Hello, all two of you who follow this page. It is I, Kurt “Chet” Christel of HMG. When June rolled in, all energy and fervor for maintaining this page disappeared in a flash. The way in which we were creating content was unsustainable. Yet, that spark has been reignited. Expect some new videos in the near future. Thank you.
Posted in About
Hard Mode Gamers need hardcore gamers like you!
As the rift between “games journalism” and “gamers” draws larger and larger, we need to find a happy medium to bridge the gap. That’s where you come in. As a gamer, if you feel like your voice isn’t being heard, then it’s time to act. HMG wants to be the “Medium.com” of gaming. If you have something you want to share, we have a platform for you. That said, we do have some rules and general guidelines to go through.
D I S C L O S U R E S
The editor-in-chief of Hard Mode Gamers is, full legal name, Kurt L Christel. The site operates out of Rhode Island. Chet, chet:(, or chetsadface are his known aliases on the net. We have one very small, very cramped office dedicated to the creation of content for the company. We have two desks and a greenscreen. Hard Mode Gamers is legally a sole proprietorship as of right now. We’ are not yet acquiring a base pay and will operate under that structure until there’s room to get people paid. We will not lie to you and say that we will make you famous. We have to work together. We are looking to get ad revenue from some ads, but would greatly prefer Patreon, SubscribeStar, or even a PayPal account which has just been opened. Transparency will be readily available once it’s clear we have regular users. Working with the company right now, you certify you are doing freelance, non-hired work on our behalf. That is subject to change if Hard Mode Gamers becomes an LLC or Corporate entity. We certify that while we cannot compensate you monetarily, we can reward you in the form of gift cards and purchased games for achievements. Currently, as it stands right now, the purchasing schedule for the games we are covering for the season will be assigned to our local editors in Rhode Island for the time being.
C O N T E N T _ C R E A T I O N
You are free to type up articles, either by document, sent via googledocs, or even leaving a written draft in the WordPress editing page for our contributors. Usually you will be asked to produce a piece of content. If you come through with it, you will be added to the WordPress manager of the page. You won’t have to make thumbnails for the written content, that’s our job. We do not want ‘news’ articles unless its something that genuinely isn’t being covered. We would say to use pen names are a better idea, because the focus of some articles may ruffle some feathers.
One form of writing we want to see are listicles, you know, top 6 reasons why X is actually Y. Anything you can come up with will be good. People like these kinds of articles. You can also, of course, write Op Eds. Stay away from direct poilitics and personal attacks. We would most likely say the best idea is to think of an outrageous claim to make. If you google/bing an idea you have, and you don’t get results? That’s good, you fill that void with the article.
The editing plugins for WordPress have both “Readability” and “SEO” helpers if you use their document editor. And by god, do they work. We want nothing less than a greenlight for SEO and at least orange for readability. We are lax about grammar, so long as it’s legible, its good. As said before, we let people speak in their own vernacular if they want. A writer writes “ya” instead of “you”. Chet writes “tho and thru” instead of “thought and through”. Putting an unneccesary P before T-words is also encouraged. Pterrific!
A C C E P T A B L E _ B E H A V I O R
We have to be very clear about certain things here. No edglording. Do NOT associate with far left or far right figures. Do NOT identify as pro or anti gamergate. These things are not what the page is about. However, you are free to speak freely on your own. Hard Mode Gamers is NOT responsible for any of the speech you choose to engage outside of the page. We do not condone or sponsor any statement not within our domain.
If you can think of something good for Sports games do it up. Two types of games we do not cover typically are Sports games and remakes. The remake rule is new. Sports games by and large don’t need to be reviewed. People are either going to get them or they won’t, regardless of rating. Waste of time. Remakes are becoming more and more common. Unless it is absolute overhaul, like the Final Fantasy VII remake or it’s a re-release from a dead system like WiiU games on the Switch or older than that.
The big thing we are going to do is that we are also going to write articles, where we take egregiously bad journalism to task. We must make sure when we write about this that it’s not about the writer but the publisher. We would even suggest censoring the name of the writer if you are gonna grab a few screen shots to pick it apart. If someone wants to write about alternative interpretations of what they feel games or games characters represent, leave those alone. We don’t want it to be a HUGE focal point though. If you spot something done and want to write about it, we suggest taking it to us before you start writing about it.
There is no minimum, just write more than 300 words. We say if you want it to be a list, 3 or 4 should be the lowest depending on how big the points are.
Don’t feel shy to write a STUB article. Content is content. If you want to rant for around 500 words, be our guest.
V I D E O _ P R O D U C T I O N
You won’t be expected to do these unless you absolutely want to. But doing videos require use of your own equipment. However, if you have the hardware, or think you might have enough hardware, we can show you many low cost ways to get a hold of some decent editing software, recording your voice, or recording your screen. If you start DVR’ing your game footage, that’s a huge help. On the Xbox One, you need to have an NTFS formatted USB 3.0 external to capture an hour. PS4 requires you to simply double-tap the share button. Switch needs capture software. PC can be taken care of with OBS Studio.
