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Ushering In A New Year: Saint's Resolutions And Predictions For 2013…

New Year's Day is a mere few hours away and as I put the finishing touches on this blog, I consider for just a moment what 2013 is going to be like for my family and me. It will be a year of change and with change comes a certain amount of stress and uneasiness. I'm trying not to let it happen, or at least dwell on it here, but it is inevitable. My hope is I will continue to be a part of this truly special community and able to maintain the level of output I did in 2012, but only time will reveal whether that is my fate or not. I have some big blogs planned including the 2012 Blogging Statistics Report (any guesses on the most featured blogger), more episodes of Blog Herding and Member Herding...and a few other trick blogs I have up my sleeve. In due time.

RESOLUTIONS

1. Finish even more games that are on my ever growing backlog.

If you read yesterday's blog, you know I finished a handful of games in 2012 - some new and some old. Well, I still have a bunch of outstanding games that I need to finish up and I find that if I add them to a list that I can scratch off when I beat them, I am more likely to do so. That being said, my first video game resolution is to finish the following games in 2013: X-COM, Far Cry 3, New Super Mario Bros. U, Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead, Borderlands 2, God of War 3, and Call of Juarez. That might not seem like a lot, but when you take into consideration all of the new games that are coming out and the independent titles I have listed in Resolution #3, I'll have plenty keeping me busy.

2. Read x video game inspired books and post a blog about each.

In 2011 I read six books and blogged about them, but last year I only managed to finish three. Actually, if you count Darth Vader and Son, then four. If you like Star Wars and you are a parent or have a parent, it's a must buy! This year I am going to just try and finish the ones I have set aside in my short term read pile. I hope to at least finish Star Wars vs. Star Trek and Uncharted: The 4th Labyrinth since I've already put a big dent in them, but also...Deadspace: Martyr, Homefront, Assassin's Creed Renaissance, and Halo: The Thursday War. Yeah, if I can finish all of those books this year, I'll be happy.

3. Support the Independent Video Game Developer Movement

With more and more great independent titles being released, I find I'm missing out on some great games that rival those produced by the big name studios. Well, I'm in the middle of playing one now, which shall remain a secret since I plan to blog about it, but let's just say I'm fascinated with the prospect of getting quality independent titles for a fraction of the cost, especially when I can get as much game play and enjoyment out of them. Yes, 2012 ushered in a whole list of great indie games...and in 2013 I will be playing some of the old and some of the new. I have five of them in mind (I have a thing for fives) but in addition to that, I will support a Kickstarter project for an indie game by year's end. And you should too! If you can...or want...or can and want.

4. Play More Games Online With The Game Informer Online Community.

Okay... Okay... For the past two years I've been saying this and I don't seem to be doing any better. But this year is going to be different and better because I realize the trick to get me to do this is setting more specific and achievable goals. I can't simply say play with the community more, because ANYTHING is more than none at all. So, this year the resolution is a bit different. My goal is at least once a month I will devote a gaming session, most likely a few hours on the weekend, to playing with members of the community. It will probably be coordinated via a blog, so stay tuned for the details. I'm thinking in January the game of choice might be Far Cry 3 on the Xbox 360, since so many of you seem to like it. Then again, Halo 4 has some great multiplayer action too. Stay tuned.

5. Creating an Unofficial GIO Bloggers Group Open to Everybody

Community Member BlackheartedWolf started a group here at GIO a while ago called the Writer's Guild with the goal of creating a place for like-minded individuals to come together and talk about blogging and what not. It spawned the Writer's Guild Weekly Challenge (WGWC) series, which some of you have participated in. The group and the content coming out of it was well received and a huge success. Well, unfortunately the group has all but disbanded. Orochisama LEVON, Spectre summarized it best when he made the following comment on the 8th of December, "Unfortunately, this group is practically dead. There are members attempting to revive it by participating in the WGWC project here, but aside from that, not much else is happening. BHW was the galvanizing force behind the life this group once had, and has moved on, sadly."


Well, I'm not trying to compete or replace that group, but I do see a need to have a workspace where I and others can share some information that might help new members who might be interested with blogging at Game Informer. With such a high turnover rate - old bloggers moving on and new bloggers coming in, a lot of the tribal knowledge is lost in the transition. I'll be honest right up front...I don't know how much day to day time I will be able to spend managing this group. I am doing it more for a place to park a few blogs about blogging so others will be able to find them easier than stumbling across them randomly by browsing the website. It'll take some time to get the group populated with content, but there are some posts that already exist that I'll search for and pin up in the group, plus a few new blogs that I'll be posting in the coming days and weeks including a guide on how to get your blog featured in Blog Herding. I'm still tinkering with the group settings, so please be patient.

Next up...predictions.

PREDICTIONS

1. Valve Hints At Half Life 3 As Launch Title For New Steam Box

Could it be that we haven't heard anything about Half Life 3 because Valve has been developing their own hardware for quite some time and have intended all along to release it as a launch title? I'd say it's definitely possible, and I also think this might be the year they release some details about Half Life 3, if even just a hint. I guess we have a lot to look forward to. I'm predicting an announcement at E3, and boy I would love to be right on this one.

