Site reevaluations and big changes coming – just not soon.

JohnHQLD Site Background

It’s been one of those weeks that makes you stop and look at everything.

If you have been following me for a while, you will know that there have been lots of changes.

I started JohnHQLD.com as a way of sharing my love of gaming. That love hasn’t changed, but the demands of a full time+ career mean that my hobby site has taken the brunt of time cuts. My actual gaming time how somehow shrunk more each month. As I work on the site and my main job, giving me less to write about and putting more pressure on me.

I enjoy doing the site, and it is actually an excellent outlet for me. But the cold hard fact is I haven’t had a decent break in over three years. Yes, I have had holidays like the annual PAX trip, but there is little actual downtime in those periods.

For the last few weeks, my life has primarily been get, walk into the office, work 8-10 hours, then crash on the couch so that I can continue tomorrow. Weekends have been trying to rest enough to start the process again.

Final Fantasy 7 - Unlocking Gaming Time
It shouldn't feel like an epic achievement when you can make some gaming time

There is just no way I can continue like this.

But what about your plans for 2020?

The changes I want to make are still things I want to do. The board game collection app is about 90% finished. I want to stream and do videos. The intention and desire are there – the physical stamina is not.

Coupled with a lot of technical work I need to do on the site, there just aren’t enough hours in the day that I can give quality time to all my projects.

So, my new plan is to buckle down and really decide what I want to do.

What does that mean now?

Basically, anything that takes me a lot of time is being put on hold. Primarily, this means reviews. Even in only written form, these reviews take me a few hours to do.

So, basically posts on Monday for Last Week’s Gaming, and some little news bits that catch my eye are all I will posting for a while.

This will give me time to do a pretty major overhaul to the site from a technical and visual point of view. But it’s not ending there.

JohnHQLD.com will still be around, but I will probably be starting a new site. Or possibly, sites. I love gaming, but board gamers don’t always want to know about video games and vice versa.

Animal Crossing 20200629
Last Week's Gaming is a fun summary, and should have more games soon!

I really want to do a tech site as well, focusing on hardware (and maybe some software). This is the first option to be axed if I can’t make time, but it is something I want to do.

So you will be adding more work to the schedule? How does that help?

Because I don’t have a clear idea of what I want to be doing, I can’t guarantee it will be more work. It sounds like it sure, but that’s why I need to sit down and adequately map out what I want to do, and how it can be achieved.

I have a week off work coming up in August. I plan to rest a lot during this period, and that is when a lot of the planning will start. Until then, things are kind of in limbo.

Bottom line, I want to be able to know I can comfortably fit in everything. If I have to spend more than 6 hours a week on everything I want to do with JohnHQLD.com, things need to be pulled back. This is a hobby site, after all!

Retro games are something I have been collecting to share for two years for sharing with the community, but I haven’t had the time to just sit and play. Simple answer – streaming! Or at least, you think that’s all there would be to it. Being able to make time to sit and play for a couple of hours a week isn’t as easy as I would like to be.

And I need to be able to do the current things I want to do. This is what I need to sit down and plan out properly. Games days with Alpal, game nights with friends, downtime, my own personal gaming, I have been cutting these out far too much.

Megadrive and SNES
I have a heap of these types of consoles ready to try out *Image source: Gmereactor

The key I am looking for is being able to comfortably work everything in, without pushing myself as I have been for the last few years. And that is going to take time.

So, it’s not goodbye, but I hope you understand that things will be a lot sparser for the coming weeks. By the end of August, I will have a definite plan to share with everyone. But until then, I intend to stop and just try and relax and enjoy myself for a bit. We all need a break now and then.

So until next time, I hope you are all safe and well and looking after yourselves as well.

JohnHQLD

Taking a break from some site things, and changes you might want

Mad Scientist

I have all of the ideas, but not all of the time.

Hi everyone. I hope everyone is staying safe and looking forward to the upcoming break. For me, Final Fantasy VII and now Animal Crossing New Horizons is going to get a workout!

