Meet Dave Irwin, RPS’s new guides writer


Last year, we identified three core areas we want to do more of at RPS: hardware, video, and guides. We’d dabbled in all three previously but hadn’t had the chance to fully commit. Last November we hired our hardware editor, over the past six weeks we’ve hired two video producers, and now we have our first guides writer: please join me in welcoming Dave Irwin to the team.

Dave joins us after a lengthy spell as a freelancer, writing for sites such as TheSixthAxis, Tech Advisor and Kotaku. You might have already seen some of his guides work already appearing on the site over the past couple of weeks, as he helped us frantically collate information during E3 and expand our Plunkposts.

Our hope with guides is to do what we always do: highlight the kinds of games – often PC exclusive – that other sites tend to overlook. The guides themselves should help you to have more fun at games, get better at games, or whatever else you’re interested in learning.

And if you’re not interested at all, fear not: as always, everything else RPS has always done will continue as before. Guides are happening as well as rather than instead of anything else. We’ll also have one more announcement of a new hire tomorrow that’ll help make all of that other stuff better.

In the meantime, please say hello to Dave in the comments.


Top comments

  1. dangermouse76 says:

    HI Dave.

    Sounds fun, what format will the guides take ?
    Whole game guides or, specific quest, or rare item guides. There's a lot of wiki's and guides out there, how will RPS differentiate their guides over others ?

    Liking the expansion of content, good luck with it.
  1. Hoot says:

    Oh no. Why? Guides are…just shitty reading all round, especially if you’re going to go the Shacknews route of every time a major title releases post 15 articles on how to do incredibly obvious things that you actually cannot help but do as long as you play the game such as “How to get all Weapons in Quake!” or “How to fast travel in God of War!” (really? you’re doing a guide on a game feature Shacknews? Muppets.)

    TL;DR Guides are crap but if you’re gonna do them, make them comprehensive, single articles that are worth it and only about games that actually need them.

    • Zorgulon says:

      Guides are indeed crap and unnecessary – unless they’re good, comprehensive and worth reading. Thank you for your helpful insight, what a welcoming first comment.

      I imagine we can hope for something a bit better than the straw men you have smashed to pieces. I am looking forward to what Dave will produce here at RPS.

      Greetings Dave, may your guides be interesting and helpful! (I’m sure they will be!)

    • Stardog says:

      Don’t worry. As one of PC’s premiere gaming websites, I’m sure they will have a dedicated section for these, easily searchable/filterable, and each article will be split into multiple pages, and in no way just an insanely long regular WordPress blog post tagged ‘guide’.

    • Viral Frog says:

      Guides are crap? What guides have you been reading? There are thousands of well written and informative guides out there.

    • sharpmath says:

      Really awful take, mate.

  2. dangermouse76 says:

    HI Dave.

    Sounds fun, what format will the guides take ?
    Whole game guides or, specific quest, or rare item guides. There’s a lot of wiki’s and guides out there, how will RPS differentiate their guides over others ?

    Liking the expansion of content, good luck with it.

    • phlebas says:

      A few sample titles from the ‘guides’ link in the article:

      Cyberpunk 2077: everything we know so far
      PUBG Miramar: the best places to drop, how to not die
      Warframe Plains of Eidolon: bounties, fishing, mining, and hunting for Eidolons
      Warframe: How to acquire warframes and equip mods
      Video: 8 toasty tactics I wish I’d known before starting Frostpunk
      Kingdom Come Deliverance: how to master lockpicking

      A couple of those were written by Dave – welcome to the regular crew, Dave!

      So it seems a broadish brief covering overviews and hints&tips type articles. Generally for games I’m not likely to play, but possibly interesting nonetheless – especially the kind that give insights into a particular mechanic.

      That’s two of the three newbies now, both targeted to expand specific areas of content. Will the third be similar (is there currently a designated e-sports person, for instance)? Or is there a chance we might get a new Big Article Writer?

      • shde2e says:

        A new Big Article writer would be nice, those are often the most interesting types of content.

      • dangermouse76 says:

        Yeah I had a browse through those. I like the idea of going for games that may be a little more off the radar as it were.

        Especially in the RPG territory as I am looking to go down that path a little more myself. So character building and overviews of how stats and mechanics work for different playthroughs would be fun.

        I’m not a min-maxer much myself but sometimes I do find RPG systems a bit overwhelming.

