The state of the HonestGamers site
February 21, 2011

What is the state of the HonestGamers site?

The answer to that question is different to each and every one of us, I believe, so you might argue that really there's no answer. I think we can do better than that, though.

I'm not here to say what I think the state of the site is. While I have some ideas of my own, what I'd really like is for some of you to tell me what you think of the state of the site.

My point is that if you have something to say about the state of the site, if you have concerns that you don't feel I or the other site staff are addressing, I want you to voice them either by HG Mail, in response to this post or somewhere else on the site or over AIM where you feel that you can be heard.

I'm getting the impression that some people don't think I even care anymore. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm not going to post here with a list of the ways that I am involved in the site each day, or about how much time I spend thinking about the site while I'm not at my keyboard... just as I always have.

Let me know what you think of the site now, of its current position compared to its past position, of the path it needs to follow in the future... any of that. Or if you don't care or if someone else has already said what you might have said, a quick note to say "Ditto" is more than welcome. The figurative door is open, in other words. Pull up a chair.

Most recent blog posts from Jason Venter...

True True - February 22, 2011 (12:13 AM)
I'm putting this up here because I want everyone to see it. You, me, them. I could have just as easily written you an HG Mail or tracked you down on AIM to express my opinion but I learned a long time ago that you cater to the masses. That's why you posted this to begin with, isn't it? And I'm not saying that's a bad thing, nor am I knocking you for doing so. The new guys don't really see it, but I know that you're fierce when it comes to this site. You spend countless, boring hours coding this site, fixing bugs and addressing glitches so this site runs as well as any other on the net that has a full time, paid staff.

You care. No on is denying that. And though you're not around, you're...around. In the shadows. Still, being Jason and making the site flawless.

And you have a lot of good writers to back you up--Zig, Emp, Sho, Leroux--and you have some really, really good new guys that just need a spotlight like Wolfqueen and Joe.

So it should work, right? On paper, yeah. It would. But there are many who've run a game reviewing site before and you're not really going to stand out until you have done something different and I've said this to you probably 99 times yet you've failed to listen, or made an attempt to do anything about it. Because you see my influence as "negative", but in the end--love me or (as so many, many do) hate me--I was a draw, and so were my antics.

So I give you my advice in a phrase "Let it go. Release the asylum to the inmates."

And a song:

Let HG be HG again. Do something crazy. Stupid, even. Don't try to be like IGN, Gamespot or GameFAQS. They are overrated. We were better than them. We still are. Don't assimilate to them, beat them.

But what do I know?

JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - February 22, 2011 (12:56 AM)
I cannot say much on the state of the site. As to whether or not Jason cares, I can say that anyone who will go through such effort to relocate the site to a new server, take all that time to fix the glitches, and say that his primary concern was all of the contributions everyone made must certainly give a damn.

Anyone who would go out of their way to thank me and possibly anyone else for our contributions obviously does give a damn.

As for the state of the site, the slowdown and all that, I don't have as good of a reference for it as others might. I've only been here since September. All I've noticed is that there's been a few less reviews per week, and even a few weeks with no new staff reviews, and I think people have taken this as a far more ill omen than I have. Again, I've only been here a short time, so I would not know if that's as ill as some others might feel.

The only thing that could alleviate that is more perceptible activity--more staff and user reviews, more news articles, possibly more users and more forum activity. I'm not saying let's open the doors like GameFAQs and let any old asinine reviews go up there, but something to bring more perceptible activity might quell the ill feelings others might have.

Personally, I'm pleased with the site.
Fedule Fedule - February 22, 2011 (10:53 AM)
Know why I come here? Because I know when I post stuff here, it'll get a fair critique if it's due one. As long as that's true, I'll be here.
JANUS2 JANUS2 - February 22, 2011 (01:39 PM)
Wasn't there a topic like this last year at this time?

I think activity will pick up in the summer, although we probably have to accept the HonestGamers is never going to be Gamespot. That doesn't bother me, but then I guess I'm not the one paying for the site.
WilltheGreat WilltheGreat - February 22, 2011 (01:55 PM)
Here's how I see it.

We have regular visitors. We have a steady amount of traffic. We get linked off-site and mentioned elsewhere on the web. We put out content regularly. And Jason does a fantastic job of keeping the site running on the technical side.

