Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First Birthday

Today is the first birthday of the CRPG Addict, and I was hoping that this posting would come after a long string of reviews, culminating in my 50th game, rather than as the first posting after nearly two weeks of silence. But perhaps nothing else better exemplifies the feast-or-famine nature of my blog. As hiatuses go, this last 10 days has been one of my shorter ones--I had breaks in May and August last year that I wasn't sure I'd recover from.

My winning Rogue screenshot.

This blog began at the encouragement of a Reddit user named RedDyeNumber4, after I won Rogue and posted a screen shot to /r/games. I had just spent four months trying to beat the game, and I wanted to share the triumph with someone. I don't know why the idea of a blog hadn't occurred to me before. I had long been drafting thoughts on CRPGs--some of which have appeared among my "special topics" postings--but if I thought about publishing them at all, I guess I thought I might interest a site like Gamespot or something. Once I had the suggestion, though, I was very excited about it.

I know various aspects of my plan--DOS only, chronological order, six hours no matter how forgettable the game--have struck some readers as silly, and many of you have suggested changes or exceptions. But making a specific plan and sticking with it is very much within my personality. If I had to do it again, I probably would have set a rule about playing the games on their best platforms, but I definitely wouldn't jettison the six-hour rule, which has prevented me from writing trite, cursory postings on some games while rushing to the ones I most anticipate. Even with the rule, I've given a raw deal to certain titles. I could have tried a bit harder on Wizardry II, III, and IV, for instance, and I should have spent more time on Swords of Glass, which seems now like an authentically good-but-overlooked title--the very thing I started this blog to find.

On the whole, though, I'm satisified that the blog has met its purpose. I am a guilty hobbiest, and I can assuage that guilt by having a goal to my hobbies. I used to feel slightly ashamed at all the time I spent on crossword puzzles, but now that I attend the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament every year, my crossword time becomes "training." I used to hate myself for all the CRPG hours--going so far as throwing away games in disgust after winning them--but now I have this project, and goals for it, and readers who seem to like my postings. This makes me feel better about playing games. In fact, it makes me feel bad if I don't play games for a long stretch of time, as in the past 10 days.

The CRPG addict's weekly visits, courteey of Google Analytics.

At the outset, I didn't think I'd care whether I had many readers or not. I considered the blog primarily a self-expression project. But I've been surprised at how much I've come to value comments and dialog. I know nothing about most of you, but I've learned to recognize and appreciate your unique voices. Some of you offer me good supplemental information about the games, some of you have great senses of humor. I can always count on one or two of you for hints. You've helped me with research, files, and translations--sometimes removing a convenient excuse to just move on from a game! When you've disappeared...well, I haven't cried myself to sleep, but it's been a little disappointing. Two longtime, quality commenters stalked off permanently when I bailed on Faery Tale Adventure. It's made me more conscious of the consequences of giving up on games that are someone's favorites.

Here's something I didn't mention on my blog when it happened: a few months ago, I quit my job so that I could do training, teaching, and contract work full-time. I haven't revealed my profession on this blog, not because I care if you know, but because I don't want people from my profession finding the blog. It would cause a lot of issues. But imagine I was something like a state economic planner, and then I started teaching and consulting on economic planning, and now I do that teaching and consulting full-time. That'll give you the right idea. The reality of my new life is that I'm on the road at least half the time, but when I'm not, I'm at home all day, and the temptation to play games instead of working is all too real. I was home for most of the month of January, which explains my prodigious output, and I'm traveling most of the month of February, which I hope excuses my recent drop-off.

I can never correctly anticipate how much time I'll have. Sometimes I'll be going to a conference with plenty of friends and colleagues, and yet I find I have a lot of time to play--almost all of Dungeon Master was written from hotel rooms in Dallas and Seattle. Other times, I'll be headed to a boring place I don't like, like Kansas City last week or Phoenix a few months ago, assuming that I'll be playing and blogging at night, and I end up absurdly busy all week. I've experimented with writing postings in advance, and sometimes it works. You didn't notice when I was gone for a week in January because I had already won Ys before my first posting on Sorcerian was even published.

