Not In My One Percent – #JustOnePercent

Visit the #JustOnePercent Project Summary Page for more information and a links to related posts.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am – in my way – going to be cherry-picking the games I play for this project. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m only going to pick the most popular and the best rated games. In fact, I’ve been scraping SteamDB trying to find games with single digit review numbers. What I am trying to do is find games that fit my tastes and abilities. No one wants to read a review that says “Well, I played for an hour, and what I can tell you is the death animation is fantastic!”

(or maybe you do – I’m not judging – but I certainly don’t want to write one!)

And let’s be real – no one consumes media completely at random. We seek out things that align to our interests. Some people only look at what is right in front of them, and some go digging in bargain bins and dusty shelves, but we gravitate towards what we like. That’s why there’s such a broad variety of games and other media – not everything is for everyone!

So what won’t you see in my one percent?

VR-Required Games: Now, never having tried my hand at game creation, I have no idea what goes into making a VR-required game vs. one not made for VR, but I have noticed a lot of VR-required titles popping up outside of the big budget developers. I’m not opposed to VR, but I don’t have the hardware to play these games, so I need to keep those off my list.

Games With Explicit Sexual Content: I’m not here to judge what other people like, and clearly, there is a market for sexually explicit games. You can call me a prude if you like – lord knows, I’ve called myself that enough times – but sexually explicit content is not something I seek out in any of my entertainment media. Sometimes the shows on HBO have scenes that make me uncomfortable. I don’t read erotica, and I don’t play sexually explicit games in any genre. It’s just not my jam.

Games in Genres I Find Frustrating Due to My Lack of Skill: This means I probably won’t pick up too many platforming-focused titles. I’m likely to avoid twin-stick shooters, or games that advertise themselves as brutally difficult. I may skip a title that requires the use of a controller – I do have one, and do use it, but it’s harder on my hands than mouse and keyboard, and I’m just not as competent with a controller in my hands. I don’t want my personal gaming shortcomings to color my opinion of a game during this project – if I’m going to stretch outside my comfort zone, there needs to be something I find so extraordinary about a game that I cannot not play it.

Games Without English Language Support: At this point in my life, all the linguistic skills I had in languages other than English have completely atrophied. In a story-focused game, I want to be able to follow the story. In a mechanics driven one, I want to understand the tutorial. I’m perfectly comfortable saying that if I game is not available in a language I am comfortable with, I am not the target market for that game.

Game That Are Multiplayer Only: While I do have friends that I game with pretty regularly, I don’t have a pocket gaming buddy I can drag along on any path that strikes my fancy, so co-op only (whether local or online) are out. We could also argue the wisdom of creating a match-making based game without a hefty marketing budget, but I’d rather be playing a game for an hour than waiting in a lobby to find a match.

Games That I Believe Are Priced Above Their Actual Value: I realize this is insanely objective, and almost didn’t include it. Over the past several years, I’ve stopped chasing play time as the ultimate metric of value, however, I still feel like there’s a minimum threshold. I’m not going to buy a game with a 15 minute completion time for $20, and I’m unlikely to go above that price for anything I’m not reasonably sure I’m going to enjoy for at least an evening or two. While I understand the urge indie developers can have to price their product relative to the amount of work put in, I also believe that finding the proper price point is an art in itself. It doesn’t matter if your goal is strictly profit driven, or to get your art in the hands of people who appreciate it, if you overprice your product, you’re likely to fail on both counts.


While these are all things that will prevent me from choosing a game, that doesn’t mean I’m considering them to be disqualifying. Please, send me your thoughts on platformers, on X-rated games, and on games in languages other than English. In fact, I’d love to highlight some indie titles outside of my wheelhouse! I’m always glad when someone finds what works for them, even if it wouldn’t ever work for me. That’s a big part of the reason I’m in favor of a more open marketplace, even if it makes it more work to find the games that speak to me.