In short, we're hitting all the right points. But ever since we axed fanfiction I get the feeling we've been trying to emulate the big game sites too much. We're never going to be able to compete with them, and I don't think we should even try. HG needs to find its own voice and get out from under the shadows of IGN and GameSpot - and we're on the right track to do that.

So what are our strengths?

Well for one, we can nicely avoid the stigma of sites like IGN and GS who often are accused of bias and favoritism - we're indies, after all, and the big publishers aren't paying us to write about their games, and people notice that. The last couple of times I've linked to a review on a game's official forum, for example, a couple of people pick up on the "HonestGamers" tagline and comment on it, and how refreshing our overall style is. That we even have a style, between so very many regular contributors, is something significant.

For another, we cover a lot of the underdogs. More and more I see lots of indie games popping up in the focus window and getting stuff written about them - games that might not necessarily get press coverage elsewhere.

And, this ties in with the first point, we don't pull out punches. We're not afraid to viciously rip apart a mainstream title that we find lacking, nor are we afraid to speak our minds about titles we love but the critics hated. By and large, I think we tend to live up to the "honest" in "HonestGamers".

Finally, though we allow user reviews, they tend to be of a much higher quality than elsewhere on the web. I think this is what defines us as a community more than anything else - as a community, we pull together and help maintain that standard of quality, which both reflects well on the site and helps each of us become better writers.

So overall, I think HG is in a good place. What we need is not to improve in any particular area, I think - what we need is to redefine our goals. We're never going to be a big-name video game news site. The question is, what should we be aiming for instead?
Suskie Suskie - February 22, 2011 (02:26 PM)
To add to what Janus said, if anyone accuses you of not caring, it's probably because you seem to make a thread like this every couple of months and nothing ever changes. And I'm not blaming you for that, because in my mind, there's one big problem with this site, and I don't know how to fix it.

Basically, HG needs a bigger community. It needs more people contributing to conversation, submitting reviews, leaving feedback, etc. I like what this site does. I like the opportunities it provides users. That shouldn't change. What it needs is more people taking advantage of that. We're at the point where there are only a few new reviews submitted every week (user and staff). We're also at the point where I check the site early in the day, come back that night and see the same threads in the Recent Forum Discussions box. HG is unique, but it's not exciting.

But like I said, I don't know how to change that. As far as I know, the site attracts a decent amount of traffic, but our regular posters are always the same people. Getting a new regular (like Joe) is always a big deal, and meanwhile, we lose regulars at a much faster rate. My only real suggestion is to make the site less boring to look at. (It's been established that web design isn't exactly your strong suit, Jason.) Beyond that, whereas the site should be steadily growing, it's actually steadily dying.

By the way -- and this is prompted by True's unbelievably dickheaded post in Jason's VideoCritics thread -- the reason I haven't been as active lately is because my life has taken a rather severe turn for the worse over the last year. If I was still slacking off at school, playing video games all day, living off my parents' budget and not really focusing on my schoolwork, I suspect I'd be as active as ever. But now I'm stuck at a tiring job and I'm not making much money, so it's very difficult to motivate myself to keep contributing when I barely have the time to play video games anymore, let alone write about them. And paying for them is another matter entirely.

So that's my reason, but it's worth mentioning that I tend to check up on HG whenever I get online, so my interest level hasn't lowered, only my level of activity.
Leroux Leroux - February 22, 2011 (02:58 PM)
I hate the light blue links.
Halon Halon - February 22, 2011 (08:47 PM)
There's really no excitement around here at all. I bet some good reviews are still being posted (I hardly read reviews here anymore but don't doubt they exist) but honestly no one seems to care anymore. Why bother writing reviews anymore? There's really no way to improve with the lack of community and no one to impress with the lack of people reading. If you want new, exciting content you first need a community.

And then there's the fact that as Suskie pointed out some of us have moved on in life. Better or worse, our current situations are much different than they were in 2004-2005. Aside from a couple of multiplayer games that I've been playing with friends for years now I hardly ever play games anymore. I can't speak for everyone here, but I have a fraction of the time that I used to, not to mention that I'm not crazy about the direction that games in general are heading in.

How do we solve this problem? Honestly I don't know. New blood with excitement won't hurt, but it doesn't seem like that is a reality. I check this site probably 3-5 times a week now and the recent forum discussions barely change. Something needs to happen to make people excited again. And of course we need a bigger community.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - February 22, 2011 (10:28 PM)
I think aside from activity, the only way we're going to get more of a community is find some way to advertise. Short of spamming, of course.
JANUS2 JANUS2 - February 22, 2011 (10:50 PM)
The problem is, how do you advertise a dead board and a largely unenthusiastic community?
fleinn fleinn - February 23, 2011 (01:09 AM) someone I used to know said (and he said that as a solution so everything): "this time, I believe we should talk about /convergence/". He would always look extremely sincere and serious, and smack his fist in his palm and grind it (I swear I'm not making it up).