Final Fnatasy VII Deluxe
It teases me :p

But that is not all I am going to do. I am going to take the time to restructure some Talking Tech info, as well as a new presentation style. There is a lot of information to give, but picking what is vital and covering it quickly needs some work my end.

On top of this, new information is coming out quickly with the next generation of CPUs and GPUs. Intel 10th Gen this and Ryzen 4000 that is all I have seen in my YouTube feed lately! Condensing this into something that is both simple and accurate takes time, and I need to make that time.

You said you were taking a break? Is the site going on hiatus for a bit?

Yes and no. Last Week’s Gaming will stay on Mondays. First Impressions is an occasional item, so I will keep doing those. What will change a little is Reviews – these will be every Friday, no more substitutions with First Impressions.

I am a little torn on the Yeti Hunt and Messed Up Game Descriptions. I enjoy them, but not many people are answering them. What I do miss doing is New Game/Kickstarter pieces.

I have been all but neglecting Kickstarter lately, but I could talk about a new project or bit of game news every Wednesday instead.

Let me know what you would prefer – Puzzles or Game thoughts – in the comments!

What is getting stopped for a little while is Talking Tech. It needs the most work, but it will continue in ways I hope will make sense. Until it evolves eventually into video content.

Yeti Hunt Answers
I love doing these, and I will continue to marvel at Alpals Lego abilities. But do you want to find the Yetis?

So what will you do with the extra time?

What you will see quickly is writing a bunch of reviews I have been putting off, and planning new items like Talking Tech. I also need to put time into relearning and practicing video production. This means taking time from something, and some current regular posts are the only real thing that can give.

So, it might look like I am backing off from the site. While the announcement is relatively short notice, I don’t want to give the wrong impression by going quiet.

What I am actually trying to do is ramp up the work I am doing for the site. Working from home is giving me an excellent opportunity to do all of this, so I am grabbing it.

What’s the end goal? Do you want to become a YouTuber?

No. Not in the way a lot of people want to become YouTubers. 

I want to create more videos, but the goal is to hopefully make my content better for you. While I can write forever, the written word doesn’t always convey what I feel. Also, why should you invest that time if you don’t know who I am?

Today people tend to have videos/podcasts in the background rather than read. You get the benefit of the content while doing something else. You also establish a connection with that person that you can’t just by written word.

As an example, I quickly recorded the below.

A little rambling, unscripted, audio quality – my video production template needs work. But what was better for you – reading my intentions, or seeing me give my reasoning?

But I want puzzles to stay, and I don’t want you to make videos!

Then please, let me know! If I am preparing to put time and energy into something you don’t want, I am not past the point of no return for either of us.

I want JohnHQLD.com to be a community, not just my written word. Help me make something we can all take part in.

And no Alpal, I won’t stop talking about video games :p

Tomorrow is Final Fantasy VII day. I have been planning on recording my live first impressions video for ages, so that is still happening tomorrow. Saturday, I will give the answer for the last Messed Up Game Description, then Monday will be Last Week’s Gaming.

Based on feedback, we will see what happens next week – more Yeti Hunts, or New Game/Kickstarter thoughts. Talking Tech I will get back up as soon as I can.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

New idea – would you like to hear some beginner tech pieces?

Seeing as how tech has a lot to do with my paying job, it’s an idea I think has some merit.

Recently I have talked a bit about things like PlayStation Now and my thoughts coming into the new console generation. I also get asked pretty often about gaming PC setups – laptops, notebooks, ultraportables, that kind of thing.

I have been watching a lot of tech channels on YouTube lately (I already watch a few quite regularly anyway), and for me they are great. Bleeding edge tech and breakdowns, cutting edge scenarios, what if budgetless builds – it’s geek porn for me.

