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Found 21 results

  1. Hello everyone! We finally have our very own Discord channel set up and would love for you to join it! We will be posting event reminders and recaps and hosting remote meetings through Discord, but we'd also love to use it to get to know you all better. Feel free to chat about everything from Game of Thrones to Persona 5. We're also going to start hosting guild game nights on Discord, so if anyone has multiplayer games they're really into or would like to try out, please drop some suggestions in the comments or over on Discord! Discord permalink: https://discordapp.com/invite/QURguaU Thanks guys, and keep being awesome. ~ Drew
  2. The Nerd Stash Team presents our 2nd Marathon for Extra Life! Our MEGA stream of 36 Hours of Gaming begins tomorrow at 12 PM EST. A special pre-show starts at 9 AM EST, so come by show your support for the cause and help give back for a chance to win some awesome prizes! All Donations will support our hospital, The Kentucky Children's Hospital. Watch our Stream on https://www.twitch.tv/thenerdstash. Hope to see everyone drop in and if you would like to donate directly, visit http://bit.ly/ExtraLife2017. #forthekids
  3. Stream @ Hospital

    until
    Join me as we meet Allie and her family to play some games together. Allie is a patient at the Children's Hospital of Richmond and we'll have her live on stream to have some fun and answer some questions. Find us on the Extra Life Steam Team channel: Twitch Extra Life Channel
  4. Discord

    Hey guys! I mentioned at the last meeting that I would create a Discord server for you guys. Here it is - https://discord.me/nashvilleextralife Feel free to jump on. I will give admin/mod status to the guild leadership for full control. I have added a moderator Bot to manage news posts and some of the more fun features. Thanks! So great meeting yall!
  5. Come Friday, the BioWare forums that have been in operation for the past six years will become read-only. After two months, the read-only period will end and the forums for the Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and legacy franchises like Jade Empire and Knights of the Old Republic will be no more. In their announcement of the forum closure, BioWare stated that the decision was difficult: Our players are important to us. Your feedback, stories, and love for our games drive and inspire us. In the past, our forums were the only way we could speak to you directly. They allowed our developers to talk with fans, and gave our players the opportunity to talk with each other about our games. But with the rise of social media and geek culture, there have never been more ways for us to connect. EA and BioWare figure that since there are other online communities on sites like Reddit or Tumblr where fans of their games have joined together that makes their forums obsolete (with the exception of the Old Republic forums, which will continue to operate normally for the foreseeable future). Being able to meet fans at events like PAX also factored into their decision, according to their statement. As a result, people working at BioWare or EA have been spending less time on the forums due to having to cover all the other avenues of information. Some private boards will be spared the forum purge for future betas and special projects. It's truly the end of an era for BioWare as it moves in a new direction. That direction might not be healthy for fans, especially those who made the BioWare forums their own community. "This is our home now, and while it may seem strange and confusing I believe we're going to settle in just fine," said BioWare forum user Kolomir back in 2010 when BioWare moved to the forums currently in use. The BioWare forums will be inaccessible after October 26 of this year. View full article
  6. The BioWare Forums Close This Week

    Come Friday, the BioWare forums that have been in operation for the past six years will become read-only. After two months, the read-only period will end and the forums for the Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and legacy franchises like Jade Empire and Knights of the Old Republic will be no more. In their announcement of the forum closure, BioWare stated that the decision was difficult: Our players are important to us. Your feedback, stories, and love for our games drive and inspire us. In the past, our forums were the only way we could speak to you directly. They allowed our developers to talk with fans, and gave our players the opportunity to talk with each other about our games. But with the rise of social media and geek culture, there have never been more ways for us to connect. EA and BioWare figure that since there are other online communities on sites like Reddit or Tumblr where fans of their games have joined together that makes their forums obsolete (with the exception of the Old Republic forums, which will continue to operate normally for the foreseeable future). Being able to meet fans at events like PAX also factored into their decision, according to their statement. As a result, people working at BioWare or EA have been spending less time on the forums due to having to cover all the other avenues of information. Some private boards will be spared the forum purge for future betas and special projects. It's truly the end of an era for BioWare as it moves in a new direction. That direction might not be healthy for fans, especially those who made the BioWare forums their own community. "This is our home now, and while it may seem strange and confusing I believe we're going to settle in just fine," said BioWare forum user Kolomir back in 2010 when BioWare moved to the forums currently in use. The BioWare forums will be inaccessible after October 26 of this year.
  7. Gamers, Who Are We?

    I wrote an article about gaming and friendships. If you'd like to check it out, it's here: http://www.playsomevideogames.com/gamers-who-are-we/ I wonder if any of you have similar stories of building long lasting friendships as a result of gaming?
