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Community Engagement, Email, and Message Boards

A topic by lunarsignals created Dec 11, 2017 Views: 342 Replies: 2
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Hi guys! I am developing a multiplayer versus game, and I'm wondering what are the best ways to encourage community engagement. I have a few specific questions, but I guess I'll be open for this thread for community engagement in general.

1) What is the proper etiquette for emailing people who have purchased the game? Also, is there a way to have a general "email list" type thing from itch - including purchasers AND non purchasers who opt it?

2)  Have any of you other developers had luck getting people talking on your message boards? Are there games with successful message board communities that you've seen that I can just go check out?  Any tips/tricks/etc? I'm using the boards for The Moon Fields


1. There's no way to have a general email list right now. I think the direction we're pushing developers towards is having them write to their devlog (which might not be appropriately named) to announce stuff. Then we'll handle sending out notifications to people that are interested. I like this better than email because then it's forever available online, and not lost to people's inboxes. Feel free to use the email feature, but I don't think it's the kind of thing you should send too often, since it is more obtrusive and people could be likely to unsubscribe. I think the best use case for email is using it to tell buyers things that are relevant to them.

2. There  are definitely message boards that are active. The most active ones I can think of are doing some sort of closed access/refinery release where they're collecting feedback from people. (Game jam boards are also pretty active too) I don't know the best way to get people to post to yours, you'll have to find some way to encourage them.  If there's some feature of we could add to encourage more posting tell me. Also, if you end up doing something that works for you, tell us, so I can share that info with others.

The most common uses of message boards I've seen so far are:

  • People reporting bugs
  • People sharing ideas about stuff they'd like to see in the game
  • Streamers/lets players sharing links to their videos

What kind of engagement are you looking for? Is it included in the list above, or is there something else?

Sometimes the best way to get people to start posting is to prompt them to by creating topics asking about certain aspects of your game.

We try to show players the message board as much as we can, it's on the game's page, and it can show up on their download page as well. If you think there's another place where we can put it to encourage people to post say so.

Thanks for the response.

1) Thanks for the email guide. That makes a lot of sense. I'll keep writing to my devlog.

2) Yeah, I'm looking to gather information regarding people playing the game. A lot of interesting tactics and strategies have been emerging at events (especially with repeat players), and I'd like to have a centralized place for people to discuss them. I also like the idea of having feature requests and, because I'm taking my game on tour IRL, tour-location requests. I guess the biggest issue I have is that there.... aren't people on the boards so then it makes it harder to stir the pot? A prompt to seemingly no one is hard, but I guess I should try that.

I don't have any ideas to change itch to make MBs more visible, but I do appreciate the advice. Do you know of any specific multiplayer/competitive  boards that are active? Maybe local multiplayer? I have a hard time looking through all of the stuff on itch...