The slow crash and rebuild of SFG

I think this may be a new record, and a bad one… So I have explaining to do.

In March of 2022, which I’m in the final hour of as I’m posting this, (meaning it is NOT an April fools post, i don’t do that here, only on my Youtube, which is also not being done for reasons below) I have posted a whopping one review on the entire website, for the entire month. Two articles total, with this one being a third, and both non-review articles being about bad news. This, to my recollection, makes March 2022 the worst month in SFG history for my output, in that I basically did nothing. I didnt even work on much of anything besides a certain something I’ll note later. One review got done and it was super duper short.

So… what the fuck happened?

Well, last time, I mentioned that the data loss was finalized and I had lost tons of my internet life and my personal memories of my grandfather. This is still 100% apt and I still have to rewrite several video scripts and reviews. I did make some minor progress on 2 of the 3 reviews I noted I had to rebuild from zero, but they aren’t close to being done as I wanna spend more time with the games in question before I finish the reviews again, just to make sure my stance is still right. I was hoping to make progress on a backup Eternal Memories episode, but… nothing has been started. i opened a new PSD for the thumbnail, named it, and that’s it.

I’ve had several unscripted memories ideas or update video plans, and nothing can come to mind. Either I’m too tired to setup my video recording, or I just lose steam by the end of my full time job work week. I’m nearing the 1 year anniversary of me doing this gig, and while it pays well with benefits and it’s stress free… It’s also such a routine that I feel trapped in. 5 weekdays, drained at weeknights, goof off on the internet or maybe play a game for 10 mins, before my attention span dries up and it’s already late and it’s already time for 6 hr sleep sessions, then weekend goes by too fast due to me cramming everything i wanna do into a tiny window AFAHSDGJKDSAHGAKLJSDHGKJLASDGH

So yeah, I’ve never really had much time to work on stuff period since then, with no breaks outside of federal holidays due to me hoarding PTO for a vacation in July, so far away… Yet I’m in paranoia some stupid illness could steal that away from me, so I can’t even get hyped for that. But last month with the data loss was such a damage to my mental health that it was like losing my grandfather all over again, and the aftermath didn’t do much to help that. Doesn’t help it’s near the 3 year anniversary of my other huge loss that derailed SFG back in 2019, leading to the review delays plaguing me today on stuff like Zanki Zero.

I even had more issues, with my windows PC having a bloated battery and a whole runaround bit with Best Buy baiting me into buying a new PC, only for it to corrupt and my steam queue to be in more of a wreck than it already is. (I sorta kinda fixed it? but I’m pausing those reviews for absolute certain until i get a steam deck to make it easier) The New Macbook though is good enough for me to sorta get used to typing on it, but I haven’t done video editing and such much on it yet despite wanting to just, wish for a 48 hr day and do all my retrospectives and videos in a weekend.

By far the biggest part for me not doing much this month, though? In the midst of all this crashing (seriously, I had five mental health crashes since my data loss in Feb, that’s way too much for any person), I realized a horrifying conclusion: I don’t feel joy anymore. The stupid world and the nature of social media ensures that no matter how many times you block words, phrases, or people, somehow you’ll never be able to escape hearing about whatever war is the talk of the town or fearmongering/anxiety inducing misinformation that spreads like wildfire, even from people you used to admire suddenly showing their true colors. Yes, I’m talking about you, birdman.

So yeah. Hard for me to work when every day I get home from work and have to endure pure torment of a 4-5 PM CST news show with five insufferable hosts ranting about dumb bullshit, without much choice to opt out of such, pretending I actually like it or tolerate it since any attempt to voice disapproval has me shut down harder than a suitcase, no matter how many times I stress it’s bad for my anxiety and anger inducing, especially when said program is supporting the major attack on LGBT+ rights going on right now in Florida and i want to punch a hole in the TV over it. That literally kills my drive most days, on top of the bullshit I had to deal with due to constant bad luck and misery, feeling like there’s no good news ever and things I’m excited for this quarter get wrecked. My work is literally the best and more chill part about the weekdays now and I can’t even work on my hobbies during it.