  8. What is the Official Extra Life Stream Team? The Extra Life Stream Team is a group of our most enthusiastic community members who volunteer their time to provide a presence for Extra Life on Twitch.tv on the official Extra Life Twitch Channel. The Stream Team promotes the national Extra Life movement. The members of the Stream Team are goodwill ambassadors for Extra Life and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. They represent the very best of our community through their dedication and passion for gaming for charity while live streaming. We Want Streamers! Do you have streaming experience? We are looking for Extra Lifers who have experience in streaming for at least 2 hours on a regular (weekly) basis for period of 8 weeks to start. Are you well versed in the Extra life program? Can you talk about it conversationally? Great! Don't have a ton of followers? Not a problem. However, live streaming is a skill and while we understand many of you may want to ‘get into streaming’, we are looking for folks who have a bit of experience engaging the viewer. Don't have experience streaming? Start streaming on your own channel, follow, watch and participate in chat in other streams. You have to start somewhere! We have a core group that know their way around a stream and are experts concerning the Extra Life program. If that sounds like you, then we want to hear from you. Your time to shine and share your love for Extra Life Being on the Stream Team is being an Extra Life aficionado. To be clear this about making Extra Life visible and to encourage participation. It's not about your personal donation page (though a casual mention during your stream is permissible), your guild or team. This application is solely for the person submitting it. If your fellow team or guild members are interested, have them complete an application! The more the merrier! If you are unable to stream during your assigned time please contact the Stream Team Lead- @herobyclicking. What is expected of the Stream Team? Stream Amazing Content You’re free to stream just about anything you can "play". We are representing a children’s charity and you’ll be streaming on the official Extra Life channel, so we do require the following: You must use the official Twitch backgrounds provided in by the Extra Life team. Please, no modifications, donation alerts etc. These materials are approved by the national team and we appreciate you adhering to this guideline. NO PROFANITY AT ANY TIME (the all caps means we are serious). Keep it PG/PG-13 when streaming. Be sure to have an appropriate. family friendly screenname for Twitch, Twitter and the whatnot. Keep the content of your games to a maximum rating of “T for Teen.” No “M” rated games (and most games rated PEGI 16+, not sure? Ask!). This shouldn't be a big surprise! There are plenty of games to play outside of that rating. Get creative if you get stuck! Ask the Stream Team community if you get into a rut! Remember, it's for the kids. Use the Official Extra Life Stream Team assets when streaming. Console streamers MUST have access to a capture card and software that supports Twitch Stream Keys. (PS4 and Xbox One do not support this natively). Emulators and ROMS are not allowed on stream in adherence to DMCA. Contact the Stream Team Lead in the event you cannot stream. We are flexible and understanding of the needs of your personal schedule, just keep us in the loop. Failure to adhere to these expectations will affect your continued eligibility as a member of the team. It's all about Extra Life The primary focus while streaming on the official Extra Life twitch channel should be on promoting the Extra Life program. Your audience will be from all over North America and possibly the world. Focus on educating the public about Extra Life and encouraging them to register to participate. What does the Stream Team do? As a member of the Stream Team you will have... A regular, weekly, two hour block of time on the official Extra Life channel for at least a two month period. Depending on demand this could be extended. The opportunity to represent Extra Life to the Twitch community. An opportunity, once per hour, to promote your personal fund raising page, Guild, or Team on the official Extra life twitch channel. That warm fuzzy feeling of doing something that can help others join our amazing community. How to Apply You can check the official Stream Team Schedule for time slots. Please note that all times are shown as Eastern US time. Want to be an Official Stream Team Twitch Channel Mod? Do you have eye for trolls and know how to keep the chat rolling? Love Extra Life and have time to hang out with our streamers? Let us know! Complete the application above and select "Moderator" as the position you are applying for. Have any questions? Direct message the team leads, @allthewayj, @heartandthesynapse, @MajorLinux and @Quaseymoto!
  9. Upcoming Events

    Hi All, Just wanted to shoot off a quick note. We have A LOT of recruiting opportunities coming up and we could use some help spreading the word!! Here is a summery of what we have coming up: Chit & Bits Table Top Game Marathon @ Crossroad Games, Saturday, April 30th (TOMORROW!!!) Free Comic Book Day at Casablanca Comics in Portland, May 7th Huzzah!, May 13-19th Portland Sea Dogs Community Table- May 18th Fancy Cocktail Night- May 30th, Arcadia National Bar If you can help out, please drop either me ( @Rokaei), Justin ( @Dybree), or Nicole ( @Athena) a message!! 50K FTK!! -Jeff
  10. Hey guys! It was great to see all of you at the Guild Kick-off this week! Going forward I want to start making not only a positive impact in our community for the kids but I want us to help each other out, as well. Tell me: What makes you get motivated to go out and start making a difference? Is that something you can share with others? I want to hear your ideas! -N
  11. Sea Dogs Community Table

    Hey friends! What are your thoughts on taking advantage of a Community Table opportunity at a Sea Dogs game this year? It would be free and we'd have the chance to set up a table outside the stadium 30 minutes before the game begins. We'd also get 25 general admission tickets so we could eat our share of Sea Dog biscuits after our work is done. Let us know if you can help out today! Sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0845afaa22a6fc1-extra1
  12. . Hey there friend You don’t know me but we’re friends because we’re both involved in Extra Life. Maybe you got into it because you’ve got kids and know first-hand how important Children’s Miracle Network hospitals are. Maybe you’ve been in one of those hospitals yourself. Heck, maybe you are right now. Or maybe you want to feel a part of something bigger. Whatever your reason, giving back feels amazing. It’s what’s keeping me going. My name is Sean Rooney and I live in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. It’s a three-hour drive to our nearest CMN hospital, Alberta Children’s in Calgary. Once my 11-month-old son Dominic was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, I made that trip twice a week for the better part of 18 months. My wife Trish stayed in hospital with him while I went back-and-forth to work. Dom instantly made friends with everyone — fellow patients, nurses, the music therapist and child life support team members. When we were re-teaching him to walk after his first rounds of chemotherapy he’d chase the cleaning staff around the hallways of the cancer ward. I started a blog early on, dominicaml.blogspot.ca. Then, a friend introduced me to Extra Life. Our first marathon was the 25-hour one in 2013. Curse you, daylight savings time! I raised US$4,315, which in Canadian dollars is, like, a million bucks. Last year I raised US$8,100. I shaved my head and danced and made silly videos and whatever it took. More importantly I found a network of people all across the continent who were giving back with me. I met people in my own community. Brayden’s sister had died that summer. Krista had heart problems and still has the scars from her time in hospital. I met people outside my community. Kye, a 19-year-old gamer who’s battling cancer himself. Lexi, our guild president who puts so much time and energy into it. And Jeromy, who started this whole thing seven years ago and whose heart is legendary. Dom’s treatment was supposed to last four months. Then we found out it was worse than we thought, and he needed a bone marrow transplant. Another six months. But the cancer returned. We started some experimental treatments. He laughed and giggled, started giving people thumbs-up at every opportunity no matter how bad it got. On Dec. 24, 2014, we were told the cancer was back and there was nothing else we could do. He was given weeks to live. Dom defied the odds for 34 weeks. He visited Vancouver, getting blood transfusions every second day at the B.C. Children’s Hospital and having the time of his life riding horses, meeting pro hockey players and visiting the aquarium. Then, in Orlando for a wish trip, we got to Disneyworld. We had two hours at the Magic Kingdom because we had to go to Arnold Palmer Children’s for a blood transfusion that afternoon. They were the best two hours ever. He fell asleep in the Buzz Lightyear ride which is basically a moving video game complete with laser guns in every car. He was done. Two days later, Sept. 3, 2015, Dominic died. