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Since coming back from my little summer break I've been trying to sort through some concepts I have about GameDev and what it is intended to provide and not provide.
I figure I'll just start a dialogue and maybe that'll clear up some of my questions.

As I understand it GameDev.net is a website where people come to make games and get help making games.  For the most part those who stick around for longer periods of time ( say in excess of a year ) have some involvement in programming, game creation ( board games being an example ), are aspiring artists and or musicians.  I'm assuming for the most part people who seek this site out are looking to make a computer game.

However I've been using this site to do two things, get help making my game( which has been fantastic ), and promote my game.  Now that my little framework is getting close to being workable enough that I can begin programming the games dynamics, I've become more interested in promoting it.  I'm going to bet that there are other game creators here who would also like to promote their games.  There are promotional options within GameDev such as advertising on GameDev, and any would-be traffic that checks out a persons blog or indie showcase. 

Now on the outset there seems to be a conflict for me and how I'm using this site, GameDev attracts people who want to make their own games, not necessary look for games that have been created by the community.  Why would anybody come to this site to play the games we've created?

So I'm just throwing this out there because I'm wondering what the vision for GameDev is, is it a place to incubate an idea until it's strong enough to stand on it's own two feet, set forth into the big real world and.... good luck out there ( goodbye waves ) hahaha.  But no in all seriousness, I don't know what the goal is there seems to be a loose end...

Thoughts?

  

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I find GameDev to be a great place to get ideas, feedback. help, and to just share what you're doing with the community, but I don't think it's the right platform for marketing your game to obtain a decent player base. Out of all my friends and people I know, nobody comes to GameDev unless they're either interested or already developing games and/or assets.

I would leave marketing and promoting your projects to other platforms. That's not to say you shouldn't promote your game on GameDev if you can (through the projects page), but I don't believe a large percentage of your player base will come from here.

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2 hours ago, Awoken said:

So I'm just throwing this out there because I'm wondering what the vision for GameDev is, is it a place to incubate an idea until it's strong enough to stand on it's own two feet, set forth into the big real world and.... good luck out there ( goodbye waves ) hahaha.  But no in all seriousness, I don't know what the goal is there seems to be a loose end...

I think this is a community without an end goal.  The end is that we are a community.

A Q&A site the end goal is to answer all questions.  A tutorial site the goal is to provide good tutorials on every subject.  An educational site covers all the topics from beginner to mastery, then is complete.  We aren't any of those.

We are a discussion board.  We discuss issues people are seeing in code. We discuss issues people are seeing in society. We discuss issues in the industry.  We discuss code errors. We discuss game ideas. We discuss job hunting and career growth.

As a community for discussion, we won't reach a point where we've discussed all the the things since new topics are open for discussion. New people will come in and want to discuss old topics. Those don't get closed to a link to the old discussion as happens in Q&A sites, we have the discussion over again with new faces and new resources. 

I don't see this as a loose end, I see it as open-ended by design.

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I think promotion is a weaker point of the site as it currently exists.  We're great for getting help (especially with technical or career-based questions), and good for getting feedback from fellow developers, but this probably isn't the place to find the majority of your player base.

Beginning and hobbyist developers in particular do often also play games, so you'll certainly find some players. Updates of Projects and blogs go out to our social account, increasing that potential reach.  It's our hope that as these areas of the community continue to grow (and as we improve them) they'll become attractive to games media and people like lets players, twitch streamers, etc. who might be looking for newly released or in-development games.  This should indirectly improve promotion for members here.

 

We also have plans in future evolutions of the site to make it easier to follow specific members, and to see the types of content you want to see.  This is mostly meant for our core audience of developers, but it would also be useful for interested players who want to follow a developer, and again it should help games media and streamers.

 

If you've read some of khawk's posts, you may have seen some mention of "partnerships" starting to pop up more frequently. At the moment the only example we have is CRC Press, who over a discount to GDNet+ members, and did a free ebook giveaway with us.  I can't talk specifics, but we're very excited about more partnerships happening in future, and some of those should help with promoting projects.

 

So, the site isn't as good as it could be for promotion right now, but it's not completely useless for it, and should get better over time. :)

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I'm looking forward to seeing how the site evolves over time. :) GameDev has always been a great platform for me personally, and I've found the community to be very welcoming and engaging.

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Yo bro... not saying GameDev.net is not a good site for promoting a game, but I think most of the people who visit here are a game developers.