#JustOnePercent – Project Plan

If you’re wonder what inspired this project, you can read about it here!

As a chronic overthinker, I never put projects together quickly, nor do I attempt year-long projects lightly. However, I spent quite a bit of time yesterday talking with folks in the Blaugust Discord, and I really feel like this is a project worth pursuing, even if it’s born from some grumpy industry veteran’s throwaway tweet. I am, of course, reserving the right to tweak the project as I go – if I find some of the structure is impeding my ability to proceed, or that some of what I choose to include (or exclude) isn’t really working within the scope of the project, I’m not above making adjustments.


My Project Structure

At its core, the #JustOnePercent project is simple. I’m going to play at least 100 indie games that have released within the last year. Since the project is starting on February 1st, that gives me the option of playing games released anytime between February of 2021 and January of 2023, when the project will conclude. As long as the game has been out less than one year in full release when I post about it and was created by an indie developer or studio, I’m considering it to be a qualifying game. The game also must be available for purchase or for free on Steam, but I am not going to require myself to play the Steam version if others are also available.

I’d like to start off by covering some of the main ways I’ll be choosing what I feature over the next year as part of this project. I’ve already done a little shopping, and started a spreadsheet of games I already have access to that – as of February 1st – fit the project parameters. If I played every game in that list, I’d be almost halfway there without spending another dime, but I definitely want to give fair coverage to deep dive discoveries.

  1. I’m going to play things that I already own that are qualifying games, including games that receive a full release from Early Access during the project period. Since I won’t be talking about games that are still in Early Access, I feel like this is a good compromise – while I’m a big fan of Early Access as a concept, I feel like this series is better suited to full release games.
  2. I’m absolutely going to shop my wish list for titles that release / have released during the project window.
  3. I am actively going to seek out more obscure titles; things that haven’t gotten a lot of notice, and will likely never show up on the front page of Steam. I like to think I’m pretty adept at tag-surfing, and don’t doubt that I’ll be able to find at least a handful of sparkly gems in there. However, I’m not going to reach super-far outside of my preferred gaming genres – not all media is to everyone’s taste, and since I’m only looking at a single percent of the new indie games typically released in a year, I don’t feel like I must play games in genres I don’t enjoy.
  4. I will definitely be playing some indie games that show up on any subscription gaming services I’m subscribed to. I have an active Utomik subscription that’s paid for through most of 2022, and I’ve been keeping my GamePass subscription active more often than not. I will be consulting Steam’s release date to determine release date qualification.
  5. I will not be excluding free or free-to-play games, and I expect to be taking advantage of demo builds when available, provided the games/demos meet all the criteria of the project.

One of my initial concerns in taking on this project was the sheer cost of 100 recently released titles, and I’m looking at a couple of methods of mitigating some of that. First will be seeking review copies / press copies from developers, and to that end, I plan on writing up a little blurb about my project. I realize I probably don’t have anywhere near the readership to convince most developers to part with a free game key, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t at least a handful that would get on board. I’m also planning to attempt to solicit a couple of “sponsored games” per month – where someone picks out and purchases a qualifying game for me.

I will play each game for no less than one hour (unless the game in question can be completed in less time), and I will talk about it in a Quick Look (or Game Over if I manage to play to completion and/or satisfaction). For the purposes of this project, I will be the final arbiter of what is and is not an “indie” game, but my basic guideline will be as long as it’s developed by a non big-budget studio, it counts.

What I won’t be doing is hard math – I’m using the rough estimate of 10,000 new indie games per year as posited in the original tweet, making my one percent 100 games. If I do more, great, but 100 is the goal. I’m far more interested in the spirit of the thing than the letter of the law.


Ways For You To Get Involved

First of all, if you want to take this idea and make it your own (like Magi did, detailed in this blog post), I am all for it! Take the name, the hashtag, and my cover image, with my blessing, and shed some light on indie games in whatever way you like. I’m not here to tell you how you should do your thing. Most people don’t even play 100 different games in a year, never mind 100 new ones!

