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How to start to share game / get more views?

A topic by MotGameStudio created May 07, 2018 Views: 2,416 Replies: 32
Viewing posts 1 to 13

Hello everyone! I did release my game for like 4 days ago, and I got around 240 views. Any ideas how to share my game so more can find my game?

Write so many tips about marketing / share you can.

I released my game about a month ago, and I got about 35 views here (half of which I suspect were me testing the game and sitelock features), 50 downloads each on the iOS and Android app stores, and about 500 views on Newgrounds.  Newgrounds has some sort of gamification thing so that people play new games and rate them, which is nice.  I'm not sure if Newgrounds will work for your game, they seem to be only free games over there.

I'd love to hear suggestions too.  I keep getting more reception for my unfinished Ludum Dare games than I do this recent project, even when I post on LD that it is a remake of an old Ludum Dare game!

Thanks for telling it.

I've found through experimentation that the system does not track your own views of your game, but it does for devlogs and discussion threads.

I sometimes test things when not logged in, or as my Game Jam alternate account, so sometimes my own views do get tracked.  

Another thought is that as far as I can tell, itch tracks "views", so if anyone looks at the webpage, it counts.  If they don't actually play the game (it's a web game, they actually have to click it to play), it can still count as  a "view".

You want to know how to increase view count? Network, Network, Network! Now I'm no game designer, but I am a game promoter. I work for Shock Site Gaming News and I've pretty much spent my first 5 hours on here playing games and writing reviews for them, and a common question I've been seeing is how do I get my game seen? If you're serious about increasing your traffic influx I'd suggest pitching your game to a news publication and seeing if they'll give you some kind of coverage. I actually wouldn't mind taking a look at your game, but it'd be up to you if you wanted to go that route. Though remember whatever path you choose, it'll take time. Believe it or not I actually talked to the lead developer of Undertale years before it exploded into what it is today. When Toby was just starting out he had the same questions as every new game designer . . . How do I get noticed? Keep at the grind and you'll surely find your way.

Hello Steve and thanks for the good anwser. And yes that's true, one of the biggest titles out there looked for the same anwser that you said.

Will you give us coverage?  ;)

Have a look at my game, though I'm pushing the iOS and Android versions more.  https://polypogon.itch.io/wisdom-collector  It's definitely not a "gamer's game", though it's even harder when you are trying to figure out how to target the casual crowd.

Sure I'd love to check your game out. That's pretty much my job nowadays!

I've done a review on the game, you're more than welcome to check it out. If you feel I've made some kind of mistake then feel free to talk it out with me.

Hello Steve and thanks that you are making an review of my game. ! It's ok if I share it later on my page and other social media and credit you to your website.

of course it is. I appreciate that.

I wonder, if you have complete the review, can you send the link.

Yes I'll send it when I complete it. I'm currently wrapping up with SRM Games' project now. Once I save the last minute details I can go back to writing your gae's review. Your game is longer that other dev's so it's gonna take a little more time to properly review.

thanks for quick answer! You dont need to stress, about 2 days I gonna release a new update

Colbert A Vision needs your help.  My games are new to this site, but are actually good.  Please check them out if you have time.  My name on here is SupermanNumber1

Hey Steve if you are intrested tell us a little bit of our game

Hey Steve, can you check out my game called 131072? It is about nature and survival. It can be seen on my itch.io page.

Thank you,

Ryan Kdot

(1 edit)

Hey Steve, I am Sebastian, an indie dev,

I'm working on my upcoming title Pit Blocks 3D. I have a demo you can play and some trailers you can watch. Can you have a look at the game? I'd appreciate any honest review! I'd like to know what you think. :)

Pit Blocks 3D is a cube matching arcade style puzzle game where the player manipulates falling bricks of different shapes and sizes. This is not Tetris! It's Pit Blocks 3D. :)

Demo here!

Thanks, Steve!

(4 edits)

We try to do everything. I will share some tips but some of them are very basic and I don't know which of them you already thought about.

Caveat: We only have free games and don't sell any (yet). So, take this with a grain of salt, I just share what worked for us and we do a lot of this before we release a game.

Write to press. Like really many people. Give them free copies, if you don't do this, they won't review your game (they might not do this anyway). Don't stay away from little blogs. You won't get much out of it but if you can be everywhere you should. Write to press that isn't in your native language (I assume it's English) and send them free copies with an English message.

