Announcing Gameroni
August 30, 2010

Some of you know that for the past several days, I've been working feverishly during nearly every one of my waking hours. The product of that work is a new web site that I am now ready to unveil to the world at large: Gameroni.

Some of you remember that I've used the domain name in the past for other sites that didn't work out. The difference between those sites and this site is that this site is definitely going to receive ongoing attention from myself and others. I'll be making sure of it. There's going to be a lot of great content and I can't wait to see how things evolve. You can find the site at the predictable URL:

Gameroni is a blog-type site with an emphasis on news, reviews, previews, interviews and features. You'll be able to browse many of those content types alphabetically, or you can just enjoy reading the site as you would a standard blog. RSS feeds are available for either all content updates, or for just reviews. The plan is to update daily, throughout the day. The staff team is still growing and will likely cap out at 8 members, including myself, as well as a team of guest contributors. This should ensure fresh and varied content from a good number of talented and interesting writers.

Naturally, the fact that I am starting a new site will lead some to question my plans for HonestGamers and its continued existence. Let me hopefully lay any fears to rest by saying that HonestGamers is a key component of my future plans. While some of the current HG staff has jumped on board the new venture, I doubt you've seen the last of any of us here at HonestGamers. Additionally, some staff are remaining here to make sure that things continue to run smoothly. This is a great community. We'll work to maintain it and to help it grow. I'm confident that Gameroni isn't the only place where exciting things will be happening over the coming weeks.

I hope that each of you will continue to participate here at HonestGamers, whether with user contributions (which Gameroni is not accepting), cheats, guides, artwork and screenshots. I hope to see continued reviewer contests and RotW should continue as usual.

In the future, I'll be working to provide more reasons than ever to continue contributing to HonestGamers. I'll be putting more of my own money into both sites in the months ahead. It's not a lot of money, but it's a start and I hope that in time I'll be able to run regular contests (with prizes and everything!) on both sites, as well as do other things.

By the way, I still haven't filled my team at Gameroni. If you're interested in writing for the site as a regular contributor, do let me know. Regular contributors need to manage the following output:

* 5 or more high-quality blog posts per week, spaced out over 5 or more individual days.
* 2 or more high-quality reviews per month, spread out so that there's a new review at least every 2 weeks.

You can reach me by e-mail, on AIM and via HG Mail.

This is an exciting new period and I look forward to seeing both communities grow for a long time to come. Thanks for making it so much fun to reach this point, and let's continue to enjoy what we do here for a long time to come!

Most recent blog posts from Jason Venter...

Suskie Suskie - August 30, 2010 (09:08 PM)
The site looks good on Internet Explorer, but for some reason isn't aligned correctly on either Chrome or Firefox. I hate to burden you with problems right away, but I never use IE, which is why I wasn't especially positive when you showed me the design the other day.
honestgamer honestgamer - August 30, 2010 (09:17 PM)
Firefox is going to be the death of me, I swear. I even checked in compatability view to avoid this problem. I need this right now like I need a hole in the head... but thanks for pointing it out so I can try to force myself to work on a solution ASAP.
zippdementia zippdementia - August 30, 2010 (09:45 PM)
Ah, I'm glad that's not just the site design. I thought it was still in beta, but it's because I use Firefox.

Ah well... the internet will bring along its share of issues.
wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - August 30, 2010 (10:36 PM)
I'm sorry to be a well of negativity here, but I'm really not happy with this idea. Frankly regardless of your assertions to the contrary, I feel like you're abandoning HG and takinig all its business elsewhere. I kind of feel betrayed, as if all the effort I had put into this site would be for nothing.

My reasonings behind this are really that, from what it looks like to me, your new site looks like it'll just be a bloggier, staff-centered version of HG. I don't see how you can expect either site or both to grow when traffic will be divided between the two. I think HG already has great content in all those fields you mentioned and that making another site duplicating that seems rather counter-productive.

Further, if your reasons for putting up this new site are to try and generate more professional and quality content, I don't understand why you can't just make HG more that way. Push the current staff, especially the ones that don't do much of anything, into contributing more. And, to add on to that thought, if you're taking some of the staff for your new site where they may not be particularly active (at least not visibly) here, what makes you think they'll be active there? Maybe you have new measures or consequences in place to 'solve' that, but still. (Disclaimer: I'm sorry to any current staff whom I may have offended with that earlier comment.)

