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Gaming and Social Media

Tonight I’m going to talk a bit about what I have observed in the gaming industry with relation with social media.  As a marketer by profession, I deal quite a bit with social media and how users interact with companies, brands, products, and even other customers.  I’ve noticed some interesting trends when it comes to gaming.

Twitter

I’m a huge fan of Twitter and what companies can achieve when utilizing it properly.  I recently wrote about SOE’s magnificent use of Twitter to essentially open a window for their players to glimpse through.  When Twitter is used to engage, not broadcast, and the company is represented more by its employees, the result is something that I feel now trumps what the forums were to the gaming industry 5-10 years ago.

Something interesting is happening.  I’ve ceased to use official forums for games, and all I do is follow their company and employee accounts on Twitter.  I tweet directly at devs and they tweet back.  Neither of us have to give much thought or spend a lot of time because we’re restricted to 140 characters.  I can find what I want way quicker.  I lose some of the deep discussion, but I gain what I need in this day and age: bite-sized nuggets of the most important information.

Hashtags, trends, etc. hold little real value.  The gimmicky parlor tricks of social media are on their way out.  The true value is found in building a bridge so that “the big company who makes the games I play” becomes “Dave and Colette.”

We mustn’t forget about customer service.  I had two recent experiences with social media that have revolutionized the way I view the future of companies serving their customers.  The first wasn’t gaming related; I was struggling with a recent experience I had with DISH network.  I tweeted at the company, and a person responded on their help account.  He got me connected right away to another real person who solved my problem.  A similar experience happened when I had a billing issue with SOE — they pointed me right to a resource buried deep in their help center that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Twitter is interaction, and interaction is paramount.  The future of Twitter is in streamlining and improving how companies can interact with their customers.  That’s a future the gaming industry is going to embrace.  Mark my words. [Read more…]

Keen’s Goals for 2013

Making goals is a New Year’s tradition.  I want to set some goals and share them with you all to help keep me accountable.  These are goals related to the blog, gaming, and other related activities.

  • Find an MMO and stick with it for at least 4 months.

Playing MMO’s is my hobby.  Some people collect stamps, some build models, but I like to immerse myself in a good role playing game with an online community.   For the past few years I haven’t managed to stick with any MMO for more than 4 months at a time before moving on to another.  This year I pledge to find any MMO and stick with it for at least 4 months.  It doesn’t have to be a new release.

  •  Write more creative pieces about my ideal MMO

As I mentioned in my review of 2012, I spend a lot of time this past year writing about the state of what is instead of writing about how I think things could be.  In the past I have written several gems that I think get lost in the archives of the blog.  I want to revisit old ideas, come up with new ones, and really expound upon the ideas I have for the perfect MMO.

We have an awesome forum community. People come and post about upcoming games, post gaming sales, form guilds, and just have a good time talking with and meeting like-minded gamers.  Our forums are awesome.  I want to increase the traffic they receive, and keep them the same.  What I want to change are the guilds we form.  I’m not happy with how I’ve handled them, and I’m not happy with how they end up when people start to move on to another game.  If you’re looking for a guild of awesome people that can be your friends, and play more than just one game with you, then I want KGC to be the guild you want to join.  We’re going to have more structure, accomplish more, yet still maintain that unshakable dedication to community.   Come check us out in 2013.  If you played with us in the past, come back and see what has changed.

  • Live Stream More

We started our Twitch.tv live screaming two summers ago, but never devoted a lot of time or effort toward streaming regularly.  I wanted to this past year, but one thing led to another and ultimately I didn’t make it a priority.  I think it would be fun to always stream what I’m playing, or at least set up a schedule to allow our readers to watch as I play certain games.  Graev and I have toyed with the idea of a unique approach to live streaming; We think some type of review show where we regularly review games while playing them would be beneficial to our readers and even attract new visitors to the blog.

  • Ramp up our giveaways

I want to be able to give things away to our visitors.  They don’t have to be full priced games or expensive hardware.  Maybe Steam gift cards, or keys to beta tests would be enough.  Do we need to do giveaways?  No.  2012 was the busiest year for traffic we’ve ever had and none of it had to do with giving away free stuff.  It’s less about bringing people here, and more about wanting to thank you guys for constantly making my day by engaging with me in conversations, debates, and teaching me new things.

