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How to draw attention to myself

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How does an independent developer publicise their game? I can post here and any other forums I can find (such as...?) but how do I get the world in general to know that a cool 3d racing game is under development with a planned October release date? I figure now is about the time to start trying to get noticed, but no idea what kind of websites exist I could could contact, let alone their addresses. I presume that my customers will largely be game developers, is that likely to be the case? Thanks for your help guys. ps you could follow the link in my sig...
Read about my game, project #1
John 3:16

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hahahahaha @ kruz

i think the best way to draw attention to yourself is to come here and post beta binaries of your game. i read about your game at ur site i think it looks promising. it could be like a *good* streets of sim city (only, not streets, it could probably be a offroad areas of sim city :D)



Sam Johnston (Samith)

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Well, for one, if you post this question in the "Busines of Game Developement" Forum the guys who have actually done it will more likely see the question. The guy who runs Dexterity software hangs out over there, and he's apparently pretty successful. Also, for some good information you could checkout www.spiderwebsoftware.com - the site of a very successful shareware developer that has some really good articles about just that-promoting your game.

edit:
META< bukake,fest />

[edited by - nonnus29 on July 23, 2002 8:49:53 PM]

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dont bother hyping the game unless you have screen shots and its really nearly complete. possibly even have a preview beta release (assuming the gameplaya nd everything is woring well enough for that (ie most bugs fixed just working on finishing some content)). ppl want to see the game, and play the game. the site should be well designed, and not require flash or anything extra. images should have thumbnails, etc.

then you be a helpful person on the forum and have a link in your sig explaining a new game is coming soon. dont be too forward or ppl will just not look at the game since they dislike ohw you are going about things.

post in the "your announcement" forum with a beta test so you can get feedback. a little before release (ie one month) when you have a test demo ready that works well and a completed site, send a press release to sites like www.demonews.com or other smaller gameing sites that deal with releases. you may wish to place your download on tucows as well.

basically you will get the most attention when the game is availible for playing and customers can try it out. ppl hate wanting for things, and are quite impatient. also if you send word too early ppl may forget about you release or your release deadline may be missed.

by viewing the site its obvious you used a html content creation tool (in this case frontpage). i suggest making teh design a bit nicer (maybe ask someone for some help if you dont have the time or ability). the link to your demo is broken (the first clue you rushed the site a bit). instead of pointing the file on the server the link points to a file on your harddrive. it may be better to learn html so you can check the pages before uploading them. also the screen shots should have thumbnails. not everyone has fast connections. you may want to spend time in the forums just getting tips on how to set the website up for a more "professional" look. its diffiuclt from the website to see that you have a game being released let alone what its about. see some other sites. use bullet lists to outline key features of the engine and gameplay. possible setup a background story (even if its short and dont make much sense like in most racing games). try to get the site to feel like the game. nobody wants to view a large text dump that you currently have there. especially on a larger desktop size, add a menu bar to the right or left side of the page.

dont make the site seem like a letter to ppl. this is a commercial game, then try to make it seem less "nice" and more about the game. its great your not hyping engine features and saying how cool it is, but your going to far in the oppisite direction of not hyping at all. see some other commercial sites and how they navigate. the website portrays a lot since its the first thing the customer sees before playing the demo and decides if they will bother downloading it. try to answer all gameplay questions they may have. pretend you are going to try the game. woudl you based on the current site? it dont try to get the game excited at all. moderation is the key, dont hype too much, but too little is just as bad.

i am surprised no one else bothered commenting on the website design, its best to get that looking great before you even think about getting ppl there. if they see the site the way it is, the avg person wont bother going back thinking the game is "unprofessional" or in real early stages (well i guess it is, but you dont need to let them think that). instead you want ppl to walk away thinking that the game is near completion, its interesting, its something they will enjoy, make them want more. anticipation is the strongest way to gain an audidence quick. thats why hype works so well. though if your not careful the anticipation level may drop or the hype is to much and the game flops because it dont leave up to the expectations that you created.

maybe this was a little more then you asked for, but hopefully you will think a bit more on the entire marketing perspective, not just getting ppl to the site.

