Category Archives: Critical Distance

Game Developers Carnivale

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It is Saturday, the day following the close of this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. A few weeks ago, I believed I would be coming here to desperately look for a job (again) while possibly drinking myself to death. Instead, I had a great time spent mainly in the company of other people, gave a couple talks, ate some good meals, and had some overpriced cocktails. A great week by any measure.

As was pointed out to me in the last few days, GDC is in a curious position among all our yearly games-focused industry events. There is a lot of homosocial hugging and tenderness I’m not accustomed to seeing out of either studio bro-culture or consumer bro-culture. There was a ‘living exhibit’ where you could play Doom deathmatches with John Romero himself, and yet more people seemed interested in attending the talk he gave with wife Brenda Romero (Train, Wizardry), Richard Lemarchand and Warren Spector about transitioning from game dev to pedagogy.

That’s not to say that there isn’t an oppressive musk of masculinity over much of GDC — the lack of diversity in the Indie Games Summit is a particular sore point this year — but it was great to feel at least mostly at ease and among friends at any given point during the conference, even if it meant I was mostly off in my own corner. I have spent so much of the last five months feeling isolated and forced to bottle up emotions under a guise of ‘professionalism’ till it all exploded, violently and messily, from behind my ribs. To feel loved and appreciated — and to see love and appreciation going on all around me — was exactly what I needed.

There is just so much hugging, though. I think I said as much to Ben at one point. “Gosh, there’s so much hugging,” I told him.

“It’s because this is the one time out of the year when a lot of us see each other,” Ben explained. “It’s kind of a reunion.”

It is, really. It’s also catharsis and ritual. It felt like coming home.

So, because I don’t want to go days or weeks before writing a lot of this down like I did last time, here are my favorite moments from this year’s GDC.

  1. Critical Proximity: The first-ever games criticism conference showed us all that this is a diverse field and that there is an equally widespread interest in talking about it. Organizer Zoya Street projected an event of maybe 30 people — instead we had over 200 attendees and hundreds more tuning in via our Twitch livestream.

    When I spoke and thanked everyone for supporting our Patreon, the applause I got was unexpected and touching in ways I can’t adequately put into words. Everything about Critical Proximity was the culmination of many wonderful things.

  2. Michael Abbott makes a surprise appearance at his own dinner. Each GDC for a number of years now, Michael Abbott (The Brainy Gamer) has organized a large dinner of fellow critics and cool people in the field. This year, he had to step away from co-organizing the event due to issues affecting his health, and he was unsure whether he could even attend. It was unfortunate, but it was even more important for Michael to look after his health, so while a Brainy Gamer dinner without the Brainy Gamer seemed a little bit improper, we went ahead. Then, after most of us had already been seated and were chatting away, there he was.

    As a relative newcomer to this scene (I didn’t appear online as a games critic till 2008 and didn’t get involved in Critical Distance till 2011), it’s at times hard for me to appreciate just how significant some of these early players of our current games criticism circles really are. Witnessing everyone drop their forks and knives to applaud Michael’s arrival — something I took part in — was incredibly moving, and just drew into even sharper focus how meaningfully some of us have touched each other’s lives.

  3. Deirdra Kiai’s microtalk at the #1reasontobe panel. Deirdra (hereafter: Squinky) was one of the first individuals to make me feel like coming out as non-binary would be okay. They’re a role model for me in a number of ways — including dress sense, which I cannot hope to emulate. For their #1reason talk, in which they articulated the intense feelings of placelessness, invisibility, and anonymity felt from not falling within the gender binary (either emotionally or physically) was deeply resonant for me. It is the first time a conference talk has brought me to tears — actually, the first time any public speech of any kind has done so. And I’m so grateful for that.

    Sidebar: Squinky’s game, Dominique Pamplemousse in: “It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!” was up for four Independent Games Festival awards this year. It didn’t win any, which I’m sort of bummed about, but Squinky’s take on the situation is on point: visibility when you are any kind of minority (sexual, racial, etc) invites untold harassment and other abuse. It shouldn’t be that way, and with any luck one day we’ll be better than this, but I understand their feeling of relief for not having won. I attended the IGF awards and when Dom-Pam came up I was the only one in my entire section who cheered — and I got dirty glares for my trouble. Even acknowledging the game’s existence, much less singing its praises (pun intended), was asking to be ostracized. But no amount of sick gamerbros can stop me from being elated that this game exists and was in the running for the same awards as other, more grandiose titles.