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, we asked for donations to Extra Life. Our #dominicstrong team has raised more than US$40,000 as a result. I hope you never have the same motivation that I do to give back. But you’re my friend, and I want you to know how important what you’re doing is. The money you earn for your local hospital helps kids like Dominic stay sane in the insanity of their situation. It provides research dollars to doctors working to cure things like cancer. And it makes parents like me feel confident everything possible is being done for our kids. So as we head into our marathons this year, let’s remember to give thumbs up at every opportunity, and put our hearts into doing what we can. These kids don’t get a break. For many of them, their entire life is a marathon. Let them inspire us and let us inspire each other. Thank you for all you’re doing to support families like mine and little boys and girls like Dominic. #DominicStrong, Sean Rooney Fellow Extra Lifer View full article
  13. . Hey there friend You don’t know me but we’re friends because we’re both involved in Extra Life. Maybe you got into it because you’ve got kids and know first-hand how important Children’s Miracle Network hospitals are. Maybe you’ve been in one of those hospitals yourself. Heck, maybe you are right now. Or maybe you want to feel a part of something bigger. Whatever your reason, giving back feels amazing. It’s what’s keeping me going. My name is Sean Rooney and I live in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. It’s a three-hour drive to our nearest CMN hospital, Alberta Children’s in Calgary. Once my 11-month-old son Dominic was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, I made that trip twice a week for the better part of 18 months. My wife Trish stayed in hospital with him while I went back-and-forth to work. Dom instantly made friends with everyone — fellow patients, nurses, the music therapist and child life support team members. When we were re-teaching him to walk after his first rounds of chemotherapy he’d chase the cleaning staff around the hallways of the cancer ward. I started a blog early on, dominicaml.blogspot.ca. Then, a friend introduced me to Extra Life. Our first marathon was the 25-hour one in 2013. Curse you, daylight savings time! I raised US$4,315, which in Canadian dollars is, like, a million bucks. Last year I raised US$8,100. I shaved my head and danced and made silly videos and whatever it took. More importantly I found a network of people all across the continent who were giving back with me. I met people in my own community. Brayden’s sister had died that summer. Krista had heart problems and still has the scars from her time in hospital. I met people outside my community. Kye, a 19-year-old gamer who’s battling cancer himself. Lexi, our guild president who puts so much time and energy into it. And Jeromy, who started this whole thing seven years ago and whose heart is legendary. Dom’s treatment was supposed to last four months. Then we found out it was worse than we thought, and he needed a bone marrow transplant. Another six months. But the cancer returned. We started some experimental treatments. He laughed and giggled, started giving people thumbs-up at every opportunity no matter how bad it got. On Dec. 24, 2014, we were told the cancer was back and there was nothing else we could do. He was given weeks to live. Dom defied the odds for 34 weeks. He visited Vancouver, getting blood transfusions every second day at the B.C. Children’s Hospital and having the time of his life riding horses, meeting pro hockey players and visiting the aquarium. Then, in Orlando for a wish trip, we got to Disneyworld. We had two hours at the Magic Kingdom because we had to go to Arnold Palmer Children’s for a blood transfusion that afternoon. They were the best two hours ever. He fell asleep in the Buzz Lightyear ride which is basically a moving video game complete with laser guns in every car. He was done. Two days later, Sept. 3, 2015, Dominic died. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, we asked for donations to Extra Life. Our #dominicstrong team has raised more than US$40,000 as a result. I hope you never have the same motivation that I do to give back. But you’re my friend, and I want you to know how important what you’re doing is. The money you earn for your local hospital helps kids like Dominic stay sane in the insanity of their situation. It provides research dollars to doctors working to cure things like cancer. And it makes parents like me feel confident everything possible is being done for our kids. So as we head into our marathons this year, let’s remember to give thumbs up at every opportunity, and put our hearts into doing what we can. These kids don’t get a break. For many of them, their entire life is a marathon. Let them inspire us and let us inspire each other. Thank you for all you’re doing to support families like mine and little boys and girls like Dominic. #DominicStrong, Sean Rooney Fellow Extra Lifer
  14. A little over a week ago, Good Old Games backed the Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter at the $10,000 level (there are only 17 hours left until the campaign concludes). As a result, developer Larian Games is allowing them to design an original character with a backstory and motivations that crosses paths with the protagonists. Not wanting to keep this power of creation for themselves, GOG has decided to involve the gaming community in a massive brainstorming session to flesh out their new hero. People can pitch their ideas in the comments section of the announcement or by using #GOGHero. When the time comes for the character to be created, Larian will design three characters that combine a number of the best ideas, all with concept art and backstories. Then the community will be able to vote for their favorite champion to become a fully fleshed out NPC in the final game. Some of the ideas being kicked around so far are a lizard paladin with a fear of chocolate, a claustrophobic dwarf who tries to pass himself off as a human wizard, and a vain 310-year-old undead with a fear of fire. Got better ideas? Then get submitting! View full article
  15. A little over a week ago, Good Old Games backed the Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter at the $10,000 level (there are only 17 hours left until the campaign concludes). As a result, developer Larian Games is allowing them to design an original character with a backstory and motivations that crosses paths with the protagonists. Not wanting to keep this power of creation for themselves, GOG has decided to involve the gaming community in a massive brainstorming session to flesh out their new hero. People can pitch their ideas in the comments section of the announcement or by using #GOGHero. When the time comes for the character to be created, Larian will design three characters that combine a number of the best ideas, all with concept art and backstories. Then the community will be able to vote for their favorite champion to become a fully fleshed out NPC in the final game. Some of the ideas being kicked around so far are a lizard paladin with a fear of chocolate, a claustrophobic dwarf who tries to pass himself off as a human wizard, and a vain 310-year-old undead with a fear of fire. Got better ideas? Then get submitting!