It would be nice to get b-roll, so if you are playing a game and you at least wanna get some gameplay footage, that’s fine. You all, as a team, do not have to be making video content regularly. Videos are simple, you wanna make something, ask about it and we can set you up. We in particular have cameras, a mics, and a green screen. You can record your own voice if you so much as have a set of headphones with an in-line mic. That might be “lo-fi” but it’s acceptable.
You may have a hard time putting together a video, maybe you flub a sentence or can’t speak all that quickly. We have ways of fixing this. If you just relax and concentrate on what you want to say, we can edit the work to be a bit more expedient.
R E V I E W S
Please read how we score games here. We have a system. Five categories, 2 points each, totaling up to 10. This is the system for all reviews on the page. It removes a level of bias by making you evaluate several points of design. It may go against your own tastes, that’s why we prefer this system. If all you care about is story, than a game with a great story and sh*t gameplay could get a 10/10 from you, but on HMG it would objectively be an 8/10 if you have to deduct the full two points for the bad gameplay. Conversely, a game may not be all that interesting to you. But if you can’t find any flaws, you may be looking at a 10/10.
We have a handful of disputes as to the “Story” requirements of the reviews, message us about this. Reviews can be done for games you already have. If you got something personal and want to review it, that’s fine. There’s a good chance we can find low-end games to hand out on a case by case basis. If you choose to start writing about a topic, you may face deadlines. Consider your first written material as an audition. If it’s good, we will bring you in.
S U M M A R Y
Disclosures – Hard Mode Gamers is a sole proprietorship with aims to earn crowdfunding money and bring people in so they can get paid. We cannot guarantee employment. We can reward users with gift card or games until we become a company.
Writing – Exclusive news, list articles, satire, op eds, and reports on bad journalism. Do not directly attack people, do not make threats, do not flame or troll, foul language is acceptable if well managed, type in your own vernacular. You have the right to express your personal/political opinions outside of the page.
Videos – You are not expected to make videos. If you want to, you will be given the best advice and software needed to create one. It is recommended to DVR gameplay, as b-roll for gameplay is helpful to the platform, even if you don’t plan a video. HMG has its own Youtube Channel.
Reviews – Reviews must be written in the designated format illustrated on our page. 5 categories, 0-2 points each, add up to final score for objectivity. Sports games and remakes will not be issued for review. You are not obligated to review but can if you bought something and would like to. Other games may be occasionally provided.
PLEASE READ THIS SUMMARY BEFORE EMAILING HARD MODE
This website does not currently have any monetary offers for sumbissions. You may have to submit a prior work of writing along with an “audtion” article TBD by the Editor-in-Chief or Senior Writers. Future agreements on participation will have to be carried out via email.
THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING. YOU CAN EMAIL US HERE:
We have an exclusive Discord. Inquire within to gain access.
Posted in About, Reviews
Can you review a game if you haven’t completed it?
Yes, at Hard Mode Gamers, reviewers are allowed to write up reviews on games that they have not finished, though there are several caveats to that.
If the game is clearly a short experience, then unfinished is not acceptable. No bull. If the game is medium length, it really depends on the reviewers’ tolerance for the game they are playing. For instance, maybe they are playing a multiplayer game and it’s just riddled with lag and cheaters, there’s no guarantee that playing the game longer will fix that negative experience. Or perhaps the game is really long and it only gets good 25 hours in. That’s a long time to invest in a game and if it’s terrible before you reach that point, it’s acceptable to say that a good experience is not being had.
Conversely, you could also consider that you objectively find the game good but don’t want to play any more of it. Our review of Prey 2017 is a solid example, the game is fundamentally good, but the reviewer just didn’t want to invest in completing it. We frequently use howlongtobeat.com to look at aggregate scores over how long games take to be finished. Also, we account for the time each reviewer has to spend vs how much time they have.
There are tons of games out there that can take quite a while to beat too. Big sandbox games and RPGs come to mind. Ideally, there has to be a point in the game where either you are satisfied with how you feel about the game, be it hate or love. The most important point is the reviewers feel that their review is representative of the experience they had. The mild level of objectively to our review guidelines highlights this.
Many more factors come into play when reviewing a game. What if the game is endless like a puzzle or procedurally generated game? How much multiplayer do you need to play? Our final line is that we make sure our reviewers are well-versed enough into their assigned games to arrive at the conclusions they do. So for now, we allow unfinished reviews. Some time later this may change, but as always, that’s subjective to the gaming climate.
Posted in About Tagged with: about, campaign, complete, finish, game, gamer, hard mode, hltb, hours, how long to beat, length, review
ATTN: True Gamers
You don’t have to be a super serious hardcore gamer, a streamer with thousands of views or be an MLG pro to be a true gamer. Instead, consider if you’re really enthusiastic about your gaming. How much do you love your games? If you are here, then gaming means something to you. Gamers who are truly passionate: we want YOU. Streamers who just put yourselves out there just for fun? Yes, we plan to notice you. And not just you streamers, we want to talk to all of you gaming enthusiasts too. That doesn’t make you less of a gamer if you don’t feel like streaming.
