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Distributing pre-release builds with itch.io Sticky

A topic by Amos created 1 year ago Views: 4,189
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Admin (Edited 13 times) (+3)

I see a lot of devs using a mix of these techniques to distribute early builds of their games/tools:

  • .zip or installer in a Dropbox shared folder
  • file attachments on a forum or e-mail thread
  • own web server

Instead, here's what you get on itch.io for zero upfront cost:


Testers can install & play the latest version with only two clicks

...on Windows, Mac, & Linux (deb/rpm+AUR)

  • Try it, your game may already be compatible: http://itch.io/app
  • Game updates are automatically applied on startup
  • Yes, you can run closed betas on itch.io — keep reading!

Here's our app FAQ and a guide on how to get your game working with it


A lean web interface to manage game page & uploads

We're working on a command-line uploader so that you can push incremental updates directly from your build machines


Detailed game analytics

(views, downloads, purchases, referrers)

  • Inform your press strategy decisions by knowing who picked up a copy of your game
  • Revoke download keys if they're being abused

Optionally: add a Google Analytics key to your profile or page for extra detail


Have your own forums

...for early testers to discuss the game


Closed betas are welcome

We of all people understand the need for controlled experiments :)

  • set your page to "Public restricted"
  • generate download keys, individually (easier to track) or in bulk (easier to mass send)


Start accepting payments anytime


Customize the appearance of your game page


itch.io has the reputation of being a fair & open, and we plan on keeping it that way.

TL;DR creators are our clients, we make tools for them to cater to their own clients.

If you have specific questions, feel free to shoot us an e-mail at support - anyone answering tickets there is a core team member.


Create your game page now!