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September 14, 2015

A Lickety-Split Housekeeping EX Shuffle

You know, I’m a little bummed out that the phrase “lickety-split” has fallen by the wayside.  Someone needs to bring that back.  I’d say that I’d do it, but I’m lobbying for greater circulation of my quasi-catch phrase of “yikesy mikesy”.

All right, that’s enough irreverence.  Let’s do this fast.

So first on the docket: I’ve been sitting on posts for Devil May Cry 4 (the special edition, technically), and it’s high time I get them out there.  So those will be coming soon.  Very soon.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to toss them all out back-to-back-to-back -- there’s three of them, by the way -- or if I’ll let one drop once every week.  But they’re coming.  And all things considered, they’re some of my favorite posts I’ve done in a while.  Are they the best?  That’s up for debate.  But I’m actually pretty proud of them, so if you read anything by me, then read those three posts.  Heads up, though: it gets pretty emotional at the end.

Just as well, though.  I’ve been leading up to the DMC4 posts for a good while now, so it’s time for the culmination of this crazy train of thought.  Still, before those posts come out, I would STRONGLY recommend taking a look at this post.  Yeah, it’s counterbalanced by the presence of Kamen Rider (as are many things I do), but I figured that before I went all in with DMC4, I figured I needed to step back and talk about DmC.  So have fun with that.

Speaking of Kamen Rider

Not to be a one-trick pony, but you’re going to see more of that soon.  I’ve actually been sitting on some more KR posts for…I don’t know.  It’s been several months, at least -- probably around the last time The Last of Us was making headlines.  (Hint, hint, hint.)  As groan-inducing as it may be to go in-depth with something that most people don’t even know how to pronounce, I NEED to get into this subject.  Not only because it’s got one of my favorite characters in anything, EVER, but because…well, you’ll see.

It’s also my intent to drop all pretenses of talking about video games and -- as I did last year -- go for a full review of the latest series.  Last time it was Kamen Rider Gaim (which had its ups and downs, but was still ultimately a good series), and at some point in the future it’s going to be Kamen Rider Drive…which is actually a pretty friggin’ sick-ass series.  No telling when I’ll get around to that -- as of writing, the series isn’t quite finished yet -- but it’ll happen eventually.

Now, back to video games.

I find it hilarious that up until a week before release, I was all like, “What the hell is Until Dawn?”  I’m not even joking; I knew nothing about it for ages except for the name.  And even then, it slipped my mind.  But having watched a fair amount of the game, and having played the opening bits, I can say that Until Dawn is…well, it’s strange.  I’m debating whether or not it’s actually good, but its’s still interesting as hell.  If it IS good, then I can guarantee you right now that it’s not because it delivers what you expect, or even what it advertises.  Frankly, I’m convinced that Until Dawn is the greatest con job the gaming world has ever seen.  But I’ll get to that.

I’ve got other posts lined up, and I’ve got other games I want to play.  Eventually.  Like, I should probably play more of The Witcher 3, especially since I got my runback against that werewolf.  Same goes for Bloodborne; I haven’t played it since I found the second boss -- by accident, even though I had yet to beat the first boss.  (There’s never been a better instance of “bailing the fuck out” than when I found that second boss.)  And maybe I’ll get past Final Fantasy 9’s first dungeon someday.  Someday.

Lots of stuff I want to do.  But let’s talk about other stuff.  Namely, some changes.

Don’t worry.  We’ll get through this together.

In the same vein as bloggers/writers/content producers/Cool Guys like MovieBob and Spoony, I’ve added in a donation button so that anyone who wants to, say, toss a few dollars my way to celebrate a job well done can do so.  I’ve actually been meaning to do this (or something like it) for a while, but you know how it goes.  Life gets in the way.

Anyway, the important thing is that the donation button is more than just a way to paw at wallets.  I’ve said as much before, but my plan is to start up a Patreon thingamajig -- so basically, the donation button on the page is an interim solution.  I hope no one thinks of this as sketchy, because it’s not like I’m forcing anyone to pay up for content that’s been free for years.  But it should go without saying: supporting me and supporting Cross-Up are one and the same.  More support means more games and more content…and with it, better content.

