State of the Mag 2014

In the spirit of President Obama’s State of the Union address, I decided to step up on the podium and talk about the state of affairs of The Indie Game Magazine. If you would please allow me the honor of a few of your minutes, I’d love to talk with you about what we are doing and what we are planning for 2014. (I tend to be a little long winded, it might be 20 minutes… sorry!)

The keywords of this article are transparency and trust.

As you may recall, we went through a rough patch a couple of months ago due to the lack of transparency and that damaged our trust and brought into question our credibility. During my downtime, I had a lot of time for reflecting and observing. I internalized to the point of paralysis and what it lead me to was bitterness, or should I say continued bitterness.

What I realized is that I can’t help anyone if I am bitter about anything. I bought this company to help people. If that is what I am going to do, then I need to just release the bitterness and move forward. It all starts with having the courage to release hard feelings.

Courage is what inspires the people around you to accomplish great feats of awesomeness. It is courage that breaks down barriers and allows you to have opportunities and the strength that you didn’t have yesterday.

It’s courage that allows me to step up onto this platform today, before the people that I feel that I let down, and say, “I’m sorry, I misread the climate of our industry. I learned my lesson, several in fact, and I am ready to step back into the role of leader and assume the role of Publisher. Those lessons will only empower me and my team to better assist our readers and developers going forward.”

My first act of transparency is to inform you that I have relieved Dan Horowitz of his duty of Editor-in-Chief. Dan is a good man and I highly respect him, but I have decided to move into a new direction, which we will get to in a moment. The problem that I had with Dan was that he was not available enough to support his team. Time is very important and is something that a leader needs to be able to invest.

That said, I am looking for an fresh voice to lead the IGM writing team. A person with passion, determination, desire and attention to detail who wants to lead our writing team and bleeds indie games. Until we find the right person, both Vinny Parisi and myself will be tag-teaming teaching and leading the writing staff. If you are interested in applying for this position, I encourage you to be bold and send us an email, with writing samples, to editors@indiegamemag.com.

Next, I would like to give a huge, “Thank you!” to the developers and streamers who have responded to the Indie Gameplay initiative. We are nearly 50 content hubs strong and growing. The current objective for the sub domain is to build a plugin widget that will let you know who is online and what they are streaming. A “TV Guide” of sorts. I’ll report back when it is complete.

Wait, what’s that? You have not heard about Indie Gameplay? Check it out and share the indie experience:

Gameplay.indiegamemag.com (Shameless Plug!)

The BIG News

Now for the big news that I am excited to share. In the spirit of courage, I have decided to be bold and bring back the Magazine. I have spoken with a few of our subscribers who were awesome enough to spend some time with me. I asked them to tell me about what they liked about the magazine and I have to admit, they got me fired up about it. One of the key notes that I made was that the monthly magazine made him excited about the end of the month coming, as he knew the next issue of IGM was about to release. The point here is that daily online content tends to lose it’s excitement level. It’s always there, but a magazine release… now that is exciting, and that is exactly what I want to share with my audience.

Within the next month I will be looking into distribution companies and learning more about that side of the industry. I hope to bring back the mag in the next few months. No definitive timeline yet, but I encourage you to spend a little time with me as well. Please share with me your thoughts on what made the magazine great and what you would like to see in the next incarnation. I eagerly await your thoughts. You can leave them in the comments below or email me directly at cnewton@indiegamemag.com.

Next we have the Indie Arcade, which has nearly 50 games installed and growing. The plans for the Arcade include fully functional Unity capability and — hopefully — HTML5 as well. We plan on having small Game Jams in the forums and put the collection of games in the Arcade so that we can all share them. This is a work in progress.

Over in the forums, I am happy to report that the developers have really taken to the ‘Tell Us About Your Indie Game!‘ forum. This forum has turned in to a small Dev Blog, which is much more than I ever expected it to become. I am really happy to see that and my response to this is to encourage my writers to go in to the directory and report on those games; to communicate with the developers direct. This is also a work in progress, but is a very good source of indie game news, as… the developers are making the games in our very own backyard. Why would we not report on them? This is, admittedly, an area where we can become stronger.

Finally, (last but not least) is our Mobile division, IGM Mobile. I am very pleased with the progress that Ryan Noble has made in this area. I challenged him to adopt the sub domain as his own, and he has answered the call! Our readership is growing and I find myself very impressed with Ryan.

If anyone has any interest in reviewing mobile games or even reporting on mobile news, we would love to find a few more voices to help Ryan evangelize mobile gaming. Contact us at editors@indiegamemag.com.

In Closing…

Trust is something that can not be demanded, taken or purchased. It can only be earned over time. Admittedly, some of you are still reluctant to interact with us. Time heals all wounds and I believe in good karma. I believe that you get back what you put in and that sometimes you need to be the first to start the karma cycle. That is why we started Gameplay, the Arcade and increased our Social presence. Between the give-a-way contests, the extra exposure for developers and just general indie love, we hope to rekindle the spark of partnership between ourselves and the distanced indies.

Please don’t forget to send in your thoughts on the revival of the Magazine. My initial thoughts are to focus on game reviews and developer interviews, but I am open to your suggestions.

Thanks for your time and patience. We greatly appreciate your support.

Finally, if anyone has any questions about the recent changes and new initiatives we’ve been working on for the past couple months, Vinny has volunteered to answer them. He can be reached at vparisi@indiegamemag.com or otherwise on Twitter.




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