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Showing all 2 posts in August 2013.
Interview with ShinyLoot CEO, Chris Palmarozzi

At SGC in Dallas this past July, I had the chance to meet up with a number of indie game developers, some of which you’ve never heard of, some you have, and some you will. In among those booths, I came across a group that wasn’t showing off one game but a whole website. I met Chris there, had a good talk and invited him to Anook to show off his site ShinyLoot. Fast forward about a month and we sat down for a short interview to talk about the site. As part of this interview, ShinyLoot has given all Anook users a coupon code to use at the site, so read on for more details about that!

@Lonrem: Awesome, well, to start off why don't you introduce yourself and give a brief description of Shiny Loot? Beyond that it's an indie game heaven. :D

@ChrisatShinyLoot: I appreciate the vote of confidence there!

Chris: My name is Chris Palmarozzi, I'm Co-founder / CEO for ShinyLoot

Chris: We are an independently owned digital distribution platform, selling games strictly from indie developers or small to medium sized publishers.

Chris: Our uniqueness comes from our search based platform that allows users to search by individual features for games all of which are guaranteed minimal to no DRM, available worldwide for the same price, with no client requirement.

Lonrem: The search feature actually surprised me; you've got a ridiculous number of searchable elements. Down to things like having party members in a game or not, or specifying what type of puzzle game it is

Chris: Right - that's one of our unique points that aren't individually replicated elsewhere. Currently there are 145 individual features (or traits as we call them) for which a user can search. This can be cross-referenced with genres, settings, price, discount, and DRM to help find a particular type of game.

Lonrem: Great way to find a game you'd want to play but had never heard of. Where would you want to see Shiny Loot go in the future? Any plans to try and get into the big publishers or are you guys sticking to the indie groups?

Chris: One of our goals with how we've set up the site is to bring more attention to quality indie games that haven't reached that critical level of popularity for people to recognize their name when it's shown for sale.

Chris: The search based nature of our site really helps level the playing field by allowing the user to tell us exactly what they want with us showing them the results that best match their query. On that same note, we try to promote in depth reviews from our current users by offering a small reward program for quality game reviews.

Chris: So there's no real plans to go after big publishers because the EA, Activision, Ubisoft types are quite well marketed...but indie developers of all size and small to medium publishers can easily make good use out of a system like ours with a community that's interested more in games that match their interest than the current most popular games.

Lonrem: Makes sense. Now this reward system: You reward users for just posting detailed reviews on the game or is it some kind of application process??

Chris: Once a user posts a review it goes through a reward approval system where we take a look at the content written and basically look to see if the user tried.

Chris: If a user writes "this game is great" or "i hate this game" and that's it...we're not going to give out any credits for that.

Chris: That doesn't mean you need to write a multi-paragraph review...for instance submissions over 125 words will usually get approved for those free credits

Lonrem: So you guys are really working to make sure that reviews actually have some substance and are helpful. That's really nice considering a lot of the games Shiny Loot sells have very little visibility. Is the credit always the same value or does it vary?

Chris: To encourage user reviews from the get go, we give out $0.40 for a user's first review. Then we give $0.15 for each qualified review after that.

Lonrem: Now before everybody rolls their eyes at that, let's bring up the reason that I personally love Shiny Loot. What's the average price/price range of the games on the site?

Chris: Somewhere under $10...there's a ton of good games to be found in the under $5 and under $10 categories.

Lonrem: I know that games being over $10 seem to be kind of rare on the site. Talking about reviews and sharing information about unheard of games, you guys just had some rather snazzy news on Wednesday?

Chris: Yes! We just announced our official August 26 launch we're pretty excited to the next step and drop our beta tag.

Chris: Probably the most exciting thing for the general public is a huge 6 week sale that starts that day

Chris: We have about 440 games in our library, so there's quite a lot of potential games to go on sale...

Lonrem: And just after everyone's wallets are recovering after the Steam Summer Sale too! I believe I also heard something about forums being added?

Lonrem: That's a real nice addition for games that aren't say on... Anook? :D

Chris: Haha...yes, we just added individual game forums on our site

Chris: This is a great way for developers to interact with the community and for fans of the game to talk about one thing or the other where that outlet might not already exist

Chris: Hopefully once we launch we'll see some good use out of them!

Lonrem: Awesome! Well, at least one site is getting out of beta, Anook might be a while yet. :D You have any last words for the folks at home?

Chris: We love feedback so please leave some! You will get a response so feel free to leave a message just to test us. We also recently launched a download manager tool so those worried about managing another account online now have one more way to make downloads on ShinyLoot easier.

Lonrem: Very awesome, thanks for chatting with me, Chris, excited to see where Shiny Loot goes after it's release!

Chris: Thanks for having me! Looking forward to growing alongside Anook :)

The ShinyLoot coupon (5B975-5A31L-IV6BO-1W53G) will be usable until 8PM CST August 24, 2013, giving you 24 hours to use it. It's only usable once per ShinyLoot account and is good for $1.00 off your purchase. Keep in mind that many of the games on ShinyLoot are indie games priced right around $5 and $10 so the coupon is good for 10-20% off.

Community Spotlight Episode 6 - Maeka and Laughter

Welcome to the Return of the Anook Community Spotlight! @Maeka and @KittenKaboomi are among the more active members of the Anook Community and have just established a new YouTube series: Misadventures of Maeka and Laughter. We had a little chat and talk about their new series and upcoming livestream. Don’t forget to stay after the credits to hear how to get a chance at a Dawngate Beta Key.

Lonrem: Well, first off, yay for the return of the Anook Community Spotlight! Hopefully it'll see a lot more use in the future. Would you guys mind introducing yourselves, what Misadventures is, that sort of thing?

