What’s all this about, then?
When we first started talking about launching The Indie Game Website back in 2017, one of the problems we wanted to solve was the difficulty that websites have in finding space for indie game news. Indie developers often find that more mainstream games websites only publish one or two indie stories a week, and for the players, this results in a discovery problem. With The Indie Game Website – which would review 20-or-so new indie games a month and publish five or more news stories per day – we wanted to create a space where developers could make the world aware of their work, and the world could come and find it.
But as the site has grown, we’ve stumbled upon a discovery problem of our own. Back in the day, when we were just wee nippers, most of the handful of indie game announcements that landed in our inbox would make their way onto the website. Fast-forward to February 2019, however, and we’ve found ourselves in a situation where we can only pick up a tiny handful of them. What’s more, our news team – part-time, as is everyone else on the website – has found itself with the mammoth task of going through reams of emails every single day, as well as scouring the interwhizzles, other websites, social media channels, and all the rest, and discussing and deciding on what those five stories each day are going to be. Often, the biggest indie stories – the ones that were a shoe-in – were stories that other websites, with full-time reporting teams working around the clock, were able to get to first.
Plus, as both the indie game and games media landscapes have continued to evolve, we’ve found ourselves feeling increasingly restricted in what we can cover by the very definition of ‘news’. One of the great things about being an indie developer is that you’re not beholden to the classic publisher-driven PR cycle of ‘news, previews, reviews’ – you can just tell people about the cool stuff you’re doing, whenever you have something you’d like to show. But that’s presented us with a predicament on quite a few occasions. Our news team has found something awesome they want to show you all, but… is it news? Not really. Is there enough there to pass over to the features team? Not really, either.
In essence, when we sat down in the New Year to talk about what we wanted to do in 2019, trying to mould news into the section we wanted it to be became a big topic of conversation. We were spending an awful lot of time running a section that didn’t quite serve the purpose we wanted it to serve. The more we spoke, the more it made sense to shake things up a bit.
So today, we’re retiring ‘news’ as you know it. In its place, we’re introducing a new section, called ‘Daily Dose’.
This new section will sometimes contain news. As you may have seen, to get started, we’ve populated it with a small handful of previous news stories that could fit into this new approach. But it’ll also contain – quite frankly – just really awesome stuff we find in our quest to discover the most interesting indie games, and indie game-related stories, on the planet.
We wanted to remove any pre-defined restrictions on the sort of content we can publish in this section, and simply say it’s for short-form reporting on things we think are worthy of your attention – so whether it’s a cool indie game from months ago that no one seemed to talk about, a big topic of indie game conversation on Twitter, interesting insight from a developer we’ve spoken to, an epic trailer you really have to see, or something else entirely, Daily Dose will be the place it will live. The old News section will be archived here, and accessible via the link in our footer.
You’ll have noticed the name. It’s daily, not multiple-times-daily – at least, for the time being. We wanted to give our writers the chance to spend time searching for that one thing they’d really love to tell you about today, rather than feeling rushed as they frantically scribble down five stories in two hours. This means you’ll find fewer stories being published each day on The Indie Game Website, but the ones you do find will be the cream of the crop.
And to our developer friends: we’d like to assure you that this should present more opportunities to be covered by The Indie Game Website. Previously, we’d tried to hammer home the importance of coming to us with something properly newsworthy. We understand that, as an indie, that’s not always an easy task. So now, we’re loosening this guidance. Do you have something to show us that you think our audience would really love? Email us. We’d love to hear from you.
A couple of notes on what this means for our team. Our excellent news editor, Brittany Vincent, will be moving away from this section and turning her attention to review, preview and feature-writing for The Indie Game Website, and I’m delighted that we’ll be able to feature more of her long-form work on the website. Daily Dose itself will be co-run by our long-serving contributors Kate Fanthorpe and Juan Manuel Fontan, and I can’t wait to see some of the fantastic indie game goodies they dig up over the coming weeks and months.
I’m excited about the new direction that our editor, Jon Calvin, and his team have decided to take for this new section of the website. It feels like a bold and inventive way to solve a problem for both our team and our readers, while providing new opportunities for the indie development community to reach their audience. As always, if you have any thoughts or questions, hit us up and we’ll have a chat.
Lewis is the publisher of The Indie Game Website, and runs Game If You Are, the indie game network of which TIGW is a part. He’s worked around indie games for 12 years, including four as a journalist and editor, a couple as a dev, and six in PR and marketing.