How to Blog About Gaming

First order of business is to pick your Subject

This can be as general as PC or console gaming, or more segmented as competitive gaming/eSports or even in a finer niche such as dedicated to just 1 game or game publisher.

For instance, obviously our blog is about the game StarCraft and StarCraft 2. Which is a very small niche comparably in the bigger blogosphere.

Next you have to be Passionate

Passionate about said subject, and since we’re talking about gaming that means you have to be HARDCORE about the game or gaming in general. You feel your game, you love it, you could talk for hours about it to just about anymore. You re-tell old battle stories, talk about the community and can bring up big named players, leagues or events. You participated in competitions, events or was part of a fansite/community.

For example I first got into StarCraft by being an old-school WarCraft II player, and was addicted on the spot… for the next 6 years. I got highly involved in the StarCraft community by being a part of several very well known clans (The Soda Clan, SCGALS, Club G), and had affiliations with most of the top American/European players.

Competed and won money in local and national tournaments, posted in forums while writing strategy articles for fansites.

Writing articles help especially if you want to start a blog, which leads me into the next step on this list of tips.

You need to be able to clearly get your point across, spell check, read it over and forget about grammar just make sure to hit the bullseye

This doesn’t mean you have to be the best writer in the world or even a decent one. What this means is check your spelling in word, read over your article at least once before posting, refine and edit, make sure to write captivating titles and summaries.

Most good bloggers are not good writers, but good communicators. And you want to know another thing? You’re in luck because you’re writing about a game or gaming for gamers and we all know we aren’t the best writers. You can tell by visiting the forums of any game out there right now.

Heck we invented l33t speak… in multiplayer online games we invented the txting style of writing way before cellphones was the next big thing among tweens. You’ve got to get your point across fast: “u peon line” = Your workers economy line is about to or is getting attacked by the Zerg enemy, and you need to move your workers out of the way and pull back your forces. “drop his exp at 9” = Take your dropships over to the enemies expansion base at the far left center position on the map.

Gamers will forgive you if you make your content readable and understood quickly, use line breaks, spacing, different font sizes and colors to make certain parts of your post stand out.

Next tip is be a part of the Blogoshpere

Meaning follow other blogs, see what they are doing, how they write their titles, where they place their content. How they modify templates to suit their niche. There are forums for bloggers and social networks which can quickly get your name out there fast, post and comment on popular blogs which can drive a little traffic and provide linkbacks.

Enter blogging contests to further brand yourself, but make sure you never stray too far from your subject.

Gaming is a visual and audio medium. Use Video, Audio and graphics well to enhance your gaming blog

Most of us have A.D.D. and like great graphics in games, cartoons, and sci-fi shows. So it should be to no surprise that we visit sites that look and sound good. Heck even our magazines are slick as hell, any of you subscribe to PLAY magazine? Only Design magazines rival the covers of gaming mags.

If you’re not graphically inclined find graphic designers that love games like yourself to help out or pay for one. Most fansite / blog founders are good at either graphic design or web development, so it helps to have some knowledge in those areas.

Don’t forget Marketing

Being an active member on fansite forums, social networks and blogs is a good way to build up organic traffic(non-paid for) Using Google AdWords is also the most cost effective way to advertise your blog to the right audience.

Post strategies people want and collect gaming videos from around the net and put them in your posts, same with images or interviews. Be that sole source for everything Halo 3 or Mario Bros. Write good articles, top 10 lists or strategy guides and ask friends to stumble it or digg it.

Note use social media sites like stumpleupon and digg with care, you don’t want hard to read bad posts getting attention. You want your best to get out there. Ask friends to blog about you or give you linkbacks on their sites.

Go to local Internet cafes and workout advertising ideas to benefit you both, that could be a link exchange or hosting a tournament at that cafe. Running contests is also a good way to get some traffic in, but the thing is you have to use all these techniques together well to drive traffic. Ask people to bookmark your site on del.icio.us or reddit, subscribe to your RSS feed.

Always remember: Never get discouraged, get inspired

And keep your passion up, plan big things ahead of time like new features or upgrades to your blog/site, find guest writers and/or form a community around your blog. Go outside every once in a while when you’re not pwning people on bnet or killing elves.

Some fresh air is great for new ideas and perspectives. Read even more gaming magazines and study their layouts, how they use graphics, visit kick ass flash sites.

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Indie Game Review of Trine

I’ll get started by recounting exactly how I found Trine. Surfing the net, a little bird told me something known as Humble Frozenbyte Bundle. Frozenbyte, a good indie video game firm hailing from Finland, teamed up together with the Humble Bundle. How the Humble Bundle works is straightforward and saintly: you only pay whatever you want, you receive a few video games, and it all flows to charity. You can virtually pay out one penny, and you can get hold of all of these game titles (but come on, 1 penny?). I figured what the heck, contributed some money, and downloaded Trine.

I truthfully didn’t anticipate a lot when starting up Trine for the first time. That’s the fantastic thing about indie games to me, that my mind is really a clean slate entering them. There’s not any buzz or sensationalism swaying my viewpoint on a game before I even place my very own fingers on it. An viewpoint is made solely around the game play on its own, and not really based on if it surpassed my expectations or disappointed. Frankly, I had no clue exactly what I was stepping into. Heck, I didn’t even know exactly what genre Trine fell into.

