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Thread: Gametunnel February Roundup!

  1. #1
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    Default Gametunnel February Roundup!

    *tap tap* is this thing on?

    Ok some of you CLEVER folks saw that GT.com changed hands - and then flooded poor Russ with emails over his abandonment of the biggest baby he ever boasted.

    It is with great honors that I announce I am the mysterious man behind the curtain at GT.com now. I can't exactly get into reasons behind why Russ wanted to sell (he's welcome to say it on his own), but suffice to say he wanted to make sure it ended up in hands that wouldn't turn it away from it's original intent.

    So I post my first roundup! It's awesome, incredible, and .... it frankly took me ages to put together and I have no clue how he's done it all these years.

    DIGG IT and help me justify spending money on supporting the indie games movement
    http://www.gametunnel.com/february-2...up-article.php


    For those that are concerned about what changes I have in store.
    One: We'll be eliminating the parts of the site that haven't been updated in over a year... This ironically includes my old column
    .
    Two: As you can see, we canned The Illustious Panel with a full severance package... we paid them 100x what they were normally paid (nothing). Basically seeing how long it took me to do this roundup with just ONE writer I have no clue how I could manage more than that. I know its a little more bias now, but it will help me keep things steady. MAYBE when things settle down we'll return to a multi-author format.

    Three: I intend to begin covering COOL casual titles. The first of which we see here with Emerald City Confidential. Just because a game comes from a major portal does not mean I won't cover it- it just has to be original (no MCF clones!)

    We may also be changing the front page layout MASSIVELY to do near-daily updates. You heard that right. I feel in order to see GT.com grow we need to make it somewhere gamers check religiously for cool new stuff. This ties into #3 above, we simply need more stuff to cover. The end goal is in my hands I will do what Russ lacked the time (and to some degree the experience) to do - make it grow into a major player for media attention.

    So expect coverage of indie games, casual games, flash games, and freeware games in the near future... near but not instant. These changes will take months to integrate fully.

    I'll be at GDC, so if you have something to show us that you want covered in person, let me know. Otherwise just submit the games via the previous method and I will take care of it.

    Sweet eh?

    PS: I make NO BONES about wanting people who submit to us to offer an affiliate link. I won't deny coverage over it, but I am making it very clear that the ability to support GT.com ties DIRECTLY into having those affiliate links in place. Anyone who can not (for whatever reason) we do expect at the very least a link to coverage from your site. Without the support of the developers GT.com can not exist... so keep up the good work and thanks to those who have previously given affiliate links, text links, or used our cool awards to help sell their games. Every bit helps!
    Joseph Lieberman
    Video Game Marketing Service
    w: Video Game Marketing
    Book Blog: Indie Game Marketing Book
    e: webmaster@vgsmart.com

  2. #2
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    So you removed the multi-author panel thingy (the best aspect of the roundup) because they cost too much?

    Seriously, why do that? I'm sure there's at least some indies around here that wouldn't mind being on that panel on a rotating basis.

    Also, I've only ever went there for the roundups, and having went there from the link in the other post earlier and looked around, I can see why. The site seriously needs a redesign.
    "Don't lose your loose change."
    Jason Maskell, Tamed Tornado Software

  3. #3
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    Wow, didn't know it had been sold.

    And I agree with Jason - the only reason I visited Game Tunnel was for the (multiple author) roundups, which were always worthwhile reading.
    Sock Dash - online games portal | Game Socks - downloadable games portal | My Games

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    What takes time is managing people. It didnt cost anything but time, and time is what I lack. Russ has even less than I do

    If demand is there I will restart a multi person panel, but with all due respect guys- you're the minority among the visitors. So we'll see, if traffic dips because of my change we'll move it to be a priority... but taking over someone else's site is not as easy as it sounds

    So certain things are getting cut or delayed while I learn the ropes. Simple as that.

    -Joe
    Joseph Lieberman
    Video Game Marketing Service
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    Book Blog: Indie Game Marketing Book
    e: webmaster@vgsmart.com

  5. #5

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    GT's montly round-ups were a good indication of how good the released games were. I enjoyed reading them, but I did not read the review of one game from more than 2 author's.

    Time to now read the new version of the montly roundups from a single author's perspective.

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    I'm also one of those people who equate GameTunnel to their monthly round-ups (that, and their Game of the Year awards). It was their signature feature. I can fully understand why you might need to drop them this month, due to all the issues of taking control of the website, but I'd want to see them re-instated eventually. There must be some keen indie game reviewer out there you can appoint as a chief review editor, even if it's a gratis position.
    David Shaw (a.k.a "Trapper Zoid"/"Trazoi" on other forums) --- Trazoi (website, blog)

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    I also basically only went to GT for the panel reviews. I thought they gave a much better idea of the quality of the games than the single person reviews that every other blog and his uncle does. But then, when I think about why it was only the roundups that interested me, I need only look at how scarce it is to see anything else show up on the site. The full game reviews were so few and far between, I almost forgot GT did them.

