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Far Horizons | Dealspwn in 2014

Matt Gardner

Far Horizons | Dealspwn in 2014

As some of you may have noticed, there've been a few changes going on here on Dealspwn over the past couple of months, and I'd like to take the opportunity to fill you all in on what's going on, and what to expect over the course of 2014.

Fewer bulletins, more features, more opinion

Far Horizons | Dealspwn in 2014

One of the biggest changes, and one I'm sure many of you will have spotted, is that we're scaling our news coverage back enormously. We'll still post a couple of stories a day that interest us most, or posts that we think might be of service to you, our readers, or at least spark some debate, but we're going to be focussing much more on opinion pieces and comment articles instead. There are plenty of larger, media-backed sites in a better position to provide blanket news coverage, so we're going to be turning our critical eyes upon the most interesting stories and trying to spark up some conversation.

We're lucky in that we often enjoy a healthy comments section when it comes to the stuff we post, and we'd like to try and facilitate that more. Our position has always been that the posts that go up here are starting points for discussion, never the last word. We're still going to be bringing you deals posts each and every day, and there are plans to revamp our approach to voucher codes, but in terms of other material, we're going to be focussing in on quality rather than quantity going forwards.

Giving the people what they want

Far Horizons | Dealspwn in 2014

What we cover, that is to say the material that we put out, is therefore going to be much more fluid. We're still going to be reviewing and previewing as many games that come our way as possible, but now we'll have time to go deeper into certain titles, and greatly expand coverage on games that people want to read and hear about. We want to take community feedback across the site, social media, and the YT channel as much as possible, and incorporate your opinions into our output. There'll be a new staff page going live soon with email and Twitter details for all staff, so you can get in contact with us more easily, and the Games and Platforms Q&A forums are a great place to make suggestions too.

The WildStar coverage we've been doing is a perfect example of coverage spurred on by community feedback. The game isn't out yet, but it still commands a massive fan base, many of whom have asked us directly for more coverage, more info, and more videos. If there's a game you want to see more of, let us know and we'll make it so. Similarly for features such as the new Game Night, or if you'd like to see a particular feature of a game explored in Dealspwn Playthrough, drop us an email or a Tweet or a comment onsite, and we'll try to make sure that it happens. We're hoping to bring Blast From The Past back as a regular video feature too, so the same will be true for that as well: if there's something you want to see featured, hit us up.

New regular features

Slimming down our output in terms of numbers allows us the freedom to do a few more of these. There are a few that have been launched already and some still to come, but here's the lowdown thus far:

Dealspwn Reload - The perfect way to start your week! A new video series in which Carl recaps some of the more weird and wonderful stories from the industry in the previous seven days, before rounding up all of the new releases and onsite features for the week to come. Airs Monday afternoons.

Top Ten Tuesdays - A semi-regular feature that's fairly self-explanatory really. We just really like alliteration. Published, as you might have guessed, on Tuesday.

Game Night - Video series that sees the team play a new game each week with typically bizarre results. Airs Thursday evenings.

Game Buzz - Our regular, half-hour, news-based podcast that takes a look at the hottest stories of the previous seven days. Airs Saturday lunchtime.

We're also planning to bring back Blast From The Past and Why We Love/Hate as semi-regular features, but probably revamped as video features. As always, if there's anything you'd like to more of, or if you have any suggestions.

Increasing video content

Far Horizons | Dealspwn in 2014

We made a commitment towards the end of last year to really start pushing video content. To be honest, if we'd had the equipment earlier, we would have starting hitting YouTube hard long before, but it's something that's going to expand in terms of video reviews and previews, Let's Plays, video interviews, Dealspwn Playthroughs, and opinion-stuffed vlog pieces too. We doubled our subscriber count in the last quarter, and we're only just getting started.

Dealspwn Playthrough will continue to serve as an umbrella under which we can look at specific aspects to certain games in an informative and insightful manner. This is where you'll find explanatory, helpful videos that take a look at gameplay mechanics, design aspects, and so on.

But alongside, that, expect to see more informal impressions videos and, where there's demand, multi-episode LPs. As stated previously, we'll also be guided by our community. We'll attempt to cover as much as we possibly can, but quite frankly you're our priority. If there's something you'd like us to explore, a game you'd like to see featured or picked apart, let us know.

*   *   *

And a final message to developers out there too... please tell us about your games. Hit us up at pr[at]dealspwn[dot]com and let us know what you're up to. We've always had an appreciation for PC and indie gaming that's often all-too scarce when it comes to media coverage, but we want to hear from you, we want to know what you're up to. No, we won't sling a trailer and some screenshots up and call it a day, but we will look to provide greater, more in-depth coverage that's useful for everyone concerned.

