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