  4. Kate Craig thanks her wife during Fullbright Company’s Game Developers Choice Awards acceptance speech. If there is one single moment from this year’s GDC that sums up recent sea changes in games development, it is this one. In amongst the IGF and Game Dev Choice Awards’s near relentless parade of straight white cis men, Ms. Craig stood up on the stage with the other core developers of Gone Home — which had just won an award for ‘Best Debut’ — neatly and succinctly interjected with ‘I would like to thank my wife.’

    That’s it. The cheers that followed (again, not from my section of the audience, despite my best efforts) indicated that the message had been sent, loud and clear.

  5. Naomi Clark’s talk at Lost Levels. I missed witnessing this one in person, but thanks to the power of smartphones and social media, now everyone can enjoy the game dev wisdom of Ric Chivo.

    Pay particular attention to the businesswoman behind Clark who starts taking notes (in apparent earnestness) at one point.

  6. Stickers! Buttons! Postcards! True to my word, I gave out roughly two sets of Night Vale scout buttons this last week, as well as several iron-on patches. I totally did not anticipate the cool things I would receive in return! Lana Polansky gave me a great set of origami paper, while Miguel Sternberg (he of They Bleed Pixels) gave me this amazing (legitimately licensed!) sticker set of Hello Kitty as Sadako from The Ring. JUST LOOK AT IT!
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    And of course, there are the artisanal postcards designed by Maddox (Mr. Joyboy):
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    And selfie stickers from Christine Love’s Interstellar Selfie Station:
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  7. Richard Lemarchand and Phil Fish using their DJ set to speak to each other through music. These two have been a feature of the Venus Patrol/Wild Rumpus parties at GDC for years now, but this was the first year it felt like I could get a raw, clear sense of the two’s personalities through their setlist.

    Tagteaming at the turntable, their music selections spoke about generational differences and hard times and mutual respect, and would it surprise you to know there was hugging at the end? There was hugging at the end.

  8. I was able to walk into a drug store and buy a magazine containing my byline. As primarily a web-based writer, I still get a weird little thrill at seeing my name in print. It so happened that the new issue of Official Xbox Magazine, for which I wrote a retrospective on Saints Row IV, hit the stands the same week as GDC.

    (I was tempted to buy another copy to send to my mother, but I’m still afraid of having to explain what a ‘dildo bat’ is.)

  9. Unwinnable House. This is my second year staying at the Unwinnable House, a bifurcated three-story building about 20 minutes from the conference center with beds, too few power outlets, and at least one exploding toilet. Utilities mishaps aside, as populated as the house is by radicals, punks, suits and Australians, there’s really never a dull moment at any hour of the day or night.

    This year’s defining moment: playing Assault Android Cactus with Richard Terrell. He’s really good, by the way.

  10. Getting mistaken for Kris Graft at a party. I had no idea this was such an easy mistake to make, but I suppose with enough alcohol and general amounts of cluelessness anything is possible.

When I booked my flight for GDC, I was thinking of this as being kind of a last hurrah. I was out of Gamasutra, the chances of securing a press pass again seemed slim, and the odds of getting any sort of work at all were getting thinner all the time. Instead, it feels like I got exactly what I needed to get a second wind. I’m still painfully introverted — as are the vast majority of GDC attendees, I expect — but I’m definitely reenergized, which is quite possibly a first, coming from a week spent around people.

I miss my cat, though.

GDC, Critical Distance, scout badges, etc

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A few items.

I will be at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco again this year. It’s next week, so if you needed to make travel arrangements based on that piece of information… um. Oops. I’ll try to remind folks earlier next time.

Additionally, I will be giving two talks adjacent to the conference this year. The first will be at Critical Proximity, the very first games criticism and games studies conference being organized by Zoya Street. My talk will be on Critical Distance’s curation policy and will briefly touch upon some of the stuff that’s happened recently (which I’ll get into below). The other talk will be at Lost Levels and is just a small, casual thing about exploring asexuality in games. Please check the events’ websites for more info.

If you’re going to be around and happen to spot me (I made my haircut very easy to recognize this year), come say hi. I have little ‘bits of flair’ (mainly Night Vale scout buttons but also a few iron-on game patches and other things) that I’m giving away, just for fun.

