Ready for some upgrades to the itch.io community system? If you weren't aware, itch.io's community system lets any game developer, project owner, or jam host create a message board for their fans and players to chat. It's fully featured, with the ability to customize boards, rules, and moderators. Today we're happy to announce a handful of new improvements.
Building a strong community is a critical part of developing and launching an indie game. You can get direct feedback from players, and help turn them into even bigger fans of your work. The project community page is where all of this starts. We've redesigned the community page to include more information about your project, show recent devlog updates, and include some color from your project's custom theme:
The new header is shown across all topics and sub-categories that are related to your project. If someone ends up on a topic to in your community from a search result or a direct link then it's easy for them to get back to your project page to learn more about what you're making.
Your project page's custom colors are now used to style any community pages where your project header appears. The style pulls from link color, button color, and header color (from the Background 2 theme color). Expect to see a lot more color when browsing around itch.io.
The custom colors are also compatible with itch.io's dark theme: we adjust the colors to make sure text is always legible and high contrast.
Lastly, if you use itch.io's devlogs feature then your most recent posts will show up on the top of the page. The perfect place to announce updates to your project for viewers of your community.
Communities that use "directory" mode to have sub-categories now have a recent posts list on the main community page to make it easier to see recent activity. This is like the topic list on a category page, but includes posts from all sub-categories.
Additionally, for communities that don't use directories, you can still access the recent posts list by dropping /recent at the end of the URL. We've found this useful for devs that want to keep a closer eye on what's happening across all topics in their community.
This is an often requested feature so we're happy to finally have it out. All community categories can now be searched by the contents of the posts. This includes the itch.io global community, and any jam or game communities. You can limit your search to sub-categories as well.
Search includes features for limiting search to only topics, or topics and replies, search by exact phrase or any combination of the words you provided, along with a few sorting options. We're no Google, so the search algorithm isn't going to be the most advanced, but it should give you the ability to find discussions about certain keywords.
You can find the search input on the top of any community or sub-category header.
Building a safe place for everyone is an important part of making a community. Moderation tools can help you do that, so we've included some enhancements in this update.
We've improved the ban dialog to let you ban the person from any category in your category hierarchy. This only applies if you're using sub-categories.
This is an older update that we forgot to announce. The community reports page is now easier to use with a new design. Reports are sorted newest first so you can see what's most recent.
The moderation logs page lets you audit what other moderators in your community have been doing. The page has been updated to show more information about what actions have taken place, and what target those actions were applied to (eg. Who was banned from what community).
With more people using itch.io than ever, spammers are more eager than ever to spread links to diets pills and whatever else they're into. Posts that are not caught by our automatic spam detector can be reported as spam with the Report link beneath a post. itch.io site moderators and admins will now be reviewing reports for all communities that are marked as spam. We'll take care of cleaning things up for you if there's an issue, and we'll use it to train our spam detector.
The community topic pages have seen a few smaller quality of live improvements as well!
When reading long posts, the author information of a post will now stick to the top of your browser so you can easily access their profile. Also, for communities that use upvoting/downvoting, the vote UI remains on top as well so it's easy to give feedback on the post.
Youtube and Twitch video embeds now require that you click on them first before they are activated. The most obvious effect of this change is that threads with a lot of video replies will no longer make your browser lag! (Some games get a lot of video comments!) Additionally, third party code from video embed providers will not be able to automatically run you view the page.
itch.io lets you choose between comments or a message board for your community on your project pages. If you start with comments then decide to go to community, you'll realize that all your comments are no longer visible. We've built a tool that will let you migrate your comments into a topic in your community. It's not publicly available, but if you want an admin to migrate your comments then contact support.
That's all for this update. Thanks for reading. If you made it to the bottom of this page then you must really care about itch.io. We're hosting a beta of our new app so go check it out and give some feedback: https://fasterthanlime.itch.io/install-kitch
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I wish there was a community for more than one game. A community for games that continue past 3 series of its lifetime or mmos that will keep going.
These updates are great!
Possibly another small and easy to implement improvement: Add a quick link to a project's community page from the dashboard, for example in the "more" dropdown under "interact". That would be awesome.