Since launching devlogs we've seen over 42,000 posts published across 15,000 projects. We're really happy with how much creators have to say about their work. A devlog is a great way to keep in touch with your audience, and share what you're working on. Because of that, we're making devlogs even better. Here's what's new:
We spent some time going through hundreds of posts to see what kinds of things people are writing about. We're introducing 8 top level post types to help organize things. The post types have been split into two categories: Updates and Long-form posts.
Here's a breakdown of the types:
We still want it to be easy to share incremental updates about your projects, but we also saw many people writing interesting in-depth pieces that we want to highlight. When you tag your post as long-form or major update it will be put into our queue to review for promotion. Posts that are in the spirit of the tag and show quality will be bumped up on our devlogs page.
These top level categories aren't fixed, and we appreciate feedback & ideas for structuring the categories. Lastly, if you have older posts that match these categories, we recommend going back and tagging them so they're easier for people to find.
One question we've gotten a lot is "How does the New Releases page work when I update my game or add files for the first time?"
In the past, the date when you originally published your project (even if you didn't have files up yet!) would dictate the order it appeared on the new releases page. For many developers, this didn't work: If you added files to a previously published pre-release page, or published a major update, you'd be missing out the new game popularity boost despite publishing something significant.
The Major Update post type is our solution to this issue. When you tag your post with Major Update, it can boost how fresh your game is. The freshness date contributes to how our popularity sorting algorithm works. Games that have been updated or published in the past 7 days get a significant boost. If you publish a big update to the world announce it with a devlog!
We're still monitoring how people use this feature, and we don't want people trying to abuse it. The boost is not applied automatically. We'll be reviewing posts for a bit, and then when we have a system we like we'll lock it in place. Our goal is to ensure quality and meaningful updates boost projects, without having spammers take up your time.
With these new post types, and more time spent curating posts, we've revamped the Devlogs page to make it easier to discover new and interesting projects.
Here's a breakdown of the updates:
All of these changes combined should make it easier to find devlog posts that are interesting to you, and help posts from more creators get in front of more people.
Written content is consumed a lot differently than games. Although someone may not get a chance to play your game until they get home to their main computer, many people will read posts about games on their phones. AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a set of technologies by Google that can help provide a better experience for web content on mobile devices. It is also known to boost your position on Google search result pages. We've implemented AMP across all devlog posts on itch.io. All of your posts will automatically be formatted correctly and adhere to the specification. (Devlog pages will continue to be "responsive" and work on mobile devices without AMP as well)
A simple but useful change: on your devlogs dashboard you can now see aggregated analytics for all of your posts:
itch.io includes an image next to your post's title when linking to it. This image could have a big a big effect on capturing someone's attention, so you can now supply your own cover image with your post. If you don't provide one, the cover will continue to be automatically selected from other images associated with the post or project.
Thanks for reading through this update. If you have any ideas for future updates or feedback on these changes leave a comment.
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