Write to YouTubers and Streamers. The chance that they will pick up your game is tiny but it's possible. Our biggest spike ever (1500 downloads in two days) was with a Let's Play of a big YouTuber from Brazil (we were just lucky btw).

If you think about a Linux port - the community and press around this is often very welcoming even if the market is tiny.

Reddit was a great way at least for us to share our game. r/gaming is relatively pointless if you don't really know how to use Reddit, just use niche subreddits for your game and do not just market it - be part of the community etc.

I saw that you have a devlog - share it maybe on more platforms, if you haven't already. Long term YouTube might pay off.

And rework your trailer - we also need to figure this out but your trailer is not great. Get some inspiration from the bigger Indies - it's one of your best assets. I saw that you only used like 3 tags on your Itch.io page - use all of them.

Many of these things require a lot of work so I would recommend three things:

- Get someone with an AMD CPU and Graphics Card to test your game to complete the system requirements.

- Use all the tags (and rewrite some of the description - that this game is made by one person is nice but it shouldn't be the main hook and you have some errors in the text (we often ask people who can write better English than we can to help us (we are German, still learning)))

- Write to press (and maybe rewrite your trailer before)

After that a list of things which people recommend but we don't do:

- Have a Discord (we don't have enough followers yet)

- Ads (we don't really know how it works, don't like it really and don't have so much spare money)

- Support every system possible (we don't have a Mac and don't have spare money to buy one, we don't do mobile (yet) for various reasons)

I hope this helps and good luck with Blixten Quest :D


PS: https://itch.io/t/56343/how-do-i-promote-my-new-game this might also help a bit :)

PPS: Did you make a Release Announcement in the Release Announcements of Itch? :D

Wow thanks! I very happy for those tips! I trying to find "Youtubers / bloggers" right now, I hope someone want to try out my game.

No  problem and don't miss press :) Make a Presskit maybe! Good luck with your game :)

240 views in 4 days is actually pretty decent. I've yet to hit 200, and it's been over 2 weeks! So good job! Send some of your fans my way! My games are sort of interesting!

Soon are you going for 300+ 

If you post on forums or message boards, many of them have a place to enter your personal website or create a signature for all your messages. This can be the URL to your game page. I've noticed daily page views to my own website from doing that, so people do click on them. 

Well, our 44 views in 3 weeks sounds like we are in trouble. :) We are new to the market with a relatively simple and casual game, so we have the same type of questions. Nevertheless, here's something we noticed. We launched our game on Itch.io a week before we launched on Steam.  We are also trying out the major social networks as suggested, but we are also new to these social networking as well so that's time consuming and awkward. As it stands now, we have virtually no responses from Itch.io but some on Steam. We've made some sales on Steam but none except to friends and family on Itch.io. Apparently releasing on multiple publishers is a good advice. 

I gonna sell my game on steam soon too, I feels that Steam have more buyers than Itch.io right now. Itch.io have full of developers. I hope Itch.io can get more buyers than developers :P

Good luck! We are working on an rpg for our next game as well. It's fun to come up with ideas but execution is always harder than you expect.

Launching on Itch.IO versus other shops:

Funnily enough, as my first products here are asset packs for creatives / game developers in the game assets section, the fact that Itch.IO has almost as many developers as buyers is exactly why I chose Itch.IO, well, that and the fact that the barriers to entry are virtually nonexistent - no obsessive curation process with finicky reasons for rejecting giant collections of genuinely valuable content. 

I've also tried launching my stock media on the Unity Asset Store, several times, each time was rejected for some trivial reason relating to a subsection of the asset store guidelines. Each time I fix a problem there relating to naming conventions, demo scene organization, etc, in an attempt to get approved, it takes days to fix the problem simply due to the sheer number of items in the package that have to be slightly adjusted one by one to match the criteria of the store.  I've yet to attempt Unreal, but that is also a future plan of mine.

So here's how I tackled the promotional and sales challenges for my stuff:

So here is some of what I've got right now, things I am either working on or have already released and put on sale:

https://matthornb.itch.io/ 


You can see that one of the things that's sort of worked well for me already, aside from promoting the content on my websites, across my social media feeds, email lists, contacting all the people I've networked with, using a little bit of carefully targeted advertising, and personally promoting my work, mentioning the stuff in forum posts like this one, here and in half a dozen other major boards frequented by indie developers, was giving people sales out of the gate. My products are released right before holidays or major sale events in general, and then included in a sale with discount from the get go. That helps me to make the most of the launch window, and the brief span of visibility in the 'Most Recent' list, and try to get some sales and ratings right out of the gate, if possible. And if there are no sales initially, I can still try other tactics like releasing small items for free [i.e. a demo or separate free product] with links back to the larger list of items I'm selling. I also try up selling with discounted bundles and attempt to connect each of my items back to the other products I've released.

