We judges are gonna die.
I asked for this, though. I saw how popular this contest was and knew what I was getting into. I'm a writer, a game critic, a game developer, a diehard Mega Man fan, an experienced player, and an authority on both the official and unofficial games; this is exactly the kind of thing I do for fun.
Beyond my personal enjoyment and satisfaction, this is a chance to do some good for the community. No doubt there are several aspiring game developers who have submitted to the contest—and speaking from experience, it's important for them to receive feedback that's comprehensive, fair, and encouraging. I intend to keep that in mind as I write my judge reviews. I'm already projected to be the "nice judge," but I can be just as critical and nitpicky as anyone. The key is remembering that this contest is for fun, and that there's a real person with real feelings and a desire to succeed on the receiving end of my criticism.
As the development team readies the first batch of levels to be judged, I'm bracing myself for a long winter of nonstop Mega Man...and really, that's no different from any other winter. For the last decade, most of my major side projects have centered around this franchise; I'm accustomed to the Blue Bomber being a daily part of my life. There was a span of several years where I was blogging every other day, contributing occasional articles to GameFAQs and GameCola, and keeping up with a personal journal; I can handle writing 185 short reviews in a couple months.
I have a colossal task ahead of me, to be sure, but I'm not intimidated by it. I'm looking foward to it. If I can find the right balance between judging and everything else I want and need to do, the next few months should be very rewarding indeed.