What’s going on?
The start of this year I had an idea. There are many great sites out there covering XBLIG, some dedicated just to XBLIG like GameMarx, and some as part of their coverage of multiple game platforms. So the idea was simple: build a portal XBLIG review and news site that would aggregate snippets of the XBLIG content from these sites. Together we are stronger, a rising tide lifts all boats, ready to form Voltron, activate interlocks, dyna-therms connected, infra-cells up, mega-thrusters are go, etc.
Then came the question of what to call this site. It was mentioned it should be bland, obvious, and SEO generic, given the purpose of the site. So I contacted Nick Gravelyn who had created XboxIndies.com originally but had to step down from running it in 2009, and asked him about using the domain as the portal site. After a few quick emails with Nick and Andy (aka The ZMan), transfer of the domain was complete. (Okay, it wasn’t quick, and there is a special place in hell for domain registrars).
When we thought about it, we realized we didn’t want to loose the current links to games on XboxIndies.com. The site had suffered a few issues while sitting dormant, and would require some work to get running again. It was also in PHP and WordPress. Nothing against PHP and I love WordPress, but we didn’t want to support two game databases and have to make updates in two places for one change. I bit the bullet and did a “total conversion” of the site to .Net, while keeping as many links as I could unchanged.
Thanks to Armless Octopus, Gamergeddon, and Kobun’s Xbox Indies Page for helping me get the site started with source content and letting me test everything out using their feeds. These are not the only sites covering XBLIG and if you have a site you would like included please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have big plans for the site, and will be rolling out features over the next several months. Our goal, to put it in Hollywood speak, is like “FaceBook meets StackOverflow for Xbox Indie Games!” Some of the things we have planned are:
* Developer Profiles – Website links, blogs, etc all maintained by the developers themselves
* Developer Press Releases – Developers can use XboxIndies.com to market their games
* User Reviews – Give the people a voice
* Metacritic-style Scores – See a game’s review scores across XBLIG review sites
* Game Recommendations – Ambitious, but with user review system possible
* XboxIndies.com API – Access the XIDB directly
What’s the catch?
“This sounds great, but don’t you have a conflict of interest here? You do run a review site!” Yes, it’s true. Some of the features we plan for XboxIndies.com were planned for GameMarx.com – but we feel they make more sense here. We don’t want to take advantage however of one site for the other, so before we use any content from XboxIndies on GameMarx we will make it available to everyone though the XboxIndies API.
There is also a good chance a banner ad will appear soon on XboxIndies.com. Wait, let me explain, please put down the pitchforks and touches! Nothing invasive, no flash, no popups, just a image in the header you can scroll by or maybe some Adsense. I highly doubt we’ll ever make to quit the day jobs and cover XBLIG full time (if you can’t make a living writing Xbox Indie Games full time, there is no reason to think you can make a living with a site talking about XBLIG). It would be nice if the site supported it’s own hosting costs.
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