SO

If you happen to be doing blogs, podcasts, streams with VoDs, or other videos highlighting games that fall within my qualifying parameters, but you don’t want to make it a Big Thing you feel compelled to do, please leave me comments or poke me on our shared socials, and I will gather all of those things into a big post once a month to highlight those games and acknowledge your interest in playing indie games.

If you’re not normally a blogger, but you’ve found something awesome you want to write about and share with the world (or at least the 50 or so people who follow this blog!), I’d welcome you to write a guest post on Nerd Girl Thoughts, and we’ll figure out how to make that happen.

If you just think it’s a kind of cool idea, and you want to share around links to my posts, I won’t say no to that either. Or if you just want to post on social media with the hashtag #JustOnePercent when you’re talking about a new indie game you’re really digging.

If you have a game (or a few games) in mind that are either recently released or about to release, and you want to make recommendations (or sponsor a post), please do that!

If you have other collaboration ideas, hit me with them. I love a good collaborative effort.

In other words, take the spirit of the project, and do with it what you wish. I’m putting it out there for anyone who loves indie games, and wants independent game creators to go right on creating!

An Intriguing Prospect – Just One Percent

I don’t know if it’s just my tiny corner of the Twitter-verse, but man, my feed has been weird lately. I realize that society as a whole has become more than a little extra bonus loopy as of late, and sure, social media is going to reflect that, but the sheer bitterness towards whatever things other people are enjoying has seemed – at least to me – to have ramped up a whole bunch since the start of 2022.

Through the magic of likes & quote re-tweets, I saw a tweet today from Jeff Vogel, founder of Spiderweb Software, that got me started thinking about a potential new project. He posits that the current trend of approximately 10,000 new indie games a year is too much, and throws out a suggestion to try to play even 1% of those games.

Note: In the thread that follows the original post, Mr. Vogel almost immediately corrected his math error. Ten thousand games a year is closer to 30 games a day than 300. He does not, however, back down from his original point that it’s too much.

I’m still not sure if the original point was that these indie game developers shouldn’t waste time creating, or that they should just let their passion projects fester on their hard drives. I’m a firm believer that if you want to create something, you should absolutely be creating something. Draw poorly. Write meanderingly. Make a wonky game or twelve. Give your soul the food it needs to survive this world, and if you can find someone who wants to pay you for the things you make? Take their money with a smile.

One percent is a mere 100 games, and my first thought was “That is absolutely completely doable.” Now, mind, I’m not saying it’s feasible for everyone; I have the luxury of significantly more free time than most people, a fairly broad interest in different genres, and a blog that would synergize nicely with just such a project. Several years ago now, I did a full calendar year of blogging about a different game every single day. That project was far less restrictive than this would be – I didn’t restrict myself only to new games, or even just games on Steam. In fact, I didn’t even restrict myself to PC games. If it was any kind of video game, and I played it, I could write about it.

It was just the tiniest seed of an idea, and I probably would have forgotten all about it in a day or two, but then, Mr. Vogel decided to double down.

See, I am going to enthusiastically defend the glut of indie games until the end of time. I do play them. In fact, I would wager I play far more indie titles in any given year than I do big budget games. Now obviously, this isn’t true of most people, and it’s probably not even true of most gamers. But I am glad these game exist, and that they are so readily available, and I know I am not alone. I’d be far more likely to “surrender to despair” if my only gaming choices were big budget titles that played exactly like the 27 big budget titles that came before. I love quirky passion projects, solo developers, bonkers concepts, and stories that break my heart. I want even more indie games for more types of gamers.

I’m so tired of the idea that there’s only one correct way to enjoy this hobby. I’m tired of gatekeeping. I’m just tired.


