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.

Nerd Girl Goals – December 2021 (#SimulatorGameDec)

Ah, the last Nerd Girl Goals of 2021. I am very much looking forward to changing at least a few things up in the coming year, but for now, let’s talk about December, the month of “nothing ever goes according to plan”!

GAMING

Really, my only goal for December is to be present for our raid groups’ next Sylvanas kill. Sure, there’s lots of stuff I can (and maybe even should) be working on, but I’m not going to put a whole lot of pressure on myself at the time of year I’m most prone to burn out of every type. I may finally get around to the rest of the 9.1 story, I might just fool around in BFA Islands, or I may just raid-log this month. Any of that is going to be fine with me.

Community Game-Along – #SimulatorGameDec

Picking a main “goal” game under the Simulation umbrella was hard – my library in this genre is deep. However, I’ve been procrastinating starting up Planet Zoo, so I decided to put that at the top of the list for the month.

Subscription Game Service – XBox GamePass for PC

However, I also expect I’ll be playing some Evil Genius 2: World Domination as well on GamePass this month. I have fond memories of the Evil Genius game from 2004, but I don’t really remember ever getting very far. I don’t honestly know what to expect from this one – reviews have been all over the place, there’s a bunch of weird paid DLC, and … I’m not sure I’m enthused enough about it to drop real money on it. Which, really, is exactly why I keep my GamePass sub most of the time.


As has become my habit, I am not adding anything else significant to my December goals. What I do want to make some time to do, however, is make some notes about what I’d like to change about the blog in the coming year. I really enjoyed the posts I did during Blaugust about what was working for me, and what ideas I had that didn’t really pan out the way I’d hoped. I am finding that I’m not putting the energy into this that I would prefer to be, and some of that is just getting in my own way.

In Review – November 2021

I may be feeling like I dropped the ball on a lot this month (although, I also was really overly ambitious!), my gaming hours were way up from last month!

Most notably, my WoW time was higher than it has been since I re-upped my subscription several months ago, and that’s almost entirely due to the 9.1.5 changes. Probably more than half that time was spent on Island Expeditions, and I’ve collected a bunch of pets, a handful of transmog items, and a whole bunch of doubloons. Which is great, but not as great as my guild taking down Sylvanas for the first time mid-month, but I unfortunately missed out on that particular raid night. I have completely moved back to my shaman full time, and I did enough Torghast to swap my legendary over to my cloak, so overall, decent progress on my goals in November.

I also played two games to completion this month, Unpacking and Grow: Song of the Evertree. Despite my best intentions, playing through Unpacking was the only use I got from my GamePass subscription this month, despite having downloaded quite a few games.

With the majority of my played time spend with World of Warcraft, Grow: Song of the Evertree, and Wildermyth, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on #VNNovember; my first choice didn’t thrill me, and I never even loaded up any of my alternates. Although I plan to see it through the end of the year, I think I’m losing interest in keeping up with the Community Game-Along. It’s a great concept, but the themes often are a stretch for me, and I can’t help but feel like it works better for folks who stream than people like me, who just write about things when we’re done with them.


I’m a few days away from finishing up my cross-stitch project, and about a half dozen episodes from finishing up with Castle, so I’m on schedule with that at least. However, I’m resigned to missing my 2021 GoodReads goal (although I did finish two books in November), and I totally spaced on IntPiPoMo. I had some cool ideas, but I never put the pieces together. Going into the final month of 2021, I know I have to ease up on goal-setting, because December is almost always a difficult month for me.

With 2022 just around the corner, though, I’m starting to brainstorm a bit about what’s next.

Nerd Girl Goals – November 2021

Hopefully, November will be the month my will to play comes back, because it’s been conspicuously absent for well over a month now. Sure, I’ve been doing co-op stuff, and occasional raiding stuff (because I do adore a scheduled event), but when it’s just up to me? Other than a few brief obsessions, just loading up a game seems like an awful lot of work.