Over the last few months, I've started to receive a lot more direct e-mails from readers or other people asking about my blog. Sometimes, I don't really know what they want. Other times, I'm delighted, as when a reader recently gave me the opportunity to comment on a CRPG under development. Between the blog comments and e-mail, I get a lot of the same questions over and over, so here are the answers to a few:

  • Time: I have time to play so many games by staying up late at night. I do much of my playing in the four hours after my wife goes to bed and before I get tired. I don't have many other hobbies, I don't follow sports, and I don't watch TV except what I get on Netflix Instant Play during a particularly boring game, so I have extra time that most people don't.
  • Comments: I get an e-mail alert for every comment someone leaves, and I read every comment no matter how old the original posting. I respond to about 50% of them based on my overall reaction. I think I've responded to almost all questions.
  • Maps: I make them in Excel by using the "draw borders" tool. Nothing fancy.
  • Money: I don't put ads on my site because I can't imagine the amount of revenue would make it worth while. I don't want to make this blog about money. If regular readers feel compelled to pay me back, I wish they'd just offer to buy me a drink when I'm in their towns.
  • Wife: I have one. Her name is Irene. She doesn't know about the blog, and I think it would be kind of difficult to tell her after doing this for a year. She does occasionally like to play console games with me, and a few weeks ago we went out and bought an X-box 360 and a few games she liked the look of, one of which was Oblivion. The irony stings.

The ultimate message that I want to convey here is that I'm grateful to all of you who read the blog. You've helped turn something that I used to do solo--and feel embarrassed about--into a kind-of community where you can share my joy of good games, my disgust and amusement at bad games, and make unique discoveries as we tour the history of CRPGs. I apologize for my hot-and-cold publication schedule, but I'll try to do better in Year 2. Stick with me, and we'll have a lot of fun together.


  1. Congrats on a year, and a very successful one at that. I think most people are like me and recognize this isn't exactly a job for you - I'm excited when I come home to a post every night for a couple weeks, but I certainly understand when you go through stretches without updates. That's life. Some quality writing about oldschool RPGs is better than no quality writing about oldschool RPGs.

    And if someone is going to stop following the blog, uh... it's their loss. Your writing will have an audience either way.

    If you're ever up Canada way (specifically the nation's capital), I'd definitely toast you. (The not telling your wife thing is a bit odd, but I can understand where you're coming from in some ways.)

  2. Well, I'm glad you've stuck with your project for the year. I enjoy reading about games that I haven't thought about in ages or a few that I've missed as well as some of your snarky captions.

    Echoing Jordan7hm, I suspect you don't end up in Canada often but if you do come up my way, I'd buy you a drink.


  3. Congratulations on this first year! Your writing is intelligent and witty, and when paired with the comments everyone gives, these posts slowly become an impressive source of rare information about these early CRPGs. I especially like the humor in the captions and when you point out blatant illogisms in story/role-playing/game-play, etc.

    I can so much relate to your "time" answer : I also play for a few hours at night after my wife goes to sleep and I don't think I turned the TV on once in the last three years. I'm myself a university professor, so workload is far from being 9-5 and very variable, sometimes I have lots of time to play games, sometimes not. Keep writing even if you take long breaks, we'll be waiting.

    I agree with Jordan7hm in that I find it odd that your wife doesn't know about the blog, and I'd even dare say a bit sad : you have here a beautiful project you really should be proud of... My wife isn't a gamer either (only exception being an addiction to Civilization) but I share a lot about the RPGs I play, interesting quests, characters and settings make up some great storytelling. Not doing so would make me feel very isolated in my hobby, notwithstanding that the idea of hidden things in a relationship makes me uneasy. But to each their own ways of course.

    Good luck for year 2!

  4. Huh, the first birthday already? Time surely flies while following this blog. Not much to add to my precursors in commenting, other than congratulations of course!

    Regarding those irregularities in your schedule: Have you considered allowing guest postings on your blog to even out those unavoidable work-intensive periods? You could maybe invite readers to (re-)play and evaluate any of the games you have already written about (preferably those that you quit/didn't finish) and then publish their impressions here.

    Just an idea, of course, and I will follow your blog regardless, as I'm sure all the other CRPGAddictaddicts will. Keep on truckin'!

  5. Congratulation on the blog's first birthday!
    It took me a long time to find it but now it's my favourite blog.

    One thing I have been thinking about: after completing a year, how about declaring a CRPG of the year? This could be based on how important/influental/groundbreaking the game was, and how well it has aged, for example.