  16. It took me a long time to get involved in the wider gaming community. My brother and I both gamed while I was growing up of course, as did many of our friends. When I was a kid that was all that mattered since the internet wasn't yet a part of everyday life. Later though, when others were excited to play the new online games and join online communities, I tended to avoid MMO's and forums. It wasn’t so much that I was inherently asocial, it just felt safer and more comfortable keeping to myself and playing single player games. Besides, I didn't feel I had anything worth saying to anyone outside my own circles. These days, I write a blog, contribute to a website, am on a weekly podcast, try to be active on game forums, and was excited to write this piece for the Extra Life community. I have a voice and try to share my thoughts in both writing and speech. I enjoy connecting with other gamers, and this very community is one reason I can say that now. 2013 was the first year I heard about Extra Life. A friend of mine mentioned on his livestream that he would be participating and told stories about the previous year. The idea of gamers getting together for an amazing cause like Children's Miracle Network Hospitals sounded like something I'd love to do. There was only one problem: I'd never streamed, and wanted to do more than just hang out during his stream. With plenty of trepidation, I started learning the basics of streaming and was soon practicing for the main event. Streaming had always sounded like fun, which was why I tended to guest on other streams. But running a stream myself? So many things could go wrong, and I could end up looking foolish. I made myself push through my nervousness, knowing this was for something bigger than me. In doing so, I realized the community was clearly willing to help. I wasn't the only one focused on the larger goal. As the day approached, I received advice and good wishes from gamers I'd never met before. “For the kids,” bridged the gap to make an instant connection. I noticed we weren't just supporting a charity, we were supporting each other. To my surprise, I started to see a side of gaming I'd been missing out on. My stream, incidentally, went just fine. I had to close it off a couple hours early due to my laptop wanting to overheat, but the rest of it was perfectly enjoyable. My only regret is forgetting to save it before it was auto-deleted by Twitch. I felt good about what I'd done, not just in collecting donations, but in becoming a part of such a supportive community. In 2014, I didn't quite trust my laptop to hold up for a 24 hour stream. I planned to spend the day doing a group run of DC Universe Online with some friends instead. While that worked fine for hours, we had to end early due to the streamer's health. I was at a complete loss for what to do. I couldn't stream, didn't have anything planned, but didn't want to stop the marathon. Instead of heading to bed, I logged into my favorite MMO, The Secret World. At the time I didn't know many people there, but I knew a number of players were participating in Extra Life. I thought I'd tag along with them, if I could find them and they let me. If not, at least I knew I could play the game for hours. When I asked in chat if anyone was still running, the response was immediate warmth and welcome. Once again, players I didn't even know were jumping over themselves to include me and congratulate me for participating. The beginning of my connections in this game wound up being incredibly important, as those connections are one reason I later auditioned for, and became a part of, the Beyond the Veil podcast! This year, I have a new computer for marathon day. I'll be running with my friends over in The Secret World and co-streaming on my own channel. I am comfortable in belonging and excited for another chance to support the cause. I know I can reach out to other runners for support and friendship, and when I do stream I know I can ask and receive helpful advice. Extra Life is always primarily about the kids. It's an amazing thing we do each year, and it's important to keep the real goals in mind. What we do during these gaming marathons makes a very real difference to very real people. Many children of my friends and family have been helped greatly by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. I can't say enough about how valuable supporting them is. Still, the way the community members open up and support each other is also a beautiful thing to see and an important aspect to recognize. While we're doing something great for the kids, we can do something great for each other, too. As I get ready for Extra Life 2015, I'll be taking some time to welcome new participants and appreciate the old. I hope we not only break our high score for donations this year, but also bring a record number of new gamers into a supportive and friendly community. View full article
  17. It took me a long time to get involved in the wider gaming community. My brother and I both gamed while I was growing up of course, as did many of our friends. When I was a kid that was all that mattered since the internet wasn't yet a part of everyday life. Later though, when others were excited to play the new online games and join online communities, I tended to avoid MMO's and forums. It wasn’t so much that I was inherently asocial, it just felt safer and more comfortable keeping to myself and playing single player games. Besides, I didn't feel I had anything worth saying to anyone outside my own circles. These days, I write a blog, contribute to a website, am on a weekly podcast, try to be active on game forums, and was excited to write this piece for the Extra Life community. I have a voice and try to share my thoughts in both writing and speech. I enjoy connecting with other gamers, and this very community is one reason I can say that now. 2013 was the first year I heard about Extra Life. A friend of mine mentioned on his livestream that he would be participating and told stories about the previous year. The idea of gamers getting together for an amazing cause like Children's Miracle Network Hospitals sounded like something I'd love to do. There was only one problem: I'd never streamed, and wanted to do more than just hang out during his stream. With plenty of trepidation, I started learning the basics of streaming and was soon practicing for the main event. Streaming had always sounded like fun, which was why I tended to guest on other streams. But running a stream myself? So many things could go wrong, and I could end up looking foolish. I made myself push through my nervousness, knowing this was for something bigger than me. In doing so, I realized the community was clearly willing to help. I wasn't the only one focused on the larger goal. As the day approached, I received advice and good wishes from gamers I'd never met before. “For the kids,” bridged the gap to make an instant connection. I noticed we weren't just supporting a charity, we were supporting each other. To my surprise, I started to see a side of gaming I'd been missing out on. My stream, incidentally, went just fine. I had to close it off a couple hours early due to my laptop wanting to overheat, but the rest of it was perfectly enjoyable. My only regret is forgetting to save it before it was auto-deleted by Twitch. I felt good about what I'd done, not just in collecting donations, but in becoming a part of such a supportive community. In 2014, I didn't quite trust my laptop to hold up for a 24 hour stream. I planned to spend the day doing a group run of DC Universe Online with some friends instead. While that worked fine for hours, we had to end early due to the streamer's health. I was at a complete loss for what to do. I couldn't stream, didn't have anything planned, but didn't want to stop the marathon. Instead of heading to bed, I logged into my favorite MMO, The Secret World. At the time I didn't know many people there, but I knew a number of players were participating in Extra Life. I thought I'd tag along with them, if I could find them and they let me. If not, at least I knew I could play the game for hours. When I asked in chat if anyone was still running, the response was immediate warmth and welcome. Once again, players I didn't even know were jumping over themselves to include me and congratulate me for participating. The beginning of my connections in this game wound up being incredibly important, as those connections are one reason I later auditioned for, and became a part of, the Beyond the Veil podcast! This year, I have a new computer for marathon day. I'll be running with my friends over in The Secret World and co-streaming on my own channel. I am comfortable in belonging and excited for another chance to support the cause. I know I can reach out to other runners for support and friendship, and when I do stream I know I can ask and receive helpful advice. Extra Life is always primarily about the kids. It's an amazing thing we do each year, and it's important to keep the real goals in mind. What we do during these gaming marathons makes a very real difference to very real people. Many children of my friends and family have been helped greatly by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. I can't say enough about how valuable supporting them is. Still, the way the community members open up and support each other is also a beautiful thing to see and an important aspect to recognize. While we're doing something great for the kids, we can do something great for each other, too. As I get ready for Extra Life 2015, I'll be taking some time to welcome new participants and appreciate the old. I hope we not only break our high score for donations this year, but also bring a record number of new gamers into a supportive and friendly community.