But if I try to send someone looking for build advice to one of these channels, the message can get pretty mixed up. A lot of YouTubers put caveats on what they are showing, not saying definitively ‘this is better than that’. This is a good thing because what is best for me is not necessarily best for you, and that is hard to judge without a personal consultation.

To get the most out of these videos, you have to already understand what you are looking at. A lot of people in the comments can be cruel to people asking beginner questions looking for clarifications. Forums can be the same way.

Unbox Therapy Ultimate Gaming Computer
This is cool, but does it help you pick a PC? *Image from Unbox Therapy YouTube channel

I am not trying to call out YouTubers. The fact is, most of them are only talking about the cutting edge because they are paid to. And I don’t just mean by companies looking for them to sell the benefits of their equipment. By watching their videos, you are paying them with ad revenue/YouTube premium. New tech = more views = more money. YouTube is a business, after all. The people I watch know their stuff, or I wouldn’t watch them. But if I want to look at reviews for a budget to a mid-tier build, I usually have to go back a fair bit in their timeline. It feels like there is always a ridiculously over specced showcase build recently released though.

This is where I have a bit of an advantage. JohnHQLD.com is still very much a hobby project for me, and this is the sort of general advice I can write and update every few months. I don’t have to worry about the impact on my revenue stream. It’s stuff I talk about a half dozen times a week in my professional life anyway for various scales.

So here is my problem. One of the articles I keep rewriting as I am still not happy with it is how PC Gaming Systems – as a category, not as a platform – is dead.

Another is why I am really excited about companies adopting Graphene batteries – hopefully, this year. I still have opinions and speculation articles as well, such as why AUD$1,000 for the PS5/Xbox Series X is actually not a terrible price. Seriously if Sony and/or Microsoft is reading, don’t make your consoles this expensive. But I can still justify the price if it is.

What I don’t want to do is bring reviews on Super Graphics Card Gedeon X Ultra Alpha 3 or things like that. I can’t afford the time or hardware :p There are plenty of excellent YouTube channels dedicated to talking about things like that already anyway. What I can do is talk to people starting out why an AUD$2,500 video card isn’t what most people need, and why.

Graphics Card Comparisons
While I want to talk about different cards, none of these comparison articles are on the horizon *Image source: TechRadar

Some people are nodding their head, some are getting ready to type in all caps how I am mad/wrong/stupid, some are curious, and others are just “Meh. Who cares?”.

This is where today’s survey comes in.

Because these are things I can talk about in various degrees of detail, I can write about the basics and changes for months. Great, I have site content for ages this way! But do you want to read all of that?

It would all circle back to gaming. I know from the little things I have said it doesn’t sound like it, but I do promise to keep it gaming relevant. I also won’t be cutting any of my current content unless you really want me to. This sort of stuff I have planned in the Tuesday/Thursday post schedule that’s up in the air at the moment.

So, would like to see me write about more tech type stuff in a beginner friendly context, or if I should stay away from it altogether?

If you do want to see what I am writing, there is a second part. These articles could get quite wordy by necessity. As such, would you prefer to read them as I do articles now, or would you like a vlog type video and/or podcast release as well? The podcast would mainly be the vlog audio-only, but maybe you would like to listen to my thoughts rather than read lots of text?

Let me know!

The survey!

Finally I got there! Now you have a tease of the sort of things I want to talk about, are you interested in hearing any of it?

Click on your choice and hit Vote!

Thanks for giving your thoughts – it will help to shape the site into something we all enjoy 🙂

If there is anything else you would like to see me do or try, as always feel free to drop me a line! You can leave comments below, message me on Facebook, @JohnHQLD me on Twitter, or even email me at [email protected]!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Hello and Welcome Back for 2020!

JohnHQLD Logo

I hope you all saw out 2020 safely!

Welcome back!

There have been a lot of changes over the last year, and 2 moves in one year for me hasn’t helped for me personally. If that is my biggest actual gripe about 2019, I actually consider myself pretty lucky!

