Number one: Based on the feedback I got last week regarding my book cover, we decided to take another pass at it. I sort of resent this work. You can fuss over this sort of crap forever. You can dump days of productivity into tweaking font selection, obsessing over text placement, re-wording the blurb, changing image composition, and worrying about a dozen other little details. It’s possible to pour many hours into messing with things that aren’t ever going to impact sales.
How will this look in print? How will it look on an eReader? How will it look as a tiny thumbnail on the Amazon store? Is this font too boring? Is this font too childish? Does the back-of-the-book blurb give enough information to let the reader know what they’re in for? Dies it give too much away? Is it too long?
On the other hand, the cover really is the first thing people see, and it makes sense to put some time into it. Going by the advice some self-publishing authors give, the quality of the cover is more important than the quality of the contents. That’s really cynical and depressing, which means it’s probably true.
If you’re curious, this is where we are now:
Just remember: As far as you know I’ve been hyping up this release for months and everyone you know is ready to buy two copies, okay?
Number two: I’m still working on my end-of-year list. This has been a weird year for me. In the past I’ve played a large number titles thanks to sales and Steam backlog, but this year I spent a lot of time with a small number of games, and a lot of those games are leftovers from 2016 and 2017. I spent over a month with Andromeda and Destiny 2. And I’ve just spent the better part of last week playing a game from 2010.
This is good in the sense that I really enjoyed my gaming this year, but it also means I missed out on the really big tentpole releases.
Number three: I installed Starcraft II again last week. Oops. I’m trying to release a book, I’ve got lots of current games to play, and I’m still working on my end-of-year content, but the Starcraft II fever struck and I stupidly thought I could just install the game to “play a round or two for old time’s sake”.
I’m sure you’ll be shocked to discover that I ended up playing more than one or two rounds.
I’m still garbage at the game, though.
There’s an old saying in golf, “If you can’t play golf well, learn to enjoy playing it poorly.” This quote is usually paired with an image of a dumpy middle-aged guy hacking a massive divot out of the course in a botched swing. Or he’ll be standing in a sand trap. Or he’s standing in the trees, looking at the ground and scratching his head. You get the idea.
I guess Starcraft II is my golf. I’ve learned to enjoy being terrible at it. I’m really horrible at multitasking, and Starcraft is a game built almost entirely around multitasking.
Do It Again, Stupid
One of the highest-rated games of all time has some of the least interesting gameplay.
Trashing the Heap
What does it mean when a program crashes, and why does it happen?
The Plot-Driven Door
You know how videogames sometimes do that thing where it's preposterously hard to go through a simple door? This one is really bad.
PC Gaming Golden Age
It's not a legend. It was real. There was a time before DLC. Before DRM. Before crappy ports. It was glorious.
Overused Words in Game Titles
I scoured the Steam database to figure out what words were the most commonly used in game titles.