No, I feel like the biggest impediment to taking on this sort of project would be financial. Assuming an average price of $20 per indie game, this project would cost me roughly $2000 over the course of the year if I was purchasing everything I played. Obviously, I could bring that cost down with things like GamePass, bundles, and requesting review copies, but it would likely still be a hefty price tag.

At any rate, as much as I’d like to jump right on in – I have some difficulty resisting this kind of challenge, and the double-down definitely elevated the original suggestion into a challenge – I would most definitely need to give it more thought and get the parameters defined. Would demos of newly released indie titles be adequate? Would I need to do it for a calendar year, or is it something I could look at on a rolling basis (i.e. as long as the game was released less than one year from the day of posting, I’d be covered)? Where do Early Access titles fit in – would it be only the first year from EA release, or would only full-release games be applicable?

I do currently have 48 yet-to-release indie titles on my Steam wish list (with Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 being the only non-indie outlier), as well as another 48 that have released since February 2021. That doesn’t even take into account available indie titles on GamePass or that are already in my Steam library.

… I kind of feel like I have to do this now. I just need to figure out the shape of the thing.

So Many Subscriptions!

Our household is currently prioritizing getting our entertainment / discretionary spending under control, and – at least for me – a big part of that is figuring out where the money is going. Sure, I could have just made a spreadsheet, or gone super old school and written things down in a pocket sized notebook, but I decided to grab an app for that.

Spending Tracker is a pretty bare-bones budgeting app, but it had exactly the features I was looking for. I did pony up the $3 to unlock all of the paid features (which is not a subscription, but just a one time charge). At the beginning of the month, it resets my budget, carrying over any excess from the previous month, and then, whenever I spend money in the categories we’ve decided are part of discretionary spending, I log it.

I was a little thrown off, however, by how much of my monthly budget is tied up in subscription fees! We are excluding from our personal budgets services we both use, so this doesn’t even include our TV streaming services, our Audible account, or our Spotify family plan.

Currently in my monthly expenses I have subscriptions to World of Warcraft, XBox Game Pass, Humble Choice and GooglePlay Pass under gaming, as well as Kindle Unlimited under books. While I’m glad to mostly not be acquiring more stuff, I still feel like I’m not utilizing most of these well relative to their costs. While I realize we’ve been lucky to have had continued financial stability through the past couple years, but as a result, I’ve been throwing money at anything that looked like we might be able to squeeze a little distraction or joy out of it.

Over the next few months, I’m going to be taking a closer look of how much value I’m getting from each of these services. Although I have more free time than most, this is still probably quite a bit more media than any one person needs to have access to at any given time, especially when you factor in the media services we share. I can only read so many books, play so many games, and watch so much television in any given month.

Do you have any subscription services you can’t live without, or are you still paying subscriptions for things you honestly aren’t getting that much value from? Or are you the type of person who just wants to purchase all your media? Tell me about it in the comments.

Quick Look – The Magister

I feel like mash-ups have become the next big thing in indie games. Take two (or more) genres of games that seem to be popular and smoosh them together. Sometimes, it works, but more often, it’s kind of a disaster, where none of the elements are particularly compelling on their own, but they also don’t fit together well enough to become something new and fresh.

I’m pleased to report that, at least for me, The Magister is a pretty successful mash-up. It takes one genre that’s already a bit of a mash-up – the card battling roguelite RPG – and adds a detective spin. I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up anytime soon, but it showed up in Fanatical’s Deckbuilder Bundle, which is still available as of the time of this post for a little more than another week.

Do not expect to win on your first play through. Not because of the difficulty; The Magister starts you off pretty easy as far as combat is concerned. Rather, it takes a little bit to figure out exactly how you go about solving the mystery. Sure, you absolutely can lose by failing in combat repeatedly, but you’re far more likely to miss things (or put them off too long) because you have to juggle a lot of different plot lines in order to discover everything you need to make a definitive accusation.

