Sunday, August 5, 2012

Finding the Time to Play Games - Part 2

Back in January 2012, I wrote about my deep desire to play more tabletop games, even though the ever-present bugbear of limited free-time was keeping me from doing just that. I came to the conclusion that I needed to focus my attention on the 3 Fun Things that I enjoy doing more than anything else, and spend my time on those things. I even went as far as suggesting the scheduling of regular fun-time events on my social calendar. So how did I do? Read on dear blog-readers...  

It's now late-summer and I'm a bit better off than I was in January 2012. But truth be told, I still have a long way to go until I reach a satisfactory level of gaming nirvana. The 3 things I chose were:
  1. Designing and playtesting my miniatures wargame rules (Sword of Severnia) and its associated campaign system (Crown of Severnia).   
  2. Participating in the Wars of the Third Age wargame campaign with my friends Wally, Kevin, and Geoff (which use the Crown of Severnia rules, and Sword of Severnia for tactical battles). 
  3. Painting Miniatures.
So why did I choose those 3 things?

Number 1 was a no-brainer. I've been seriously developing my miniatures wargame rules since 2006. Progress has been somewhat spotty the last 3 years, due in large part to the demands of my job. I simply have a lot less time to work on the game than I did in previous years.

That said, I've made damn good progress on the rules (both tactical and campaign sets) in 2012. I'm starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel and hope springs eternal that I will (God willing) eventually get these wargame rules published within the next 1 or 2 years. I admit to being a bit of a design perfectionist at times, and continue to hone these game rules into something that I can be proud of, and which don't feel like every other set of fantasy mass-battle rules currently on the market. But bottom-line, I enjoy the creative process of designing these games immensely, so it's something that I desperately WANT to spend my time on.

Number 2 was also a shoe-in for my top-3 list. I had a goal of getting this grand fantasy war campaign going in 2012, and by God, we did it! The Crown of Severnia campaign kicked off in May 2012, and it's going strong as we speak. We're still in early stages of the campaign (middle of Season 2 out of 8 total seasons) and not only are the four of us enjoying the hell out of our roles as Warlords of Severnia, but it's proving to be a great way to fully test out my campaign and tactical battle rules. Truth be told, it's the ONLY game that I'm currently playing right now.

Number 3 ties into the first two things on my list, but it stands on its own merits as something unique. I've always enjoyed doing hands-on art projects. In fact, I was very close to entering college as an art major. Ultimately, I fell in love with computers in 1981, majored in Computer Science, and the rest is history.

But art is still dear to my heart. Painting miniatures serves as my "art release" and fills a definite happiness niche for me. I don't do it nearly enough. And I will NEVER paint all the unpainted tiny tin-men and plastic soldiers that I own! But by putting this as Number 3 on my list, I'm going to MAKE THE TIME for it now. Eight months into 2012, I have failed on this goal, but I fully intend to get back into it as soon as I complete some pending work on my wargame rules and things calm down a bit there.      

Picking ONLY 3 fun things was truly excruciating. So settling on Number 3 was a gut-wrenching decision for me; as much as choosing to do something FUN can actually be considered gut-wrenching!
I love playing strategy board games, and I've got a pile of new games sitting on the shelves of my bedroom closet just begging to be played. But the truth is, despite repeated attempts, it has been extremely difficult finding a group of committed players who want to play board games on a regular basis. And with the time that I'm spending on miniatures gaming & designing, I simply don't have the time to organize a board-game club or host games at my house on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.

While I haven't given up on the board gaming hobby, it has become painfully obvious that I only have so much free-time to spend on gaming. So board games have taken a back-seat to minis gaming. I'm even planning to start selling off part of my board games collection, with the sad realization that I have more games than I'll ever have time to learn and play in my life-time. Such is life.

In the end, I've come to understand that TIME IS IN SHORT SUPPLY once you're a middle aged man. You'll never be able to do all the things you wish you could do. So the key to finding happiness, and not being overwhelmed by it all, is to FOCUS. Find your favorites and throw all your energy into those things.

You may not be able to do everything you want, but at least you'll have a blast doing a few things that you truly love.


1 comment:

MijTheLessur said...

I agree with you. I've decided to focus on my Dresden Files RPG group. It's a great outlet for my creative side, and an enjoyable pastime overall. It's tough sometimes to put in the time needed to prep and GM the sessions, but I always find it's worth it.