Thinking about the future of this forum...

Discussion in 'Digital Distribution & Mobile Game Applications' started by Drac, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    The other day I caught myself thinking that as time passes this forum being "Steam" exclusive seems a tad short-sighted.

    Steam is still no doubt the primary digital distribution service for many TOGers as well as the community chat and game organising tool most of us use outside of these forums (it's replaced what we used x-fire for) but it seems half the threads in here are now about alternatives to purchasing from Steam. I've no doubt steam will remain the primary social tool for most but perhaps this forum shouldn't be just about steam moving forward.

    There are now quite a lot of Digital Distribution service around:

    Steam
    GameFly (GF making a push into direct sales)
    Impulse Driven (has a lot of great exclusives)
    Good Old Games (old games rule)
    GamersGate (good steam alternative)
    Green Man Gaming (also a good steam alternative)
    GamesPlanet.com (not sure if this is meant to be global)
    Direct2Drive (not the crappy service it use to be)
    Intel AppUp Center (focused on netbook capable games)
    Apple - App Store (The Mac App store has a lot of games)
    PlayGreenhouse.com (Penny Arcade's Digital Download store)
    Origin (EA's "Steam")
    Games - Xbox.com (Yes, this is actually for PC Games - Microsoft being as confusing as ever)

    Not to mention everyone's new favorite online store for boxed games:
    OzGameShop - Video games for PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, DS, PSP, PC & Mac

    And some other unique services like MOD : DB's Desura which is kinda like a netural Steam inspired platform, a social gaming platform that also has good mod integration (as you would expect from mod db):

    Games & Mods | Desura

    Not to mention, where do we discuss all of those indy bundle deals and other specials that come up? Currently there's no general forum for stuff like the following:

    The Humble Indie Bundle #3 (pay what you want for five awesome indie games)
    Indie Games Bundles | IndieGamesPack.com
    The Indie ? Bundles

    Everything I've linked to here has one thing in common, it's about us, as gamers, getting/finding/downloading/accessing awesome content and games. I guess we could also lump gaming related toys/shirts/comics/books into the mix here.

    I propose we start thinking about how we might adjust the trajectory of threads in here to foster a wider discussion of game related content moving forward. I'm not sure what we'd call it, a lot of words come to mind like portal, gateway, highway, cosmos, shovel, oven, crate ect but nothing really grabs me.

    I'd love to hear everyone else's thoughts and ideas about this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
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  2. Sp!at

    Sp!at Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you Drac. I guess this forum started to capture the online community/digital download combination that Steam has come to represent but it is now getting a lot of competition. The games themselves should fall into the other TOG categories so it does seem a little pointless having this forum now. It's nice to discuss where specials are and also it is important to talk about the price increase for Australians through Steam but that could be done in a generic forum as well.
     
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  3. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    I don't think this forum is pointless, I'd even say it's vital we have a place to discuss how we acquire games and a forum to comment on news, community focused tools, mods, store specials ect.

    There's also currently no place to discuss many indie games as they don't always fit into the big broad categories the other public gaming forums define. For example, were would you discuss Portal or Braid/Super Meat Boy/SPAZ/Audio Surf or any of the other hundreds of cross-genre or mould-breaking games that are around today?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  4. Sarge13

    Sarge13 Retired Captain

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    I cant see why TOG does not do the same thing Hell have you seen our player base it is huge not as big as Steams but big enough that you could make a decent amount of money out of it if you played your cards right.
    And being backed by TOG we would corner the market on the prime target age as well.
     
  5. MMOGAddict

    MMOGAddict Well-Known Member

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    Should rename the forum to :

    "The Retail Alternative"
     
  6. Rage

    Rage Retired Moderator

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    Not the name I would have chosen, but very much my thought. Just to be able to post up cheap prices on games or whatever :) I find the name "Steam" to be fairly ... restrictive.

    I like the idea of having a section (or whatever) for game related merchandise, like you suggested Drac.
     
  7. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    Was thinking we probably wouldn't want something too retail orientated as to not attract spam as this is a public forum and I think it's important we still have a place to discuss community/technical/feature/news orientated aspects of Steam, Mods and other services.
     
