Gamestyle Wikipedia Page

Thanks to Rogue Soul for the heads up on the Gamestyle Wikipedia page. This was a useful resource to track the history of the website and the team involved – especially the early days. Technically its gone from Wikipedia for whatever reason they want to quote (they’ve lost my pending donation)  and any future support.

However we do have the images of the page and I’ll copy the text beneath as well. That’s what an archive is all about.

gamestyle_wikipedia_1 gamestyle_wikipedia_2 gamestyle_wikipedia_3 gamestyle_wikipedia_4 gamestyle_wikipedia_5

Gamestyle is a UK-based independent computer and video gaming website that was launched in 1999 by Dean Swain, under the name Dreamers128.

Gamestyle covers video game software reviews, previews, news, and other information. After starting out on its own, Gamestyle was linked with a small American media network called FanGen. Later, Gamestyle broke free of FanGen and merged with fellow independent site GameHub.

To date, Gamestyle remains independently operated.

History

Launched in 1999 by Dean Swain, the site focused exclusively on Dreamcast games, under the guise Dreamers128. Approximately a month after launch, the site rebranded to Gamestyle.co.uk, became a multi-format site, and began to cover all console systems – though coverage of other consoles was restricted to previews alone.

With sites of this stature somewhat of a rarity, Gamestyle was quickly tied to a small American media network named FanGen who covered running costs of the website. Under FanGen, Gamestyle turned to become a more humorous, ‘punky’ website which displayed images of semi-nude women on the front page.

The FanGen link remained until Gamestyle merged with another UK independent, GameHub. This merger saw an increase in visitors to the site, due to the popularity of GameHub. With each newer build of the website, Gamestyle progressively lost its attitude and tamed the humour in written articles.

To date, the site runs primarily on gamestyle.com and is now funded by Dean Swain, Dave Carlson, Matthew Cox and Jason Julier.

Main site

Gamestyle’s main page displays the latest news, reviews, previews, and links to areas for the following platforms: Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance. Visiting each console section shows a list of the latest articles, the most popular games on that console, and an index method for users to track down games of interest as quickly as possible.

The new version of Gamestyle launched on 11 April 2010. The main page was launched a few days earlier but the final release updated the review and preview hubs, allowing further searches and the highlighting of top scoring articles and random pieces from the archives.

Reviews and rating system

Gamestyle has a strict review policy and they themselves believe their reviews to be trustworthy and unbiased, granting a fair review score. While none of the writing team are professionals, Gamestyle delivers new content daily on weekdays and also at weekends.

Though in articles, Gamestyle refers itself in third person, staff writers are also credited. Reviews are also listed on GameRankings,[2] Metacritic,[3] Rotten Tomatoes,[4] andMobyGames.

Their reviews were considered highly enough to be included alongside IGN and Electronic Gaming Monthly on Nintendo‘s UK marketing print campaign for Metroid Prime. These adverts were printed in numerous gaming magazines, on advertising hoardings across UK towns and cities and also online.[citation needed]

Developments

Gamestyle is constantly looking to evolve and improve the site. In March 2007 a new feature was launched that connected any posted news story, with a related topic in the forum. This allowed users to discuss events and offer opinions on breaking news in the world of videogames.

2008 version

January 2 saw the launch of the latest version of the Gamestyle site. Then new modern, white look was a dramatic change from its predecessor.

Blog

On June 22, 2008 Gamestyle introduced its own blog. The aim of this extension was to attract new regulars to the site and provide an outlet for the whole team to provide extra comments on their reviews or gaming news. The blog is an open forum for staff members to post about anything from films to their latest review.

2010 Version

Arguably the best version of Gamestyle so far. The 2010 edition incorporated comment functions for the first time in years, allowing users of Facebook & Twitter to give their opinions on articles.

2010 Upgrade

As of 1 November 2010, Gamestyle started coverage of mobile phone releases with Fruit Ninja being the first review. This date also marked its arrival on the Opera portal. The front end and forum were matched under the same banner design, allowing greater ease of navigation.

Retro Gamer Magazine Website Of The Month

In issue 60 of the popular Retro Gamer magazine, Gamestyle received their website of the month award.

“Gamestyle has been around now for a staggering ten years and remains one of the most entertaining non-corporate gaming websites around. Featuring a thriving community, Gamestyle prides itself on its well-written and non-biased reviews and covers everything from the latest 360 and PS3 releases to the classics like Metroid and Football Manager.

