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Looking for advice on making a good video game based website





WinterShadow
I've been thinking about making some game guides (mostly ones having to do with more detailed topics since I don't have enough free time to sit down and write a whole walkthrough) for my site, but before I do, I think I could use a few opinions...

Are game guides something that's become so commonplace that nobody would be interested in looking at them? Is there anything specific people might need help with or want me to write about? And are there any things that I could add that might make my website more unique? I was thinking something along the line of screenshots, since you don't see those as much...

I'm a bit of a newbie at this topic, so any advice would be appreciated! Smile
Nameless
Video Game Guides are very commonplace... just search and you'll find tons of them for just about any game - even the less popular ones. So, if you want your site to be successful you'll need to offer something SPECIAL about the guides that makes them stand out from the rest. Most guides and walkthroughs do tend to be text only, so using screenshots and pictures (say, of level maps) could be a good idea to attract more viewers. Writing on specific topics of a game rather than a whole walkthrough might reduce the number of people who read them (only more 'hardcore' fans will read them) but on the other hand since they are less common that will work in your favour. It depends on your target audience - are you aiming to make easy to follow guides for the general public? Detailed analysis for the hardcore gamer? Good guides for less popular games? Humourous guides that are fun to read? The important thing is to make something unique - or at last uncommon - that attracts more people.
sgwreviews
I have to agree with that. I've tried to build a review site up, but you really need to put alot of your spare time in it, which I don't have, so it is kinda empty right now, but I'm planning some new things which should give me some extra spare time.
Another hard part is to get your website known to the people.
rip8fan1
You'll have to be careful with screenshots, as some game companies may tell you to 'cease and desist' in using them! Make sure that if they do tell you to 'cease and desist' that you do, or you can be facing legal fees, etc.


Many sites have 'walk-throughs' for even the most mundane of games, and they usually include more than one for the major games, so I'm not sure if another site with walk-throughs is what we need, but you never know.

Since you said 'video games' I'm guessing you are limiting your site to xbox, playstation, gba, cube, etc. type games, and not PC games. For me, something that many sites leave out for PC games is the creation of different characters. I haven't seen many 'video games' where the creation of characters is a big deal, but they are in many RPGs on the computer.

Another item that might be interesting, is what armor, weapons, spells, etc. are better than others. When I'm 'selling' my inventory, I usually just go by the price the buyer is offering - if they offer more, I figure it is better, but that is not always true!
WinterShadow
I'm not absolutely sure exactly who I want my website to be geared towards just yet...I'm still figuring that kind of stuff out, but the main thing I want is for stuff to be unique. I've seen way too many walkthroughs, and I personally find things like secrets and easter eggs much more interesting, especially since they're fairly few and far between. Maybe here or there I might experiment with a few guides that would be easy for anyone to follow, but for the most part I just want to have things that you don't see all that often. (And I do like the idea of including maps and graphics, so that's something I'll definitely work on)

I must admit that I'm a bit of an RPG fan, so at first most of the games I include will be RPGs, since it will be easiest for me to write about something I've already played. But I know that if I want a lot of people to visit my site, I have to include a wide variety of genres, not just a single one.

The unfortunate thing is that I don't have the free time I need to start playing something new, but what I could do is look up the information I needed about a game and then write about it from there. (Of course, that's not a replacement for playing the game, but I'll hopefully be able to get around to doing that when I'm not so busy) So, that being said, would there be any specific games that anybody would want me to write about?

And thank you for the advice you've already given me. Smile
rightclickscott
I say find a specific genre and stick with that. While going into more than one will certainly give you alot more content, the work will certainly be too overwhelming for just one person. If you're going to have more than one person, have them all focus on a specfic genre of their choosing and things may come together!
votd
Listen to my advision.
First think about the gaming platform you will support most. Don't pick up all platforms, unless you have a 20 people+ hyperactive staff with infinite amount of free time.
When you thought up about your favourite platform maybe choose a game genre and start doing a little site. Very little, as small as you can. Start writing reviews, don't do the strategy guide, because you won't last long that way. And then - advance, little, more, and slowly open new pages. Seek for staff. Seek for more people to help.

And your site will be growing bigger and bigger. Don't forget to make a very good layout. Spend many hours on programming, or buy a layout from webmaster. And then, make a imperium of gaming, slowly, piece by piece. Maybe you create an even portal?

Before you open your site, write several texts. A 10-20 full fledged articles and one more thing - you must be active. Hyperactive. You must feed your guests with news and special features everyday. If you cannot - find people to help you. There are many who wants to help with site.

And... you will succed, you must be patient and not to open site too quickly, or you will fail. Be patient!!
WinterShadow
Quote:
I say find a specific genre and stick with that. While going into more than one will certainly give you alot more content, the work will certainly be too overwhelming for just one person.


Quote:
When you thought up about your favourite platform maybe choose a game genre and start doing a little site. Very little, as small as you can. Start writing reviews, don't do the strategy guide, because you won't last long that way. And then - advance, little, more, and slowly open new pages. Seek for staff. Seek for more people to help.


I agree with both of your ideas. I probably would get overwhelmed with trying to do too many things at once... Smile But I don't have any particular platform that I like the best or play the most games on...It's pretty spread out. So I guess I'll just pick one or two games from, say, the Gameboy, and then one or two from the PS2. Does that sound like it would work, or should I absolutely keep things focused on just one platform?
rip8fan1
WinterShadow wrote:

The unfortunate thing is that I don't have the free time I need to start playing something new, but what I could do is look up the information I needed about a game and then write about it from there. (Of course, that's not a replacement for playing the game, but I'll hopefully be able to get around to doing that when I'm not so busy) So, that being said, would there be any specific games that anybody would want me to write about?


I would stay away from writing about games that you have not played! If you have assistants, than that would be fine, if they write about games they have played.
WinterShadow
Quote:
I would stay away from writing about games that you have not played! If you have assistants, than that would be fine, if they write about games they have played.


You're right. Now that I think about it, that was a pretty bad idea on my part. Embarassed
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