Stuff I looked forward to, ends up coming out as mid-low tier stuff or with flaws/bugs. That spark of inspiration in Feb with those games I reviewed? Pretty much those four games were literally the only 2022 releases period to have gotten my attention enough to write about them. As I’m typing this, the game compilation I hoped would save Q1 for me got stealth delayed to April for no damn good reason. Joy.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me nor do I find it in myself to care. There’s still lots of fun old stuff I’ve been playing obviously, along with review queue games from years prior to catch up on, but I just… don’t feel energy anymore. I start to get happy only to realize “oh fucking wait, I have 40 hours of work followed by draining weekends of crunch” and go back to this miserable loop of dread. I spend money on CEs and shit thinking it’ll help me be joyful only for them to not get played or for that satisfaction to quickly fade. The fact the biggest CE I was hyped for last year from a limprint company is still giving me depression months later due to the audacity in how the CEOs behaved in a bait and switch and how I still don’t have the DRM Free Disc I was promised, is the most infuriating thing ever. Saving money by cutting back hugely was the best choice I made in the past few months.

So yeah, that’s a bunch of ranting, and I ain’t sorry for it. My work life is great: my afterwork life is miserable and is just me having extreme ping-pong levels of distraction with no cure or fix for focusing on my writing, and any attempts to bug my doctor for some sort of ADHD/ADD exam in hopes of being able to do 10 reviews in a weekend like I want to just leads to being shrugged off due to how it would make my anxiety worsen and is too risky. It feels like I’m in groundhog day with no good way out and all my hype goals being wrecked or pushed back due to the stupid political nonsense in our world I am desperately trying to flee and avoid, just to live a stress-free life. I try to cram my goals and multi-task with 20 open textedit windows to swap between reviews all at once, while also watching safari in another window, and it never freaking works.

The Hope Spot

A day before everything went to hell with my data loss though, a lead I’ve been searching for nine years to accomplish had been followed up on: someone I reached out to agreed to do an interview. Someone influential to my soul and essence that saved my life with their scenario writing, even. During this whole long gap, I enlisted the help of a translation friend to help me communicate, and a few weeks ago, I finally got the responses from the person in question. This gave me my best and happiest feelings in years: the one true shining light in the world, being able to tell my idol that they helped inspire me and many others in this IP’s fandom… while being able to also help them learn that they too, are loved across the world and many more like me have found the stories to this franchise inspiring or life-saving.

But of course, I worried: what if I said something that got translated into something offensive? what if I seemed too weird or nerdy? What if I came off like a freak? I got ultra worried and I’ll admit, the gap between responses was pretty anxiety inducing until I learned it was due to a very good reason, which I’m actually super happy for! I’m not ready to fully announce this until the EN translation is finalized and I maybe hear a followup back from the person in question, but if this all works good, I could have my biggest article on SFG in history.

What a world right? Going from my worst month ever, to a potential best month? So, even with the downers in gaming land and real-world, I have my hope spot, my reason to keep living at all costs… Finish this project, and show it to you guys. Then, hopefully use the energy from that success to get back and figure out a flow that’ll let me get back to reviewing and videoing. I have one of those aforementioned eShop lists in the works for next week, and another opinion article on limited print companies, (mainly due to getting an unhealthy amount of requests to cover certain things about them, and me deciding to try and make a positive spin on that) but I’m also hoping to slowly try and focus on writing again, just in general. Maybe I’ll gain the energy, and can finally get to covering overdue games in my queue.

There’s a reason I’ve seldom asked for new games to cover unless it’s retro inspired or pick up and play, and why I stopped redeeming codes sent to me on a whim. I’m hoping to finish the review queue soon… Even with many missed deadlines of mine. But once I’m finally done? I hope I can finally get going on making this outlet something that’s a main focus of my life. Even if I feel like I talk to a brick wall 99% of the time on the internet outside of my furry circles due to the lack of engagement on my site posts or tweets, I still feel thankful for the invisible folks supporting me via reading this or liking this or just being around. Being one of those shy folks that likes to browse and like cool blogs and videos, I don’t blame you if you, reader, are like me. The fact my site is still getting decent performance in a month I’ve done nothing is a testament to that.

So despite all my fears… I’ll pull through. For my project. For my friends. For the World. Even if it takes me forever, due to being a solo reviewer, (on purpose, i’ll reiterate) I’ll cover games and help out devs with feedback like I always have for the past eight years.

For Lillian.

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