Well. It’s been quite the fortnight.
Over the past two weeks I’ve posted nine reviews (a round-up, Layton’s Mystery Journey and Mario & Luigi), two videos and a tips special on the site: given that I’ve been juggling that with a 9-to-5 job and other freelance work that’s a lot of work.
That’s about to change, though.
While I’m not able to go into details at the moment – expect more information soon! – I’m about to take on a project that will take up a massive chunk of my free time.
What this essentially means is that, for the new few months, you can expect fewer long-form written articles on Tired Old Hack.
That doesn’t mean the site is going to be getting fewer updates, mind.
I’ve been really happy and proud with the way Tired Old Hack’s been growing recently: the site was added to Metacritic last month, my VHS preservation project has been receiving lots of attention and I’ve been watching my site traffic, YouTube subscribers and Twitter following steadily grow as a result.
I don’t intend on letting that momentum drop, so you can still expect to see regular new articles on the site. It’s just that most of them will be in a different format.
Here’s what you can expect in the coming months, starting… [checks watch]… NOW.
‘First play’ videos
The most notable change will be a new series of videos called First Play. Not the most original name, but meh.
Simply put, every time I get a new game for review (embargo allowing) I’ll record me playing it with commentary then put together a 30-60 minute video showing my first interaction with it.
The reason for this is that I’ve been getting a hell of a lot of review code recently, and I want to ensure I can still cover everything to at least some degree.
There were 11 Switch games released on the EU eShop today, for example, and I got code for six of them. With my new project I just won’t have time to write six full reviews, but I will be able to do six First Play videos, with written review round-ups coming later.
The videos should at least give you a good idea of what to expect with each game, which I’m hoping will be particularly interesting given that many of them will be Switch indie games that may not be getting a lot of attention on other sites.
Over the coming week or so, for example, you can expect First Plays of the following games:
• Rogue Trooper Redux (Switch)
• Wulverblade (Switch)
• Sine Mora Ex (Switch)
• Yono And The Celestial Elephants (Switch)
• Neon Chrome (Switch)
• The Flame In The Flood: Complete Edition (Switch)
• 88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition (Switch)
• theHunter: Call Of The Wild (Xbox One)
I can record these fairly easily since I’ll be playing the games anyway, and I’ll be able to render and upload them in the background while I work on my big project.
If you’re worried the above will mean the end of written reviews on the site, fret not.
My review round-ups will still make appearances, covering the games I’ve previously done First Plays for.
Each review will be a little shorter than usual, but there’ll still be some bad jokes in there to (hopefully) keep you entertained while I work on my project.
Besides, trust me, once you see what it is you’ll hopefully be as excited as I am for it.
VHS Preservation Project
The VHS Preservation Project will continue on the site.
I still have around 15 tapes from my own collection to upload, both with and without commentary.
Even better, thanks to a kind offers from an international reader, I’m about to have another huge batch of foreign language VHS tapes – more about those once I get them – which I’m particularly excited about because some of them look fantastic.
Again, these are fairly low maintenance articles because for the most part they involve recording a commentary track, fixing the video levels, rendering and uploading.
As such, it’s going to be easy for me to continue preserving and uploading these VHS tapes without it interfering with my big project.
Although for the next few months I’m swearing off long-form articles, every now and then there will be a game that I won’t be able to resist.
On the odd occasion when a big release is offered to me for review, I will still find time to cover these games.
These will be exceptions rather than the rule, and a good example of this is Super Mario Odyssey which (all going well) I expect to be able to review before launch.
The Tired Old Hack podcast
The podcast will continue, and will probably be more regular in the coming months.
I’ll be talking about recent news and trying to get some more guests on to mix things up a bit.
I’ve already got a couple of interesting guests lined up: we just need to get our diaries in sync and then it’s party time.
And, of course, Louise is still up for being my co-host every now and then too, so hopefully you won’t have to put up with too many of my moany solo episodes.
If you’ve been a member of my Patreon you may have noticed that I haven’t posted too much in the last week or two.
That’s mainly down to me sorting out details with this big project. Now they’re done I’ll be sharing information with you about it in the near future.
That aside, expect a lot more Patreon posts in the coming weeks, including the return of my audio updates giving my views on recent gaming news and what I’ve been up to.
And if you aren’t a member of my Patreon, now’s the time to do it: as well as the upcoming increase in content there’s also the small matter that I’ll be going cold turkey on freelance while I work on this project so my lovely Patrons’ contributions will be even more welcome than usual.
Long story short, then, expect an increase in video and audio content on the site and a slight decrease in written content for the next few months.
To reiterate, this doesn’t mean I’m ditching all written content altogether: I’ll still be doing full reviews of the big releases, and review round-ups will continue (albeit each review will be shorter than usual).
That said, I hope the new First Play series does a good job of showing you some new games you may not necessarily be familiar with (in particular the Switch eShop stuff).
I’m deliberately going to be covering games that have been given less attention by the bigger sites going forward: you can get triple-A coverage anywhere but, for example, I’m still one of just two or three Metacritic publications who’ve reviewed Switch games like Picross S, Deemo, Butcher and Binaries, all four of which are worth a look.
I hope you enjoy what’s to come on Tired Old Hack. If you haven’t already please do subscribe to my YouTube channel because given my temporary focus on video that’s where a lot of the content will be appearing.
Your opinion on video aside, I hope you’ll continue to support me during what’s going to be a massively stressful time for me, but one that will ultimately result in what may well be the best thing I’ve ever worked on. Next year is going to be enormous for me, and I want as many of you with me along for the ride.
Thanks troops, I love you all to bits.