Subscribe to:

The Kiwi's TaleWitchBlasterDerelict Blow Stuff Up

Thoughts on the freeware games site project

I was having a talk with a friend the other week about my freeware games site idea. I think what he was trying to tell me was (You'll have to forgive me if I got it wrong!) was something along the lines of:

"Even if you did manage to build the website the way you imagined it, what would make it different to the rest?"

Which, is actually a really good point. In truth, my site would be no different to all of the other freeware sites out there, although hopefully it would have more content, flexibility and user interaction then most of the other ones. So what do I have to do to make it different?

He suggested that I should create a website centred around a certain niche, such as freeware Mac games or freeware RPG games, based on the idea that people are more likely to follow, or contribute to, a site focused solely on an area that they care about. Which I agree with, but there isn't a niche in freeware games that I care about enough to make an entire website about. However, I did come up with a compromise that I feel could work.

Leveraging the 'Organic Groups' contributed module for Drupal, I could give multiple different niches their own complete area of the site - With their own look, content contributors, moderators, news blog (Including RSS feed), forum, games library and so on.

There could be groups for virtually anything, such as by Platform (Mac, Linux freeware etc) Genre (RPG, FPS etc) or theme (Horror, Anime etc). There could even be a group called something like 'Gold class' which would be reserved for discussion of the very best freeware titles, or perhaps one called 'Old classics' which would be dedicated to formerly commercial games that have become freeware.

Each area of the site would be semi-autonomous in that it would be controlled by people that aren't actually involved with the running of the overall site. However, blog posts into each group could be syndicated to the front page, as well as posted in more then one section, for instance a post on a Mac RPG could be posted into both 'Mac' and 'RPGs'. There would still be the big library of games, but it wouldn't be the primary focus, just a useful tool.

So, now I have a new target to shoot for, one that's much higher but one that I think may result in a much more interesting and useful site.

Any feedback? I am particularly interested in hearing about what kinds of niches you would be interested in following or contributing to.


Joined: 12/21/2009

I have to say I was thinking kind of the same as your friend, insofaras to say what would make you stand out from a marketing point of view? The groups are a nice idea, but what I htink you bring to the table moer than anything else is your expertise from a programmers side. I think what would really make you unique is if you could essentially have two websites in one. Kinda like frosted mini wheats. Have your side that caters to the gamers and have your side that caters to the creators. The creators would have a dedicated group of people interested in playing the latest greatest releases and your devs would have the ability to interact and get immediate feedback on games they are working on. Eventually you could move on to having active blogs from different  contributors and more interviews with devs, especially since they would be coming through your site on their way up.

As far as operating systems, keep them seperate. Nothing irks me more than findin an awesome game I can't play. There really aren't enouhg native Mac/Linux games out there to warrant anyhting more than a section based on those operating systems, sad though it may be.

Question why will the comment box allow me to expand the box farther than I can see? That's just silly LOL. Well those are my bits of input.  Captcha rosebush evening...sounds like a feminine product

Earok's picture
Joined: 02/06/2009

The idea of having a site dedicated to both developers and players is certainly an intriguing one, but my main concern is, since I already help administer a site for game developers (New Zealand ones -, I wouldn't want to risk creating any competition for it! I will certainly give it some thought though.

Heh, didn't realise you could stretch the box of the CKEditor, it's kind of cool even if it's kind of pointless.

Also, I thought I turned off captcha for logged in users - I'll need to check that one out.

Joined: 12/21/2009

no no I hadn't logged in and it stopped me so I cut and pasted it whole. nothing wrong with your log in. Yeah I get your point on that it's entirely possible that your two interests could merge at some point and be benficial to everyone. I'm always thinking long view here. Man I really have gotten lazy with my typing since I got FF my last post was riddled with errors.