FWD Progress: Midsummer Check-In

DeathSpank Cover ArtI’m surprised it’s been so long since my last update, at one point I was writing one of these every day. I guess we’ve settled into a groove and there just isn’t a heck of a lot to report these days. I’m trying to write some game reviews, Nathalie is always on the lookout for news round-up materials and we’re always scouting for new feature articles.

I still plan to rebuild the site from scratch and introduce some community features, but frankly it’s hard to take Game Forward offline when we’re starting to see consistent month-to month traffic increases and more visitors than ever clicking on our ads and bookmarking our site. Read More...

I’ve got several minor tweaks in mind that I’ll be working on in the next couple of weeks. I need to install a better sitemap, fix some layout and SEO stuff and I’m still trying to drive more traffic to our Facebook page, so I’ll try adding a “like” and maybe implement Facebook Connect.

The concept I had for a “gently used giveaway” sort of fell through. I’m not 100% sure on legalities and we’ve been trying to keep our budget in check by trading in games more often. Because we primarily review downloadable titles, we’ll set up giveaways for points cards instead. This will also allow us to make the giveaways worldwide and not be limited by language or shipping costs.

Nathalie has put a good 15 or 20 hours into Puzzle Quest 2. She has been playing it a lot since it came out, usually for hours at a time. I’m pretty sure it’ll last her over 100 hours, so I’m forcing her to start her review this week. From what I played it’s a fantastic sequel with a lot of variety and a streamlined character progression.

I’m currently working on The Oil Blue, which will be the first PC game reviewed at Game Forward. It is a management sim that tasks you with drilling, producing and selling barrels of oil and also requires you to make repairs on the fly. It has a great near-future atmosphere and a somewhat realistic (not to mention timely) narrative.

I’ve been chipping away at several downloadable titles including Jett Rocket and Joe Danger, but lately I’ve been completely fixated on DeathSpank. It’s a wonderful Diablo-lite, dungeon-crawling, loot-grabbing game that’s brimming with personality and silliness. I should be done with it next week and will start my review after that.

In a few weeks, we’ll be taking our now annual trip to Toronto to take in a couple of Blue Jays games and recharge our batteries. Fall is just around the corner and we can’t wait to get our hands on PlayStation Move in September and Kinect for Xbox 360 in November. We’ll also line up some great features and maybe, if we’re really lucky, begin development on our first game using the XNA Game Studio.

Thank you as always for reading Game Forward. Please follow Brian and Nathalie on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Help support Game Forward by checking out another article before you go.