20170420

KotOR No More ... until mid-May

Hey ya'll. I'm putting the KotOR stream series on hold until mid-May. I need the time on Thursday and Friday nights for other things.

I'll be doing random, barely-announced streams at other times. I'll still stream Dawn of War III beta this weekend.

-Blaine

Happy Almost-Friday

I didn't post the last couple days, but I still wanna be your favorite bloggist.

Some shit got kinda dramatic in a few parts of life, and it was a couple days in which it was best if I avoided a medium in which I tell the world what I'm thinking about or what's going on.

It can be hard to maintain perspective at times, especially if you've got a history that's had some rather dramatic moments, but not in a while, if ya follow me. I thrive on being boring. I'm boring by design.

That being said, sometimes shit happens, and it's no one's fault. You can either keep it to yourself, or you can talk to someone. I encourage you to talk to someone. If you think you can't find someone to talk to, keep trying. You might be surprised. Just don't give up. It's worth it to keep trying.

While talking, make sure to listen, too. I had a good friend this morning throw something back at me from another perspective that really surprised me, and it was actually extremely helpful, and something I needed to hear.

When you feel like you're in crisis, clear your head, and really look around you. Your support network is bigger than you realize.

Anyway ...



I'm really stoked because Dawn of War 3 is out in a week, followed by Prey the next week, and I'm already backlogged by Mass Effect: Andromeda, Torment: Tides of Numenera, and Horizon Zero Dawn. Oh, and Elder Scrolls Online gets the Morrowind expac in June.

The good thing is that, after that, I've presumably got several months until anything interesting releases.

Regardless, this weekend, DoW3 is running an open beta that I'll be streaming on Twitch. I'm stoked to get in there and get my ass handed to me. I've loved the Dawn of War series for a long, long time, and I've loved Relic's ambitious and unapologetic approach. They drastically change the game with each numbered release, and that's kept the series fresh while also pushing the medium forward.

I'm not sure exactly what I'll be going live. I'm guessing probably Sunday? My weekends are back to being crazy for a while. Either way, I'll post to Twitter and probably here.

That KotOR Streaming Series
We're resuming the stream tonight and tomorrow night!

My last two episodes, the mic was fucked. I'm sorry. Thank the Maker for a friend that popped in and told me. That has been fixed, and we're resuming tonight!

I'll be going live around 8PM central both nights. Tonight, we start Tattooine, which is a really fun planet in KotOR.

Other Gaming Stuff
My gaming time, lately, is really cut down. That should alleviate once we into the second week in May. I think.

What little time I've had has been devoted, mostly, to Mass Effect: Andromeda, which I'm still really enjoying. I'm also squeezing in some Elder Scrolls Legends when I can, here and there. I hit a point the other night, though, where I really needed something else. I'm not a one-game guy. I'm just not. I fired up Torment for the first time in a month (I got frustrated by an unwinnable battle and Mass Effect hit), and fell right back in love. I was able to come at the battle another way, with no fighting, and move things forward. God, I love that game.



I think my goal is to finish Mass Effect and Torment before E3. We'll see. It would be fun to take the summer and do something different, which is play mostly PlayStation games. My family and I use the Xbox One constantly, but hardly ever touch the PS4, but it has two games I want to finish, which are Horizon and Uncharted 4.

I'm also giving thought to writing off console exclusives altogether. Console games are very inconvenient for me to play, and I really think I might just vote against them with my dollar. Not releasing every game on the device on which it was developed is just stupid. Not being able to take a game on the road or to work or mod it or any of that shit in 2017 is absurd, and I don't want to support it.

Anyway, that's all for now. Time for movie lunch at work.

Oh shit, and there's a new SWTOR release. I need to play that!

-Blaine

20170417

Let the countdown to E3 begin in earnest

Yeah, so I more or less start the countdown to E3 as soon as the previous one ends. Yeah, I love it that much.

I don't REALLY start thinking about it much until I start seeing how publishers are positioning products marketing-wise in December at the Game Awards. That often tells me a lot about what we're gonna see in the spring, versus what will still need to show at E3 the following year.

I start really zeroing in on it a bit more when spring training hits, as that's the last HUGE thing for me, in terms of time off from work, before E3.

Star Wars Celebration is now inserted in there, as well, though they're skipping it next year. Sigh ...

... so yeah, I'm now fully locked in on E3, which is now only two months away. A little less, actually.



As has been happening the last couple years, the major press conferences are spreading out more and more, as publishers jockey to dominate the news cycle for at least a day each before the show starts on the Tuesday of E3 week. We now have EA going on Saturday, MS and Bethesda on Sunday, and I'm assuming, Ubi and Sony on Monday. I'd love to see PC Gamer Show return, as well. With Monday wide open now, maybe they could slot in early? I dunno. That's usually Microsoft's spot, but they've jumped to the day before, so who knows what the hell is gonna happen now?

And E3 is changing. They're now open to the public, publishers are setting up their own nearby events, some publishers have returned, and the online viewership is higher than ever. I love it.

Where once it was an event that a lot of read about a month or more later in a printed magazine, everything from the nature of the vertical slice demos (more and more, they're just recorded videos) to the cost and bombast of the pressers (they're bigger and louder than ever) is totally different, and that's not even bringing up the 'live at E3' streams that have cropped up in the last decade.

I remember first 'watching' E3 on G4TV. I actually went a couple years, before ever watching it at home, and I gotta tell ya, watching it at home is better, though I am ever-thankful for the context that actually having gone has provided me. If you've never gone, and you love games, just go at least once. It's fucking rad, and if you're working, be prepared to lose about 10 pounds. For real.

I'm really curious to see how the show and its attached pressers/events 'feel' when there's more breathing room.



And for the uninitiated, E3 is really two distinct parts. First, there's the 'PRE3 Pressers,' as I call them, where each of the major publishers (Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, Bethesda, and Sony) takes the stage and announces the announcements that leaked the week before.

The second part, the actual 'E3' floor show, runs Tuesday through Thursday that week. That's where you see all the live demos and shit.

So, I'm really curious to see how this year feels. It'll be fun.

I'm also curious to see how the show evolves in other ways. I think one thing that they can do is chase after more of the PC indies. The console 'indies' get plenty of love by being propped up by the console holder, so it'd be nice to see games like Wasteland 3 and Pillars of Eternity 2 get some love. This is as much on the press outlets as it is the show organizers.

I think it may also be time to check against the original purpose of the show, which was to hype games and gaming-related products to press outlets and retailers. While I'm not opposed to allowing the general public into the show, I think maybe they should restrict the hours or days in which the general public can attend. I promise you, the general public being in attendance is going to be a problem this year.

But we'll see.

I think, over the next several weeks, I'm going to do a column or two on what I wanna see at the show this year, as well as some previews of products that I know are going to be there, about which I'm excited. Good times.

What about you? What's got you stoked for E3 this year?

-Blaine