Maeka: Let's see...I am Liz, a 25 year old house wife with a lot of hobbies. I am a writer, artist, owner of Gamemerse, web & graphics designer, and best of all a gamer chick. I have been playing games since the N64 and Playstation, and then progressed to MMORPGs starting with Runescape and Maplestory. I have played many different MMOs paid and free including games like EQ2, Rift, Tera, Atlantica Online, and many other titles.
Besides that, I enjoy sushi, sake (or beer if I have no sake), and watching movies and TV shows...lots of movies and TV shows.

Laughter: I'm Jewel, 26, living in St. Louis, MO. Married for 6 years we have a 5 year old and a newborn (both boys.) I have been gaming since I was young and took a particular interest in Gradius, Marble Madness, and Super Mario Bros. Converted to PC gaming around age 15 and played a crap load of Sims and in 2004 was introduced to my first MMO, World of Warcraft. Played WoW raiding in a hardcore guild until the end of Wotlk; cleared all content possible then went very casual. I now log in for a few hours every once in a while.
I have sampled pretty much every well known MMO known to man and a few not so well known. Spent a good chunk of time in Aion, Rift, SWTOR, and tried to get into Tera but really couldn't, which is sad because the combat was awesome.
Currently, I am playing Cube World and a handful of indie games while waiting for the release of FFXIV, WildStar, and TESO. May give EQN, ArcheAge, and Blade and Soul a try as well.
Outside of gaming I enjoy cooking, craft beer, comics, books, and only a few TV shows such as The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Breaking Bad.

Maeka: Maeka & Laughter Misadventures is pretty much what the name is; we picked a couple of our favorite games and started enjoying them together while being random and just being us. Currently the games we are working on are Cube World & Diablo 3, but we have a couple other games we plan on adding to the mix eventually.

Lonrem: So Misadventures came about because you guys were bored? Do you guys want to see it go bigger, maybe even turn it into something profitable or is it always gonna be just for fun?

Maeka: I think it will always be just for fun.

Laughter: I think it was mostly boredom and also for enjoyment. I'd like for us to improve a lot and keep up social interaction. Mainly for our fun. But I would like for us to get into more games.

Maeka: And I guess it didn't come around because we were bored per say, but because we have always enjoyed messing around together. We sometimes grow tired of playing alone and this was a way for us to breathe more life into multiplayer games that we enjoy, but normally play alone.

Laughter: Yep!

Maeka: :D

Lonrem: That makes lots of sense! Are you guys going to do any other things besides just play? Maybe reviews or anything like that? I know that's becoming a fairly popular thing to do on YouTube.

Laughter: We plan to livestream on Mondays and reviews aren't something we actually discussed or I have thought about. Hm..

Maeka: Not sure, there's quite a few that do that already... Yeah we haven't really thought about reviews.

Laughter: Gives me ideas, lol!

Lonrem: Do I get a producer's credit for that or something?

Laughter: Perhaps. :P

Maeka: But yeah like she said, we are going to start streaming Monday Mornings where we will be playing different kinds of multiplayer games, not just the two we are sticking to for Misadventures at the moment

Maeka: Sure, if we do it, we will note the little Lonrem from Anook *whistles* So yeah, Monday Streams yay.

Lonrem: Very cool! What upcoming games are you guys looking forward to doing for Misadventures? Or, which ones would you guys love to have a chance to review?

Maeka: Well the one that's guaranteed is Stardew Valley. Everquest Next might be one, but that's still only a possibility (depends if Laughter likes it)

Laughter: Well currently we just do Cube World and Diablo 3.

Laughter: Yeah, I am sure I will like it. I like mostly everything. We haven't really discussed in great detail our future games.

Maeka: And with time we plan on switching games in and out. Like for example, once we are done with one playthrough of Diablo 3, we would add a different game

Laughter: Mhmmm!

Maeka: Yeah as it stands, Stardew Valley is the one we are highly anticipating

Lonrem: Huh, I'll have to look into that one.

Laughter: Yeah, you should. ;)

Maeka: Yeah it's like the traditional Harvest Moon, except for PC and it's multiplayer

Lonrem: Oh, that sounds right up my alley!

Maeka: Being built by ConcernedApe, who is only one guy. And same company that published Starbound (I think it was Starbound, right Jewel?) is who is publishing that game. But yeah it's Harvest Moon meets Rune Factory

Laughter: Yep!

Lonrem: Chucklefish, right. I know I'm looking forward to Starbound.

Maeka: Yes, they will be publishing Stardew Valley. Concerned Ape was aiming to get it released this summer but he's still building it so it looks like it won't be till later this year

Laughter: Well they are on the same site together but they actually seem to have different developers.

Lonrem: Yeah, different developers, same publishers.

Laughter: Yeah, that. Was about to mention that.

Lonrem: Any last things you guys would like to bring up?

Maeka: But yeah we have quite a few multiplayer games we will be dipping into for our Monday Morning Stream, and eventually they might show up on our Misadventures list.

Laughter: Eventually. :D


Maeka: >.>

Maeka: I had a moment

Lonrem: Quite alright! Laughter, any last messages?

Laughter: I like bananas.

Laughter: ((Don’t put that))

Lonrem: That's it, thank-you and good night!

Lonrem: :P

Maeka: :D

Laughter: Haha

Misadventures of Maeka & Laughter
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And finally! The Dawngate Beta Key will be given out when Misadventures of Maeka and Laughter reaches 200 followers. After that, there will be post on their page to guess Maeka’s lucky number. Winner gets my beta key, super simple. Good Luck!