  6. Caaaaaake!

    I'll buy you a drink if you're ever in Oulu, Finland. ;)


  7. Congratulations on one year of gaming and blogging about it. Yes, I can see how it could turn something you felt somewhat ashamed of into more of an accomplishment due to the proactive nature of blogging and communicating.

    Your voice is quite unique in the field of videogame critique in that you do not come from a heavy 'gamer' standpoint. You play CRPGs mostly and you seem quite cultured and experienced in life, which don't always occur. Also you're polite and you have a fine sense of humour. I hope you keep on doing this for many years to come, though never at the expense of your real life.

    If there's anything i can wish you for the future, it is to feel less and less guilt over devoting time in videogames. Not because they're great (not all the time, and they're often horrible) or even because they're worth it, but because self-acceptance leads to peace of mind.

  8. I love your blog and hope you keep it going for many more years. I check in every other day or so.

  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CRPG ADDICT BLOG! What a ride! Can't wait for next year!

    I agree 100% with Helm. You are who you are, embrace yourself! Think of it like a CRPG, if we didn't have flaws, we wouldn't be interesting characters!

    If you ever find yourself in Portland, OR I would be happy to buy you a drink. Actually I will probably buy you a drink anyway, and if you're not hear to drink it? Eh, more alcohol for me!

  10. Happy Birthday and Congratulations! I really like your blog and it is something I look forward to seeing every day. I do not have your time, but when I can, I still play to two CPRG's I have left - Wizardry 6 and 7.

    Please do not feel bad about a hiatus. I think you have held yourself up to a high standard of performance and have done well.


  11. I really enjoy this blog- by playing all the old CRPGs, you are doing something I wanted to do myself, but can't- being a parent with multiple children means little spare time. So I'm enjoying playing some old CRPGs on my own, but at a much slower rate, and I'm enjoying hearing about the ones I'll never have time to get to. Many of which I've never heard of, which is doubly interesting.

    You're getting into a time when CRPGs really started to take off- it's going to be awesome.

  12. I'll add my congratulations as well. I've only followed your blog since December, but it was refreshing to see somebody take on this genre so thoroughly. Playing and blogging nigh-forgotten games is as valuable to their preservation as archiving the files themselves.

    I'm a big fan of computer history, and also of RPGs, so this blog fits in well with my interests. It's great to hear somebody talking about Wizardry again, for example: I spent hours playing that series as a child and not knowing what the hell I was doing. Somehow, though, it was still fun. I'm glad that somebody is giving these classics the attention they deserve.

  13. if you ever come to Brazil, I'd be glad to buy you a couple of beers...

    keep up the good work


  14. Congratulations to a year well done! This site has become a daily destination for me, and I will admit that I'm always a little disappointed when it hits a lull ;) That said, as someone who writes for their own site, I can well understand how real life has the nasty habit of getting in the way sometimes. At the very least, you've got me playing Wizardry VII again, and that's a good thing.

  15. Congratulations from Norway. Tell me if you want to drop by* and have a cup of coffee :)

    Too bad your wife doesn't know. If you think "You've had a blog for one year?!" is awkward... how about "You've had a blog for TWO years?!" (or "You've had a *WHAT* for one year?!" :P )

    Keep gaming.

  16. If you're ever in Chicago, I'll hook you up with some fine homebrewed ale!

  17. Happy first birthday! If ever you're in San Jose I'll scrape together some money for a pint.

  18. Apropos of your comments, your blog has finally gotten me to do some of the old games I have been collecting (my collection of abandonware is truly amazing- I have two 1 terabyte external drives for my comp and each is filled to the brim with abandonware). SO I skipped to 1994 and have been doing the one game I've been wanting to play since I first saw it in 1994- Lands of Lore, the Throne of Chaos! Sure, I also play Elder Scrolls 1: Arena all the time, but that doesn't count :)

    Thank you again for doing your blog and sharing your joy with is. I just hope it works out well with your wife and work.

  19. Many congratulations on your first year, it's been a great read!

    I'll chip in with the offer of drinks, if you ever find your way to Newcastle, England.