You play as one of three randomly generated Magisters, each which will have a different focus (Physique, Intelligence, and Guile) and a different flaw. I’m only two play throughs in, and I feel like the flaws are definitely under-balanced – some feel like they’re far bigger obstacles than others. As you progress through your two week investigation period, you will have the opportunity to pick up additional skills, and you aren’t restricted to the skill tree you start with, but you won’t get a lot of them, so you are never going to be able to get all the skills you want in a single playthrough. Some skills are pretty straight up buffs, others will change the way you approach battles or investigative sections of the game.

Battles are turn-based, but they move faster than I expected. You will have opportunities to recruit allies, but the only character you will have direct control of at any point is your magister. Some battles are unavoidable, but you may be given an opportunity to sneak past an encounter, or to talk your way out of it using Tactical Diplomacy (which is a different card game, only this time you have a limited number of turns to convince the other party).

In combat, you not only need to make sure the enemies die and you don’t, but you need to be aware of the time cost of cards. Each card you play that has a time cost will delay your next action by that amount of time. If it seems like a lot of things are happening in between your turns, it’s probably because you’re using a lot of time-cost cards each turn. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; after all, if you pull all your heavy hitting cards in a single hand, you don’t want to send them to the discard pile! Still, it’s a quirky kind of system, and I think I actually prefer it over a more traditional resource management structure.

In between battles, you are going to be looking for clues, doing favors for the townsfolk so that they will confide in your, and managing your finances. Run out of money, and you might be sleeping in the stables! Each area in the world that you interact with will advance the time of day, whether that be by talking to people, buying and selling items, completing a quest, or doing an optional objective. You only have two weeks to solve the case, and if you haven’t picked up enough evidence, even accusing the right person isn’t going to give you a win.

Successful runs will unlock higher difficulty levels, and although I’ve really enjoyed my first couple of play throughs, I don’t know how much of a rush I’m in to make the game harder than it is on the starter difficulty. I plan to spend a little more time learning the ins and outs of the different skill trees & flaws, but I did manage to succeed in my second play through (although not with 100% conviction). The story isn’t particularly compelling – in a lot of ways, it reminds me of the game Clue, due to the procedural generation. Still, it’s an enjoyable couple hours of mystery solving, and I’ve probably already gotten my money’s worth out of it.

Game Over – The Gunk

Coming off of a pretty significant binge of games where you clean things up, The Gunk seemed to be a good choice for something to ease me back into something, well, a little more game-like. I wasn’t completely sure about it going in – I’m notoriously bad at platformers – but I was pleased to discover that it leaned more towards story and exploration than either puzzling or platforming.

You play as Rani, half of a pair of down-on-their-luck space explorers who land on an unknown planet in search of marketable items. Your partner, Becks, is a little more grounded, focused on filling up the cargo hold, while the player character is more interested in exploration. The problem they both face is the gunk, a toxic slime that is sucking the vitality out of the planet. Conveniently, Rani’s power glove can suck up the gunk, clearing paths and reinvigorating the landscape.

It’s a fairly short game; I took just over five hours to complete it. The first half or so of the game is fairly simple, and if the story doesn’t manage to captivate you, there’s unlikely to be meaty enough game play to keep you interested. You wander around, sucking up gunk and resources, scanning the vegetation, and bit by bit, learn about this strange polluted planet.

When the landscape isn’t being smothered by gunk, it’s gorgeous. The platforming is basic, the puzzles aren’t terribly difficult to figure out, and the combat – at least in the early game – is barely combat at all. However, the game takes a sharp turn in the later chapters, and it goes from being almost too simple to a level of challenge that the first part of the game in no way prepared the player for.

As a result, the last couple of hours were a bit of a slog for me. Dying isn’t too punishing, thankfully, and despite it being a fairly recent game, I had no trouble finding a (text) walkthrough when I got stuck. In the final chapter, I honestly wasn’t having fun anymore, but with the finish line so close, I pushed my way through to the credits.