Next thing. You can now help fund Critical Distance through Patreon. We’ve already raised enough to bring me on as senior curator full-time, and I really cannot thank everyone enough for making that happen. Everything we raise from here on out will go toward accelerating the expansion projects I outlined a few months ago, plus a few more I have up our sleeves.

One of the first orders of business will be the wiki, because we already have a wiki guy (hi Erik) and the whole thing is basically ready, we just haven’t had the opportunity to launch it. So keep an eye out for that.

Finally: I’m no longer doing news for Gamasutra. This relates to the previous point about doing Critical Distance full-time. I’m still doing freelance gigs and you’ll be seeing one of my first big print features in Official Xbox Magazine soon, but please refer to Gama’s official contact page about getting things onto that site.

(And yes, I know it still lists me as a news editor on that page, but I’m sure they’ll get to that at some point.)

These last few months have been really rocky which is the main reason I’ve been negligent about updating the blog. I’m really excited about the new direction my life’s taken lately and I hope to have more to share with you all soon.

Future-proofing Critical Distance

criticaldistance_kotrt_newI was speaking with one of my favorite game critics the other night. He told me, wistfully, of how proud he was of his most popular article to date, and how he wished he could take credit for it — but he couldn’t, because he’d face untold harassment.

This is sadly common. Every writer I’ve known who has signed their name to a deeply personal piece of writing — especially if it’s an account of the harm they’ve experienced in life — has faced no end of online abuse for doing so. They also seem to get pigeonholed, shut out from being known for any of their other contributions to become, instead, that one who wrote that one thing. The latter might be natural of how we process microcelebrity within our incredibly niche sphere of writing but it’s unfortunate and frankly awful all the same, and taken together with the former, it poses huge risks and endless disappointment for writers no matter if they sign their work or don’t.

(This is not, I should add, some impassioned defense of “confessional writing” or whatever semi-pejorative you wish to drum up. My stance at Critical Distance has always been that we welcome all kinds of critical games writing and commentary, which is great, because what we receive each week is always richly diverse. This here is decrying the fact we can’t seem to talk about assault, sexism, racism, harassment and so on without the writers inviting those same things upon their head, as though the universe decided it must prove a point.

Anyway,)

I wanted to tell this critic friend that “some day things will be better.” That some day we will grow out of fouling up comments sections and hurling abuse over social media. But I doubted it would happen within the lifetime of this present games crit ecosystem of ours.

Meanwhile, we’ve all seen what the ephemeral nature of the web does to the critical writing that already exists. Check out all the 404s this (quite well intended and lovely) Twitter bot has drudged up, just by going through Critical Distance’s archives. A former colleague of mine, Mark Filipowich, blogged recently about this as well. The longer C-D goes on, the worse this problem is going to get.

At that moment I imagined my critic friend’s work not only never seeing proper attribution, but evaporating into the digital ether when the site which hosts it dies, or moves, or revamps. Not only was it all but certain we wouldn’t be around in time to see a web readership that could treat his brave words with the respect they deserved, it was a pretty sure thing even the words themselves won’t outlast us.

It’s been proposed a few times now that Critical Distance create some sort of anthology, and I’ve always been a little resistant to the idea. Obtaining the rights would be such a headache, I told people. Organizing, doing the layouts, motivating volunteers, going through the endless debates of how long and which pieces and do we want to do a print version… It’s hard enough to do that sort of thing without distraction; it’s an unimaginable drain on your energy when you have a full-time job on top of that.

But this needs to happen. I’m convinced of this now. We need to do something to preserve some of this writing before it vanishes.

And there are other projects Critical Distance needs to get a move on as well: more Critical Compilations (we welcome your pitches!), an updated search engine, more foreign language coverage, new podcasts, cross referenced tagging system, resources for new writers. These are all things we’ve discussed (and continue to work on) behind the scenes, but it’s slow going. We’re a completely volunteer outfit, most of us work, and all of us find our free time in short supply.

There’ve been suggestions for how to help remedy that too, of course. I’m not going to launch into proposals for those today, but they should sound familiar: tip jar buttons, subscriptions, funding drives, etc. Frankly I’m a leery of asking for money until I send out the remaining backer rewards for my GDC trip — those are still coming, I promise — so don’t expect to see C-D rattling a coin jar in your face in the immediate future, but still. This is something we need to address, if we’re going to be able to commit the human resources to seeing these projects happen.

