So according to an extensive Twitter search at 12:13pm on the 13th of July (apparently it was Monday) I got a Tweet from Alex (nofi) asking me to get in touch with Peter (colossalblue). I replied asking what on earth I had to talk about. I mean I talk to Peter pretty regularly on Twitter, is there really that much of a need for me to check how he’s doing via e-mail. A moment later (and by a moment I mean almost an hour later) Peter finally pops up and tells me that he’ll pick the subject and be in contact pretty soon. Waiting… waiting… waiting… E-Mail! TSA is expanding, would I like to be a writer? The rest is pretty much history. In fact it’s not just history, it’s what most of this article covers.
That’s right, assuming this goes up on the right day it’s a month to the day since I was invited to join TheSixthAxis. That seems like an anniversary that deserves some kind of coverage from me, even if none of the rest of you care. For full disclosure, I really have no idea what I’m going to cover in this article, and there’s a good chance it’ll be largely stream-of-consciousness. So if you don’t like the off the cuff, almost completely random style, I apologize. If you’d like to read something a little more structured I suggest you go and check out the piece I did on the Batman Demo, I’ve been told it’s rather good.
So back to this article. What’s happened in a month? Well quite a lot actually. In one of those weird twists of fates, before I was even officially confirmed as joining TSA (it was less than 24 hours) I was given a job as a programmer at a company in Falmer, just outside of Brighton. In fact it’s on the campus of the University of Sussex where I’ve just finished my Computer Science degree. So within a day of being told I would become staff on TSA, I was told that I’d been given a job which prevented me writing for TSA nearly as much as I’d like to. But I persevered and stuck with TSA writing when I could. However my first article went out significantly before my job started, and was (surprisingly) well received. Considering it was one of the first Xbox 360 pieces that had been published via the site since it had started to move to a more multi-platform stance, I was actually pretty nervous. Incredibly nervous really. Terrified might be a good description if I’m honest.
After the initial terror that I felt with publishing my 360 centric articles, I began to get into my stride with this reporting malarky. I began to scout around the interwebs for information and news stories. I found myself looking at the news I was finding in a new way. Rather than just reading reports and sources I really started to dig. Looking into the background of the companies, the individuals and the games that were involved with the story. Looking at links between this story and others, and even digging through past stories on TSA to find things to reference to. Reading and writing the news became more of a research project than anything else.
So given the way that I’ve read the news has changed, what’s happened within the month I’ve been doing this? A backwards game was announced, Natal was rumoured for the PC, Dennis Dyack was crazy, THQ gave themselves a B grade, Peter Molyneux was rumoured for Gamescom (which we still have no confirmation of), the Xbox portable was confirmed (sort of), WB talked about what they’re considering doing with the saved Midway properties, and Batman got a demo. That’s without looking at content that other writers put out, and what happened that never made it to TSA. A month is a long time in the games industry.
I’m not sure if the speed at which things move is a burden or not. It gives us writers a lot to talk about, but the downside is if we don’t cover something within a day or two it’s out of date suddenly. That may just be the nature of any form of news coverage these days, but large issues tend to dominate more traditional news coverage for days or weeks at a time. The same thing just doesn’t seem to happen with a lot of stories in our medium, but maybe that’s just the nature of the beast.