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GameMakerBlog Acquired by Hikati Games LLC

Hikati Games LLC has purchased GameMakerBlog

Hello to all GameMakerBlog fans and GameMaker: Studio developers from Hikati Games; as readers of this blog know from the previous post by Mark: GMB is up for Sale! GameMakerBlog has been up for sale and the short of it is: I contacted Mark and talked with him about the current GameMakerBlog, the future of the blog and of course the community. I am happy to say that all answers I got from Mark were encouraging, supportive and only made me appreciate GameMaker: Studio even more for creating this opportunity; after all the blog and great community backing it would have never been created if the original Game Maker  software didn’t come first. Having said that; I think a longer explanation is in order to describe Hikati Games, why I contacted Mark, and what plans are in the future for the blog.

Who is Hikati Games LLC and what are their goals?

Hikati Games LLC is a very small Indie game development company. I am the co-owner of the company and responsible for the media relations and partner business accounts. This includes managing the Steam, Kongregate, Android and IOS developer accounts, all social media and advertisements. I also work full time as a devops software developer in a corporate office (devops comes with the added bonus of being on-call 24/7 as well), but I love programming and primarily use java at work. I got into game development after talking to the other Hikati Games co-owner who had been doing game development for a few years and having a great time; so as I started thinking about alternative side work to do and considering I play hours of games when not working it sounded like a perfect fit. Hikati Games has a few current projects lined up which we are very excited to share with the world, as long as some people enjoy our work that is enough for us. Our main goals are to accomplish things, whether that is making games people love or just learning how to program better as long as progress is being made then we are satisfied with any results that come out of it.

Why was Hikati Games looking at GameMakerBlog?

Hikati Games already had a few Indie game projects in development and one of the first things I did was start testing out different game development platforms; a few months ago, I had the great opportunity to try out GameMaker Studio 2 closed beta for MAC and was blown away by the ease of use and how quickly I could get working prototypes of my visions working. This led me to investigating all things GameMaker: Studio and this blog was hit upon more than once. I was enthralled by the prior articles and posts, the history of Game Maker, the Indie interviews and the game reviews. I also went “all in” with GameMaker Studio 2, purchasing export licenses to support all upcoming Hikati Games projects: HTML, PC and IOS/Android. Since purchasing the licenses I have been non-stop programming, building and exporting to all targets and everything has been working extremely well; I cannot be more pleased with GameMaker Studio 2 yet I know they are still actively enhancing the engine everyday. Given the great impression GMS 2 had on me I began to think about how I could best get involved in the community, ask questions, develop relationships in this space and also get the word out that Hikati Games is going to be releasing games; during this contemplation I found myself still visiting GameMakerBlog and looking through past posts and thinking about what it would be like to own a blog of this magnitude and importance (at least important to me). After some debate and fact checking I decided to contact Mark to really see if I could make this a possibility.

Mark? Great guy or Greatest guy?

From my first email with Mark I knew this was a genuine honest guy who had the best interests of this blog at heart, which is kind of what I expected from reading his posts. Everything Mark says comes branded with integrity that you can feel through the words and phrases he chooses to use and this was reinforced during our conversations. I want to say right now, I learned a lot about what Mark was doing behind the scenes and the amount of work and effort he was putting in is phenomenal and staggering, there are pending interviews, pending posts, posts in draft, entirely new ideas that were in progress, many twitter conversations about upcoming events and so much more. I was blown away by how much work Mark had done and can fully understand the daunting quest I was about to take over. So before we go further: Thank You Mark for putting in countless hours and blood into reviving GameMakerBlog, I know this blog has changed hands in the past and this is never something easy to do but you did a great job and wish you the best in the future. After a few more conversations we reached a mutual agreement that this would be something that:

  1. Mark could feel good about handing off, no-one ever wants to give up a project that they poured hours into and see it turn into something drastically different.
  2. I could feel confident in having an outlet and direct connection to the community on a proven platform

Full disclosure, to follow in the footsteps of Mark: The amount paid for GameMakerBlog was $2500, no negotiations on either side; I respect that Mark sold it for cost instead of trying to get a quick profit. It shows his dedication and honesty and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to do business with. The accounts that have transferred under Hikati Games LLC control are:

  1. Blog: GameMakerBlog
  2. Twitter: @GameMakerBlog
  3. Facebook: GMB
  4. Patreon: GMB

Cool story, now where is the new content?