But the move is all settled, and Rabbit and I are settling into the new place nicely. Work is a thing (isn’t it always?), but this year even that should have some levels of ‘normalcy’ to it.

Not everyone has had it so lucky.

Here in Australia, the bushfires are still rampaging out of control. Personally, we are going OK where I live and work, so I am definitely in the ‘lucky’ group of Australians. Smoke from Australian fires has reached Antarctica and South America, according to the UN. And it will probably get worse still before anything gets better.

World War 3 memes are out in the wild trying to make light of a sensitive situation. The situation between the US and Iran will most likely affect the entire world in one way or another.

And the Iran incidents happening with President Trump’s impeachment progressing makes for an even more “What the?” situation than usual in the States.

And that is just two countries. Most of the world is going through trouble at the moment in some form.

I am not trying to start the year off on a sour note. I don’t want to dwell on it here, but the global political spiral is real. It is something we all have to acknowledge and work together on.

What I am looking forward to doing is continue to talk about a topic I love – gaming. I hope that JohnHQLD.com continues to be a safe place for the people that come here, and I hope that whatever the situation around you that you are as safe as you can be.

So what has been going on over the extended break?

Site wise, not as much as I hoped, but a lot of headway has been made in different areas. I keep talking about projects that I want to do, but time always feels like it is against me.

But this year I have started to make some real progress on some wish lists that I have.

We have a new family member!

Just before I started writing this article, we got a new addition to our household. If you follow me on Instagram, you would have already seen this cutie 🙂

Adopted from the RSPCA as Ash, he hasn’t let us know his proper name yet. Rabbit is partial to Meeple, and Enzo. Enzo because he purrs like a Ferrari 😀

Totally doting on this little cutie. The boys (Fitz and Harry) are bonding nicely with the new addition, and it is amazing seeing them all together.

Expect to see lots of random pics of this little fella in random game night pics in the future 🙂

Such a fun little cutie 🙂

My Games Library

My games collection. My shining jewel and a shame. Why shame? Because I can’t tell you what’s in it half the time!

I have a broader board game collection than many people. Like any extensive collection, management has been a problem. My goal this year is to address this and stay on top of it.

The new house is allowing me for a great setup though, and can’t wait to finish updating my catalogue.

What has this got to do with the site? Well, I am also working on a couple of apps to help me keep on top of all this! And when they are done, I will be opening them up to the world 🙂

Apps, you say?

The first app will be a prettier way of exporting your Board Game Geek collection. BGG is the number one board game information site, with the best database of game info around. Exporting my collection though always causes me problems. So I am doing something about it 🙂

This will be a work in progress for a while, and I will be looking for user feedback once the first version goes up. All going well, the prototype form of this feature will be ready for March 🙂

The second app will be a library system. That’s right – a run of the mill library system. This won’t be for everyone, but it will help me, and I hope others with extensive collections.

The idea is I can select a game from my collection, and the app will tell me what shelf it’s on. Yep – that’s actually a problem for me. Finding games is such a pain!

Secondly, if someone from my games group wants to borrow a game, the app can keep track of who has it and for how long.

This is a longer-term project for 2020, but if you have been looking for something like this tell me what you would like!

The Lists are back!

So I haven’t made a list since 2018. I hadn’t realised it was so long, and getting my 2019/20 made me realise how handy these can be. Of my best games for 2019, I didn’t realise how many of my choices I hadn’t written a review for!

So for 2019, I have made 6 lists. There are two ‘Best of 2019’ lists for Board Games and Video Games. One list is games I have played, and the other games I wish I had. This should be fun 🙂

The last two lists are games I am looking forward to releasing in 2020. I can’t wait to hear feedback on what you are looking forward to playing!

These will be coming pretty fast so that all of the lists are out before February. Don’t get used to multiple articles a day!

My gaming challenges are going public!

I love playing games. Learning new games keeps me engaged, and playing games is a great way to unwind. Time commitments don’t always allow this, but there is no reason to not shoot for the moon!