  8. Reoh

    Reoh Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Drac, I'm always posting news about various games and I don't always have a spot for it if its not on steam.

    How about "Digital Distribution" then? :)
     
  9. Sp!at

    Sp!at Well-Known Member

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    Digital Distribution sounds good. I guess the main reason peeps are using services such as OzGameShop getting boxed versions is because of price.
     
  10. Rage

    Rage Retired Moderator

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    Call me old fashioned, but I still like to have something physical for my money :p UNLESS, the price just doesn't justify it ie. Borderlands for $7.50 ;) or I can't wait for delivery :)

    I like the name, Digital Distribution.
     
  11. Brootal

    Brootal Well-Known Member

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    I agree the general context of the forum in both name and it's description need some thinking over. For instance the post about borderlands being on special on steam is cross posted into shooters and steam (not complaining, just pointing it out) What about COD/Battlefield, Champions Online? All really have forums elsewhere that they belong in, but are also steam distributed.

    Even pricing from various distribution methods digital or ozgameshop or whaterver can be discussed in relation to the appropriate game or genre forums.

    While everything can be posted elsewhere, what I think the steam room actualy is, is a melting pot, where you can get a cross genre look at what's going on in gaming particularly in the indie and anything sub "AAA". A general gaming discussion channel. If I want to think about shooters I can go to the shooter forum, but if I just want to see if there's anything new I haven't noticed, it's most likely to pop up in what's currently called the steam room.

    There are occasionally specific steam questions, how do I... perhaps steam still warrants a sub forum somewhere for that, but not mainstream.
     
  12. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    Digital Distribution sounds so cold and boring. Need something more game~ish like The Price of Pixels or something just totally abstract to keep the melting-pot vibe happing like Brootal mentioned - The Holodeck or something cyberspacey.
     
  13. Reoh

    Reoh Well-Known Member

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    "Melting Pot" :)
     
  14. Sarge13

    Sarge13 Retired Captain

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    I am a whole hearty supported of steam and I believe that Steam deserves and should have it's own Main Stream thread just for the Size of it.
    That said though there should also be one for digital gaming downloads thread to incorprate the other competitors.
     
  15. Reoh

    Reoh Well-Known Member

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    I think it would be good to help us as a community get the best deals. :)
     
  16. Thermal Ions

    Thermal Ions Retired Captain

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    I agree that a formal broadening of the forum via a name change would be appropriate. The content seems to have already moved that way with discussions of: specials at other digital distribution sources, indie packs not necessarily tied to specific services and alternative online retailers.

    My suggestion:
    "Online Bits and Bytes"
    (The melting pot of online and digital distribution goodness)

    Similar to The Laboratory, there could possibly be some prefix options available for threads which did specifically relate to a given major service, e.g.
    - Steam
    - GOG
    - Digital
    - Online
    - Indie

    Or, OP's could simply manually prefix along the lines of "[Steam] Summer Sale Specials", "[Indie] New Indie game you must check out" or "[Online] Pre-order discount code at Ozgameshop".

    The later might be better in fact to avoid the whole issue of digital distribution preferences and debate - particularly as a public forum. I'm probably reluctant to have subforums for different distributors such as Steam. I don't think the number of posts happening here warrant it and I think it might just fracture some discussions.
     
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  17. Mixa...

    Mixa... Retired Captain

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    I agree with Sarge...Steam is by far far far the biggest digital distro and as such deserves it's own forum. However, I like the idea of a place to discuss DD and cheap deals. Why not start a new forum below steam still in the public section called Digital Market or something.

    If not, go with Thermals suggestion
     
  18. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    +1 from me. Would also force someone to re-think the sticky posts.
     
  19. Mixa...

    Mixa... Retired Captain

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    yeah...for one we'd need a sticky explaining how to use the forum...Being public we'd get a lot of unlabelled/miss-labelled posts.
     
  20. Sarge13

    Sarge13 Retired Captain

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    True that should just be about steam and Steam products
     

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