Networking: Making your project popular?

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Lishy
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Networking: Making your project popular?

#1 Post by Lishy » Thu May 22, 2014 4:43 pm

Hey,

I create this thread with one very bold question: How do I develop a bigger following?

I want more people to follow the development of my VN, and I want more people to play the demo when it is released. Much effort has been put into my VN demo so far, and I am confident readers will be happy with it. But from what I've learned about the Indie scene in general, is that it is not enough to simply release a game. It needs to be spread; a fanbase must be developed first. There for, networking is also necessary for it to be successful. The million-dollar question is, how?

The question of "how" a project becomes popular, is especially important for those who wish to launch a Kickstarter campaign, such as myself.

I've created a facebook page, I'm somewhat active on Twitter, and of course, my project thread is quite big. However, as development furthers, I haven't seen much momentum in interest either. Is there something I am doing wrong with my project thread? I am open to constructive criticism:
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 43&t=20313

Or is it another issue as a whole? Is the issue really that of networking? Should I be posting reddit, tumblr, and other social networks? Should I be posting updates under hashtags on Twitter?

I look at projects like HuniePop, and they seem to have more than enough attention without even a single demo release in the first place, and barely any screenshots or footage. Then I look at my own project, and I wonder what went wrong? Does a project's popularity simply skyrocket because it has a Kickstarter?

I wont deny my question is a little blunt, but I do hope I could get some answers on this million dollar question. How do I make my project more popular?
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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#2 Post by Katta » Thu May 22, 2014 5:05 pm

I'm also interested to know that) And since I'm absolutely not a social person myself, I'd also like to know if anyone tried recruiting other people for marketing and if that worked.

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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#3 Post by Hijiri » Thu May 22, 2014 5:59 pm

So far from what I've seen, you've either got to win the lucky lottery and get people interested, or have a well-known person involved.
The former, you just gotta keep pushing for your work to catch on. Generally, romance games do the best in this regard, but there are exceptions.

The latter, that just comes naturally since people tend to be drawn to someone who has already established themselves.
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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#4 Post by mugenjohncel » Thu May 22, 2014 11:01 pm

I'll just go straight and say...

Post / Spam / Whore project in 4Chan :mrgreen:

It may not be the most ethical but it works... and it's Free, might as well take advantage of it's huge traffic... also, don't forget to post Anonymously... :)

"POOF" (Disappears)

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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#5 Post by Hijiri » Thu May 22, 2014 11:09 pm

mugenjohncel wrote:I'll just go straight and say...

Post / Spam / Whore project in 4Chan :mrgreen:

It may not be the most ethical but it works... and it's Free... also, don't forget to post Anonymously... :)

"POOF" (Disappears)
I'd suggest avoiding this tactic if you are hypsersensitive and take attacks to your work personally.
Then again, they'll also attack you so...

Though, you might get lucky sometimes. For instance, there is a thread on 4chan's /y/ board talking about Obscura's game. So far, it's mainly posting CG's and a few good comments
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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#6 Post by fioricca » Thu May 22, 2014 11:53 pm

I recently watched this video which VenusEclipse linked to me and it's really opened my eyes to marketing. It's about an hour long, but it talks about effective marketing strategies. I haven't checked out your facebook pages and so forth but to sum the video up in a few questions:
  • Do you have a proper landing page/website?
  • Do you have screenshots/content that people can't help but want to share and talk about? Are your screenshots really showcasing your game in an exciting manner?
  • Is it easy for people to learn more about the project and how they might be able to support it? Are there share icons so it's easy for people to tweet/share content with their friends?
  • Do you actively reach out to your audience instead of waiting for them to come?
  • If you'd like to get on the press, is there enough material on your site for them to write about, and are they easy to find (reporters don't have to sift through forum comments to get what they want)?
I guess the thing these questions have in common is that do you know where your audience are and how to get their attention, and are you doing things that will get their attention? The material that you put up as promotion should serve a purpose, whether it's to entice people to talk about them, or to share them, and so on. Just being on a platform doesn't guarantee popularity; I posted Lemon to Tumblr but got sub-zero enthusiasm before one of my VAs, who has a huge fanbase, actively promoted it and got his fans to spread the word.

By the way, I didn't know you had a Twitter! Adding you now.

ETA; oh, networking with other people is also really, really important. Devs who are your friends will help to promote your project and it helps a lot.

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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#7 Post by Lesleigh63 » Fri May 23, 2014 1:32 am

There's been a lot of activity on the forum lately, with NaNoReno (both the WIP activity and the completed games activity) and also I think the WIPs section has had quite a bit of activity too in the last couple of months, plus exams have been mentioned by a few people. Maybe you just tried to post stuff in the middle of all that activity and it got overlooked.

Your not doing too bad, I've noticed your project, your name and your icon (sure others have too). So just keep active and keep updating etc to stay in front of everyone's eyes and get your project finished.
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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#8 Post by saguaro » Fri May 23, 2014 9:06 am

Obscura has talked about networking and advertising, you can read about the journey...
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... =4&t=19042

Tom posted some stuff too
http://moacube.com/blog/how-we-handle-o ... -networks/

I can't say anything about any of the other social networks, but as someone who pays attention to game promotion on Tumblr, I've seen huge disparities in game post popularity (a dozen notes vs. thousands) for games that are equally-well presented in the post (has screenshots, looks good, has plot summary, links to downloads/website, etc.). I think the people who get the most mileage out of Tumblr actually USE Tumblr socially and are really active there, they already reblog art and fandom stuff and have gathered followers from other corners of the network, so when they post about a game, that game is getting reblogged into different social circles.

