A few things have happened recently that got me to thinking about how I do stuff at Drake's Flames. I think I'll share.
1) I got a new fan. A likable chap (and by 'likable' I mean 'he's a douchebag') named Shreveport Jimmy took issue with one of my review titles at BGG - and he chased it like a dog after a cat with raw steak stapled to its tail. I've seen dedicated people before. I've seen men who work eighty hours a week just because the job demands it, mothers who stand in line for three days to get their kids into the right schools, and gamers who can play for eighteen hours on nothing but Pocky and Mountain Dew. But I've never seen anyone as dedicated to looking like a complete jackass.
Good news, Jimbo - mission accomplished. You look like a complete jackass.
If you would like to meet my new friend Jim, you can run over to BGG and check out the review of Bombay. The conversation there is a delight, as long as you like to see a man foam at the mouth like a rabid panhandler.
The reason this is relevant is because my new BFF at BGG has promised that under no circumstances will he play any game I ever make. Since Feral Instinct is my first attempt at a game that doesn't involve a 200-page rulebook and reams of boring information about make-believe worlds, I fear I'm already down a fan - and I don't even have a game yet. Woe is me.
(Really, this isn't relevant, but when I'm over there, I do my best not to come right out and call people assholes. I kind of dance around it, but I try to stay in the lines. You may have noticed, there are no lines here. And I really wanted to call Shreveport Jimmy a douchebag.)
2) I got another new fan. Jose, who seems like he's probably a decent guy, disagreed with my last review and called me a whiner. I questioned his capability in the English language and suggested that he might be giving himself a close-up prostate exam, at which point he responded by telling me I might be a racist (like a Jeff Foxworthy joke - if you've got a shed full of napalm and cheap wooden crosses, you might be a racist) and then taking his ball and going home.
Look, I don't have many rules here. Well, OK, I really don't have any at all, they're more like guidelines. But if you're going to come to my playground and throw a mud pie, you gotta have a thick hide, because I keep a mud pie catapult behind the shed, all oiled up and ready to rumble. I love to play, but when I'm here, I play rough. I don't wear kid gloves when I'm here. Here I have grown-up gloves, and I fill them with sand.
However, I don't mean to chase anyone off. The only comments I'll ever delete are spam. You can cuss, you can call me names, you can question my lineage and mock my outright disdain for the rules of the English language. I'll respond in kind, but I won't tell you to leave, and I won't delete your crap. Even Jimmers, the Shreveport douche nozzle, is welcome to come and speak his piece. If you can handle the sarcastic insults I'll heap on your head like the lice you leave on your pillow, you can say anything you want. If you're good at it, I'll even laugh. I may even invite you to go out for beers.
3) I got exactly two review requests in the last month, and that's getting silly. Listen, kids, I write this thing so people will read it - and if all I'm reviewing is cheap pap I picked up at a garage sale, you're going to get bored and leave. And then I'm going to have a hard time getting free games. So what I need you to do is simple - tell me what games you want to hear about, so that I can write about them. Piece of cake, right? I try my best with every request. I reviewed Power Grid because it was requested. I reviewed Android after it was requested. I'm reviewing Wings of War next week - same reason. If you have a request, ask. I'll do my best to get the game, and if I do, I'll let you read all about it. And thanks to Dogstar Games, I'm able to get an awful lot of games that I couldn't get before. So do us both a favor and tell me what you want me to talk about. Also, tell me if you would like to see me end a sentence in a preposition (because, see, I just did).
4) There is no fourth thing. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
So here's the deal, just so we're all on the same page.
If you post in the comments section, it's not automatically open season. If you have a question, or request, or honest disagreement, you get to choose how I reply. If you're sincere and respectful, so am I. I welcome discussion, and will be as nice as I can be if you're as nice as you can be (unless 'as nice as you can be' is still a total dick). And if you're snarky and sarcastic, I won't be mad at all - but I'll also be snarky and sarcastic. Hellfire, what do you expect? Doctor Phil? I'm crassly opinionated. I'm not Oprah.
And make some requests. I want to write the reviews that you want to read, but to do that, you have to tell me what you want to read. I've got sources, and I can run down review copies like a New Orleans street performer after spare change.
And for the love of God, would someone please take the Feral Instinct playtest survey? It's been weeks! I'm starting to think you people don't love me!