If you look at last years numbers, I am pretty sure I got closer to my board game goals than I recorded. If it wasn’t games night or playing with Alpal, I wasn’t too good at recording the game. New year goals!

What does this mean for you? That I can’t say. This is just a bit of fun for me. Hopefully, you will enjoy it as well. Time will tell!

More about the challenges in an upcoming article 😀

I need to record all of my plays!

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s won’t be as empty – eventually.

My current schedule has been relatively light. Last Week’s Gaming is a summary I work on during the week. Yeti in Wahroonga Village is fun, playing around with Alpal’s Lego world. It changes much more than you realise, and I am always looking forward to seeing her new changes. Friday’s are review days, and I have struggled to keep up with these.

The review schedule has been a time management problem on my part. And I realised when making the lists how much harder I was making this on myself.

So now that I have about 30 reviews ready to write, I have been busy starting to write them. These have been started, but with the move and some much-needed downtime, I am not as ready with them as I wanted to be.

In prepping my challenges, I also had a few ideas on other stand-alone articles. Some I have wanted to write for a while, some are brand new. So during the year, Reviews will start migrating from Fridays only to be twice weekly. That final day will be used for other articles, and I can’t wait to see how they go!

Finally, I am hoping in the future to write a weekly preview or impressions on a Kickstarter project. Sometimes it will be why I am backing them, sometimes it will be why I am not supporting them. But they will become regular tidbits through the year.

So what do you think? Looking forward to some of the changes, or wish I was focusing on something else? Let me know! As always, I want JohnHQLD.com to become a community we all build together. I am really looking forward to 2020, and there are still things I have planned in the background 😀

Catch you later today, with my Last Week’s Gaming from during the break!

JohnHQLD

So 2019 has been a big year for me, and more to come!

JohnHQLD Site Background

The only constant this year has been change

As I said on Monday in Last Week’s Gaming, there have been a lot of going on for me over the last few days.

The main cause hasn’t been work for once, but I am moving again. That’s right – twice in one year!

Our current home has been sold to make way for units, but luckily we got a new place pretty quickly. This does mean a lot more activity over the next couple of weeks, which puts us right up against the holidays.

What does this mean for the site?

So because of this, I am going on a break a bit earlier and a bit longer than normal. Between the physical move, setup, lack of internet etc, I think it’s the best choice.

I am hoping to get a review up on Friday for Terminator: Resistance, but no promises. I don’t think I will get it finished before the move now, so it’s hard to review what I haven’t finished!

There will also likely be infrequent Last Week’s Gaming articles, as for at least 2 weeks I probably won’t be playing anything. Anything I do play though I will throw up on Instagram and maybe Twitter, with the odd random Facebook post to keep things happening.

Yeti hunting in the Puzzles will continue as normal though, as I have a few weeks primed already 😀

I am thinking I will bring things back to normal from the 13th of January. This will give me plenty of lead time to get things happening and maybe finally some of the new projects as well!

That’s a big break!

Yep, it is. And I am sorry it’s late notice for such a long break, but everything has been up in the air and moving close the holidays will surely bring some more suprises. Planning for the unexpected hoping it’s enough!

As mentioned, there will be infrequent bits and pieces happening, so keep in touch via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and I hope you all have a more relaxing time than we will 😀

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

So until PAX Aus, a bit of a change in the schedule

The crunch has gotten to me!

As I have been talking about for the last couple of weeks, I have been working a lot in the buildup to PAX Aus. Not for PAX Aus, but my full time job that has a lot of things coming to a head.

I like to have all the articles done and ready to go while I am away like last year. This year, time has not been as kind.

So for the next couple of weeks, I am putting reviews on hold. Last Week’s Gaming and Yeti in Wahroonga Village will continue, but no reviews for a little bit.

