Game reviews and editorials. Simple, and clear.

Archive for the ‘Site News’ Category

To My Readers – An Apology

I know there aren’t many of you. My WordPress stats are indicative of that. I have only two subscribers (and I love you both to death), and more recently, I stopped posting. Not intentionally, mind you. It happened though, and it was a hiatus I wasn’t expecting to take. It is one I felt was necessary. Please continue reading to see more.

I started writing reviews on my own because I enjoyed sharing my opinions with others. I also started writing because I didn’t like most of what the critics were saying. Their teams were made up of atypical gamers who liked mainstream titles and scoffed at entries that didn’t meet mainstream budget quotas. Being the ‘little guy’ all of my life, I understood and sympathized with those games. I wanted to bring them to a new light, and show the world that there were better games than those glorified behind big box names. I started this endeavor in 2007, and even through smaller and infrequent writing periods, I made it work.

I switched mediums, from MyOtaku to WordPress, in order to garner more exposure and publicity. With the two goals up above in mind, I wasn’t looking for much more than a small fanbase in order to spread the word. As I did this, two things were happening. I realized that the industry was changing, and that games were starting to become more and more accepted no matter where they came from. This meant that the goal I stood for was becoming more and more futile, as companies like Atlus, NIS America, and other third party brands were creating titles that were able to contend with big blockbusters like Halo, God of War, and the like. While still not on the same tier, their light bulb isn’t so dim anymore. Gamers are starting to see them get full page and half pages worth of material, instead of a small column or corner in a magazine.

I've had a clear goal in mind all along, but getting to my destination was always the biggest hurdle. How does one even go about doing it alone?

The other thing that was happening is that I found out that if you are willing to start by accepting a writing position that was unpaid, that there are many, many more like minded individuals who are looking to do the same thing you are. At first, this was through Unknown Gamer, then The Gaming Effect. Soon, I found myself applying in several different places and most people being very interested in my work. As I worked in each place, I obtained a lot of experience, a lot of friends, but better yet, I was gaining exposure. When I started this leg of my endeavors, I was cross posting my entries into both the website I was writing for, and this personal website. However, as time became more limited, I stopped posting here, and retained my writing only at the place of employment. That explains my lack of posts here.

Within each place, I looked to find a role that fit what I did. I love to write, I really do, but my passion, my goal ultimately in life is to head up my own video game company. In order to do that, I need experience heading up something else. To show that I have leadership qualities and can both develop and guide a team in a successful direction. Not only is that a quality I would love to demonstrate that I have, but I believe that it is what I am here to do. My success doesn’t come from me, but comes from every single person I am able to influence, even in the most trivial of ways. When I started writing for The Gaming Effect, I though that was going to be my big break. I was starting an online news source for video games with only a few others. I was able to really put my thinking cap on and work with my team in ways that I only dreamed of. Unfortunately, my EIC’s dreams did not remain there. Eventually the website was shut down to the point you see now, and myself as well as the other two members were left with only questions.

I started applying more places, looking for something to fill the void. I joined up with Real Otaku Gamer, wrote one review, and realized that I wasn’t a fit for their style of writing and managing. I didn’t feel as if I had any direction, or room to grow, and it wasn’t for me. The EIC and owner of ROG was extremely understanding of both my lack of writing, and my departure. We remained in good standings now, and we still talk to each other via Twitter. We both understand what the other is looking for, and respect that.

My most recent endeavor involved putting my name out to two companies: GameNTrain and Totally Gaming Network. TGN was a universal website, based in both the US and UK that specializes in all of  the newest consoles. They were really supportive of me, and expressed great interest in my writing. However, I realized that the ‘team’ was only being headed up by one guy, which meant that entry would have needed me to write on a basis that was much more frequent than I could devote time into. I commend the gentleman who spent some time trying to work with me, however, even through his emails it was easy to see that he didn’t have time to work with someone. He was struggling to keep the website alive on his own. While I would have loved to help him out, I had already had experience with a team that wasn’t fundamentally established, and I did not wish to repeat that.

I explored a lot of different options when it came to writing, but none truly felt fitting for me. This changed when I found GameNTrain.

