If you are experiencing issues playing one of the games on our site, it's always best to contact the developer of the game, and let them know there is a problem. We are a distribution platform, so unfortunately cannot assist with technical support for each individual game on the site. If the game's page has comments, or their forums enabled, you can post there to inform them of the issues you are seeing. :)
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If you've been playing the alpha, please take a few moments to share your feedback by completing our survey. It's so helpful to know how our players feel about the game!
The future of Runeshard
Team Handcrafted on 11 April 2017
Since we launched the alpha just a few days ago we have gotten an incredible amount of feedback and support from so many different people and places. It feels good to have so many of you awesome people playing our game and we are more motivated than ever to continue our work on it.
We've already pushed more than a dozen patches to deal with the glitches and bugs you reported to us. For next week, we are preparing a content patch which will increase enemy variety, give you more zones to explore and possibly change or add new runes. After that we're getting to work on the first story part of the game.
Thank you for all the help and support and for being part of our community. If you still haven't played the alpha you can get it for free from itch.io. You're always welcome in our discord to have a chat with us and the rest of the community.
Have you played the alpha? Please leave your thoughts here! Let us know what you thought of the version you played, the version number, and what you'd like to see next for Runeshard. The team read every comment before switching to a board, and will continue to listen to you, the players!
Welcome to our new itch.io forum! This will be the place to catch up on news and updates from the team, and follow development as we progress through alpha. We're truly humbled by the outpouring of support and feedback over the weekend, and look forward to hearing so much more from the community.
Hosting your own jam is an awesome way to bring creative minds together for an event or cause that's important to you. Itch.io has made it easy to host your very own jam, any time you like! The only thing needed is an itch.io account, and you're on your way.
You can configure many options for your jam, such as ranked entries, voting, non-ranked jams, and more. When you set up your jam page, you can choose start and end dates for submissions, voting deadlines, voting criteria, and even custom fields for your submissions.
In addition, as a jam owner you can offer a message board for discussion, to compliment the default comments section given to jam entries. This community board can serve as a place for your creators and fans to exchange ideas, talk about the jam, and hang out during your event. You can Read more about itch.io jam communities.
Our game jam system has a broad array of functionality, and we're still expanding on it. We encourage anyone who needs custom functions to please contact us, and we will try to accommodate your needs.
Offering coupon codes for your project is a handy way to give a discount to present or future buyers. You have several options when setting up a coupon code, including limited use coupons that allow a set number of uses. To set up a coupon code, you will be hosting a conditional sale, with the coupon code as the requirement to access the sale. You can choose a custom sale name or you can opt to have one randomly generated for you.
Coupon code sales create a new url on your account, which your buyers will need to access to redeem the sale. They are on your subdomain, so that they are short and easy to print out and distribute at events or online. For example, if you chose the coupon code secret-sale then the address would look like http://username.itch.io/secret-sale.
Comments sections have something of a reputation for housing negative remarks and being a source of issues for content creators. This sometimes dissuades creators from using this resource, and hearing what their community has to say. So what can you do to help keep your comments section constructive?
One important way to ensure your community feels heard is to reply frequently to your comments section, and respond to the things being posted. If there is an issue with your project, this can feel like a daunting task. However, active developers and content creators are typically rewarded with a strong and growing community, who appreciate the effort going into interacting with them.
Encouraging discussion on your comments is another way to increase activity and gain valuable feedback. Commenting yourself, with questions for your community or soliciting feedback can bring more users into the discussion, and replying regularly will help keep that feedback coming in.
If your comments section does receive spam, or other posts which are violations of the community guidelines, it's important to moderate those comments so that your community can find and read the comments that have content to them. Itch.io does not moderate comments sections, so staying on top of the activity on your page is a must!
For the purpose of closed testing, or limiting access to a project, adding a password is an easy way to control who can view your page. The feature is part of the access control options that make up refinery. You can set this option from the bottom of your project's edit page, by setting your page to restricted.
You can provide a password that must be entered by anyone who wants to visit the page. People who already have access for another reason do not need to enter a password. You can also include the password directly in the URL so it's not required to type it in.
Password protecting your page not only allows for closed testing, it also permits a content creator to permit specific people access to offer feedback before a page goes public. It's a great way to ensure that you and your team are satisfied with the content and appearance of the page.
A game's description section is an important tool for helping your buyers to understand your project, and gain their attention. Frequently, customers will bypass projects where the page is lacking any kind of description, or the description is something irrelevant to the project entirely. What are some things you can do to make a good description? Here are just a few:
- Be descriptive, and offer plenty of information about the game, its features, its setting, where it is in development, etc. Use bullet points to draw attention to feature lists and segments where you're talking about multiple subjects.