Still... I thought about convergence now because there are a lot of other large sites that operate from that principle, even though we see it as a large single front. Behind, for example, you have blogs, you have podcasts, you have this and that, galleries, previews, articles, features. Everyone is doing their own thing - it's just that all the content is tied together and organised by label and attachment to a title. And then some of it is promoted on the front page.

In other words, the editorial responsibility falls on a few people, rather than the individual writers. The ones who deal with the presentation then have access to all the content fairly easily, and can throw things together in different ways.

For example.. we could have themes for a week or so doing different games in the same category. That would relate the reviews to a context (easier to read) and expose people to more games they might not have known about (even more readers). I've said this before as well - we have people on this site with expertise in NES games that no one else has. Original Atari ST games. Mac games. We have folks hanging around here who all have this insane super-knowledge that no one else has. And it's not too difficult to imagine a presentation for the frontpage that occasionally dips into that.

Might even go so far as to pick a theme on beforehand, and then have folks write some header article that presents it to provide context for it. If this is fairly heavy, it doesn't need to rotate too often either. And could be, say, stuck for a week, then have three weeks off. Something like that.

Other things would be "optional headers" or quotes - that again would make it easier for whoever is aggregating the content to present it quickly.

I think that might be something to think about. To bunch up more different content about games on the site - someone mentioned fanfiction.. *shrug* didn't even know that happened at some point. All of this could be forged into interesting front-pages in relatively short time. And still rotate enough to not bury misc content. In fact, pushing and promoting some content would then pick up the other content that might not otherwise be read.

I'm just saying that I think all of us here are, like was mentioned by that other guy I'm totally not acknowledging as a real writer :p, are indies. There's no way we can sit down and individually write something that fits a mainstream audience. Just isn't going to happen. And if it did, it would be as a stream of collective sarcasm - it's just not doable. In fact, even IGN can't keep it up forever. They also have readable content once in a while.

So what we're dealing with here, I believe is.. /convergence/. [grinds fist]
jerec jerec - February 23, 2011 (01:55 AM)
Speaking of convergence, isn't there a way you can combine the reviews here and the blog style streaming of Gameroni into one site, or at least two sites with a common home page that takes advantage of both site's material. Because they're both run by you and it does seem silly to spread yourself across two sites - three if this videocritics thing ends up happening. Gameroni's forums seem dead apart from article feedback, so the two forums could be integrated, couldn't they?
JANUS2 JANUS2 - February 23, 2011 (03:44 AM)
I like that idea. Gameroni does have some interesting stuff. You could keep the blog feed on the left side of the homepage and put reviews on the right hand side. There would be enough space, especially if you get rid of that ugly "staff" column. The homepage would look more active and interesting, users could still contribute (although maybe restrict it to screens, reviews and ratings) and the combination of gameroni + reviews would potentially stimulate more discussion.
wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - February 23, 2011 (06:32 AM)
Jason already knows how I feel about the state of the site, but I do want to say a few more things, all of which relate to somthing said here.

My concern with making HG like Gameroni would be the fact that we might inadvertently lose what HG has become. If nothing else at all, I'd rather see HG focus almost exclusively on reviews, with screens and cover art as an option because I feel they add to the substance of a review, whether they're integrated into it or just posted along the side. (Cover art, though, would depend on the layout of the site if tha ever changed).

Of course, if that happened, there's a serious risk that some of those who've contributed all those things like guides and cheats and such would see their removal as a huge slap in the face simply because of the fact that this extra content had been pushed for so many years in the past.

As for Jason's seeming "lack of caring'... Well, a "what I've been doing" weekly/biweekly/monthly update thing could be quite helpful in this, regardless of whether he feels it's beneath him or whether he feels his current activity shows enough of tihs. However, I also think that this sense that he "doesn't care" comes from his seeming ingratittude to some people. While he does sometimes privately address particularly active users and thanks them for all their work, he rarely does this publicly (or so it appears), and almost never to his voluntary staff, especially to those that work the hardest, which is kind of paradoxical. Of course, I could be wrong about this, but to me, that's what it seems to be. And I don't mean to sound harsh about any of this, either, but I do feel that a little more effort to just say "thanks guys for taking hours and hours out of your day to do all this work for me without any compensation whatsoever" could go a long way (especially to staff). If it's not too late for that.

