How to promote LOVE game?

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noway
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How to promote LOVE game?

Post by noway » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:24 pm

Hey!

I've been writing a tutorial series on making an Arkanoid-type game and I think it has come to a point where I can start to promote it a bit more actively.

So far I've only posted announcements on this forum (newer, older) and on reddit/love2d (newer, older).
According to Github traffic, this has resulted in roughly 100 unique visitiors each 2 weeks ( screenshots attached ) .
I think, this can and should be improved.

Image
Image
Image

For a start, I plan to post an announcement on several websites.
Below I've compiled a list of what I have found so far. It is definitely not exhaustive (especially concerning social networks and mobile-devoted resources), so please, suggest any other places, that you think are appropriate.
Besides, it would be interesting to hear any personal experience, ideas, etc regarding how to promote a game.

P.S.: I plan to include an article on packaging and announcing the game in the tutorial.

List of websites:

Love2d-devoted resources:
1) Love forums:
2) Reddit Love2d:
3) Github:
A curated list of amazingly awesome LÖVE libraries, resources and shiny things..
4) Facebook (doesn't seem to be very active):
https://www.facebook.com/love2Dengine/?fref=ts
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lovegamedev/

Forums of other Lua-based game engines:
Most frequently, the following surface up:
Corona,
Gideros,
MOAI,
Defold,
Amulet.
A more comprehensive list.

General social networks:
Facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. : at least post an announcement on personal account.
If possible, create an account for the project (e.g. Facebook pages).

LOVE and Gamedev-devoted groups and accounts:
[list-of-groups]

Video blogs:
Youtube
Twitch

For opensource games:
The most active community used to be found at OGA and FreeGameDev.
1) OpenGameArt
2) FreeGameDev

Game Development Forums
Usually they have project showcase for indie or beginner's.

1) Reddit gamedev
2) Gamejolt
There is also a devlog format, which looks promising: http://gamejolt.com/devlogs
3) Itch
This is mostly a marketplace.
4) Fig
Newly announced crowdfunding platform, specially for gamedev.
Currently, this is for professionals mostly, but worth keeping an eye on.
Probably they'll start a section with prototypes soon.

GameJams
Some game jams have forums, where it is possible to announce the game.
Also, It won't hurt to participate.

1) Ludum Dare

Digital game distribution platforms:

1) Steam.
It seems, that forums lack any special topics for developers.
On the other hand, there is 'Concepts in Steam Greenlight'.
Probably, it is possible to publish the game there to get some feedback
http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/brow ... n=concepts
2) Humble Indie Bundle
Doesn't have a forum, but it's possible to create a 'Humble Gamepage'.
https://www.humblebundle.com/developer
This seems to be more suitable for finished projects thought.
3) GOG
4) Desura.

General IT- and Gaming-Devoted Communities.
International: Gamespot, Slashdot, IGN, etc.
Hundreds of them. Sometimes they have a forum, where it is possible to make an announcement.

If the game runs on mobile devices:
Mobile gaming is a wast topic on its own.

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    peterrust
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    Re: How to promote LOVE game?

    Post by peterrust » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:58 pm

    Before posting on Corona & other non-LOVE game engine forums, it'd probably be good to verify that their API is similar to LOVE's (at least in terms of low-level vs high-level) -- otherwise (if it's a real high-level game engine API) then much of the lua code may not be useful. It would be especially useful if you mentioned the parts of the code/tutorial that would be most relevant to people using that engine, and the parts that would likely need to be changed/modified to work with their engine. The more specific & helpful you make the announcement to that community, the better-received it will be and the less it will be (and be perceived as) spam.

    Regarding promotion, I would message a few of the prominent lovers on twitter and ask if they wouldn't mind skimming your tutorial & if they think it adds value to the community, re-tweeting it to their followers (there's a list of lovers on twitter at https://twitter.com/josefnpat/lists/lÖvers/members, you might try @obey_love, @shakesoda, @josefnpat, @the_vrld, @Sheepolution and @zorg_z0rg_z0r8)

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    ivan
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    Re: How to promote LOVE game?

    Post by ivan » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:24 am

    Noway, Love2D is a small community so unfortunately there's not a lot of traffic going through.
    On the other hand, the general Lua community is certainly larger.
    With tech/gamedev tutorials I think it's best to look for a small, specific audience.

    I think promoting games is hard, and promoting gamedev tutorials or tools is even harder.
    In reality, Unity has become the defacto standard and 2D games using Lua is a tiny niche in comparison.

    Steam does have "developer forums" but it's only for people who have access to Steamworks
    and the discussion there is mostly about Steamworks integration for games.
    Desura is now defunct and while there are plans to bring it back, I doubt it will ever be as successful as before.

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    zorg
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    Re: How to promote LOVE game?