- Avoid self-promoting statements such as "best game ever", "You'll love this game more than anything", etc. While you are marketing a project, you want the product to speak for itself, and customers are interested in the details, rather than the developer's opinion of their work.
- Avoid overuse of hype and buzzwords such as "rad," "awesome," "epic," etc. These words can cause a customer to tune out if overdone, since what they are seeking is genuine information and details on the product.
- If your project is still in development, be sure to note that, along with upcoming plans. Outline what is already there, as well as your roadmap. This lets your buyers know if your project is going to continue to receive updates, or if what they see now is what they get.
Remember, your project page is is your chance to gain attention and build an audience for your project. It's the first impression they will have of your work, and it's important to draw them in!
Pricing can be a sticky issue for indie creators, especially those looking to sell a product commercially for the first time. How do you price a project to make it attractive to users? Should you try a free product first? It's a complicated decision, and one that should include extensive research. There are many articles up online that offer sound advice on setting a price for your project.
There are several considerations which you will want to make in setting your price. You will want to look at other products on the market that are similar to yours, and consider how your product compares. Customers will be more likely to purchase from you if they feel it's a fair market value. It can be enticing to want to price a project higher in order to make more revenue, but you want to ensure that your buyers are getting a good value. Offering a free demo (if applicable) is another way to showcase a slice of your project without devaluing the work. In this way, buyers are more inclined to purchase knowing the product is something they really want.
In the realm of pricing, there is no single set answer as to how to do it "right." Doing your homework and setting a fair price for your project will help to ensure that you get the most reach. Remember, you don't want to undervalue your work either!
When you publish your project, one of the goals will be to bring traffic to your new page. One way to do this is by utilizing the tagging feature. Tagging allows users to search for relevant games, and prudent tagging can make a difference in bringing an audience to your page.
On your dashboard, you are given the option to add tags that describe your project. We recommend that content creators use suggested tags where possible, as these are more easily found in searches on the site.
Some common mistakes when tagging include using synonyms (such as zombie, zombies), using the name of the game as a tag, and using tags that give information already included in the metadata. For example, tagging a game as multiplayer would be unnecessary if you've already classified your game as multiplayer in the Multiplayer support section. Tags should instead be relevant to your game, and should aid your customers in finding your page.
Hosting a bundle of your own games is a great way to get exposure for your games. Sometimes, however, developers want to take it a step further, and collaborate with other devs on a bundle. With the co-op bundle features on itch.io, this is quick and easy to set up. Co-op bundling offers the chance for multiple devs to sell a bundle of their collective works for a single price, for as long as they wish.
You can configure your bundle with a variety of options such as title, start date, end date, price, description and more. Revenue sharing is also made simple with sliders that let you decide who get's what percentage of the proceeds. There is also an option to set an equal share, allowing you to set revenue share with the click of a button.
Once you're happy with all your settings, you will need to get approval from all the participating developers. Itch.io does not notify your partners in the bundle. You will get a link which you will need to send to each developer so that they can approve the bundle page. The revenue split and game selection become read-only after page creation, so be sure you've got everything set the way you want it before finalizing your page!
Once the bundle is marked published and it's between the start and end date, the bundle will be able to be purchased. The bundle will show up on itch.io's bundles page. Be sure to spread the word on social media, and let others know you're hosting a bundle with us!
Marketing a game is no easy task, especially if you're a small studio. There are plenty of tools available to help you make your game known now that you have published it on itch.io. Don't hesitate to use Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to spread the good news. The /r/GameDeals subreddit is a good place to start, but make sure to check both their Submitter's guide and their FAQ to stay within the rules. We also encourage you to post your release announcement on our forums!
When promoting your title on social media, it's important to boost visibility as much as possible. Remember to use hashtags to increase your reach, and help your post become more visible in searches. Some popular tags include #gamedev, #indiedev, and #indiegames.
Marketing can feel like a very daunting aspect of publishing a game, but there are also numerous marketing guides available online that you can refer to. There are many different approaches, and you may need to experiment to find out what works for you, your project, and your community. Remember, your community are your best tool in helping spread the word. Happy buyers already playing your game are likely to mention the game to others. Be sure to interact regularly with your buyers and keep them up to date on the project and what's coming next. Regular news, updates, and communication will keep your community going, and growing!
Building a community for your game is a crucial part of launching a project. Interacting with fans allows you to gather valuable feedback, as well as measure how your project is being received by the public. Itch.io offers a number of features that aid you in starting your community. These options include emailing your fans, allowing comments on your project page, and having a forum on your project page.