GAMING

Paid MMO Subscription – World of Warcraft (Retail)

Good news everyone – patch 9.1.5 is dropping tomorrow! Combine that with the fact that I’m going back to keeping up just one character, and I’m hoping I’ll develop more of an interest in playing regularly. I had petered out halfway through the new campaign story, so there’s that I should try to get caught up, and I really ought to consider remaking my legendary. Even in a content drought, I’m not lacking for things for me to do personally, I just haven’t really wanted to do any of them.

However, probably the patch change I’m most excited about is that BfAs Island Expeditions will be available to solo-queue, which means finally having a chance to go back and grind all the fun stuff I missed when they were current content, but I wasn’t playing. This may jumpstart me into more achievement hunting, which is how I historically spend a lot of my WoW time.

Whatever form it takes, I’d really like to find the joy again, because I’ve been feeling vaguely guilty about how little I’m playing while I’m paying actual money for the 6-10 hours a month I do bother to log on.

Community Game-Along – #VNNovember – PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness

I swear, I’m starting early this month – or at least before the 28th! PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness has been in my Steam library since March of 2020, and I’m fairly certain I just installed it for the first time. I know nothing about the anime except that it exists, so that shouldn’t have any effect on whether or not I enjoy the game. Historically, the visual novel (and visual novel adjacent) games I tend to prefer are darker, usually with some sort of mystery component to keep me engaged, so this one should be as much up my alley as a visual novel can be.

I also have Methods: The Detective Compendium and 428: Shibuya Scramble on deck in case it turns out I can’t get into it. I like always having a back-up game or two picked out, but it’s highly unlikely I’ll play more than one visual novel this month.

Subscription Gaming – XBox Game Pass for PC

Every time I think I’m getting close to cancelling this, one of two things happens. Either I start playing something on there on a whim and find I’m really digging it, or they announce something coming soon that I want to play, but may or may not get around to.

At the top of my current list of stuff I want to try out is The Forgotten City, a game I’ve been hesitant to pick up because my track record with time loop games is … not good, despite the fact I continue to be fascinated by them. I’d also like to try out Dandy Ace, and The Good Life. However, the game I’m fairly sure I’ll be renewing mid-month for is Evil Genius 2. The reviews aren’t great, and although I played a lot of the first game, I never played too long into any one playthrough, so satiating my curiosity via Game Pass is probably a good move.

Other Gaming

I am going to put another attempt or two into pushing through the rough spot in Call of Cthulhu before I toss it into the “probably never going to finish” box and forget about it. I expect my co-op game dates this month will be playing through the campaigns in Wildermyth – we played the first campaign this past week and we both liked it well enough to keep going. Otherwise, I think I’m probably just going to go wherever my whims may take me this month; I don’t have an urgent need to fire up any specific game, and I’m willing to go to any port in a storm when I’m trying to de-slump myself.


OTHER NERDSTUFF

Stitchcraft

Thankfully, the urge to stitch hasn’t even begun to subside, because the project I’m currently working on I’d like to have finished as a present for a December birthday. I couldn’t resist doing the math – I’m going to need to average about 600 stitches nearly every day to meet that goal. To go along with that, I’m going to start watching the eight seasons of Castle that recently showed up on Hulu, which I have managed to resist watching while I devoured all things #Spooktober. I saw the first few seasons several years ago, when having a Netflix account still meant getting DVDs in the mail, but as someone who hasn’t had access to cable in well over a decade, I think there are at least three seasons I’ve never seen. At any rate, it seems like an excellent choice of a stitching show.

IntPiPoMo 2021

I also haven’t actually signed up as of yet, but I’m seriously considering throwing my hat into the ring for IntPiPoMo 2021, with the intention of doing a picture-focused post each Sunday throughout November. As a person who has promised never to put myself or my loved ones through another NaNoWriMo, posting fifty pictures feels like a far far more attainable goal. Maybe I’ll even art a little, or go out and do some photo hunting like I used to do when I was somewhat more mobile than I am now. I used to be pretty involved with photography, and it’s something that’s fallen by the wayside throughout the years.

