Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hobbies and their Crossroads


Lately I've found alot of things hobbywise competing for my time. That's outside the obviously important things like my family or Job. I think we all go thru phases with what competes for our time. I had spurts was where all I nearly did with my free time was work on miniatures related gaming. thats dwindled alot of late...while there a couple big miniatures projects coming up and in the works like my Legend of the High Seas event coming up at Adepticon in 2012, trying to get one Ancients Army finished (which is woefully behind, and one of the reasons you seeing alot of photos from the Ancients game sis the Sea of lead of which mine is the biggest!)
Continuing on with more Lord of the Rings figures and terrain for the only tournament  (GW) gaming I am currently doing, and my Battle of the Five Armies game I plan do next Summer. That's a pretty big plate right there, let alone things like taking martial arts, reading, my musical endeavors or an old time sink that creeps up ever now and again for me. Computer games.

Before I got back in to miniatures hobby, in the time consuming capacity that is table top gaming, (that is  versus just collecting them, maybe painting them and putting on a shelf.) There where computer games..I spent alot of time in 1990's during the golden age of PC gaming playing all the hits. mainly in the RPG and Turn Based Strategy department. Spent alot of time and money with these being pretty PC savy for the time I always stayed pretty current with hardware/ technology and games. That dwindled in the 2000's as in my opinion games simply got alot crappier, and while they looked better, I felt the content was lacking compared to past experiences Whether I had outgrown the attraction or developers just realized that as PC and then console became main stream appealing to lowest common denominator was where the $$$ was. 

I don't talk about computer games here, (ever) as its a miniatures hobby blog, but bear with me for the brief distraction, as things come full circle. The last couple years I've noticed games getting a bit better and at least once year I get the bug for about a month to slug my way thru one. Obviously I have a soft spot for Fantasy RPGs...the problem with them I always thought was with the exception of old "Gold Box" Dos D&D game which where great in low graphic, turn based and text heavy environment, I thought every fantasy / D&D based  real time RPG just really fell flat. even in the last 5 years..I tried and barely got my moneys worth out of bunch of the more popular titles. The one shining gem and my favorite Fantasy RPG (and its very light on that subject) is a somewhat obscure game called Severance: Blade of Darkness..which is just a great fantasy combat sim, light on story heavy on exploration and great combat which I find alot of games these days are missing. Repetitive "click, click, click" combat just kills games for me..I like it where you have to actually move, plan your swing and make sure you in the right spot to deliver the proper blow,most current games stunningly seem to fail at either the story or the play mechanics.

Now along comes- Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I wont bother giving you a game review since there are zillion of those currently available and let's just say I concur with the general sentiment- that it rules, and I was not a fan at all of its predecessor. I am already going through my horde of fantasy miniatures picking out characters for Skirmish gaming and sketching out how to build Skyrim style Barrow or Cairn entrance to go along with my dungeon board, and revist to my skirmish rules I've been working on at a snails pace as I play a host of other games. So, yeah while I might get distracted by a video game now and again, the virtual manifestation of sending your alter ego Dungeon delving, which has my brain churning out a couple dozen ideas for miniatures and terrain isn't necessarily  a bad thing, Between Skyrim  the below pic ( which I am sure most of you who read this blog have seen before and is hands down my vote for Diorama of the year 2011)..I need to get cracking on my own game, inspiration is a fickle muse, when it hits you need to roll with it.

("Outnumbered" by CMON member "Crackpot", photo by "Crackpot" )
        While its creator sites his own influences, this piece immediate struck me as similar to my own adventures as Tukaram in "Blade of Darkness" , my Nord Barbarian in Skyrim, or my boyhood fondness for the "Savage Sword of Conan".


Felix Flauta said...

Same problem. I started playing World of Warcraft last week to spend more game time with my brother (he doesn't make time for miniatures or board games and the like). However, my new goal is to pay big money to get a sculpt of your WoW character done.

Scottswargaming said...

I can empathise with you regarding computer games. I too used to play with them quite heavily, and as you say they are a time sink... Oddly enough, some 'subtle' encouragement from my wife got me away from them; her arguement being; you can sit there all night, and when you switch it off, what have you got to show for the time spent? At best some more advanced 'save-game-position'. At least when I sit all night painting figures, there's something to show for it physically. Plus now I find the computer is usually hogged by my young son anyway... Still, I do sneak the odd hour in once in a while... ;-)

Felix Flauta said...

Scott, the same can be said for movies, television, etc. At the end ofi t, what do you have to show for your time? However, there are some games that provide experiences and story that are the equivalent of reading a good book, watching a good film, or seeing a good television show.

Games that provide a unique experience are worth the time.

Scottswargaming said...

Hey Felix, you do raise a fair point. I have always been motivated by movies to paint up stuff, in fact they are one of my major motivators. Even computer games have a similar effect on me. I recall watching my young son playing Battle for MiddleEarth on PC and getting psyked up to paint my LOTR stuff...
The trouble for me when I sit playing a computer game, I want to play more, finish that next level or whatever, you squeeze in more and more time, before you know it, its after midnight and you're yawning... at least with a movie, it has an end! ;-)

Felix Flauta said...


I'm hoping that paying cash for a 3d print of my World of Warcraft character will let it be the end of the video game for me. At least it will be the end for that character :D

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the occasional Video Game bender, but they usually are relegated to a distant 3rd in how I spend my 'hobby' freetime to miniatures, and reading.

I am totally going to check out Skyrim. I love the prior games that Bethesda had created.

John, keep me posted about your videogame - dungeon crawl inspired miniature game. I have had some ideas about this sort of thing in the past as well.


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