2022 Reflections and 2023 Goals

I wasn’t going to make a New Year post this year, but upon reflection it almost feels necessary. Instead of publicly reflecting on what has been a particularly difficult year for me, I think it will be a lot more useful and enjoyable to think of what comes next.  

A constant in my life is my resistance to consistency. Give me 6 months of anything and I need change, it is just the way of the Noob. With that in mind, these are the latest thoughts in the everchanging realm that is my brain. 

Twitch

I am really enjoying my current schedule on Twitch. Two consecutive days and a seperate third is pleasing for me, allowing me to get into a zone and then let it go to work on other things. I recognise that a day stream can be inconvenient for many and I wish that I could change that, but it is the only way this structure fits together with my other commitments for the time being.

When it comes to game choice, I am going to continue to alternate longer games with shorter ones. This year we played a few games that were the start of a series. For now, I am going to continue to prioritise new games over sequels. This is because there are still so many games that I have no experience in. I’d rather spread the limited time I have around to new experiences wherever I can. That doesn’t mean we won’t be playing sequels, but do expect the potential of years between them.

I am going to continue to balance older and newer games in the same way, but all of this is really dictated by whatever I have access to at the time. Anything with limited access is probably going to take priority.

YouTube

Something that I have learned this year is that I need recording time to balance out stream time. Both are great but they are entirely different experiences that I love for their own reasons. A YouTube playthrough is entirely about the game. For this reason, I am really looking forward to bringing Let’s Plays back. I am unsure about the distant future but I have a list of games that may end up lasting the entire year without any further planning, so that is one possibility.

The current plan is Let’s Plays 3x a week, Indie Showcase Saturdays forever, and I have some other ideas. Depending on my workload, a potential I have been considering is Repentance Sundays. I haven’t played any of the Repentance DLC for The Binding of Isaac yet. It could be fun to put out a run or two a week as I get to know the new content. I will see how my schedule is in a few weeks.

YouTube is such a strange thing for me. I have been doing it for much longer than Twitch but can’t say I have ever found what anyone would call success. It is wonderful to hear when people enjoy my videos, or the rare occasion I see my series is being binged. But when you look at my overall time, I can’t help but think there is a problem. The trouble is, it is hard to figure out what the problem is. Is it just oversaturation, or is it my content? Occasionally an Indie Showcase video will get more viewers than normal because it gets in the algorithm, but it rarely ever translates into more subscribers. I have tried to make my intros as short as I can while including all of the information. I kind of like my thumbnails how they are. My channel is clearly organised. I have tried calls to action but I just can’t do it. I can’t help question whether I am just not entertaining enough. My philosophy is that I make the content that I would want to watch. The thing is, I can have weird and different tastes that potentially others don’t. All of this is to say – I would LOVE for my YouTube to become something. I am not a fool and know it wont, which even makes it difficult to admit my aspiration. But man, I love what I do and just wish it had more appeal. I think the only actionable thing that I can do towards that at the moment is to keep creating.

Just to be clear, I didn’t used to care about numbers, but since trying to make my content a sustainable career it makes it especially sad to think about. Unless something drastic happens, it is not going to work out long term, which sucks but I do need to start coming to terms with.

Blog

I go through phases with my writing. Blog time has been wonderful in a year when I haven’t always felt up to speaking or being around folks. Having said that, if I am not in ‘the mood’ then what I write can be just terrible. When I started using my Blog more regularly this year I hoped that I would do some more thought pieces, a hope that I will bring forward into 2023. The amount of half written pieces and pages of notes that I have that just need a little more time in the oven is excessive. I want to write things worth reading, but I also have to work on finishing them.

I have really enjoyed writing reviews this year and I hope to continue. I have found a format that clicks very well with my thought process that I also believe is good and reader friendly. It has been a great outlet, particularly for games that I didn’t play on stream. What I would like to do going forward is take this to the next level. I would like my reviews and my blog in general to be visually friendly and interesting too. While I don’t have specific ideas yet, I am taking inspiration from the magazine I made.

I’m making it a goal this year to try out a monthly game service recap post, as well as finally figuring out my own way of covering the Indie Festivals. These things are the type that need to develop over time, but I hope to make a start on them relatively soon.

Others

Game Dev – I am in a place in my life where I need to seriously consider my future. I have worked so hard since I lost my job, trying out different things and seeing if I can find a place. Unfortunately, I am still struggling with that. I want to work in games, but I am not skilled enough to write or design anything professionally. Once my schedule has settled down, I would really like to look into Game Development. It is a little difficult because I don’t know what areas I could be good at, so I would like to dip into a bit of everything and see what calls to me. I find self learning incredibly difficult but in my current situation, I have to use all of the time that I can right now to develop a skill that can help me be self sufficient in the future. The great thing about this is that I am surrounded by talented, creative and motivated people. I would like to join that group too!

Podcast – Finally, I have been wanting this for so long that I am writing it here for my own benefit if nothing else. I have so much on my plate currently, no matter how much I wish I could make a Podcast, the circumstances just aren’t right. I still have hope for the future but for now, I have to eliminate this from my current goals. The strange part about doing that is that Podcasts are probably my favourite form of entertainment. I really enjoy and respect them, but as a result of that, I don’t want to do it until I can do it right and that unfortunately just isn’t now.

While this has been a little back and forth on past reflection vs the future plans, I believe they go hand in hand and I do like to let everyone know where I stand every once in a while. It is an unfortunate fact that I don’t know what the state of my content will be in a few months time, let alone a year. Realistically, at the current rate, I will have to be seeking other employment before then. The thing is, I desperately need that to be something that I enjoy. So this year is really going to be a juggling act between trying to grow my current content while also learning new skills. There was a time in my past that I found the unknown exciting more than scary, that is how I would like to be again. I am going to do everything in my power to make 2023 a great year.

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