I'm certain my reaction isn't what you were expecting or hoping for, but I can't be the only one who feels that way. Perhaps any others won't feel quite to the extreme that I do, but this idea can't be universally loved. I will say, though, that I love HG and have since I've been contributing here. I love it because of the community and the friendships I've formed as well as the feedback and help people are willing to offer. I don't think I'd get that at this new site, and I also feel that in the process of creating that new site, that community aspect HG does so well will dry up because everyone (that goes over there anyway) will be too occupied with that to do much on here.
Felix_Arabia Felix_Arabia - August 30, 2010 (11:08 PM)
honestgamer honestgamer - August 30, 2010 (11:32 PM)
I'm not tossing HG into the wind, WQ.

The site functions as-is. When it needs additional coding, backups and the like, I'll be doing it. The new site shouldn't bring about as many changes here at HG as you seem to believe. For instance, Overdrive still plans to write RotW topics when his weeks come around. I still will be checking in regularly, probably several times a day as usual. The staff members who are retaining HG as their focus also are focused and talented individuals. There's no reason that this has to be doomsday.

What you'll most likely notice is a drop in the number of news articles posted (but not many regulars here seem to pay those much heed) and fewer reviews from myself, woodhouse, overdrive and some of the freelancers. I'll still produce content for HG as appropriate.

I'm glad that the site is important to you, WQ, and I respect the work that people such as yourself have done to build it into the site that it is today. The choices that I esentially had were either to radically change HG from what you know today (and I'm sure you wouldn't have appreciated that) or to build a new site with a structure that allowed me to do more of what I want to do. I went with the second option precisely because of the respect that I have for what we've built here at HG, not in spite of it.

Of course you don't have to believe me, but I insist that I'm caling it as I see it.
- - - August 31, 2010 (12:01 AM)
I wasn't going to say anything, for fear of being negative, but since WQ has raised a few concerns, I'll say some of mine.

It does feel a little like you're getting a little frustrated that the site's not getting enough hits and enough general activity. You're taking away a bulk of the staff members' activity to start afresh, and I'm worried that this will have a negative effect on the community. Either there's less motivation to submit stuff and partake in contests and forums, or the community will be split between the two sites.

Also, I'm not sure about the thinking behind this. Wouldn't Gameroni be in direct competition with HonestGamers? Perhaps you can clarify why some of the features of Gameroni (namely proper news articles, blog entries, and editorials) couldn't have been integrated with HonestGamers.

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts.

On a slightly different topic, what's happening with VideoCritics? Is development for that on hold? Because it must be extremely time-consuming to manage three different websites at once.
Suskie Suskie - August 31, 2010 (12:02 AM)
My suggestion for improving the site's current to design is to give it more variety. Everything just looks so samey, y'know? The same type of font, the same size font, not much color, everything is boxed in, etc. I think the basic layout is efficient, but everything kind of runs together and nothing pops out.
True True - August 31, 2010 (12:13 AM)
In reading some of the info on Gameroni, as well as taking into account some of the past events on HG, a part of me (and not to be rude, but I never thought I would state this) believes that this site was set up so that you could be artistic--a place that isn't under constant scrutiny from advertisers and developer's PR departments. Somewhere you can be Honestgamer, as opposed to Editor-in-chief Jason Venter. I could be wrong, as usual, but that's just what I've gathered. If that's the case, then I commend you, at least for making the effort.

That being said, as Wolfqueen stated, I don't know why you can't just do that here. You own Honestgamers. You don't have stock-holders to answer to, a silent-partner (at least that I know of) to appease and most of your users--like Furry Face and Suskie--are incredibly loyal and do their best to back your decisions as long as you keep their best interest in mind.

I know that a big part of this may be to try and generate more traffic for the site, so please don't think that your efforts are all for not. I don't want you having the impression that we're bashing your attempts at fixing the issue(s) growing with Honestgamers. I'm not. Just trying to see the big picture. I've stated my opinion on what needs to be done several times, and if you want to find me on AIM I'll discuss them with you, but I just don't think splitting your resources is the best course of action right now. It just seems like you're moving out of a house you love and built from the ground up because of some cracked dry wall, even though the foundation is still good. If that makes sense...

