Life Update and 2017 Plans
December 22, 2016

Before I say anything else, let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and/or any other holiday(s) you might celebrate between now and whenever.

My own holiday season kicked off, you might say, when I discovered that my month-to-month work for one of my clients--which I've been doing for around 5 years--won't be continuing. Thankfully, I had done a bunch of work for a different client ahead of that, and the client that ended our former arrangement did throw some other work my way in December (and might again next month), so I should be able to weather this particular storm. However, it's almost entirely bad news and it means a monthly budget of $1000 to $1500 less than what I was barely getting by with before. Happy holidays to me, right?

The up side to the sudden change is that I have more time to do more writing and other work on pet projects, and to just kick back and watch DVDs, so I've been doing that to make sure that I don't spend all of my time stressing out over how I'll pay my bills in 2017. I've learned a lot about how to deal with stress and anxiety over the last couple of years or so (and even took a college class on the subject), since those ailments have been causing huge problems in my life, so I feel like I'm better equipped to handle all of this than I would have been if everything crashed down around me in 2013 or 2014. Probably.

Going forward, I'm not sure where my money will all come from, but for now I plan to continue working to find freelance work online. If that doesn't go well, then maybe I can find a crappy job here locally (that's the only sort of job around here, a sort of tradeoff for living so close to the ocean that I can smell the sea air if I leave my window open at night). I also plan to spend my free time working on material for HonestGamers.

Over the past few years, it seems like I find energy to work at HonestGamers only in fits and spurts. That has made it difficult to build momentum, which sucks. I think the site has tremendous potential, and I'd love to see it reach more of it. In 2016, we did see some slight growth, helped largely by our growing community of PC enthusiasts. That activity and growth excite me more than I suspect anyone realizes, because PC gaming has become a huge and vital part of the industry. It's not the part of the industry that most interests me in particular, but I love seeing that vibrant scene covered by people who obsess over new and old games the way I do console-related stuff.

In 2017, I'm hopeful that the PC side of the site will continue to thrive, with more reviews from staff and freelancers, and continued community growth. We already have some awesome people writing about games here, and I hope that their hard work will inspire others to pitch in, as well. The more people we have covering games of all sorts, the more useful the site becomes as a resource. There's just no way we'll ever be able to cover all games as they release. Too much stuff arrives each week. But if we all make an effort to play and write about those games that matter to us, I feel like great things can't help but happen.

Personally, I'm looking forward to focusing (again) on covering console games, and Nintendo platforms in particular. The increased PC coverage has been exciting to see, and I love reading occasional mobile reviews too (like the reviews from overdrive and joethedestroyer for a lot of Android titles), but it seems like we're seeing far fewer console and handheld games get covered in the process. Since I love console games, I feel like it only makes sense for me to buckle down and start reviewing more of them myself.

If you have known me for long, then you know that I love Nintendo's games. Nintendo is the reason I became a gamer, and the games that arrive on Nintendo platforms are--to this day--the titles that I tend to enjoy playing the very most. I've also recently decided to try and make more happen on Patreon (as I discussed previously), and it occurred to me that I have the best chance at building an audience if I'm focusing on areas of particular interest, rather than following a scattershot approach that sees me cover a little bit of everything.

So in 2017, look for me to cover almost exclusively console games, once I catch up on some other reviews I have in the works. I'll still cover other titles when it makes sense (if I have to play through a game for a freelance job and am free to review it here, for instance), but mostly I am excited to stick to titles that appear on Nintendo platforms. Old, new, indie, mainstream... all of it. There actually are thousands of titles to choose from, including thousands that haven't yet been covered on the site, so I know I'll be able to stay busy.

Thanks again for your support, everyone, and I look forward to a busy and hopefully exciting year to follow. Let's continue playing and writing about the games we love (and sometimes the ones that disappoint us, too), because that's what this community is all about. I'm excited to get to know you all better in the coming months, and I look forward to the shared gaming experiences that fill our time. Happy holidays, everyone!

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Nightfire Nightfire - December 22, 2016 (05:14 PM)
Sorry about the bad news, Jason. 2016 has been "teh suck" for a lot of people, myself included. However, clearing away the old only leaves room for newer, better things, right?

I'll continue to contribute and review PC stuff, because that's what I do. Wish I could do more than that, but right now I've also got my own problems to deal with.

Anyway, here's to a better, less awful 2017. *raises glass*
hastypixels hastypixels - December 22, 2016 (06:09 PM)
Christmas has been a mixed bag for me here, too. The work's available, but my health just took a hit during the pre-winter snow fall, so writing reviews was almost all I could manage ... as well as updating the ACME Resource Pack for Minecraft. The timing worked out very well though, so I'm pleased with all of that.

Transition can be hard, but I have confidence in your attitude. I can only think of positives, of gains, that I've received for joining this site and contributing to it. I plan to carry on doing that for as long as it makes sense for me to do so. I can't think of a single site that is as accessible and no-nonsense as this one.

Looking forward I expect to continue focusing on PC games, but I do plan to buy a Nintendo Switch, so I might get into doing reviews for those as well. I love reviewing console games, I've spent so much time with them!

Thank you, and here's looking forward to a challenge, but a worthy one!
pickhut pickhut - December 22, 2016 (09:50 PM)
Always sucks to end the year on a low note, but I'm sure you'll bounce back and be back on your feet.

I feel you on never having enough time to do projects you want to do. I very much enjoy writing reviews, but sometimes it comes at the expense of doing other projects I usually hold off on. Well, that and work. It's an awkward balancing act, but I think I've done a slightly better job at swinging back and forth between activities in the last few months.

Here's hoping more things get done, especially the tasks we really want to finish, in the coming year.
honestgamer honestgamer - December 23, 2016 (10:44 AM)
Thanks for the show of support, guys! I hope the site can continue to be a fun distraction for each of us in 2017.

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