On that note, I think others think he doesn't care because of what happened with Gameroni. To a lot of people, that looked like - and still looks like to some - a huge cop out on Jason's part, seemingly abandoning the site for some "higher project" of some sort. I'm also sure that he fact that he also pays (some) of his writers there also stings a bit to some of those who've stuck around the longest, staff or otherwise. If nothing else, it's certainly confusing to them.

I now know a bit more of what Jason was planning with Gameroni because of a discussion we had a couple days ago, and that made me feel somewhat better about the whole thing, though I still admit to feeling uncertain about its necessity beyond a certain point. It might do Jason some good to at least explain some of what he told me to the community so that it might hopefully dispel some of this aggravation towards it. Though, of course, it might lead to furher fueled discusion as well... Since, well, as I said before, my concerns about the existence of that site hadn't completely been allayed as a result of that discussion, and I doubt they ever will be simply because there are just so many things going on.

Anyway, as to whether I think Jason still cares about HG.... like many people here have already said, I think he does. Despite what some of his actions might look like, if he really didn't care about the site anymore, he would've disbanded it ages ago rather than trying to fix up and patch up various technical issues with it or even holding regular discussions on its current state. I doubt he'd be concerned about traffic levels and the level of community activity, or the ratio between new unique hits and genuinely new users. So I think he cares. I just think that, despite his intentions, some of his actions look quite the opposite, and leave high and almost unshakeable doubt in some people's minds.

Frankly, to me, it'd just be stupid for him not to care.
honestgamer honestgamer - February 23, 2011 (12:17 PM)
Thank you for the responses, everyone. I'm not going to directly respond to any of them yet, as I'm not sure that everyone with something to say has had the chance to pop in with a response. I know that some people (who, ironically, remain among the site's most active users) only come here every few days or so, and I'd like to hear from them also--if they have anything to say--before I come back with any responses I have to the thoughtful comments here.
- - - February 23, 2011 (02:01 PM)
I don't really have much of an opinion, I'm afraid. The current level seems pretty standard for this site - I don't anticipate a sudden rise in activity. It is what it is. Obviously, like everyone else, I'd like to see more people post, but realistically speaking, that's not going to happen.

I've said in the past that reviewing games as a hobby is something I've pretty much abandoned barring the odd occasion, but I still visit this place because I like talking about games. And while I was initially very negative about Gameroni (at the time, integrating the two concepts - HonestGamers and Gameroni - seemed a cool idea), it's not something that bothers me anymore. Part of me does wonder if Gameroni attracts more visitors than HonestGamers does, actually.
pickhut pickhut - February 23, 2011 (03:22 PM)
Personally, I'd like to see the regulars post more reviews, since the only time we see a surge of reviews from them is during certain contests, like the Alphas and such. However, I understand their personal lives take more priority.

Also miss the Sunday Cabaret. I actually really looked forward to reading a review from Leroux every Sunday (sometimes Zig), despite not posting any responses to them, which seems to be my biggest flaw when visiting the site every day. I make blog entries, but I uncheck the box in most cases. They're usually too silly to be considered topic.
CoarseDragon CoarseDragon - February 23, 2011 (03:25 PM)
I enjoy coming to this site to read up on games I do not know about. I fell that is the strength of this site. You all know already I really can't write reviews worth a damn but I can read them and offer my opinion and so far you have all accepted that and for that I thank you.

I first came to this site because I was looking for a specific help on a game I was playing. After much searching I found a FAQ onthis site and have been coming here ever since.

Firstly we need more exposure. Try searching Google for "antipole review" and you will find our review on the second page third from the bottom. I personally would not dig that deep for a review the first three or four on the first page would be as far as I would go. Remember i found this site looking for some specific information not just browsing around. That should tell us something.

With more exposure you get more visitors and with that you get more action in the forums. To stimulate that however you need to need to be more timely. Case in point this "Arc the Lad and Alundra available on PSN" has been on the front page since October 17, 2010 - Really?

More action? Do we not all get e-mails from various sites and publishers? At one point Jason asked for submissions to the "Gaming News" section. I did, I tried, but I never saw that posted so I gave up.