Whereas those who maintain a project blog and post about a game get reblogged by other devs and VN fans, and it sorta circles around the oelvn network but doesn't necessarily gain traction elsewhere.

Just a personal observation.

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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#9 Post by Wissa » Fri May 23, 2014 8:38 pm

The biggest factor affecting notoriety that I have seen, on a consistent basis, that separates those who get a lot of attention from those who don't--is the amount of work you are producing and how often. There are people who don't do the social networking thing, but the amount they are able to produce is what keeps drawing people to their body of work. Anything that you publish is another advertisement. You don't want to just put one thing out there and expect it to snowball by itself. Whether it is a blog post, art, whatever--keep updating with something interesting and do it as often as possible.
I wouldn't rely on twitter posts, though.

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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#10 Post by Lishy » Sun May 25, 2014 10:28 am

Wissa wrote:The biggest factor affecting notoriety that I have seen, on a consistent basis, that separates those who get a lot of attention from those who don't--is the amount of work you are producing and how often.
Problem is, what am I to show off in a forum post withut spoiling the story? Sprites are done, BGs are done, CGs are done, music is just about done... I don't want to spoil too much, though. So what is there to show without spoiling?
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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#11 Post by Wissa » Sun May 25, 2014 11:58 am

Lishy wrote:
Wissa wrote:The biggest factor affecting notoriety that I have seen, on a consistent basis, that separates those who get a lot of attention from those who don't--is the amount of work you are producing and how often.
Problem is, what am I to show off in a forum post withut spoiling the story? Sprites are done, BGs are done, CGs are done, music is just about done... I don't want to spoil too much, though. So what is there to show without spoiling?
You have to make other pieces of art, things that really capture people's attention, such as romantic situations or action. They don't have to be as polished as the CGs. Plus, I think you should spoil the story a little. Most VN companies show at least 5 CGs, and yes, they're spoilers, but getting a glimpse of the action is what attracts people.

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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#12 Post by Broodelin » Sun May 25, 2014 12:01 pm

I think that maybe providing in-character "extras" (like diary entries or blog posts, etc.) would be an interesting incentive for people to keep an eye on the thread and might even attract more potential players of your VN.

That's just my two cents, though.

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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#13 Post by DaFool » Sun May 25, 2014 1:11 pm

Lishy wrote:
Wissa wrote:The biggest factor affecting notoriety that I have seen, on a consistent basis, that separates those who get a lot of attention from those who don't--is the amount of work you are producing and how often.
Problem is, what am I to show off in a forum post withut spoiling the story? Sprites are done, BGs are done, CGs are done, music is just about done... I don't want to spoil too much, though. So what is there to show without spoiling?
That's where teams with dedicated artists have the advantage of having extra art to throw around. Stuff that won't be in-game, but chibis, and fan-art-like poses (but made by the official artists) to attract attention.

Some of the Kickstarters nowadays even have enough art shown during the preview video that would be the equivalent of spilling out all the art assets of one of my games.

That's just the nature of games these days being art-intensive (and then people complain that the playtime is like, 5 hours).

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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#14 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Mon May 26, 2014 2:55 am

This might be helpful for some peeps... I compiled a list awhile ago where to get the word out for your visual novel:

DeviantART groups:
@GameDevelopers
@GrinningWhale (a VN development group)
@OriginalOtomeGames
@OtomeGameFanClub
@OtomeWorld
@Renpy
@VisualNovels (also a list for dA users who made VNs)
@VisualNovelists

Tumblr:
http://www.englishotomegames.net
http://fuckyeahrenpy.tumblr.com/submit
http://fuckyeahvns.tumblr.com
- Also, tagging your posts with any of the following: #english visual novel, #EVN, #gamedev, #game development, #OELVN, #otome, #otoge, #otome game, #renpy, #ren'py, #visual novel, #VN, #visual novel development, #vndev

Reddit:
http://www.reddit.com/r/devblogs
http://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev
http://www.reddit.com/r/IndieGaming
http://www.reddit.com/r/vndevs/
http://www.reddit.com/r/visualnovels

Other:
http://www.otome-games.com/
http://www.screenshotsaturday.com: where you submit a screenshot from your game dev. There are new screenshots from the queue every Saturday. A few get noticed and appear on Indie Statik, which is great.
http://www.visualnovelgames.com/index.html
- Also remember to submit your completed game on the Visual Novel Database and Renai.us!

EDIT: I moved English Otome Games to the tumblr section since I didn't realize it was a tumblr blog with its own url.
EDIT2: Edited and added a link.
Last edited by Green Glasses Girl on Mon May 26, 2014 3:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Networking: Making your project popular?

#15 Post by Lishy » Mon May 26, 2014 1:34 pm

Woah, thank you, Green Glasses Girl! I will make sure to check out each and every one of those~! (Although I've never used tumblr before...)

Do you have any tips for Twitter? I use that as my main social network.
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