GoodReads Reading Challenge 2021 – 18/48

Another thing that has just recently occurred to me is that, well, I basically haven’t been reading for about the past four months. There was a book I had started for The Pike Cast near the end of July that I just couldn’t get into, and it soured me for a little bit. Then, I started filling up the time I had been spending reading with other things, and it just … slipped my mind, I guess? Any way you look at it, I’m super far behind my yearly reading goal, so I really need to pick up a book (or twenty) before the end of the month. On the upside, I tend to be a fast reader, so it’s not an unmanageable goal, but it’s a bit overwhelming if I spend too much time thinking about it.


In general, I’m a big fan of plan and goal-setting, even though I rarely hit all the milestones I set myself. I’ve always had a lot of different hobbies – at least it’s always seemed that way to me. Most folks I know have one or two things they’re really invested in, and that’s about the size of it. My interests are varied enough I could fill up almost every day with fun things, if I could just manage my energy a little better.

Maybe I need to set some sort of goal related to energy management? Hmmmm.

In Review – October 2021

My finished motifs from the Stichonomy A Storybook Halloween stitch-a-long.

I’m not sure it’s fair to say that this was another very weird month, because they all feel weird lately, and isn’t that the first indicator that weird has become normal? If that’s the case, this was a perfectly normal month, although one in which my game time was considerably down because TV and cross-stitch were so much more appealing. Part of that was my #Spooktober watch habits, and part of it was that my desk chair is starting to deteriorate, which means marathon gaming sessions are off the table because of the lingering back pain that follows. Since I’m hoping to move my entire set-up into another whole part of the house before the end of the year, I’ve been hesitating on replacing my chair, but this month really drove home that I can’t keep putting it off forever.

Data pulled from ManicTime.

I finished up Cook, Serve, Delicious 3! very early in the month – and when I say “finished” I actually mean, I saw credits! I have put well over a hundred hours into this series now, and I wasn’t even aware that there was a “game over” state to any of them. It may not seem like a very big thing, but man, it felt good to actually finish it, even if I didn’t go back and chase the achievements and get gold medals in absolutely everything.

We also wrapped up our co-op playthrough of Factorio during October. I have mixed feelings about the game overall – it’s super satisfying to play, and I loved the feeling of completing a particularly complex crafting chain, but man, I couldn’t shake the feeling the whole time that (a) we are most definitely the bad guys here and (b) our tech chain is a giant mess – it made no sense to me that we couldn’t send a distress signal, but we could build robots and huge power grids, and everything else you have to build to be able to – finally – send a rocket to request a pick-up. Maybe it’s a better game when you don’t think too much about the why and focus only on the how to get it done.

But overall, it was a gaming-light month. I dabbled in Call of Cthulhu, and played through Endless Fables 2: Frozen Path for #HorrorGameOct. I spent a few days obsessed with Barricadez, and a few more obsessed with Moonglow Bay on XBox Game Pass for PC. I attended both alt-raid nights in World of Warcraft, but passed on both main raids this month because … well, I hate progression nights, to be honest, and I was having some feelings about my main swap. Still managed to end up 8/10 normal, so I’ve decided to switch back to the character I’m more comfortable with, and grind my face into the last two bosses this upcoming week with everyone else.

Mostly, I embraced the fall weather, curled up on my couch with a blanket and a stitching project, and watched a lot of television. I was downright obsessed with Slasher, but watched a few other new-to-me things, and just about every old favorite I could find streaming somewhere. It was nice to nerd out in a completely different manner than I usually do, and also kind of great to mostly avoid the choice paralysis that comes up so often when it comes to games these days.

