Exploring the Impact of Jeff Tunnell's "Great Games Experiment"

In the ever-evolving world of video game development and play, Jeff Tunnell, a seasoned veteran and influential figure in the gaming community, has introduced a groundbreaking venture through his blog "Make It Big In Games." This venture, known as the "Great Games Experiment" (GGE), emerges as a beacon of innovation in the indie game sector. Launched with the intention of bridging the often significant gap between indie game developers and their prospective audiences, GGE stands as a testament to Tunnell's commitment to nurturing the gaming community at large.

For Gamers: A Treasure Trove of Discovery

The Great Games Experiment is ingeniously designed to cater to gamers' diverse tastes and preferences, housing over 3,000 game profiles. It opens a vast world of discovery where users can explore games that align with their interests, contribute reviews, and rate their experiences. Beyond being a platform for engagement, GGE enables gamers to connect directly with developers and like-minded enthusiasts. The site's use of intuitive drag and drop Ajax tools simplifies the creation of detailed profiles and the cultivation of a network rooted in shared gaming passions. This initiative not only promotes the unearthing of hidden gems but also actively involves the community in the development and beta testing of upcoming titles.

For Developers: A Beacon of Opportunity

From a developer's perspective, the Great Games Experiment represents a vital lifeline in the challenging quest for visibility and engagement. Drawing on his extensive experience in game development, Tunnell acknowledges the formidable barriers indie games face in attracting attention. GGE counters this challenge by offering a platform where indie titles can be showcased alongside mainstream games, thereby significantly boosting their exposure. The success stories of indie games like "Forces" and "Space Trader," which have gained considerable attention through GGE, underscore the site's potential to revolutionize indie game marketing.

Navigating Criticism and the Path Forward

Despite its innovative approach and early successes, GGE has not been immune to criticism. Some skeptics have likened the platform to a "MySpace meets games" concept, questioning its longevity and impact. In response, Tunnell points to the growing user base and the widespread interest GGE has garnered, even in its alpha phase. With endorsements from high-profile bloggers and a burgeoning community, GGE demonstrates the enduring appeal and viability of niche social networking sites dedicated to gaming.

A Vision for the Future

Looking to the future, Jeff Tunnell envisions the Great Games Experiment growing into a self-sustaining ecosystem that thrives on ad revenue while continuing to nurture a dynamic gaming community. Plans are in place to further refine the site's features and enhance the overall user experience. Through his and GarageGames' ongoing commitment, GGE is poised to play a pivotal role in reshaping the landscape of game discovery and community interaction.

As it stands, the Great Games Experiment is far more than a mere social networking site. It is a visionary project that promised hope for indie developers seeking visibility and a treasure trove for gamers in quest of novel experiences. With the continuous growth of GGE, the gaming world was on the cusp of a new era in game discovery and community engagement, heralding an exhilarating chapter for all involved in the realm of video gaming.

First published March 2, 2007 and last updated at March 6, 2024