    One question I've always meant to ask, do you ever visit Abandonia? I'm a minor contributor there, and wondered if you've ever looked at our ever growing selection of games.

  20. I think it's been a great first year - looking forward to many more. Thanks for all your efforts.

    It's inevitable with a project like this that not everyone is going to agree with all your decisions all the time but I think your rules and approach have worked out really well overall.

    The blog has really motivated me to make more time to play CRPGs (including some I'd never considered) and to start work on that CRPG of my own so thanks again.

  21. Congratulations, I really enjoy your blog and I love to find people with my same obsession: RPGC and RPG.

    Thanks for answering the question about where you find the time to play all the games. I Actually find very difficult to finish games and sometimes I need months to finish one of them.

    Anyway, good job!

  22. Just wanted to add mine to all the voices saying keep up the good work. I think we all understand that real life sometimes gets in the way of playing games and updating blogs, but whatever you do get around to sharing I'm eager to read.

    If you ever find yourself in Seattle again I'll buy you a drink, though I hope to move back to my true love of Boulder, CO at some point.

  23. Congrats :)

    I enjoy following your blog very much, though I rarely comment. Well written and very interesting - I like older games, but the ones you've played have been just a tad too old for my tastes, but I've still been interested in several of them. Thanks!

  24. I thought about congratulating you in the fashion that my tenth century namesake would have, but then I realized you might not know Old English (it's sorely overlooked in our elementary education system). That being said, I will simply say: mazel tov!

    Here's to another great year!

  25. Congratulations on your one-year anniversary. It's been a lot of fun following you on your journey and I'm really glad to have found your blog very early.

    re: FTA - If I'm the one you meant, I never left. Although I think you may have given up on a real gem, I don't fault you for it, and I still regularly keep up with your postings.

    Here's to another year of RPG goodness.

  26. Congratulations! Looking forward to another year of mapping out dungeons and grinding out levels :)

  27. It's a joy to read this blog and see you work your way through classic games (and not so classic ones) Keep it up!

  28. I stumbled upon your blog two weeks ago, and I have to admit I actually took a sick day from work to finish reading all the entries when I couldn't finish it in one night. As someone who didn't really discover CRPGs until the late '90s and missed out on a lot of this older stuff, I find your blog utterly fascinating and a real pleasure to read. You've already inspired me to play through a few of these older ones. I know only too well the time constraints of balancing a hobby with real-life responsibilities - let alone spending the extra time to actually write about a hobby, as you are doing as well - and I look forward to reading your future posts.

  29. Thank you for this awesome blog. As a old and grumpy gamer (with RL, wife, Family and kids too) i enjoy reading it.
    Keep going, i love it.

  30. I've been following you via Google Reader for a couple of months (maybe 3). This is my first comment, but I just wanted to tell you "great work" and "keep it up!". I look forward to your posts more than the others on my feed list, and I live vicariously through your adventures since I don't have the time to game anymore (or read or write or go bowling or have fun of any kind!!!!! -- ok, that's exaggerating, but I'm an adult who works full time, 8-5, and also takes 15 credits of junior-level college work in my "spare" time.) I need your posts to keep me sane. Thanks for doing what you do. Don't let it consume you, and you should probably tell your wife. (She might even be supportive!)


  31. Good luck from Slovakia,
    I'm reading your great blog long time and hope you will continue with the same intensity.
    I'm playing some good old RPG's rather than the new ones, and I'm glad I'm not alone. Have another great year spent deep in the dungeons ;-)

    Sometimes I write a "Player's Diary" on my AW website, while playing the old RPG, but not in English yet:
    - Wizardry 6: Bane of the Cosmic Forge
    - Akalabeth: World of Doom

  32. Happy Birthday CRPG Addict Blog! :)

    I don't comment much, but following the blog has been great fun. And in the spirit of "this blog changed my life!" I have to admit I'd never before thought of playing Roguelikes, but Mission Mainframe and Nethack in particular have made me seriously consider trying them out. So you could say the blog has had an effect on your readers' lives ;)

    Don't worry so much about update frequency. You blog when you can, and we read when we can, and there's bound to be overlap more often than not.

    Here's to another year, and if you're ever in Montreal the drinks are on me.