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    That scarcity is by far my greatest priority. Since taking command I have been able to get full reviews flowing every 7 days or so (Yeah I have been running it quietly for the last month).

    Again, the goal is a minimum of 1 new item a day within the next few months; and I have a brilliantly cunning plan involving a turnip on how we're going to get it done. HOPEFULLY you'll all spend time going back to the site to find new cool games and ideas for games rather than dropping by once a month to get the panel's view of 10 games at a time (Though that tradition will certainly continue).

    -Joe
    Joseph Lieberman
    Video Game Marketing Service
    w: Video Game Marketing
    Book Blog: Indie Game Marketing Book
    e: webmaster@vgsmart.com

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    To me, Gametunnel was a site exclusively about indie titles. Adding casual, flash and freeware games might turn it from "one of the best indie game sites" to "yet another content machine". Indie games have a certain appeal, both in gameplay and execution. I associate "flash" and "freeware" with horrible sites that waste your time by throwing loads of bad games at you.

    Personally, I think all good things come to an end or change; let's see how it will turn out. Professionally this might make sense if it attracts another, bigger audience. Good luck to the old owner in whatever he'll do and to the new owner of GT

    PS:
    I agree with the others, the multi-author mini-reviews were great.

  10. #10
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    Just a quick comment.

    I look forward to seeing what Joe does with the site. While he definitely will be looking to do whatever makes the site the most economical and profitable it can be, I think it is very safe to say he will also always have his eye on helping the indie community out - and not just because that, in turn, will make the site itself more profitable but because Joe actually cares.

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    I liked the multi-author format, but like Joe's focus on ongoing content. I'm certainly willing to give GT some time and see how it all pans out.

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    Also liked and missed the multi-review format instead, but GT is in good hands and I'm happy for that.
    Red Thumb Games
    www.redthumbgames.com

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    Rick Rocket didn't make the feb round-up? Aw, man...

    I, too, am bummed about the loss of the panel and the addition of flash and freeware games. Casual doesn't bother me, provided they are indie-produced. But flash and freeware games is why I stopped visiting tigsource - it seemed that was all they cover, and frankly most of the games there were poor quality. (Maybe that has changed, but that's why I left tigsource.) My point is that indie was what made GT unique. GT grew because you got to see games there that you didn't see anywhere else. I hope indie games don't get drowned out in the new format/content.

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    We've been keeping this somewhat quiet since late January, and I'm happy it is out in the open.

    I was also a fan of the multi-author format, but I'm interested to see the new approach over the next few months. I'm also really excited about Joseph taking over the site. I really believe he has the ability to take it to the next level and think it is great to have some new energy in there. When I told my brother who had taken over GT he said "you couldn't have picked a better person," and I really agree with that as well.

    I keep watching the homepage to see what Joseph does because he does have ability in building traffic that I think may make the site that much better known.

    Back to the topic, it was good to see the round-up. There was a couple of stand-outs that I expect we'll be hearing about again in December .

  15. #15
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    Well, as we say, time will tell. At the very least hold your criticism for after I take a shot at making things better

    Until then shower me with best wishes or I will give your next game a 1 / 10! (That's a joke people!)

    -Joe
    Joseph Lieberman
    Video Game Marketing Service
    w: Video Game Marketing
    Book Blog: Indie Game Marketing Book
    e: webmaster@vgsmart.com

  16. #16
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    I wish you good hunting. I've heard Russell tell how hard it was to keep the site up to the quality it had achieved, so I understand the issues you will be facing. New ideas are what's needed and I'm sure you will tweek the site as you go along to make it more popular and interesting.

    Good luck.
    PiddlePup Games, LLC
    www.piddlepup.com
    Games for the whole family!
    Come try out our latest games: Majestic Forest Pirate Poker

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    Quote Originally Posted by terin View Post
    Until then shower me with best wishes or I will give your next game a 1 / 10! (That's a joke people!)
    That's just because you havent seen my latest "game" (if you can call it that)...

    Anyway I wish you the best of luck.

  18. #18
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    +1 lament for the old roundup format
    Not that the new format is bad, just that... I miss the roundup.

    Cas

  19. #19
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    Will you be keeping the Game of the Year awards archives as I find these useful for looking up old gems?

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    Same here. Only visited the site for the monthly Round-up, and then I'd check out a few other reviews while there. (Basically a once-a-month visitor).

