Well, there’s no top 7 list today, nor a review anything else along those lines. In fact, today’s post won’t even directly be about retro gaming. Instead, we are going to be doing something a little different, obviously.
I wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who reads this blog, watches my streams, chats in the 16-Bit Tribe Discord and/or follows me on Twitter. You guys are all incredibly awesome, and thanks to you all, I had a huge surprise last Friday.
A Huge Thank You
So last Friday, the UK Blog Awards went live on YouTube to announce the winners for their awards for 2019. One of their categories was Gaming, and I was so extremely proud to be nominated. It was an amazing feeling. Then, to get through to being a finalist was incredible. However, the point in which my brain exploded was on Friday when they announced that 16-Bit Dad had won the Best Gaming Blog 2019 award!
That is insane! And it’s all thanks to you guys!
Every single one of you that has read a post on here, or interacted with me in some way, helped drive 16-Bit Dad forward. You helped me get to this point, and I will be forever grateful! Along the way, there have been some things that really hit my confidence, but you guys pulled me through. So yeah, thank you.
Don’t Let Others Break You
As a way of giving something back, I wanted to share the one really important thing that I have learned over the past 2 years, and share the story behind it.
For the first 6 months of blogging, this site was getting about 200 visits per month. It was small, but I was so happy that 200 people cared enough about what I was writing that they came to look at the site. It was, at that point, where I started getting small companies wanting to work with me in a variety of ways. After a couple more months passed and I’d done work with a few companies, I decided to take the first step for a change and contact one business that I wanted to work with.
The response that I got was heartbreaking. They said that this site was an extremely low-quality blog that would “never be worth their time to look at” and that they would never work with me.
That message hit me like a tonne of bricks. I had been pouring my heart and soul into this blog, spending around 20 to 25 hours per week on the site on top of my full-time job and my family time. Yet, here was a company that I wanted to work with, telling me that all of my time and effort were wasted on a low-quality blog. It was so disheartening.
However, rather than give up, I decided that I wanted to prove them wrong.
So, I kept slogging away at the blog, pushing as much as I could to grow. Over time, more and more of you awesome people found the site, and it grew with every month. Now, about a year and a half later, we hit over 15,000 people reading the blog in one month! From 200 to over 15,000! That still blows my mind.
On top of this, I’ve been able to work with a whole host of companies, many of which are much bigger than the one that put me down. I’ve been able to do a semi-interview with the director of my favourite game, and the blog has gone on to win the aforementioned award. Oh, and I’ve since been contacted by that same company asking to work with me – I just replied with a copy of their previous email.
And that leads me nicely into the point of this story; no matter what someone says about the content that you are creating, don’t give up! You’ll get there, and you’ll prove them wrong! Don’t give up on something you love just because others try to put you down.
A Look To The Future
So now that you know that, and the fact that I am not giving up, it’s time to look forward and start thinking about what the future of 16-Bit Dad is. So far, we have a blog and live streaming on Twitch. But I want to make sure I can give you guys the best content I can, in a variety of ways. Therefore, I have a few ideas (some of which have already started but only just).
For those who follow me on Twitter, you may have already seen that I have finally come up with a tag line for 16-Bit Dad. This tag line now defines the focus of what 16-Bit Dad is moving forward;
Obscure Is The Cure
Specifically, this refers to the fact that I am not a fan of repetitive game design and churning out a reskinned version of the same game every single year. I prefer experimentation and originality in game design. I prefer to games that don’t get the huge advertising budgets and the massive following.
So, I’ll be doing a lot of posts and showcases for games that you may have missed because of how prominent the “big” games are. I want to share these games with you so that you can find new and exciting games to experience. And to do that, there are a few ideas that I am going to be implementing over the coming months.
As it seems that people prefer reading my top 7 posts over more focused reviews, I’m going to focus on doing those lists more than other types of posts. That way, I can share some of the games that you may have missed. But don’t worry, I won’t be doing a tonne of “hidden gem” posts… MetalJesusRocks already covers that side of retro gaming pretty damn well.
Instead, I’ll be focusing on games that you should play but probably haven’t; games that did not get the publicity they deserved or games that are just downright weird but enjoyable.
Over on Twitch, I’ve been doing two streams per week based upon two “categories”, as it were. Specifically, on Fridays, I have been playing through Retro Games such as Final Fantasy VIII and Legend of Dragoon, whilst on Saturdays we have been playing through Modern Games, starting with Persona 5.
However, I am now adding an extra stream on Sundays.
This stream will feature a random retro game, different each week. The game will be chosen from a Master List of games using a random number generator, and once a game has been played, it can’t be chosen again. Oh! And the Master List can be added to by anyone in the 16-Bit Tribe Discord, so you can add any games you would want me to try out and stream, as long as they are at least 10 years old and not HD games (as I don’t have a capture card that can handle HDMI yet).
For a while now, the 16-Bit Dad YouTube channel has largely been used to back up my streams on Twitch, with the odd unboxing or pickups video thrown in. However, I want to actually spend some time on getting new and unique content for the YouTube channel.
On Twitter, I recently ran a poll to see whether people still enjoy Let’s Play videos.
— Gareth @ 16-Bit Dad (@16bitdadblog) April 14, 2019
As you can see from the results, it was a resounding win for the idea that Let’s Play videos are still relevant and enjoyable. As such, I will be adding Let’s Play series onto YouTube in the coming weeks. I plan to record quite a few 15-minute episodes at one time, in order to give consistent content for a few weeks at a time. This means that you get good quality content on YouTube without me having to sacrifice the content for the blog or Twitch!
I’m also looking at other ways to expand the content offering on YouTube, but haven’t finalised any ideas yet.
And That’s All Folks
In the end, there wasn’t really an amazing point to this post. I really just wanted to say thank you to every single one of you, and discuss my plans for 16-Bit Dad and how I can give you all more content. I hope you are as excited about the future as I am.
If you have any suggestions on what content you would like to see, then feel free to leave a comment below!