Overall, I felt like The Gunk was a decent little game, but could have definitely benefited from another balance pass. The easy parts are too easy, and the challenging parts feel too rough considering what came before.

So We Meet Again – Rusty Lake Hotel

I’ve found that, when starting a new project, it’s always good to start small. However, it’s also just a little bit embarrassing to start this series out by admitting I had never managed to finish up a game that takes less than two hours, end to end. So I guess I started very small indeed.

And here was the major problem for me. The last time I attempted to play Rusty Lake Hotel, I could not make the game save, no matter what I did. As a result, I ended up playing through the first couple of days multiple times, and never getting further along than that. This time, I went in with the intention of completing it in a single sitting if it still wouldn’t save for me.

Thankfully, somewhere in the interim, either the game got fixed up, or I got smarter, because it autosaved without issue.

Rusty Lake Hotel is a short, almost minimalistic point-and-click adventure puzzler. It’s also outrageously dark. You have been tasked with collecting the ingredients for dinner every night, and without giving away too much, that’s not as innocent of a task as you might expect. If you’re put off by cartoon gore in your adventure games, you should probably give this one a pass.

The focus is almost entirely on problem solving, and in order to find the problems, expect to click on absolutely everything you can click on. There is minimal dialogue, and the majority of the story is environmental. Each meal will require one mandatory and two optional ingredients. If you miss something – and it’s easy to miss something – you can proceed serving less than perfect dinners, or you can reset the entirety of the game. I would have liked the option to go back a single day at any given time, but even a complete restart isn’t too punishing due to the game’s length. Once you understand what you’re meant to do, each section of the game probably takes 10 minutes or less to complete.

There were a couple of puzzles that – at least for me – were really challenging even once I understood the idea of the thing. There is no in-game hint system, and once you enter a room at night, you cannot leave until you’ve gotten the required item. That said, for the truly stumped, a walkthrough isn’t difficult to find, and having to consult one a few times didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the game.

I’m not entirely sure where Rusty Lake Hotel fits into the greater Cube Escape / Rusty Lake universe. If it turns out they cannot really be played in any order, then I’ll likely have spoiled something for myself because I’ve been, over time, collecting all the paid titles in the series.

It took me just under two hours to complete the game with all stars, including a couple of resets when I realized I had missed an ingredient. I managed to only miss a single achievement. As someone who enjoys a good puzzler now and again, I found the entire experience to be very satisfying, and I’m glad to have revisited Rusty Lake Hotel and played through to completion.

Steam Winter Sale 2021

It seems like I’ve done a whole bunch of planning and debating for the past several major Steam sales. For me, part of the fun is poking into the hidden corners of Steam and looking for the best deals and the hidden gems. Normally, I play around with whatever my budget is, and end up hitting that check out button at least one more time than I had planned on.

This time around, I just wasn’t feeling it. I plucked a shopping cart directly from my wish list, and didn’t spend all that much time reconsidering my choices. I usually only grab one “bigger” (read, more expensive) title whereas this year, I picked up both Craftopia and The Colonists. The only really cheap title I picked up this go around was Alchemist Simulator, and I rounded out my shopping cart with Lamplight City, which has been on my wish list forever but has stubbornly refused to dip lower than 40% off, and Penko Park, which I’ve been wanting to pick up since enjoying both New Pokemon Snap and Alekon so much this past year.

Of course, I also never get away with just one cart full, but even my afterthought purchases were far fewer than average this year. I grabbed Keplerth (another title that spent a considerable amount of time on my wish list) after noticing it’s due to leave early access sometime this month. Finally, I bought Stolen Realm after my co-op partner and I decided to play through that next.

Outside of Steam (and of course, the Epic freebies that I picked up almost every day they were available), my only Winter-Sale-season purchase was the Deckbuilder Bundle on Fanatical. I grabbed that one mainly for The Magister, which is almost twice the price of the entire bundle on sale. I also activated Mystic Vale, and held onto the keys for System Crash, Cat Lady, and A Long Way Down. The rest I gave away on my Discord before wrapping that up for the time being.