Indeed, one of Gamestyle’s greatest strengths is that it’s able to offer something for everyone and as a result is a true gamer’s website, with polite and enthusiastic forum members and a small core team of talented writers. Oh and if you fancy a giggle then look for the Project Zero/Fatal Frame review in their massive archive.”

2012 Hack and Rebuild

In 2012 Gamestyle was the victim of an attack and had to rebuild from the very bottom again. Despite losing everything, the current team has pushed on to keep the Gamestyle name running. The focus has shifted somewhat with more reviews based around ‘Indie’ titles and has seen the site build up a solid relationship with indie developers over the months. The team is much smaller now, but by no means any less dedicated.

The reviews are still coming and the site has undergone another redesign.

2013 Back To Social Media

In 2013 Gamestyle decided to get back into the social media space. The Facebook page has become active again along with our Twitter account. All articles will be found on both and the team encourage users to interact.

Gamestyle Offline

Gamestyle also creates and hosts a downloadable PDF magazine. Now published on an infrequent basis, Gamestyle Offline[5] is intended for the visitor to print their own copy for ‘on-the-go’. Gamestyle maintains that download figures of each issue are promising, and are known to have worked with video game publishers such as Vivendi Universal to create special editions.

At the close of 2006 there are eleven issues of the magazine, three of which are special editions. Each issue contained content that one may not typically find on the main site, such as interviews with developers and features on specific subjects. Gamestyle has been known to publish reviews of various titles in Gamestyle Offline, before publishing them online, as a selling point of the PDF magazine.

As of January 9, 2008, Gamestyle began a five-part series called ‘Gamestyle Offline: The Missing Issue’. This brought together the five remaining unpublished features that were intended for Issue 10 which was put together at the end of 2005 with the intention of releasing a new issue in early 2006. Number 10 was meant to represent a new start for the series, with a new look and a new issue editor but unfortunately the project never saw the light of day.

Gamestyle Live podcast

The spirit of the Offline magazine has been carried onto a new format, the podcast. The show covers all the latest news, site developments, reviews, releases and some opinions. It is available via the website or one can subscribe with iTunes.

Community

The Gamestyle forum now has over 1000 members, many who are regular visitors. While this number is smaller than other communities, it enables a more personal level of interaction between members, many of whom take part in meet ups to share their love of video games.

Staff

Owner: Dean Swain

Development: Matthew Cox (design) and Dave Carlson (implementation)

Editor: Jason Julier

PR Contact: Bradley Marsh

Writers: Bradley Marsh, Ben Gleisner-Cooke, Mark Ford, Gareth Chappell, Stef Snell, Adam Gulliver, Simon Farrow

Previous Staff: Andrew Revell, Andy Lucas, Anna Ghislaine, Colin Whiteside, Dan Gill, Daniel James, Gareth Chappell, Garry Webber, Gopinath Chandran, Hanley, Tom Knowles, Usman Zia, Richard Meerman, Drew Middlemas

Other previous staff writers for Gamestyle have gone onto further their career, include Garnett Lee of 1UP.com,[6] Ollie Barder of The Guardian and Darren Jones, retro editor ofgamesTM and Retro Gamer.

Webarchive: http://web.archive.org/web/20151218121356/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamestyle

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Headhunter Interview Questions

Gamestyle Archive intro: an interesting oddity from September 2001. SEGA must have asked Gamestyle if we’d be interested in an interview with Amuze who were developing the delayed Headhunter that didn’t arrive until 2002. These interviews were a team effort with all the team submitting questions. I’m not sure if this interview did go ahead but here’s what the team put together. The numbering is all over the place, apologies but this is faithful to the original document.