Then again, I could be wrong.
Felix_Arabia Felix_Arabia - August 31, 2010 (12:19 AM)
Jason, you can't even get regular content out of your all your current HG staff. What makes you think you're going to maintain a status quo on this site and produce 40 blog posts a week on your other site? The one will cannibalize the other, not to mention they are redundant in their offerings since both afford blogs and reviews. This is a pretty stupid idea.
CoarseDragon CoarseDragon - August 31, 2010 (12:37 AM)
Sometimes you just need a different forum to express yourself, I get that, and if that is what the new site does for Jason then I say good luck in the new venture.

I know I've only been hanging around here for a about a year or so but I have really come to like this site and everyone here an awful lot and I hope the new site does not change what happens on this site.

It would be very sad if HonestGamers dwindles into oblivion but I have the feeling that those that really love the site will not let that happen.
Suskie Suskie - August 31, 2010 (01:14 AM)
When Jason approached me about this site over AIM, I brought up this site, which is one of my favorite movie blogs. I told him that what I liked about Cinematical is that I could keep it open at all times in a separate tab and refresh it at any time, and there would be a good chance that something new will have popped up. I asked him if his goal with Gameroni is to create something similar to a video game-related version of that site; he said yes.

So I like the basic idea, but whether or not it'll be successful depends on a number of things. I think it needs to look much more attractive, as I said. It also depends on the level of commitment dedicated toward it. It apparent to me that Jason is willing to do everything it takes to make Gameroni a success. Whether he can follow through and continuously ensure new, interesting content remains to be seen, but I'll tell you all the same thing I said to him: I'm going to hold my tongue until I've seen the site in action. I'm down with the idea, but I won't commit myself to it if it turns out to be an obvious failure.

What baffles me is that you're all citing your fear that HG's community will dwindle to nothing, as if that's not already happening. I'm starting to get the feeling that some of you are just programmed to lash out at Jason for anything he does. I'll give it a chance. I don't see enough evidence yet that Gameroni will be a big deal, but the site's just launched. We'll see where it goes.
zippdementia zippdementia - August 31, 2010 (01:16 AM)
For instance, Overdrive still plans to write RotW topics when his weeks come around.

This is the funniest statement I've seen all day.
Felix_Arabia Felix_Arabia - August 31, 2010 (01:21 AM)
Mike, if there's anyone who's programmed to lash out, it's you. ;)

In all seriousness, I hope gameroni works out. I'm just being a realist here. We've seen other "side projects" falter like Tune Freaks and the original Gameroni, and it's not like this new concept is taking an entirely new group of people and trying to make them create something different from what is already offered here. It's the same group of people who've been at the best of times productive until other obligations set in, and at the worst of times allows for jokes little ribbings to made like the one Zipp just referenced above this post.

Why can't you just announce your intentions to everyone, Jason, BEFORE you go ahead and put all the work into a project? Wouldn't it be easier that way to gauge opinions and feedback that way?
wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - August 31, 2010 (01:29 AM)
Yeah, Suskie; we're just expressing our concerns. I would quote something intelligent about how the masses should always question authority, but I can't remember who wrote it right now. In any case, I think that policy should apply here, regardless of how harsh it is, as long as the argument is reasonable and mature.

If I or anyone else currently opposed to the idea don't express their concerns, then how can potential problems ever be addressed? Jason just happens to take the most flak because, well, he also happens to be in charge.
True True - August 31, 2010 (02:20 AM)
*Jumps on the Bash Suskie Bandwagon, because it's the hip thing to do.*

Yeah, Jerk. We're just expressing our opinions!

Seriously, though, and I'm posting this for Jason because you've actually validated the fear that I had:

I can't speak for Felix or F.F. but I don't say these things to negate his intentions, make him feel bad or taint what he's trying to do. We use to be a community that was open-minded and tight-knit, and we shared our opinions in an effort to better the site. I know it seems like we're being nay-sayers because of the design and now this, but we do that only because we care, and we all want what's best for HG.

