37. Dungeoning

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Last week is last week, and since this is my thing, I won’t make myself feel bad for missing a week. It just means you get extra love this week!

I’ve really been diving into Dungeons & Dragons lately. It’s something that I want to bring more into my life – gaming, playing, DMing, and just fantasy novels and worlds in general. It makes me happy and I enjoy the creative expression. I’m starting up a new table in my local area, and entirely new players are welcome. I’m here to spread the joy of D&D!

I’ve settled on a new townhouse and housemate, and also have a new job. I start in October. It’s remote, so I’ll be working from a coworking space, and all of this is in Brisbane. Pretty happy with this outcome.

Work

Here’s something related to my other work: games.

Who will win the race to become the Netflix of Games? (Medium, 6 mins)
Morgan is the godfather of the game dev scene in Australia, and his take here is well worth a read if you’re trying to “predict the future” of games.
In short: someone is going to be commissioning developers to build content for their subscription only games service. There’ll be a few offerings from various parties, but the ‘winner’ will succeed based on four things:
1. The quality of games (ie. the quality of the game designers involved);
2. The quality of data (ie. whoever can help the game designers best in their design & iteration process); and
3. The quality of the tastemakers themselves in the commissioning process (who is the Rick Rubin of games?)
4. The Money (ie. whoever has the funds to buy the best in the business, AND support their own service)
As a developer, it’s clear that the next wave of game dev will be playing out in this commissioned-games-monetised-via-subscription-service space.

It’s also clear that this new subscription service model will play havoc with the current production models of self-publishing, working with publisher, free-to-play, ad supported, etc. That being said, I’m looking forward to it – a world where the designers can focus on the quality of their game versus having to work on the monetisation of their game. We only put in ads so we can keep the lights on. Fund our development from another channel (ie. mass subscription) and – boy oh boy – the places we will go.

Reading

Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy? (The New Yorker, 30 mins)  “It’s at the intersection of technology and psychology, and it’s very personal.” and “More than 2.2 billion people, about a third of humanity, log in at least once a month. That user base has no precedent in the history of American enterprise. Fourteen years after it was founded, in Zuckerberg’s dorm room, Facebook has as many adherents as Christianity.” I have many thoughts about social media, and my new job allows me to explore them, but mostly I’m working towards educating both business and people about the psychology of social media, and how to treat it in a healthy way.

Seneca Could Have Written the Anonymous Times Op-Ed About Trump (The New Yorker, 10 mins) After having just finished The History of Rome, I enjoyed the comparison of Seneca the Younger to the Anonymous article writer of the Times piece. Well done Mr Romm!

How to Retire in Your 30s With $1 Million in the Bank (New York Times, 10 mins) My little financial independence focus is starting to hit mainstream. There’s a documentary due out in early 2019 that’ll crack it wide open.

Reforming our political system is not a quick fix. Here’s a step-by-step guide to how to do it (The Conversation, 20 mins)
Sometimes I wonder what it would take to reform politics to a more citizen-led democracy. We’re working with a system that was designed for a world 150 years ago. I think it’s time we reviewed it, don’t you?

Listening to/Watching

I’ve resubscribed to Download This Show, an ABC podcast.

Loving

Mike Shea’s Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master has been a wonderful read on simple DM’ing.

I’m also enjoying letting my imagination run wild with Tome of Beasts & the Creature Codex, both from Kobold Press. I think published adventures are fun, but the standard goblin/kobold/orc mix is a bit plaid. Bit of spice in the game keeps it interesting!

Best Life

I’m planning four 1 week trips for 2019; a trip each season. Keeping it local, I think. Indonesia is about as far abroad as I’ll go in 2019. It’s not worth losing 2 days in travel time if I’ve only got a week. Open to recommendations and travel buddies!

The week ahead…

I’m moving into my new townhouse, and we’ll be settled there by the weekend. I move into my new “office” (coworking space) on Friday. And there’s a rodeo I might go to on Saturday, because it’s a rodeo woo.