Nerd Girl Goals – October 2021

Is it weird to say that I love a month? Because I absolutely adore October. I’m sure a part of it is that Halloween was always my favorite holiday, but as I get older, and less likely to go out and do things, it’s more about the weather. By October, fall is (usually) here in earnest, and I don’t yet (usually) have to think about snow. I dig out all my sweaters, shop for fancy teas and cocoas, and get ready to hunker down through the colder months.

Paid MMO Subscription – World of Warcraft (Retail)

Still not super excited about the day-to-day business of playing World of Warcraft, but we’ve started up alt raids for the tier, which means I’m raiding once a week pretty consistently. This is probably also going to be the case throughout October, although an early drop of 9.1.5 might invigorate me to do more than just log on for raid.

Community Game-A-Long – #HorrorGameOct – Call of Cthulu

Call of Cthulhu has been sitting in my library for quite awhile now, and I had been under the assumption that it was a long game. Long games right now are a turn-off, as I rarely have the attention span to get all the way through. However, a quick check of How Long to Beat tells me that even a completionist play through is only 13 hours or so, and just like that, this one shot up to be my top choice for #HorrorGameOct.

That said, I tend to embrace Spooktober pretty hard every year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if another creepy game or two makes an appearance this month.

Subscription Gaming – XBox Game Pass for PC

Despite not getting a whole lot of use out of my last half-month or so, I still have plenty of games downloaded I want to try, so I’m keeping this one going until at least mid-November. I really haven’t been into much of anything I’ve tried out lately, but there’s also value in taking things off of my wishlist after trying them out.

Spooktober Watch Plans

Normally, I fill up my free time in October with a lot of horror movies, and initially, this had also been my plan for this year. In fact, I even grabbed an infographic from Horror Queers with the intent of following along, but the time spent with American Horror Story over the past couple weeks reminded me of how many horror TV shows I’ve been interested in and never gotten around to watching.

I’m not doing this one, but if you want to broaden your horror movie horizons, you can do worse than follow the Horror Queers October 2021 Watch List.

Some of these I’ve watched a season or more of, some I’ve never even started up, but I’ve really been into the more long-form horror offerings out there lately, so I think I’m going to spend Spooktober with some (or maybe even all of) these shows. Plus I still have several seasons of American Horror Story to watch, and an awful lot of stitching to do.

In Review – September 2021

Data pulled from ManicTime.

I know it has a lot more to do with the chaos in my mundane life than anything in the nerdisphere, but September rammed right through like a bullet train that didn’t care if it ran anyone over. I started it off with some gaming comfort food, then there was a patch of pretty severe burnout somewhere in the middle, and the last two weeks have been so busy I’ve been mostly too tired to game when I’m done for the day. This meant a lot of things I had thought I would do during September got blown off, and I just sort of ran with whatever was working for me.

One of the things that mostly fell by the wayside this month was the Community Game-Along. I did manage to open up Atari Vault for about 10 minutes, most of which was spent browsing through the games I could play rather than playing any of them. I did get in a few rounds of Centipede, but my real takeaway was how poorly it felt to play on a keyboard. I had planned to dig out my controller when I went back in, but it never happened.

Most of my gaming time this month was spent on Cook, Serve, Delicious 3. I have now reached the point where I’m starting to really struggle, but still not quite in the impossible-feeling way. There is a chill mode that will enable me to work my way through the remaining levels, and I’m getting far more comfortable with silver and bronze medals than I normally am.

World of Warcraft and Factorio came in second and third, respectively, and are the two games I play as part of weekly scheduled social events. Otherwise, I dabbled a bunch, with most things I tried out not making it past the one hour threshold that gets them added to the pie chart.

Over the past week or so, I’ve also been hit hard by a double shot of FOMO. Many of my friends have started playing Diablo II Resurrected, a game I have no nostalgia for, and that I’m fairly sure I’m not overly interested in on its own merits, but man, watching everyone else has made me want to play. Then, just in the past couple of days, New World fever has exploded across the blogging community, and I’ve felt a mighty tug, but there just is no room in my life for another MMO.