So how to fix this site? Advertise better. Newsletter? I don't think anyplace has as much variety as is found right here. It needs to be spread in a better way. That is all I think is really needed. You have awesome writers and contributors and they need better exposure.

Thanks Jason for asking. I hope you pay attention.
True True - February 23, 2011 (04:15 PM)
I'll say it again, and I'm being totally sincere here, but I miss BloodOmen. I loved his weekly updates on what was coming out and made it a point to show up every Tuesday to see which games were coming out. I can't find that anywhere else. Doing something like that may help as well, though yeah it is a lot of work.
zippdementia zippdementia - February 23, 2011 (04:46 PM)
Hey everyone, just stopped in for the first time in weeks and saw this thread. Figured it'd be alright to throw in some thoughts.

First of all, I agree with two major points made here: one is that many of us aren't gaming as much anymore. It happens. I am even considering giving up my gaming collection. I simply spend too much time writing, socializing, filming, and chasing degrees to justify spending many hours in a simulation. Secondly, I think that HG has a niche market, in that it covers old games and indie games and yeah you've heard me say this a thousand times.

You know when HG seemed to be getting the most traffic? Right around the time that Gameroni started up.

And that's where many people here dropped the ball. You messed up. You had a chance to get your stuff on not just one site on the web, but two, thus boosting your resume and trying out a different style of writing. You had the chance to use the power of sister-sites to boost readership for both. You had the chance to use Gameroni to fill in the gaps in what this site doesn't accomplish. Instead you viewed Gameroni as a threat. You banned linking to it. You turned any talk about it into a discussion about how Jason had failed HG. You refused to acknowledge its existence as anything but a huge hit against this site.

And that was a mistake, one I urge everyone here to rectify.

~ Zipp out!
pickhut pickhut - February 23, 2011 (05:03 PM)
I think that post did more harm than good, to be honest...
True True - February 23, 2011 (05:08 PM)
I can understand where you're coming from Zipp, but I vaguely recall not being invited. I don't think I was the only one.
Felix_Arabia Felix_Arabia - February 23, 2011 (05:17 PM)
Pretty sure the only place I goofed up was reading Zipp's post.

These topics are pretty regular, so the sky isn't falling as far as I'm concerned. If people want things to be more fun for them . . . make it more fun for yourself.
zigfried zigfried - February 23, 2011 (06:10 PM)
I agree with Felix. Unless you're Jason, then Jason is irrelevant. Unless you're OpiumLoverBoy, then OpiumLoverBoy is irrelevant. The only relevant person is you, and this site is your playground.

If you bring a ball and don't get your teeth kicked in by the local bullies (staff) then you're allowed to do pretty much whatever you want. If you mainly want to watch others play, then just remember that everyone needs to sleep sometime. That's how people restore their energy!

WilltheGreat WilltheGreat - February 23, 2011 (06:13 PM)
A newsletter might not be that bad an idea, actually. I can't be arsed to look up a few posts to check who suggested it, but kudos whoever you are.

Forgetting everything else for the moment, let's pretend HG did do a weekly newsletter: what would we put in it?
asherdeus asherdeus - February 23, 2011 (06:39 PM)
On Thunderbolt, we bought some ads on Facebook, assigned a couple of staff members to manage our Facebook page to add new daily content to it, and started linking to all of our staff's Twitter feeds to boost the activity there. It's brought in ~3,000 or so extra unique pageviews in the last month or so that we've been really hammering on it. We also e-mailed our old staff members that had fallen off and reminded them about the site and encouraged them to start writing again. Probably only two or three came back out of the twenty or so that were contacted, but it's extra content. We also went on a major recruiting drive, again employing Facebook ads and We brought aboard about 5-10 new writers in the last six months and it helped push our total pageviews for 2010 well over our expectations with the burst of new content they brought to the site.

I don't really have any suggestions for HG that I haven't voiced before. I personally think the site could benefit from a design change that better promotes content through a cleaner layout. I don't read a whole lot of content on the site except when I'm looking for something on a particular game, but I still like submitting for contests. I like HG because I get a different level of feedback from the writers here than I can get anywhere else and I think that's the biggest strength of the site. Leroux has probably been the most major influence on my work through his consistent and honest critiques over the last few years. Just take a look at the ledger, find what your biggest strengths are, and tailor the site as best you can to highlight those areas.
Halon Halon - February 23, 2011 (09:05 PM)
I actually had no idea what Gameroni was until this thread! Shows you how much I pay attention to what goes around here nowdays...