I usually allow myself about $100 for each of the major sales, and I came in pretty significantly under that amount this year. Now, I just need to put some time aside to play all these games.

I also received a few gifted games during the sale. I’ve already talked quite a bit about PowerWash Simulator, which I’m enjoying far more than I expected to. Satisfactory is another title I’ve been keeping an eye on, and I expect I’ll lose quite a number of hours to in the future. I don’t find myself reaching for puzzle games as often as I once did, but Gorogoa looks amazing, and I’m not sure why I hadn’t picked it up before now.

Nerd Girl Goals – January 2022

No matter how early I start thinking about something, I feel like I almost never have all those thoughts properly sorted before it’s go time. Well, it’s go time on 2022, and I realize that I had yet to decide on my goal format for the year! Apologies for how scattered this may turn out to be!

Out With the Old

I mentioned it briefly in my November wrap-up, but I’m ducking out of the Community Game-Along this year. I’ve really enjoyed dabbling in the past 24 months worth of themes, but as time goes on, it’s harder and harder for me to get excited about games in genres I don’t usually enjoy. It’s a great community of folks, but I’d like to refocus my energy on some other projects going forward.

Also, due to changes in the way my household is dealing with budgeting around entertainment costs, I’ve decided to drop the headers announcing which paid MMO and subscription game service I’m choosing each month. With a set dollar amount set aside for entertainment, there may be months I do neither, or months where I choose two (or more!) of one or both.

Lastly, since I recently activated a paid WordPress plan, I’ve been giving some serious consideration to giving this place a bit of a makeover. January is usually a pretty quiet month for me overall, so I’d really like to work on that this month.

In With the New

Probably the most important change I’m hoping to make for the blog in 2022, however, is content planning. I know, it’s a little crazy, but I’m going to give it a whirl. Honestly, over two years in, and I am mostly flying by the seat of my pants. As a result, that’s led to some seriously unbalanced months as far as posts go – I get my goals out, maybe make another post or two throughout the month, and then try to cram all the stuff I’d procrastinated into the last few days. I’ve realized that isn’t really working for me; it’s too sporadic. I’d like something a little more structured, unfortunately, I still haven’t worked out all the details!

That said, first priority is to post more regularly, with a goal of getting out 2-3 entries per week, and giving me a minimum of 10 per month. In order to do that, I’d like to start a couple of new series, mostly (but not entirely) gaming related. I’d really like to tell you about all of those right now, but … you see where I’m going with this, right?

… I promise, as soon as I get all those ideas polished up, I’ll be talking about them here.

That said, one is ready for prime time. I’ll be doing a monthly series called “So We Meet Again” where I revisit a game I’ve played in the past. Sometimes, it’ll be a game I bounced off of – sometimes, just a game that I wandered away from before I meant to. Either way, it’ll be a second chance for some games to get played to satisfaction.


Gaming

In another bit of a departure from the norm, I’m not pre-planning my gaming this month. I’m still working my way through Career Mode in Power Wash Simulator, and our guild resumes our regular raid nights starting on the fifth, so there’s a couple of things already determined, but mostly, I’m going to wait and see what looks good to me as I sort through the incredible mess of I’ve made of my Steam library the last few weeks. Not only was there Winter Sale shenanigans, I also added a lot of titles while sorting through the last two plus years of unreedemed keys from bundles, as well as a handful of titles from the latest Yogcast Jingle Jam bundle.

The only other thing I am reasonably sure is going to see play time in January is Stolen Realm. It’s an early access party-based RPG that my co-op partner and I have decided to tackle next. I am absolutely charmed by the art style, and reviews seem to indicate there’s already a pretty significant chunk of content available to play.


