12/03/2017

☆ The Games Freezer: 4 Years In The Making ☆

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The Games Freezer was switched on nearly 4 years ago on the 3rd of May 2013

This little chiller has been humming away ever since and over that period of time has seen me learn how to run a website

After a few requests from Freezer Followers for me to spill the beans on how Games Freezer came about, I thought I'd put it all down in a blog post so as you can see how it all started..... 

Are you sitting comfortably?

I shall begin......Once Upon A Time.....

Press Start

When I initially started out in 2012 I actually set up a property website called Property Notepad which still exists today.

It was a project I took on as I wanted to ensure that I utilised all my spare time in the evenings more efficiently rather than just watching TV. I had recently become a father and all of a sudden realised how precious free time is when your life is consumed with caring for a child. It was a wake-up call for me that I needed to use my time more wisely as life is too short.

I set up Property Notepad and got some great feedback and a decent following on Twitter in my first year. However, after a year of Property Notepad it felt that my passion for the subject matter was dwindling slightly. I didn’t feel like I could write about it every day and it became a struggle rather than an excitement.

Whilst setting up and running Property Notepad I learned many useful lessons in Website building, HTML, and Social Media. These skills could be transferred onto my next project if I wanted to change tact.

I sat down and thought about what things I am truly passionate about and do every day and came up with the following list:

·         Sport
·         Food
·         Video Games

When I evaluated this list I knew that the website market was and still is saturated by sports blogs, particularly football related blogs, and websites and besides I didn’t want to talk and write about football every day. It feels like football overload at the moment with 24/7 Sky Sports News coverage devaluing the excitement I used to get when a football match was on TV. So I sidestepped football.

Food would have been a good choice but I’m not sure that I could have produced enough material on food to make my blog interesting enough.

Then I thought about video games. Again it felt that the market was saturated with current gen video gaming sites……but then I thought a bit longer and did some research on retro gaming and the scene. I found that there was a smaller community of retro gamers that was growing steadily and it felt like there was really only one respected voice specifically talking retro games and that was Retro Gamer and it’s great website and magazine.

There were lots of other smaller blogs about but I thought that maybe I could do it better or different. I decided at that point I would specialise in Retro gaming and in particular opinion pieces on nostalgia from my retro gaming past.

Now to think of a name.

Ready Player 1?
My thought process revolved around the idea of storing retro games away and ensuring that they are preserved in our minds and also physically.

Then began the fun, working out the best combination of words to form a video games website name.

  • Games Chest
  • Games Almanac
  • Games Bible
  • Games Safe
  • Cryo Stasis Games
  • Gamers Deep Freeze


GAMES FREEZER!

There it was…..GAMES FREEZER was born. It just sounded right….I was excited, to say the least.

Now to do the checks, was the domain available?!!

I used 123 Reg to check and oddly enough someone had already bought gamesfreezer.com but had just sat on the domain name but not done anything with it. I was a little crestfallen and then saw that there was a deal on .eu domains, so I thought Screw It Let’s Do It!


Now it was time to build a website.

Insert Coin
I had used a website provider called Moonfruit for Property Notepad and their toolset was actually really good but I felt a bit restricted in what I could do with it. I then looked at Wordpress and actually set up a Games Freezer website on Wordpress which still exists today but without the .eu domain. Wordpress was the other extreme, it felt like I had a gazillion options to consider and I felt a bit out of my depth so eventually I discovered Blogger. The reason I chose Blogger was due to its integration with your Google account and also Google Plus. I felt that it was geared to make automation of sharing posts that much easier and the tools it gives you are enough to tinker with the site but not too many to overwhelm.

It’s actually the opinion of most that Wordpress is king but I still have an affection for Blogger. At some point, I may need to transfer the site to Wordpress in order to enable the site to grow further, but for now, Blogger suits me fine.

Now to design a nice logo and post my first post…

Hello World
In my head, the first logo was going to be icy writing and a freezer next to it full of video games.

This is about as close as I got with a kind of icicle effect:


I wanted to try and incorporate these icicles into the logo but struggled:


Then I thought about taking it down the road of a kind of icy steel effect:

This actually looks quite good to be fair but maybe a bit too generic.

That idea about the Freezer and video games was too intricate for my design skills so I decided that I would create some pixel art of my own, depicting a Freezer and some pixel art font....and this is it:

This was the start of a refinement of this idea and I moved onto this next:


Then I concentrated on the Freezer part only and came up with this:


I was getting closer to what I wanted and then I discovered Inkscape.....

It was here I managed to create a logo worthy of placing on my website:


Then finally I was able to change my logo to what it is today via a couple of amends....




.......and then eventually Mr. Freezer got pixelated and we have been happy together ever since!



It was time for my first post entitled "Freezer Switching On"




High Score
Since that article, the site has published 723 articles and hosted 597,000 visitors and it's been a whole heap of fun!

The USA is the main bulk of my readership with over half of my all-time visits from our good friends in the U.S of A and then Russia and the UK are the next main readership.

After all this time I have learned one key thing about what type of articles work......

You never know what's going to work......basically it's pot luck BUT you can't beat a well-written article that is well informed. Do your research and then away you go...the world is your lobster!


My own favourite article has got to be Sun Sea & Arcades Part I, Part II and Part III

Those were articles all about my travels to seaside amusement arcades whilst I was on my holidays in the UK.

It made me realise how my passion could lead to great articles....brilliant times!

Continue?
I still have the passion for the subject matter and a love for the Games Freezer website and I see that the things I have been doing over the years have seen me build Games Freezer up slowly but surely.

There really are no shortcuts to creating good content and I'm glad there aren't because it's the people with a passion for retro gaming and gaming that make this cool gaming community so special....

#GamersUnite

If YOU Have Any Questions For Me About Building Up A Website Like Games Freezer Then Please Leave A Comment Or Question In The Comments Box Below..


"Stay Frosty"