    Post by zorg » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:58 am

    peterrust wrote:Regarding promotion, I would message a few of the prominent lovers on twitter and ask if they wouldn't mind skimming your tutorial & if they think it adds value to the community, re-tweeting it to their followers (there's a list of lovers on twitter at https://twitter.com/josefnpat/lists/lÖvers/members, you might try @obey_love, @shakesoda, @josefnpat, @the_vrld, @Sheepolution and @zorg_z0rg_z0r8)
    Not that i'm that important, nor do i have that many followers, but thanks for including me :P; i looked at my twitter and it's following randos by itself again... time to change my password again. :v
    Me and my stuff :3True Neutral Aspirant. Why, yes, i do indeed enjoy sarcastically correcting others when they make the most blatant of spelling mistakes. No bullying or trolling the innocent tho.

    Santos
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    Re: How to promote LOVE game?

    Post by Santos » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:45 am

    The tutorials section of the TIGSource forums could be used for promoting a tutorial.

    noway
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    Re: How to promote LOVE game?

    Post by noway » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:26 pm

    I think promoting games is hard, and promoting gamedev tutorials or tools is even harder.
    In reality, Unity has become the defacto standard and 2D games using Lua is a tiny niche in comparison.
    Of course, good marketing requires time and skill, just as good sound effects, good graphics and code do.
    On the other hand, there are a number of things that can be done by a single person for a hobby project. Such things do not require much effort and they are enough to understand the basic idea of marketing process.
    I'm talking about the latter scenario.
    Love2D is a small community so unfortunately there's not a lot of traffic going through.
    On the other hand, the general Lua community is certainly larger.
    With tech/gamedev tutorials I think it's best to look for a small, specific audience.
    I believe, targeting well-defined audience is one of the rules of the marketing. After all, marketing is all about 3 questions:
    1) Who might be interested in my project?
    2) How can I reach them?
    3) How should I talk to them?
    I can speculate that the target audience for my project are beginner programmers interested in game dev.
    The problem is, where to find them?

    For practical means it seems more convenient to reformulate these questions in terms of "communities".
    1) Which communities might be interested in my project?
    2) How can I contact the maximum number of people in each community?
    3) How to persuade members of the community to give my project a try?
    The idea of communities was implicit in my initial list, but, i think, it deserves to be made explicit and emphasized.

    First of all, there is Love2D community.
    It seems that this forum + reddit + links given by Peterrust (thanks) allow to achieve a decent coverage.
    (I'm a bit surprised, that Love2d is almost absent on social networks).

    Love2D is a part of a larger GameDev community.
    GameDev is very broad and it is convenient to subdivide it into a number of smaller subcommunities.

    First of all, there is Lua GameDev, represented mostly by Lua-based engines.
    Peterrust has given a good advice on how to approach them:
    Before posting on Corona & other non-LOVE game engine forums, it'd probably be good to verify that their API is similar to LOVE's (at least in terms of low-level vs high-level) -- otherwise (if it's a real high-level game engine API) then much of the lua code may not be useful. It would be especially useful if you mentioned the parts of the code/tutorial that would be most relevant to people using that engine, and the parts that would likely need to be changed/modified to work with their engine. The more specific & helpful you make the announcement to that community, the better-received it will be and the less it will be (and be perceived as) spam.
    Then, there is indie-gamedev community.
    Apart from gamejolt and itch, http://forums.indiegamer.com/ is probably another related resource.

    Since Love runs on mobile and web, it is also possible to consider mobile- and web-gamedev communities.
    Unfortunately, both are terra incognita for me.

    Another small subset is the open source gamedev (opengameart, freegamedev).

    After that, there is General GameDev community, represented by such resources as gamedev.net, TIGSource (thanks, Santos).

    Then, there is General developers community.
    Again, it is very large and should be subdivided.
    The most obvious criterion is programming language, so Lua community should be targeted in the first place.
    Much to my surprise, it seems that among the people, who have starred the repository on the github, there are more JavaScript coders, than Lua coders. This might indicate, that JavaScript community also might be considered.

    After that, there is Players community (gamespot & co ).
    It can be subdivided by a number of criteria (mobile/desktop, girls/boys, teenagers/adults, etc.).
    The problem is, players are mostly interested in finished games, so they should not be top priority for the tutorial.

    Next, there is general IT community (slashdot, etc ).
    Inside it, general open-source community (opensouce.com ?) might be considered separately.
    The chances, of course, are not very bright.

    Finally, there are other people.
    What remains for them, are project website and various social networks.
    ( Of course, website and social networks are useful on their own, in case somebody decides to contact you ).

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    ivan
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    Re: How to promote LOVE game?

    Post by ivan » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:07 pm

    Yep, you're on the right track there. I would add that in addition to complete beginners there are also the 'know-it-alls' (myself included) who like to argue that their programming habits are 'the best'. So it's always nice to see tutorials that show a new paradigm or at least can keep the attention of us Lua snobs (there are writers who can do that through humor or clickbait language like 'how to program asteroids in 3 steps' or 'why my version of asteroids is superior to the original'). Some people can write for a broad audience, like Shiffman and his 'Nature of code' but that's hard and he tends to tackle very general topics while keeping the code portable (using JS and Processing directly in the browser).

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