Announcing: Quindependence Day

By Quintin Smith on July 4th, 2011 at 5:54 pm.

EXCITEMENT!

Hello, ladies! Men.

I joined the RPS team this time last year. Following almost twelve months of PC gaming news, reviews, thrills and spills, some of which the RPS server was actually up for, I’m announcing that today, the fourth of July, or Quindependance day, will be my last day on the site. I’m going back to ordinary freelancing. But before I go, I’d quickly like to say thanks.

The RPS readership is, as you lot must know deep down in your aluminium, fan-cooled hearts, the finest of any gaming site around. I’d like to thank you for making me laugh every single day with what you write in the comments, as well as generally being a pleasure to write for. I’d especially like to thank everybody who ever wrote in with a tip for me, because you contributed to my humble dream of being able to start drinking at 1pm.

I’d like to thank the RPS founders for not just giving me the freedom to write god knows how many words about Norrland, but to go on to pay me for it.

Most of all, though, I’d like to thank Jim for meticulously replacing every single piece of my cursed PC over several trips to London and then continuing to puzzle over it when it still didn’t work. He fixed it, in the end. Of course he did. He’s a PC gamer, same as you.

While I’ll be around and freelancing for RPS in the future (as well as attending any future London RPS social clubs, for sure), I’d like to close with a list of all the work I’ve done for RPS that I’m proud of, because it’s simply so much longer than it would be for any other site or magazine in existence.

So!

Butchering Pathologic. My love letter to the single strangest, strongest game I’ve ever played, and the only game I’ve loved enough to get a tattoo of.

Planetside: The 1%. Telling stories from within games is pretty much my thing, and this is the single best story I have to tell. There’s some stuff I’d change about the writing, but who cares? It happened to me, I went onto RPS and screamed about it, and people wrote to me saying they really enjoyed it. That’s as crystalline as this job gets.

AHL: The 5am. The above story might be the most cinematic, but I like this one of an expedition into a labyrinthine, evil map secret more. More spooky games journalism! That’s what I say.

Pitchfork Media: A Portrait of Wurm Online. Speaking of spooky journalism, this account of being robbed by hicks in hardcore indie MMORPG Wurm Online is about as intimidating as new games journalism gets.

Gameboys From Hell. Solium Infernum is a play-by-email strategy game by Vic Davis that casts players as arch-demons warring over who will rule Hell. Gameboys From Hell was our epic diary of a two-month long game that came close to ruining friendships. You think Song of Ice & Fire features venemous characters? You ain’t seen nothing yet. I read this again every single year, and it just gets better.

Neptune’s Pride and Falls. This fucking game.

Galactic Bartender. Space Station 13 is a free-form online game where players fill all the roles of a huge space station, making it a bit like Babylon 5 with everybody adlibbing their lines. As a trained real-life bartender, I figured I’d ply my trade in outer space. It went well, considering.

The Song of Onionbog. Seeing as RPS hadn’t yet had the inevitable Dwarf Fortress diary, I figured I’d have a go. Yeah, I didn’t finish it, but I like the format it took- one part new games journalism with one part friendly tutorial, the idea being it could simultaneously show the appeal of Dwarf Fortress while teaching you the basics. The fact that I didn’t play the game for two days and then couldn’t bring myself to return to it and re-learn all those hotkeys speaks volumes. I’m sorry, Dwarf Fortress. I love you.

Captain Smith. How shit can somebody be at Mount & Blade? I found the answer.

Wot I Think: Winter Voices. My single favourite part of working for RPS is nudging unlikely games into the limelight. I couldn’t bring myself to write a positive review of that early version of Winter Voices, but the discussion is the thing.

The Space Funeral Advent Calendar entry. There was a similar thrill in getting Space Funeral on the advent calendar. RPS contributor Brendan Caldwell reckons it’s a funnier game than Portal 2. Minute for minute, I reckon I agree with him.

Wot I Think: SpaceChem. The process of reviewing SpaceChem had me glowing for days. The game was a diamond, I feel like the review captured its brilliance and then you guys commented by the dozen saying you’d bought it and how much you loved it. At best, games journalism is like that- you’re just some tiny mediator standing between the gamer and true love.

