for lack of trying, as I’ve had two drafts that ended up scrapped, but it’s been getting to the point where the lack of progress on my part has been a source of frustration and even despair and anxiety. So it’s time to reevaluate.

Historically, I’ve never been good at maintaining schedules, yet I pushed this blog project ahead with that system anyway. Problem is, I hold myself to excruciatingly high standards that I simply cannot maintain, which in turn leads to a very self-destructive backlash. Furthermore, I didn’t have a job when I started this, and now that I do that added drain of time and energy is definitely affecting my ability to write when I go to do so. So once the schedule starts to slip, it keeps slipping, and I keep beating myself up over it, which just makes it worse… you get the picture.

A lot of this might not have happened if I didn’t reach the two scrapped drafts wall of Right Click to Zoom, but I did. As well as all of the above reasons, a big part of that stumbling was because I was continuing with topics that were either not personally interesting or else focused on video game publishers, developers, and the industry as a whole. I’ve set that precedent from day one, but honestly, that was a mistake. While I’ve certainly had things to say there, none of that has ever mattered to me as much as the actual video games do.

My favourite Right Click to Zoom so far has been the comparison between two Metroid titles, because they’re games I really enjoyed and I get to dive into them in depth. By contrast, getting frustrated at increasingly exploitative publishers (which has only gotten significantly worse in the weeks since I wrote those articles) is important to address but far less personally satisfying. Even worse, that Metroid article was the largest article I’d written at the time, but every RC2Z since has been about that length or word count, if not larger. The scope just got bigger despite my best efforts.

Anyway, rambling on the whys and hows aside, I need to look at rescheduling these articles. I’d like to keep making them consistently, but having that deadline just ends up feeling like a Sword of Damocles over my head, so I’m electing to remove it entirely. I’m going to aim to get a Right Click to Zoom article out every week or two, but until I get back into the groove it’ll probably just be a “when it’s done” situation. Feel free to harass me and ask when the next one will be though, as it’s a huge boost just to know that this project is being followed and read (and to this day there’s been not a single comment on this blog about them).

However, all that said, this is largely affecting just Right Click to Zoom articles as they take up significantly more time, effort and research to get right. Backlog Battle Reports are far more conversational and, really, are just snapshots of the games that I’m playing as I play them. They’re not especially time consuming or difficult to do and I like writing them, so they will remain a Monday night feature.

Finally, the third section of this blog project has been waiting in the wings for a while: game reviews. I’ve more or less decided on titles and formats and approaches to writing them for a while now, but so far I just haven’t written any because I haven’t actually finished a game since doing so. The only exception to this is Metroid: Samus Returns, and I didn’t feel the need to review that since I dove so heavily into it for Right Click to Zoom. So rest assured, reviews will be happening… I just need to stop being fickle and jumping from game to game. Expect to see reviews for Elder Scrolls Online and Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth soon, at least.

I think that about wraps it up. If you’re still with me, thanks again for reading and being a part of this little writing project of mine. I’d still like to make it into proper games journalism one of these days, so every little bit of support and following I can get is a huge help. Do feel free to comment or message me however you want, and I’ll always try to get back to you. I’m verbose, but I don’t bite, really.

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Let’s try this again…

And here I was saying I was being slack nearly two months ago for not posting in a month. Fancy that.

So I could defend my inaction with a slew of excuses and rationale of all descriptions, much of which would be valid, but there’s really no point to that. Instead, I will point out at least one observation I’ve made about this whole thing: the conversational and casual approach to a standard blog post was proving to be at odds for some of the article-esque pieces I was writing.

For example, I currently have a half finished draft that was started but a few days since my last post about Fire Emblem Echoes. The reason I didn’t finish and post that was mostly because it was growing increasingly detailed and formal, so I wanted to be thorough and do it properly. It’s the kind of thing I might have posted on a website with more traffic and more structure, were more of them available to me that might actually have a readership for that kind of stuff.

As it stands, however, there’s only ever a handful of people reading this blog already, and I’m not sure how well that would be received. Moreover, I felt that since I was straying from the more casual nature of this blog in general, I wasn’t really sure if there was much of a point going ahead with the post. Whatever my reasoning, the point remained that I lost the drive to keep working on it, trapped as it was between mediums and approaches, so it has languished. The longer it took, the less fresh Fire Emblem was in my mind, and now it feels like the timing for that post has well and truly sailed.

So this is a problem. I don’t like to leave things unfinished and scrap them in favour of other stuff… yet at the same time, I’m somewhat bad at maintaining a structured approach and getting the unfinished pieces completed. Couple all of that with the other unrelated issues and distractions of the past quarter year, and here’s where we stand with Delfeir vs. the Backlog.

At the moment, my writing is definitely in a slump. With a lack of dedicated readers — and rightfully so given that this blog lacks a dedicated and reliable writer — it’s hard to motivate myself to push my drives into seeing it further. At the same time, other websites are somewhat out of reach now, as I’ve become somewhat distant with GameSkinny and don’t really have other places to currently write for that might get the viewers I’d like to reach.