    I don't see what time is required to handle multiple reviewers, when all you have to do is cut n paste what they send you. Just don't write your own review, and there's your time freed up. It was very useful to have the different points of view, because they usually did a great job backing up why they rated a game the way they did.

  21. #21
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    Haha, no pressure Joe. Keep up the goods man.
    Mike Kasprzak | sykhronics entertainment | Blog | twitter | Ludum Dare
    Smiles + HD (It's on everything™, IGF finalist, won a car) | ??? (2013) | MORE: Book, PuffBOMB, Towlr
    Hey you what's up yo? Kickin' it oldskool style!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spore Man View Post
    Same here. Only visited the site for the monthly Round-up, and then I'd check out a few other reviews while there. (Basically a once-a-month visitor).

    I don't see what time is required to handle multiple reviewers, when all you have to do is cut n paste what they send you. Just don't write your own review, and there's your time freed up. It was very useful to have the different points of view, because they usually did a great job backing up why they rated a game the way they did.
    Agreed, and myself I'm not really interested in reading the marketing guys review of X Game. Give me someone that definitely has no conflict of interest, or has an interesting take (like another indie game dev).
    "Don't lose your loose change."
    Jason Maskell, Tamed Tornado Software

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    I suppose I should've mentioned that I'll still visit the site, especially if there's new content regularly. And yes, I'm interested in how the single-person reviews turn out. Was just lamenting the loss of the panel.

  24. #24
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    Default Grats Joe!

    Hilarious...I was just re-reading my copy of your book last night!


  25. #25
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    Nothing to critic here... except that you might want to consider taking somebody to 'help you manage things'... who can then help putting pieces together.

    Good luck with the GT

    P.S. No whining about 'what's changing' from my part yet... let's wait a month or so first...

  26. #26
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    I thought he did... or is Andrew Skaar a handle after all?
    Mike Kasprzak | sykhronics entertainment | Blog | twitter | Ludum Dare
    Smiles + HD (It's on everything™, IGF finalist, won a car) | ??? (2013) | MORE: Book, PuffBOMB, Towlr
    Hey you what's up yo? Kickin' it oldskool style!

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    Good Feb round up - that ragdoll game was new to me.

    It's still always going to be one of the few sites that does a professional job at reviewing smaller titles. So...I'll keep visiting.

    I agree though, why not bring on some help? I'd go out on limb and say it probably wouldn't be that hard to find it? I am not qualified to review a game, but I don't think you have to be a veteran either. It would be a shame to now have less content, as opposed to more. Seems like a good opportunity to expand not shrink. That's what communities like this are good for.

  28. #28
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    Default Andrew Skaar

    Haha - Ok the worry that I am personally reviewing the games is hilarious but justified I guess. Your hate of marketing people is classic. Andrew is the new full time (PAID) writer. I hired him because
    A) He is inexpensive
    B) passionate about games
    C) INEXPERIENCED about indie games - meaning he won't be jaded by failed indie dreams
    and D) LOCAL - meaning I can go to his house and kick his ass if he slacks off.... except he's like 1ft taller than me.

    He'll actually be at GDC with me this year for those of you who are REALLY paranoid about marketing people and think I am making it all up, lol.

    Yes, game of the year awards will not only continue to exist but we'll hopefully be able to promote it as heavily as it was 2 years ago, thus driving even more exposure to the candidates.

    Finally since everyone seems to care so much:

    #1 reason is I can't afford to PAY four writers and I don't like people working for free. I'd rather pay one guy well enough that he sticks around and becomes efficient than constantly having to "hire," train, and keep track of a dozen volunteers.

    Anyway, I am doing this to make money, but sometimes you have to NOT be cheap to get the results you need to grow efficiently. That said if it doesn't pan out I may end up getting volunteer writers and editors to keep the site going- but I figure that's more than a year away before I would consider it.

    -Joe
    Joseph Lieberman
    Video Game Marketing Service
    w: Video Game Marketing
    Book Blog: Indie Game Marketing Book
    e: webmaster@vgsmart.com

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    Congratulation, I hope you will improve gametunnel and that we will see it flourish.
    I have just one critique, if I may.
    Was it necessary to use the word "unmolested"?
    Do you intend this site to be for young audience as well?
    If so, I think you should keep the content appropriate.
    Even if gametunnel will have age restrictions, it is allot more pleasant for adults to read reviews without obscenity.
    Just my two cents.

  30. #30
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    Molested is actually a tame word that is too quickly associated with that nasty criminal and disturbing behavior. I don't think he meant it that way. He meant #1.

    mo·lest (m-lst)
    tr.v. mo·lest·ed, mo·lest·ing, mo·lests
    1. To disturb, interfere with, or annoy.
    2. To subject to unwanted or improper sexual activity

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