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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Tikey's unofficial guide to self promotion on internet forums

    Seeing that lately there has been some activity regarding shameless self promotion with disastrous consequences I've decided to help the community.

    This is purely my opinion and it should be taken as such.


    The most common mistakes shameless pluggers make:

    *Acting like a common guy who just happened to stumble upon this obscure game and suddenly have an urge to evangelize the world about it.
    First of all, the truth is, no one will buy it. You're only making you look like a fool, and a dishonest one to boot. If you get caught (and you will get caught) you will loose what little good disposition people could've had towards you.
    And second, you're wasting the greatest advantage you have if you are the developer. Engaging with people directly. Think of it like this, who would you be more interested to talk with about a game, a random unknown dude on the internet or the guy who is making the game?

    Be honest and upfront to the people you're trying to sell your game.

    *Copy pasting.
    If you are just posting the same message on every forum people will notice, and if people realises that you don't care about them, they won't care about you or whatever you're trying to show/tell/sell them.

    *Being vague.
    Starting a thread with just a screenshot and a link to your kickstarter/website/BBS won't get people interested in what you're showing them.


    *Bullet points
    You're posting on a forum, a place for discussion, not a store page. If you make a long list of stuff I'll get bored of it before reading.


    What you should do:
    *You have to understand that you have to get people interested in your game/whatever, so you have to be engaging. Understand the community. Why could you game be of interest to them? Advertise that, don't try to sell us the skimpy outfits on your female protagonists.

    *Be clear, tell us what your game is like, how is it played, what the setting is. You could compare it to another game if it's possible but avoid becoming "GameX+some small differences".

    The most important thing is to tell what sets it apart, tell me why should I be interested in the game. Is it a fun mechanic, a setting, an underlying message about the definition of the RPG genre or whatever it is that makes your game worthwhile.

    *Be direct and to the point, time is precious and people will leave if you dance around.
    But by no means be a robot that just spourts facts about the game, be engaging, take your time to write and make it interesting. A well written piece (even a forum post) has a flow to it, try to achieve that.


    *Engage with the community. Don't just start the thread and move to other forum right away and never look back.
    Remember that unless you have a huge marketing department with lots of resources you're operating on people's good will. Spamming or not caring about them will destroy your best chance to get people to notice you.

    *Grammar is important. Write, don't bash the keyboard with your hands.

    To sum up:
    Don't be an asshole, be honest, be clear, understand your audience and make me interested, tell me why I should care.
    This obviously means more work than copy pasting the same thing in a thousand forums, but at least it doesn't make you a spammer. With all the work you surely put in your game it'd be a shame that you couldn't get it to people's hand just because it involved a little more work.

    I'm surely missing some stuff but I'm tired of writing, might update later if I think of anything of value.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Yesss. Good points all of them. The only thing I have to add is just to comment on this advice:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey
    tell me why should I be interested in the game
    Often the best way to do that (if you're feeling chatty) is to tell me why you yourself are particularly interested in the game, i.e. favorite part of its design, reason you decided to make it, funnest thing about playing it, etc. Not that the whole post needs to be that, but I always feel like it's easier to jump into a game discussion if it's already started in the first post (instead of the post being just an announcement).
    Last edited by Berzee; 18-07-2013 at 09:48 PM.
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    This thread should be stickied for maximum effect.
    The Medallion of the Imperial Psychopath, a Napoleon: Total War AAR
    For the Emperor!, a Total War: Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai AAR

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Malawi Frontier Guard's Avatar
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    You should kickstart this.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    I will donate if I receive the entire thread upon completion.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    I like bulletpoints, Tikey screw you in:
    • The eye
    • The ear
    • Your life
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Bullet points belong in their natural habitat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Berzee View Post
    Yesss. Good points all of them. The only thing I have to add is just to comment on this advice:

    Often the best way to do that (if you're feeling chatty) is to tell me why you yourself are particularly interested in the game, i.e. favorite part of its design, reason you decided to make it, funnest thing about playing it, etc. Not that the whole post needs to be that, but I always feel like it's easier to jump into a game discussion if it's already started in the first post (instead of the post being just an announcement).
    Yes, good point. Passion is contagious.
    Fun fact. I was always more of a Lawrence Holland guy but I backed Chris Robert's Star Citizen (and I'm quite looking forward to it) mostly because Robert's passion for the game is infectious.
    Last edited by Tikey; 21-07-2013 at 04:05 PM.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    This thread should be stickied for maximum effect.
    This is probably true! If there are no objections, I will enshrine this post to give the project promotion forum some point of reference.
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    I'm glad people like it.
    I'll try to polish it a bit. Grammar and spelling corrections are welcome.