Please note this is not saying Critical Distance is in jeopardy of shutting down. Ben and I have enough worked out between us that we’re pretty sure we can sustain the site for quite a while. I’m talking about expansions only here. Mind you, I think some of them are pretty necessary — post tagging and the anthology in particular. Especially the anthology. If we even print one copy and bury it in a time capsule somewhere, I want this work to survive. It’s the least we owe these writers.

(No, I am not actually suggesting we print out a single copy and bury it somewhere.)

So, there you have it. Someway, somehow, this is a thing I want to see happen. When Ben handed Critical Distance off to me in 2011 I was mostly concerned with just following on the path already set out ahead of me. Now I have worked on the site nearly as long as Ben has — hard as that is to imagine for me, still — and it feels like it’s time for the site to start growing up. After all, it’s here to outlive us both.

Gone Funded Me

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So, this was a thing.

I was expecting, by today, to be doing a blog post in which I urgently requested my readers to take some time out of their day to look over my GoFundMe page and consider kicking in a dollar or two toward my trip to GDC, which in addition to being something of a game journo/dev Mecca also offers a pretty big career opportunity for me, as an MMO community lead wanting to work on Some Game Other Than The One For Which I Currently Work. I was expecting to get maybe 50 dollars or, at best, barely squeak by with enough donations to cover the wages I would lose out during my days on the road… I certainly wasn’t expecting to completely meet our funding target in less than 24 hours, or for the outpouring of support from friends and colleagues even after that to help improve the quality of the trip, work off Jason’s vet bills and make the conditions under which I work and try to make time for Critical Distance a little bit easier to bear. The last couple days have been nothing short of stunning and the words do not exist to adequately express my gratitude.

So I’ll try large fonts.

THANK YOU!

Critical Distance alum and very generous supporter David Carlton has written up a post making his case for why it would be nice if we can continue to see donations come in on the funding drive. The trip will likely be more expensive than I’ve budgeted and there are a lot of outstanding financial issues beyond the scope of the conference in March for which I would deeply appreciate the helping hand.

Recently I was denied for food stamps. This was the second time that I’ve applied and been rejected, and neither query was made as a spur-of-the-moment thing. My student loan repayment bills are starting to come in. My insurance has rejected every claim to help me cover desperately needed medical costs and recently I was hit with yet another large charge for unmade payments to one of my care providers. No matter how I run the numbers or how much I tighten my belt (and it’s quite tight- I’m averaging three days between solid meals and for as much as I could probably do with some dieting, that isn’t how steady weight loss works), I am just not earning the money I need to be making if I want to keep living in my current place, receiving the care and paying for the medication I need to keep functioning… far less run a volunteer operation like Critical Distance on the side. I’ve been looking into moving up to the San Francisco Bay Area for a while now but though I have a few friends up there with whom I’ve discussed getting a place together nothing has yet gelled, and even if it did, I couldn’t afford the moving costs. It’s really about as stuck in a rut as it’s possible to get.

I’m not by any means asking to be lifted wholesale out of my present situation and exonerated from all responsibility, financial or otherwise. I believe in hard work (I think you’ll find most people do) and in climbing out of whatever pit into which I’ve dug myself. Even sharing the details of my current hardship goes against everything I was brought up to believe was appropriate: talking about money is gauche, talking about not having it is humiliating, and so on and so forth. It was difficult to set up something like a funding drive. In fact, not even 12 hours prior to posting it I was having a backroom panic about needing to quit C-D, leave my current social circles, and, as these things go when one has a mental illness, take more drastic actions with myself… So the fact that we made our funding target so quickly only shows me that a great many people –friends, colleagues, readers, even total strangers– already sympathize with what I’m going through and know that this isn’t the equivalent of asking for a handout. And for that, I am extremely grateful.

Any support I receive from here on out is definitely a bonus, much-needed and deeply welcome, and if you will take the time to consider sending a little bit of cash my way on top of the amount that has already been raised I can promise you that it will be put to good use. I am thankful to all the support you have given me so far, whether in the form of a donation or sharing the link or just offering your moral support. It has all been wonderful. And I can’t wait to meet so many of you in March.