With the details done and the explanations given I can now move on to the part most readers will care about: What happens next?

I have the following short term goals planned for the blog:

  • Start making posts and content in the form of
    • Technical Reviews of the different game development engines I tested
    • GameMaker Studio 2 example code that I am working on
    • YOYO Games Marketplace asset reviews
    • Game Distribution reviews such as Steam, Kongregate and GameJolt
    • Game Reviews – assorted
  • Engage more on twitter and facebook
    • This includes general posting and responding to direct messages

Longer term goals are:

  • Add games to the HTML5 Playable Games section of the Blog
    • I will be making games using the HTML5 target in GameMaker Studio 2 and posting those to start
    • Anyone who wants to submit games to go on the Blog can contact me through the contact form: Contact Us
    • I have some leads to pursue that Mark was previously working on
  • Integrate Hikati Games projects into the Blog
    • Offer first looks
    • Beta testing
  • Build up partnerships with Indie developers and publishers
    • More is better and the bigger our network gets, the more content we can share and post

Advertising and making revenue

The very last part I want to talk about is on the topic of making money, as should be no surprise running a blog costs some money and without revenue companies go bankrupt. To that end I have thought about what kind of revenue streams should be attempted and which should be avoided and I have the following guidelines so far:

  • I really like Mark’s Amazon Affiliate ideas
    • Using Amazon Affiliate links I can control exactly what gets shown. I will be mostly targeting books since knowledge is power.
    • I choose for now because they at least have a clean advertiser list, I am weary of using anyone else that might serve up a questionable ad
    • It is recommended that you put an ad in the middle of your posts content, I do not like ads that detract from reading my content, so for now image ads only on the top stripe and sidebars.
  • Google Adsense: maybe
    • While Adsense may be the biggest ad network, they are also the pickiest and like to impose rules
    • I might try them in the future but not right now
  • Sponsored Posts
    • This would be on a case by case basis and I would personally review each one
      • I would much rather just write a post about a product or new game rather than charge someone
  • Premium Service
    • This is a long term goal and would not be realized until at least a year from now
      • It would tie into the Play Games section of the blog
  • Patreon – GMB
    • I will be redesigning the Patreon rewards to make them more appealing – or at least trying to
      • If anyone has a specific request for Patreon let me know, I will see about adding it

I can assure you all that this blog will not turn into an ad ridden mess, I do not enjoy reading sites that have annoying popup ads, especially those full screen “wait 5 seconds to click Close” ones…they are seriously annoying. I only want ads that mean something and to make sure that if someone clicked the ad it was because they wanted to; not because it was in the way or the post magically shifted down and you ended up clicking an ad.

If anyone has ideas on revenue or advertising, please drop me a line: Contact Us. This is all pretty new to me and would appreciate any and all ideas.

Final words

I know this was a long post with no real information but it is one of those obligatory things that should be done when ownership changes, it just feels wrong to start posting without giving a full disclosure of what is happening. You might see the style of the posts change, they might also be unpalatable at first, please bear with me as I get better. As a programmer I might write too much in a facts only type way, if so please leave a comment or contact me to tell me what I should change. If there is any topic or area you want more information in, just let me know; I will research whatever is interesting to the community and give what I can. I wish everyone a good reading experience and hope we can all prosper together from this new partnership.

Thank you all and Thank you Mark,

Hikati Games

Hikati Games LLC Logo

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  1. To be honest, I am going to miss Mark :(. He was really thorough and comprehensive in his posts. I wish him the best of luck.

    As for Hikati Games, welcome. We are also a small indi game developer who primary employ the GameMaker engine as well. We look forward to some of your future posts. Wish you the best of luck as well.

    • I could not agree more Maria; the depth and insights Mark put into each post is one of the primary reasons I got interested in the blog.
      We will do our best to serve and hope that everyone can find some value in our posts.

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