  33. Congratulations on making a full year.

    I know how hard it can be to keep something like this going for so long. I had this Oblivion Let's Play that went on -forever-, and there were times where I wanted to stop updating altogether, although it was definitely all worth it in the end. Even that didn't last a year, though. Congratulations on having the willpower to stick to something like this.

    Even though I don't play many CRPGs, I still find this blog fascinating, mostly because video games in general fascinate me. I like learning about how video games progress, about which games did what first, and reading this blog allows me to learn a whole bunch of stuff along those lines. So, thanks CRPG addict. This blog has earned its place as one of my top 10 most visited sites.

  34. PS: I'm with Ziad, if you ever come to Montreal, Canada I'll buy you a drink too, promised!

  35. Hey, happy birthday CRPG Addict Blog! My first thought about this project was "that can't be done", but sticking to it for a whole year is pretty amazing! I never comment, but I really enjoy the blog. Your writing style is very entertaining. I've been wishing you'd turn this project into a book. Yes, I have the Barton book but there's room for another book about the history of CRPGs, right?

  36. Congrats, I am very much enjoying your blog, particularly as you are about to hit a real purple patch of CRPGs (which also coincides with the first games I started playing)

    Looking forward to battletech, I loved that game.

    I agree it would have been good if you could pick the best platform, which generally would have been c64 or Amiga I think. But you are only a year or two or most from it being a moot point and PC being at a minimum equivalent to the best, except perhaps on sound for a while.

  37. Addict, I'll add my voice to the masses: three cheers for a great year--and a lot of great writing!

  38. good to hear this has been working for you as it's been working for us! also, grats for having all the commenters you so rightfully mentioned. some curiously smart dudes pop here on and off, making this blog twice as interesting. greets to you too, fellas.

    yay from the heart of europe!

  39. hard to think its a year already. so many good games to go!

  40. As a bit of a young'un and a relative newcomer to the church of the CRPG, my gaming started with Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale and I thank my lucky stars for them. However this leaves me sorely lacking in a history of CRPG's. It's hard to play the old ones since I'm so used to the ease-of-use and graphics/sound of new ones, and again, time is a thing. That's why I adore this blog! I can learn about all the things I missed, and see you enjoy/endure as you play.

    Happy Birthday! Good luck in the future and if you ever find your way down to Melbourne; Australia, I'll buy you a drink.

  41. Just wanted to throw one more congratulations your way! :) I love your project. I don't comment much, but I've been reading it for some time now (I leave a permanent browser tab open for you). And it's pretty impossible not to admire your dedication. I really think you're offering us CRPG enthusiasts a real gift with this place. I hope this doesn't sound too corny, but I really think you've created something wonderful here. Anyway, thanks and best wishes to you -- I look forward to another year. :)

  42. Congratulations on your first year.

    As a request for improvement, could you add a "Final rankings" tag to your final rankings posts (it would make searching for these simpler)?

  43. To celebrate your birthday, I believe the CRPAddict must play the ProgressQuest.

    It is the old-skool RPG that encompasses everything from 100s of monsters and 100s of weapons and armor. No real NPCs unfortunately, but that didn't stop you from playing other games.

    It's amazing :D

  44. Congrats on reaching your first birthday! Just wanted to say that on discovering your blog I went back and read every archive and have read every entry since. Also wanted to mention that I often find these non-game-specific tangent posts (e.g. "What is a CRPG?", "Good Enough", "Roger Ebert, Games, and Art" etc.) the more interesting. So if you don't have time to play, but do have time to post, don't consider these posts as fillers.

  45. Because of this blog I've played through Phantasie III and the Bard's Tale and am currently playing Pools of Radiance (though I have to admit I do cheat by using hints a lot). It's always a great read and I bet looking back in the future you may find this first year may well be the funnest one for blogging. Although there's some great games to come, there's a lot more laughs to be had when the graphics and interface are so antiquated not to mention all the nostalgia. I haven't played any of the modern RPGs but I still refuse to believe any game could be better than Ultima IV. :)

  46. Congratulations on a wonderful first year of CRPGs and blogging!

    About Final Fantasy 3: I couldn't find any links to a rom that would work on Dosbox, but if you would please give it a spin (extra-extra-specially because the laptop I had my game on got it's motherboard fried and I lost so much progress just as a major plot twist about the very world you live on is revealed that was pretty unexpected) here is what I used:

    My emulator: http://www.qmtpro.com/~nes/nintendulator/

    My rom: http://www.coolrom.com/roms/nes/1016/Final_Fantasy_III.php

    PS: Syszygy (you asked what it was from when you played Beyond Zork) was the original name chosen by Atari before learning that another company (producing light bulbs I think) already had the name (which refers to three heavenly bodies converging on each other).