Instead, today is me saying what I am planning on doing. Next week, I will be either frantically fixing work problems or packing for PAX. Probably both :p

So another quiet week next week article wise. The week after though, that is when Rabbit and I drive down to Melbourne. I won’t be putting much up on the site, but expect a more regular posting on Instagram and Facebook of our adventures!

Then, it’s time for PAX Aus itself. I don’t know what or when I will be posting, but it will be fun!

OK So this was from 2 years ago, expect new pics this week!

The PAX Aus XP 2019 group will be made over the next few days. I will be posting there for the XP hunt obviously, but if you aren’t doing PAX XP that won’t be of interest.

Random pictures of things will be posted of things I have seen/played with, again of Facebook and Instagram. Tweets if I remember. That many people in such a small area tends to lead to mobile issues, so it’s a ‘when it works’ scenario.

The week after that, we hang for a bit longer then come home. That review day (October 18th) will be a write up of all the things I got up to and random thoughts on PAX Aus 2019.

After that, the site will return to normal. For a given amount of normal anyway 😀

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

And we are back!

JohnHQLD Site Background

Back in business and slowly getting the engine running again

As I said in my last post, sorry but I needed to take a break.  I was taking on way too much and almost didn’t realise it until it was too late.

But after a reset and some juggling, I think I know what I want to do with things going forward, so let me take you through what I want to do with the site.

Reviews

These are staying, and I will continue to do Video Game and Board Game reviews.  What I won’t continue to be doing is two reviews a week.

Trying to get time in to play sessions to fairly review games on top of also trying to play for fun has been difficult and getting harder.

So I will have a newer game review once a month (e.g. recently received Kickstarter) and a mix of older games and video games two or three times during the month.

That said, I have a couple of reviews already drafted. These include Chronicles of Crime and Kingdom Hearts 3, so there will be a review a week for at least a month.

I am thinking Thursdays?

Chronicles of Crime Cover Art
Taking the criminal deduction genre to exciting new levels

What I am hoping to build back up to is hopefully a review a week, but cycle to once a month a pattern of:

  • Newer Game
  • Video Game
  • Older Game (Video or Tabletop)
  • Smaller Game (PnP for example)

Hopefully, this works well for everyone, but if you would rather I focus on a genre in particular let me know!

Puzzles

Now I have been enjoying the puzzles, they are a quick bit of fun and I enjoy doing them.  I think I will leave these going on a Wednesday as a hump day activity.

I was thinking of increasing the frequency of the puzzles, but I don’t think I can. If I am slowing down the content of the site, pointing to games discussed in the last few weeks will be hard.

So keeping the puzzle once a week is the plan, but I do have some other terrible drawing plans for the future 🙂

20190306 Puzzle
Not a hidden clue, but you still need to have been paying attention

Podcasts

Something I enjoy doing, but recording has started becoming harder and harder.

As discussed earlier, these will be put on hiatus until at least mid-year.  Watch out though, as you may be subjected to the occasional Blatherings in the interim 😀

But when we do come back, it will be with a new show with a slightly different format and probably every two weeks in a slightly longer format (about 15-20 minutes rather than 10-15).

Crowdfunding / Kickstarter news

It’s something we all say to ourselves – I need to cut back on backing Kickstarters. While I enjoy looking at projects, I have a real problem suggesting projects I haven’t backed. This is getting expensive, and I need to cull my library. So I will talk every two weeks about a project, but I won’t have necessarily backed it though.

So I will still be looking at different projects and weighing up what I would like to add to my collection. But I won’t be backing so that I feel better suggesting people check it out themsleves – that’s the only difference.

I think this will be OK, as I will still discuss what I like and what I am wary of, but I would love to know what you think?

Escape The Dark Castle Collectors Box
The semi secret expansion - The Collectors Box *Not final design

Last Week’s Gaming

This is staying on Mondays, no real changes here.  It’s nice to be able to talk about social gaming this way.  What I might be doing though is expanding a little on the description and thoughts to make up for fewer reviews – what do you think?