 

  1. To many of us, Amuze is a developer that we have not heard of before, how long has the company in exsistance and is Headhunter its first game?
  1. Was the initial concept of Headhunter created by Amuze or did Sega approach you with the project?
  1. How long has the game been in development?
  1. Are you also handling the PS2 version of Headhunter and will this have any new features?
  1. In comparison to other machines how straightforward is the Dreamcast to work with?
  1. Briefly give us an outline of the plot and what we can expect from Headhunter.
  1. Other main characters include Angela Stern, Grey Wolf and Mr Stern – should we be looking out for anyone else?
  1. Several previews have compared the setting of 2019 Los Angeles to that of Robocop. Are you happy with that comparison?
  1. Most of the FMV is done in a newscast style, what were the reasons for this?
  1. Is there a set route/sequence of events in the game i.e. Resident Evil or does it involve more freedom i.e. Deus Ex?
  1. We know the plot involves the illegal trade of body parts, does that include heads?
  1. When dealing such content as bodies and violence how aware are you of the age classification system? What age rating will Headhunter have when released?
  1. The main character (Jack Wade) in the game strikes me as a young Chuck Norris, how did you decide on the look of him?
  1. At the start of the game you are just a common bounty hunter, looking for small-time criminals. Can you select your jobs/missions like in Grand Theft Auto?
  1. Will you have the option to customise your character in anyway and how much weaponry is on offer?
  1. Developers always have one feature that in a perfect world they could have included in the game but unfortunately could not due to time restraints, budget, technology etc. What would you have loved to include?
  1. You’ve tried to offer several different experiences in the game (stealth, driving) but how would you classify the genre of Headhunter?
  1. With so many different aspects to consider no doubt you’ve tried to keep the control system as simple as possible have you achieved this?
  1. Going back to the motorcycle section, Shenmue included such a feature but it was very limited. What features have you included to ensure the same doesn’t happen?
  1. Is there a chance to explore the environment or do you have to drive from point A to point B within a certain time?
  1. Apart from the villans does Headhunter have any one else to look out for on his travels?
  1. There was talk of online features for the Dreamcast version, do these still exist and in what form?
  1. The VMU has unfortunately been underused by most developers, we know that the game will take advantage of the feature but how?
  1. What features will be included to encourage repeat playing after the main game as been completed – bonus items, new levels?
  1. How realistic and intelligent are your opponents?
  1. The game seems to employ a variety of camera angles, what was the reasoning behind this?
  1. Richard Jacques has been working on the soundtrack and special attention has been given to the sound effects. How important are both in the game and can we expect anything new?
  1. Will there be a Stateside release of the game?
  1. How has it been working with Sega?
  1. What games are you playing/looking forward to playing?
  1. How are your opinions on the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube?
  1. What can we expect next from Amuze, a sequel or something new?

Gamestyle Live

Gamestyle Archive intro: the archive is committed to making available as much as the GS content as possible. This includes aborted projects and other materials from the site. Looking through the archive files we have Gamestyle Live banners – I really don’t know what these were for, but here we are.

logo-gamestylelive  Gamestyle-Live-Logo-(Cover)

Gamestyle DVD Issue 1

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After scouring the attic there was only 1 discovery regarding Gamestyle and its pictured above. Sometime in 2003 as GSO was proving successful we were looking around at the next step and DVD’s were new on the market and being used for all sorts of things. A very basic outline was created in this preview build and this is the one and only disc, ever. Expect a separate feature on the issue itself!

Gamestyle version 5.1 thank you

Gamestyle Archive intro: Gamestyle has been hacked more times than we’d care to remember. This document dates from 13th September 2003 when the latest version launched after an attack. Memories are hazy on this particular event but the site was kept offline for several months to build a new version rather than patching together what went before.

xbox

Everyone involved with Gamestyle is pleased to welcome you to the latest version of the site.

Firstly, our apologies for being offline for so such a long period of time.  After the hacking saga the decision was taken to build a new version, rather than rebuild.  Being offline since 12th July until now was not planned, but hopefully you’ll agree that its been worth the wait.  The whole unfortunate event drove home how much readers appreciate our existence and desire to continue; no matter what odds.

Rather than explain the new features we have built into 5.1 its best that you go out and discover them for yourself!

Building Version 5.1 has been a bigger task than anyone could have envisaged.  Thanks go to Mike Holmquist for showing (yet again) how fearsome he is in front of a computer, and to Matt Cox for his support with the graphics and overall design.  Our appreciation also goes out to all the publishers, developers and public relation types who demanded the return of Gamestyle.

Internally Dean and myself would like to thank the rest of the administrative team and our staff writers – together we represent the best team Gamestyle has ever had.  Thank you for waiting patiently and working away to provide us with more content than a counter could clock.  Thank you, as well to our partners and families who have had to put up with endless ours in front of PC’s and the constant clicking of buttons.

Christmas has arrived early and with a DVD and GSO just around the next bend, we hope you will spread the word; Gamestyle is back!

