And so, 2012 comes to an end, with no Mayan-prophesied Earth death, and hopefully, a lot of sexy, sexy parties. And as I was thinking about my resolutions for 2013, I thought “why not have some gaming resolutions? Surely there are things about your gaming habits that you’re unhappy with?”
I thought, “That’s an excellent idea, me, I’m glad you came up with it.” Then I thought, “We’d better stop this, before our readers think we’re psychotic.” I thought, “Agreed.”
In addition to my normal resolutions, like “continue to lose weight” and “stop being a whiny bitch”, I’ve come up with three gaming resolutions I’d like to share, as well as how I plan to accomplish and stick to them. Maybe you can take some inspiration from me and learn to change the way you game. Lord knows I’m going to try.
1. PUT A DENT IN THE BACKLOG
Now that I’m old and grizzled and working a proper job, I can admit to writing this sentence PURELY for the word “grizzled.” Also, having a job means I can pretty much afford any game I want. And I know some readers aren’t going to understand why this is a problem, so I’ll explain.
I have a LOT of games. I mean an actual lot. As in parking lot. Full of games.
I’m exaggerating – sort of – but I do own a STUPID amount of games, and it wasn’t until this year that I realized I’ve unwittingly crossed that line between being a gamer and being a collector.
And what am I buying these games for if I’m not going to finish them or even PLAY them?! In just Steam alone, I have over a hundred and fifty games I haven’t finished. A HUNDRED AND FIFTY. That is ridiculous. And that’s just Steam. I own games I haven’t finished for ALL systems, there are even a couple of NES games I want to finish and just haven’t yet.
And I’m missing out on some classics, I know I am. I’ve played the first Assassin’s Creed for less than an hour, and that’s it. Kingdom Hearts? Same thing – worse actually, I can’t say I played that for more than ten minutes.
HOW I PLAN TO GET IT DONE:
I’ve already taken one major step – separating my games into Finished, Not Finished, and Unplayed on Steam has already made the PC side of the problem clear as day, and I plan to do the same with games for other systems. There are two other large steps I’ll be taking to help with this.
The first is to seriously cut down on playing games I’ve already beaten. While there’s nothing wrong with reliving awesome experiences from my gaming past, it’s a habit that is literally keeping me from having NEW awesome experiences. If I’m about to play a game I’ve already beaten, I will stop myself and ask if there’s something I haven’t beaten that I’d rather play instead.
And the second step is keeping track of my progress. Thanks to sites like The Backloggery, I can easily keep score, so to speak. It’s going to take a while to post every game I own to the site, but once I do, I expect to have a very clear understanding of the gargantuan task ahead of me, and an easy way to break it into manageable, bite-sized pieces. That should really help me take this problem and cosmo-punch it in the junk.
2. BRANCH OUT A BIT
I rather like to consider myself a man’s man (though I like women quite a bit more), but more to the point, I consider myself a gamer’s gamer. Someone who you could walk up to and start talking about whatever game strikes your fancy, and not only would I admire your enthusiasm, but also contribute to a meaningful conversation on the game itself, its genre, or its place in the industry.
This would require me to be something of a renaissance gamer, someone who has experienced all genres of gaming and found something to appreciate about all of them. But this year, I’ve noticed that this has definitely not been the case. I’ve been more or less sticking to what has become my “comfort zone”, shooters, adventures, and RPG’s, and ignoring other great and important genres like racing, fighting, strategy, and simulation.
This is a problem. More than once already, I’ve found myself with little to say during our Leviacasts when the conversation turns to a game or genre I don’t know anything about. I’ve still managed to be entertaining, largely because I’m a goofy prat. But branching out will not only make me more of a renaissance gamer, but it will also make me a better games journalist overall, and that’s a goal worth reaching for.
HOW I PLAN TO GET IT DONE:
This one’s not so easy to track, but I’ve already started working on it, in a manner of speaking. Now that I’ve started writing reviews, I’ve been limited to what is available, and while Drox Operative kind of fell squarely in my wheelhouse, Seduce Me certainly hasn’t, and I expect more indie and experimental games to be in my reviewing future.
I also plan to take a closer look at my purchasing practices. Aside from not buying games in bulk anymore (see first resolution), when I do buy games, I want to challenge myself to buy games I don’t consider “safe bets”, like shooters with RPG elements, and really push myself to try something new – or something old I haven’t been into for a while, like racers and fighters.
3. GET BACK INTO MAKING GAMES
I haven’t made a big deal of it on Leviathyn, but I actually used to make video games. Being a HUGE gameshow nerd, I tried my hand at making some of my own. They’re mostly crap, and one isn’t even a game, more of a set of game controls for people to play their own “home game” version of the show it’s based on, but you’re welcome to check them out if you want.
The point here is not shameless self-promotion. Ooh, remember to check out my The Save Files videos, my friendly, intelligent, sexy readers!
But there was something incredibly satisfying about programming the code, making the art (while having the art skills of lobotomized boll weevil), and finding just the right sounds and music, putting it all together, and then being able to play with my creation.
And not only do I miss that feeling of seeing my creation come to life, but there are people right now making a living programming FAR WORSE games for Android and iOS – so if I’ve got the skills to make better games than they are, just what the hell am I waiting for?!
HOW I PLAN TO GET IT DONE:
This is going to be the tricky part – the programming language I learned to make those old games is beyond outdated at this point. Not to mention practically impossible to port to an OS where it could sell. So I’m going to have to learn a new programming language, and what I’m going to keep reminding myself is that I already have quite a headstart – most programming languages are implementations of abstract principles of computing. Already having a grasp on those principles will make learning a new programming language easier than starting from scratch.
And as far as tracking my progress goes, I want to complete a game and sell it by the end of the year. I’ll do my best to keep Leviathyn readers updated with my progress from time to time if I can manage to squeeze it into articles here and there.
Between these resolutions and the game lineup, 2013 looks like it’s going to be an incredible year in gaming, for the industry, and for myself. I hope it’s just as incredible for you and yours. Happy New Year, everybody!