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Introducing Hit Points, a newsletter about the game industry, by me


Nate Dogg III
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I do wish you well with it, but for balance I don't get the point of it - though I am definitely not your target audience in fairness, as I never read Edge and the only gaming stuff I read is here or ResetEra - I don't care for any 'proper' gaming website. I certainly have no interest in getting an email every day either (are email newsletters even a big thing these days?) You can therefore safely disregard what follows.

 

I just read about half of the pieces you have on there but none of them told me "...why it is happening and why it matters," so it didn't feel like it was hitting your own brief. I didn't feel like I was getting some unique insight or a different angle on things, either. The pieces are also too short to really get into any juicy details or find a rhythm (#11, for example, sounds like it might be going somewhere but it just ends) or a bit too try hard to be clever/funny (the eggs benedict setup in the Xbox not-E3 piece just felt awfully contrived and I just rolled my eyes at it.) Ultimately I'm not sure it feels much different to reading news items on, say, Eurogamer - which is probably a bit of an insult considering your aims for it.

 

Again, I do hope it is a success, but it currently feels a bit like a solution searching for a problem rather than the other way around.

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Just caught up with a few of the posts already up and enjoyed them a great deal so look forward to reading more whilst wishing you the best of luck with it...

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47 minutes ago, Gabe said:

I do wish you well with it, but for balance I don't get the point of it - though I am definitely not your target audience in fairness, as I never read Edge and the only gaming stuff I read is here or ResetEra - I don't care for any 'proper' gaming website. I certainly have no interest in getting an email every day either (are email newsletters even a big thing these days?) You can therefore safely disregard what follows.

 

I just read about half of the pieces you have on there but none of them told me "...why it is happening and why it matters," so it didn't feel like it was hitting your own brief. I didn't feel like I was getting some unique insight or a different angle on things, either. The pieces are also too short to really get into any juicy details or find a rhythm (#11, for example, sounds like it might be going somewhere but it just ends) or a bit too try hard to be clever/funny (the eggs benedict setup in the Xbox not-E3 piece just felt awfully contrived and I just rolled my eyes at it.) Ultimately I'm not sure it feels much different to reading news items on, say, Eurogamer - which is probably a bit of an insult considering your aims for it.

 

Again, I do hope it is a success, but it currently feels a bit like a solution searching for a problem rather than the other way around.

 

I will never not write about Eggs Benedict. I should probably update the About page to reflect that.

 

I take the point about hitting the brief, to be fair. That's partly about me still settling into a rhythm with it, partly the pre-E3 lull, and partly just me being me. Will definitely bear that in mind — thank you for taking the time.


And yes, newsletters are a thing again. It's not something you can make a fortune doing unless you've got a big existing following or some sort of rightwing grift (suggestions welcome, etc) but there are a number of people making a killing off it, and a bigger number of people that are doing okay. 

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is the aim to be the games version of Popbitch (without the need for a top lawyer on retainer) or that new sports email newsletter called the Upshot (he's gone down the route of 1 free mail a week and 2 paid for versions with supporters).

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53 minutes ago, Gabe said:

(are email newsletters even a big thing these days?)

 

They’re pretty big, GRANDAD! Twitter is looking to get in on it, too, so it has potential to be something everyone knows about.

 

If you’re after a quick, digestible bit of content in a subject then they’re certainly a better use of your time than here and Reset Era.

 

Other than this topic's newsletter, I recommend Money Stuff from Matt Levine at Bloomberg. Breaks down the financial news of the day and acknowledges how ridiculous the systems are. 

 

Of course there are also people writing longer form stuff but that’s not my jam. 

 

(I’m not sure why you think this newsletter is try-hard but you happily read Reset Era!)

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16 minutes ago, Gotters said:

is the aim to be the games version of Popbitch (without the need for a top lawyer on retainer) or that new sports email newsletter called the Upshot (he's gone down the route of 1 free mail a week and 2 paid for versions with supporters).

 

I love Popbitch (though the only bit of it I read every week is Old Jokes Home) but the volume of ads shows the perils of being completely free these days. I haven't read the Upshot, but that's more the sort of structure I can see this thing heading towards over time, yeah.

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I enjoyed what I read, it was definitely interesting to me.

 

I do wish the pieces were a bit longer though, and once a day would be too much of a commitment for me!

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Will you do a weekly (enough content to make it daily IMO) column pointing out all the ways @Lyrical Donutis crap at games? You can start at fighting ones, that should give you enough to write about for a good few months.

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48 minutes ago, QuackQuack said:

 

They’re pretty big, GRANDAD! Twitter is looking to get in on it, too, so it has potential to be something everyone knows about.

 

If you’re after a quick, digestible bit of content in a subject then they’re certainly a better use of your time than here and Reset Era.

 

(I’m not sure why you think this newsletter is try-hard but you happily read Reset Era!)

Well as I said, I'm not the audience for it and newsletters have passed me by (I've never signed up for one as I get enough email to read through work, I don't need that in my personal life too).

 

As for Era and here, I don't use either particularly as news sources, I just like reading people's opinions of stuff and the back-and-forth. Yes, Era is try-hard and the pandering to industry folk can be a bit cringeworthy, but you can avoid that stuff when you aren't looking to read every latest tid-bit of info the minute it hits the news cycle.