The best DIY promotional campaign of a game I can think of :

1. Creating a development series of the game on Youtube.
2. FB ^_^y tell all of friends to share the game to all of their friends.
3. Google+ create a Game Collection them post game related topic and
   post your game from time to time :-D
4. Development Blogs
5. Twitter with #Games
6. ItchIO
7. GameJolt
8. Steam

^_^y

 

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14 hours ago, DexterZ101 said:

not saying GameDev.net is not a good site for promoting a game, but I think most of the people who visit here are a game developers.

100%
And promotion is something I been thinking a lot more about lately which is why I've brought it up here.  
To be honest I'm daunted by the task of promoting my game.  I kinda feel like I'd literally be throwing money into the wind.  I've got a lot more to learn about this and I'm starting my search, and dialogue, here. 

I'm bringing this all up because I've been thinking about my blog, and what generally gets a blog featured.  When a blog is featured it will gain more views and therefore gets more exposure.  I've noticed that If I mention my project unirule in post somewhere, like I just did, the number of views it gets will jump by about 10 in a days time.
If I make a technical blog exploring the code and logic of my approach to solving a problem it may be featured.  This is great because that means more views.  However; that kind of blog caters to a very niche group, mainly the people hanging around GameDev.  But I've been thinking more about making blogs that explore more how the game works as opposed to the technical underbelly in hopes that a game player will become enticed to try my game.  Where do I go to create those kinds of blogs?  I could and will make them here but there seems to be a conflict to me.

Edited by Awoken

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Sorry for the delayed reply - I was travelling and fairly disconnected the last two weeks.

Thanks for bringing this up. It's an important topic.

Without going into too much detail right now, this is something I've been thinking about for a while. As previously mentioned, it's not necessarily GameDev.net's charter to promote games, but a strange unintended consequence is that because of the audience it has great potential as a platform to promote games by GameDev members.

@jbadams mentioned partnerships, which once developed will provide potential avenues to help in areas like promotion, but it won't necessarily solve all the problems. However, one aspect of those should be hugely beneficial to developers who participate and show potential. We'll have more detail when that gets ironed out.

Unfortunately, I don't know if there is any way to solve the exposure problem for a dev - the more people using the latest 'solutions' just means more dilution and an increase in the exposure problem (aka Steam).

However, I do think there is a value that GameDev.net can provide at least for devs willing to use the platform. The Projects page is one step - while it's a showcase of sorts for other developers, it can also be used as a promotional page for your game anytime you're promoting it. Perhaps we need to make that even easier to do. Since blogs are tied to projects, then in theory you could post both technical details and "how the game works" blogs. I think the thing we're missing at the moment is distribution of that to the broader "gamer" audience.. 

I suppose my point is that ultimately I think it's going to be up to the developer to get maximum exposure, but I do see GameDev.net providing some valuable exposure as well. Right now some elements are in place, and I think providing better support for exposure should be baked into future versions of the platform.

I'm open to hearing more ideas on this topic (and others).

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On 10/15/2018 at 10:40 PM, khawk said:

I'm open to hearing more ideas on this topic (and others).

As I was thinking about all this I was kinda envisioning 'wouldn't it be cool if...' scenarios, I don't know realistic these ideas are but I seeing as the floor is open:

There are a multitude of independent developers out there who've marketed their games and are available for purchase on many platforms.  If I want to buy a game for my computer I go to steam, if I want to buy a game for my phone I go to the Google Play store, if I want to play flash games I go to newgrounds, kongregate, onemorelevel and so on.  The only place I can think of going to play games that are in the making is either steam( I've got to search them out myself and know ahead of time what I'm looking for ) or a kickstarter campaign.  In my opinion they both have their draw-backs, steam doesn't provide enough community support( as far as I'm concerned, maybe I'm wrong ), and kickstarter's only give out IOU's on a one time all or nothing campaign.  I wonder what kind of an audience there is for a location that provides it all, community, trial, fundraising and purchase abilities.  Those are loftier my thoughts. 

On 10/15/2018 at 10:40 PM, khawk said:

Since blogs are tied to projects, then in theory you could post both technical details and "how the game works" blogs.

This is something I was planning on doing, having two separate blogs and tying them to the same project page, hope nobody minds. :) 

[ edit: I was thinking, under our avatar picture is our user name, awards we have won and groups we're apart of.  What if too we could choose one game's PLAY button and the title of the game to also be displayed?  Of course that game would be have to be hosted on GameDev or available for download via GameDev maybe. ]

Edited by Awoken

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