        As for a new writer……if I had a choice it would be something like stories written from the characters perspective entirely. As in totally rolled played, a sort of fiction writer. I would love that.

  3. Firkragg says:

    Hello and welcome Dave! Not usually one to use guides myself, i’ll be interested in how you rope me into reading them :)

    And just a stupid idea, if you want to write anything other than guides, perhaps have a (d)Irwin awards? Instead of a Darwin award, it could be an award for coolest game feature? Just an idea!

  4. BooleanBob says:

    Wasn’t there already a guide person? I seem to remember a lot of guides.

  5. Meat Marauder says:

    Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave?

    2001: A Space Odyssey qoutes aside, welcome to the site!

  6. TotallyUseless says:

    Hi Dave!

    I don’t usually read guides but after reading these recent “everything we know so far” articles, they’re actually fine reads! Looking forward for these contents!

    And I hope these guides would also bring in more readers to RPS. More power to you guys.

  7. Bull0 says:

    Hi Dave

  8. Dave Irwin says:

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

  9. Xipheas says:

    Personally I’m not interested in video, what I’d welcome is a replacement for Cardboard Children!

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      Real question: what did Cardboard Children provide that you’re not getting from other boardgame sites, reviews, etc.? (Other than good Rab.)

      The answer would help us if we ever decided to do more boardy-gamey stuff in future.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        Oo! I was thinking much the same (I miss Cardboard Children… not that I am not interested in video content). I’m not the OP but do you mind if I answer on my own behalf here?

        Honestly, Rab /was/ part of the appeal. His writing style was a delight and the personal touches were pleasantly inclusive of the reader. Besides who doesn’t love a scottish accent? Again, like much of RPS, it felt communal, personal. It’s nice when you guys come down to chat with us like this from time to time too.

        I think probably it was also having an easily accessible roundup of boardgaming reviews, because I’m always on ‘ere. Cardboard children was really good at addressing a group who are interested in some of the more interesting boardgames, without being up on the deeper boardgaming scene or demanding that the reader should go any deeper.

        SUSD is good in this regard too (not surprising, considering who they are) but it’s a little more on the enthusiast end of the scale – with more of the jargon that I don’t really recall Rab using. I’ve been frequenting there site pretty much since Rab Florence left here but I still am not familiar with some of the terms and concepts they bandy about.

        hope that’s useful?!

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        To build on what SanguineAngel said – it is true that Cardboard Children is not as necessary at it once was, but board game coverage is overwhelmingly enthusiast coverage, and even more accessible places like Shut Up & Sit Down require you to commit to spending 20 minutes+ to watching a review of a board game. Cardboard Children was inviting and acessible, saying “hey you! You don’t know anything about board games? That’s okay, I got a wonderful little game for you!” And he was excellent at pitching the *experience* of a game and not its feature set.

        I don’t think it’s the #1 need on RPS, yes, there are other sites for this now – but I have yet to find anything that approached board games quite like Cardboard Children did.

      • phlebas says:

        Fair point. A replacement boardgame column is a much lower priority than a replacement writer of Rab’s calibre. If you somehow get the latter they could be writing about e-sports for all I care.

      • Landiss says:

        Same question could be asked about hardware reviews. There are sites that specialize in that (and even sites that specialize in some parts of that).

        Personally I think they are not needed here, but that is because I do read other sites to read about hardware. I can understand that there are people who don’t.

        I think it’s exactly the same with boardgames reviews.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gnarl says:

      Sod board games, what RPS needs is a table top RPG column. As far as I know, there isn’t any good RPG journalism out there, despite it being one of the most interesting places for ideas that could inform things like, I don’t know, PC gaming?

  10. Someoldguy says:

    Welcome aboard Dave!

    The only thing I’m disappointed about in this announcement is that of the three things RPS decided it needed to do more of, reviews wasn’t top of the list. An average of two a week is not bad but there are just so many games coming out that other interesting ones inevitably miss out.

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      We average about 15 reviews a month, looking through the archive. That number has been down the past two or three months due to Adam’s departure. It’ll bounce back.

      • Kingseeker Camargo says:

        I’m with someoldguy here, actually. For a while now I’ve been noticing what I can only describe as “missing reviews”. It’s not about the quota of reviews per month, either; rather you seem to be missing quite a few games that are precisely the kind of games I would come here and nowhere else to read about.