Gamestyle Speechbubbles

Gamestyle Archive intro: one of the most surprising finds on the 2 discs discovered in my garage is a back up zip file from 19th December 2003. Being unfamiliar with this type of backup it is a struggle to see whether any articles are contained within. However it does offer the complete visual shell of the site from this era including the backstage team photograph taken at ECTS. 

A fun discovery are the speechbubbles below. These would have been randomly populated on certain pages across Gamestyle. A by-product is that it captures the staff as it was in this era with Raith not partaking in the fun. Lets go back to 2003 and hear these wise words!

usmangba chrisplaystation2 garethplaystation2 usmanplaystation2 garethgba deanxbox chrisgamecube deangba chrisgba deanplaystation2 anonplaystation2 anongamecube chrisxbox usmanxbox deangamecube usmangamecube anonxbox anongba garethgamecube garethxbox  

Submission Guidelines

Gamestyle Archive intro: now here’s a peak into the backstage workings at Gamestyle. This document dates from September 2003. As the site continued to grow and prosper, the team grew accordingly and there was a need for some guidelines. When you applied to join the team as a writer you had to submit some examples of your work. These submissions were then debated by the team as a whole backstage before a collective decision was made.

Successful applicants were then taken on a tour backstage via the forums of the various reference tools available. This general submission document would have been an example of such a resource. The document is interesting for its tone and highlighting the move towards the 3rd person perspective. As for who wrote these guidelines I’m sure it would have been the sub-editor we had at Gamestyle who hailed from Australia. 

Writers would have a forum area to post submissions online. These in turn would be edited, occasionally there would be some debate around the score and questions asked from other writers i.e. what did you think of the controls? The essence of the edit was to ensure consistency and a degree of professionalism. At times over-editing became an issue internally as the piece became more in the style of the editor and not the writer. These are the unforeseen joys of having a successful gaming website.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

For reference before submitting material to the submissions folder.  Please read and note the following:

MATERIAL

All material submitted to the submissions’ folder must be (in the mind of the writer) the finalised version.  Those who are only online during working hours (therefore work ongoing) should mark their submission as such.  Thereby warning the editor/s to leave it alone.  Apart from this, Submissions is not a folder for unfinished material.

SPELLING

Most of us use PC’s, so spelling mistakes should reduced to almost nil, however correctly spelt words will not show up i.e. dose instead of does.  Therefore it is recommended that the writer re-read the final version through before submitting it.  Raith for instance prints off his work and searches for errors whilst travelling to and from work.

GRAMMAR

A similar situation to spelling and solved through re-reading and reading of others work.  The third person “Gamestyle” perspective needs to be maintained throughout; no I’s will be tolerated.  Suggestions can be made (if applicable) during editing to improve the vocabulary.  Soon the GS perspective will become second nature.

PUNCTUATION

Yet again, easily avoided in this day and age.  Re-reading, learning and experience should improve punctuation.

These are the basics.  Note we haven’t given guidelines as to what to cover in a review/preview/feature such as structure, story, controls etc.  This is left down to the individual writer to cover as best as they can.

Final submissions then will undergo the editing process and apart from the above will be judged on the following aspects.  Please bear these in mind when submitting material.

CONCISE

Writers should not take three sentences to say what is possible (reasonably) in one.  We need to keep our material concise and not the epic (and off-putting) scale of other sites.  Also the exact opposite must be true; it is not unreasonable to expect a review to consist of 800-1000 words.  Some may prefer a shorter style (Edge) however we’d like to think the professional image GS has is because we are seen to do a thorough job.

COHESION

Material needs to be a fluid and enjoyable read – not an effort on the part of the reader to follow and digest.  It must make sense and not be ambiguous.  Editor/s may question a particular section if it is unclear.  Also it must not sound too colloquial and friendly, rather an honest critique of the game at hand.

REFUSAL

Clearly our recent problems have arisen partially because editor/s have felt the need to work heavily on a piece to bring it up to scratch.  Admittedly this has lead to reviews being edited heavily.  This is what we want to avoid from now on.  If a submission is deemed to require too much work then it can be refused and returned – along with suggestions.  This would then force the writer to learn and improve, and in the long run save time.

CLOSURE

When a submission has been edited and is considered ready to be released online, the topic can be closed.  There is no benefit in returning to old work and making further changes.

Bearing the above in mind will ensure the high standard of GS is maintained.