Those of you that still frequent this blog for its amazing resources will know that Matthew posted this final post way back in March 2015, over 18 months ago now. It was with this post that he declared the end of his contribution to this blog and the time-consuming maintenance that comes with running a site of this nature. Having run several websites concurrently in the past, alongside a full-time job, I know how hard it can be to find the time to give the time required to deliver article after article. I guess what I’m saying is, I totally understand Matthew’s decision and think it was the right thing to do for him and the community.
Who the hell is writing this and how did you get the blog?!
My name is Mark Smith and I’ve been into game development as a hobby for several years now, but over the past two years I’ve found a passion for blogging. I’ve recently sold my first two sites (both in totally unrelated niches) and was looking to embark on something a little different. My initial plan was to get into game dev more seriously but then, as I was dusting off my copy of GameMaker Studio and searching the net for resources, I stumbled across this blog again…
This led me to approach Matthew about the blog to see if he had any plan to sell, clearly he did otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this today but the sale wasn’t as simple as just handing over some money. Matthew had a very clear idea on his requirements to ensure that the community remained at the heart of what this blog delivers and I’m sharing his criteria as a compliment to him and to demonstrate to the community that he wanted the best for you all and wasn’t willing to let it go to just anyone.
Primarily I’m interested in finding someone that meets the majority of these criteria:
> has the commitment to maintain the site long-term
> has the motivation to post regularly even when news is slow
> has a thorough understanding of GameMaker’s history
> has experience with running a website (or ability to learn quickly)
> can maintain an unbiased viewpoint when reporting news
What followed was a series of conversations between us where ultimately I committed to delivering the above and demonstrated my desire to carry on the good work of Matthew and his predecessor, and creator of the blog, Philip.
And here we are, I’m now the new owner and I have to say that I’m pretty excited to have such an incredible blog and community to work with moving forwards.
What Now For GMB?
I’m sure many of you were very disappointed with Matthew’s previous announcement
For the most part the look of the site won’t change. The current design is clean and minimalist which is part of why I like it! I’ll be making the social media accounts (Twitter & Facebook) more prominent and adding a new contact form to allow game developers and writers to get in touch if they wish to be featured on the blog.
From a content perspective, you’ll start to see regular posts that will include the latest GameMaker news, game reviews and hopefully some kind of tutorial series if you think you’d find that useful. It would be great to team up with some experienced GM:Studio users to produce something of high quality to give something back to the community (if you’re interested then get in touch using the contact form).
In addition to more frequent posts, there will be the occasional giveaway – the first of which will be very soon so keep an eye out! I’ll host interviews with developers to find out what they love and hate about game dev and will pull together their recommended tools they use alongside GM:Studio.
Another idea I’ve had is around putting your projects more in the spotlight and in front of a bigger audience than you may have access to if you’re just starting out. I think I’ll start this by highlighting crowdfunding projects for new games due to be made in GM:Studio to help get the funding off the ground. I’m also quite keen on the idea of showcasing some of the incredible pixel art that is around these days. I’m seeing more and more of it and it amazes me just how talented people are at art!
Finally, I’d like to host the occasional game jam competition too – I haven’t put too much thought into this yet and I know there are a lot around already so maybe there’s no place for it but it would be cool for this community to come together to produce games in GM:Studio en masse.
I’m under no illusions that there’s a lot of work required to bring this blog back to its former glory. Site visitors have declined over the years and I’ll be working hard to rectify that with great, regular content. If you’d like to get involved, then please comment below or use the contact form in the sidebar.
Also, for your own piece of mind, this blog is my sole personal project and so I don’t foresee encountering the same issues in terms of lack of time to maintain the site previously.
Just to be clear, Matthew Bowden is in no way connected to the site although he remains a keen user of GM:Studio and so I hope he’ll stick around in the community :). His own personal blog can be found here.
I’m looking forward to playing a very active role in the community, welcome to the next chapter for the GameMaker Blog!