Via Gaming Report, I saw that Wizards of the Coast has just launched Gleemax, a social networking site for tabletop gamers (think MySpace, Facebook, etc.). It’s black, green and confusing — or maybe I’m just getting old?
According to WotC: “It’s a massive expansion of our web presence, designed to give gamers a place online where they can hang out, play games, and most importantly, find other gamers.” And: “We want to give all gamers their own personal pages with tons of features that make it convenient to talk about games, find people to play games with, and get more out of the games they choose to play.”
It takes some digging to pull that out of the site, though — there’s not much there yet, and what is there is garish and unappealing. But the core idea, even though it seems to be mainly focused on CCG and minis gamers, piques my interest as a GM.
I see potential there for driving gamers to stores (another of Gleemax’s stated goals), linking up with other players and GMs and otherwise taking advantage of the networking aspects of a site like this. But what I’ve seen so far is an instant turn-off, and it doesn’t seemed to be aimed at me in any case. What do you think?
Ouch, I can’t get past the first page. -That’s one ugly site. I quickly hit the ‘back’ button.
Something within me shouted “OMG I NEED MOR FRAG GRNADES!!!” when I saw it.
Sorry WoTC. Nice thought, but terrible delivery. -If only it was the thought that counts.
Did anyone get a brain?
Apparently a number of RPGA players in Austin got a Nerf Brain in the mail. (Yes, there’s a joke there.) With it was a card or web address with the link on it.
Is this part of their Digital Initiative?
I just spent about 10 minutes surfing the site, and I agree with your initial assessment, Martin: yuck. I found nothing of value there; the layout is creepy and unappealing to me as a high fantasy RPGer; and this gleemax pseudo-character is vapid.
However, I also agree with Martin that the potential is there. Sites like nearbygamers.com and others that “collect” gamers would do well to come under a single banner to pool their resources. Of course, there are counter-arguments to homogenous collaboration (Microsoft, anyone? ;)).
(Telas) Is this part of their Digital Initiative?
I wondered that too. Based on appearance and “kickin’ ‘tude” alone, I sure hope not. 😉
I poked around it for a bit and was still confused when I left it. The posts are random and don’t make any sense, I don’t see how this could be of any use to me, I’ll stick to RPG.net or Enworld, or even the normal wizards Forums.
Plus it’s ugly…..
Holy crap, I need to wash my eyeballs after that.
The site is awful in my opinion. The concept has potential, but the delivery is lame. It just doesn’t appeal to me at all.
I’ve been told that the Digital Initiative is a whole separate project. I wish the initial press release announcing Gleemax had clarified the situation.
And I agree with Martin on the look of the site. Either the design is atrocious or I’m older than their target demographic.
MY EYES! MY EYES!
Methinks if they wanted to be taken seriously, they should have waited until the “MySpace-style” features were in place before making a general announcement.
The only thing currently there seems to be their ARG in the forums. And it is based primarily on an offhand comment in a Magic design article, that turned into a card in one of the wacky “Un-” sets. So the whole premise, and name, of the site is based on an inside joke. Not a great way to appeal to the wider community of gamers.
what is it, precious? i can’t tell. honestly.
From their “Announcement” thingee…
“Gleemax.com will be an online strategy gaming destination”
So, yeah… not for us.
Jeff said “And I agree with Martin on the look of the site. Either the design is atrocious or Iâ€™m older than their target demographic.”
Either that or they’ve used IQ for the demographics rather than age. And we’ve missed that one too.
Actually, now that I think about it, I realize this may be why I like D&D less and less as time goes on…. It’s not me changing, it’s WOTC changing my game!!!!
(Darel) â€œGleemax.com will be an online strategy gaming destinationâ€
So, yeahâ€¦ not for us.
“There will be features aimed at existing Wizards customers (ways to show off your D&D character, your warband, or your deck, etc.) and there will be plenty of tools that fans of other games can use as well.”
If it had only mentioned CCGs and CMGs, I’d have left it alone — but it sounds like they’re trying to include D&D players, and perhaps by extension other tabletop RPG players as well.
