I love running RTSL. I must do because I spend 80% of my free time doing it. But I am never happy. I know that a lot of the downloads are not working and a lot of the older mods need updating and 2016 will be called “The Year of the Content”. That said, there are lots of things that I want to improve and create.
Below, you will find details of most of my plans. I do have one major idea up my sleeve, that I hope to reveal very soon.
Many other sites do a much better job of leveraging their content via social media, LambdaGeneration is a great example. I need to do this and 2016, will be the first year I’ll put more effort into it. My focus will be Twitter, which I have been using for a few years now and Tumblr. I used to have a Facebook page for PP, but I need to make sure any new ideas don’t create too much work for me and they need to dovetail into my routine and site objectives.
I never really paid Tumblr much attention until late this year. There are a lot of followers and it is image heavy. Unlike Instagram which is more photograph based, Tumblr is more about user-made content. It seems to me that this network is perfect for promoting in-Development mods. Therefore, I will be trying to work with as many modding teams as I can to help spread the word about their mods.
Ideally, I will be creating a week of exclusive content for each mod. For example, starting Friday 1st January, I will be posting 7 exclusive screenshots each day for The Trap 2: Mindlock. Each image will link to the mod’s ModDB profile.
I doubt I will be able to have 52 mods willing to work with me, but I’ll do my best. In between these sorts of mini-campaigns, I will continue to post images of older and new mods. Each post, gets linked to on the RTSL Twitter account, so even if users don’t have a Tumblr account, the can still see the images.
Lastly, I need to find a way to promote these images on the actual RTSL website itself. I’ll probably expand the footer section columns to include links.
I’ve had a rollercoaster relationship with ModDB over the years, but it’s clear they do a fantastic job of helping modders distribute their work. As much as I would love to go head to head with them over in-development mods, I can’t. Their set up is just perfect and I clearly can’t compete. However, what I can do is make it easier for players to find those mods and that’s one of the plans for 2016.
I will be creating a new page on RTSL that can act as a shortcut to finding mods. I have some ideas, but until I start creating the page, I’m not sure what information I will link to. I’ll talk to the owner of ModDB and see if we can work something out.
I also plan to interact more with the mods and telling modders I have posted their stuff etc. Maybe that way, I’ll get better known and modders might be more willing to send over exclusive images etc.
The site runs mostly on donations but the text ad at the bottom of each page adds about $100 a year. If I move it higher up it might generate more but not much more. I don’t want the site to be covered with advertisements, but I do want to generate extra income. I am going to remove the text links and try GoogleAds. I have already added ads to the search results page. If I do it right, it won’t seem intrusive.
In addition, I have decide to monetize all my videos I upload to the RTSL YouTube channel. I don’t know if it will generate much income but it’s worth a try. I will ask permission from the other RTSl streamers to monetize their videos too.
Starting January 2016, RTSL will be supplying the Mod of the Week (MotW) image and link to the sidebar of the Half-Life sub-Reddit. This is an image and a link to a new mod each week. There will be a balance between new mods and old classics. Hopefully it will send some traffic my way.
Some modders are looking to have public beta tests for smaller work. I will be creating a page where I will ink to a file that I host for people to test and provide feedback. In the file will be the map and a text file. Inside the text file will be the email address of the modder. Feedback will be sent directly to them. This page is not supposed to replace The Beta Testers Collective. That is still in operation and should be used when you want more detailed feedback on larger projects. This will be for single maps and map ideas.
Hopefully within a feww weeks, there will be some new features on the profile pages. For example, you will be able to see what maps and mods users have reviewed in the last few weeks. It’s all part of a larger membership project.
2016 will see the introduction of a couple of new types of videos. The Minute Mod will be a minute’s worth of gameplay footage and a voiceover from me, introducing the mod. I’ve taken the concept from LambdaGeneration’s “60 Seconds of Lambda”, although I did make something like this before LG was around. Think of them as a trailer more than a review. Ideally, modders will use them on their sites and ModDB profiles.
The next type *will* be a review. I’m planning on making them about 3 to 5 minutes and I will try to make it as entertaining as possible. I’ll need to improve my video editing skills and I’m sure the first few will be pretty basic. I am hoping this will be a very popular feature.
We have the Hall of Fame, soon we will have the Hall of Honour. Not for mods, but for MODDERS! in 2016, 3 modders will be added to the page, each with their own section. More details very soon..
I will be starting short-term stream events. 2016 sees me continue my newly named “Phillip Shouts at Leon”. I have plans for at least two other stream events.
2016 starts with a new Streamer – Dan Jordan, a modder and streamer will be streaming Source Hall of Fame mods during the 4th weekend of each month.
SteamContests will be sponsoring the RTSL livestreams each weekend with a a few copies of a game to giveaway in the Twitch chat.
I haven’t created many panoramic images in 2015, partly because I have been busy and partly because I can’t get high enough quality any more. I will investigate it soon and even buy the right software if I have to.
I have a pending list but will be converting it to a database table, which will be able to be used like the PLAY archives.
I say, that’s it, but it’s quite a lot. I’ll be very happy if I can implement all of the above, plus add lots of old and new maps and mods.
Hopefully, you are as excited about 2016 as I am. As always, let me know your thoughts.