However, probably the biggest reason my gaming time was down this month was that I took a deep dive back into cross-stitch, working on three different projects, and re-watching an awful lot of television while I was doing it. I’ve flown through the first five seasons of American Horror Story, catching me up to where I’ve previously seen. I’ve really been enjoying the change of pace, and giving my eyes a break from staring at a screen all day. I currently have three different projects in process, and thanks to all the reasonably priced patterns I’ve picked up on Etsy and a few impulsive supply orders, I have enough in queue to last me through the entire winter if the hobby sticks this time.

Nerd Girl Goals – September 2021 (#Shmuptember)

How the heck is it already September? I cannot be the only one for whom times has gotten very weird. The days are long, but the weeks fly by. The months are either eternal or over in a flash with nothing in between. I find myself using the phrase “just the other day” and then describing things that happened weeks or months ago.

As someone who is deeply connected with the ideas of planning and scheduling and then actually adhering to those things, the ever-moving goal posts in both my personal life and the world at large are giving me some epic fatigue. I don’t know when I am or what I’m supposed to be doing and it’s really starting to wear me down.

In response to all the things I have no control over, I am very likely to over-schedule my leisure time, which will either prove immensely satisfying as I check things off my list, or lead to a nasty case of burnout.

Most likely, with nothing in between.

GAMING

Play to Satisfaction - For me, saying "Play to Satisfaction" gives me explicit permission to drop a game that's not working for me, but also to grind away for nerd points if I'm really loving something.  I'm trying to make it a policy for myself that I will always play to satisfaction - no more, no less.

World of Warcraft

I definitely spent more energy over the last month or so debating whether or not to re-up my subscription than the cost of the subscription warrants. You see, for the past few expansions – almost as long as the option has been available to me – I have “paid” for my game time with in-game gold instead of my credit card, and found it very satisfying to do so. However, my nearly non-existent interest in WoW for anything other than our bi-weekly raid nights means I’m not making much in the way of gold, and will need to spend actual real life money in order to continue on.

Ok, typing it out sounds ridiculous. It’s $15 a month, which might have been a significant amount of money during some of our leaner years. However, this is somehow not one of our leaner years, and the fact that we’re still not going out to do things means we have ample space in our somewhat generous entertainment budget. So I can certainly afford the sub cost, I just wanted to make sure I was feeling good about this decision.

The bottom line is this. I am enjoying our team’s raid nights. While that should be enough in and of itself, the things that really pushed me over into spending the money (and gladly!) was the tragedy of losing two members of the WoW community in the past week. Neither was anyone I had any personal connection to, but I definitely have personal connections to people who were close to both @Epic_Insanity and @Rades. I’m not going to let my cheapskate tendencies keep me from spending time with people who bring joy to my life.

Community Game-Along – #Shmuptember

I frequently need to look up what exactly constitutes a given genre in order to prepare for a new month’s theme, and Shoot ‘Em Ups (or shmups, as they are sometimes abbreviated) was no exception. Although I’ve managed to accumulate more than a handful of games in my Steam library that have the tag, this is really not my genre. So I’ve decided that I’m going to go as old school as I comfortably can, and dive into Atari Vault this month. There’s bound be a shoot ’em up classic or two hiding in there, and I think it’ll make for an interesting hit of nostalgia. Probably.

Subscription Gaming – XBox GamePass for PC

I’ve done that weird thing that never seems to work well with a monthly structure – I renewed my GamePass subscription mid-month in anticipation of the release of Psychonauts 2 on August 24th. While I anticipate hitting my satisfaction threshold with that title sometime before my renewal date, I think I’m going to keep my subscription for another month, as there’s still more than a few titles of interest I have not yet had a chance to try out. I don’t think there’s anything left I’d call top tier must plays, but since I feel like I got a ton of value out of the mid-August to mid-September subscription, I’m willing to cut myself a little slack on the next one.