The Future

So there are quite a few little things planned for the future, and not just a new format of the podcasts.

Video

There will be video content coming. Video Games is my first thought, with the impressions and reactions to the first hour or so of some games.

From there, if we can set up the equipment easily, highlights of game nights and selected game run-throughs. Maybe even How to Plays? I have wanted to make these for some time, but Rodney Smith of Watch It Played does a great job already.  How to Play’s will definitely be time dependent.

Rants

These are something that actually has the highest traffic on the site. I truly enjoy writing these as I always write about something I strongly believe in.

By not having as strict a schedule, these are something I can write more often. Something gaming related, sometimes political. Unfortunately these days there are plenty of issues that shouldn’t be able to stand, so I will have plenty to say.

We Happy Few Screen 02
It's alright, he's the clown police. Wait I shouldn't have said that...

Other things

But this isn’t all I am thinking about – there are still bigger projects and things I want to do, but these will be taken in smaller bites and won’t be on the 2019 list.

So what do you think?  Have I cut back too much on something you like coming too regularly?  Let me know in the comments!

But thank you for staying with me, and thank you for the support shown while I stood back and regrouped for the past week.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

An unexpected break while the site is being reorganised

JohnHQLD Site Background

I know this is short notice, but I need to make some changes

Hi everyone.

I know this is a little sudden, but it’s more sudden on the front page of the site than if you know me behind the scenes.

JohnHQLD.com started as a bit of fun and as a cathartic experience that I genuinely enjoy creating for.  What started as some loose goals formed into the site you have known, and I have lots of plans and projects that I want to do with the site going forward.

As with anything, one factor you need for something like this is time.  Every activity needs it. When JohnHQLD.com first started, it was an excuse to force myself to make time to do something I love – gaming.  My opinions, rants and summaries have been some of the sites most popular content – but I just don’t quite have the time to do them anymore with the current format.

Things have been happening in the background that I have been trying to balance, and that balance has tipped almost past the point of no return in some areas.

It’s nothing bad or ominous, just the ‘normal’ work/life balance issues that we all have to deal with.  Work turned around and is going really well in letting me have my personal time balance back.  There are some new exciting things happening that will be big, but they aren’t 80-100 hours a week projects so that will be good!

But I started looking at how much time I was looking at keeping the site the way it has been, and I am essentially working another 15-25 hours a week on top of my paid work to do the close to daily content of the site.

Big Trouble in Little China On The Table
Getting games like Big Trouble in Little China has been worth it, but they take time

And this time doesn’t include the time it takes to actually play the games in question.  As all gamers know, finding the time to play bigger games like Big Trouble in Little China can be very difficult.  It’s not just a case of ‘Now I have time to sit and play’, so do 2-3 other people at the same time.  While I have enjoyed the part game we played on games night, I am nowhere near playing it enough times to do a formal review on.

And it also doesn’t include the extra 20-30 hours a week I want to devote to doing new things much more regularly on the site.  And that is part of the trap I have set for myself – in finding more time to do what I enjoy, I have managed to put myself into a second full-time job.

Time isn’t the only trap though – I have caught myself steering to what I think will be popular content or stopping myself from playing other games for the sake of the site.  For example, I have been holding off my Chronicles of Crime review as I had the Kickstarter copy well before retail channels could sell it.

When I started the site, I wanted to use it as a tool to go through my shelves and have a repository of my thoughts on the games.  This meant reviewing games that have been out for some time and in today’s ‘Cult of the New’ publishing mentality, I have come to realise how unfair this can be.

What is the point of reviewing a magnificent game that makes someone need to have it in their lives only to discover it has been out of print for 5 years?

Take Forbidden Stars for example.  A game I really want to play still (I have only had a half game so far), but because Fantasy Flight and Games Workshop split it may never hit shelves again.  That makes it feel more like an in memoriam than a review 🙁

Forbidden Stars Setup
Something like this may come from the Games Workshop / Wizkids deal, but it won't be Forbidden Stars

Instead of clearing my shelves, I have added over 150 titles that I haven’t had time to play at all.

