Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018: The Redemption Run

2017 was an interesting year, to put it lightly.  An over-bearing boss and demeaning work schedule left me feeling miserable and lifeless during the first half of the year.  I tried to put out content, but I didn't have the urge to write and when I did, I was less than satisfied with how the reviews turned out.  The situation looked dire, but in August of 2017, we got a new boss, and I started my junior year of college.  However, I had to take a break from writing, so I could rehabilitate myself after all the turmoil I went through months prior.  In January 2018, I returned to what I did best.

Though not without its slip-ups, I can safely say 2018 turned out to be a pretty good year both for myself and the blog.  As of December 30, 2018, I published 33 reviews this year alone, and the blog itself has over 5,400 views.  Most, if not all of the reviews were planned ahead of time, but a few weren't.  Reviews of The Predator and the blu-ray for Return of the Living Dead Part II were done on my own intuition.  I wrote an article on The Predator to express my disappointment with the film, and when Scream Factory announced they were putting out Return of the Living Dead Part II on blu-ray, I knew I had to pre-order it and review it once the film arrived.

Will this trend continue into next year?  Definitely.  I know I would like to review Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which releases in May, but we'll see what happens.  In general, I tried to be a bit more ambitious with my articles, what with doing double-feature reviews of video games and publishing a series retrospective in December.  I did the back-to-back reviews of Medal of Honor and Burnout because on their own, the individual articles would have been very short, so I thought why not just pair up the games into their own reviews?  As for Destroy All Humans, I had always wanted to cover the series proper and figured this would be the year to do it since it was also ten years since the last game in the series was released.  What I did not expect, though, was that I would get to talk about content removed from Path of the Furon.

As I explained in the article, I tried to get in contact with people involved in the making of the game, but they denied my requests.  Eventually, someone who was a tester on Path of the Furon and the previous two games agreed to share their stories on being a tester for those games, and this individual even got me in contact with someone who had design documents used in the development of Path of the Furon and Big Willy Unleashed.  Sifting through the documents and picking them apart for interesting information was a blast, and I want to thank the two individuals, whose names shall be kept anonymous, for helping me out.

Say what you want about 2018, but for me, personally, it was a solid year.  Instead of being constantly confined to school and work, I was able to travel to not one, but three conventions over the course of the year.  In June, I went to the Mississippi Comic Con and met popular gaming critic Jim Sterling, who was shooting footage for an upcoming episode of his series "The Jimquistion" there at the event, and I also met legendary actor Michael Biehn, who's best known for Aliens, The Terminator, and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.  In October, I attended the Gulf Coast Fan Fest as part of a news story I was writing.  There, I met David Naughton from An American Werewolf in London and Kent McCord from Battlestar Galactica and Return of the Living Dead 3.

Speaking of meeting people, I brought back something I intended to make a recurring thing on the blog: interviews.  In September, I sat down with Lee McCoy, creator of the YouTube channel DrumDums, and we spent nearly two hours talking about the origins of his channel, how to keep viewers interested in what you put out, horror, and much more.  As a fan of his work, it was an honor to be able to speak with him, and going into next year, I want interviews to become a permanent part of GamerGuy's Reviews.

Although I am proud of myself for picking up the slack and getting back into the swing of things, there's a lot of room for improvement.  The biggest challenge I'm working on to overcome is time management; in other words, devoting time during the day to write reviews and subsequently publish them.  There's a lot of articles that didn't happen simply because I didn't plan ahead or got too caught up in finishing school assignments.  The biggest victim of the schedule lapse was Drive-In of Terror.  For two years, I've tried to make this a fun occasion, but this year, I only got two of the intended six reviews out.  Heck, Friday the 13th: The Game wasn't even planned to be covered but I threw it in to tide things over as best as possible.

What I've realized is in order to properly plan ahead for things, I need a calendar.  Luckily, I've gotten not one, but two calendars for 2019 to help me keep track of when I need to write reviews and publish them.  With the calendars, everything should come out on time, and in the case of Drive-In of Terror, I'll make sure to go ahead and write all articles in the summer, so I can just publish them on their respective dates when October rolls around.

On the subject of next year, there's a lot of changes and new content coming to GamerGuy's Reviews.  I plan on contributing a lot more articles to the likes of Cubed3 and VHS Revival.  This year, I only wrote a handful of articles for both sites, but in 2019, you can expect to see a lot more from me on those respective websites, and thanks to my calendar, knowing when stuff need to be submitted shall be a cinch to do.  Also, I'm going to transition from a blog to an actual website as the year progresses.  I've used Blogger for three years now, but to better my standards and garner more attention, I need to set up a website.  I'll make the announcement of when the website is ready, so stay tuned.

Besides reviews, you can expect film commentaries as well.  One of the things I want do in the years to come is transition from written material to video content, and audio commentaries are a way for me to get a feel for making videos.  I still lack the proper equipment, but in the next couple of months or so, you can expect to see commentaries on my YouTube channel, as well as actual channel art.  As I said earlier, I want to do more interviews, but I also want to try and collaborate with other creators.  I know for certain I'll be collaborating with the podcast Revival House for a commentary later this May, but there are other channels whom I'd like to work with, but we'll have to wait and see.

Currently, I'm a senior in college, and before I know it, I'll be graduating and out in the real world.  GamerGuy's Reviews has been a way for me to flex my creative muscles, and though it has its ups and downs, it's also been a learning experience for me.  Creating content, whether in written or video form, is no easy task, but if you commit too it, it will pay off in the long run.  My hope is that one day I can make what I do not just a hobby, but a full-time gig.  Only time will tell, but if I stick with it, chances are it will morph into something special.  I thank those who have checked out my blog and read the reviews, and as we roll into 2019, I aim to take this to the next level.

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