    Alrighty then, happy birthday and comment if you come out to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH, this summer!!!!!!!

  47. Um, I think I hate you. Only one year blogging, and you've got nearly 50 comments on this post? I started my blog almost exactly a year ago, and it's a red-letter day if I get two comments - or even one.

    Seriously, though, I understand it. This is a great blog. I haven't had time to check in every day, but I read ALL of your posts, eventually. And as others have said, you're just starting to get to the games I really remember (and loved). I can't wait!

    But, dude, your wife doesn't know you blog? Really? You weren't serious about that, I hope. Hey, I'm the LAST person to give relationship advice, so I won't.

    But if you think it's difficult telling her after a year, how about when she finds out after two years, or five? At the very least, aren't you proud of what you've done here? I'm sure you're getting more and more fans all the time. Don't you want to tell her about it? OK, OK, I'll shut up now.

  48. I'm overwhelmed with the responses to this posting, and I'm only sorry I took the week off and didn't respond to them as they came in. I can't write in detail to all 48 of you, but I do really appreciate you taking the time to contribute--and your patience these last few weeks.

    I particularly appreciate all the drink offers. I've logged them. I didn't realize I had so many readers in so many diverse locations.

    A few comments:

    1. On my wife not knowing: the problem is, if I tell her, there goes most of my playing time. The only reason she tolerates my making her go to bed alone without a fuss is that she thinks I'm working (which, to be fair, I often am). Anyway, the whole thing is complicated. I probably shouldn't have brought it up. But I appreciate all the feedback.

    2. Trudodyr suggested guest postings when I'm gone. It's a good idea. I'll think about how to best make it work.

    3. PetrusOctavianus suggested a "CRPG of the Year." It's a decent idea, but one I'll probably pick up in the second year rather than the first. Too many of the games in the first year were ground-breaking. As we enter what Matt Barton calls "The Golden Age," things smooth out a bit more.

    4. Andy_Panthro: I've gotten some of my games from Abandonia but I haven't really read much of the material. I've had it on my list for a long time to do a special posting about other CRPG sites and blogs, but the fact is, I don't read any regularly. I feel guilty about this because there's some great material out there, and many of my commenters maintain their own blogs. I just haven't had time to integrate them into my daily schedule.

    5. Andrew, you were one of the ones I was talking about, so I appreciate knowing you're still around.

    6. Doug B, I took a couple of sick days to write some of the postings, so I guess I can't fault you.

    7. Laytonia, that was a bit cryptic. I feel like I need to lock my doors now.

    8. Anonymous who suggested the book idea: I appreciate it, but I can't imagine having the time. And it seems to me that this blog format is better suited to the writing anyway. If Mr. Barton (who added himself to my followers list but has never commented) wants to jump in and tell me he's sold a million copies, I might reconsider.

    9. Anonymous who suggested the "final rankings" tag: Great idea, going to do it after finishing this comment.

    10. rmdesign, I appreciate your comment because I was on a message board recently where some people were bashing the "special topics" postings and saying I should just stick to the game reviews. I admit it took the wind out of my sails a bit. You're right: I should save up some of those ideas for when I can't play.

    11. WCG, I was curious so I took a look at your blog and ended up bookmarking it. It's well-written. I can't promise I'll visit every day, but we seem to share a lot of the same political views. I suspect your low commenting ratio has more to do with the fact that your blog covers a lot of the same ground as a lot of other blogs. I, on the other hand, have a monopoly on playing every CRPG in chronological order. (If I don't, I'd appreciate if you'd leave me ignorant.) I might also suggest that you try a different title and header; your existing ones don't really convey the focus of your blog.

    Everyone else, I'm sorry I didn't reply individually, but you all gave me a nice boost. Thanks for reading!

  49. Considering rmdesign and answer 10. For every one person who bashes something on a forum, there are a hundred people who never see the need to go on the forum at all, because they love that something!

