Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Getting back into the Swing


Make no mistake, I haven't written much lately.  At all. When you've been blogging as long as I have, you know that there are times - weeks, months, somethings entire years, where it just doesn't strike ya, and you can't put pen to paper - figuratively speaking. Now typically, most bloggers will cap those periods off with renewed promises of increased activity.  It's like when you fall off your exercise program.  After some period of time has passed you begin anew with promises of This time - this time I'll make it stick! I personally try to avoid such promises. Namely because a huge pet peeve of my own is making promises and then breaking them.  I've always felt that no one really wants to read a post about how you're going to turn things around and start writing every day etc etc.  If you want to turn things around, then just do it. Start writing. But I've decided this time I'll allow myself my own exception, and make this post about posting. So here ya go. Breaking my own rules, and talking about things I would like to talk about. 


Write Less, More Often
One of the reasons I don't blog nearly as much as I'd like is that I have a really hard time writing small blogs. It's just a fault of mine. I have always tended to the wordy, and when I finally get around to finding a topic I wish to expound upon, well I tend to be expansive. As such, typically for me writing, adding pictures, editing, and proof reading again any single blog tends to be a 2 to 3 hour endeavor for me. And in my life, that's a huge chunk of time. That's time I could be spending with my family, or playing games, or even binging on Netflix anime. So I'm going to try to do less expository, and more conversation. I've even set a target for today's post to one hour in preparation. We'll see about that!

Broaden the Topic Range
I'm going to expand the topic range to include more things from my life. It's not that I don't love to talk about gaming, but the truth is, I have less time in my life for actual gaming than I think I have at any previous time in it. Part of the reason for that is, quite frankly, I'm just not as young as I used to be. There was a time when I could stay up and watch TV with my wife until the news was over, sit down at 10:30 and start playing, play until 1:00am or later, and then turn around and get up at 6:30am and do it all over again.  But I'm closing in on 50 (I know right? Gah - so old!) and I still get up at 6:30 am, so those days of playing until 1:00 every night are OVAH.  On top of that, I'm busier than ever with work.  For those of you that don't know, I'm a Sr. Developer at Robot Entertainment. I'm working on Orcs Must Die Unchained. We're a small company - and we're tackling a game who's scope and scale is often handled by companies whose numbers are in the 100's.  To put it bluntly - we're very busy. So quite often when I get home, the only thing I want  to do is turn on whatever the hell is on Starz and watch it for the 20th time.

The point of all this is that while I still love gaming as the number one leisure time activity in my life (closely followed by golf!), I have less actual time to do that particular activity. So I'm going to broaden the topics a bit, and allow the blog to cover more aspects from my actual life.  I might talk about my golf game (shudder), or about sending my kid off to college.  Or even about my work a bit. I have to be careful talking about work though, because quite frankly much of what we do is not ready for public consumption. It's unfortunate, but a necessary fact. So if it seems that when I'm talking about work I'm talking around things instead of about them - well it's because I am.  But don't worry - this blog ain't gonna become no facebook post! But in an effort to allow myself to post more, I want to allow myself the freedom to post about more than just what I did last night in World of Warcraft - because it's possible I didn't play WoW last night.

What's the Point?
In direct line with broadening the topic range, the purpose of this blog is going to evolve a bit as well.  Quite frankly, the purpose of this blog has changed many times over the years, and it's entirely because I can never make up my own mind about what exactly I want it to be! At times I've tried to make it about providing game developer insights into games you play. And that's cool and a noble purpose, but it's an extremely narrow niche, and quite frankly often a game developer's insights aren't really, well, all that different than your own. At times I've tried to make it the definitive place for guides about whichever game I'm currently playing. I'm always a bit amazed and more than a little envious of sites like Dulfy.net, and I've made a passing attempt from time to time to emulate them.  But damn that's a lot of work - a right near full time job in and of itself. And again, time is a commodity I am precious short of. I have a job already, and it's a pretty good paying job, doing exactly what I love to do - making games. So whatever I make of this blog, it can't be something so monumental in scope that it requires full time work as well.

So this blog is going to become a little less directed (as if it had a direction to begin with, hah!) and a bit more casual in tone. The topics will ramble, the content will ramble, but if I do come up with some incredibly awesome endeavor to direct this blog towards, you guys will be the first to know.  I can't imagine this blog is still on anyone's reader, what with it being dead for so long. But if you're thinking of adding it to your reader, and you're wondering just exactly how to classify it, it should be this: Casual conversations from a family guy that makes and plays games. Hope that helps!

One Space - Not Two
I gave myself an hour, and I have a little time left, so I'm going to comment on one final thing. It's about using one space after a sentence instead of two. I'm going to make a genuine effort to do this - note, I said effort, and I meant it. And I want to explain why. First, make no mistake - if you're after the question of which is correct, well the vast preponderance of evidence is that one space after a sentence is the correct usage. There are so much commentary and evidence on this I'm not even going to link them. Just search it and you'll see. But for me, this is going to be incredibly difficult. I took typing in the 8th grade, when I knew that I wanted to work with computers for a living. And we learned on IBM Selectric electric typewriters. Not terminals - good 'ol, actual typewriters. And let me tell you, two spaces after a sentence was ingrained into us. So for the better part of 35 years I've been a touch typist, and during the entirety of that time I have double-tapped the space bar after each and every sentence typed. And though I have always believed that because that's how it's always been done should never be a good reason to continue doing something, when it's your own personal ingrained habit that's been a part of your everyday life for a quarter of century, changing that habit is hard. But that's who we are. Or at least, who we should be. We're better than beasts of habit, and when faced with the fact that the way you're doing something is wrong, then no matter what you yourself have been taught, you should work to make yourself to better. To make yourself correct. Though so I may fail, and fail often, I will endeavor to only use a single space after a sentence. And if I can - you can too.

Though make no mistake - if ten years from now the Chicago Handbook of Style releases a statement that says it is amending its previous stance on the matter and decides two spaces after a sentence is, in fact, correct - there will be blood! 

Until next time, cheers all!

Yes that's me on the cover picture, teeing off in Mexico at the beautiful par 3 course at our resort. And if you ignore the fat 'ol fart in the foreground, and focus on that amazing island green in the background, it's actually quite a lovely picture!