There are still a lot of details that need to be ironed out, but I guess I should play one of my cards now: in the ideal scenario (and if my understanding of the system is correct), then a successful Patreon whatchamacallit is potentially going to be the precursor to me making my own video game.  That’s a bold-ass statement, and I know it’s a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG way away, but I think that I might be able to swing something.  I already have a couple of ideas, one of which might actually be pretty viable and play to my skill set (which is a definite plus, I’ve heard).  Will anything materialize?  Who knows?  But I want to at least take a good step forward.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “Voltech, you miserable wretch!  What hope do you have of success with your blog in the stat it’s in?  What makes you think that you, of all people, can amass an army of supporters?”  Fair point.  And the answer to that is that I don’t need an army of supporters.  What I want is a band of comrades.  To do that, I’m going to have to branch out.

And that means calling on some old friends.

Man, look at that guy on the right.  I bet he's a secret asshole.

I’ve been pecking away at stuff in the background, and it’s about time for me to call on them for a multitude of purposes.  My plan, such as it is, is to have them (and others) appear here on the blog -- in what capacity, I haven’t quite locked down yet.  But I can use them to illustrate some important points as well as give an inside look into my writing adventures.  (So I guess a couple of you out there know what heinous feature is coming back.)  The bigger point of interest is that they’re going to be the lynchpin of my self-promotion strategy.  I have a few art assets now, so where do you post art?  DeviantArt.  I’ll have to dust off the old account and get to it, so hopefully it’s well-received -- along with me in general.

In the likely scenario that I can’t keep up the pace with my art, then I have a backup plan.  My understanding of DeviantArt is that it can be used to show off writing as well as pictures.  Given the forums and communities there, I’d bet that there are plenty of people who’d come read about my praise for the Pikmin universe and my unrelenting hatred of Watch Dogs.  I just have to show them that this blog exists, and I can build the community I should have ages ago.  It’ll take some effort, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

So I’m going to get more aggressive with the self-promotion and the conversion of this blog into a real platform instead of a fat wad of virtual nothing.  Fair enough.  But here’s the important thing: my plan is to make some important reforms to Cross-Up.  Very important.  It’s been my baby for several years now, but I’ve known for months that things need to change.  And part of that change will come from an understanding of what I can offer.

See, I’ve been thinking about my writing for a good while, and what it takes to bring it to the next level.  One of the things I’ve heard about consistently is “voice” -- and while I understand the idea behind it, I’m not sure if I ever really got it.  That’s probably the cause of several thousand problems, but I think I’ve reached a point where I understand what needs to be done.  I think that, thanks to this blog, my writing, and my ideals, I know more than just what a voice is.  I know what my voice is.

It’s all about bonds.

I think that the greatest strength I have as a writer -- or at least, the strength I want to have -- is the power to connect to people.  I mean that in the sense that I’m eager to leave an impact, as one should.  But it goes beyond that.  I want people to be affected by what I write, and feel like I’m right beside them -- more often than not, laughing it up and putting smiles on their faces.  I’ve been called an “overly sanctimonious asshole” and a “know-it-all weeaboo” because of what I’ve written.  But really, nothing would make me happier than having someone read what I write and think of me as something a bit more pleasant.  Not just a writer.  Not even a hero, either.  Maybe, just maybe, my writing can show that we don’t have to be separated by borders, beliefs, or anything of the sort.  Maybe all I want -- maybe the key to everything -- is to build the strongest bonds possible.

So.  That’s going to be the core of several changes from here on.  I’ll hold off for now to make sure I can get everything set up -- and so I can do things right -- but reform is coming.  And revivals are coming.  Progress is slow for now, but if all goes well, then it’ll be worth it.  I want to be a hero, but I realize now that it doesn’t have to be a solo journey.  Others want to fight, too.  And who am I to deny them their chance to cry out loud?

And that’s all I’ve got.  I need to get serious about promoting this blog, so that’s what I’ll be picking at in the days and weeks to come.  If you’re reading this, then don’t be afraid to share, either.  Tell your friends, tell your family, etc.  This isn’t just my platform anymore.  This is ours.  Our platform, our fight, and our hope.

Now then.  Who’s ready to change the world?

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