  50. Hey, glad that I'm almost caught up: Add me to the list of people in Canada who will buy you a drink if you visit. (There are what, 5 of us? Wacky). It is nice to see that one of your lost followers is still around, though I'm still jealous of your follower count. Of course, I don't even update once a week, so that is the main problem.

    Also: I'm now imagining that you are an assassin for hire, and are playing these games between hits, or possibly while observing your target.

    I figure as far as hiding things from your wife goes a blog is a pretty minor thing. If you do tell her I recommend monetizing it first, then spending all the money on her. Yes, all of it.

    Don't worry about your publication schedule; You updated, on average, more then once every other day. Heck, I am having a hard time just catching up to your writing, and I am just reading the blog posts!

    I also think that some of your special topics posts are really awesome, and would like to see more of them as the urge strikes you.

    Here is to good luck, and another year of quality posts!

  51. My wife is actually starting to suspect I'm a spy, although I keep trying to explain to her that spies wouldn't know so far in advance where they're going.

    Thanks for all the comments. I'm glad you're almost caught up!

    1. It reminds me of a classic Italian comedy, where the protagonist is taking pool lessons at night, and he's so ashamed to tell his wife that he tries to convince her he actually has a lover...

  52. Late late response here, but good job. As one of the younger generation of RPGists (ie I grew up in lockstep with Mario) missed many of these old games. I also would be almost unable to do so due to certain... arcane designs. Seeing the origins of my favorite games is certainly enlightening.

    Of course should you ever find yourself in the Chicago area (specifically the west/ southwest burbs) I'll pop for a beer for ya. Though being night shift that can also be coffee.

    Keep up the good work.

  53. Thanks, Craig! I'm going to start keeping a map of all the people who've offered. Though it's strictly vodka gimlets for me!

  54. I stumbled across this blog about a month ago and I'm as addicted to it as you are at writing it. I have really enjoyed your articles and your insight, and it reminds me of all the fun I had playing many of these games.

  55. I'm glad you're enjoying it gwydpllew. Keep reading!

  56. Your blog was featured on a Norwegian gamer site, gamer.no, about a month ago. I've been reading whenever I can since, and this is how far I've gotten.

    It's been many interesting reads and I really enjoy the good quality of your writing. I find the dialog in the comments very interesting as well, especially all the differing views.

    I can relate to your wife situation. My wife knows I'm an avid gamer, but I don't think she knows exactly how many hours I manage to put into gaming. There have been several late nights where I've been up "working", and I'm not going to let that ball drop just yet.

    And do let me know if you should ever find yourself in Trondheim, Norway. I'd be happy to buy you a vodka gimlet. And now I'll get back to reading the rest of your postings.

    And thanks! Great first year!

  57. Thanks, Dan! I was wondering why I was getting so many hits from Scandinavia lately.

    Do they really have gimlets in Norway? I couldn't even get one in London.

  58. Since the article isn't so easy to find as it's a blogpost by one of the journalists, here's the link: http://www.gamer.no/brukere/4/joachimfroholt/artikler/87857/rollespillenes-utvikling-i-bloggform/

    I guess Google Translate might be helpful.

    Gimlets in Norway? I have to admit I haven't seen it on any drink menus before. I figured we'd tackle that problem if you ever came to Norway, which I suspect won't be anytime soon. ;)

  59. I guess playing computer games is like masturbation. A lot of people is doing it regularly to the point of addiction but no one's gonna admit openly unless given the choice of anonymity.

  60. Hi CRPG Addict. I found your blog a couple of weeks ago when doing research for some ideas for writing my own Ultima 4/5 clone in Android with some friends. I've done virtually nothing for the last couple of weeks but read it and take notes.

    Now I've reached your 1yr I wanted to congratulate you on an excellent idea well executed.

    I'm a 40yo+ software engineer who grew up playing the same games you loved. I'm still mystified why I loved these games as a kid and hence want to write my own, even though I don't play them now (I don't have time anymore between career and family). I guess for me, learning to write a game for Android is a similar justfication as motivated you to start this blog.

    I see you are up to Space Rogue now, which is a game I still regret giving up on in years past, but it was much harder to progress in these games before the internet. I am looking forward to reading what I missed out on.

