Where I'm Going

Last night, to celebrate the end of Year One of daily writing, I touched on the incredible year I’ve had and where I’ve been.

So it seems fitting to kick off Year Two by looking ahead at where I’m going.

On the Calendar

I already have a number of things planned for the coming months on the calendar.

First up, PlayStation Experience (and possibly even the Game Awards). In my very first bit of writing for Trevor Trove, I touched on how PSX changed my life. As the first show I ever attended, it will always feel like my “home” show so of course I booked tickets for it as soon as they went on sale. With the Kinda Funny community a predominantly PlayStation crowd, many of us even referred to the last PSX as Kinda Funny Live 1.5. While it is still unclear if Kinda Funny will actually be making the trip down to Anaheim in early December, a number of the community members will be so I’m looking forward to getting to see everyone one more time before the year winds down.

Up next on the calendar: PAX South: January 27-29th. This year’s PAX South was another special little event in that, event knowing the Kinda Funny guys weren’t going to be there, I helped get a group of fans to travel there and hang out anyway. I have my tickets for this one, but it’s proximity to my next trip, as well as PAX East being pushed up to early March next year make this an event I may actually have to rethink just due to my priorities.

RTX Australia: February 4-5th. Admittedly this is more on my calendar because the idea of finally visiting Sydney seemed exciting a few months back than any particular connection to Rooster Teeth. I wrote at RTX that it probably wasn't exactly the right show for me as an outsider to the majority of their content. But Greg and Tim are going and that gave me just enough justification to talk myself into booking tickets. Due to how long it takes to travel to Sydney, I'm definitely not planning on flying in just for the weekend. So I’ve currently got about a week and a half set aside to get to Australia, attend the event and hang out with some friends “down under”, and explore the sights on vacation. But this burns through most of my vacation/personal time from work (and isn’t exactly cheap anyway) so if my living situation were to change suddenly due to a new job or opportunity, I might actually scrap these plans and save the money instead. But this is tentatively on the calendar.

PAX East: March 10-12th. Secured a pass for this when they unexpectedly went on sale a couple weeks back. I loved attending PAX East earlier this year and seeing so many friends on the East coast that unfortunately don’t get to attend as many of the West coast events as I do. This time around though I’m hoping to give myself an extra day or two to sightsee some of the history around Boston instead of just limiting myself mostly to the walk between the hotel and convention center.

Kinda Funny Live 3: TBD. Unclear when this one’s going to happen again but it certainly wouldn’t surprise if the guys at Kinda Funny aimed to hit the same Memorial Day weekend time frame as 2016.

E3: Come hell or high water, I really want to cover E3 in 2017. GDC is certainly a dream show to cover, too. Probably even more so if I’m being honest with my love of the “how games are made” side of things but E3 is no doubt the peak of the mountain for gaming coverage in the States.

Programming

I’m planning to keep writing, certainly. Much like the last few months though I might work on some content over a bit more time, building to “events” like a week of reviews or VR coverage. For example, after years of not really being a “shooter” fan, I really enjoyed sitting down with Doom and Wolfenstein this year. I just finished Battlefield 1 and started Titanfall 2. I have Gears of War 4 (as well as the rest of the series I still need to play through). And I’ve got Call of Duty Infinite Warfare/Modern Warfare Remastered arriving this week. So there will likely be a week of “shooter” reviews coming in the next couple weeks.

I’m sure I’ll be spending a lot of time with Final Fantasy XV as well when it finally launches. Perhaps I’ll treat that title with a daily log of sorts, like I did with Fallout 4 or Stardew Valley.

Game of the Year content will certainly take up some room end of December/beginning of January. With any luck, I’ll make it bigger and better than last year’s run. I’ve been keeping a tally of everything I played this year and so far there are up over 75 titles in the running.

