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Content creator quality guidelines

itch.io is home to over 40,000 projects, and we want to make sure people looking for something new and interesting have the best experience possible. As a content creator, it’s your responsibility to accurately represent your project, and represent it in a way that makes a prospective buyer, downloader, or player interested in what you've created.

These quality guidelines are things that an uploader should be thinking about when creating their project pages.

If you follow these guidelines, you'll likely have more players, buyers, and people talking about your creation. Additionally, we may even feature your page on the homepage, and elsewhere on the site.

If you don’t follow these guidelines then a site admin may decide to remove your page from the itch.io’s browse and search page. Your page will still be available by direct access to anyone with the URL, or by your profile page, but because we feel that your page detracts from the browsing experience it will not shown on our listings.

This is a living document, and we'd be glad to make changes based on your suggestions. Get in touch

Avoid publishing your page before it’s ready

itch.io has a wide range of visibility options. When you decide to make your page public it should be ready for everyone to see. This includes having all images, files, and classifications added as needed. As soon as you publish your page for the first time it’s added to the Recently added list for people to find it. It can not be put on the top of the recently added page again.

Keep in mind it is okay to create works in progress, or temporary pages. Just know that as soon as you publish the page it should be ready for others to view it.

In general, you're better off polishing your page before publishing it, otherwise people will be more likely to pass over it when browsing Recently added.

Make your metadata accurate

The metadata tab on your project’s edit page allows you to add many different categorizations to your project. Your project will then show up on the respective browse page on itch.io.

Do not use the metadata page to add categorizations that don’t apply to your game. If you're purposefully adding every classification, we may mark your page as spam and disable access to your project pages.

Use relevant tags, prefer using suggested tags

You're allowed to add free-form tags to your project page to aid in discovery. Please choose tags that are relevant to your project.

  • Prefer using a suggested tag over creating a new one. We make the suggested tags easier to find. If nothing fits then add your own, we may even promote it to a suggested tag.
  • Avoid using tags for classifications available the metadata page. It’s not necessary to add a multiplayer tag if you've classified your game as multiplayer in the Multiplayer support section.
  • Avoid using tag synonyms. If you game is tagged zombies, it does not need a zombie tag.
  • Avoid using tags for things like your name or your project’s name. We already asked you for the title of your project, we don’t need it again. It will not help your listing.

NSFW content must be marked as NSFW

If you have a project page that has strong adult themes, then it must be marked NSFW. Someone browsing itch.io will only see NSFW content if they've enabled it on their account settings. We don’t want any surprises for people who do not want to see that kind of content.

You can enable on your project’s edit page: Metadata ยป Classification.

Provide a cover image for your project

The cover image is typically the first thing someone sees when they uncover your game in our browse pages. If you don’t have one they'll likely pass over it. You can even upload a GIF of your project as the cover image to catch someone’s eye.

If you're using an animated cover image, please make sure it doesn’t have seizure inducing effects. (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)

Provide screenshots for your project (if applicable)

Screenshots allow you to easily communicate what your project. Many people browsing for something new will use screenshots to decide if it’s worth their time. Just like cover images, screenshots can be GIFs. Feel free to use them if they better represent your project.

Even if your project is an embedded HTML or Flash game you should provide screenshots. We'll display them on other parts of the site.

If it’s not appropriate to have images for you project, like a text only Twine, don’t feel obligated to try to create them.

Do not choose every language if your game has no language

Our classification page allows you to choose a language that your project is in. If your project has no written or spoken language you may be tempted to choose them all. Please don’t do that, instead use the relevant Accessibility classifications such as No text.

Avoid uploading ‘reskins’, or many project pages for minor changes

Do not create multiple project pages for projects that are essentially the same but with minor adjustments. If the code or asset changes are substantial it’s okay. Additionally, if you're trying to preserve different versions of the project, eg. jam versus final, it’s okay.

If you need to sell different tiers of the same product you can use our individual pricing tools.

Please try not to upload just Steam keys, or put a link to your Steam store page without uploading any files. Someone buying a game on itch.io wants to to be able to access it on itch.io through our website and app. If possible, your uploads should be DRM free, but it isn’t a requirement.

If you're concerned about maintaining multiple builds, please try out our command line tools. They're significantly easier to use than anything provided by any other store or platform. You can even find integrations with popular game engines.

Avoid obtrusive advertisements or third-party logins

itch.io is an advertisement free website. We prefer to see projects that have no advertisements but we realize that this isn’t possible for all developers. If you have advertisements, please don’t make them obtrusive or misleading. Avoid sponsored installers, or ads that prevent someone from playing the game without performing some action.

Please avoid putting third-party login walls in front of your game unless necessary. It’s okay if you need to implement DRM, or save user settings on your server. Avoid doing it for the sake of collecting personal information about a player, or trying to redirect traffic to a third-party service.

Game jams

Do not add your game to unrelated jams for promotion

Game jam hosts put a lot effort into their pages so that participants can have the best time, and work with other people on a similar theme. Do not submit your project pages to jams with no consideration just so you can increase exposure to your page. We consider it spamming, your account will lose jam permission, and we may disable your account.

Do not create a game jam to advertise your project

Do not create a game jam just so you can submit or advertise your own project. Game jams are events for others to participate in, and we expect to see a reasonable level of effort put into their creation. Thinly veiled advertisements are not tolerated and will be taken down. Additionally, your account may lose permission to host and participate in game jams.

Sales

Your project should not be constantly on sale

A sale is a special event when your game can be purchased for a reduced cost for a limited time. If your game is always on sale, then it’s not actually on sale. Update the price of the game accordingly. We want people browsing game sales to see things that are on sale.

In many countries it is illegal to misrepresent the cost of your product.

Avoid creating sales too frequently

Creating sales too frequently reduces the value of an individual sale. See the points from above.

Community

If you want to share your own project, do it in the designated area

The Release announcements board is our designated place for creators to announce and show off their own work. Avoid creating self-advertisements in other boards. Your topic will be locked or moved.

Do not advertise your game on other projects' comments or communities

Unless your project is relevant to the other one, do not post advertisements on other communities. It’s considered spamming, and your posts may be removed.