Several Updates, November 2014!

Hot-Chip-Atomic-Bomb-William-Onyeabor-CoverIt’s been a few months since I updated on this blog (although I’m a regular poster on Twitter, of course), so I thought it might be nice to do a brief update with the state of various ‘not my dayjob’ projects I’ve been working on. Let’s go:

Simon’s Email Musings – sparked by a wish to get a bit more ‘personal’ and write more often and informally, I’ve joined the hipster bandwagon to bring email newsletters back, heh – focusing on games, tech, and what I’m up to personally. Other smart folks like Dan Hon have been doing it for a while, and I’m archiving the newsletters publicly if you want to peruse. Here’s the first one, which includes Spike Jonze, William Gibson, Inkle’s ’80 Days’, & more. Subscribe now

MobyGames – well, the ‘canonical video game info/credits’ site that we saved about 11 months ago is still truckin’ along well, after we (site owner Reed and myself!) reverted its code to the original version (and improved it quite a bit!) Our news section has all the regular updates around new content – here’s a recent post that I wrote that made me happy:

“CalaisianMindthief pointed out on the forums that we’ve gone from 76,000 games (strictly speaking, ‘game SKUs’ – each individual platforms release counts!) on Jan. 1st 2014 to 88,000 today – adding 12,000+ game entries in under 10 months! This even compares very positively to my searches of the Wayback Machine for the period before the revitalized community under ‘new management’. There were 62,000 SKUs at the end of 2011.

So basically that’s: 14,000 SKUs added in _all_ of 2012 and 2013, but 12,000 SKUs and counting added in 2014 so far! Super impressive, and thanks to _all_ who added games and other content so far in 2014. Also notable: we’ve gone from 520,000 screenshots at the end of last year to 630,000 screenshows now, another super impressive stat, esp. given every single one was hand-picked and taken by a user!”

Our only problem is with code updates for the site. Due to the archaic Perl-based codebase. MobyGames’ owner Reed has a dayjob so can’t update it, and we’ve found a Moby contributor who might be able to help, but we’re still working with him on terms to help out. Watch this space (hopefully!)

Video Game StoryBundle – The fourth bundle back in August was the latest video game-themed PWYW eBook bundle to date for me – we took a short break. But there will be a special mini-bundle before the New Year, and then we can look forward to four Video Game StoryBundles in 2015 – one roughly every 3 months, starting in January. Still having a _lot_ of fun (alongside StoryBundle’s Jason Chen!) working with folks like Boss Fight Books and a _whole_ bunch of other amazing writers, zine creators, and more. And our bundles have raised almost $10,000 to date for various writing charities & SpecialEffect, so that’s even more neat.

Games We Care About – I was very excited about this concept when I launched it back in June, and it’s actually worked out fairly well. The Twitter account for daily discovery of playable games that I (and others!) ‘care about’ has almost 3,500 followers, and most individual game picks have a total of at least 10 Retweets or Favorites. And c’mon, ‘The Illogical Journey Of The Zambonis’? Yesss.

The only change has been a decrease in frequency from 4 games a day to 2 a day, and now to 1 a day. I think I was getting a bit overexcited, and after the initial rush, it seems better to have one classic daily game pick than a whole load of titles…

And finally, there’s the dayjob as well, of course – currently most of the way done with a mammoth trip that’s taking me from San Francisco to Istanbul, the UK, and finally Brazil. And then back home to check out the Luaka Bop vinyl lot that should have arrived! (Yay, William Onyeabor, pictured!) Happy almost Xmas (and definitely almost Thanksgiving!), y’all…

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