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Change is finally coming! For months we've been hard at work on a new project that will hopefully exceed unikGamer in every way. The journey has been long but we're seeing that light at the end of that damn long tunnel and we should be able to launch our open beta in the middle of July.
For almost 3 years, we've managed to build up a great community and I can honestly say that I'm proud of it. Your presence on this site is something that I'm thankful for and will never take for granted. So, after all this time, the least I could do is to tell where we're going from here and WHY.
Some of you might already know this but here's my little story. My name is Pape, I'm French, play basketball for a living and I happen to love videogames very much - so much that I could never have a decent conversation about videogames (outside of CoD & NBA 2k) with anybody around me. That's kinda how my idea of creating a site where we rank & share our favorite games was born. So, back in 2007, I've started the project and got some help (not for free) from my buddy Kir'k and finally got to this point. To be honest, it wasn't easy at first but you're probably all aware of how hard it is for a starting website to get off the ground without being got kicked out of 50 forums, lol. Anyway, it was still a great experience since I ended up with a fun & wonderful site AND I also got to confirm with my own hands what was the greatest game of all-time.
About two years ago, I started to hunt VIPs to share their list on unikG - which is tough, by the way, when you know nobody in the industry - and the team from EpicBattleAxe have been nice enough to share their lists on our site and even talked about to give us a 2,000 member boost. Daniel Kayser - someone of you might know from Gametrailers - has approached me and asked me if I wanted to do something like unikGamer but with everything (I mean everything). In my mind, I always thought of having sister-sites to unikG (for movies, music and such), so I said yes without hesitation, plus I love his podcast.
Since then, we've been working on that new project encountering a loooot difficulties but we made it so far.
Sooo, what is this new website about you might ask?
It's simple! In a nutshell, it's a sort of unikGamer that will include way more subjects than videogames. Just like unikGamer, you will be able to rank a lot of stuff. Here's the list of everything we can rank so far:
We can rank almost anything. Right now, if I wanted I could setup a list of your "Favorite First-person shooter on Xbox 360 that came out in 2005 with Co-op only" in 30 seconds.
Believe me but it's working so far and I think it's awesome. Today, I've got around 20 people (all our mods are part of it) testing the site and the closed beta is going pretty smoothly. Unlike unikG, everyone is able to add or edit the pages they want to rank. Instead of adding pages myself, we've prepared all the tools for you and I'm going to do a big moderation job.
Usually gamers (me included) do not like big changes and I'm aware that some of you will not like the broad direction that we're taking but that's the road I've decided to take. Some might also be worried about the fact that this new site might attract non-gamer members since we're going to reach a way bigger audience than gamers but I think that's essential to what we're trying to achieve.
So, that brings another topic that is "money". unikGamer was never about making money and probably got 300 euros in 3 years at best. I admit that it would have been cool If I could making a living with it but life is not that easy, lol. I actually never needed it anyway since my job gave me more than enough to buy every systems/games I want! :D
I'm going to be frank with you - Today, things are different now and here are details of my personal situation. I'm now 33 (very old in basketball years), coming off a wrist surgery that has yet to fully recover and I have a wife and 2 kids to feed, so I'm not going to lie to you: this project is the perfect transition opportunity for me and my family and I'm going to take it and give my 100%. So, yeah, unlike unikGamer, this new site will try to make some money. I'm not trying to be rich - just trying to make an honest living and doing something that I love. Will it work? I don't know but at least you know my intentions from the start.
Things are surely going to be different and it's going to take time for some of you to get use to it but I can promise you that the overall experience will be better. Despite all of this, my number one priority is and will remain to make a FUN site. As a gamer (Daniel as well), gaming will always have an important (probably the most) place in the site but the only thing I cannot promise is the charm of having a small intimate community like unikG - that said I'm not saying we can't have a great community on this new project. This forum will be new, better and you are the people that will shape it since you are going to be the first ones there. The future "mainstream" (big quotes) members will - for the vast majority - probably use the "facebook-like" features that we've implemented instead of the boards.
Also, with the help of Daniel and his connections, it will easy for us to attract developers, journalist and big players in the videogame industry to share their favorite games and one thing is for sure: he's excited about it.
This new site is in closed beta right now and we intend start our open beta next month if everything goes well. Starting Monday, I'm going to invite about 1 member once a day to test things out. So, if you get in, I'm just asking to keep things to yourself like the name of the site among other obvious stuff.
Technically speaking, we're in a pretty good spot right now - however the design of the site still needs a lot of work but we're getting there. On a side note, you will be able to transfer over your lists, microreviews and grades. The unikGamer board will still be accessible in an "Archive" thingy in the new place.
I really like what we got going there and I hope you guys will enjoy it as well!
Let me know if you want to volunteer and I'll give priority to the oldest members - that have been a driving force of unikG ;-)
Again, starting Monday , I'll select beta tester a day!
- Applebane (4148)
Friday, June 14th, 2013 at 06:36 pm, by Papissama.