The holiday season is brutal for everyone when it comes to the first world problem of being into geeky stuff. Invariably, this is when the most best/new things of the year come out in an effort to win our hard earned money.
Gamers in particular get hammered every fall leading into winter as the deluge of promised games past finally make it from the shelves into our homes. I feel the burn from both sides of the the candle being a game designer by trade. All too often the holiday season is fraught with pushing to get games out before the year is up, and it makes it worse when you want to play everyone else's stuff.
Luckily for me, the biggest push I worked on last fall was the effort in getting the first beta candidates out for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and it wasn't so involved and panic stricken as past events. That left me time to actually buy a couple games and play them, but that wasn't without its perils.
I admit, I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I do try to get most major releases on consoles across the multiple platforms to keep up with things and to satisfy my own curiosities. That being said, the Steam sale that happens every winter invariably ends up causing a glut in my gaming queue that results in some games falling by the wayside, no matter how much I enjoy them.
I've been trying to find time for the new Star Wars MMO (lets have a moment of silence for the ill fated Star Wars Galaxies, may by dancer/swordsman rest in peace) while trying to play the couple of console games my wife bought me for my birthday and Christmas.
I still find myself trying to maintain some level of skill at shooters other than Counterstrike so I don't totally lose my touch at them, all the while trying to maintain the meager skills I've developed in League of Legends and the DOTA2 beta.
It's all too much.
Yeah, poor baby.
I know I'm not the only one who contends with this though, Its something that happens to just about everyone I know that is into gaming. There just is too much to play in a short period of time, and you really have to pace that out.
For example people devoured or are still masticating on Skyrim, while I've probably only logged about 6 hours on it. I know its there, and that its wonderful, but my free 30 days are ticking away on the Old Republic, and if i don't get my money's worth out of that and get "hooked" I'll have to cancel that game and write it off as another MMO that didn't quite capture the imagination.
I could probably go on and on about KOTOR actually. Half of it I really like, and the other half bewilders me. I'm often left wondering why I should even have to put up with other people taking my kills, because that is pretty mu ch the only depth of interaction I have with them, and that includes the fact that I'm in a 30 person guild in there.
I think that kind of sums up how I've been feeling about alot of games I've bought lately. They all sound like a great idea, but the portion where I really want it to be executed well, never really gels with me.
Take for example Forza 4. I love the game and I really like the game mechanics there for the most part. I can't complain about the cars, the tracks, the physics, all of it is there. But why do they make it so hard to find and start custom games for multiplayer now? I want to know why its easier to start a custom game in say PGR3 which is aeons old, but the latest and greatest driving game out there makes this difficult to do. Don't get me wrong, its not impossible, but its just little tiny features, and the way the menus are ordered. They make it harder to find custom games than I think it should be, and the result of that is its hard to find random people to play with. Match making does not send people your way, they have to actively seek these custom games out.
Anyways, as usual, my interests are varied, and my time is short, so I have to pick and choose what I want to get into. I can never truly master any of these games, I just don't have the time for it. Those are the woes of adulthood and holding down a real job when all you want to really do is play games all day. Being a game designer is the next best thing, but you don't get to choose what game you get to play all day. That being said, I wonder who is gonna win? Terrorists or Counter-Terrorists, I guess I should go find out some more.