A few people have taken note of this, but about a week ago I quietly killed The Anatomy of Games. It was a fun idea, but I really lost the plot with the series somewhere along the way. Ideally, the articles would take a more holistic approach to game design, but I honestly don’t have the time I’d need to invest in that approach. I’ve been taking the level-by-level/piece-by-piece approach as a matter of practicality: I can afford to play games in short chunks and write about those fragments, but the idea of playing a four-to-10-hour game all at once and parsing it out just doesn’t fit into my life. Unfortunately, as many people have pointed out, the bit-by-bit technique runs the risk of becoming a trainspotting walkthrough, which is completely useless.
The series isn’t necessarily going away—I mean, Nintendo just reissued Metroid: Zero Mission a couple of days ago—but I’m folding it all back into this blog. A big part of my current effort to get my life back under control involves cutting free the things that no longer have any value to me, even if their worthlessness is entirely perceptual. Every domain I run is just another hungry mouth to feed, and killing off one of them has brought a profound sense of relief. The Anatomy domain will go away pretty soon, and I’ll delisting the less creatively successful books from Amazon as well (most likely Mario, Zelda, and Mega Man—Metroid and Castlevania turned out well enough that I don’t feel bad about their continued existence).
In the grand scheme of things, though, it’s not really that big a deal. I almost cut loose Retronauts instead, since it’s a huge time investment whose earnings all go back directly into the show, and honestly it could continue running under Bob’s stewardship alone and probably end up all the better for it. But it would be pretty pathetic for me to drop out just short of the 10-year anniversary, I guess. After that, we’ll see, but I’m in it until… what was it? October 4, according to Wikipedia. Oh, wait, I need to finish out the deck of cover art playing cards. So I guess through the end of 2016, then! After that, it’s all a mystery. Sometimes it seems unimaginable that I’ll even be around to see 2017, to be honest. I can’t plan that far ahead.
In the meantime, I’ve submitted the final Retronauts Kickstarter book files to CreateSpace and have selected winners for the USG Mario Maker contest, which means that despite all the frustrations of the past few weeks, I’m still making headway. So: Suck it, 2016.