Be it console, PC, or even mobile, we don’t discriminate. You don’t have to be the best at every game to be a hard mode gamer. You don’t have to be the best at one game, even. Hell, despite the namesake, you really don’t even have to play games on hard mode if it isn’t your bag. There are people who are happy with playing game after game after game for the sake of variety over challenge. And, there are also people who just play one game with their comrades.
Not to mention, this site will remain free from game activist POLITICS.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely one of the fine people from this site have reached out to you, interested in getting to know more about you. We’d very much like to feature you in our weekly feature on eager gamers. Just tell us a little about what your interests are and why you chose us and send that email to email@example.com. We will fill you in on a couple of things from there.
Oh, and if you’ve stumbled upon this website and are interested? Thank you, please check out our stuff and possibly consider getting yourself featured too.
Posted in About Tagged with: about, gamers, hard mode gamers, hardcore, mixer, mlg, review, reviews, sports, stream, streamers, twitch, videogames, youtube
Here at Hard Mode Gamers, we prefer to feel like we are gamers just like you. We aren’t necessarily journalists. When we do our reviews, we don’t want you to have to read a 10-page essay on the minutiae of everything contained in the game whilst using big fancy words like “minutiae” and “whilst.” We want to be direct and concise. The reviews contained here are considerably short and very easy to read. In our reviews, we provide a simple and clear expression on why we scored a game the way we did. To do so, we divided five core elements of game design to be individually scored.
These elements are:
GRAPHICS – How does the game look? Is it technically expressive? Is it very artistic? Many factors are considered, like if realism is a factor, or if the art style if unique against other games. Top scores for this category should make us stop in awe at what we are seeing.
STORY/IMMERSION – How’s the overall plot, writing, characters, and/or lore? Was the plot overbearing or was it too weak? This might seem like a slight against arcade-style games or indies, but that’s not true because when a lack of plot is accounted for, we consider if having little plot benefits the game, and if the design of the game itself does the storytelling for us. A great story is either one that keeps us engaged or doesn’t get in our way. [Update: 3/22/19] We recently added “Immersion” to the title of this category to better express what we are looking for in this section. We figure that the game should keep your interest in one way or another.
AUDIO – How’s the mixing, sound effects, and original soundtrack? Would we listen to the OST outside of playing the game? Audio is a big and important factor when playing games and many reviewers sort of gloss over this aspect of game design, but it’s just as important. Audio also factors in the quality of the voice acting, because the written story and the execution of it are different factors.
GAMEPLAY – Of course, there’s the game itself. How does it play? Can we pick it up and play or does it take a while to learn? We try to make sure our reviewers are playing the game they want to play so they can report how a game stacks up to other game in its genre. Having a good control scheme is crucial to having good gameplay. Also considered is what sort of gameplay elements are implemented in the title.
FUN – And finally, fun is the most important factor. Any of the above could suck, but they may not impact how much fun we are having. What does impact our fun are things like glitches/bugs, game length, immersion, addictiveness, and catharsis. Replayability is also a factor in this category, as we could enjoy a game thoroughly and then realize it’s not really worth a second go.
Now, each of these elements have a very simple numerical score attached to them. They are ranked on the incredibly basic scale of 0-2. It’s pretty straightforward here:
0 – Bad
1 – Good
2 – GREAT!
It becomes easy to consider when we turn the decision for each element into a nearly binary choice. We can determine if an element is either good or bad. After that, if it’s good, is it REALLY good or just regular good?
The total score of all of these elements will add up to an X out of 10 score. This way, the game practically scores itself for us. We don’t have to think about what we want to score the game because once we look into a game based on these criteria, we have our answer. This also benefits the reader because they can quickly see which parts of the game design were impacted when it comes to the final score. You can see a review and quickly determine where it’s lacking and where it shines. All in all, we find this system to be the most non-biased when it comes to reviews, because it’s so direct. And that, readers, is how we review our games.
Posted in About Tagged with: about, critique, FAQ, guide, hard mode, hard mode gamers, help, metacritic, metric, reviews, write, writing
Please make all inquiries at:
We are looking for super awesome gamers and would prefer local if you’re in the New England area. Serious inquiries only, if you want to join, message us but prepare a sample article or video if we haven’t assigned one for you. Everyone on the net is welcome to apply. Hard Mode Gamers is a free page that’s non-monetized* and relies only on donations. We recommend writing for here if you’re interested in it as a hobby. You can also do a feature if you’re a streamer.
*This page used to be monetized, but not anymore. Some ads have yet to have been removed.
Posted in About Tagged with: about, email, FAQ, questions, submissions, suggestions