  18. It's time to reach into the past and pull out our lost June Episode. Recorded, but never released until now this episode is chock full of things from June. Sit back and relax, there are some surprises in there along with much vaguebooking. So very much vaguebooking. In this month's podcast Mike learns Gum etiquette.Rick breaks down all the community and Guild changes the team has been working on.Mike Talks about all the things coming up for Extra Life this summer. With much Vague booking.Rick, Mike and Jeromy can't figure out what to share and what not to share.Liz has the final word. Mostly.Note: A portion of this episode involves a "thing" happening in February. This is Extra Life United 2016. There will not be an ELU in 2015. As our organization has moved the annual Momentum conference and celebration of our champions to February, we felt holding a stand alone Extra Life United wouldn't have the same impact. A large part of the success and impact of ELU was getting to meet the kids we play for. Taking that element away would have seriously diminished the event. We'll share full details when we have them. We just wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the change. Download the file here. Extra Life Podcast: Ep. 06 Subscribe in iTunes | RSS | Other Please note the RSS feeds may not update immediately. Please be patient. View full article
  19. It's time to reach into the past and pull out our lost June Episode. Recorded, but never released until now this episode is chock full of things from June. Sit back and relax, there are some surprises in there along with much vaguebooking. So very much vaguebooking. In this month's podcast Mike learns Gum etiquette.Rick breaks down all the community and Guild changes the team has been working on.Mike Talks about all the things coming up for Extra Life this summer. With much Vague booking.Rick, Mike and Jeromy can't figure out what to share and what not to share.Liz has the final word. Mostly.Note: A portion of this episode involves a "thing" happening in February. This is Extra Life United 2016. There will not be an ELU in 2015. As our organization has moved the annual Momentum conference and celebration of our champions to February, we felt holding a stand alone Extra Life United wouldn't have the same impact. A large part of the success and impact of ELU was getting to meet the kids we play for. Taking that element away would have seriously diminished the event. We'll share full details when we have them. We just wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the change. Download the file here. Extra Life Podcast: Ep. 06 Subscribe in iTunes | RSS | Other Please note the RSS feeds may not update immediately. Please be patient.
  20. Browsing the indie games in my Humble Bundle collection; I scroll through 33 games I have the best intentions of playing. Because I should. Because I know they are fantastic games. Because they sit in my queue looking at me sadly. My Steam library holds even more from seasonal sales and my penchant to collect digital wares. Why have I purchased so many indie titles? Aside from their generally affordable price, it’s because I should like indies, right? Why do we play indie games? Perhaps a better question is why are indie games made? I asked Dejobaan Games, Galactic Cafe, Gone North Games, Fire Hose Games, Image & Form, and Housemarque about independent game development. It’s an Indie Thing - What does it mean to be "indie" “It's an intensely personal thing. Maybe that is the heart of indie, the ability to move forward on things that are intensely personal,” shares Fire Hose Games’ Sean Baptiste. That intimacy is really a touchstone for many independent developers. Indie games have a rich recent history of being both provocative and evocative experiences. Indie games like Papers, Please and The Stanley Parable are rousing narratives that tend to get to the point and stay there. Whether with their message or function, most indie games have an opinion, usually rooted in their aforementioned passion. Brjann Sigurgeirsson with Image & Form shares similar thoughts, stating, “It doesn't have to do with how the company is set up. It’s more of a philosophy. We really want to be our own man, so to speak. We develop and publish our games ourselves. We don’t try to second guess what the market will want. But rather we want to make games that the market will embrace because of our games’ own merit.” Image & Form has managed to find a market to embrace Steamworld Dig as the title enters development on its fifth platform, the Wii U. “Nobody will love our games as much as we do. Or put as much love into both the development and publishing of it. That’s the strength that we have,” Sigurgeirsson adds. This flexibility to express opinion is of course influenced by relative autonomy from a publisher. Housemarque’s Tommaso De Benetti comments, "We are fortunate to have a management team that cares about money only up to a certain point. There is still passion in what we do. Being able to keep a degree of independence is important." Housemarque has a lineage of being independent. “Sometimes I see people say that Sony should just buy Housemarque, but we don’t want that. We have a great relationship with Sony, though someday there may be something we want to do that they are not interested in doing,” states Housemarque’s De Benetti. They intend to remain independent. The nature of being independent can shift depending on developer. Take the students who formed Gone North Games for example. Nominated for a Swedish Game Award several years ago with their prototype for A Story About My Uncle, the team began to develop a full game. Their inspiration came in the form of a directive from a class assignment. Gone North reached out to independent game developer Coffee Stain Studios, who also were nominated for a Swedish Game Award for Sanctum. The relationship forged allowed for the two independent studios to support one another. The connection between the two was markedly similar. “I think they saw something of themselves in us,” states Gone North Games’ Sebastian Eriksson. Coffee Stain agreed to publish A Story About My Uncle, which was recently released on Steam. Whether or not Gone North will continue to work with Coffee Stain Studios or self-publish is unclear, but perhaps a precedent has been set. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see Gone North pay it forward to the next up-and-coming Nordic indie developer. It has been discussed at length; the indie market has changed and continues change. The previously established champions of independent games are on their second and third passes, putting their independent status into question. “Jonathan Blow’s The Witness which looks horribly, annoyingly amazing, but is that an indie game? I don’t think it is,” says William Pugh with Galactic Cafe, creators of The Stanley Parable. “He’s already got a huge pot of money, he’s already got loads of people who played Braid. That’s not the same as the guy who made Ensign-1 on Steam Greenlight." But it seems that it is a fine balance between making games based on an artistic decision and making games that appeal to people. “At the end of the day you have to remember this is a business. We need to make games that can sell. If we don't, we have to fire people,” says Housemarque’s De Benetti. Whether your game is ready or not, you have to face the competition. Indie games are flowing to market at a relatively unchecked pace. Indies, Indies all Around - Visibility and discoverability of indie games Let’s say for a moment that indie games are a lot like baubles in a sea. Floating or bobbing up and down, making landfall and ending up a treasure on the shore. Maybe though, the sea is rife with baubles, and the shores are littered with pixel bits with little end to the tide. Once your shore is strewn with these shinies, how do you know what to take and what to leave behind? Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter have been gateways for a veritable deluge of games, though getting press and the Greenlight community interested in any given game can prove difficult. Merely being available is just a step in a process. Sebastian Eriksson from Gone North notes, “Before, getting onto Steam was like getting a golden ticket. But now there are ten or so games being released every day; it's still a struggle even though you get on Steam.” Ichiro Lambe, Founder/President of Dejobaan Games states, “It’'s all about discoverability. There needs to be a way for all the games coming out, or at least the good ones, to find their audience. I don't think that's happening yet, but it'll happen soon.” The developer’s title Drunken Robot Pornography may have found its place on Steam, with hundreds of player-created items in the Workshop. Elegy for a Dead World (currently in development), on the other hand, is an experimental writing game and may prove more difficult to find a niche. Lambe continues, “[the] indies' newfound ability to get onto platforms like iOS and Steam with relatively little pain has meant an influx of games. That's tough for established developers, as there are plenty of quality titles coming out.” With so much available in the indie game market, it can be difficult to maintain visibility. That sentiment is not uncommon among indie developers, especially those who develop primarily for PC. “The problem is that it is so wide open. Discoverability is a huge issue. It’s as wide open as music, anybody can do it, and everybody is,” says Sean Baptiste of Fire Hose Games. Fire Hose recently connected with Chris Chung, developer of Catlateral Damage. Chung's project screamed through the Steam Greenlight process. “[Catlateral Damage] was something extraordinary,” Baptiste states, “he made it through in seven days. Octodad took eight months. [Chris Chung's game] is a bit of an outlier.” Getting Paid - Making the decision of how to fund and when to crowdsource your project Connecting that game floating alongside so many others to an audience presents a challenge for developers without bulging marketing budgets. “Our marketing plan is basically screaming to avoid obscurity,” Baptiste laughs. The indie developer’s existence is not unlike that of other self-supported art mediums. The money to develop games has to come from somewhere. Independent developers may be hesitant to work with a publisher. They may surrender creative and philosophical tenets in order to have their game sent to market. That relationship between developer and publisher is an effective dynamic. “Whenever we have worked with publishers in the past you suspect they are not doing everything in their power to put out your game. There is no way of verifying that suspicion,” Sigurgeirsson with Image & Form states, “I think when you have a developer-publisher relationship there is always the risk that the developer wants to do as little as possible for as much money as possible and the publishers wants as much done as possible for as little as money as possible. In the middle is this poor, little game suffering. I think we can avoid that because we don't have a conflict of interest right from the start. Since we are doing it all ourselves, we only have the game’s best interests in mind.” While most independent games are funded privately or through copacetic publishers, some developers have seen success in crowdfunding. Whether it’s an effort to balance visibility and development support, crowdfunding can be an effective leveraging tool. “Being made aware of [a developer on Kickstarter], that’s a little stepping stone for people to be made aware of their game,” states Galactic Cafe's William Pugh. Kickstarter is used as a publicity platform as often as it is a generator for funding development. Many developers are carefully examining crowdfunding to round out development and bolster marketing. Visibility through crowdfunding combined with aiding development costs is becoming a consideration for indie developers. Though using the crowdfunding monster is not without its own set of challenges. While Kickstarter has proven successful for some indie developers, how it is perceived is varied. “I find it hard to justify the use of Kickstarter. The problem is if you see it as a pre-order. It’s weird kind of contract between the people backing and person who will be delivering. I’m wary about people asking for huge amounts of money they don’t really know how to deal with,” says William Pugh with Galactic Cafe. Being prepared is, of course, paramount. The consumer desires a degree of confidence that their contribution will garner a product. “We are looking into Kickstarting, not because we want it to fund everything, but rather to be able to insure that we get a few extra features into the game or more polish into the game,” states Image & Form’s Sigurgeirsson. Though he was sure to point out that, “it is also dangerous. If you don't get funded, it means your game is not good enough, not attractive enough.” The pitfalls of being unsuccessful are as severe as the laurels of winning are encouraging. “Any indie who is considering Kickstarter needs to take a really hard look at their project and be brutal about it before they even attempt it,” says Sean Baptiste from Firehose Games. Kickstarter also can be used to justify further funding, to prove that there is actual interest in the title being developed. Catlateral Damage has successfully completed its Kickstarter campaign, effectively reaching its niche. Finding Your Audience - Maintaining and growing your fanbase The nature of the indie tends to lend itself to smaller audiences. While this may mean smaller revenues for these titles, it also means audience with which you could actually have a relationship. Tommaso De Benetti advocates for this type of connection with gamers. “What we have been trying to do is build a friendly community. They are supportive. Sometimes people complain and they may be right. You try to have a dialogue. We are, if possible, making friends. It doesn't necessarily relate to direct sales. If you create friendliness around your game you get people playing who are willing to recommend your game. There is no reason not to do it,” De Benetti says. “Of course it helps that the games we make are good,” he continues, “it’s worth having the dialogue.” Being dedicated to your audience in earnest is important. While most companies do not have the marketing muscle, they do have the agility to interact with the individual. The individual can often have direct discussion with developers and their staff, something unlikely to happen with larger studios. ‘We work very hard to be to be likeable in social media and get the community to root for us. Now we know our communities and how to reach them. Wherever we can viewed in a positive way, it is vital, crucial for us,” Sigurgeirsson said, “We try to promote ourselves as human beings. I am talking to you, not just the company.” And this is where many indie developers shine, whether we appreciate their genuine self or not. “We wanted it to be organic,” states Sebastian Eriksson with Gone North Games, “ But its really hard. There really isn't a good channel where you can speak to the community. I've been a lurker [on neoGAF]. I was so happy when I saw thread for A Story About My Uncle.” He then laughs, “but unfortunately it died out after like ten replies or something.” Eriksson continues, “We believe in going grassroots and reaching out to smaller outlets. We will talk to someone who has just ten followers because they can be just as important.” That kind of contact can make difference as how a community grows around a game. Rallying a community around your game is nothing new. If an effective community manager or team can build a foundation for an indie developer (often managed by the indie developer themselves), this can have a significant return on investment. Your smaller fanbase can often connect to a developer on a more personal level. Social media is the most prominent place for these relationships to be formed. Follow any one of the interviewed developers and you begin to get a sense of who they are and what they want you to think about them. “We have to be super dedicated if we are not a real publisher. Meaning if we don’t have specific budgets for ads or events then everything we work through is social media,” says Sigurgeirsson. One of the more engaging means to connect with you audience new or old is, of course, Twitch.tv. If you are an indie developer (or any developer) and you are not using Twitch, you may be missing out on an incredible opportunity for audience engagement. “Twitch has identified our audience. It’s such a powerful tool to communicate directly with the people who play your games,” Baptiste states. I would be remiss if I forgot the Let’s Play community. Hundreds of thousands of YouTube views across hundreds of games creates devoted and vocal