Friday, January 1, 2016

Insert Witty New Year Title Here

It's that time again, when a new year clicks over and change in the calendar makes us feel like we should be changing too. When the pressure to improve, to cleanse, to change our lives looms over us.

Last year we attended a talk, or rather a stage show that was part lecture. In Ruby Wax's "Sane New World" tour I talked about in an earlier blog post, she discussed the part of the brain that's always trying to push us, to get that Dopamine hit of chasing for more, doing more, achieving. Hell, it's like your brain is programmed by video game designers and you keep wanting that little bleep-bloop of an achievement.

And at the change of the calendar, the turn of the year, the reminder of the lack of achievement in the previous year, makes us want to do more in the next.

Looking back on the previous year, I spent a lot of time procrastinating. Wasn't an easy year. Priorities changed, and stuff happened. I spent most of the year feeling unmotivated, uninspired, and limping from week to week.

RPGaDAY2015 happened, which seemed to be a moderate success. It spread across the world, got people talking about tabletop roleplaying, and sharing some of their likes and stories with others. I managed to recruit the help of some amazing and awesome people who joined in with their own videos that I edited into mine, so that the audience wasn't bored by looking at my ugly-mug for a whole month.

The involvement of these fantastic gamers and designers from around the world made the whole thing worthwhile, and I hope it showed just how cool our hobby can be. Of course there were the expected negative reactions - a daily disliker on the videos who just seemed to click "dislike" as soon as the videos went live without really watching them, and people who took the positivity of the campaign and twisted it to add new categories like "worst game". Kinda defeats the purpose.

RPGaDAY2015 left me burned out, and I limped towards NaNoWriMo in November, getting to 10k of my target 50k, before I was sidetracked by another project. Hopefully, this other project will lead to something incredibly cool and it'll all be worth it, but nothing's concrete yet.

In the middle of that, the wonders of working a dayjob in retail, especially the chaos of the festive period...

Wow, that was all a bit miserable wasn't it?

I can see why people want to do something new and different for the new year.

So, what's ahead, and how can things improve?


I had a weird moment of clarity a few months ago. It was weird. The nominations for the Origins awards, and the ENnies, are always ones I look forward to, and in the past few years projects I've worked on have been nominated, which has been awesome. This year, I realised I hadn't actually done anything this year. In fact, I hadn't done anything for a long time. 

I've spent a few years now working on the WILD RPG, and while I love it, and love the setting, it doesn't seem to be progressing very fast. The game I started running of it revealed the bits I was missing in the rules, though it may be that I just need to get my head around a freer and more interpretive way of gaming. 

Then there was the moment that I managed to talk my way out of writing for Titansgrave, what a dumbass. "The next time someone asks if you're a God, you say YES!"

So this year, I going to write more. 

The first thing I'm going to do is stop playing video games on my ipad. I got hooked on Star Trek: Trexels, but I'm still playing the darn thing. 

If finished all the sectors and seem to be just waiting for the next update, I've generated so much Command, Research and Power that it's given up keeping track above a million...

...and the main crew (and usual landing party) are maxed out...

I should see this as a sign to stop wasting my time on it...

Second thing I need to do is stop wasting time on Facebook. After RPGaDAY2015 finished, I checked Facebook a little once a day, but didn't actually post anything for a month. I've managed cut back on my posting a lot now, and I just need to stop that horrible cycle of "I'm just clicking refresh to see if anyone's posted anything new". God, what did we do before the internet? I should read more, get back to reading books, both fiction and rulebooks.

Third thing I need to do is write.

Write more, and more often. Even if it's blog posts.

There are possible things on the horizon, but if they don't play out I need to finish WILD, finish the second draft of the novel (although it could be terrible), finish the first draft of the second novel, and get more involved.

I have other ideas for other things - I'd still like to do that "Roll Your Own Life" webseries, though maybe in a different way to that which I'd planned. I may still do a third year of RPGaDAY, but I may think differently as the year progresses. If I do a third year, it'll be less involved and I may just do the questions and take part, but not look at the responses, not look at the negativity.

I really enjoy doing the film reviewing and news stuff for a couple of sites, but the cool preview screenings and press conferences are a cost I cannot afford. Everything happens in London, a cost I can't fork out for except on extreme cases.

Also, 2015 saw me gaming again for the first time in ages. A Buffy-based fantasy game, WILD and then Star Wars: Edge of the Empire and X-Wing. Hopefully, 2016 will bring more.

Okay, that's me braindumping onto the blog. It was a bit chaotic and all over the place.

No matter what happens in 2016, I hope you all have a great year.

May you "Live Long and Prosper" and remember, the Force will be with you. Always.

- D