November Necessities…

November, like every other month, was incredibly busy. I’m actually starting to wonder if I’ll ever have any free time – but I usually don’t get very far along that line of thinking because some new project usually pops up.

Speaking of which, I’ve actually got two new game projects on the go at the moment. One of them is a sort of trash-game idea that Craig Lager and I decided to collaborate on after a drunken conversation earlier this year. The other is just sketched out on paper but is an idea I’ve been toying with since January. The first is codenamed Project NSFW, while the latter is codenamed Project Pretentious. I’m good with codenames.

Read on to find out what else I managed to get up to in November and about a new super-elite forum Craig’s launched.

As always, the month started with my usual work for Custom PC Magazine. I made the mistake of looking at how many issues of the magazine I’ve worked on over the years at one point this month, but was thankfully able to block the feelings of Immense Oldness out by focusing on writing. The result was reviews for games such as Far Cry 3, 007 Legends, Hotline Miami and a philosophical preview of Simcity, among other things.

Since I can’t link to the magazine though, I’ll take this opportunity to say that 007 Legends on PC is genuinely one of the worst games I’ve ever played, even compared to Conspiracy Island 2.

Anyway, after that it was on to some new work for Computer Active Magazine. That work should be going up online in the near future, but it included a review of the fabulous Stealth Bastard Deluxe and the more predictably mediocre Mensa Academy.

I also did my first work this year for Trusted Reviews this month too. That included lots of articles about Nintendo, my favourite of which was a look at the company’s origins over the years. I also wrote up a second review of Far Cry 3 for them, as well as a bunch of other little bits which are too numerous to link to.

After that there was even more work, this time for Bit-tech. That included a preview of Dead Space 3 (which I hated) and another review of Far Cry 3 (which I loved). I also did an unusual review of Hotline Miami, which got a lot of attention and was singled out by Good Games Writing to boot. Yay!

On a similar topic, the OhNoVideogames Podcast said some lovely things about Unlimited Hyperbole too this month, which finished up the third season more popular than ever before. We’re now working on the next season and could use your help, incidentally.

Finally, at the very end of the month, I managed to squeeze in a substantial non-gaming feature for PC Pro Magazine. There’s no way to make the concept sound sexy, so I’ll just come out and say it: I looked at standing desks for them. Trust me, it may not be a sexy-sounding feature, but it’s still worth a read.

As is an article I did earlier this year for Continue Magazine about ARGs, which is now available online.

Then there’s that new forum I mentioned. Basically, Craig and I were talking on Twitter with Mike Cook and, after much hoo-hah, we decided we’d like to have a better place for discussion – somewhere without any background noise and so on. The solution was straightforward; a forum which functions like a private members club. Everyone can see what’s posted, but in order to post yourself you need to be recommended to Craig by an existing member.

It’s a bit elitist and needless, perhaps – but the conversations have been worthwhile. Here’s an essay I wrote this morning about Receiver, for example. The image above is from Receiver too, which may well be one of the best games out this year.

Meanwhile, November was personally a very boozy month for me – we hosted a wine tasting at my new flat and then spent the following week at a beer tasting in Brewdog. The alcohol wasn’t nearly as punishing for my body as the annual Custom PC mince pie megatest though – but you’ll have to read about that next month…

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