GPG Turns Three!

On this day three years ago, I created the Steam curation page known as Gold-Plated Games. I had been reviewing games for about a year and a half before that, and had almost a hundred to my name, but that was the moment that Gold-Plated Games became a presence unto itself. Since then it has grown into quite a presence itself, with over a thousand curation followers, hundreds of group members, thousands of visitors to the website, and over 600 reviews to peruse. Every year I like to look back on what we’ve accomplished together since the last anniversary, and look forward to what we’ll be aiming for in the new year. So, let’s recap, shall we?

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Picked up the cash flow

My main goal for 2018 was to start bringing in money from my work via Patreon, and we have very much succeeded in that. Launched in April, our Patreon page quickly overtook our first modest goal to keep the website funded, meaning that for pretty much the whole year we’ve been in the black thanks to your donations. More recently, we reached our second goal which has allowed me to hold Reader’s Choice nominations and votes on games you would like me to review. Our first choice was Wuppo in November, and I’ll have a review of our second one, Settlements, very soon. Nominations for the next Reader’s Choice review will open up tomorrow, so be sure to check back in on our Patreon page for that!

Bringing in money from my review work has been a huge step for me, and it’s an important sign of how valuable my writing is to my readers. It’s also the start of a long road to eventually becoming a full-time independent reviewer, so every dollar donated is very much appreciated. We’re closing in on our next goal, an updated one at $50 to cover two Reader’s Choice selections instead of one a month, so if you’re not a patron now would be a great time to start!

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Opened up the stream

I’ve been wanting to branch out into streaming for years now, and with the additional funds coming in from Patreon I decided this was the time to start. And honestly, the response has been almost overwhelming. Our Twitch channel reached Affiliate status almost immediately, and in the scant four months since launching we’ve already racked up nearly 200 followers and over 20 subscribers. In response I’ve expanded my original two streaming nights a week to four, including a new retro console streaming night every Saturday made possible by reaching 25 subscribers. We also held our first prime-time marathon stream on November 30th, which was a smashing success with over 40 concurrent viewers. Our next marathon will happen at 250 followers, and I’ll be adding more consoles to our retro lineup and new kinds of streams as we tack on more subscribers.

I’ve also had to deal with the fact that my normal streaming time (9pm PST) is less than ideal for most folks, so I’ve expanded our reach to a YouTube channel where I upload and organize all of our past streams. If you can’t make it out to Twitch, you can always keep up with my exploits on YouTube and possibly help expand that into its own thing.

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Grew up

In addition to all the new media, our traditional reviews have also expanded their reach. The website has had a full year to grow and mature, and in that time we’ve had over 25,000 views from more than 7,500 visitors. These are still modest numbers for a website but they have trended upwards steadily, and more and more of our visitors are arriving via search engines which means Gold-Plated Games is becoming more of a known presence on the web. Similarly, our curation page has more than doubled in size in the last year, breaking past a thousand followers and reaching thousands of page views a day instead of just hundreds. Every review I write is another opportunity for new readers to find GPG, and that work appears to be paying off in a very steady way.

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Moving up to 2019

So, what now? GPG has expanded in new and exciting ways in 2018, and fulfilled the biggest goals we set for ourselves. For 2019, I want to continue this by growing everything we’ve established. I plan on focusing on review quality and content regularity, as introducing streaming to my repertoire threw off a few of my series and schedules. At this point I’m spending four nights a week streaming, which leaves only three to focus fully on writing and other tasks. Streaming is going to be a major part of what I do this year, seeing as how explosive its growth has been, but I don’t want my review work to suffer because of that.

That means a few changes to our overall schedule for the coming year. The first change is that I’m only going to be doing one regular Steam review a week, on Fridays. I’ll still do the Weeklong Roundups on Mondays, and I’ll be posting something every Wednesday but it may not be a review. I want to return to covering free indie titles and game jams, and when I don’t do those I’ll review something short and sweet on Steam, but the substantial reviews will mainly be on Fridays. I also want to pick back up with mini-reviews, but I haven’t decided on a regular schedule for those. Just keep an eye on your Steam activity feed for weird little reviews of weird little games!

The other big change is that Roguemas is cancelled. Yes, 2018 is to be the last year I celebrate Roguemas, but all is not lost! You see, the winter months are a huge, stressful crush for me because of Spooky Games in October, Roguemas in December, and Plaformebruary in February. I love all of these series but it simply doesn’t leave enough time to cover them all well, and with streaming on top I just can’t keep up anymore. So instead of Roguemas, the summer series we run every June is going to permanently become a roguelike series. That means three regular month-long series a year, with several months of prep for each:

  • February – Platformebruary
  • June – Summer of Rogues
  • October – Spooky Games

I’m hoping that this schedule will leave me time to do one solid review a week, get ahead of review series by leaving four months for each, and still stream four nights a week without losing quality on any of it.

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All of this is possible because of your support. Whether you’re a reader, follower, viewer, subscriber, or patron, your time and attention have made Gold-Plated Games the success it is today. My goals for 2019 are to simply grow everything we’ve done, with more of you following along and helping to expand our capabilities. I want to double our views and visitors on the website, double our curation followers again, reach 500 followers on Twitch, and grow our patron and subscriber bases as much as possible. These are ambitious goals, and while it’s unlikely I’m even hoping to reach Twitch Partner this year if the stars align, but it all feels possible because of how much support I receive from each and every one of you.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you one again for giving me the opportunity to do what I love. I love writing, I love streaming, and I might just be able to do it full-time someday with your help. For now I’ll continue doing what I love and making it as good as I can, and I look forward to another year with you along for the ride.

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