Flash of Steel header image 2

Things to Do

December 5th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 11 Comments · Blogs, Me, Print Screen, Three Moves Ahead

Though consoles have their Red Rings of Death and Wiimote straps breaking and Playstation Home, there’s really a special sort of hell that PC gamers go through.

My video card fan had been making weird noises for a week – louder than usual. It sounded like maybe the fan was loose, scraping the housing. Whatever it was, the thing started quitting for a few seconds at a time yesterday and that’s never good news.

So I ordered a new one on Newegg and it will be here on Monday morning. Until then, I have my netbook which means I can still do the important things – write, use Facebook, chat on IRC and, of course, plan.

1) The Decade series has not been forgotten, but Bruce Geryk is a little slow at this for obvious reasons. Since we still have 2010 and I’m not exactly married to the calendar, you are all likely more anxious than I am about getting it done. Could I just continue with me and Rob Zacny? Sure, but Bruce has chosen some really interesting games that I want to see written up. So I ask for your patience. There will be a podcast episode about the series once it is complete, as well.

2) Beginning in 2010, my book/film column for Crispy Gamer, Print Screen, will be on hiatus. Not enough traffic to justify the cost, so I understand the decision. Maybe sometime in the future we can try it again either back at CG or at another site. So you may see more stuff on those topics on this blog, since I’ve gotten hooked on to the whole idea. And these Dragon Age books aren’t half bad.

3) While I’ve been building TMA, the podcast has almost overwhelmed this blog, which I regret. Rob Zacny and I were chatting last night, and we agreed that this seems to be the pattern with podcasts. There will be more blogging, though. There’s a Russian RTS about the Afghan War that could probably keep me going for weeks.

4) Speaking of the podcast, I’m starting to plan it more weeks in advance so that everyone can be on board with what we are talking about. TMA is still very much a living document, so any changes or ideas you might have are appreciated. We have some exciting and interesting topics coming up. 2010 will be a big year for strategy gaming, I think, if only anyone paid attention to it.

5) Most importantly, expect a site redesign some time over the next few weeks. I’m a good enough critic to recognize ugliness when I see it, and my mess of banners, ads, icons and links has reached the point where I can’t even stand the look of my front page. I’m also wise enough to know that I can’t make it look good, so I have given a friend admin access so she can try to fix it – for a fee. (Always pay your friends.) If you come here and it looks like a storefront for the Toronto Maple Leafs, you can blame her.


11 Comments so far ↓

  • James Allen

    Oooo…new things are fun! What type of video card did you get?

  • Brett

    Know that feeling. Went through hell the past week with my sound card and the new Serious Sam. At times I really hate PC gaming.

  • Paul

    What do you mean specifically

    ” While I’ve been building TMA, the podcast has almost overwhelmed this blog, which I regret. ”

    Does it take up too much time? bandwidth?

    I would say Tom Chick be damned, let it slide for a week or two if you guys need. There’s nothing worse for the fans and yourself than feeling obligated to do something you once loved, but now loathe.

  • Paul

    sorry, I don’t mean to damn Tom Chick. I just mean you said Tom was the one who pushed you to do the podcast weekly, but now that you’ve got a solid archive of episodes and have touched on a lot of great discussion, interviews, and even developed a few of your own memes, then the show is solid enough for a hiatus, or even a slower more thorough pace to each episode.

  • Troy

    All I mean is that the podcast has overshadowed the blog. We do prep for it, and it has more than doubled traffic to this place for which there is not always a steady stream of serious content – certainly not as much as there was at FoS’s peak.

    But we’re not tired yet! We love doing it, or at least I do. Tom’s suggestion to do this every week was a good one, but I’m sure we’re willing to take a week off if we need to. We’ve been lucky that there’s enough energy to keep it up.

  • Quinten

    I like the sites “ugliness.” It reminds me of grognard.com except whiter and prettier. Also, the site as is shows up better on my phone than any other website. It is as if you made your site for my phones browser, and I would like to keep it that way.

    “9th Company – Roots of Terror” looks like it could be interesting. I am a big fan of “Men of War,” and I am hoping this cheap game can give me a similar feel to commanding units.

  • skshrews

    I’ve had the same video card(Nvidia) issue for over a year-a fan scraping the fan housing. One action that helped was removing a TV tuner PCI card that sat next to the video card that I rarely used-this seems to have improved the ventilation inside the computer case and keeps the fan from running as much.

    I strongly encourage the weekly podcast schedule. Leo Laporte has a successful podcast network and he is always telling podcasters to stay on schedule. Knowing a new podcast is going to be available does drive listeners to the website for the associated commentary and occasional download of the podcast itself.

    Of course, I’m not the one actually podcasting…

  • Jared

    I agree about keeping the podcast as a weekly thing. Nothing wrong with taking a break every now and then because of scheduling or some such but its important not to make a habit out of letting it slide. Podcasting is similar to webcomics in that regard.

    If you do redesign the site I hope you keep the commentary on the ads on the right, I find them amusing.

  • Kingdaddy

    As a weekly podcaster, I feel your pain. The logistics of arranging the recording session can be as large a task, or larger, than the editing and publishing phase.

    Nonetheless, it’s worth the effort to get Three Moves Ahead out. It’s a great podcast, one that I always look forward to hearing. You can do a lot in a podcast that you can’t do in a blog, and vice-versa. In your niche, the conversation among people passionate about strategy games is very high value content.

  • Neil

    Actually, PC gaming is great for th every reason you say it’s not. When something in the machine breaks, you can replace it yourself more quickly and cheaply than you could on a proprietary system. If you had a GPU problem on your Xbox 360, you’d be waiting weeks for a replacement, plus you’d probably out a big chunk of change if it was out of warranty.

  • Josemas

    Is playing/reviewing Armada 2526 on your list anywhere? My wife bought it for me for xmas based on my feelings from the podcast but the lack of any interest from basically anyone on the internet since launch has me wondering if that was a mistake.