communities around games every day. Many indies encourage Let’s Plays to promote and create positive reception around their title. A Story About My Uncle utilized this avenue of support. “Let's Plays have been great for us,” Eriksson states, “lots of YouTubers have been supporting us. We decided to not put any restrictions on what people can show in the videos. The game mechanics are so unique that you can't really watch it and get the same satisfaction watching someone else do it and not want to play the game.” The Glittering Shore - The consumer reaps the efforts So, I navigate the shore of indie video games and feel overwhelmed by the treasures that beckon. I start slow, but I start. I try them on for size. Some have wooed me, most only summon a smirk, but several have floored me with their simple honesty. I have allowed a new breed of storytellers to share their tale or wrap me deep into their puzzles. The love in their games is evident and I feel personally invested because of it. Invested because they may struggle to remain relevant on a coastline brimming with other hopeful indie games. Invested because they will take the time to answer your question and strike up a real dialogue. These reasons move me to play the vast catalog I am curating. I can only hope to try enough of them in order to make room for the next tide. View full article
  21. Finding Indies - A Love Story

    Browsing the indie games in my Humble Bundle collection; I scroll through 33 games I have the best intentions of playing. Because I should. Because I know they are fantastic games. Because they sit in my queue looking at me sadly. My Steam library holds even more from seasonal sales and my penchant to collect digital wares. Why have I purchased so many indie titles? Aside from their generally affordable price, it’s because I should like indies, right? Why do we play indie games? Perhaps a better question is why are indie games made? I asked Dejobaan Games, Galactic Cafe, Gone North Games, Fire Hose Games, Image & Form, and Housemarque about independent game development. It’s an Indie Thing - What does it mean to be "indie" “It's an intensely personal thing. Maybe that is the heart of indie, the ability to move forward on things that are intensely personal,” shares Fire Hose Games’ Sean Baptiste. That intimacy is really a touchstone for many independent developers. Indie games have a rich recent history of being both provocative and evocative experiences. Indie games like Papers, Please and The Stanley Parable are rousing narratives that tend to get to the point and stay there. Whether with their message or function, most indie games have an opinion, usually rooted in their aforementioned passion. Brjann Sigurgeirsson with Image & Form shares similar thoughts, stating, “It doesn't have to do with how the company is set up. It’s more of a philosophy. We really want to be our own man, so to speak. We develop and publish our games ourselves. We don’t try to second guess what the market will want. But rather we want to make games that the market will embrace because of our games’ own merit.” Image & Form has managed to find a market to embrace Steamworld Dig as the title enters development on its fifth platform, the Wii U. “Nobody will love our games as much as we do. Or put as much love into both the development and publishing of it. That’s the strength that we have,” Sigurgeirsson adds. This flexibility to express opinion is of course influenced by relative autonomy from a publisher. Housemarque’s Tommaso De Benetti comments, "We are fortunate to have a management team that cares about money only up to a certain point. There is still passion in what we do. Being able to keep a degree of independence is important." Housemarque has a lineage of being independent. “Sometimes I see people say that Sony should just buy Housemarque, but we don’t want that. We have a great relationship with Sony, though someday there may be something we want to do that they are not interested in doing,” states Housemarque’s De Benetti. They intend to remain independent. The nature of being independent can shift depending on developer. Take the students who formed Gone North Games for example. Nominated for a Swedish Game Award several years ago with their prototype for A Story About My Uncle, the team began to develop a full game. Their inspiration came in the form of a directive from a class assignment. Gone North reached out to independent game developer Coffee Stain Studios, who also were nominated for a Swedish Game Award for Sanctum. The relationship forged allowed for the two independent studios to support one another. The connection between the two was markedly similar. “I think they saw something of themselves in us,” states Gone North Games’ Sebastian Eriksson. Coffee Stain agreed to publish A Story About My Uncle, which was recently released on Steam. Whether or not Gone North will continue to work with Coffee Stain Studios or self-publish is unclear, but perhaps a precedent has been set. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see Gone North pay it forward to the next up-and-coming Nordic indie developer. It has been discussed at length; the indie market has changed and continues change. The previously established champions of independent games are on their second and third passes, putting their independent status into question. “Jonathan Blow’s The Witness which looks horribly, annoyingly amazing, but is that an indie game? I don’t think it is,” says William Pugh with Galactic Cafe, creators of The Stanley Parable. “He’s already got a huge pot of money, he’s already got loads of people who played Braid. That’s not the same as the guy who made Ensign-1 on Steam Greenlight." But it seems that it is a fine balance between making games based on an artistic decision and making games that appeal to people. “At the end of the day you have to remember this is a business. We need to make games that can sell. If we don't, we have to fire people,” says Housemarque’s De Benetti. Whether your game is ready or not, you have to face the competition. Indie games are flowing to market at a relatively unchecked pace. Indies, Indies all Around - Visibility and discoverability of indie games Let’s say for a moment that indie games are a lot like baubles in a sea. Floating or bobbing up and down, making landfall and ending up a treasure on the shore. Maybe though, the sea is rife with baubles, and the shores are littered with pixel bits with little end to the tide. Once your shore is strewn with these shinies, how do you know what to take and what to leave behind? Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter have been gateways for a veritable deluge of games, though getting press and the Greenlight community interested in any given game can prove difficult. Merely being available is just a step in a process. Sebastian Eriksson from Gone North notes, “Before, getting onto Steam was like getting a golden ticket. But now there are ten or so games being released every day; it's still a struggle even though you get on Steam.” Ichiro Lambe, Founder/President of Dejobaan Games states, “It’'s all about discoverability. There needs to be a way for all the games coming out, or at least the good ones, to find their audience. I don't think that's happening yet, but it'll happen soon.” The developer’s title Drunken Robot Pornography may have found its place on Steam, with hundreds of player-created items in the Workshop. Elegy for a Dead World (currently in development), on the other hand, is an experimental writing game and may prove more difficult to find a niche. Lambe continues, “[the] indies' newfound ability to get onto platforms like iOS and Steam with relatively little pain has meant an influx of games. That's tough for established developers, as there are plenty of quality titles coming out.” With so much available in the indie game market, it can be difficult to maintain visibility. That sentiment is not uncommon among indie developers, especially those who develop primarily for PC. “The problem is that it is so wide open. Discoverability is a huge issue. It’s as wide open as music, anybody can do it, and everybody is,” says Sean Baptiste of Fire Hose Games. Fire Hose recently connected with Chris Chung, developer of Catlateral Damage. Chung's project screamed through the Steam Greenlight process. “[Catlateral Damage] was something extraordinary,” Baptiste states, “he made it through in