Nightmare Mode Is Relaunching

Preface: Nightmare Mode is officially relaunching sometime on Friday night (at which point we will go down for about 24 hours). What follows is the context as well as a detailing of the many upcoming changes that you can expect to see in the near future.

Ah, welcome. It’s been slightly over a year since Nightmare Mode’s inception, and, in that time, we’ve gone through a lot of change. Writers have come and gone, we’ve changed templates more times than I care to count and, my level of involvement and dedication has varied.

Fast forward to about a month ago. Remember this post? Also, this one? Posts thinking about my future, essentially. April and May have been months of much personal turmoil, as I gear up for life beyond college and start thinking about my career. In ‘Resolve’ I mentioned “I would be happiest (and poorest, most likely) writing about games.” In ‘Final Year Thesis’ I mentioned my plans for a paper revolving my senior project at Hampshire College. My old one, anyway.

The more I thought about what I wanted to do with my life, the more I started to panic about how inadequate my skills would be in facilitating that career. Hampshire College does not offer either of the things I am studying–marketing and video game design. Most of my studies have been self-directed and, while that’s taught me a good deal that could not be captured in a classroom…it has piqued a degree of uncertainty in myself. At one point I even considered–seriously considered–transferring schools. At the end of my third year of college, I was considering starting over someplace else, someplace that actually offered what I was interested in studying.

I tried pitching this idea to the people around me, and was met with a lot of resistance. Starting over, with just one year left? Really? I suppose that is the level of insecure I had become; I did not believe that just finishing my degree would be worth it if I wasn’t going to attain concrete skills out of it. I wasn’t sure what to do. The thought of writing a ‘useless’ paper for my final year was deeply troubling, and yet, it was the only thing I realistically could do.

Or so I thought. Talking to people–writers on this site and mentors from First Graduate, my scholarship program–about the issue, one thing kept coming back up. The site. THIS site. I could do something with it. I SHOULD do something with it; devise my final year project around it. Fix it up, make it bigger, better…make it profitable, or at least self-sustaining. Y’know–make it a ‘real’ site? Even if I could not fulfill a business plan to specification in a year’s time, I will have still gained many skills that would be readily applicable to the real world. So that’s the plan, it seems like. Tackling the site seriously. Getting us out there. All that cool jazz.

Now, there are a number of changes that will be up and coming over the next year. The most evident one will have been our relaunch, here. Prior to this, we had been attached to WordPress. This severely limited our options both in terms of template (if my dissatisfaction with the templates wasn’t clear enough with our 5 or 6 changes in the past year), but also in terms of possible sponsorships, partnerships, what have you; things that can only occur if we detached ourselves from WordPress. And, the most ridiculous thing of all: sticking to wordpress meant having to pay to change basic HTML or CSS. That’s…just not happening. Thus the first move seems obvious: detaching from WordPress, going onto self-hosting. We’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but it wasn’t until I actively decided to take the site seriously this April that we actually started setting this in motion. In that regards, many thanks to Grant, Patrick and Greg for lending their hand in re-launching the site.

Aside from this, you may have noticed a few other changes, as well. We have a full-fledged logo now. Fancy, ennit? We’ll have to get business cards next, I imagine. Hell, we have a Favicon now. That shows we’re serious, right? You may have also noticed a plethora of new names. Yes, we’ve grown quite a bit now. You should read our About page to see the full list of people currently on board now. That list is by no means final. I’ve still got about a dozen more applicants to sort through (we have applicants now! Wow!), so do not be surprised if you see even more new names. Hopefully our new writers stick around for a while! Relatedly, you may have noticed a higher level of production unlike anything we’ve done before. As a result, our readership has absolutely exploded in the last month. It’s…frightening but exciting at the same time. Thus I can’t give enough thanks to my writers and the level of dedication they are putting onto the site. They have to put up with very high demands and they workshop their writing as if this was a part-time job. I hope it shows.

I just have to reiterate how amazing the people I’m working with are. Really, you guys are great, and I don’t know why you put up with me. <3

Lastly, there are a bevy of partnerships, collaborations and affiliations that will be upcoming. We’re republishing material from a few friends and sites, with the intent of widening the subjects we cover. I am happy to announce, for example, our partnership with the soon-to-be-launched Nerd Vice; helmed by the ferocious Viragunn. Aside from crossposting material and promotions, Nerd Vice shall be teaming up with Nightmare Mode to providing you with a great podcasting show. More details on that later this week, I imagine. The other partnership (which you may have already noted!) aiming to bring the more philosophical approach to video game criticism is The Game Saver. There are talks of other partnerships and collaborations with other friends of the site, hopefully great things will come of it. We’ll see!

We’re also in talks with developers and the like to bring you more great material–you may have noted this by virtue of the increase of interviews we have conducted. There are other changes, I’m sure, that either I’m forgetting right now, or simply haven’t planned just yet.

So, yeah. That’s where we stand right now: in a vortex of exciting change. Here’s to another year of the new, soon-to-be improved Nightmare Mode!