This website is a weird thing to me. It started off as a way to improve my writing my for impending journalism degree. I now hold that qualification as well as a degree in Digital Technology, Business, and Design and the site still runs.
I loved doing it. I spent more than six months writing about games, buying them then reviewing them simply because it was fun. I was lucky to get into a position where some people started to hear about the website and publishers, developers, and PR companies were happy to support the site. I will always be grateful, still to this day, that I’m given the chance to cover and review games.
It was mostly myself until I was finishing my degree, when things were getting too tough to run things entirely by myself because the site was only getting bigger which meant more things to cover and review with an ever expanding contact list.
I needed help and I got that in a huge way from Darragh who, just like me, loved writing about games in his spare time. We had a good number of months when things were great and as things progressed further in terms of size, so did the number of hands on deck.
It felt great that people were willing to help and give their time to write for this stupid little site that I started. The problem with too many hands, especially when everything is based around good will is that you lose control of your baby.
You can also lose the control of the site’s image and trust that it has with those that supported you from the beginning.
Unfortunately, despite the hard work and effort from a number of individuals, the site lost a lot of ground in some ways that I’ve personally spent years building toward. I have been trusted by a number of companies to cover their games and that trust was broken and I couldn’t go out of my way to fix it in time.
I do this in my spare time. I work 9-5 in an office doing marketing for a science company. On my way to work and on the way home I write for the website. On my breaks, I write emails back and forth, planning content for the site. I come home and I get straight to my desk and keep going on the site. I have an incredibly understanding fiancée that must look like she comes second in order for this to even remotely work.
I love this industry so much more than the day I registered the domain in September 2009. I love writing articles everyday more than when I started do so in January 2010. I never want to stop doing it, even if it means that it will always be a hobby.
For it to become more than a hobby though, I need to be serious now with how the site functions and runs. I honestly believe that Game-Smack is Ireland’s best chance to have its own dedicated gaming website. There are some great places out there, don’t get me wrong but I’m so determined to keep doing this that I have to believe Game-Smack is.
So what does this mean for Game-Smack going forward?
Well, it may seem like Game-Smack will have less content on the site now but it couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ll have full control and knowledge of the content being created so I can always organise and make schedules. I have been working away on a new video feature series as well as bringing back one or two others as well as starting video reviews again.
There will be a lot more personality going forward too. I used to feel as though a person must represent a site but, let’s face it, that’s dull. I’ll be myself, speak my mind, but always back it up with well-written or spoken critique.
It was a tough decision to go solo again but I feel as though it will be the best decision for the website and the readers and supporters of Game-Smack. Thank you for sticking with me this long, here’s to the future of Irish video game coverage (whatever that means)
Worth it yet?
You know, there are a lot of Early Access games. The aim of this video series is to highlight upcoming Early Access game, break it down and see if what it currently features whether it is worth it yet. It’ll also talk about the potential of the title and if it ever will be worth your money. It’ll take a few videos to catch its groove but once it does, it could be something pretty cool.
Full transparancy coverage
When I’m at my desk, I spend a lot of time playing and capturing gameplay. I do a lot of research by playing games or playing through them for review. I will start an interesting little experiement where I will stream games almost every day so long as it’s not under embargo. This means you can jump into the Twitch stream, see what games will be featured on the site soon and ask any questions you may have about the game to which I can answer right away.
Videos will go live on the site afterwards whether it be reviews, features, or as part of the “Worth it Yet?” video series. I’m really excited about it and hoping people can get behind it too.
The first professional Irish games website
There have been plenty of amazing sites covering video games that are in Ireland but it has always been passion projects that are done in their spare time. This is the beginning of finally making Game-Smack a full-time job. I have done and loved this for more than five years now and this is finally the time where I feel confident enough about turning this into a real career.
This, of course, can’t be done without every single one of you who read this. I can’t take you enough for your surpport up until this point and I can only hope you continue this support going forward. It’s a massive time in this website’s life and one that will either be its biggest or its swansong. I can’t wait to hear to move forward and I hope you can join along with me. It’s a scary time to be going alone again but exciting in equal measure.