  • Newsletters

I added a K&G Newsletter widgets to the sidebar of the blog.  You can enter your email address, then confirm your subscription via email, and start receiving our newsletter.  I think I’ll send out two regular issues a month, and add additional ones for special occasions.  Maybe I’ll use the newsletter to help pick winners for the giveaways.  Regardless, these newsletters will help keep you connected to the best content on our blog.  My goal is to make it happen.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and stay current on all things Keen and Graev

As the end of the year approaches, and a rather big month in gaming begins, we would like to inform/remind you about our presence in social media and projects/plans we have coming up.

Twitter Follow us on Twitter!

We’ve been on twitter for a while now.  We try to post deals we find, point towards interesting blog topics on our blog and other sites we read, and in general communicate with our readers in 140 characters or less. Follow us on Twitter!

Facebook

We started our presence on Facebook last month.  We set up a ‘page’ for our readers or fans to ‘like’ us.  Like Twitter, we’ll be posting links to interesting things we find, deals, and most importantly using Facebook to facilitate our giveaways and contests.  We want to utilize the social media’s reach to increase our readership and reward those who show their interest in what we do here at the blog.

 

RSS Subscribe to RSS Feed

Add us to your Google Reader or your list of RSS feeds!  Our blog is really RSS friendly.

ASK Keen and Graev!

This is a new segment feature we want to promote.  Are you interested in what we think about a certain game?  Have we not reviewed something yet?  Instead of waiting for us to review a game, ask us what we think about it!  Tweet  @keenandgraev, post on our Facebook wall, email us, comment on our blog, or in some way get a hold of us an let us know about your interest in a game or headline.  We’ll either answer you back quickly or write a blog post to answer your questions.  We can’t think of any better way to grow our relationship with our readers than to ensure we’re meeting your needs.

Twitch.tv Streaming

We’re streaming all sorts of games at our Twitch.tv page.  We’ve also set up a satellite page here on the blog if you would rather watch here.  We’ll be streaming plenty of SWTOR, DOTA 2, GW2, and a variety of console releases.  Be sure to press the follow button at our Twitch.tv page to be notified whenever we go live!

Google+

At the request of some of our readers, we have moved into the Google+ arena as well.  Go easy on us while we figure it all out, but join our circle… or put us in your circles… circle us, or something?

DOTA 2 Stream

If you’re interested in watching me play some DOTA 2, check out our streaming page or  our Twitch.tv page.

Once I’m done streaming, I’ll add the recorded video to this entry.  Feel free to ask question.  I’m mic’d up.

Update: Two hour session is over.  Need to take a break to work on some homework, but we’ll be back this afternoon.  Video of the stream is processing.  When it’s up, I’ll post it here. We had a really great game!  It was Graev’s first game … and there’s a funny story behind it.  His keyboard broke so he used his iPad to connect to his PC and a Bluetooth keyboard to connect to his iPad.  Then he sat on the couch and played DOTA on the 52” tv.

Dungeon Defenders Impressions

We just finished a 2 hour session of Dungeon Defenders! It was the first time playing for all of us and we had a blast with the game. Dungeon Defenders came out today and you can get it on the Xbox 360 or on Steam.

Positives:

  • Gameplay is smooth. graphics are sexy
  • In-game shop (in-game currency)
  • Upgrading items (visit the forge, click the item on your character sheet, allocate a full meter of mana and it will upgrade the item by a level)
  • Persistent loot/persistent characters
  • Level design is really great
  • Each character feels different in how it defends.  Some compliment each other very well.
  • Addicting

Only one immediate negative:

  • Right now there are tech difficulties with the PC version.  Frequent disconnects from the server (which you’ll see in the video).

Dungeon Defenders is awesome.  You get to choose a character and progress with it.  Players choose which stats to upgrade and can choose to focus on their hero, their traps/turrets, or both.  Both heroes and traps are crucial to the success of the level.

The gameplay centers around obtaining mana. Mana drops from creatures when they die and from chests.  Mana is used as currency for buying items in the shop, placing turrets, and using abilities.  At the end of each round, any excess mana beyond your carry cap is “banked” for your use later in the shop/forge.

Items are also a big focus in Dungeon Defenders.  Monsters and chests can drop loot.  Weapons and armor follow a similar formula to Diablo and Torchlight in that they can be the same item but have random stats.  This makes me feel anxious whenever an item drops — could it be something awesome or just another dud?!

Perhaps most important of all, the game caters to groups of up to 4 players but can be enjoyed solo.  Get some friends together and watch two hours disappear.  We just did.

You can watch about an hour of us playing by clicking ‘Read More’. I highly recommend 53:35 since it is the final wave where we get rocked. [Read more…]