        In the last year, things like Echo, Aer, Seven: The Days Long Gone, The Station or The Golem; all games that I would’ve thought a place like RPS would have a special interest to talk about for one reason or another (be it their pedigree, their unique art style or having been hotly anticipated right here); have all gone by without a proper WiT, and at best got a press release-style quick post. Some of those posts even recommend reading reviews elsewhere, which is perplexing to say the least.

        I don’t think you’re dropping the ball or anything, I know for a fact that there are still some of you that are doing the Lord’s work (the recent WIT for Unforeseen Incidents was precisely the kind of eye opening, mouth watering piece that I was talking about in that first paragraph, the things that brought me to RPS in the first place); it just would seem you need more people tracking down the cool stuff that’s coming out, because quite a few titles seem to be slipping by.

        • Kingseeker Camargo says:

          Sidenote: The “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” hasn’t been working for ages, making it kinda troublesome to follow these discussions.

          • mac4 says:

            This is more one for the forums, but a post history (in the comments section here, not on the RPS forum) where at least you could look up your *own* past posts would be wonderful.

            Since indeed, as it is it’s impossible to follow discussions as they get overtaken by new ones.

    • fish99 says:

      Agree, to me what RPS needs is more reviews and opinion pieces rather than expanding into areas that maybe don’t gel with the existing content and readership. You don’t see a lot of sites expand from text into video content successfully (and it’s not like you haven’t tried before), and dedicated hardware sites can give the subject a lot more time.

      I dunno, just feels a bit random.

  11. spacein_vader says:

    There are a few candidates for guides on RPS, for me something like Battletech:

    It’s a PC only game that hasn’t been guided to death elsewhere already and has tonnes of depth but is woefully bad at explaining it in what can only loosely be described as a tutorial.

  12. Carra says:

    Reminds me of the old days where my favorite PC games magazine had a yearly guides special edition. Guides for Baldur’s Gate! Broken Sword! Starcraft!

    Since the internet has become more popular, they skipped that edition.

  13. Darth Gangrel says:

    “please say hello to Dave in the comments” Well, okay then. Hello to Dave in the comments.

  14. Megatron says:

    Dave, I’m not sure sharing that drink with Horace is entirely sanitary. Or good for your having something to drink. He is endless, you know, meaning endless stomach/bladder. One sip could last months…

    Welcome to RPS!

  15. caff says:

    Welcome Dave!

  16. shoptroll says:

    Welcome aboard Dave!

  17. SaintAn says:

    Ugggghhhh, it begins. Slowly conforming to the norm to attract the lowest common denominator with content targeted at them because they’re more profitable.

    Soon we’ll be like every other site with autoplaying embedded videos on the front page and in every post so you can increase the views, pointless guides about obvious stuff spammed on the front page to get clicks or because it was sponsored by a corporation, and I’m sure a new broken comment system is coming, like Disqus, with the abusive amateur moderators and terrible community that come with it.


    • SanguineAngel says:

      I am unsure if this is ironic.

      However, I’d note that comments like this always accompany changes on this site. Seems everyone has a different line they would draw in the sand. To be fair – the site HAS changed in the many years I’ve now been visiting. Quite dramatically, too in some areas.

      Overall, though, the tone remains broadly similar; communal, welcoming and open minded with a style that focuses on humour, thoughtfulness and integrity.

      I wouldn’t worry too much. When they do a thing here, it seems to me to typically be done in a fashion that fits with the RPS ethos.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Lo says:

    Welcome Dave! Good to have ya! <3

  19. kud13 says:

    Welcome, Dave. Looking forward to reading your words.

  20. DantronLesotho says:

    Welcome Dave! You have the same name as a coworker of mine so I had to doublecheck the article.

  21. SanguineAngel says:

    Welcome, Dave Irwin!

  22. Iamblichos says:

    Welcome, glad to see new faces.

  23. cpt_freakout says:


  24. mac4 says:

    And hello to you, too, Dave.

  25. heretic says:

    Welcome Dave!

    Would be great if we could have a team up with Tim Stone to get a guide on Combat Mission etc. for us Flare-Pathers or something :)

  26. Viral Frog says:

    Welcome to the hive mind, Dave.

  27. Seyda Neen says:

    Welcome Dave!

  28. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Hello Mr Irwin!

  29. Premium User Badge

    Gnarl says:

    Good morning Mr Irwin, and good luck writing guides that don’t read tedious as all hell. Alongside news, they seem to be the hardest to pitch right between informative, and interesting to peruse. In my many years of using guides (because I’m terrible) the ones with a bit more personality have been my faves.

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