Sending emails is a great way to notify your buyers of major news, updates, and releases for your project. While these should be used sparingly, they are a tool you can use to communicate effectively with buyers. To send an email, you can visit your project's interact tab, and then select email. Simply compose your message, and then send it.
Allowing comments offers you a chance to see what your players are thinking and saying about your project. It should be noted that developers are responsible for moderating comments, and that itch.io does not monitor these comment sections. Comments can be made by any user, and can also be voted on by other users. Developers are free to disable voting on comments, or to set options for what type of voting to allow. Comments are enabled through your project's edit project page.
While comments can offer feedback and a glimpse into the community's thoughts, some developers may prefer to use our full-featured message boards for their community. These boards function in the same way as our official itch.io forums, and allow for moderation, sticky posts, set rules, and more. As with comments, developers are responsible for moderation within their itch.io communities. Users are able to report content to itch.io and we can respond to those reports. This feature is available on your project's edit project page.
Updating a project is a crucial part of keeping your players interested, and it's important to make that process as easy as possible. For our refinery toolset, we've built an entirely new distribution platform with binary patching, it's called wharf.
Developers can update only what's changed, avoiding very large patch sizes that become difficult for players to download. We've provided simple, straightforward command line tools that can be integrated right into your workflow. We also support resuming uploads in case there is an issue when you attempt to upload a build.
On the player side, users can stay up to date with the latest versions of games without having to wait for lengthy downloads. Customers using our app can receive automatic updates.
Putting a project on sale on itch.io is quick and easy! You can host a sale for your project at any time you wish, and you can set the price and duration of your sale as desired. You can create a sale, or edit an existing sale from your dashboard. While hosting a sale, you'll get a sale page for your project which you can share. Additionally, your project will display a badge next to the purchase button informing the customer that your project is currently discounted.
In addition to our traditional sales options, you can also take advantage of our conditional sales settings. These include the ability to generate coupon codes for your game, as well as being able to offer a discount based on ownership of one of your other projects.
Have a specific earnings goal in mind? Our sale configuration also allows you to set an earnings goal which will be displayed on your sale page. This allows you and your community to follow your progress toward the goal you've set.
If you wish to offer a bundle price for your games, getting set up is simple. On your dashboard you will find a section for sale and bundle pricing. Here you can set your preferences for which titles are included, the sale dates, prices, etc. Under your sale options, you will find the option to set a buy all price for your titles. After selecting which games you want to bundle, you can price them both individually and as a package deal.
Projects that are in a bundle will be advertised as such on your project page for the duration of your bundle, showing users who browse your page that they can get a special on your games, and what it will include. They can view the price for the game by itself, or as a bundle.
At times, a developer might wish to limit the total number of copies they sell of their game. This can allow for smaller test groups, reward tiers, and more. Using the refinery tool set, there are several options you can use. It can range from using the access control feature to restrict access, to using the exclusive content feature to add rewards to different tiers of access to your project. Setting your project page as restricted, and issuing download keys is one way to limit how many people are playing your game.
To sell copies of your game to users, rather than granting restricted access, you would need to use the exclusive content tools. It's possible to make a reward a requirement for purchasing your project. With this you can restrict how many people buy your game in total. This makes for a great way to slowly roll our your game for testing when using our refinery tool set.
Closed betas are a valuable tool for developers, allowing you to test your game with users and gather feedback and bug reports. At times, however, you may want to limit how many people can access your game at a given time. To do this, you can make use of our access control feature, and set your project to restricted access.
The restricted access setting allows you to have a fully functional project page that can only be accessed by those who you have approved access for, or whom you have given a download key. You can generate download keys from your dashboard.
For added security during your closed beta, you can also opt to use a password for your testers to enter when accessing your page. This option is available to you when using restricted access. There are several ways to configure this option, including adding the password to the URL directly so that your users don't need to enter it. Those who have access from a download key will not need to enter a password.
Your restricted project page will not be visible to the public, or in searches on itch.io. They will also not be indexed by search engines.
Hey everyone! The digest returns this week with news and updates, as well as some awesome indie games to check out. The hamster wheels are greased, and team itch is busier than ever, working on the app, continued improvements to the site, and plenty of goings on with our amazing content creators.
To sign up for the digest in your inbox, follow the instructions here.
Staff Picks - LD37 Edition!
Over 900 games were added to itch.io over the weekend during Ludum Dare 37, the 48 and 72 hour game jam. We very much enjoyed checking out the games as they were submitted! Browse all the Ludum Dare 37 entries on itch.io or read on to see our picks.