Still, at the end of the day, I am reminded of the fact that as much as I write to entertain and share my stories and viewpoints with readers, I’m mostly still doing this for the enjoyment I draw from writing. I like doing this stuff and I don’t want to just give it up. As such, if I lack the other platforms to kill two birds with one stone, I shall just have to be satisfied with the one I had.

So what am I going to do with this blog? Well, rather than keep writing in that awkward space between conversational blog posts like this one and proper articles like I publish elsewhere, I’m going to simply set aside a schedule to accomplish both.

I’ve yet to set days for this, but here are my current plans: I’m going to try and update this blog three times a week. There’ll be a schedule for at least two of these posts on spaced out days once I set it up. One post per week will be a more conversational run-down of where I’ve been at for the past week in terms of gaming and working on the Backlog that this page is titled after. Another post each week will be a more dedicated article going into either a specific game, mechanic, narrative element etc. of something I’ve played recently and diving more deeply into that. Reviews may fall under this if appropriate, but we’ll see.

If I can manage it, I’ll try to get a third post going as well. If the scheduled day’s post is on more recent games, this third post will probably be about other topics entirely. They might be retrospectives, rambling thoughts on a specific topic, or just some kind of video game related pondering. Either way, the guidelines will be looser on this one so it’ll largely just be a free post. Might set a day for it, might just post these when I feel like it, but either way I’ll be trying for it.

Admittedly, I’m not the greatest at planning ahead or keeping to a schedule historically, so I have no idea if I’ll actually be successful with this endeavour. But it’s still a goal I’m going to set myself and then try to work towards. So keep an eye on this space, and hopefully I’ll get that set up within the next week and lay out what days will see what posts.

If I don’t post that soon, well… I’ll just have to go back to the drawing board and try something else again instead! Either way, I don’t just want this blog to forever collect dust, just like I don’t want my video game related writing to fade away.

Thoughts, feedback, opinions and suggestions would be much appreciated on this, but even if I’m writing to an audience of none I shall still keep trying this for my own entertainment. Let’s see what happens then.

 

Transistor, checking in

I’m typing this from a brand new PC that I only just properly got plugged in and running no more than half an hour ago, biding my time while the slew of standard programs is downloading and installing. Mostly just a small status update rather than any of my usual video game related ramblings.

First off: new PC. It’s been five years since I’ve had a fresh rig, though naturally the computer that I just stashed in the corner a few minutes ago has had numerous upgrades and replacements in those years. Still, the motherboard was effectively fried and I was getting constant black screens as the display drivers died on a regular basis, and multiple attempts to fix it or isolate other parts showed that it was unlikely to be anything else. I could probably have repaired or rebuilt it for cheaper than what I got this new machine for, but after dealing with this problem for literal months, I just wanted peace of mind and for this tech support nightmare to end.

So, the machine that I named Bastion is no more. Moment of silence.

Now, this isn’t an absolutely massive upgrade due to all my tweaks over the years, but this new machine should definitely keep me from having to push or upgrade in order to get newer games running comfortably. I’m probably going to shame the 60 FPS enforcing PC Master Race, but it should be pretty clear that I play games for gameplay and story more than graphics and can usually deal with a few hiccups. Regardless, the specs should get me decently far.

Naturally, I shall name this machine Transistor, since it’s the successor to Bastion even if the systems are slightly different. I’d consider calling it Pyre, but any name that’s fire related for a PC is just asking for trouble.

So with the PC back, I’ll be reinstalling FF14 and then picking and choosing my games as I go from there. Torment will be first up on the list since I didn’t get all that far in it and really need to put some more time and devotion into it. Cosmic Star Heroine just dropped a couple of days ago after a lengthy development cycle, and I’m quite keen to sink my teeth into that. However, I’m not about to start a new JRPG until the big one is finished: Persona 5, which has been both my obsession and my sanity-preserver during this time of technical troubles.

Everything I said about Persona 5 in the previous post still holds true, and I’m now 90 hours in and pushing the final stages of the game at long last. After such a long marathon journey over a comparatively short timeframe, I am now looking forward to the ending and seeing how it all wraps up nicely (if it does), but I will definitely be sad to see it gone. It’s without a doubt the best Persona game to date, and I still think we’ll be talking about in years from now in the same way we do some of the JRPG greats.

That’s assuming the ending doesn’t let me down horribly… but at present that doesn’t seem quite likely. Currently I’m intending to a full and formal review of the game (probably for GameSkinny), and then do a more in-depth analysis about a few points in the narrative. I also want to talk about the soundtrack and compare it with that of NieR: Automata, plus I want to do a big pros and cons comparison of P5 vs. the Trails of Cold Steel games, which are my other favourite and recent JRPG series. That last one in particular I could talk a great deal about, so please look forward to it I guess.

Time to set up a few downloads over night and crash.