With the coming of 2013, I have made a major push for the IGM staff to understand the importance of and to emphasis use of our public forums. My goal for this year is to establish a strong and healthy environment in the forums where both reader and developer can interact with the writing staff and dare I say, rub elbows with each other??
With that thought on the table, Mike and I came to the conclusion that the forums that we had in place simply were not going to cut it – they were too clunky, boring and old. We decided then that if we were going to focus on the public forums and expected our staff to do likewise, then we should step up and provide a better platform for everyone. And that is exactly what we did.
We have purchased a license of vBulletin and once it was installed, we immediately saw a tremendous amount of power potential that our previous forum simply could not offer. This forum even has a built-in content management system which allows for it to host articles, which we plan to utilize in the future.
My expectation for this is that my writing staff will begin to really use the tools which this program allows for, especially the social aspects that it provides. But further, the forums simply look and feel so much better than the old. There is no more reason for the staff to not congregate in there and interact with the readers and developers and make this place a very happy, productive, and entertaining place.
Let me be the first person to provide you with a link to the forums:
We have many different concepts bouncing around in the background for ways to help keep our audience entertained and interactive in the forums, but my top priority was to find someone to lead those efforts. So what I have done is promoted one of our writers, Sam Adonis, to the position of Community Manager. Sam’s role is to ensure that the forums have a constant flow of interesting conversations and coordinate contests.
I don’t want to turn this into a cheerleader party, so I will just talk with you about several features that we currently have in our forums which I hope that you will take some time and check out, as they all support our indie developers.
Tell Us About Your Indie Game! (Forum Link)
As the name indicates, this forum has been established to allow indie developers to tell us about their games in progress. Please; don’t tell us every last detail about the game. Rather, give us just enough information to get interested and excited about the project – who knows, we might even ask a few questions. You may even come across an idea or concept that you hadn’t thought of before.
IGM Contests and Give-a-Ways (Forum Link)
One of my visions for the revitalization of the forums was to include several casual contests and give-a-ways that will help encourage interaction between the readers, developers and staff. The first one launched is the Game Give-a-Way.
In the Game Give-a-Way, we partner with game developers to offer a service where our Community Manager will create a post describing the game and will include contact information for the Developer. The Developers will then provide 5-10 promo codes for the game that will be given away to readers who simply have to ask nicely for them.
Other contests that we are tossing around are in the range of game design, story contests, and even art contests – all focusing on the casual side of gaming as we all understand the stresses involved in trying to create a game from scratch with no scratch in our pockets. Why would we want to add more stress to something that is designed to be a stress release and entertaining experience?
Don’t forget about our Forums Games! Have you ever played a Forum Game before? We have several listed, but they basically involve responding humorously to the post before you. They can be a lot of fun and helps you get to know some of the community members better by laughing and poking fun at each other. It’s all for fun, so please don’t take any of it personally.
Help Wanted // Team Building (Forum Link)
One of the most annoying, hair pulling parts of being an indie developer is trying to find like-minded people to team up with. Listen, we all get it. Everyone wants to get paid for their services, but if you are not an indie spirit, then you can’t understand the motivation behind working toward a cause, the chase of glory, and the “Me and You against the world” mentality that allows us to work for long periods of time on a project that may or may not ever even become completed.
You are probably nodding right now. I totally understand as I too am an indie developer. I have gone through staff over and over while trying to get my project rolling along. So I have personally set up this forum so that you and I can try to find more people like us to work together and get our projects complete.
I did, however, need to set in place a few rules that I hope that we can all agree are important. Please don’t spam. Just post your team needs, talk about the project a bit and that’s it. Don’t continually ‘bump’ the thread. If you want to update your thread with new information on the project, update your progress, or respond to comments in the forum, then please do that.
Just so that it is said, you need to do your best to proofread, use good structure in writing, and give enough information about the project to interest someone. No one is going to want to join your team if they can’t get behind the project. Sell yourself and your project.
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Lastly, feel free to comment on other listings and even join one of the teams. But know that I will not tolerate anyone bashing or ridiculing a project, developer, or anything of the sort. This forum is developed out of the kindness of my heart. Please keep it a positive place.
Last but certainly not least is our Developer Group. At the top of the forums you will find a button that you can click to apply for a Developer badge. This group allows you to be designated as a Developer and gives you access to a private board in the forums where Devs can talk to other Devs without worry of outside eyes. The only people who have access to this forum are approved Developers and IGM staff.
Also, we are working on a little something that is just for Developers and IGM Insiders. I don’t want to give anything away yet, but we really want to make our forums a place that our Devs will want to be a part of.
Before I close, please don’t forget to stop by and Introduce Yourself! It all starts by registering for a free account and being social. Our forums have private messaging, friend features, and plenty of other ways to be social and become part of the indie community.
The table is now set. In 2013, IGM wants to embrace the indie video game community. Please join us and lets help continue to grow the industry in a safe and positive direction.
Thank you for your time and have a Very Happy New Year.