Trove Talk will continue for the foreseeable future. I still have a long list of friends I’m looking forward to sitting down with. I’m also hoping to continue to develop the product with extra editing flourishes and whatnot. I also need to figure out what to do if I want to invite somebody on the show for a second time, since at least two of the categories would need to be re-addressed.

I’m hoping to expand the video content as well. There are a couple of segments that I liked doing as written stuff that might translate over to video. For example, I love nerding out about the business side of things with stuff like the monthly NPD and PSN top ten sellers. Maybe I can rework those into some video analysis instead.

I’m always toying around with stepping outside of just games, too. The original pre-Squarespace Trevor Trove allowed me the opportunity to write about gaming and theatre. When I upgraded, I focused on gaming because I suddenly had a wider audience and the ins and outs of the Phoenix theatrical scene weren’t as relevant to the readership. But the “Trove” part was always intended to encompass a wider net if I wanted. Maybe I’ll start with a reaction video to this week’s Doctor Strange? Or look at a season of television?

Lastly (for the moment at least), I’m hoping to keep balancing work on this site alongside freelance writing for IGN. But I certainly haven’t figured out that balance yet. The first week I had some stories for IGN published, writing for Trevor Trove took a hit. When I focused on VR stuff last week, I didn’t get any IGN stories written. I look forward to seeing how best to maximize my time to keep both experiences rewarding.

Goals for Year Two

I already touched on some of these with the idea of expanding the content. I’m occasionally flirting with the idea of starting up a small Patreon but I want to make sure I have a product worthy of it first. That said, I’ve already started factoring that idea in when thinking about how to structure something like Trove Talk. It’s no coincidence that it follows the “topic-by-topic, day-by-day” approach of Kinda Funny. I basically tried to future proof that show in case I want to make “early access” a reward tier or something.

I also tried to structure the show so it could be more of an “evergreen” product. For the most part, the gaming history, favorite game, and non-gaming topics are all designed to exist outside of the day-to-day gaming news cycle. Hopefully, somebody to jump into the conversation Alex O’Neill and I had about Persona 4 Golden in a year or two’s time and find it just as interesting as it is now.

I often forget if I’ve talked about it publicly (maybe on “We the Gamercast”) but I walked away from the IGN House Party last year (Beyond 400/Unlocked 200) with two firm goals for the industry. First, I want to make it (obviously) and return to either the Kinda Funny Gamescast or appear on the GameOverGreggy Show as a friend and industry personality instead of a Patreon guest. There are two driving factors behind that goal: a desire to thank them and the Best Friends community for all the support they/you’ve given me since first appearing on the Gamescast and to try and serve as an inspiration to anyone out there with the drive and passion to make it.

Second, I want to be one of the people at IGN’s celebration for Beyond 500 saying “I was you at Beyond 400, sitting in the audience, enjoying the show, with a dream of working here, and now I do.”

Both of these goals fuel my continued drive. And not a day goes by that I think “what if I don’t make it?” I have, without doubt, been blessed with opportunities that people who have been doing this longer and better than me could only dream of. In my professional career, pretty much every opportunity I’ve had has been a combination of two things: who I know and if I can do the job. Being able to do the job is essential, but sometimes if you don’t know the right person, you won’t be able to get anyone to see you can do the job. Likewise, if you get the ear of the right person, but then you don’t have the experience to back you up, they’ll find somebody else who can. So if you look at the last year, it has been a calculated effort to attack both of these fronts. I’ve built up a portfolio and I’ve gotten my face out there in front of the people I want to work around in the industry. It is by no means a guarantee that anything will come of it, but at the end of the day, I can put together a resume for an Associate Editor position and be infinitely prouder of what I’m delivering than I was a year and a half ago.

And if I never make it, I’m still having the time of my life trying so I’ll keep doing that until it’s not fun anymore.

Oh also, I shaved off my beard to be the Fourth Doctor at a work Halloween party. I didn't intend the whole "new year, new look" angle but maybe I'll give clean-shaven a try for a while.