Jason has as many--if not more--good ideas as he does iffy ones. When he opted to introduce the "blog-to-forum" aspect, a lot of people stepped up and gave him positive feedback because it was a great idea. It may just seem like we're lashing out because--as usual--he doesn't always get the deserved credit for the good things he does around here.
Genj Genj - August 31, 2010 (02:44 AM)
Jason Venter, you're quite ambitious when it comes to making websites, but perhaps you need to be a bit more realistic with your goals; especially when this one is an exciting new venture that happens to be your old site minus user content and named after a delicious San Francisco treat.

More power to you if this is successful, but my gut tells me you're going to have a very similar site to HG in regards to both content and traffic. You're trying to create something big in a market that's completely saturated and you're not really offering anything different. I think the popularity of sites like IGN, GameSpot and Destructoid show that what most gamers want aren't well-written reviews. The quotas for the staff members is a good idea, but I think keeping up with them will be difficult after awhile of doing all that work pro bono.

I'm not going to pretend I know how this would affect HG. Personally my interest in writing about games has waned as I've gotten older and acquired more responsibility. I think the same has happened to a lot of past reviewers.

As to whether I'd be interested in Gameroni, I'd probably only read the site if it meant I had to for exclusive content from certain writers.
True True - August 31, 2010 (02:48 AM)
As to whether I'd be interested in Gameroni, I'd probably only read the site if it meant I had to for exclusive content from certain writers.

Like me, Baby!!
zigfried zigfried - August 31, 2010 (02:53 AM)
I think this is a great idea and I hope it works out. If websites were the "new magazine", then blogs are the "new new magazine". Sites like IGN and Gamespot are feeling the heat. The blog is a more flexible format and, since content rotates so quickly and incorporates editorial with the news and reviews, it's better at showcasing writers' personalities. It's also an easygoing format that doesn't come with the same "is this good enough to post?" stigma that we feel for reviews. The staff can post impressions, reminisce about their days playing Super Mario Bros, or whatever. It's very freeform.

On the other hand, blogs are not a good format for encouraging user interaction. Blogs are meant to be read. Sites like this are meant to be used.

For the record, I'll be remaining as staff at HG. I'll contribute occasionally to Gameroni (perhaps along the line of "import initial impressions") but my focus will remain here. My diabolical scheme is to essentially take this place over in Venter's absence and post a bunch of cool shit and make HG's traffic grow through AWESOMENESS.

In fact, I've already got my rolodex out and I'm gonna call in a few favors.

So in short -- read Gameroni but keep posting new stuff here at HG! Let's be cool together, baby.

zippdementia zippdementia - August 31, 2010 (02:53 AM)
...little ribbings to made like the one Zipp just referenced above this post.

I aim to please.

Aw, but Overdrive knows I'm only fooling. I love my captain.
- - - August 31, 2010 (02:54 AM)
You're trying to create something big in a market that's completely saturated and you're not really offering anything different.

Genj makes a good point.

The bloggish format of Gameroni reminds me a little of Joystiq.
Suskie Suskie - August 31, 2010 (02:55 AM)
Well, like I said, I have no idea whether Gameroni will be successful, or whether this will all turn out to be one big dead end. But I hope it's successful, because I like the idea behind the site and I think it has potential. Like I said, all we can do is wait and see.
asherdeus asherdeus - August 31, 2010 (03:03 AM)
No offense meant, but the site looks terribly amateurish. You should just use WordPress. It'll be easier to manage on the back-end, you can customize the designs without having to worry about browser compatibility and it's free. If I were just casually browsing and clicked on Gameroni, I would immediately go somewhere that looked better, ignoring potentially excellent content because it looks like someone's bad attempt at imping Kotaku's design.
overdrive overdrive - August 31, 2010 (04:29 AM)
Zipp...Jason made a bit of a typo. He should have said I'll still be doing RotWs within weeks of my weeks to do it, to maintain my status quo. See, Rob laughs at himself -- a sign of his true greatness!

As for other things said, here are my 100% OD-personal opinions!