also dont seem like you need help for the game, instead have a "job openings" section and merely state you are looking for ppl to fill positions that are availible. dont mention its for the current or later projects. instead use the help wanted forum here to get ppl right away. if its commercial game expect to be paying a salary or royalities to them otherwise you may not get anyone to help (the ole "its a commercial game and if we make money i may give you some" routine which ppl hate).


some with a title as well. project #1 is catchy and all if you make a story to give reason why thats the name. (yes i relaize thats just a tentitive title).
also religon is not a good idea to have in your sig along the game unlss your game is religous. thats just some advice.

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A person
Thanks for that, while I think you''re pretty much right I''d like to respond to a couple of things...
1)This is not the site I plan to sell the game with to the general public. It''s more to get developers and hobby programmers interested; I reckon they''re a high proportion of people who buy games like this over the net. A proper site will be bought (a .com or whatever) and I''ll put more than 5 min into it.
2)I know html, but using the free frontpage thing with IE, it''s rubbish basically. Have a copy of dreamweaver now which I expect much more from. And yes, I know the link is broken but I have to use a paying phone number to access it, and it''s an obsolete demo really anyway. The thumbnails and menu bar things are all very valid though.
3)The Christian thing? Yeah it sparks controversy but that just means it got your attention! Feel the formums are an excellent opportunity to do that, without being offensive and starting a thread "Jesus can save YOU!!!!!" for instance (though He can, but please resist the urge to flame me unless via email - Don''t want to go off topic.)


So basically I need to get much nearer completion before announcing to the public? I presume that releasing much earlier technology/engine demos to test performance and compatibility while happening to mention the game would be a good move though

Thanks guys. (PS this is in the game prog forum because I want people who don''t know what writing a whole game is like to be intersted and follow progress to see if it sounds like it''s for them too!)



Read about my game, project #1



John 3:16

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I say fix that link asap if you want to increase awareness, even if it's just an old demo. If you have a working demo that can be downloaded at least some people who visit your page will get it, some of those people will like it and will probably keep following your project, especially if you show progress being made towards a finished product. But with a non-working link no one is going to download it (well ok, I downloaded it by looking at your html and figuring out the proper path - make that very few people will download it), people might assume your page/project has been abandoned, and they aren't likely to recheck your page for a fixed link unless your project looks really interesting (please take no offense, but right now the page doesn't make it look too impressive).

a person is right about not hyping your game until it's almost finished and you have screenshots. It's sad but true. Just look at the 8 billion projects on sourceforge that have never even released a single file - there's low expectations as a result.

I know my post sounds negative but I'm just hoping you'll be realistic about your project. And I don't mean you should be expecting to fail, in fact I wish you good luck. I just want you to know that you're following a hard path which can make it easy to get discouraged.

Edit: Crashes shortly after startup. I get a window with a blank white background and then it crashes, appears to be trying to read a 0x00000000 pointer. You might want to include some sort of debugging file output to help diagnose problems like this.

[edited by - Dobbs on July 24, 2002 6:54:48 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Johnny_W
Meta tags do nothing these days. Search results are increased by being linked from other sites.


Good ol'' Google. B-)

-------------------------
(Gorgeous graphics)+(beautiful sound effects)+(symphonic music)+(no gameplay) != Good game

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quote:
Original post by Johnny_W
Meta tags do nothing these days. Search results are increased by being linked from other sites.


it was a joke... sheesh!

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Hey, don''t bash FrontPage. Dreamweaver is good, Frontpage is Good. I know, as I use FrontPage every day. If you need help with a site, check out my temporary domain at the bottom. I am free now, and can help if needed.
Yes, you really did rush that site. But it looks ok for a start.

Give me a buzz here: tyjohnson84@hotmail.com

http://translucentgames.tripod.com

Keep Shining

Ultimate Power Leads To Ultimate Corruption
(I can''''t remember who said that)

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How about we give The Lantern his own board.

He seems to be the only person out side of Microsoft who approves of Frontpage as a development tool.

E

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