Friday, March 7, 2014

Salvation in Creation

I have been fighting a losing battle this week. Depression over the current state of affairs of my life...plus the all-natural, organic depression I live with on a more or less daily basis...have laid siege to my mind. I haven't touched an RPG all week. All I've done is work, then retreat to my new home to play videogames and watch The Walking Dead until I fall asleep. Contact with other human beings seems like an ardous chore I can barely muster up the energy to do. My impulse control has greatly weakened in my efforts to find distraction. I have purchased...and several days later, returned...an iPad, and I've been on the cusp of pulling the trigger on a Playstation 4 for days. The only thing holding me back is the certain knowledge that it would not, indeed, make me feel any better. That, and the lack of decent launch titles.

Indeed, there seems to be little that can make me feel better. I only know of one thing: creating stuff. Anything, really. I hate to be the tortured artist stereotype, but sinking my teeth into a creative project seems to be one of the few things capable of fully, productively, and safely distracting me from my lack of shit-giving about life. So here is a short list (more, of course, for me than for you, dear reader) of projects I'd either like to begin work on or continue working on. Most of these, of course, involve tabletop gaming, my hobby that as of late has not been as effective as it normally is in situations such as this (probably because of the prerequisitie of other people needing to be involved), but there's a few non-gaming items on here, as well:

1. World Gone Mad. My zombie apocalypse hack of the brilliant Apocalypse World (that game, not my hack, being brilliant. Though I like my game, zombie apocalypse hacks for just about any RPG are a dime a dozen, so I'm not going to pretend I'm inventing the friggin' wheel here). I've written about the game a little bit before in the entry "An Engine of Joy", and I'm actually pretty proud of it. I have a few other ideas I want to get in writing, as well as begin screwing around with some amateur publishing/layout software and see if I can turn it into an honest book, rather than a directory on Google Drive full of separate files.

2. Cortex Plus hacking. Cortex Plus is an awesome RPG system that powers, amongst other things, the upcoming Firefly role-playing game. I've never had the pleasure of playing a Cortex game, and it looks just crazy fun, so I've wanted to put together a simple, low-drag hack to use with one of Cortex Plus's excellent, genre-specific iterations (Dramatic, for games revolving around relationships; Action, for games involving plot-driven action scenes, like many heist movies; and Heroic, for games of larger-than life characters performing feats defying the abilities of the average person-on-the-street). This hack will, of course, more than likely involve zombies.

3. My boardgame. For years I've been working on a project I call The Game of Love, a boardgame about romantic relationships. I lack any/all shop skills necessary to make a real boardgame, but I can make the rules and develop a concept, then possibly link up with others to make the physical game a reality.

4. My novel. Like any good (or not-so-good) writer, I've got a manuscript collecting dust deep in the bowels of my hard drive. I had a strong momentum and got it about a third of the way done before I fell into the amateur trap of going back and revising/editing the unfinished first part of the story; a foolish mistake that's led to my current, dead-in-the-water status with it. A dedicated redoubling of the efforts could get this thing rolling again, though.



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