Ultimately, we're becoming a bit sleeker, a bit more efficient, and a bit more flexible in how we approach coverage -- able to focus more on the things that we're passionate about, and that people want to read or watch. Thank you to everyone who's visited the site over the past few years, we wouldn't be here without you, and we'd like to involve you more in the stuff we put out.

Let's DO THIS!

Add a comment9 comments
stevenjameshyde  Jan. 29, 2014 at 18:19

One suggestion - on features like Game Night, how about advertising the games in question in advance so that community members who own said games can get involved? Surely the only thing that can improve on the current mix of footage and commentary is adding some of my and other community members' frankly slapstick gaming skills...

Shadowmancer88  Jan. 29, 2014 at 19:54

Why not have a weekly/monthly community gaming night? For example a Day Z or Titanfall beta (when its out).

Also livestreams would be nice considering the new consoles have them built in.

dklunan  Jan. 29, 2014 at 22:11

I think an increased focus on opinion pieces is definitely the way to go. You all write and talk about these topics with real flair so more of that is great and differentiates you from the big boys.

Game buzz in particular is fantastic.

Good luck with the change over the next 12 months!

MattGardner  Jan. 30, 2014 at 11:44

When we first came up with the idea for Game Night as a series we chatted about involving the community and opening it up. That's something we'll certainly look at, probably from next month -- publicising the game we're going to play and inviting anyone who wants to jump in to do so. Obviously, that'll only work for certain titles, but some of the ones that we've talked about doing already are...

Halo 4
Unreal Tournament
COD Ghosts
Starbound pt. 2 (now that the final character wipe has been and gone)
Heavy Weapon: Atomic Tank

Planetside 2 would be a very easy early community one to do, simply because it's free :) So that might have to happen.

As for streaming, that's something that will certainly feature more heavily as the year progresses, and it's how we'd eventually like to do Game Night. Brendan has already gotten cracking, and you can find his Twitch channel here: http://www.twitch.tv/brendangriffiths

Thanks for the feedback, folks. Keep it coming! :)

phil16  Jan. 30, 2014 at 13:36

Hmmm. i'll reserve judgement until the goods arrive. I quite like the style of this site so i'm a little apprehensive of change. However that said, glad to see that Indies/PC will still be a big focus as thats where I spend most of my cash nowadays having being EA'd/Activsion DLC'd out...

(Also Matt - I look forward to the potential planetside 2 community stuff as having downloaded the game after the regular posts recommending it here I'm a bit lost!)

JonLester  Jan. 30, 2014 at 14:11

@phil16: I wouldn't worry, since we've actually been transitioning into this over the last few months. The blanket rolling news coverage has been replaced by more editorialised pieces (i.e. I don't post up everything that hits my inbox anymore!) alongside the increased video content and opinion output.

Oh, RE Planetside, we tend to play as the TR on Miller. It'd be great to set up some sort of Dealspwn platoon (or at least enough to cram into a Galaxy - shotgun not flying! :P).

Also, hasn't it been lovely spending an entire month covering indie, PC and early access games? Bliss.

MattGardner  Jan. 30, 2014 at 14:38

Hmmm. i'll reserve judgement until the goods arrive. I quite like the style of this site so i'm a little apprehensive of change. However that said, glad to see that Indies/PC will still be a big focus as thats where I spend most of my cash nowadays having being EA'd/Activsion DLC'd out...

(Also Matt - I look forward to the potential planetside 2 community stuff as having downloaded the game after the regular posts recommending it here I'm a bit lost!)

Don't worry Phil! We'll still be us, and we're not changing our house style. If anything, we're amplifying it and getting rid of stuff like story regurgitation and news-by-press-release to allow us more time to hunt for deals, kick off some fat discussions, and cover more games in greater depth than before.

As for community game night, will have more details on that soon. I can sympathise. PS2 confused the hell out of me when I first jumped in. I hated my first game, died all the time, couldn't get a handle on what was going on. Very different flow to other FPS titles. Now, though, can't get enough of it.

But yeah, definitely don't let Jon fly.

phil16  Jan. 30, 2014 at 14:57

@JonLester. Fair enough hadn't noticed so must be a good change.

I'll try and jump on that plantside location (I'm already TR) - Maybe see you guys on there?

Regarding game videos - I'd love to see something similar to Wildstar done with star citizen?

CarlPhillips  Feb. 1, 2014 at 10:24

@phil16: Apologies to only just replying to this, but the short answer is this - you can bet your sweet Aurora we'll be covering SC / S42 in as much detail as we have WildStar. My brand new HOTAS setup and I are raring to go with the Dogfighting module as soon as it's released.


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