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2012: The Year of No Writing

December 4th, 2012 by Troy Goodfellow · 14 Comments · Blogs, Me

This has been one of the busiest years of my professional life.

First, still learning a job that changes as fast as technology allows it to. Evolve had a good year with some great clients, and next year will be especially busy for me as I help with Paradox’s strategy stable. As I stare at the open documents on my desktop and avalanche of paper, I humbly ask for your prayers.

Second, I won’t comment much on this since I generally only mention my personal life in roundabout ways, but divorce is brutal for the heart and soul. I thank everyone who was patient and helpful this year.

Third, learning new things takes time and energy. I tried to teach myself new software, video editing, new types of games and also took up the gym more seriously. Clearly I need to work on my balance

So, I played remarkably few games that we were not representing or that I was not already somewhat familiar with, hence a blog that lay moribund for most of the year. I regret that a lot, since Flash of Steel is my home base – it’s where I launched Three Moves Ahead, it’s where I prefer to write and it still draws a good solid number of hits per day.

It is very hard to write about strategy games without playing them a lot. I have barely touched Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, Endless Space is laughing at me, there are a dozen wargames from Matrix sitting on my hard drive and eventually I need to finish that stupid science series that I keep putting off because I am not thinking about design in the right way to finish that.

As someone that loves to write, a year having done very little of it for public consumption is kind of like a cancer. It does ease the pain somewhat that there is a lot of excellent strategy game writing going on in a lot of places (I hope to highlight some this month) so FoS doesn’t have the urgency of the mission it once did. PC gaming is back and strong, there is a greater diversity of voices on all types of games now, and if FoS faded away into irrelevance it would not be missed a lot.

Except by me, of course. I need this place and will commit to blogging once a week at least in 2013 (not counting all the freaking travel I probably have coming.)

I ended last year by inviting friends and colleagues to contribute pieces to the blog. It was content and let me get through the holiday rush in piece.

Not this year. This year I will be inviting everyone that guested on 3MA to contribute a link to something they wrote (preferably on strategy gaming) that they are especially proud of. People get on the podcast in two ways – they make a great game or they write stuff we like. I plan on highlighting the latter stuff in December.

Because this is a crap post, there will be a proper one by the weekend.


14 Comments so far ↓

  • Strangeblades

    “..still learning a job that changes as fast as technology allows it to. ” Yup. I hear that.

  • Bob

    Thanks for sharing a little glimpse into the Goodfellow household. I know I’ll be praying for you. I appreciate all the time and effort you have put into writing over the years, as well as the development of 3MA. You have always filled a niche in gaming for which I have never found a replacement. So thanks for the “crap” post, and I for one will look forward to whatever posts you’ll find time to write in the coming year.

  • Damian Kelleher

    I just discovered this website (yesterday!) and I am grateful it exists. PC gaming (and strategy gaming) is, at least in my experience, going through a resurgence, and I am glad there are people writing about my favourite genres.

    Keep up the good work. I have been enjoying going through your extensive archives, and I’ll keep an eye on everything in the future. Definitely keep going!

  • KG

    Glad you are sticking with FoS. Your thoughtful take on strategy games is much appreciated and would be sorely missed. I ‘m also a great fan of your 3MA podcast. It’s actually the first podcast I ever listened to and still my favorite. Kudos to you and Rob Zacny.

  • Duke

    I just discovered this website a week ago. Mostly because I was looking for a new podcast to listen to, but the blog looked good too. So, if you want to keep writing, keep writing! And I’ll keep checking my RSS feed. Good luck in your future!

  • Strangeblades

    Huh. Well, I could always link my horribly written, bad grammized, Tale of a Drunk Dictator. That was a Hearts of Iron III playthrough. Would that be cool?

  • Strangeblades

    Oh darn. “Especially proud of” Didn’t glom onto to that. Scratch my request then. :)

  • Scott

    Stay tough, young Padawan. Even if you’re not writing and gaming as much as you’d like, at least you get to work in an awesome field of your chosing.

  • Riadsala

    Let’s hope 2013 brings more writing!

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on Sins:Reb (which you mentioned). I thought the 3MA show on it was a little disappointing, as after playing the game, it feels a bit like a mis-step for the series. (Titan’s may be “cool” which seemed to be the 3MA panel’s verdict) but they seem to reduce the strategy and balance.

  • General Crespin

    I’ve listened to 3MA since nearly the beginning. I’ve not visited FoS as often or as regular as I’d like to, but, well, there’s a reason I listen to so many podcasts.

    Thanks for doing this as long as you have, and through it all.

  • ShadowTiger

    Flash of Steel is a great blog, and it helps fill in the gaps between episodes of 3MA! Also, I love reading your thoughts about games, they speak to me more than the articles i read on more mainstream websites. Good food for thought…. hence my frequent comments : D

  • Rob C

    I always enjoy your posts whether they come once a week or once a month. You have assembled quite the posse in the Flash of Steel stable. In addition to yourself, you have introduced me to the writings of Rob Z and Bruce G (although I did recall the name from when I was a Computer Gaming World subscriber). Throw in Tom Chick and you put all of my favorite game writers in one place. You have much to be proud of Troy and although I’m not the praying type you do have my best wishes that 2013 brings you fulfillment and happiness.

  • not that easily

    ‘if FoS faded away… it would not be missed’
    speak for yourself

  • Dave S

    Speaking as someone who has just cracked into the strategy games genre in force, I must say that even though I’ve only recently stumbled upon this hidden Mecca I would miss it wholeheartedly if it left. I pray things work out for you in your personal life. Also thank you for all the podcasts.( been listening to you guys for 8 hours a day while i work to catch up and it’s fantastic.) Everything is much appreciated.