A change of focus

Some of you may have noticed that I started to blog more regularly again, and that I’ve slightly changed the focus of the blog. Over the last year and a half – probably even longer – I have been struggling with several mental health-related issues. I’ve had to deal with anxiety attacks, depression, etc. which not only affected my work but also my personal life as well. For a while even the thought of running a roleplaying game caused bouts of severe anxiety. As you can imagine this also affected my ability to write about my favorite hobby.

Luckily things are way better now. I feel much more relaxed, I am basically symptom-free, and I’m actually running two games for two different gaming groups at the moment. Scheduling is still an issue, but things are way better than half a year ago. This also helped me to write more. And while I still plan to post reviews and interviews with industry insiders in the future, I want to focus more on my personal experiences and thoughts on roleplaying games.

Stargazer’s World has always been – even after I opened it for other authors – not just a roleplaying blog but also my personal blog. From the feedback I’ve gotten over the last months I know that our readers are not only interested in hobby news, reviews etc. but also in a more personal look at the hobby. Over the last weeks I have often pondered about the games I’ve run in the past and what really is important to me. I love to run and play roleplaying games and it’s a joy to share my passion for the hobby with people all over the world.

I also realized that I am a gamer and blogger first and a game designer second. It was a lot of fun writing WR&M, Arcane Heroes, and the other games but especially the success of WR&M put a lot of pressure on me. For a long time I felt as if I had to churn out new games and supplements regularly and felt depressed when I wasn’t able to get anything done. This year I made the concious decision to skip NaGaDeMon (National Game Design Month) or force myself to work on unfinished projects. Game design should always be a fun activity for me, not another burden. There’s a reason why I don’t want to work as a professional game designer.

So, how much will the blog change? Probably not much. There might be slightly fewer reviews and more posts in which I muse about certain aspects of our hobby or share my personal experiences with gaming. At least when my posts are concerned, Stargazer’s World will focus a bit more on Stargazer. And I think this is a good thing.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

4 thoughts on “A change of focus”

  1. I am glad to see you are feeling “better.” As someone who also suffers from depression, I know what it does to you, and to you creativity, when suffering. Depression is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with.

    Good decision on designing for fun. It makes everything easier when you have fun with what you do. This should not be work.

    I am happy that you are feeling better my friend. 🙂

  2. Hey Michael,
    While my personal life-quest may not be as perilous as yours I’m no stranger to life upheavals.
    I admit that I was ambivalent about your openness initially – I thought it would detract from the main focus of the blog. That has proven not to be the case. After all, this hobby of hours is a personal one and we cannot but bring all aspects of our personality to the table including our personal daemons.

    This is an excellent blog one of the best on the hobby especially because you guys make it about YOUR hobby not just the hobby.

    You have created a great place for like-minded people to visit, a friendly tavern if you will, where life weary adventurers can find solace, indulge in a bit of nostalgia, share a thought, a memory or a laugh.

    My thanks to you Stargazer and the crew, I look forward to raising my virtual tankard by your fireplace again.

  3. ” It was a lot of fun writing WR&M, Arcane Heroes, and the other games but especially the success of WR&M put a lot of pressure on me. For a long time I felt as if I had to churn out new games and supplements regularly and felt depressed when I wasn’t able to get anything done.”

    You owe us ungrateful idiots NOTHING.

    And now that we are having a girlie moment, I suffer from the Trifecta as well. I’ve been off my meds for a while; I didn’t like handling the side effects, and yes, I get alot of mileage out of that.

    Be aware, watch your diet, drink plenty of water, get exercise, and fight, dammit!
    Depression can’t be reasoned with, hunker down and beat it into submission

    Hypnosis/mediation and Marine Alchemy have helped me maintain my temper and deal with my anxiety.- particularly crowds. The grown up word is enochlophobia,

    Good Hunting

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