2. Independent Games Continue To Prosper, Win Game of the Year

I think the chances of this one happening are mixed. There were so many great independent games this year, it's hard to imagine next year producing the same or more...but should that happen I think it's quite possible one of them will actually get a Game of the Year nod from the Game Informer Staff. With games like Journey getting a Grammy nomination and The Walking Dead winning Spike TV's VGA GOTY, this trend of indie developers and indie games is only going to continue.

3. Wii U Reception Plummets

If the Wii U doesn't hurry up and launch more and better games, I think Nintendo is going to be disappointed with the reception of their next generation console. I bought one for Christmas and went back to GameStop to try and find something besides the New Super Mario Bros. U to play on it...and didn't find anything I was interested in. I think if they take advantage of some of the exclusives they have access to like Donkey Kong and Star Fox, it'll salvage itself...but if they wait too long the damage will be done. I don't regret getting it yet, but the clock is ticking. It doesn't sound like it's going to be the enigmatic success as its predecessor. Get hot Nintendo and start releasing some better games for it.

4. Ouya's Instant Success Before Fizzling Out

You probably read the same articles I did announcing the Ouya shipped its dev kits out to various Kickstarter contributors. I want to be excited about the Ouya, I do. And I certainly think there is room for it in the video game industry. We had other initiatives that didn't cause too much disruption, like OnLive. Ouya is scheduled for an April 2013 release, and I think it will make that date. Heck, I might even get one to try it out. I dunno though, I feel like it's going to sell like crazy at first, but taper off and eventually not even be talked about. I hope that's not the case. But as someone who really got behind Linux and the open source movement, which never really gained momentum to challenge Microsoft, I think the Ouya will meet much of the same fate. There will be a niche group that embraces it, but the video game audience is so large and diverse now, I think the Ouya will have a challenge reaching the greater population and competing with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. I could be wrong, and I kind of hope I am, but after following the development of this strange little platform, that's just kind of how I feel.

5. Saint Will Meet One Or More Of You

I'm moving. This much is true. I don't know when or where, just that I am. And depending on where I go and what line of work I get into, there is a good chance I will travel near one of you...and perhaps even settle down near one of you. It wouldn't be the first time I've met someone from the community, but it would be cool to meet more of you. So, more to follow...I'll definitely be posting about it...and who knows, maybe I'll take one of you out to lunch sometime.

GAMES SCHEDULED FOR A 2013 RELEASE

Picking the five games I am most excited for in 2013 was a challenge as I had it narrowed down to about ten games that I can't wait until they release. And while I think quite a few of these are going to get bumped until 2014, I still settled on the following list of five games that I am MOST excited for. It doesn't mean I'm not interested in the next Battlefield or Gears of War game that might also be released in 2013...but five means five.

1. Dead Space 3

I'm not a fan of the horror genre really, but surprisingly I am a huge fan of the Dead Space series. In terms of design and story, they are some of the finest games out there, with phenomenal audio and visual effects and plenty of tense set pieces to get your heart racing. I can't wait to see where they take the series next and if they're able to continue forcing me to play with the lights on.

2. Rainbow Six Patriots

I am a diehard fan of the Rainbow Six series ever since the first one was released in 1998 and re-defined the shooter genre. It's been a few years since we've had a Rainbow Six game with R6: Vegas 2 being the last one back in 2008. Rainbow Six: Patriots looks to be very different from the previous episodes, but I'm still excited for the game and hopeful it does the series justice.

3. Star Wars 1313

I have been burned by so many bad Star Wars games I can't believe I'm actually putting one on my list of highly anticipated games, but this one looks and feels different than the previous episodes. It has a dark and grittiness to it that I think might just restore the balance of power in the galaxy. I've always be enamored with the bounty hunters of the Star Wars universe ever since I saw Darth Vader tell Boba Fett, "No disintegrations." Let's hope this isn't another Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. I know that game got mixed to slightly positive reviews, but let's be honest...this franchise deserves more than mediocre.

4. The Last of Us

To be honest I wasn't really following The Last of Us very close, and truthfully I'm still not. I watched one trailer that played during E3 and that was enough to sell me on the game, so I'm refraining from any of the media attention promoting the game until it releases, then I will pick it up and play it with no predisposition. I liked what I saw - it had an Uncharted meets the Walking Dead feel and those are two games you can't go wrong with emulating.

5. Bioshock Infinite

I was late to the party with Bioshock, so I'm not going to make that mistake again. Even though Infinite isn't a direct sequel to the first two, I have Bioshock 2 on my short list of games to finish soonest and will purchase Infinite when it releases. If it's half as good as the original Bioshock, it's destined for greatness.

There you have it. Five resolutions, predictions and games I'm excited for. After a day or so, this blog will be forgotten by you and me until the tail end of next year...at which time I'll revisit it and see how things transpired.

Feel free to post your own resolutions, predictions or games releasing in 2013 that you're excited for.

Oh yeah...AND...

Happy New Year!

Cheers!

 

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