One Room Hotel by terracottafrog [Free, Windows]: Ever wonder what it would be like to manage a hotel with only one room? You must shuffle guests around to prevent the world from finding out that there is, in fact, only one room!
The app remains a priority, and work has been ongoing to continue to add features to it. We've released several new versions since the last digest, here's an overview of the latest, v22.2.0. You can follow new releases of the app on our GitHub, as well as check out previous release notes here. The app updates automatically, or you can download a fresh copy from https://itch.io/app.
Visual refresh and performance enhancements
The app has gotten a lot faster, especially with libraries containing many games. Additionally we've been adding new animations along with a refined user experience for common actions.
Automatic web login and two-factor authentication support
The app will now prompt you to enter a code from your authenticator, if one is set up, to match the security provided on the website. The app's built in browser will now also automatically log you into the website, no more logging in twice!
The new "verify integrity" option has been added to the context menu of games that were uploaded with the command line tools. This allows you to check if your game files have been damaged or modified, and repair them if so, while being a lot faster than a full reinstall.
Revert to previous build (experimental)
We've added this experimental feature, allowing you to download older versions of games, as long as they were uploaded using our command line tools. To use it, just right click a game and look for "Revert to version..." in the Advanced submenu.
A Shoutout to our Devs and Community
Recently we had the opportunity to host a truly special bundle of games, with the cooperation of more than 100 content creators. A Good Bundle was able to raise more than $160,000 for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, and we were humbled to see the outpouring of support from our community for these causes. We want to thank everyone that participated, whether by adding a game, buying the bundle, or helping spread the word!
Thanks for reading, and we'll see you soon for more news and updates!
The comments section can be a double-edged sword, since feedback will be both positive and negative. Negative feedback is an opportunity to connect with players and improve on your work. While it can be intimidating to switch on the comments, and know there is potential for someone to say something harsh, it's also a chance to start building your audience and connecting with your fans :)
I wouldn't base your success or failure off the experience of others. If you feel your game isn't fun to play, ask yourself what's bothering you about it? What's standing out to you and feeling like you're not enjoying it, or making you feel that others wouldn't? Rather than taking a negative focus based on another studio, keep your focus internal, on your own project, and work to correct issues that are present :)
I think it's absolutely fair for the value you're providing, but I can also still see most indie devs struggling to hit that price point. In my experience as a Community Manager, it's difficult to find teams that have budgeted for marketing at all. Which isn't to say it's bad to charge for marketing, but just be aware of your audience, be flexible and willing to work with smaller teams who may not be able to come up with that fee up front :)
One thing to bear in mind is that indie game developers do not have a large budget, so they are generally unable to pay for large scale marketing. While that large of a fanbase can certainly be monetized, as a Twitch Partner and otherwise, there is something to be said for showing new and fresh content from indie devs as a way of entertaining your viewers and showing them something they haven't seen before.
It also bears mentioning that you can't promise the developer you partner up with that your audience will be responsive to their title, i.e., "For x amount of money, you'll x in sales because my fan base is x number." The best publicity for an indie is spontaneous publicity, rather than a "buy my clicks" scenario. Paid advertising, which you generally have to disclose as such, doesn't tend to appeal well to audiences because you have to say "I was paid to endorse this game, so I love it!" That tells the viewer straight away that the review is going to be biased in favor of the product, rather than an off-the-cuff experience from a streamer picking up a game and never having experienced it before.
As someone who is really into coloring for adults, and using it for relaxation, I was more than happy to see Screwy Lightbulb share their awesome creations with the Itch.io community. Focusing on a piece of art like this is similar to meditation. When your attention is on the work, you're not worrying over anything else. Much like with gaming, coloring offers a chance to step aside and let your imagination take over. A person can spend hours coloring a single one of these drawings, and I hope to see more content like this on the site!
One of the more common factors I see used is approximate game time for the player. If it's a very short game, and they won't likely get much entertainment time out of it, keep the price lower accordingly. If you've got something in your game that really enhances replay value, and gives them the opportunity for significant time to be spent playing, then it's likely to be able to command a higher price. Overall, your customers are looking for value, they're gonna be thinking "So if I spend this, how much fun am I gonna get for my money?" There's no miracle formula for setting your price, but as others have said you can judge by similar games and what it is about them that players value.
I think it's really about when you feel you have enough to share. For example, if you're at a proof of concept stage, there might not be enough yet to really start building an audience. I generally say if you have at least a playable demo, get the game out there. Talk about it, meet people who are interested in it, and start creating your fanbase :)