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Diehard GameFAN jibber jabber posting

Basically this post is for those that have agreed to or are interested but haven’t commited to DHGF. If you’re on the list of names below, bookmark this (not one of the RSS feeds, but the real post, as RSS posts poof after like two weeks) as we hash out some ideas to ensure the site is a) fun b) quality c) and not taking itself too seriously. If you’re not on the list, feel free to join in the convo because it’s always good to get a non gaming journalists opinion. And hey, if you think you might want to write occasionally, feel free to drop a line saying so as well.

STAFF:
Alex Lucard
Bebito Jackson
Jon Widro
Bryan Berg
Chris Pankonin
Lee Baxley
Mark B
Fred Badlissi
Matt Yaeger
Alex Williams
Guy Desmarais
David Olvera
Michael O’Reilly
Chuck Platt
ML Kennedy
Misha
Cory Laflin
Aaron Sirois
Striker (I can’t remember his real name)
Geli Warner
A.J. Angeloni
Sara Graves
Chris Bowen

Possibles:
Ron Yip
Josh Miller
Adam Whistant

1. Logo

Thoughts?

2. Ads.
I’m not out to do this for money. I’m out to try and make this fun for all of us again. Writing about games, playing games, writing with each other. It needs to be FUN. Not just for us though, but for our readers. With that being said, I’d really like to have the site be ad-free. Sure that means down the road if we get crazy big (ha ha ha) I might ask for 5-10 bucks per staffer for cash to pay for bandwidth, but at this point we won’t need ads, and I personally feel they drive people away from indy sites, rather than help them. if there’s no ads,there’s no chance of spyware or pop-ups, or any crap littering the site. For a lack of better phrasing, I want this thing to be pure.

3. Content.

I’m looking at several areas of content. Reviews and columns obviously. Maybe bring back the Tribunal for quick multi-takes on various games. I’d like one feature a month, but only if we a) want to do it and b) have time. Oh and C) it’s fun and there’s no time limit save for probably Gaming Awards. I want this to be an alternative to crap that’s out there, so I’d like their to be more of a focus on each of our individual writing styles then any sort of forced conformity.

4. Layout.

I’ll need to do a wireframe for the page next week, but I’m looking at the page basically being one giant searchable database. Searchable by author, by column title, by review, by topic, and so on. I want the page to be simple to navigate and content heavy.

5. Reviews.

Okay, this is going to be the big shake up I’m sure and it will split readers and writers both way but here goes…

I think we need to dump a universal review format. Yes, I can churn out an 8 page review using the ten point format in no time at all, but most of you have had problems with that. It’s not fair of me to keep a format that others seem to struggle with.

That being said I think we should do reviews freestyle. I’ll probably keep the same formating and style because people want it/expect it from me and it can be the one constant linking to our past. The rest of you, can be as long or short with any you reviews you do. Just write them in the way that best works for you, whether it be freestyle, stream of conciousness, or following a set format each time.

6. Review Scoring.

Another bone of contention but…I’m thinking maybe we should dump the numbers from our review. Force people to read instead of skim for the numbers. I don’t know how you guys feel about this, and I know this will be controversial. Games for Windows Magazine tried it a while back and after 3 months, the hate mail was so intense that they brought numbers back. This is our audience. People who lack reading comprehension skills and are so brainwashed to think about how good a game in in numerical value only that as much as I want to do this, I realize it can kill us right out the gate. And so I want your opinions on this.

7. Columns. As I want this to be an alternative to the mainstream gaming sites, I think columns are the way to go. Yes we’ll need reviews, but for me, I think a monthly/weekly (if you want to go that much) column is a great way to introduce ourselves. I’ve been batting around a few “theme columns” that people can choose to make their own if they want.

a) A tongue in cheek retro column I was batting arounf with Mark B. and I have a feeling he wants to do this one himself. Basically a crotchedy gamer column where we take a look at how good kids today have it. Phantasy Star IV being chump change instead of 80 bucks new. Blood and gore in video games instead of the SNES Mortal Kombat. Things like that.

b) A get to know each writer column. Sort of a twenty questions column featuring one writer a week until we’ve gone through each member of the staff. As we have 22 staffers for sure (maybe more) I’m thinking each week we do a bio on a writer and then each staffer asks a question that the subject has to answer. I think this will be of amusement to us and our readers and serve as a nice alternative to boring bios that other sites occasionally have in addition to highlighting our personalities.

8. Business Cards

I’m going to get each staffer some business cards with our logo and a title. I know a place that will do them for free as long as the backs have advertising. I think this might go a long way towards having fun with the site as we can leave the cards all over as a form of getting the word out, but we can also use them with publishers, developers, and gaming stores and other sites as a sign of legitimacy. At the same time, I do worry this might make us take things a little too seriously/be pretentious

9. Artwork.

In honour of the old GameFAN, I’m thinking we need a little logo for each of us. If you remember, the old page had sprite characters/anime style artwork depicting the writer with each of their pieces. I think this could be a lot of fun, but also a lot of work.

10. Amount of content per writer

I am in no way going to try to force the 3 reviews a month bullshit on us that was done in the past. Same with a constantly level of output. It’s all about writing what you want when you want. With 22 writers we can each put something up once a month and there will be at least one new piece of content a day. All I ask is that if you’re going to bail, give me a bit of notice.

11. Promoting ourselves.

I’m thinking we’ll need a DHGF Myspace, a facebook and LJ community. At the same time I think the actual page should link to our individual blogs and myspaces and whatever. I know for the past five years there are times when all of us feel IP/411/NATE/whatever is viewed as “ALEX LUCARD AND THE REST,” and I’ve always felt really bad about that. I know Mark was personally insulted by Dreamcatcher Games for example. Part of why I’ve always been the most noticed of the staff is that I’ve had a fanbase before I ever did gaming stuff, and that I’m been the most easily accessible of us all. People learned early on they can just shoot the shit with me here or in my old LJ, and I’d totally write them back. I think if we at least gave them access to something a little more “us” it might go towards each of us being branded.

12. Public Relations

I’m sure Bebito will want to be in on this if we do it. The question is, do we do it. I know if we talk to publishers/developers to get on beta/sample lists and give them the site name, we’ll get on just from that. But then that leads us to having to review the games we get in a specific period of time, and also deal with publisher politicking and bullshit. Is it worth it? I’m always up for it, but it has to be a group call here.

More topics to be added later as we think of them. Ready? GO!

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