The Very Best Of RPS 2012: Diaries

Diaries are our most requested feature, and by far the hardest to write. Not because the words are a struggle to find, but because it has to be the right game and the right person clicking at the right time. You can’t force them, they have to just happen. A game has to provide the longevity to let such accounts be relevant, and the writer has to feel the need to tell the story. But when all these stars align, the results are some of the most popular and entertaining content RPS produces. The best of 2012’s diaries are below.

Ian Football

Knowing almost nothing about the mystical sport of foot-to-ball, Alec set out to conquer the arcane spreadsheets of Football Manager 2012. Taking on Worcester City Football Club, Ian Football seeks to become the greatest at football managering the world has ever seen.

The Rise And Fall Of Reginald Samurai

With the release of Shogun 2 expansion Fall Of The Samurai, Dan Gril set out to restore a traditional Japan in the face of encroaching modernisation. This is well worth a read for a compelling history lesson as much as a gaming diary.

A Dad In A Dungeon

John’s dad is the reason John is a games journalist. Having invested in computers since they were a thing that could fit in a home, it meant John and Hugh spent two decades exploring the dungeons of gaming’s history, from text-only catacombs to the arrival of 3D corridors, the pair took on all underground threats. So when Dungeon Master/Eye Of The Beholder-alike Legend Of Grimrock came along, it only made sense to ask adventure-dentist Hugh Walker to return to the subterranean tunnels once more.

FTL: The Fatal Frontier

RPS’s main diarist, Alec, spied another place to tell a tale – spaceshipping sim FTL. With its roguelike ways, it makes for ideal diary fodder. It also makes for a chance for Alec to name a crew after cats he’s known, and then see which ones of them die. However, not choosing to name any of them Dexter, he sealed his certain fate.

XCOM: Diary Of A Wimpy Squad

Of course the final diary of 2012 had to be XCOM. And it could only be Alec at the pen. Naming his crew after RPS writers, it can only have been with suicidal intent that he made John the team’s main healer. Guess who dies first.


  1. mpk says:

    Link to Dan’s diary disnae work.

  2. Stellar Duck says:

    While not technically written by the Hivemind, I think A Dad in a Dungeon is perhaps the best you chaps have given me all year. Thank you for that (and Ian Football!)

  3. Dozer says:

    I love the diaries. They are probably the RPS articles I enjoy the most, alongside John’s articles on social injustice related to gaming (not sure if ‘enjoy’ is the right word, ‘value’ or ‘find nourishing’ perhaps is better).

  4. PopeRatzo says:

    Dad in Dungeon rang the bell for me this year.

    I think it was the reason I signed up to post a comment.

  5. Requize says:

    link to for the shogun diary.

  6. McDan says:

    A good year for diaries, XCOM, being one of the finest for many years. Though you know we’re all waiting for the rest of that AI war diary RPS.

    • gnodab says:

      A thousand times this!!!!
      Sadly, nowadays we have no Kieron, no Quintin and no iron….

      Well, at least we get the Electronic Wireless Show more regularly. Oh, I forgot. No we don’t.

      Enough complaining for now though. RPS is still the best thing since the internet! And it was a very good year.

  7. woodsey says:

    Jim’s accounts of an early DayZ led to it spreading from me to friends, IRL and on Steam alike. My game of the year.

  8. lowprices says:

    These diaries usually wind up with my buying the game and Grimrock and FTL are no different. Keep it up.

  9. sinister agent says:

    Diaries are so hard to maintain interest/interestingness in. You really can’t force it frowningsadface.

    I would prefer that RPS err on the side of starting them and letting them peter out, rather than never starting them, though.

    • Moth Bones says:

      As with Ian Football? I assumed that he had been rendered unconscious by a mountain of paperwork and then the ground had been repossessed and locked up, leaving him to slowly rot in his office.

  10. Ryan Huggins says:

    Considering I just started coming to RPS, I’ve not seen a single one of these posts. Haha.

  11. MikoSquiz says:

    “The Best of RPS: Diaries” indeed. I keep trying to find the submenu that lets you adjust the resource sliders so I can min-max everything to “100% diaries”.

  12. pertusaria says:

    I love the diaries (Dad in a Dungeon was the best this year, but I also liked Reginald Samurai and Ian Football), but I would also love to see some more Idle Musing posts, or ones in a similar vein. Thanks for all the great posts on the site!

  13. jimangi says:

    What about Day Z and the short-lived but very entertaining Crusader Kings diary?

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