About nmeunier

Freelance Writer / Game Journalist specializing in geek and gaming culture.

The Indie Mindset, Game Dev Survival Tips, and A New Project Reveal!

Indie Insider #6 – Nathan Meunier and an Exclusive Announcement

As a huge podcasting nerd, I love opportunities to talk shop about things I’m passionate about and offer insights from my own experiences that might help others who are on a similar path. This week the folks at Indie Insider Podcast had me on to do just that, and it was a blast!

We had a great chat about the “indie mindset” for game developers, finding focus to hit your entrepreneurial goals, and tips to stand out and stay afloat in the indie game dev world. I also talk about my journey from games journalism into game development, and share some exclusive tidbits about one of my next big projects, DEATHWELL, which is a spiritual successor to This Book Is A Dungeon.

You can listen to the podcast episode right here!

And stay tuned, I’ll have more specific details and some screenshots of DEATHWELL to roll out soon.


The Indie Response to Steam’s Major User Review System Overhaul


What a week this has been! On Tuesday morning I (and many other frustrated indie devs) woke up to discover that Steam’s latest update took a chainsaw to the user reviews for our games on the marketplace.

In a nutshell, under this new policy, any user reviews left by someone who did not directly buy the game through Steam, are no longer counted in a game’s overall review average score. They can still be left, but they’re buried deep in a series of menus. That’s…errr…a load of horse feces, to put it plainly.

So basically this means that any dev-generated codes, any Kickstarter keys, and even any Steam keys obtained through legitimate purchases on other platforms (i.e. the Humble Store or Itch.io, for example) are not counted in the reviews system.

I’ve got some strong feelings on the matter. But rather than ramble on about it here, I wanted to share some excellent articles that dig into the issue.

    • Gamasutra contributor Joel Couture also wrote up an excellent feature on the dev response to this, which includes some of my own perspectives, a few quotes from me, and the impact this has had on my games. Honored/humbled, by the way, to be mentioned along some other really awesome devs!
    • Here’s a thoughtful blog post from indie dev Josh Bycer that digs deeper into what this means for small studios.

Anyhoo, that’s all for now! I’ve got my head buried in a handful of cool projects. Will try to post more about what I’ve been up to very soon, though I wanted to take a quick second to share some interesting reading on this week’s Steam hullabaloo.


Rejecting the “New Norm” of Games Industry Toxicity


Making games is amazing. Making games is also absolute hell, which is why I want to take a few moments to give voice to something I’ve often struggled with since I started this crazy adventure roughly two years ago. It’s one of the few gruesome dark sides of game development, and some days it makes me seriously question whether I can stomach this industry.

I suspect I’m not alone.

It’s a question that comes up every time I hop online and inevitably wind up wading neck deep in the vile Internet spew flung forth from the absolute worst that gaming culture has to offer. It’s a question that I absolutely HATE having to ask, but it’s the kind of thing that’s hard to avoid much longer:

What do you do when you fundamentally loathe the behavior of so many of the players you’re supposed to rely on to buy your latest games? 

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ADD & Game Dev Part I: Making games when you struggle with a hyper-mind


In this first entry in a multi-part blog series about game development and ADD, I explore what it’s like inside the mind of someone who makes games and suffers from severe attention deficit disorder. Hope these posts offer some insights and tips to help other folks who face similar challenges.

Most of the time, my brain feels like the Millennium Falcon — always threatening to rattle itself apart as I blast my way through a vast hyperspace of to-do lists on any given day. Sometimes I’m firing on all thrusters, and things are going smoothly. Other times, that stupid thing inside my skull does THIS:

Welcome to the Hyper-Mind Hell Vortex. Are we having fun yet?

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Using Pinterest for Game Design Inspiration

pinterest1Inspiration for your game dev projects can come from a lot of different places beyond playing other peoples’ games. If you’re like me, you probably spend quite a bit of time browsing the Internet for images, websites, music, and other resources to kick your creative juices into high gear. Finding a good way to keep all of this digital data organized can be a challenge, but I’ve found that Pinterest is a great solution.

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Awooga! Awooga! Updates and Blog Revamp Imminent!

Oh hey, I remember you, Internets! Man, 2016 has gone in a very weird, very cool direction — one that I didn’t quite anticipate. Lots of exciting things on the horizon, and a few changes. As such, I think it’s almost time for a major blog overhaul. I haven’t posted in a long time, but I hope to change that.

My short-term plan is to re-establish this site as the place to see what I’ve been up to and hopefully learn some cool tidbits to put what I’m doing to use in your own creative projects, whether you’re creating books, video games, or other cool stuff.

Here’s sort of where I’m at and what’s ahead:

The TL:DR version: 

I’ve been super swamped with game development this year, and I’m loving every second of it (mostly). In the short term, I aim to re-design and turn this site into a home base for all of my work, including a dev blog to share tidbits from my game dev projects and learnings.

Meanwhile, I have other book projects in the works, but they’re on hold until I get caught up on game dev project deadlines.

The detailed version:

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The Hard Truth: Why You Have To Hustle For Kindle Reviews


If you’ve ever launched a book, you probably know what it feels like to sit there, constantly refreshing the page day after day, hoping each time that you’ll see another sale or a new positive review. It’s a bad habit a lot of author have, myself included, and it’s hard to avoid. Waiting for your book to get those helpful first reviews can be an agonizingly slow process, and the hard truth of the matter is the vast majority of people who buy a book or product won’t bother to leave a review.

In reality, only about one to two percent of people who buy your book, on average, will take the time to leave you a review on Amazon…IF they’re left to their own devices. It’s not that they don’t enjoy your book, or that they don’t want to help you out. But it takes a little effort to leave a review, and once someone has bought and read your book, they’ve already got the goods, so to speak. There’s no added benefit, really, of leaving a review. And so they don’t.

It’s nothing personal. People are just busy, they’re distracted, or it’s not a high priority.

A one to two percent customer review frequency is pretty abysmal, but you can boost that significantly by taking a more proactive approach to getting honest reviews — both at launch and over time. Seriously. A few simple changes to your approach and a little extra hustle can have a big impact in both the quality of reviews you get and the volume.

To help you out, I’ve put together a comprehensive online course that walks you through a simple, effective step-by-step approach to get you tons of honest day-1 reviews for your book.


Desperate for more Kindle book reviews? Want to learn how to get tons of honest day-1 reviews for your books at launch?

CoverArtKindle Book Review Formula: How To Get More Kindle Reviews Only $10 $99

If you struggle with getting reviews for your books — both at launch and over the long haul — you’ll love my new online course! To kick things off, I’m offering a limited-time 90 percent discount during launch week. You can grab the full course for only $10 right now!

So….What am I going to get from this course?

  1. Over 32 lectures and 2 hours of content!
  2. Get more 4 and 5 star Kindle reviews using only white hat strategies and best practices
  3. Build and engage a launch review team to get a minimum of 10-15 reviews up by launch
  4. Identify and connect with ideal target readers who are more engaged with your book content
  5. Deploy long-term strategies to help boost your ongoing book reviews
  6. Gain the positive social proof you need to help you sell more books
  7. Deal with negative reviews and use criticism to improve your books and get better reviews

Are you ready to turn the tide and get more positive and reviews and social proof to drive your Kindle book sales? Grab your 50% discount today, and let’s get started!