 

1 hour ago, Nate Dogg III said:

I take the point about hitting the brief, to be fair. That's partly about me still settling into a rhythm with it, partly the pre-E3 lull, and partly just me being me. Will definitely bear that in mind — thank you for taking the time.

Yeah, I figured it might in part have been wanting to get some content on there and would settle down over time. Perhaps at some point I might dip in and out of the web version if that's the case if the articles start to be fleshed out a bit, still won't be interested in the newsletter aspect though.

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So this reminds me a bit of Future Gamer which I loved. This was pre broadband and basically every week you got a zip file which was basically a website that had news, reviews and other things. So you could spend an hour a week reading a website without the dial up costs.

 

Without looking at this though an email a day just sounds way too much. I already get about 30 emails or various spam and actual stuff I want a day so this I think would very quickly get lost in all that. Is there a website version too? Doesn’t have to be fancy, could be the email as a web page. Or maybe a weekly larger email?

 

Also why have you not gone the Patreon route for payments/subs? That seems the route literally most creatives go for and whilst it’s tough itself it’s well known.

 

Either way I wish you the best with it, I may subscribe as it sounds interesting if a little too much!

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Today's edition was highly enjoyable, and I quite like the idea of getting an email like this around 5 o'clock that indicates it's sort of time to stop work. Or at least, stop avoiding work.

 

I'm not sure whether I'd prefer smaller emails every day, or a longer one once or twice a week. I used to love getting Need to Know in my inbox every Friday, it was a little event at the end of every week. Although maybe the frequency is the point - with Twitter, I'm used to getting news about games almost in real time (or at least, as soon as you can reverse engineer the jokes people are making), so it's good to read something on very recent news more substantial than a tweet and more personal and conversational than (say) a Eurogamer piece.

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Really enjoyed the few I read today. The little bite sized news (or gossip, or whatever) combined with a little ramblings (no offence) of industry internals and opinion suits me perfectly.

 

Ive little to no interest in mainstream games journalism any more.

 

Good luck and I’ll be reading.

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On 09/06/2021 at 01:30, Nate Dogg III said:

 

I'm thinking about this a lot too. For one thing, I worry about running out of steam. I also worry about being annoying. My hope is that it'll be an email people actually (gasp) *like* to receive, and maybe even look forward to. But I know I've also signed up for stuff in the past and been, like, ugh, not you again. So there's definitely a balance to be struck.

 

For now I think daily makes sense for a few reasons. The first is simple momentum — trying to get as many people to see it and sign up as possible, so makes sense to have a regular presence early on. With not-E3 coming up there's plenty of stuff to write about (or soon will be), and a lot of interest in it. And to be honest after all that time on Edge... while I really liked having that extra distance from the news cycle, I'm enjoying being able to be faster, and more frequent with this thing. And I like the length of a daily one. It's digestible for the reader, and a lot of fun to put together. I personally am a lot more likely to read a daily email of about 800 words than a weekly one of, like, 2,000 or something. 

 

I dunno though. Lots to think about. Fun stuff!

 

Thanks everyone for reading and the feedback, really appreciate it. Over 500 signups in two days, which I certainly wasn't expecting. 

Little and often is way better if it’s coming to me in my email inbox. If it’s too long I “save it for later” and never look at it again. 

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A newsletter! That's a very exciting term. I imagine it as an actual old school newsletter.

How you we make that happen, including shipping?!

Daily please. Got to be a market for it. Recent news, delivered to your door.

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On 09/06/2021 at 09:30, Nate Dogg III said:

 

I'm thinking about this a lot too. For one thing, I worry about running out of steam. I also worry about being annoying. My hope is that it'll be an email people actually (gasp) *like* to receive, and maybe even look forward to. But I know I've also signed up for stuff in the past and been, like, ugh, not you again. So there's definitely a balance to be struck.

 

For now I think daily makes sense for a few reasons. The first is simple momentum — trying to get as many people to see it and sign up as possible, so makes sense to have a regular presence early on. With not-E3 coming up there's plenty of stuff to write about (or soon will be), and a lot of interest in it. And to be honest after all that time on Edge... while I really liked having that extra distance from the news cycle, I'm enjoying being able to be faster, and more frequent with this thing. And I like the length of a daily one. It's digestible for the reader, and a lot of fun to put together. I personally am a lot more likely to read a daily email of about 800 words than a weekly one of, like, 2,000 or something. 

 

I dunno though. Lots to think about. Fun stuff!

 

Thanks everyone for reading and the feedback, really appreciate it. Over 500 signups in two days, which I certainly wasn't expecting. 

 

So far I've definitely enjoyed your daily emails but, yes, there is definitely the concern of burnout fatigue. I've got a few daily emails that if you miss a few just just building up in your inbox and then you just get out of the habit of reading them. 

 

I don't think there needs to be a set schedule for the emails, if it is an interesting week then 1 a day is good, if it is a slow week then none is fine. The daily emails I tend to give up on are where they come every single day even if they have nothing interesting to say in them. That's when I tend to give up. 

 

I would say, so far, I'd probably prefer to receive the emails in the morning so I can read them on the way to work or at my desk with a coffee. I do find morning emails get read more than afternoon/evening emails where I might not be looking at my emails as much. 

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