Wraithkal: The Indie Gaming Corner
Remember to update your bookmarks, wraithkal.info is now wraithkal.com.

The 100th Post: A Look at the Past, Present and Future

The 100th Post

See that title? That’s right: I DID IT! One hundred articles, (almost) all written by me, with the exception of that one guest post by a friend of mine. But hey, there are still 100 articles on my site, and that’s a damn fine milestone if I do say so myself.

When I launched this site in June 2011, it was with a completely different focus compared to what you see today, along with a different name, as it went by Wraithkal’s Retro Gaming Corner. I originally decided to use Google’s Blogger and exclusively write about old games, because I’ve always had a profound interest in the classics (and I still do), which obviously made it easy for me to write about and even review some of them. It was also a good excuse to replay games I might never have considered trying again: West Bank, Batman Returns and Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, among other.

Everything was fine and peachy for a while and the readers enjoyed the nostalgia trip, but come November 2011 I suddenly decided to review the indie game VVVVVV. Why the sudden change, you ask? Well, like a lot of other indie games, VVVVVV has a definite retro feel to it, so I decided to include it on my site because of that – it wasn’t old, but it was retro for sure! To make sure my readers knew that I wasn’t casting the oldies aside in favor of “new retro”, my extensive trip down memory lane with Super Metroid was published a few days later, and what an article that was, more than 2000 words long!

The beat ’em up Turtles In Time was next in line for old-school content, but around Christmas time that year, my interest in video games had shifted somewhat, and it showed on my site as I was suddenly reviewing far more indie games than oldies. This did not mean I had lost all interest in the games I grew up playing, just that my desire to write about indie games was growing and so I started reviewing those instead, one after another, while still keeping in mind what my site was originally all about. When I published my review of Batman Returns for the Super Nintendo in February of 2012, little did I know it would be one of the last oldies I’d write about in quite a while, except for the Cadillacs and Dinosaurs review later that same month.

I wouldn’t say that the change in content was a mistake, but it may have been a bad idea. Even so, I have no regrets, because as it stands my site may have a different name now, but it still has retro in it! And  mark my words: There will be more of that before the end of 2012 – maybe you could leave a comment and suggest a game to review and/or a retro related topic to discuss? I can get quite wordy once I get started, after all.. (just look at this article!), but deciding on which game/topic to cover for an article is far from an easy task.

In a way, I guess the 90% shift to indie content over retro is what caused me to move my site and every single article on it from Blogger to the (in my opinion) vastly superior WordPress, along with getting it a unique domain instead of some silly blogspot.com URL. This happened back in January of 2012 and in a way, it helped turn me into a much more dedicated writer; exception for a few periods, during which I simply didn’t have time to write for one reason or another. Not that I’m trying to make excuses for the sizeable content gaps, but hey.. stuff happens, right? Right.

Take a brief look at the amount of articles in July, August and September, and tell me that’s not dedication, for a one-man non-profit project? Chances are it means that what I’m doing is crazy, but at least my reason for doing it is sound: I really enjoy writing about games! Even more so when it comes to the indie kind, because more than a few of those developers are struggling to get their game(s) “out there”, which brought yet another addition to my site, which is something I never thought I’d be doing: News coverage!

When I started focusing more on indie games than retro, I told myself that it would be all reviews and editorials – no news. That didn’t last long though, since the first of many Weekly Indie Update articles went up on December 3rd 2011, and in January the following year my first official news piece titled Two Indies Going Retail was published. At this point, I realized just how much fun it was to write about and put the spotlight on recent events, instead of simply reviewing the games. My Weekly Indie Update series was more of a “news digest” thing, but I made certain they were filled to the brim (almost) every single time, even if I haven’t published one every single week after the first one.

Individual news pieces are a different beast however, because if I can find something and write a sizeable chunk about it – that I’m also satisfied with its quality, it gets published! Some days that results in 1, 2 or even 3 articles, but there are times (mostly Saturdays/Sundays) where either nothing I can piece together into an article happens, or I simply feel like taking those days off – I’m my own boss here, after all.

And that being the case, I’m gonna tell myself it’s time to wrap this one up.. There are a few things left, though, including sending out a huge “thank you” to Nintendo, SEGA, Atari and everyone else who made video games in the 80’s/90’s. Had they not been around, this site would likely never have existed in the first place, so even if it’s unlikely that any of them will ever read this: You guys rocked (and some still do)!

Obviously I haven’t forgotten the other part of my site and the indie guys (and girls) definitely deserve even more praise, because without them, it wouldn’t be where it is today. Since I’ve messed around with game development in the past (BASIC, Pascal and C#), let me tell ya something: It’s far from as easy as one might think! Especially if you create the engine from scratch, as opposed to using e.g. Adventure Game Studio or Unity, so much respect and appreciation for what they do – even more so those who are actually able to make enough from it to quit their day job, because that takes some skill and dedication.

I don’t know what else to rap about, really, so instead of wandering off to random topics, here’s one last bit before I take one last deep breath and hit the big publish button:

To each and every last one of my readers, new and old, human and smurfs alike: Thank you! While the developers are my source for article content, it’s you guys who read my publications that give me the motivation to actually spend the time and effort it takes to write and publish it all.. So I genuinely hope that you will join me again in the future, on Wraithkal’s Indie Gaming Corner (With a Retro Twist)!