Retro Gaming Australia had a bumper year in 2012. Traffic is way up and we’ve developed a solid following on social media, be it Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. We launched the Australian Gaming Database beta in March to a good response, but that project will continue to develop over time.
In spite of the success we’ve had, I always feel like we can be doing more. The forums, for instance, were suffering from the blight of spammers – which we’ve now fixed, but participation isn’t quite what we’d like, particularly when compared to the social media platforms. We missed several Video Game Ad of the Day postings – something I tried to rectify, but fell short of. Our editorial content, particularly our features, has not been quite as diverse or plentiful as I had planned. Community participation in the AGDB is non-existent, and my enthusiasm for that project has declined.
I feel that we are still headed in the right direction, but some enhancements are required.
Our focus in 2013 will be on improving our editorial content. Our Introduction features have done well, and we will continue to do them, however, we will be refining how we cover the actual games. Rather than just an Essentials or hidden gems article with a couple of paragraphs on a game here or there, we want to cover individual games in a greater depth, then bring them all together. We want the right balance of classic, popular games and obscure games you might not have heard of, and we want you to come out of these articles knowing a lot more about the game than when you came in. People have complained about my editorials in the past, telling me that they could read everything on Wikipedia – well, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say that Wikipedia should never be a primary resource for anything, and their video game coverage outside of anything popular is utterly abysmal.
We also want to leverage the multimedia options being a website enables us to use – in other words, more video. The capture set up we have now is not ideal – it produces the bare minimum result we need. I am planning on implementing a video capture set up that will properly capture gameplay footage at its native 240p and 288p resolutions. We will be assessing the feasibility of posting the video on RGA itself as well as YouTube, so videos can be enjoyed in their full 50fps/60fps glory. Of course this requires new and expensive equipment which will take us some time to acquire – specialist capture equipment, extra console hardware, RGB modifications and so on. This is not a cash grab however – RGA will be funding the new equipment purchases itself. We will continue posting Retro Gaming Theatre videos, but hope to add some more video series to our cache later in the year.
We want to continue to expand throughout the year. While RGA’s content is currently created just by myself and Charly, we want to invite all of you to contribute to the site, be it through editorial content, art, or some other creative outlet. If you’re a budding PHP developer and want to expand your portfolio a bit, we’d be happy to allow you to experiment with designs on our site. I am a little concerned that the Australia in the site’s name is limiting our audience – the Australian community has been very supportive of us, but I continue to wonder if we’d have more success targeting the global retro gaming audience.
It wouldn’t be an RGA update without the announcement of some ridiculously ambitious project.
Over the past 18 months, the Video Game Ad of the Day feature has been one of the most popular things on RGA. However, Video Game Ad of the Day was only part of a grander vision that has been in the works for over two years. See, there were two mythical projects that began in the early days of RGA – Project A and B. A was the AGDB, released into beta in March 2012. B is what I’ve dubbed the Video Game Advertising Archive, or VGADA.
Video Game Ad of the Day was basically phase 1 on the project – gauging interest from the audience to see if they liked looking at old gaming ads. We’ve got too many ads to feature on Ad of the Day; 13,000 in fact, which at the current pace would take 34 years to post, not-withstanding the fact that current and future generations of consoles would be considered “retro” by then, and that not all games are worthy of being posted. VGADA is going to be an archive of all of the video game ads I’ve ever found. Video Game Ad of the Day will continue, featuring ads that you can see on the archive.
So when will VGADA launch? There are some logistics to figure out with regard to multiplatform games, but I anticipate the site launch in its first form…now.
What, you don’t like the N-Gage? Look for the rest of the systems to join VGADA throughout January.