It’s a hideous site, but that seems to be true for the great majority of Myspace. So much so that “Come visit my site, it’s on Myspace” is becoming a strong disincentive from dealing with the associated person.
Never having used Myspace, I don’t know whether they actively encourage such eyesores, or whether there is some like-attracts-like going on with hideous designs clustering together on their servers.
First comment here!
From what I’ve read at EN World, the D&D DI is not Gleemax, but there will be tie-ins. As far as the nerf brains go, yes, a number of people around the US got them. (At some point, there was speculation that the mind-flayer buy-off got misdirected, but I digress…) Apparently (I wouldn’t know, not playing M:tG) there is an uber-powerful M:tG card Gleemax named after the supposed brain in a jar that runs WotC. So there’s the in-joke. But I’m thinking they need to talk the illithids into loaning an elder brain to fix the public relations issues…
It looks like an unholy marriage of MySpace and viral “hip” marketing. I want to claw my eyes out after visiting.
Pretty sure I’m not the target audience, which is a shame. You’d think with twenty-plus years of RP experience, a six-figure income, and loads of disposable income that…yea, I’m not sure what’s going on.
gleemax is that kleenex or the glee club
yes the brain in the jar runs wotc, but then hasbro transplanted it.
Abulia: Youâ€™d think with twenty-plus years of RP experience, a six-figure income, and loads of disposable income thatâ€¦yea, Iâ€™m not sure whatâ€™s going on.
Amen to that, brother. Amen to that. (admitted sexist assumption)
“Show off your character?” **shudders** The character aspects I’m proudest of, aren’t on paper…
I received one of those nerf brains. It had printed on it:
Which was a very easy puzzle to figure out.
I sent an email, then got a reply with an attachment that had some fairly odd, non-gaming related questions, but it said not to send back your answers. Another week later I got an email with a link to the gleemax.com site.
So far, it’s not for me either. I don’t like the look or the ‘tude. Maybe it’ll work on the younger crowd. I’ll check back in a month or so to see if turns into something that will be useful for me. As of now, I’m fine just using the regular forums.
I have to agree with Martin & company. The idea is cool enough, but the front page, the graphics especially, make me want to run away.
Further, I wonder if they will support other game systems that aren’t owned by Wizards. If not, that would completely kill it for me.
The website itself seems to indicate that it isn’t gleemax, or that it isn’t a finished product. (Follow the ‘what is gleemax’ link.)
A couple of things that give me hope.
A. They’re going to show it off at Gencon, which has oodles of RPG players, so hopefully they’ll get some good feedback.
B. They say they’re going to set up an “advisory board” maybe some TT readers could get on that and help make it not so unattractive to look at.
One other idea that might make it work better would be to have multiple websites all running off of the same back end. You could have several websites that all access the same forums, for instance. The threads would be the same, the posts would be the same, but the page layouts and graphics (which seem to be the biggest problem) would be different. You’d be able to use data from any of the websites to hook up and find games, but you wouldn’t have to go to the same site. Just find the site that has the layout you like best, and stick with that. The content would be the same, it’s the layout and graphics that would be different. (I personally find the brain in the jar to be particularly annoying, and the entire black and acid green color scheme just… unnerving. However, that’s just me, someone else might think that it’s fantastic.)
Anyhow, I’ll watch to see what happens.
I’m pretty sure the brains were distributed to people with lots of RPGA or M:TG tournament play. The promotion kind of worked… Jennifer was intrigued and spent a couple of hours unraveling the clue string.
I don’t think it’s the best thing since sliced bread, but it’s still young. I’m slightly curious as to how it’ll develop, though I recognize that it’s not really directed at me.
Yeah, it looks like a frightfest to me, too. I think I finally aged out of their target market or something. If this is the future of Dragon and Dungeon magazines then I’m not too early to weep for the future of the game.
I’m starting to envision a day when WotC is no longer the big player in this game space. Paizo’s GameMastery stuff seems of a better quality lately and I just saw where Green Ronin (who put out some pretty good stuff too) signed to produce the George R.R. Martin Ice and Fire RPG.
To join the chorus, I like the idea. Hate the execution.
Well, as they ask for feedback, let us be sure to give it to them.