GameNTrain, however, brought a lot to the table, and made me see something that I hadn’t seen before: an opportunity. They were looking for a writer who was able to write at least once a week, and to provide good, solid content. I applied for the position and had a Skype interview a few days later with the EIC and Owner, Eric Hoff. Eric was an awesome, down-to-Earth individual with reasonable expectations and a love for the industry. What drew me to GNT, however, was the unique audience that he was trying to capture. GNT was focused not only on the gamers, but the fitness buffs as well. He wanted to show the community that there is a way to fill the gap between gaming and staying in shape. When I interviewed with him, I saw a well respected, established individual with goals, a dream, and drive. I also saw a very original and potentially successful opportunity that would finally allow me to do what I’ve wanted to do: run a well-oiled machine.

After our interview, I was established credentials, and was free to write. And write I did. Since March, I have written several articles, mostly reviews, but a few editorials, that have a home on GameNTrain’s website. Due to my emphasis on trying to keep high quality articles there, I have had little motivation in cross posting over to my personal blog. I feel as though doing so would be doing my co-workers, and more importantly, my EIC an injustice. That’s where I think things are so different there. At the other websites, I didn’t mind doing that as much. At GNT, I care a lot more and am more cautions about my actions that would pull away any site visits.

I’ve only been writing for a month and some weeks now, so I am still the low man on the totem pole. I am trying my hardest to be patient, but I want more than anything for this site to skyrocket. Even moreso, I want to hopefully be a reason that it does so. I don’t want to do it for me, though. I want to do it for Eric, for taking the time out to let me write under his label. I want to do it for the team members who write along side of me and have similar dreams. I want to do it for the industry, because I believe a website like GameNTrain is a real eye opener. I am not like most reviewers. I don’t beg for review copies of games, and I am not in this industry for the swag or insider tips. I do this to build myself professionally. I hope to one day give back to gamers what video games have given to me all of my life: joy and entertainment.

I recently made a discovery. I never had anyone to look up to. I loved video games, but I never idolized any particular company or person. I just never paid much attention to it. I knew some names, I favored companies, but I never looked up to any particular individual until recently. I have enjoyed each and every game that they released. I love what they stand for, I watch interviews with their President to see if I can somehow grasp her concepts, share her mind and see what it is that makes her, her team, and games all tick. Her name is Kellee Santiago, and she is the president of thatgamecompany. Everything that they stand for, I treasure. I love their approach to the industry, I was completely taken away by their games, and I feel that everything about what they do is a step in the right direction for gaming as a whole. I believe that with the right team, I can do the same thing and more. When I hear her talk, it sounds like me. Her innovation, her thought process, and even the way she speaks.

Kellee Santiago has indirectly shown me that I can still do what I've always dreamed of doing. I just have to keep my 'flow.'

I’ve struggled a lot with where I wanted to be in the video game industry. I bounced from idea to idea, even thinking that the only way I could ever get into a company was if I forced myself to learn programming. She and Jenova’s relationship made me reconsider that. Confirmation from one of the team members I had the honor of getting a response back from confirmed it. I can find and secure my dream just yet, I just have to find the right team that’s willing to believe in my idea, and follow through with me. Before I can do that, however, I need to prove myself as a leader. Not just any leader though. I want to prove myself as a successful leader. One that can lead his team into battle and come out on top with minimal casualties. I want to prove myself as a driven leader. One that can find an idea, stick to it through the very end, and come out with an idea that is both beautiful and original. I want to prove myself as a cooperative leader. One that can identify his weakest links and walk with them to encourage then and hopefully share his passion to help them work through those weaknesses, and become better individuals. I want to prove myself as a strong leader. One that people can look to for dependence and strength, even in the low times. I want to be able to demonstrate all of these qualities and more, as I look to constantly improve my own talents, skills, abilities, and professionalism with each new experience I have.

Thank you for listening to my rant. I hope anyone who reads this will continue to follow my readings over at GameNTrain. If anyone is reading this now, and you think that your goals are even remotely in line with my own. Please feel free to reach out to me. I will be more than happy to talk about your dreams and goals too. Take care for now.

It will be a long and perilous journey, but one I believe will be filled with extremely rewarding outcomes. This is especially true if I continue to find good people, like those that I've found at GNT.

2011 in review

Editor’s Note: WordPress sent me this report to sum up my 2011. I must say I am quite happy with the results. I hope that these numbers continue to grow as I continue to write. Thank you to everyone who have found interest and information in my writing.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.