This weekend, Gumpy Function released a heart felt letter to the GB community. If you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend you do, as it goes into far more detail than we can share here and addresses many of the concerns we’ve had as a publication recently. To be clear, this article is not a reaction to Gumpy’s essay. In fact, much of his letter discusses conversations we’ve had in our organization (Gumpy being a big contributor to it), and he sought our input when writing the letter as well.
We’ll get right to the point, GB Studio Central is in a unique spot and we have considered the various points discussed about the issue surrounding honest game reviews and how we approach Spotlights. If we were like any other publication, this wouldn’t really be an issue, we would simply write honest reviews and hope they benefit the consumer. But we are not a consumer publication.
We started GB Studio Central as developers, and our goal was to help foster the community and encourage folks to try their hand at developing games through GB Studio. All of our articles are created with this mission in mind, which is in part why we chose the “spotlight” format. Our intention is to bring to light games and developers we think have something to offer to the community, and to encourage learning through being exposed to them.
However, as the publishing of new Game Boy games have become more commercially viable and publishers have put out more works than we can keep up with, our spotlight format doesn’t work for projects that the larger home brew community might shell out their hard earned dollars for.
So how do we address it? What approach are we going to take to keep our professional and personal relationships strong while also being honest to ourselves and our community?
Here’s what we arrived at. We will continue to spotlight smaller free or “Pay What You Can” projects by independent developers. Even ones that offer small physical runs of their games will be eligible, but we will not address whether a game is “worth” buying or not, that is not our place. Our spotlights will remain a way to shine a light on projects we think are worthwhile to the community.
Games that are getting larger releases will still be represented, but we will be taking the Interview approach with these projects. We think talking to the developers and getting their insights on the game creation process and how they approached their workflows are the best net gain for the community while not excluding their projects and still bringing them to light for the larger community.
Is this the right approach? We think so, but we also know we’re not always right. We’ll do our best to continue trying to be a centralized resource for the community, but our team is just a handful of voices in the community. We know things change and adapt over time and we’ll continue to try and adapt with them.
Thanks to everyone who continues to support our endeavours. We are continuing this journey after 3 years, 200 articles and 2 issues of a physical magazine, and we are looking forward to what comes next.
Audio Engineer, Mac Technologist and Video Game Developer. Managing Editor of GBStudio Central. (he/him)