I've been thinking a lot lately about my connection to the gaming industry. It seems over the past couple of years I've been really out of the loop. I feel disconnected, even from the games I love like Castles & Crusades. Eden Studios has been off the map for awhile. I talk to George regularly, but there haven't been any major developments. I'm not sure why, exactly--it's his company, his business, and he knows I'm there for development the minute he's ready to ramp up again. George and Eden have always been very good to me, and I feel a sense of loyalty to them which I suspect will extend even past the (hopeful) day when I'm publishing bestselling novels.
I rarely go over to the Troll Lord website these days. There's a modest "bummed out" feeling towards that due to the several years' worth of delays on my pulp game, but TLG are great guys and I dearly love C&C.
It seems since Dungeons & Dragons 4th ed came out I've fallen away from the industry. It's no secret I'm not a fan of that game; I've also been pretty open about my displeasure that they canceled the Star Wars license. I left posting on RPG.Net because the posters there are just too hostile and argumentative towards anyone who holds a dissenting opinion. If you refuse to argue, you're accused of trying to start arguments or being aggressive (or defensive, take your pick). I guess the glut of hostility finally outweighed the usefulness of the site for me. But it was a central hub for the gaming industry so I find myself at a loss for news and updates without it. Maybe I'll try lurking there for awhile just to keep up on trends and rumors.
Even bigger, however, has been the combination of grad school and my job. These two things take up a ridiculous amount of time. I used to have a very laid-back job that allowed me time to balance school and life. That's changed. My current job (with the new boss) has been some new responsibility laid on my head every day. That I have time to type this blog is incredible, and it's being done in 2 minute spats over several hours. Should I be doing it at work at all? Probably not, but who out there can honestly claim they get no down time at work, ever, and don't use that down time to look at a message board or otherwise surf the web?
It's not even a busy time, here. I dread the day when all of my responsibilities kick up at the same time and there flat-out aren't enough hours in the day to do them all. I'm literally doing 4 full-time jobs on my own right now. Given that, my time outside of work is pretty much taken up by school these days. Tuesday and Wednesday nights I have class, and spend a lot of time doing homework outside of those days, aside from a couple days a week when I have scheduled (yes, scheduled) social time to keep me sane.
I haven't been able to get any real writing done in forever, it seems. My new hobbies (Star Wars costuming and lightsaber building) are expensive and time consuming--they may not last as a result, even though I really love doing them both and the communities are full of very cool people.
So what this all comes down to is, I need to find a way to reconnect. I miss the d20 boom of the early 2000's, when it seemed the gaming industry was up for a new golden age. Too bad it crashed so hard, so fast. I'm enjoying being involved with the old-school gaming community, but let's face it--the pulse there is entirely different than the pulse in the current game publishing industry and nobody there (yet) has the funds to really make any kind of waves. When I go to the FLGS these days, I find that while lots of new stuff seems to be on the shelf, very little of it is remotely of interest to me. I've come to that point where even if a book looks good, I realize I'll probably never play the game so I don't bother with it.
Oh, gods, I've grown up. That sucks and it needs to stop. It's high time, as I posted on my facebook status a few weeks back, that I start making sure my inner child lets my outer adult pay bills...and that's it.
I haven't even touched on music. Long story short: same deal. Artists I used to follow religiously are now all but off my radar. That's because all the good record stores are gone in the wake of iTunes. It saddens me that in the future young music fans will never know the thrill in getting your hands on an import or bootleg of your favorite band or film--because it's all there at the click of a button for download, now (even if not entirely legally). In some ways the Internet's ability to make things so much faster and easier has ruined the joy of them. The thrill of the quest is gone in the wake of instant gratification. I worry about the day (and it's coming, mark my words) when nobody has to leave their house.
Anyway, yeah, movies, gaming, music, comics, all those hobbies I had that I dearly loved...I've just lost my connection to the communities. I need to find some time, drive and passion to get back, somehow. School, at least, is temporary. It'll last another year and I'll be done there. I need to have my bills paid down by then so I can start plugging away at the student loans, for which I used up my grace period long ago. Things are on the horizon--good things, I hope. I can feel it, but sometimes it seems the horizon never gets any closer. Other times it seems too close for comfort. All I can do is wait till I get there and keep looking for ways to reconnect until then.
Guess that's all. A bit disjointed but yeah, 2 hours in spurts of a few sentences at a time and a lot of thoughts to put down. Hope it makes a modicum of sense. Until next time.