1. RE: taking away from HG -- as lame as this sounds, it only takes away as much as people let it take away. I feel this site was on the verge of blowing up a couple years back when Zig's RapeLay review became a world-wide center of attention. Weren't we like 50K or so for a bit on Alexa? But things didn't catch on and we fell and fell until, well, we're around 270K or so now. We seem to either lose or have fall into semi-retirement far more reviewers than we gain. Number-wise all around, things seem to be in this constant state of diminishing. I'm kinda drunk right now, so I'm not sure how I was going to bridge this commentary, but the point I was going to make is that my dream would be for Zig and whoever else is focusing on HG to perhaps make it more of a true review mecca. I think ("using the hindsight is 20/20" clause) part of the problem is that over the years, so much time has that could have been spent on gaming and reviewing has been used to do those "dirty work" tasks to make this as complete as a gaming inventory as possible...even if a site like GFaqs, which already was huge, already has all that stuff. The main bragging point of this site is its higher-caliber quality of reviews. A focus on that would be great.

2. RE: of Gameroni, specifically me -- I'm looking forward to this with more excitement than I've felt for some time. I've done something like 280 reviews here (not counted sectioned deals from my early GF days). There was a long time I was randomly playing games JUST to review them. Now, while I still do that (primarily when I feel I better do something to look semi-productive...or get something that might not be great, but it was comped to review), I play games to play them...and then review them. Sort of a feeling of being in a rut, where I'm doing the same thing over and over. This feels exciting. Being a featured writer on a site where I have a good bit of rope to be creative. One idea I was talking with Jason about on AIM a couple nights ago was a Triple-Mist review (Stephen King novella, movie AND, as this is a gaming site, the old The Mist text adventure game). More out-of-the-box thinking, but being featured in the same way my reviews have been.

I'd say that part of it is ego, as I could write stuff like that in my blog here, but that concept never entered my head until I realized I could do it as a featured-writer on a blog site...but I think a bigger part of it is simply that I'm a "writing junkie" and, like any other sort of junkie, what I need to get my fix changes/increases with time.

First, I simply wrote as a journalist...but that got tiresome on its own, so I started reviewing for GF and moved here when the exodus happened. Reviews were a more creative style of writing. Now, I think the added concept of essentially opening up my brain and seeing what comes out has become the next mountain to climb.

I'll still be here on the forums and doing RotWs. Hopefully submitting content from time to time (like contests, at least...still haven't won the fucking ABCs, which means I can NEVER quit!). I can only hope all of you here will at least see what we have to offer. I am personally very excited about this and hope this is successful. Or at least that it opens me up to a life of being very rich and constantly cavorting with women WAY out of my league...which probably would require this site being FAR more successful than Jason's wildest dreams... Still, I'm up for the (copyright infraction upcoming) challAnge!!!
jerec jerec - August 31, 2010 (07:57 AM)
I'm gonna hang back and watch how this unfolds. I can't imagine writing 5 game related blog entries a week for long. I can't imagine anyone doing it without running out of ideas...
zippdementia zippdementia - August 31, 2010 (01:27 PM)
Right? I totally agree with Jerec on this one. The truth of the matter is that it's Jason's sites, he hasn't ever given me reason to not trust him, and pretty much he's telling us that he's willing to host and promote our writing without any cost to ourselves aside from a commitment to produce material. Not to mention the occasional free game.

I see no reason not to try out a new site and at least see where it goes. Jason is taking all the risk, the least I can do is be supportive.

But that's just the way that I do business.
WilltheGreat WilltheGreat - September 01, 2010 (04:44 PM)
It's probably about time I weighed in here. Seriously guys, I can't do something as simple as move houses without you people having some kind of massive dramafest.

I'm going to reserve judgement on Gameroni until it has some more content by which to judge it. Suffice it to say I think it's a sound idea, but one that I have no interest in contributing to; I think I'd burn out very quickly if I had to make five review/post/things every week.

Anyway, I also don't feel, like some do, as though Jason is abandoning ship. HonestGamers will still be here and still have new content to boast about, and I am reassured by this.
blood-omen blood-omen - September 02, 2010 (05:43 PM)
i wish Gameroni all the success but im gonna stay with HG.....

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