I can't say whether or not it's good or bad for this site since I really have no interest in what's new with gaming today and thus have no reason to read a "professional" site.
True True - February 23, 2011 (10:58 PM)
If you bring a ball and don't get your teeth kicked in by the local bullies (staff) then you're allowed to do pretty much whatever you want

Did Zig just give me permission to do something stupid? Not like I needed it, but...just wanted to check.
Suskie Suskie - February 23, 2011 (11:18 PM)
I remember the incident Zipp mentioned, and there were errors on both sides. On one hand, Zipp blatantly suggested that one of HG's regular users (I think it was Schultz?) post content he'd submitted here on Gameroni. It was the wrong thing to do. But then at least three different mods responding by deleting his posts, cursing him out, and demanding that no mention of Gameroni ever be made on this site again.

For reasons that have already been established, I think directly integrating HG and Gameroni is a bad idea, but all of this whiny, childish in-fighting between the two sites really needs to end. Gameroni exists whether you like it or not, and Jason's invested far too much in it to simply pull the plug and focus all of his attention on HG again. So how about we make the most of it? Why can't we link Gameroni articles on HG, and vice versa? Why can't we view them as sister sites? Why can't these sites help each other? Why does Gameroni's inception need to inspire a civil war when both sites are run by the same fucking guy?
jerec jerec - February 23, 2011 (11:38 PM)
"Why does Gameroni's inception need to inspire a civil war when both sites are run by the same fucking guy?"

Good fucking question. It's not like the split in the sites was to do with clashing personalities, just people wanting an outlet to write something different.
Halon Halon - February 24, 2011 (09:09 AM)
I second (third?) Suskie's point. It appears to me as if Gameroni and HG are going for two different approaches and audiences, so why can't they both coexist in harmony? As I said earlier Gameroni barely appeals to me at all and HG does. I'm sure Jason's not trying to kill off HG with it, either. If he was, then there are much quicker and easier ways to do so and creating this topic doesn't make much sense.

This whole situation seems kind of silly to me.
zigfried zigfried - February 24, 2011 (10:12 AM)
The two sites should be able to co-exist because they're different. Some people were being annoying and obtrusive about linking (or approaching the point of annoyance). I was writing for Gameroni and was getting actively irritated by some of the forum posts here at HG. Partly because it detracted from what was happening here at HG, and partly because it added to the reactionary anti-Gameroni resentment.

If people can link when appropriate and not link when inappropriate, then there's no problem. That goes for linking to any site in the world.

- - - February 24, 2011 (10:28 AM)
The issue is not Gameroni. The issue is that people don't feel like contributing more or don't feel like staying.
WilltheGreat WilltheGreat - February 24, 2011 (10:47 AM)
In theory I don't have a problem with linking to Gameroni content from HG. That might do a lot to generate traffic for Gameroni, but what I'd want to see is the reverse as well; HG content featured and linked on Gameroni.

I personally am not interested in one-way promotion. If these two sites are going to work together, then let's make them fucking work together.
CoarseDragon CoarseDragon - February 24, 2011 (12:02 PM)
My idea for a newsletter is pretty simple. Send it to those who visit with a legitimate opt-out.

Something like:

Greetings from your fellow Honest Gamers!

Resident reviewer Zigfried has reviewed Canabalt and thinks it deserves a 1.
Would you like to knowMore?

Fleinn has reviewed Moonstone for us and believes it deserves a 10!
Would you like to knowMore?

Want to know who wins review of the year? Drop by and Cast your vote.
wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - February 24, 2011 (12:10 PM)
We had a newsletter once. It stopped going out a few years ago. =/
- - - February 24, 2011 (12:17 PM)
We also went on a major recruiting drive, again employing Facebook ads and We brought aboard about 5-10 new writers in the last six months...

This is a good idea. I'm not sure if HG receives that many review codes nowadays, but this could be worth looking at. You can maybe push new recruits to post in the forums from time to time as a requirement.
WilltheGreat WilltheGreat - February 24, 2011 (12:30 PM)
WQ: What did it look like, do you remember?
jerec jerec - February 24, 2011 (12:33 PM)
Greetings from!


Best regards,
Jason Venter



The staff members that contribute to are some of the finest reviewers on the Internet. You can count on them to give honest, insightful opinions on the games you care about on a regular basis. Often, the site is the only place you'll find these reviews. Below are the three staff reviews most recently contributed to the site. Be sure to check the site for even more of them!