So hey great I have a great games library – but I haven’t played almost a third of it the way I want to.  And when you are looking at more than 700 titles (not including expansions) – that’s a lot of regret and pressure sitting on a shelf looking at you.

So what will the new plans be?

Honestly – today, I’m not 100% sure.

  • Last Week’s Gaming is fun and reasonably popular on the views, so that will stay. Formal reviews will be intermittent rather than Tuesday and Friday, at least for the short term.
  • What I might do are mini-reviews based on Last Week’s Gaming?  I need to work this out during the break, but I like this idea.
  • Kickstarter news that I just started getting back into the groove with will be when I back something or when I am really opposed to backing something. That will be being cut down as I need to really limit the new games I am adding to the library.
  • Podcasts will stop until I can set up a more permanent recording location, so they will be largely on hiatus.
  • The weekly puzzles – these might actually increase in regularity, and have one video game and one board game related?  I find these fun, and stem from brief flashes and doodles.

I really do want to get into video content, and I have recorded almost all of my Kingdom Hearts 3 and Resident Evil 2 gameplay in preparation of video reviews.  The problem already is this is about 60 hours of footage to review and edit, and that is only 2 games!

Later in the year I should have a better setup for capturing both audio and video content, so all these plans are being put on hold until then.

The one thing I am 100% sure of is the site will continue, and if it was a sportsball team this would be a rebuilding season.  The overall goal is to come back better again.  We have done it once, it can happen again 🙂

To help with this, this will be the last regular update until Monday, March 18th.  This will give me the weekend to do the things I just need to do and have a chance to talk to people and sound out some ideas.  The first article back will be what I have decided on, and hopefully some timelines as well.

Upcoming Plans
Between GoG.com and Steam, there are plenty of old classics to relive and more to play for the first time! And I will be doing it on video - well that's always been the plan

So once again, I do apologise for the late notice and apparent stop on the site.  It just worked out this way behind the scenes. This is something I have been musing on for about a fortnight already, but I don’t think it’s something I can delay any longer.  Stepping away from the ‘have to have something up for tomorrow’ and pushing new projects aside will be the best thing long term I think.

Thank you for all of your support, it really is appreciated and I hope that the changes will be something you enjoy going forward.

Until the 18th,

JohnHQLD

Blatherings 016 – Some tweaks are coming, and it’s been a year!

JohnHQLD's Blatherings Podcast

Another Year Bites the Dust

And we made it through a whole year!  It’s a milestone that just zipped by me, it really hasn’t felt like it.

Alpal is still taking some time out, so it’s just me – so that means another Blatherings!  That won’t be the case for much longer though, as The Rabbit has agreed to join us talk about games played 🙂

Sorry I sound a bit sniffly and bleh – my nose is making it hard to breath and talking has been interesting 🙁

Have a great weekend everyone!

JohnHQLD

Don’t forget – you can now search for JohnHQLD Podcasts in most podcast players!

Or you can open them directly in SpotifyiTunes or SoundCloud here.

If searching for JohnHQLD Podcasts doesn’t work, add this RSS feed URL and you should be ready to go!

How would you like to listen to some Clear, Concise Ramblings?

Ramblings Logo

Getting ready to hit the road!

Hi everyone!

Quick one today.  This Saturday marks the very first episode of our new podcast Clear, Concise Ramblings!

Each week, Alpal and I will be having a quick chat about a game or two we have been playing.  Not quite a review, more an overview and our general thoughts.

The episodes will only be about 10 minutes each, so something quick to listen to each week!

End don’t forget the Blatherings haven’t ended – they are just a now and then thing when I feel like talking about some topics 🙂

Looking forward to continuing to unveil all the new stuff during and after PAX!

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD and Alpal