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The Mastermind

How do addicting puzzle games get popular?

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I am making a puzzle game along the lines of Tetris and Snood, and I would like to know how games like these become known to the public, and what is the cling so people keep playing games like these?

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Original post by The Mastermind
I am making a puzzle game along the lines of Tetris and Snood, and I would like to know how games like these become known to the public, and what is the cling so people keep playing games like these?

They get known to the public by advertising.

The advertising might be by a publisher, buying search engine or other ads, through posting a link here in the forums, and through word of mouth (meaning email, irc, blogging, etc).

Addictive games (I prefer "compelling games") have word-of-mouth advertising that can't be bought.

As far as "what is the cling so people keep playing games like these?" ... That's a million dollar question. If there is some way to accurately predict that factor, publishers would be all over it.

frob.

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You could try publishing through someone like Popcap or Yahoo if your game is of high enough quality. They take most of the money in such arrangements, but they're definately able to get exposure for your game.

Getting your game reviewed on various websites often helps, as does posting announcements in relevant places that allow it. Basically anything (non-annoying, no spamming) which will get the word out.

If you've got the money and a good game, you could consider running an ad with a popular gaming comic such as Ctrl+Alt+Del or Penny Arcade. They can be quite expensive (I've never checked PA, and havn't seen CAD's for a long time), but they'd definately get you some attention.

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I think one of the biggest things for me has been good music and funky sound effects with colorful pieces. Tetris for the N64 had really good music, and another game I played on the PC had cool sound effects. Both had a lot of color that made me happy to play them. I don't remember the name of the game for the PC, but it had a bunch of balls that looked like rubber bouncy balls and squeaked every time they rubbed against each other - really cartoony.

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