It’s not a popularity contest.

This post is not directed at any individual. It’s more an amalgam of responses from several individuals, in several different contexts, heard over a sustained period. Again, this is not about you. If anything, this is about why you’re not alone.

I have been publishing stuff online since I was 11.

I normally take this fact for granted. After all, it wasn’t very good stuff. I wrote my first fanfiction at the age of 7 (it was featured in my class’s library and I got some very serious reader reviews from my fellow 7-year-old classmates). I finished my first novel at 16. By the age of 20, I was writing at least one short story a week, often in addition to recurring serials, while also gainfully employed and a full-time student. I am only barely exaggerating when I say I’ve broken my back over getting the approval and attention of readers, and I know from quite a bit of first-hand experience that the harder I tried, the more it backfired. In one particularly dreadful instance, this overwhelming need for attention led to hospitalization (the less said about that, the better).

Again, I usually take this for granted, and at times I forget that the people I interact with aren’t as seasoned with the mad, mad world of Putting Words On The Internet. It doesn’t even all come down to publishing; I’m just very accustomed to interacting with writers, especially of the amateur stock.

Now, “amateur” is an unfairly stigmatized word. Writing done out of passion can be the best writing on the planet. Some of my favorite works of fiction have the prefix “fan-” appended to them and I will not hear a single derogatory word about it. Likewise I don’t mind a whit what you do in your spare time on your own blog. But when you submit something for peer review, “amateur” isn’t simply a work born out of love which is beyond criticism; it means you’re a non-professional entering into an arena where professionals also exist.

Does being a non-professional blogger deserve some leverage? Sure. “Professionalism” is often used as a gatekeeping tactic to serve the privileged and keep outsiders from breaking into a field. As much as I can, I want to challenge that. At the same time, I want to heavily discourage the kind of drama-laden behavior I grew well and truly sick of from my time in amateur writing circles– things I’ve done, in addition to things I’ve had directed at me. And it all essentially comes down to one thing:

Don’t Depend on Someone Else for Your Self-Esteem

I could tell you such horror stories. The all-night benders, the sore tailbones, the pulsating eyestrain, the tears, the aching wrists. All so I could hit “Publish” before some self-imposed deadline. Then the waiting game would begin, reloading the page, checking my inbox. I might’ve been up for three days straight at that point, but I couldn’t sleep without seeing who was talking about it, who liked it. They had to like it! I spent so much time on it!

I have had very public meltdowns as a result of not getting adequate traffic on a particular serialized novel. Thankfully, I was a teenager and posting under a pseudonym, or I probably couldn’t be as candid about it all these days. I’m embarrassed by how I behaved, but I also know why I behaved that way: I was exhausted, stressed out, and I had just put to rest a story I had spent nine straight months writing at near breakneck pace, with very little prep time. Moreover, I had convinced myself that the only way I could prove my “worth” was if I was constantly the object of everyone’s attention. Anything less than floods of praise made me miserable and suicidal. (I also had undiagnosed major depression.)

It took a few very patient friends to reassure me of two very important things, bits of wisdom which I’ve kept with me ever since:

1) The people who comment on your work represent a small minority of those who read and enjoyed it. There are no exceptions to this.

2) You will never please everyone. In fact, you don’t want to please everyone. Pleasing everyone means you aren’t saying anything worth a lasting impression.

You will get excluded or overlooked at some point in your life– probably many times. It’s not a campaign against you and most of the time it’s not even conscious, far less deliberate. It cannot be taken personally. If you think I’m just saying this as a curator for This Week in Videogame Blogging, you’re wrong; all of us, in our capacity as bloggers, critics, journalists, et cetera, grapple constantly with getting acknowledgement and credit for our work in a culture which is often enough forgetful, easily distracted, and capricious, and I am no exception in that struggle. Quite frankly, whatever number of years you might cite feeling ignored and even invisible to your peers, I’m fairly certain I could double it, due simply to how long I’ve been doing this in one way or another. And I know no advice for how to overcome that feeling except to put yourself out there as often as possible and stick to your guns once you’re out there.

Your self-esteem should not depend on the actions of others. It’s an easy way to get hurt, and believe me, I’ve gotten hurt that way. The alternative is not to shut off the outside world and dismiss it as inherently negative and worthless, but you do need to find a more sustainable middle ground. It’s unreasonable to expect anyone, in any community online or off, to be responsible for your happiness. We all take pride in our work and enjoy it when others like it as well. But the only one you have to prove anything to is yourself (and well, maybe your close friends). The only one who can give you confidence is you.

