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 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. 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, 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.


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 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,


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,