This Deus Ex 3 preview. I was always happy at how balanced this one turned out to be, but hearing that the devs felt it captured the game was the real thrill. Sometimes it’s all too easy to feel you’re just bellowing into the dark.

The King of Space interview. A six thousand word tour of everything that makes Eve Online special that I’m not sure any interview I do will ever surpass.

Mine the Gap. Never mind writing about Minecraft first. I like that I wrote about that special Minecraft experience of getting lost in a cave first. If somebody had gotten there before me, I’d have spent years kicking myself.

Snake To Death: The Majesty of Spelunky. The tightest game that I wrote about while at the peak of my “tight” phase. The result is the kind of enthusiasm that at once makes me wince and feel proud. On the subject, you have all played Spelunky, yes? YES?

YES?

OK, that’s it from me. I’m off. You guys take care of yourselves, and thanks again for making me laugh so very much.

xox

~ Quinns

EDIT: Quinns informed us he’d like the following edited into the end of his post:

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194 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    tomeoftom says:

    Quinns, you are a writer. A born, masterful writer. I’d say this is a shame, but really – the more freelance you do, (I hope) the more massive and elaborate your pieces can be, so this is actually fantastic news as a reader (and as someone who’s constantly being re-inspired to write after finishing any of your pieces). You will definitely be missed round these parts, though; that is the truth. It is with great sincerity that I hereby sadface :(

  2. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Seriously, RPS are going to have to start bolting the doors of Castle Shotgun to stop them getting out.

    All the best, Mr Quinns. If you’re ever in my part of the world you’re more then welcome to borrow my iron.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Aluschaaf says:

    Farewell, your words have always been a source of great laughter. Thank you :).

  4. Premium User Badge

    aego says:

    (This is the third time I’m writing this comment today, thanks RPS comments. Hope this time’s a charm)

    So long Quinns, you’ll be missed. It was fun having you here.

    Did you at least get to pick your own successor, to pass the torch like Kieron did?

  5. jeremypeel says:

    Leaving RPS, and you’re not even going to Marvel? Shut the front door! Should’ve known you were one of those types. The ones that can’t allow themselves to get too comfortable.

    I don’t know man, you think you’ve got all your favourite writers in one basket and then they start making holes in the bloody thing and falling out all over the kitchen floor. I will say this: your writing has been the most consistently inspired I’ve read, in any field on journalism, for a couple of years on the trot. Keep at the long-form, experiential nonsense and we’ll find you, wherever you go; I never need a byline to recognise a Quinns piece.

    Stay brilliant, and stay odd. Know you will.

  6. Megadyptes says:

    what a shame

  7. rhizo says:

    I’m very sad to see Quinns go. He always seemed to be the one who had the courage to dive in to the deep end of PC gaming, head first of course. Having read many of his AARs of some of my favorite games (while laughing my hat off in the process), I really hope that the “new guy” will share Quinns’ enthusiasm and capacity for such efforts. Also, here’s hoping RPS gets someone who at least knows their way around the grand strategy genre (one of my few improvement requests for this site :)).

    Best of luck in your future endeavours, hope to read your works again soon.

  8. Navagon says:

    You introduced the world (well, me at least) to the wonders of Patholgic and Space Funeral. PC gaming would appear a lot more… normal without you. And who’d want that?

    Not me.

    All the best for the future!

  9. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    May you find green pastures, iron and a fine occupation to call your own. Thanks, Quinns!

  10. sauyadav says:

    Quindependece Day, saddest of all days.

  11. DrazharLn says:

    I stop checking RPS for a week and one of my favourite writers disappears. Typical.

    I look forward to your future work, especially the boardgames stuff.

  12. JackShandy says:

    I never got to say goodbye.

  13. Dinger says:

    Congrats on landing the Paradox gig, Quinns. I look forward to seeing what creative marketing tricks you have up your sleeves.

  14. Kamos says:

    Got this in my mailbox, in the Paradox newsletter. Perhaps it is old news, but anyway:

    “Captain Smith” joins ranks with Paradox Interactive

    Former Rock, Paper, Shotgun journalist Quintin Smith is joining us at Paradox! Quintin will work with the marketing team as the Creative Marketing Commissar, though whether he’ll stay when he finds out the job doesn’t involve ordering around a small private army is unknown. Check out some of his most appreciated work here.