Flash of Steel header image 2

PCGamer and Me

August 18th, 2010 by Troy Goodfellow · 18 Comments · Me, PCGamer

I am told that I am in the new PCGamer, so it must be true. I only recently resubscribed, so I don’t have it yet. I trust that my readers are not lying to me, so next time I am at a newsstand, I’ll pick it up. I am the new writer of the recently revived strategy column (which I’ve called Tactical Advantage – thanks BD for helping with the brainstorming there) and my review of Disciples III should be in there somewhere.

PCGamer is the last of the American PC game focused magazines. I have been published in all of them, except PC Accelerator which closed up when I still thought I had a real future in a real career. So a long time ago.

How did it happen? I was approached by Evan Lahti at E3 to write the strategy column, Dan Stapleton knew I wanted to write some reviews, and Logan Decker has sent a couple of nice emails. The magazine has gone through a lot of changes in the last couple of years, including yanking the columns altogether (a stupid idea) and then bringing them back with the return of Desslock’s RPG column and Andy Mahood’s sim column (a smart idea). The strategy column was next to come, and I suppose I don’t suck.

Thought it’s been a little hard to adjust to some things, like the magazine’s insistence on puns in the headlines (Oh, how I hate forced puns), I am happy to be back in print. Once I read the Disciples 3 review and the first Tactical Advantage in the wild, I’ll have some comments here. Until I see them, they aren’t quite real.

It’s a little humbling to remember when this blog was “Portico” on blogspot, getting 25 to 50 hits a day, mostly people doing random Google searches. The help of good friends and good editors has led to 2010 being a year of great professional success. May those blessings trickle down to my readers and listeners.


18 Comments so far ↓

  • skshrews

    Whoo Hoo!

    Great news and congrats Troy! You’ve done a lot for strategy gaming with your work.

    I might actually start subscribing to a paper magazine again.

  • George Geczy

    When we received the October PC Gamer this past Monday (note to magazine people: it’s still mid August, guys!), David started reading some lines from your column without noticing the author was you. And, I started to get annoyed at what was being read out.

    I should make it very clear that it was not being annoyed at what you wrote – I entirely agree with what you wrote. The annoyance is the fact that it was being printed in PC Gamer US, a magazine that with its every living breath has done the opposite of what your column was saying. (OK, maybe a little hyperbole, but not much.) PC Gamer US must be considered at least partly responsible for the decline of PC strategy games in North America, simply because of the way they have treated the genre in the past decade.

    (Two quick examples – strategy/wargames are often reviewed by authors whose previous strategy gaming pinnacle was “Zoo Tycoon”; and with our own games PC Gamer editions in Europe, all owned by the the same Future Publishing parent, consistently gave our games scores 20 to 30 % higher than PC Gamer US. It’s the same game, guys !!!!! )

    Reading your blog post above seems to indicate that the PC Gamer US editors may be serious in properly tackling this genre once again, and I hope that’s true. But on the other hand, it may be too late – I can’t imagine any serious strategy gamers that would still subscribe to this publication, and its existing audience have been so de-sensitized to real strategy that your words may be falling on deaf ears. I hope I’m wrong there, but my cynicism regarding PC Gamer US runs very deep.

    — George.

  • Troy

    I can’t speak to anyone that came before me, and have no control over the review schedule. But I will use the column when I can to talk about the smaller games that have cool things in them. It’s not a substitute for a review (the reviews editor has his job, and columnists have theirs), but I hope you know that I am sincere.

  • nabeel

    Congratulations Troy!

  • Astromarine

    Yay for Troy trickling down onto us.


  • Nemuritor

    I think this is the best reason (or one of them) to get a subscription to PCGamer now. I’ll head out today. I hope you get commissions, Troy.

  • Jimmy Brown

    Congratulations! I glanced through the table of contents this morning and saw “Tactical Advantage.” Given where it was listed, I wondered if it might be a new column, but I didn’t have time to check it out. I look forward to reading it.

  • BryanP.

    Got my issue in the mail yesterday and it was a great surprise to see both the column and your review of Disciples 3. Seeing your column as well as Desslock’s and Andy Mahood’s is giving me more hope for the future of PC Gamer. Well done and congrats!

    P.S. Andy Mahood if you read this, heheh nice.

  • Jeff

    PC Gamer lost my business ~15 years ago when they went pure console. Not going back there for anything but I’m suprised they seem to have some desire for a ‘strategy’ column. Well, despite my grumbing, I do wish you and them continued success.

  • Jorune

    I was wondering when you would blog on this. I let my subscription lapse when they got rid of columnists. As soon as they brought (some of) them back, I re-subscribed. Glad to see you have joined the team. I think insightful columnists are all print can really offer, since reviews will be so out of date.

    When I first turned the page and saw your pic there, I was like “Hey! What’s my fav strat podcast guy doing in my pc game magazine!” ;-)


  • Scott R. Krol

    Congrads, Troy! Hopefully you can be a voice of enlightenment to the unwashed masses. Let the strategy phoenix arise!

    On a different note you have to subscribe? They don’t comp their writers subscriptions? Really?

  • Tim James

    Bad puns are going to be the death of PC games journalism. The Brits and PC Gamer are addicted to them. The “witty” image captions also send me into a nerd rage.

  • Krupo

    Congrats indeed – and yeah, seriously, why don’t they comp your subscription?

    Regardless – please tell Logan, Dan, Evan et al that I will re-up my subscription (which I was considering lapsing at the end of the year) solely based on the fact they’ve got you on board.

  • Troy

    I appreciate all of you subscribing on my account, but, to its credit, the new regime has made some good moves so far. And Mahood and Desslock are better than I am – their columns alone are reason to subscribe.

    I am happy to be at PCG, and I owe a great debt to Steve Bauman who decided I was not a moron. CGM had a very different audience than PCG, but Steve taught me to always keep the audience in mind – if you forget who you are writing to, then no one will care.

  • Steve

    Yeah I unsubscribed when they dumped the columns. I had been a subscriber for YEARS. I have old issues with Wing Commander Armada reviews in them. Now that they brought back the columns I will resub, they were always the best part of the mag.

  • jorune

    Troy, do not sell yourself short. I couldn’t care less for the Sims column, but I do enjoy Desslocks column. That said, I am first a foremost a startegy game player, so I am very happy to have your column in the mag, and it will easily be my favorite. I used to enjoy Bruce in CGW also, even though he had like half a page.


  • Troy

    Bruce’s wargame columns were the best.

  • Krupo

    Yes, Desslock is good too, and Andy’s excellent too, but you’re fresh blood to boot! :)

    Speaking of all that, my renewal notice is on my desk. Why do not put a 1-800 number on the form? Seriously.