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Why is it taking so long?

It's been almost four months since I silently launched this blog and started asking a select few people for feedback. I haven't posted much since then, except a few short posts every few days or weeks, so I figure an update is in order.

I have mostly been experimenting with the short-form posts, and I've landed on a format that I feel good about, where I just write a couple of sentences, which I try to cram all relevant links into. These posts take me about 5–10 minutes to write and upload, and are easy to write while commuting to or from work.

What has been more of a hurdle in getting this thing off the ground is deciding on a format for the longer-form posts. Even though this is meant to be a discovery type blog, and I'm fine with it mostly consisting of bite-sized content, I want it to have some meatier posts as well.

I wanted this blog to support the effort I (keep meaning to) put into keeping the associated Steam group and itch collection up to date, so it should have reviews that I can use for recommendations or blurbs. Problem is, I'm not very good at writing concise reviews (or writing in general), so that's something I'll have to work on. Ideally, I think, reviews on this site will be 2–3 paragraphs, where one is spent on describing a game, and at least one on my own thoughts on it.

In addition to reviews, I also have a few barely started drafts for articles that are sort of top-lists on personal favorites within specific genres, games I'm looking forward to, and other similar things. I haven't quite worked out how those will fit into this, but I guess I won't know until I start working on them.

Time, or lack of it, has also been a factor in why this blog has taken so long to materialize. Mostly it's the above points though: Experimenting, finding a format I'm comfortable with, and just start making some content again.


Created editorial

What is a Linux gem?

When I started planning this blog, giving it a name turned out to be trickier than I had thought. I had several ideas for names, but most of them were terrible, and didn't really convey what I wanted to do with this site. A few people suggested that I use Hidden Linux Gems or just Linux Gems, because those are names I've already used for a couple of other projects, and it kind of stuck.

I initially started the Hidden Linux Gems Steam curator to recommend one of my favorite games, Full Bore, because I was disappointed by its lack of sales and felt that it deserved more recognition. I also had a bunch of other games in mind that would be good fits for a curator focusing on "hidden gems" available for Linux. Obviously my small Steam group hasn't done much to improve sales, but it's a small token of appreciation, and it feels nice to do something to help, however insignificant it may be. The group has since grown to include recommendations from other Steam users, including BlaXpirit, who is also handling all the tech behind this blog.

Since I started the group, I've used some very arbitrary metrics to determine if a game can be recommended by the curator—namely the ratings (Metacritic score or percentage of positive user reviews on Steam) and the all-time peak of simultaneous players. I've never been happy about that for a number of reasons, and once a game has been bundled, it's completely out of the game. As an example, Toki Tori 2+, another game I adore to bits, is currently uneligble for inclusion.

The games I write about here won't be subject to a similarly silly screening. I intend to broaden the definition of a Linux gem to include anything that I feel is interesting, but that probably won't have a huge mainstream appeal. Such as small-time indie games and games seeking crowdfunding. In spite of a few projects failing to deliver for Linux, I think crowdfunding has been a boon to Linux gaming, and I want to do what I can to signal boost those campaigns struggling in the current climate of crowdfunding.

Most of all, this site will exist to highlight Linux games which are often overlooked by other, bigger sites. Games that often only appeal to a small group of people, and that are unlikely to be covered by sites which depend on visitors to pay their bills. This site is driven only by our enthusiasm for games, and a desire to support the creators who support our platform.

And that explains, I think, why Linux Gems is a good name for this site. It's a name that has a positive ring to it, and it also hints at something unnoticed that we want to bring attention to.


Created editorial introduction

An introduction to this blog

This might be the longest post I'll ever write on this site.

When I started writing for over a year ago, it wasn't out of a desire to write, but because I care about Linux and indie games, and I wanted to make others excited about Linux gaming too. Since then, I have written or contributed to more than 200 articles, but even though I've made a fair amount of content, I still find that it takes a lot of time and effort.

Because of that, there are many games that I wish I could write about that I don't, and it's frustrating. Many of the games I care about are small, personal indie games that probably won't be mentioned on any of the bigger video game sites, and could still really need the attention.

That's why I've had this idea kicking around in my head since last year, that I think finally has matured enough that I want to make it into something real. I'm starting a blog where I'll usually just write a few words about a game, post a few links and try to plug it to anyone who might be interested. Something low-effort.

My main inspiration for this project is, but I'm also a fan of Buy Some Indie Games! and From Indies with Love, so expect a bit of those seeping into my writing from time to time too.

This doesn't mean that I'll now only post my writing here—it just means I'll post here the times when I normally wouldn't have posted anything anywhere. And though most of the content here will probably be on the short side, I'll also sometimes write things that aren't exactly "newsworthy", but might be more personal than what would be a good fit for other sites.

I realize that this is a niche within a niche and that there's a good chance that few will notice the things I post here. That's OK—I'm mostly doing this for myself. But if someone discovers a game because of this blog, or I make someone happy for writing about their game, I will feel pretty good about that.


Created editorial introduction