With 2021 behind us, we have some developments and we have a plan to enact.
First up, we’re going to do some things that I think worked. There’s the theme months:
- February is SMOOCH MONTH
- April is TALEN MONTH
- June is PRIDE MONTH
- August is TRICKS MONTH
- October is DREAD MONTH
- December is DECEMBERWEEN
These have proven to give me enough sinew to work with throughout the course of the year and they also help to break up content. One month of spooky-and-grim content is a lot better than you just getting whatever unhappy brain droppings spurt out of my ear at any given point. A month dedicated to paying attention to smooch media is an important thing that I would otherwise completely ignore. Plus, Talen Month gives me time I can feel I have the right to air some fucking grievances without it being the whole purpose of the blog.
We’re going to keep going with the two Piles:
- Every Friday is a Game Pile
- Every Monday is a Story Pile
These features work out well, and we’ll talk more about the Game Pile in a bit.
Something I want to work on further this year is to try and stop using ‘good’ and ‘bad’ as much as I do. These terms are ones I’ve had beef with for a while, and I’ve taken to using them in an almost sarcastic way. You know, I’ll say something like ‘look, if you’re asking if this is ‘good’ thing, sure, it is, but now I want to talk about what’s more interesting.’ And that feels more and more like it’s a concession I shouldn’t be making. I’d rather tell you what I liked and why I disliked it, and give an overall positive or negative impression: “I enjoyed this” instead of “It’s a good show.”
This is gunna be hard. I honestly think that the basic toolbox of ‘this sucks’ is something I need and need to rely on, but that’s kind of the point of setting itself as a challenge. I know already that I have an article that was going to go up in four months that was meant to open with ‘this story sucks’ and like, time to go back to the drawing board on that.
There are a few other features that I have found going well, which I want to treat as sort of ‘hypothetical maximums.’
- A maximum of one article about the topics of The Transformers, 3.5 D&D, 4e D&D, and Magic The Gathering. I like having this constraint because it means that if I get a wild hair to cover a bunch of these, I have to space them out.
- At the start of each month, there’ll be a post showing you the full spoiler and notes of the previous month’s custom magic cards. That way you don’t get a full spoiler of the cards before the end of the month, if you’re following them day to day, Tabs.
- One How To Be post. I still like doing these and I especially like how they show the way that a game system like 4e is still able to do a lot of interesting character designs, and also give you room to see how I would approach asking for DMs these kinds of interesting ways to represent characters.
- One T-Shirt design post. I’m growing to think of these as also including ‘sticker and mask’ designs as well.
- One Asset Brainstorm post. I am trying this out, but a regular feature just looking at some art assets (or even mechanical pieces) would be good practice. These aren’t the same as when I jot down a game idea, this is specifically about looking at tools that I can use and you can use and hopefully inspire you.
- Each month, depending on PhD demands, I’m aiming to provide a single post explaining a diary of work on a game that month. Each month I’ll be changing it up. I meant to do this in 2021, but the game development was somewhat choked by transport restrictions and shipping problems coming out of the US!
- I’m going to try to make a Story Pile about one Anime a month. Anime requires me to slow down a little in my watching – I watch them subtitled after all. I fell out of watching anime for a while there and I really like the art movement, especially given how silly and varied it can be. I watched more anime in 2021 than I had in multiple years prior and it made me remember how much I loved it.
Something that happened in 2021 that you may not realise is that I managed to maintain a fortnightly schedule of posting a video Game Pile. That involved learning a lot about fast production (which I can more readily do when I’ mnot just so exhausted all the time). There were more videos with more interesting varied topics and yes, using other people’s video recording. More chat, more long-form slow plays, and more, I hope, variety without necessarily being boring.
This kind of video schedule is doable especially with a variety of video types. Hypothetically, a regular schedule is part of what helps a channel grow (and it hasn’t worked out that way). It has however been good for my skills and also made the task of making each video a little easier.
I’m still very jealous of content creators whose structure and template lets them do things like appear on camera and talk about things, but we may be developing technology there too.
(It’s the pngtuber avatar, I’ve shown you before.)