  10. #10
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    bullet points belong in their natural habitAT.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

    "It's frankly embarrassing. The mods on here are woeful."

    "I wrinkled my nose at QC being a mod."

    "At least he has some personality."

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Some people think they can outsmart me. Maybe...maybe.
    I have yet to meet one that can outsmart bullet point.
    Last edited by Berzee; 22-07-2013 at 03:19 PM.
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Malawi Frontier Guard's Avatar
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    I prefer if there are a couple of representative screenshots at the top of a thread instead of at the bottom.

  13. #13
    @Tikey: Have you ever tried to promote your own works. Would you mind running through a simulation of it(if the moderator doesn't mind). It seems that I do agree with you some. But I also have a few reservations as well.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    I did promote a few projects some time ago. I made a lot of the same mistakes I mention here.
    I could make an example post. I'll see to it when I have some time.

    Cheers.

  15. #15
    Great, I like your suggestions. But one of the biggest punches that I've been dealing with. Is the fact, that the attitudes of people have changed just in the last few years. Most sites want anyone signing up to their site to contribute before posting(which is pointless, if that particular site is advertising to the general public as being a game developer site!--) Their are a lot of good games out there and so many places to post them. That some times developers are pushed to rush the PR campaign in the first three months of release. Therefore, we seem cold and distant. It's not intentional but sometimes necessary.

    However, the honesty issue you mention should be taken seriously...Along, with other points you mention. Either way, it can ruff for anyone pressing the public to just take a cursory look at what they see in a game or project these days.

    Thanks.

  16. #16
    Obscure Node BrokenKnight's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, I'm new to the whole marketing aspect of gaming, so any advice I get I'll take to heart.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node Prolar Bear's Avatar
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    I love how some devs don't even care about reading this thread and make the exact mistakes you're mentioning.

  18. #18
    Obscure Node Applypoison's Avatar
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    Cool guide, nice things to be aware of for sure... although I would take the high-strung cynicism with a grain of salt :-) Many enthusiastic supporters, especially with the recent surge of indie activity, do create new accounts on foreign forums for the sole purpose of "evangelizing" everybody about a game in need of coverage. The effectiveness varies from low to nil, but it's still something a fan can do and it's better than nothing. I've seen a thread or 2 on Robert Star Industries.com where the fans ended up sticking around because of the friendly response, and becoming a regular member.

    Morale of the story is, you lose nothing by dropping in and saying hi, and you'll probably make someone's day in the process. Beats hating on the latest AAA production, if you ask me.

    Either way, this sub-forum seems like a magnet trashbin for Kickstarter promotion more than a place people actually frequent. RPS, you clever little devil.
    Last edited by Applypoison; 05-12-2013 at 01:12 PM.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Applypoison View Post
    Cool guide, nice things to be aware of for sure... although I would take the high-strung cynicism with a grain of salt :-) Many enthusiastic supporters, especially with the recent surge of indie activity, do create new accounts on foreign forums for the sole purpose of "evangelizing" everybody about a game in need of coverage. The effectiveness varies from low to nil, but it's still something a fan can do and it's better than nothing.
    Yes, the action might be genuine. Fans tend to do that. Problem is how the action is perceived by the forum people. In the end I think that makes more damage than good.
    Obviously it all depends on how it's presented. I think that in any case transparency and honesty helps a lot in those situations. So if you're a fan, just state it. "Hey. I'm a fan of this game, I'm spamming forums so everybody knows about it" Is much better than the usual "I just stumbled by chance with this game and I thought that you, total strangers, might enjoy it"

  20. #20

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