Launching Arcade Trail

Hi, my name is Michael and I’m a gamer. Ever since flipping through floppy disks next to my Amiga I have enjoyed what I consider to be the most entertaining medium of our time: Video games.

In fact, my passion for gaming has led me down the path of making games myself. Today I run a game studio called Northplay and I now get to think about games at work as well as my spare time. A total win, if you ask me.

One of the most vivid gaming memories I have as a kid was the anticipation and launch of Command & Conquer. When the day finally arrived my father drove me to the store for the midnight release. We waited in line and after what seemed ages, the clerk handed me the shiny box with the CD inside. I was allowed to skip school the next day and completely immerse myself. I was in gaming heaven. Since then I have eagerly awaited many game releases, attended many launches and even conducted a few myself. You could say that being excited about upcoming games have become sort of a hobby of mine.

The landscape of games have changed quite a lot since I stood in that store all those years ago. Games have ballooned into a massive market and gaming is now mainstream. Subsequently there’s also a lot more games being released every day. More places to read about games. More places to buy games (although fewer and fewer physical stores). Some games are hyped to infinity by big publishers, run impressive campaigns and some games go almost unnoticed.

Being interested in games in 2017 is both a blessing and a curse. There’s a lot to choose from but staying informed requires a lot of you. I scroll the upcoming games section on Steam. I follow developers on social media. I visit campaign sites for all the games I look forward to. I consume heaps of game journalism and yet I feel like there’s so many things that pass me by. So many missed oppertunities to get excited. To feel that joy of anticipation.

Furthermore as a game developer, I wish it was easier for me to stay connected with my audience before launch. To build hype and interest for what I’m making. If only someone would build something that catered to all of these issues.

Something that would allow me to feel like I’m on top of new and upcoming game releases. Not just on steam but across a wide range of platforms.

Something that would let me get excited about new games, maybe even lead me to try new and different things.

Something that would make it easier for game developers to pool interest for their games.

Then I remembered that I run a studio that makes things.

That was more than a year ago.

Today we’re opening up Arcade Trail.

In short, Arcade Trail is a crowdsourced game discovery and curation platform. It aims to make game discovery easy and fun, allowing both players and game creators to celebrate past, present and future games.

It helps you to get excited about new titles, and gives you an overview of what’s on the horizon, or what you’ve missed lately.

It helps you collect and curate your own game collection and it allows everyone to contribute media, meta-data and conversation, collectively creating the largest crowdsourced database of video game content. It’s kind of like if Wikipedia and Product Hunt had a baby and that baby turned out to be a gamer.

Arcade Trail is a game universe driven by you.

Here’s what we’ve build so far:

We’re far from done with Arcade Trail, but we feel like it’s sufficiently done for us to push it out of the nest to see if it can fly. Whereto, only time will tell.

This is a launch I have been looking forward to for a long time. And while there’s very little glory or business sense in it– it makes me happy. It solves all of the issues I listed above and then some, but most importantly it makes me feel more like that kid again. Unbridled excitement in celebrating games.

You can secure your own Arcade Trail account by signing up here: https://arcadetrail.com/join

And you can stay updated with the team and our progress on the offical twitter account and the blog.

I’d love to hear what you think of this, so use the feedback button on the site or tweet me @flarup 👋

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Michael is a Danish designer, entrepreneur & keynote speaker. He runs entertainment development studio Northplay, Pixelresort and design resource platform Apply Pixels.

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