(I would appreciate art sources for the various wonderful Wheatley fanart I’ve used here. I’d love to credit you!)

Mailbag!

(art credit: thegalen)

OK after today’s This Week in Game Blogging I really have to know. How many of you guys over there at CD are bronies?

-anon

Hmmm, two of us, I think? I’m not sure if Eric actually considers himself a brony, though he has watched the entire series (thanks to my incessant prodding) and seems to enjoy quoting it whenever he gets the chance. The others, they haven’t really come forward with their Thoughts On Ponies one way or another. If they hate them they’re being very patient with the 1/3 of the crew that loves them.

Good morning, 2012.

I woke up sometime this afternoon to a loud banging upstairs, suggesting my upstairs neighbors were either moving out or moving something large and heavy in. Prior to this I had hibernated for nearly 36 hours straight after the five days’ worth of insomnia, all-nighters and excessive caffeine intake which comprised my MA exam week.

USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Critical Studies program puts its second-year MAs through three of six available exam subjects. These are 10+ page essay responses on delivered prompts due within a 24 hour period. Even if you’re an efficient writer, it’s pretty punishing. I managed to be done by midnight for my first two exams but the final one kept me awake until about six in the morning, a mere four hours before the deadline. So I elected to take an extended vacation, not to visit the fam, but to visit my bed. David Carlton, luckily, filled in for me for TWIVGB over at Critical Distance– thank you for that, David.

I guess since I have exactly two seconds before I pass out again in preparation for the first day of my last semester tomorrow, I’d catch everyone up on what I was doing these past few weeks.

Critical Distance Confab

First, I showed up on a podcast with the rest of the Critical Distance cabal, in a five hour mega-podcast reflecting back on the Year 2011. Eric Swain moderated, Ian Cheong sounded American, Ben Abraham was pretty laid back, David Carlton lamented that we don’t feature mobile releases enough, and Katie Williams was very very quiet until we started discussing the Freeplay Panel. Fun was had by all and I think I’m tied with Ian for number of cursewords.

TYIVGB

Subsequently the other editors and I aided Eric in determining our final list for 2011’s This Year in Video Game Blogging. Apart from doing my share of the whittling and participating in a very long Skype conference, I also saw to it that Eric’s tenses were consistent.

Everything that made it onto TYIVGB is very good. Not all the pieces on there were my decision, but this is a collective process among six very distinct editors no two of which have the same background in approaching this kind of work. We all strove to feature the best of the year’s offerings from many different authors. Here’s to 2012 being an even more diverse and dynamic year for the ludodecahedron.

Gameranx

I agreed to Ian a while ago that I’d do a few articles for him for Gameranx. I’ve written two so far, the first of which you can already go and read on the site. It’s about how Mass Effect is actually a hypercapitalist dystopia, and as consequence, why I think it’s a more interesting sci-fi universe than the giants it seeks to rival. The second one, when it appears, I’ll also remember to link here. Um, if I remember.

Oh, if you’re wondering, my new year’s resolution was to pass my MA exams. So, here’s to hibernating for the next 365 days.

Dire Critical Distance

It’s been observed that under my direction, TWIVGB roundups have gone up later than usual. There are a couple reasons for this, partly internal and partly related to my work schedule: I tend to work eight-hour shifts on both Saturday and Sunday, and the last thing I want to do after those is spend another few hours at the computer.

I’m looking at changing my work schedule to free up more time on the weekends in the future, so hopefully they’ll start appearing closer to their normal time (although probably in the afternoon, to accommodate last-second submissions). Also, I’m finally on my winter break from work this Thursday, so we might start seeing these changes before the new year (cross your fingers).

All this said, I thought it’d be valuable to outline just what goes into a TWIVGB– at least those that I write. Keep in mind that we still have a large stock of regular contributors. One of them, our ever-diligent Eric Swain, has even done his own post about it (a post which eventually would result in me joining the CD staff). My process isn’t his, but there is a bit of overlap.

(Also, mine will use Phoenix Wright pictures for illustration, because I don’t know how to capture your attention except with funny pictures.)

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