    So, thanks and keep up the good work!

  61. Found this site in December when I was searching for information while playing the Bards Tale port on my phone, determined to win it this time. (Embarrassed to say I brought this game when it first came out but never got the hint to order wine at the pub. Yes 4 months before I gave up wondering around Skara Brae, wish I had the internet then) Thought this was the perfect spot to say... Love the blog, keep up the superior work.

    I have been working my way from the beginning, actually you taking some more breaks would help me catch up.
    Regarding the Addict, I have the same problem with the CIV series. Cannot recount how many papers and meeting it caused me to almost miss. This site might be helpful, http://www.civanon.org/.

    Keep up the good work and I'll keep reading.

    1. Boy, do you have a long way to go! Thanks for commenting. I'm glad you enjoy the blog.

    2. Doing the same as Crunchy Frog. It's defintely a great read, as evidenced by me typing this at 3am CST. I have to get up in 4 hours, but meh...I'm still having fun.

  62. I tend to get into cool stuff about five years after they start, like this blog! I read through your first year of posts over the past couple of weeks--great fun! Some day we'll be in the same space-time continuum. I'm looking forward to year 2; my only tip is to do your best to enjoy the game you're on and not get caught up in hurrying to the better games further on the list, despite commentators tantalizing you! And as for your drinks log, put me down for southeast Queensland, Australia.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Jeremy. I'm glad you like the blog. You'll be glad to see that I slowed it down as the years passed. From August 2012 onward, I haven't given up on a winnable game.

  63. Love the blog! Just finished reading up to your current posts! You've given me motivation to revisit my old games as well. If you ever make it over the border into NH, drinks are on me. Thanks for sharing your game playing, I have really enjoyed your writings. Thanks Chet!

    1. Glad you made it through. Except for a couple months at the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012, when I briefly quit the whole thing, I think my first year was the weakest.

    2. I agree. I can see your improvements throughout the blog. It's been enjoyable! Many times you made me actually laugh, and then I have to try to explain to my wife what a geek she married. Looking forward to the next posts and future games.

  64. Well, if you ever visit Europe, and more specifically Poland, give me a heads-up, and I will try to locate some place where I could get you a vodka gimlet ahead of time. Assuming I won't move to another country by then, but if I do, I will let you know, so you can update your vodka-gimlet-for-free places log. ;)

  65. Chalk up another round of drinks for Southeast Queensland, Australia. I've been slowly working my way through your blog from the beginning and love it. Congratulations firstly on making the first year, but more impressively, still having momentum seven and a half years further on. Part of me wishes I could comment (and play) contemporaneously on some of the great games I've seen pop up in your recently played list - but another part of me feels spoiled to have such a wealth of content yet to savour. Keep it up! Rom.

  66. Hello.

    Belated congrats on the first year of blogging.

    I have absolutely loved reading your blog (so far) and the comments sections. I am aware that the blog is still going in 2019, so i have many years of enjoyable content still to read through.

    I love all aspects of gaming. So the extra posts about not just the games themselves, but posts about other associated topics, such as history, social, technological, psychological, memories etc. are great.

    plus every now and then, conversations and links to other areas of topics have popped up that I have followed and enjoyed, including Jazz (started watching the documentary tv series and it's great) and tv tropes website (absolutely fascinating).

    Many thanks.

    Fairfaxx (post 08)

    1. And it's only getting better as time goes on!

    2. It's good to know that people are still discovering it after all these years.

  67. I got sent here a few weeks ago from... somewhere... *checks internet history*... on December 30th from a link on an article from PCGamer.com my suggested articles from Google. I've been reading through from the beginning since then and have been enjoying the project immensely. To think, I've got ten more years of postings to get through!

    I've been reading all the comments, too, and I'm starting to worry that they'll pick up even more from the 50-70 that seem to exist on popular games. I see a lot of new comments every day on the side of the blog. Hahahaha.

    I hope this continues to be a rewarding experience for you through the next decade of postings and not a harmful one!

    1. Welcome! You should probably skip January 2012, but other than that, yes, it's been rewarding, and I think you'll find the quality of the entries gets better as we go along.

    2. I see you saying that a lot in these early comments, I find these to be great, so I look forward to seeing them improve even more!


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