MoeGamer turned three years old back at the end of April, and this April also marked a year since the launch of “MoeGamer 2.0”, the current format of the site featuring monthly Cover Games.
You may have noticed a few behind-the-scenes tweaks and pokes over the course of the last week or so, in which case you’re probably wondering what’s going on. (Or perhaps you didn’t notice at all as yet, in which case consider this an official “announcement” of sorts.)
Today I’d like to talk a bit about these new changes, what I’d like to achieve in both the short- and long-term with the site, and unashamedly ask you to continue supporting the site!
Gravity Rush 2 (PS4)
The most notable new feature for “MoeGamer 2.5” is the addition of Hub Pages for all the games that have been covered to date on the site. You can see a full list of these (including links to the Hub Pages in question) on the All Games page, or the Cover Game and Mobage menu items in the top navigation bar also link to Hub Pages where appropriate.
A Hub Page is a place to collect all the information about a particular game in one place. It includes a short blurb to summarise what the game is all about, some pertinent information about it (including platforms it’s available on, with links to digital storefronts where available) and a list of articles about the game.
In the case of Cover Games (here’s Dungeon Travelers 2 as an example), these will be listed first in their own section, in chronological order. This means that unlike the old default category listings, the Introduction to the month’s features on the game will now appear first rather than last, making navigating the full coverage of the game much more straightforward and logical.
Dungeon Travelers 2 (Vita)
Then comes a list of other articles about the game, in reverse chronological order — most recent first. Note that this list is based on tags, so the articles listed here may not be specifically or solely about the game in question, but will mention or discuss it fairly prominently.
After that comes a gallery of artwork and screenshots from the game in question, including the ability to comment on specific images if you so desire. And beneath that comes a comment section for the game under discussion on the Hub Page; this is where to go if you want to talk about a game, but don’t want to attach your comments to a specific article!
On the rare occasions when I run giveaways, the Hub Page comments are also where the competition will take place; at the time of writing, for example, I’m running a giveaway for Steam copies of Nekopara vol. 0, 1 and 2, so drop by the Nekopara Hub Page and reply to the appropriate comment at the bottom of the page to try your luck! (Closing date Friday August 4, 6pm UK time.)
The aim of the Hub Pages is to turn MoeGamer into an ever-expanding encylopaedia of Japanese (and, as ever, Japanese-inspired) gaming. While the Cover Game format means that some games will inevitably get a lot more column inches than others, everything you find on the All Games page (and, by extension, the Hub Pages) will provide some information that will hopefully be helpful or at the very least interesting. Games that just get a passing mention will not be added to the All Games list; the intention for that page (and for Hub Pages) is to highlight the games which have had articles in which they are either the main or at least an important point.
So that’s already in place, which means I can start looking forward to what comes next! With July’s coverage of Nekopara now drawing to a close, I have a number of games and visual novels primed and ready for the Cover Game treatment over the course of the next few months. The tentative plan for now is to cover Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood in August, then in subsequent months (I haven’t quite decided the order yet, as it will depend on how long each takes to get through, and whether I feel like doing multiple visual novels in a row!) to look at classic (and still not officially localised) visual novel Fate/stay night, MangaGamer’s recent and long-awaited release of Rance 5D and Rance VI, the much-maligned and widely misunderstood PS2 RPG Unlimited Saga (which I freely admit I absolutely hated in my early 20s so am keen to revisit from a more mature perspective — and with a lot more tabletop gaming experience), plus Gust’s new titles Blue Reflection and Nights of Azure 2, Falcom’s Ys VIII and perhaps Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash.
Nights of Azure (PS4, PC)
As ever, the Cover Game features will be punctuated by one-shot and Essentials articles about games and visual novels I find interesting or otherwise noteworthy, so if you’re reading this and you’re a localiser/publisher/developer/distributor of such titles and have something you’d like me to take a look at, please feel free to get in touch. (Please note that despite my ongoing coverage of Granblue Fantasy and Fate/Grand Order, I will generally not consider mobile games for coverage, particularly if they are free-to-play; both GBF and FGO are particularly interesting cultural phenomena in their own right as well as being solid games, making them an exception to my typical rule.)
Now, longer term I would like to expand MoeGamer further. Firstly, I want to get my hands on a Nintendo Switch, since it’s looking more and more like this is going to be many Japanese developers’ platform of choice, particularly as the Vita slowly winds down. These are not cheap, particularly while they’re out of stock in a lot of places, but getting one will let me cover an even broader range of games here on the site. If you think you might be able to help with that, read on.
Splatoon (Wii U)
I’d also like to upgrade the site itself with things like media hosting and audio/video players rather than having to rely on YouTube videos when discussing soundtracks and music, and I want to start providing more in the way of video content. Both of these wishes have associated expenses — a subscription to WordPress’ premium services in the former case, and the necessity to pick up some decent quality capture/streaming hardware in the latter — so here’s where I do the shameless thing and ask you to consider supporting the site.
There are several ways you can do this. Firstly and most simply is to share MoeGamer’s content on social media. I don’t get any money from ad impressions — any ads you see give money to WordPress, not me — so it’s not about clickbait, but obviously the more people reading my work, the more people willing to show their support in various ways. You can hang out and chat with me on Twitter, and this is also where you’ll see links to articles as they’re posted. I don’t really have a prominent presence on any other social networks or forums, but feel free to share my articles on Facebook, Reddit and any other sites you frequent.
Secondly, doubtless you’ve noticed the “Buy Me a Coffee” buttons dotted around the site. These are effectively a one-off “tip jar” where you can throw me a dollar or two either as a simple show of support, or specifically to show your appreciation of a particular article I’ve written. The provider for this feature, Ko-Fi, is safe, trustworthy and widely used by creative types across the Internet, so if you want to chip in something towards the things I mention above but not commit to regular contributions, this is the way to go.
Thirdly and finally, you can become a Patron via Patreon, a service where you can pledge an amount of your choice per month to show your support for the site. Even just $1 a month makes a huge difference, believe me, and many other Patreon creators agree; every bit of support is incredibly valuable and massively appreciated!
VA-11 HALL-A (PC)
I’m currently offering two digital rewards for those generous enough to sign up for ongoing support in this way: pledge $1 a month or more and you’ll get access to my Patrons-Only feed on Patreon, where I’ll be posting some more immediate thoughts, impressions and reactions to games and cultural phenomena; pledge $5 a month or more, meanwhile, and not only do you get access to the Patrons-Only feed as with the $1 tier, you’ll also get monthly wallpapers featuring MoeGamer’s mascots Midori, Yumi and Penelope. Down the line I have a few other, more substantial rewards in mind to offer, but those will have to wait until I have a few more Patrons!
I firmly believe MoeGamer provides something very different to most other gaming sites out there, and it’s a project I’ve greatly enjoyed working on ever since I started it. I’m delighted so many of you already support the site in various ways, and I’m excited about the future.
Katawa Shoujo (PC)
Whether it’s your first time here, you’re a regular reader or you’re a full-on paying Patron of the site, I’d like to offer you a heartfelt thank you for showing that you care about what I do. The work I do here already means a great deal to me, and knowing others enjoy and appreciate it makes it all the more worthwhile.
Here’s to more games, more good times and many, many more words on these pages.
July 31, 2017
If you enjoyed this article and want to see more like it, please consider showing your social support with likes, shares and comments, or become a Patron. You can also buy me a coffee if you want to show some one-time support. Thank you!