Other Gaming

Although it is by no means guaranteed, I am anticipating that my weekly co-op Stardew Valley game will have wrapped up before September does, and we’ve already decided the next game we’re planning to dive into together is Factorio. I bought this one ages ago, loaded it up, and played for approximately 10 minutes before getting completely overwhelmed. I always intended to give it another go, but … well, it’s not the first game I bought and then forgot I owned.

I’ve actually done very little co-op gaming outside of MMOs over the years, and while it’s also been just a good time and a nice way to make sure we hang out once a week, I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying actual cooperative gameplay.

I still have my list of games I’ve pulled to the front of my library that I want to give at least an hour to, which has gone basically untouched for two months now, as well as some more recent purchases I’d like to dive into. Still, I’m most likely to prioritize the games of interest on GamePass since my personal library isn’t going anywhere. Any of these titles could be on the table for this month, but clearly, the theme here is that I want to build something.

Miscellaneous Nerdery

This has not really been a great year as far as reading is concerned, so because I thought I was back into it, I am even further behind than if I hadn’t upped my goal. Ooops. I’m also seriously behind on The Pike Cast, and I’ve been adding a bunch of audiobooks to my library, so I feel like things will pick up as soon as I’m able to make some progress towards having a quiet space again. In the meantime, I’d like to read through something this month, but I have no idea what just yet.

I’ve also signed up and bought the materials to do a Halloween sampler-style Stitch-A-Long, so I’d like to finish up the last bits of the project I have in progress to free up my frame for that when the pattern parts start dropping mid-month.

Honestly, as much as I liked working through multiple games and all the Blaugust shenanigans last month, I’m looking forward to some diversity in my leisure time in September.

In Review – August 2021

Data pulled from ManicTime.

August felt like an eternity. In fact, when pulling up my gaming numbers, I was sure there was some kind of mistake because surely that long ago had to be July. But no mistake, real life has conspired to make this month draw out seemingly forever.

I did manage to complete – like actual cut to credits complete – four different games this month, which is a lot for me. It was actually good timing too, since this was Blaugust and all, because that was four more posts on the way to hitting the Gold Award. This is the first time I haven’t gotten the Rainbow Diamond, but I did do more than my original goal of 15 posts for Silver. Once I hit publish on this post, that’ll be my 25 entries for the month. I realize that’s just barely squeaking by, but I’m satisfied with it considering how much else is going in my my orbit right now. I’ve done far worse with far more available time.

I only made a handful of Blaugust-themed posts, but I also managed to write up a bit about what has and hasn’t worked for me during the life of this blog, as well as a Have You Ever? and a Would You Rather? question and answer style posts. I filled out the month with some Quick Looks, Game Overs, a little bit of the MMO life, and sure, a few filler posts.

I’m not sure that this is going to lead to more regular posting – I will admit to being pretty burned out on anything that even looks like it might be tangentially related to responsibility at the moment. I don’t, however, put that down to my increased writing output this month, but rather to have been running at full throttle in the rest of my life for most of the past month as well.


The one place I kind of failed and kind of didn’t is that I never even launched the game I had originally selected for #SciFiGameMonth for the Community Game-Along. I did however play both Ticket to Earth, which was deeply and completely sci-fi, and Psychonauts 2, which in my opinion also definitely fits the theme. I may very well hold off on Eliza now until #VNNovember.

In the next week or two, my co-op play through of Stardew Valley should be wrapping up – we’re working on the Perfection Tracker now, and the list of things still undone is getting fairly short. I’m also still working my way through the Sanctum of Domination raid in World of Warcraft, although I’m doing very little else in game, I’ve decided to see it through at least another month’s sub. We’re currently 5/10N, and pounding our faces against Painsmith for the past two raid nights. Considering we only raid one night every two weeks, I’m pretty pleased with the progress we’re making.