By modeps 17 Comments
Despite not being very vocal, I've been a member of the Giant Bomb community since before the site was a wiki. But I've held a dark secret. I've been secretly making video game websites since 2000. Back then, I started a community called Kerneldump based around phpBB 2. Instead of being smart and paying money to host it in some datacenter, I threw a linux based Pentium 2 together and ran it out of my condo with no backup. Yeah, you can probably see where this is going.
Kerneldump grew fairly large, we had lan parties, we interviewed Harmonix about FreQuency and Amplitude, then the goddamn thing crashed and burned and never came back. At that time, my roommate had lost interest in helping run a video game website and we were both getting married. So life moved on... but I still kept going.
Next up was Gamer's Pouch. It was more or less a project I wrote in PHP and MySQL to help learn both. It was a game cataloging website where the database was built by the community. I had a decent amount of people on there, but unfortunately, once people added their database of games they had no reason to come back so it stagnated. Lame.
After that I rolled a new website called Sochl, based on the database and concepts of Gamer's Pouch but with a... get this... more "social" focus. Users stlll built the database and added information, and added their own collections, but there were a slew of tools that would help you find others who owned the games you did, and if they were online, even help meet up with them through messaging and stuff. It was pretty rad, but I was a dude with one other dude helping on and off. Despite being my most ambitious project up until that point, no one, at all, used it. It was super depressing... so I decided to stop straight building sites.
Around the time Sochl was being stagnant, Giant Bomb launched and I had moved on to be the newly appointed Editor in Chief of EvilAvatar.com. That was a volunteer gig. During this time I built up a nice little editorial staff, started a podcast, wrote a bunch of reviews, and made some rad relationships with people in the industry. It was cool and a great opportunity, but around the time of my third child's birth, it was time to leave. My real world job was changing for the better, and I had grown tired of the news thing.
Then, the staff I had helped foster convinced me to get going on a new project. As stated before, I was way done with that stuff. I wasn't going to build a site but this time, there were people that were eager to do that aspect. After some hemming and hawing and planning, we went for it. We knew we didn't want to do news, we didn't want forums, but we needed a few hooks to entice people. Splitkick was born.
Through multiple conversations and brainstorming sessions, we decided that we'd do two podcasts with two groups of folks (Tuesday and Thursday), focus on editorials about the gaming industry, and reviews. But our review process is something different. When we're playing games, we let everyone know with an "Open Review" allowing the community to post questions about what they're personally interested in with a specific game. We then compose the review into a more personal one, focusing on the points brought up in the questions.
On top of that, when reviewing a game, we track how much 'fun' we're having every time we sit down with a game. We give each session a score, 1-10, and the final score of a game is an average. Hell, we even chart it out so you can see about where the high and low points with games are.
It's very low pressure, a bunch of cool people, and, I think, some interesting concepts to drive a site. Considering I'm the podcast host of Rocket Jump, I think that show is radical too. If you feel like checking it out. I'd love any feedback on any of the aspects of the site.