Shinobi (Playstation 2)

What of the game design we thrilled to in Shinobi III, the game most widely considered to epitomize Shinobi? What of double jumps and rainbow shuriken showers? Oh, they're still here. They just don't matter.

Kirby: Canvas Curse (Nintendo DS)

If you had asked me 12 months ago what I thought of Nintendo's Kirby, chances are I would have compared the little guy to an "ill-formed testicle" before slapping you across the back of the head. Ask me again today however and I'll happily explain how his touch screen debut is one of the most inventive, 2D action games around.

Joe & Mac (Super Nintendo)

Besides the fact that Joe and Mac toss weapons as if their arms are made of string cheese, thereís the matter of narrow platforms. Most of these are saved for the end of the game, in the last level or two. Itís easy to spend a few lives just trying to make it across a chasm, thanks to the tendency your chosen caveman has to pass through ledges because of faulty hit detection. Even when you donít have to worry about instant death from such matters, you have to remember that you move slowly and compensate for it.



Featured reader reviews are chosen at the rate of one per week, by a staff member who compiles the 'Review of the Week' topic on the site forums. The four most recent selections are included immediately below. If you'd like, you can also visit the site to find a list of every featured review selected since the system was implemented.

The Thing (Xbox)

WWF WrestleFest (Arcade)

Gekisha Boy (TurboGrafx-16)

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance (NES)



Even when reviews aren't selected as featured reviews, they can be worth reading. Only high-quality user reviews will ever be posted on the site. Below, you can find the five most recent (non-featured) reviews readers submitted at the time this newsletter was compiled. Make sure you check each week throughout the month, too. You never know what else you might be missing!

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords (Xbox)

Come See Me Tonight 2 (PC)

Taz-Mania (Sega Master System)

Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening (Playstation 2)

Viewtiful Joe (GameCube)


HEADLINES ROUND-UP: may not report as much news as some of the competition, but you can count on hearing about the most interesting of events from the previous month. Here's a roundup of the eight most recent headlines to be posted on the site, just in case you missed some of them. Also, remember to check the site daily for even more! beta open

GameStop to buy out EB Games

Namco surprises with MotoGP4 announcement

Dead to Rights: Reckoning announced

Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars gets the gold treatment

Namco announces Tales of Legendia

ECHO: Secrets of the Lost Cavern announced for Windows

Empire Earth II goes gold



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WilltheGreat WilltheGreat - February 24, 2011 (01:13 PM)
Hmm...we could maybe do something with this.

Also I totally posted in the wrong thread.
aschultz aschultz - February 24, 2011 (01:49 PM)
It's tough to find new stuff to do if you've been writing for a while, and it's tough to find a "way in" if you're a new writer looking to do stuff.

Maybe there could be a weekly/biweekly theme for reviews to try to write, or pinned topics of suggestions including

--stuff people always wanted to write for themselves
--stuff people would like to see others write
--critique swapping topics

And, of course, it'd make a nice small brag for someone to say "DONE" and so forth.

I don't know. It just seems there's a lot of stuff you want to try in writing that you forget about, and just having one more dartboard to throw at in terms of what to do can be a huge help. I just don't have much review writing I want to do, but I bet there are other straightforward suggestions out there for ways for people to encourage each other.
disco1960 disco1960 - February 24, 2011 (10:53 PM)
I think you need to back HGWars, only without the battles. Maybe make it about crops and farming instead.
aschultz aschultz - February 25, 2011 (02:41 PM)
HGWars was neat. I don't think you can do it over again, exactly. And getting farmy would be one way to do things, but maybe if you could make it tongue-in-cheek meta, by hiring crank out reviews, to see whose website gets more hits...that would be awesome, if you could pull it off.

You could hire over-emotional writers for one demographic, actual-factual ones, flowery reviewers, succinct reviewers, game event reporters, and even hit-piece writers. You could hire various tech-heads too, or hackers who could initial DoS attacks. Forum trolls could trash your competitors--or, if you have too many, your own sites.

Those with the most website hits at the end would win.

I'd play that, even if it had a few faults.

Or would this suggestion be too ridiculous?

I have to admit, HGWars certainly brought me back here before. Maybe it'll snare a few other people. New or old. Set up a facebook site for it, like Asherdeus mentioned the Thunderbolt folks did. Who knows?

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