I've always had a tendency to under price things, according to my family and friends, but in my experience if I don't under price them for the first year or more, nobody will buy them for *months* after they go on sale. I have a routine pattern of setting prices that drop to under a dollar, and then FINALLY someone buys it and exclaims, that it's incredible bargain.  And then they rate it or worse, don't - and eventually somebody rates it, reviews it, and it's this enormously glowing review, and then the sales kind of snowball from there, and the prices double or triple afterwards, or more, but people are still generally amazed at the value of the item and still post very positive reviews. 

That's exactly what happened with me on eBay; I sold a more limited smaller variant of this same stock media pack as far back as 2013, on a DVD, and nobody bought it until I sold at a loss, dropping the price to literally one cent. Someone bought it. Reviewed it, stellar review. Same thing soon after when I was selling made to order commissioned artworks [pastel, acrylic, gouache, colored pencil] at large sizes, for 99 cents. It was a money loser too for the first year, I think my profit margin was usually -500% or worse, and sales were sparse, I probably lost $400 and so so many hours spent doing work that was costing me money. Now I've got 320+ ratings on my eBay account, 100% of them positive. And both those product lines have now begun selling profitably there. The same essential tactics, I suspect, will apply successfully to Itch.IO, with the main difference being Itch.IO, as a digital storefront, has no shipping cost attached to it, which makes losses mostly just hundreds of hours of time worked making things, but at least not also hundreds of dollars in cash on top of that.

I can't say my crazy methodology has resulted in much activity sales-wise here so far - I think 5 sales, 14 downloads in all on Itch.IO at this point - but I do now have over 100 people looking at my assorted Itch.IO pages every day, that is, all of my products combined. The single biggest attention-grabber though isn't an asset pack, and it isn't complete yet [indie game Miniature Multiverse, which has 3300+ views despite not even being released yet.]

My suspicion is that a lot of people are interested in what I've released but the lack of responses and ratings from previous buyers has most of these potential customers in a condition of uncertainty. "Is it really any good?" they're asking. And everyone's kind of on the fence, waiting for someone else to go first and review it, so they know exactly what to expect [from an unbiased source, not the vendor who inevitably is biased in favor of his own work].  Reviews are helpful for game devs, but there's not as much of an infrastructure in place for reviews of game assets, which is a downside to that particular niche, aside from the fact that the game dev community is smaller than the number of people who play games!

But in short, my personal answer to the question about promotional tactics  is ultimately summed up as this:

-publicize as many places as possible, tell everyone you can. Advertise and network and promote as much as possible.

-accept losses out of the gate, or at least set prices very very low from the outset to drive those key first sales and more critically, those first few reviews.

-have some freebie out there to direct people to you much better paid items.

-have multiple items on sale, and be sure to connect them together with links. Bundle them.

I don't know if this personal strategy is going to end up resulting in a ton of sales in the case of Itch.IO but I do know it has worked for me on eBay and I know I'm getting a lot of views on Itch.IO now. So maybe this will work here too, given a bit more time.

Buy TV advertisement time during the halftime of the super bowl.

I agree 100% with @mattornb about people not wanting to buy stuff because they're uncertain about quality - the main reason I hesitate to buy things is because I'm uncertain of the quality, and even if it's a monetary loss I could live with even if it's so crap I won't ever play/use it, I still feel really uncomfortable buying something I know nothing at all about. When I'm on the fence to buy a game, I don't check out reviews. I check out Let's Plays or trailers that show gameplay footage (preferably the former), because I want to judge if it's good or not by myself.

A lot of things have been said already, so I'll add just one idea to the topic, but this one has really surprised me.

Our itch.io site got over 500 views from a mere comment that we wrote in the article of a national newspaper (Austria). Our game is free, but according to the analytics, one of those views even resulted in a fairly generous donation. The article was gaming related, but the newspaper overall is a mainstream one and aiming for high quality articles. Whenever doing something like that I recommend being an actual part of the community and not just abusing the site to promote the game. This principle applies to most sites. 

Superb forum posts. Cheers.