Gaming on a Timer

Seasons’ Greetings!

Holidays are around once again and with them, a chance for much-needed rest – there will be no new blog posts for the next couple of weeks due to taking some much-needed rest from the various projects I’ve had running since the “re-launch” in September.

I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas or equivalent end-of-year holiday – thank you all so much for your continued support in taking time to read my random thoughts! I hope they are as entertaining to read through as they are to write and, perhaps, even thought-provoking at times.

Gaming on a Timer will be resuming regular weekly posts from Monday, January 7th 2019 so see you around then!

So, Let’s Talk About That Hiatus and Future Plans.

Part One – What On Earth Happened With You, Dude?!

This post has been a long time coming; to be precise, around five months give or take a week. My main issue with the majority of my drafts was how to explain the whole hiatus thing without coming across as overly defensive or apologetic – some drafts felt a bit too aggressive in tone, others too dramatic.

In the end, here’s a brief summary of What Happened In The Last Year™, so humor me for the next few paragraphs before we talk about what’s in store for this blog:

Overtime at work: This was the major cause for initially stepping away from blogging (and a couple of my other projects, like streaming and expanding my internet presence, such as it is) – as I might have mentioned, since October 2016 my workplace had been in a constant state of crunch due to severe issues with our database (the initial migration from physical to digital was done… poorly, to be charitable).

This in turn led to 12-14 hour workdays during the week, with additional weekends of paid overtime; in itself not a bad situation from a financial standpoint (every extra hour got paid at a premium) but it also meant that a lot of fatigue and stress got built up – especially since the project’s timeline estimate of 6 months eventually became around 17 or so months (October 2016 to February 2018).

During this time, I also went through a few changes in domestic status. Back in May 2018 – and after nearly a year of extensive research and inquiries with realtors – I finally managed to start renting on my own (where previously I had to rely on roommates to make rent, due to the ludicrous discrepancies between wages and rent prices).

The new apartment is better location-wise, much more recently-built than any of my previous ones and came with a series of perks, such as gated parking lots, solar panels for heating, climate control and various other quality of life improvements, which were certainly welcome.

As a result of the move (and subsequently having to actually furnish the place), I had to invest a large chunk of my free time into the apartment – which naturally came at the expense of updating the blog and other projects.

Meanwhile, I had also tried to keep up on my streaming schedule – this will of course be familiar to any of my readers that found out about this blog from my Twitch channel, but due to the above-mentioned reasons, my stream schedule went from a regular 2-per-week (plus Fridays for Gallant Gamers, a charity stream group) to a more irregular schedule of “whenever I felt I could be entertaining” – this manifested mostly once or twice per fortnight (or even less sometimes).

So, there you have it. There were certain times where I could maybe push in an update or two but the thing with a hiatus is that, the longer it lasts, the harder it is to get things going again. Therefore, we should now discuss what’s to come for this blog (and the various projects attached to it).

Part Two – Getting Things Rolling Again… Probably.

The plan, insofar as the term can be used in this case, is to aim for the following (yes, I like lists):

Update the blog at least once a week – subjects may vary so those little pithy taglines below the post header will be a bit more vague than they used to be. I remember getting quite into the whole “Let’s Play” aspect so perhaps more of those will be forthcoming (assuming I find a suitable game). Expect more achievement talk too, as I’ve always been quite fond of that particular facet of gaming (even though I preferred to not mention it as much in this blog).

Get a regular streaming schedule going again – I’m looking at two or three times a week, but no promises until I can figure out how to work it around my other obligations. I’d also love to get involved with the Gallant Gamers team again, though that is admittedly a bit further down the line… for now

Look into rebranding the blog. This is a major decision for me, as the domain name is not set to expire until May 2019, but it all boils down to a simple issue: the whole premise of “gaming on a timer” is problematic for me; I can’t quite sustain the entire blog around the idea of not having enough time to play games (ironically, being forced to adhere to a single theme each week ended up wasting a lot of time on thinking and planning topics and blog posts, whereas writing something that had currently piqued my curiosity/interest was a much faster affair).

The main idea is to fully embrace what I do best: being indecisive (or rather, having a few interests too many). For now, the site will remain under the GamingOnATimer domain, but eventually I’ll have a look into better alternatives. As always, suggestions are more than welcome below in the comments!

…and there it is. A whole new series of promises to keep (or break, possibly) – certainly not the most impressive of plans but, as I mentioned way back at the start of this, the proverbial ball is now rolling – perhaps it will keep rolling a bit further this time around, perhaps it will come to a stop after a couple of weeks. The important thing, though, is that it rolls – for now.

If nothing else, it’ll be interesting to watch.

Beginnings of a Site – Gaming on a Timer

Where Introductions Are Made; Purposes Are Stated

When I initially began messing around with blogging, back in the far off times of 2011, I had no real purpose or coherent theme for my blog: rant a bit, opine a lot about gaming, get a feel for the whole blogging scene – these seemed like good enough goals at the time. Simple stuff, fit for a simpler schedule (university near-graduates having a lot of free time, which presumably would have been better spent getting drunk, or so I’m told).

Currently, though, there is a much clearer – if no less amusingly bad – goal in mind: see, being in my thirties, with a family of my own, a full-time job and a lot of responsibilities being juggled, I find my free time coming at a very high premium nowadays. Thus, Gaming on a Timer was born (Gaming on a Schedule, Budget Gamer and a few others already being taken).

Hopefully, going forward I’ll be able to keep you updated with my (mis)adventures in gaming on a very, very limited time budget; a Twitch channel titled Greygore Plays (and its sister archiving channel in YouTube) are also sporadically updated with new content for your amusement… time permitting, naturally.

Finally, a word of apology to any members of the speedrunning community that visit this site – the titular Timer is not as literal as you might have hoped, but I might try a bit of speedrunning myself occasionally (no promises though).

Hope your visits here are pleasant, and the blog is as fun for you to read as it is for me to write.

One Year Later…

So, for those dedicated souls that were reading my blog habitually (all five of you), it must have felt like a very abrupt stop to my posts. There are several good reasons for this:

Most of my time was spent divided between my senior year’s studies (final year of college) and the end of semester presentation for my Industrial Informatics degree (something akin to a thesis in more theoretical circles). Between juggling classes for Robotics, Integrated Circuitry, Artificial Intelligence and about ten other subjects and trying to assemble, program and case-test what turned out to be a monster of a stand-alone server (based on an STK600 MCU – now exactly my first choice but you have to work with what you are given, eh?) and companion Android app, time was scarce for much of gaming.

Faulty and dangerous, best of both worlds
(I actually managed to solder a few wires before being burned!)

As a result of that, the few hours I could have spared for blog post were either used for sleep or (rarely) for those few social interactions I could manage outside of the project/ studies circle.

WAVECOM GSM Modem: About €50
Finding out it’s faulty a month before the deadline: Priceless

A tiny amount of time was also spent recuperating from a minor nervous breakdown that resulted from actually trying to do the entire thing within four months (the standard semester duration, sans holidays) and having to deal with the inefficiency of local businesses and civil services (including, but not limited to, faulty hardware being delivered for the project, my laptop’s power supply frying due to power surges caused by the power company going on strike and lack of government funding for the aforementioned project due to technicalities) and a ten-day long gastroenteritis period right before the end-term exams began.

Even the presentation was plagued by the college’s inefficiency;
table was dragooned from a nearby student gathering.


I’ve since moved back home (sans degree, yet) and between job-hunting, apartment-seeking and general restructuring of that social life thing, I’ve once again become somewhat active in gaming; long story short, expect a few new blog posts in the upcoming days .