Starting off the action up and going into the initial stage, I became impressed with what I observed. First off, the adventure turned out to be a side-scrolling platformer (very much to my pleasure). The background quickly grabbed my attention, and I also understood that this platformer was going to have a good deal to consider. The environments are really quite easy on the eyes, and they also give off a really unique, magical ambiance. These, bundled along with the narration, genuinely make it appear like you’re playing through the fairytale.

Ruining as very little as I’m able to, the plot goes a little like the following. First beginning the video game, you take management of a thief while she moves inside a sanctuary, wanting to get her hands on various treasure. She finds an interesting object, the Trine. You next take control of a sorcerer, and in addition establish your way to the Trine. Additionally, you adopt control over a knight whom (you guessed it) gets to the Trine and even touches it. The spirits connected with the 3 are joined together, so they consequently turn into one. From then on, you look for a way to turn back combining and also the three heroes get thrown within some thing a lot larger than themselves.

These beginning instances from the video game, while acting as a tutorial for the three characters, sets up the central mechanic of the game. That is, at just about any time you can easily switch among one of the 3 characters. This opens up a plethora of methods that you can solve the variety of hurdles Trine throws your way. The wizard, my favorite of the 3, can easily generate boards, containers, and platforms, and may furthermore relocate materials with magic. He definitely doesn’t possess very much fighting abilities, other than dropping boxes onto naive adversaries heads. The knight, on the other hand, is very good at killing things and remaining living. Having a good shield, he can defend from arrows or falling debris effectively. My issue with the knight is definitely that even though he truly does have his uses, his abilities just aren’t as awesome as the other two different characters. He came off as your main simple hero, without a whole lot flair. You end up making use of the knight quite a lot at the starting of the game, seeing that his shield comes in handy frequently and he’s excellent at killing skeletons. A problem came into being when ever I got nearer to the finish, on the other hand. I actually observed that it had gotten to the position where the thief could eliminate things a lot easier compared to the knight. You could just volley arrows at the enemies from very far without being worried about getting damaged. Because of this, the knight’s function is minimized and I didn’t use him as much as I used to. It wasn’t that utilizing him was in fact any less exciting, simply that he had become less beneficial as the video game elevated. The thief was in fact a powerhouse, capable to snipe NPCs by using the bow, and in a position to get through the particular stages with ease many thanks to her grappling hook. I can’t count the range of situations in which grappling hook conserved my life, or how many treasures it let me get to. Every main character has his or her function, and you can’t stay to 1 simply due to the fact you enjoy them far more. The thing is, each hero is without a doubt in fact genuinely fun to implement. Unique scenarios called for various heroes, and it is a delightful thing.

Very likely my favorite element of this video game is that there are several ways you can go about solving the particular complications Trine has to offer you. It definitely makes you to get inventive at moments. The sorcerer performs exceptionally well in a lot of these situations, as you can certainly create boxes and platforms and work them straight into whatever spots you need. What can make each scenario in Trine much more fascinating is the use of physics. Moving items and swinging about with the thief gives off a good sense of weight, and objects react reasonably realistically according to the particular forces applied upon them. These qualities definitely help to make it pleasurable to simply play about with the environment.

Every single character has different abilities, and the thief along with knight each obtain unique weaponry to work with. As you gain experience, in the shape of green bottles scattered all over the stages, ones heroes level up and also gain proficiency points. All these skill points tend to be used to help update the particular skills of your heroes. For example, 1 of the particular wizard’s skills (as I stated before) was the ability to develop a container out of thin air. This is carried out by holding down the mouse key, and drawing a container wherever you would like it made. From the starting, the sorcerer will be able to exclusively generate 1 container at an instance. Whenever you level upward this specific skill, he can easily have much more boxes in presence at one time. The idea is a nice touch to the game, and offers an Role-playing game sense to Trine. Likewise, you may locate treasure chests throughout each and every stage that hold magical items. You can certainly equip the characters along with these items, which in turn can carry out nearly anything from helping them oxygen under water to giving all of them a lot more overall health. I made it a point when playing to find each and every treasure chest in the game, and several are usually fairly hard to detect.

The cons with regard to Trine are few and far between. The knight hero lost some practical use while you get nearer to the end of the game, as the thief results in being simply as superior if not better at eradicating opponents. His particular skills were also deficient in the cool factor. The storyline by itself wasn’t exceedingly special, and the conclusion (although I wasn’t anticipating much out of it) had been pretty anticlimactic. In the vicinity of the conclusion of the video game, the thief gets to be virtually overpowered, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you could beat a total level using her all alone. Honestly at this point I’m striving hard to find things wrong with this video game.

On the flipside, I couldn’t cease playing the video game. I most likely beat it in two or maybe three sittings, and that was merely because duties kept me personally from sitting down and beating it in a day. The physics and equipment you have at hand to pass obstructions is pleasing as heck (here’s lookin’ at you sorcerer). The addition of gadgets and ranking up provides this platformer a nice feel of Role-playing game, without affecting the true platformer experience. In fact, it makes you want to seek every nook and cranny hunting for the chests and experience. And that’s not a bad thing. I was going to sit here and tell you that there was little replayability for Trine, but here I am starting it up again to beat it for the second time.

Bottom line, if you want to waste a whole day on an indie game and have fun doing it pick up Trine. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what it brings to the table.

GamerAdvice’s rating: 8/10

– Be sure to keep an eye out at the humblebundle for the next Humble Bundle project.

Oh, and look for the upcoming Trine 2 set for a late 2011 release.

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