Thursday, December 29, 2022

2022 - A year in the rearview


Sunset over the street - photo by Debra Chapman

We're getting to the end of the year, and it's time for my usual review of what's happened. Another year I'm glad to see diminish into the rearview mirror. 

What actually happened? 


This is where it gets tricky. Work-wise, I'm bound by lots of NDAs, but needless to say lots of things happened, there was lots of writing, approvals, checking, more approvals, and my line at Cubicle 7 put out some cool Doctor Who related stuff, including a Starter Set, a book of connected adventures, a guide to planets and alien worlds, and we did what was assumed to be impossible - convert Doctor Who for 5e Dungeons & Dragons, allowing non-violent conflict and encounters to really shine in 5e. When "Doctors and Daleks" was announced there was so much backlash it was ridiculous. Nearly half of the comments were "why don't you use another system?" - there already is one! Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game has been around for nearly 13 years.

Social Media

Comments like that nearly drove me off the internet entirely, and I tried to avoid social media for a bit. Of course, with the purchase of a certain large social media platform by another idiot with more money than sense, last month I finally pulled the plug on my Twitter account. 

It's been weird without it. I still have the twitching urge to sit and doomscroll, but I've deleted my account and the app, so maybe my need to constantly do something else while I'm watching stuff on TV will subside eventually. Sometimes I just can't switch my brain off...


Still of Scully and Mulder from The X-Files

As mentioned before, I find it really hard to concentrate on TV and movies. I need to keep my computer/phone/ipad away from me and actually force myself to sit and watch something. There have been two exceptions to this - one has been my rewatch of The X-Files. I started rewatching it a while ago when we got Disney+, and I've been really enjoying rewatching one of my favourite series ever (The X-Files is up there at joint number 1, sharing the position with Twin Peaks). I'm currently in the middle of Season Eight, and my lovely wife has bought me the bluray collection so it's even shinier than the Disney+ streaming rate (I don't think our X-Box does it justice) and there are loads of extras to immerse myself in. When I finish Season Eleven, I may start again, only going through all the extras as well, or watching episodes with commentary. 

Sell Your Haunted House

The other exception has been watching loads of cool series that require subtitles. That really means I can't get distracted with social media, and have to concentrate on the TV to take in the story. It has opened my eyes to a whole world of amazing series. I really enjoyed 1899, from the makers of another great favourite of mine, DARK. And I've been watching loads of fantastic South Korean series, such as Alchemy of Souls, Hotel Del Luna, and the fantastic Sell Your Haunted House


When it comes to games, I kinda just mean tabletop roleplaying games. I've discovered I'm awful and very, VERY, out of practice when it comes to video games. And I mean real video games. Sure, I play things like Hogwarts Mystery on my phone, but when it comes to console games, I'm pretty crap. I tried playing Star Wars: Fallen Empire for the first time yesterday and I died a dozen times on the first level while it was trying to teach me how to play. And that was on 'Medium' difficulty...

On the TTRPG front, outside of some playtesting at work, I guess I've been mostly playing The One Ring. Okay, I have a confession to make - I'm not really one for 'fantasy' RPGs, though I still play D&D on a monthly basis with my old gaming group. The One Ring (we're playing Free League's 2nd Edition) has been fairly epic, but we're frequently getting killed in it and have recently started with a new set of characters after a stream of disastrous rolls lead to another TPK. It's been okay. I don't feel quite as invested as the Tales from the Loop games or the Star Wars ones have been, but it's been fun and we'll see how it progresses. There are some epic plots going on in the background we keep touching upon (though when we get close, I usually roll really badly and get my ass kicked). 

Very interested to actually play Blade Runner to experience the investigation side of it first-hand... 


Otherwise, it's been okay. I still dream of moving out of the city (it's too busy for a country boy like me). I'm still very reluctant to leave the house... there are scary people out there! I'm still convinced that the guys who fixed our roof were scammers who ripped me off, and I shouldn't keep reading the local news.

I did leave the house this year though, and in May I took to the air again for the first time in seven years, flying to Dublin to visit Cubicle 7's head office. I have to say, for someone who doesn't like being around large groups of people, Stanstead Airport is not a great place to be. 

At the airport, looking at a RyanAir plane

Compared to the 18-hour flight to Australia, this was thankfully short, and certainly a lot more cramped. But, I made it both ways. I think I have a similar trip to look forward to in the New Year, but at least I know what to expect this time around.

Looking Ahead...

With another trip looming on the horizon, what else can I expect from the new year? I have no idea. Only thing I can be certain of is that I'm going to try to host #RPGaDAY again in August - it's 10th year and we should hopefully do something cool for the anniversary. Don't know what yet.

I'm doubting the name of my various pages/handles, using Autocratik. I'd originally used the name when I wanted to do things for myself, and it began as a play on the REM album "Automatic for the People" when I published as "Autocratik for the Masses". But now I'm doubting it. A rebrand may be coming... 

I want to draw more. I started an autobiographical graphic novel... three times I've started that now... one day I may actually be happy with what I draw. Mostly, I think it sucks.

I want to get off of social media, and stop relying on it for everything - but on the other hand I want to return to blogging on here more. But does anyone actually read this? 

Above all, I want the fighting to stop. I want the rich to use their money for good for a change. I want people to care about each other, and the world they live in. 

And I want you all to have a peaceful, prosperous, and a healthy 2023.

Stay safe everyone, and stay multi-classy.


Dunromin University Press said...

Yes, we read it. Big hugs to you both from the most multiclass person I know - me!
Milo. xxx

Tim Knight said...

I try and read your every post, even though I rarely comment (which is poor, given that I blog also and delight in readers' comments). I totally understand the desire to distance yourself from social media, but please continue with the blog.

Carlos de la Cruz said...

We still read your blog.

I also left social media last year; I was only on Twitter and now I'm at last free. I still write on my blog and that's enough for me. And I have free time to read books again ;).