Other Nerdstuff

Books: Despite not even coming close to my Goodreads 2021 challenge (I ended with only 20/48 books read), I’m setting myself the same goal for this year. I’d like to start getting my money’s worth from my Audible and Kindle Unlimited subscriptions, so making time to get back into reading is going to be a priority for me. I’ve also solicited some book recommendations from folks on Twitter, and although I didn’t manage to fill out all twelve slots, I’m going to make an effort to read those books this year as well.

Food: Now that I don’t have contractors in my house (ok, so I haven’t for awhile, but go with it), I’d like to get back to doing more in the kitchen. My two major points of interest when it comes to making food are soups and baked goods. I’d like to talk a little more about that stuff, but that means I’m also going to have to remember to take photos of the process as well as the results. In particular, I’d like to do more with baking and confections – I actually looked into the cost of pastry school, and then immediately decided I can probably teach myself enough to bring me joy.

Crafts: I’m still spending a significant amount of time doing crafts, mostly cross-stitch, although I expect to also be doing some painting and yarn-work once I’ve made a little more progress in getting my office / crafting space set up. This is another thing I talk a little bit about, but I’m considering going into more depth with.

All Things Streamed: For the most part, this is TV shows and movies, but I’m leaving the category open to also talk about things I might watch on Twitch or YouTube. Another thing I don’t have much planned for, but something I want to be cognizant of going forward.

Obviously, adding all these other things to what has – thus far – been mostly a gaming-focused blog might not work out for me, but I’d like to see what other kind of posts might work here, whether that be for my audience, or for my own records.


In Summary

To Do In January

  • At least 10 blog posts.
  • At least two blog posts on non-gaming-centric topics.
  • Nerd Girl Thoughts will get a bit of a cosmetic overhaul.
  • Figure out a method of content planning that works for me, and implement it.
  • Choose and play a game for the first So We Meet Again post.

It’s actually a far heftier to do list than the length implies, but man, I do enjoy a good organizational project!

In Review – December 2021

Data taken from ManicTime.

I was all over the place this month (not surprising), and my gaming hours are down slightly (also not surprising). I definitely did not get my money’s worth out of my World of Warcraft sub this month, logging just under 5 hours, but I did manage to get a Sylvanas kill under my belt, so I can walk away from this tier of raiding satisfied, no matter how much or how little else I do while waiting for 9.2. I did play The Good Life on XBox Game Pass, but yet again, I downloaded far more titles than I ever loaded up.

My co-op partner and I have also finally wrapped up the currently available story content in Wildermyth, so I expect I’ll be doing a little write-up about that experience in the next week or so, but man, the end of the month really snuck up on me. In fact, I ended up with a handful of post ideas that didn’t make it into December, but with a little bit of focus (which has been in short supply around here lately, I admit), I should be able to start off 2022 with a bit of a sprint.


What I did do during December was something I’ve wanted to do for ages, but never had the gumption to put together until now. I finally organized all my unused game keys from Humble Choice/Monthly, as well as other bundles, and … I just gave them away. Not all of them, not by a long shot, but I probably decreased the size of my digital dustbin by half or more.

Setting up the Discord was easy, and once I settled on a method for listing them all (thank you Sesh for being such a fantastically useful bot!) I was able to do all the listing and the actually distribution in about 30-60 minutes per day. I started putting up listings on the 6th, and gave away my last key on the 29th.

It was kind of a big time commitment in a month where I probably shouldn’t have been looking for more things to do, but I really enjoyed sending a whole bunch of video games to their new homes, where hopefully they will be played and adored.


I have done a lot of thinking about the direction I want to go in with this blog, and you might have noticed that I’ve ponied up a few bucks a month to make the ads go away. I have ideas for a few new semi-regular features, and I’d like to see my post count and consistency go up. As a result, my monthly book-ends might take on a bit of a different look in the new year.

All in all, I’m really okay with December being over, and with leaving 2021 in the rearview mirror.