seven days. Octodad took eight months. [Chris Chung's game] is a bit of an outlier.” Getting Paid - Making the decision of how to fund and when to crowdsource your project Connecting that game floating alongside so many others to an audience presents a challenge for developers without bulging marketing budgets. “Our marketing plan is basically screaming to avoid obscurity,” Baptiste laughs. The indie developer’s existence is not unlike that of other self-supported art mediums. The money to develop games has to come from somewhere. Independent developers may be hesitant to work with a publisher. They may surrender creative and philosophical tenets in order to have their game sent to market. That relationship between developer and publisher is an effective dynamic. “Whenever we have worked with publishers in the past you suspect they are not doing everything in their power to put out your game. There is no way of verifying that suspicion,” Sigurgeirsson with Image & Form states, “I think when you have a developer-publisher relationship there is always the risk that the developer wants to do as little as possible for as much money as possible and the publishers wants as much done as possible for as little as money as possible. In the middle is this poor, little game suffering. I think we can avoid that because we don't have a conflict of interest right from the start. Since we are doing it all ourselves, we only have the game’s best interests in mind.” While most independent games are funded privately or through copacetic publishers, some developers have seen success in crowdfunding. Whether it’s an effort to balance visibility and development support, crowdfunding can be an effective leveraging tool. “Being made aware of [a developer on Kickstarter], that’s a little stepping stone for people to be made aware of their game,” states Galactic Cafe's William Pugh. Kickstarter is used as a publicity platform as often as it is a generator for funding development. Many developers are carefully examining crowdfunding to round out development and bolster marketing. Visibility through crowdfunding combined with aiding development costs is becoming a consideration for indie developers. Though using the crowdfunding monster is not without its own set of challenges. While Kickstarter has proven successful for some indie developers, how it is perceived is varied. “I find it hard to justify the use of Kickstarter. The problem is if you see it as a pre-order. It’s weird kind of contract between the people backing and person who will be delivering. I’m wary about people asking for huge amounts of money they don’t really know how to deal with,” says William Pugh with Galactic Cafe. Being prepared is, of course, paramount. The consumer desires a degree of confidence that their contribution will garner a product. “We are looking into Kickstarting, not because we want it to fund everything, but rather to be able to insure that we get a few extra features into the game or more polish into the game,” states Image & Form’s Sigurgeirsson. Though he was sure to point out that, “it is also dangerous. If you don't get funded, it means your game is not good enough, not attractive enough.” The pitfalls of being unsuccessful are as severe as the laurels of winning are encouraging. “Any indie who is considering Kickstarter needs to take a really hard look at their project and be brutal about it before they even attempt it,” says Sean Baptiste from Firehose Games. Kickstarter also can be used to justify further funding, to prove that there is actual interest in the title being developed. Catlateral Damage has successfully completed its Kickstarter campaign, effectively reaching its niche. Finding Your Audience - Maintaining and growing your fanbase The nature of the indie tends to lend itself to smaller audiences. While this may mean smaller revenues for these titles, it also means audience with which you could actually have a relationship. Tommaso De Benetti advocates for this type of connection with gamers. “What we have been trying to do is build a friendly community. They are supportive. Sometimes people complain and they may be right. You try to have a dialogue. We are, if possible, making friends. It doesn't necessarily relate to direct sales. If you create friendliness around your game you get people playing who are willing to recommend your game. There is no reason not to do it,” De Benetti says. “Of course it helps that the games we make are good,” he continues, “it’s worth having the dialogue.” Being dedicated to your audience in earnest is important. While most companies do not have the marketing muscle, they do have the agility to interact with the individual. The individual can often have direct discussion with developers and their staff, something unlikely to happen with larger studios. ‘We work very hard to be to be likeable in social media and get the community to root for us. Now we know our communities and how to reach them. Wherever we can viewed in a positive way, it is vital, crucial for us,” Sigurgeirsson said, “We try to promote ourselves as human beings. I am talking to you, not just the company.” And this is where many indie developers shine, whether we appreciate their genuine self or not. “We wanted it to be organic,” states Sebastian Eriksson with Gone North Games, “ But its really hard. There really isn't a good channel where you can speak to the community. I've been a lurker [on neoGAF]. I was so happy when I saw thread for A Story About My Uncle.” He then laughs, “but unfortunately it died out after like ten replies or something.” Eriksson continues, “We believe in going grassroots and reaching out to smaller outlets. We will talk to someone who has just ten followers because they can be just as important.” That kind of contact can make difference as how a community grows around a game. Rallying a community around your game is nothing new. If an effective community manager or team can build a foundation for an indie developer (often managed by the indie developer themselves), this can have a significant return on investment. Your smaller fanbase can often connect to a developer on a more personal level. Social media is the most prominent place for these relationships to be formed. Follow any one of the interviewed developers and you begin to get a sense of who they are and what they want you to think about them. “We have to be super dedicated if we are not a real publisher. Meaning if we don’t have specific budgets for ads or events then everything we work through is social media,” says Sigurgeirsson. One of the more engaging means to connect with you audience new or old is, of course, Twitch.tv. If you are an indie developer (or any developer) and you are not using Twitch, you may be missing out on an incredible opportunity for audience engagement. “Twitch has identified our audience. It’s such a powerful tool to communicate directly with the people who play your games,” Baptiste states. I would be remiss if I forgot the Let’s Play community. Hundreds of thousands of YouTube views across hundreds of games creates devoted and vocal communities around games every day. Many indies encourage Let’s Plays to promote and create positive reception around their title. A Story About My Uncle utilized this avenue of support. “Let's Plays have been great for us,” Eriksson states, “lots of YouTubers have been supporting us. We decided to not put any restrictions on what people can show in the videos. The game mechanics are so unique that you can't really watch it and get the same satisfaction watching someone else do it and not want to play the game.” The Glittering Shore - The consumer reaps the efforts So, I navigate the shore of indie video games and feel overwhelmed by the treasures that beckon. I start slow, but I start. I try them on for size. Some have wooed me, most only summon a smirk, but several have floored me with their simple honesty. I have allowed a new breed of storytellers to share their tale or wrap me deep into their puzzles. The love in their games is evident and I feel personally invested because of it. Invested because they may struggle to remain relevant on a coastline brimming with other hopeful indie games. Invested because they will take the time to answer your question and strike up a real dialogue. These reasons move me to play the vast catalog I am curating. I can only hope to try enough of them in order to make room for the next tide.