How do I get people interested in playing my game?

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dmasterxd
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How do I get people interested in playing my game?

#1 Post by dmasterxd » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:25 pm

So, I released the demo for my visual novel like months ago and aside from a close friend of mine, I've gotten literally zero feedback on it. I don't know why that is because the very first game I released, I actually got feedback on. And I was a lot lazier with that one, and I didn't do anything to advertise it. I've advertised this one a lot, and put much more effort and resources into it. And it's not like I'm looking for the game to become wildly popular or anything like that, I just want feedback. I know people have been downloading it at least, but no one has said anything. And I honestly don't know what to do without critique.

So any suggestions on what else I should be doing to be able to get feedback?

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Re: How do I get people interested in playing my game?

#2 Post by trooper6 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:55 pm

The title of your post asks a different question than the body of the post. The title is, "How do I get people interested in playing my game?" But in the body of the post you say you want people to give you feedback. Those are two different things. I almost never give feedback on the games I play...and I don't think I'm that rare. I'm going to assume that you really do mean that you want feedback not just people playing your game. So I almost never give feedback...why not?

First off, there is a difference between an analysis/critique, a review, and feedback. They have different audiences and different functions. Analysis/critique I do all the time. Sometimes published in academic journals or presented at academic conferences...more frequently on my Twitch channel in the moment with my chat. The audience for the analysis/critique is not the creator of the game and it isn't to help them improve. It is just to analyze themes and think about symbolism and think about how the game does what it does, what the game says about society as a whole. This is not for the game creator...and it isn't for the general audience. It's for people who want to do some philosophizing and takes lots of work...and not all games are good to do analysis on. Also, whether a game is good for analysis has nothing to do with the quality. There could be a really good game that doesn't have much to analyze or a really terrible game that says something really interesting about society at this moment. It takes a lot of work to do a good analysis/critique, because you may need to do lots of research and detailed analysis and contextualize the game in a number of different contexts. But there is an audience who is interested in analysis of media...it isn't huge...but there is a willing audience...and if you like doing that sort of analysis, there is some fun in doing the analysis itself.

Reviews...their purpose is to let potential gamers know if they might want to play that game. Reviews are more...summaries...with light editorializing. Also not aimed at the creator, it is aimed at gamers who want to discover new games and figure out if they should spend their time on any particular game. There is a much larger audience for reviews...discoverability is always difficult in this oversaturated market. It is a good service...but may not help the creator either. I don't tend to do reviews...mainly because, while they are a lot less work, you generally need to do more of them more frequently and in a more timely manner if you want to be doing the service of the review. With an analysis, I've done that work on games that are decades old and may not even be commercially available...so not useful for consumers wondering about the newest games...and some of the games are by developers that aren't even in existence anymore...so not for the developers either. With a review I want that to be timely enough that consumers can use the review to help them figure out if they want the game...and that would need to be the purpose of the writing. I don't do a lot of reviews...but sometimes.

So feedback. What is that? That is me doing specific analysis in order to let the creator know what worked and what didn't. What could be improved on in future endeavors. Good feedback involves trying to figure out what the creator was trying to do and figure out how to do that better. It is a lot of work for only one person. And one of the reasons why I almost never do it...is because I find creators don't generally want actual feedback. They just want someone to tell them that they loved the game. And I'm not going to do all the of the work of crafting thoughtful, detailed feedback when the creator doesn't even actually want it.

So how do you get feedback?
First, I'd say, you'd have to ask for it. I am not at all, ever, going to give a creator unsolicited feedback. I don't need that stress. So you have to ask, specifically. Now, since giving feedback is part of my day job, I'm more likely than the average Joe to go and write up some detailed feedback...because I actually know how to do that. But a lot of people don't. So second, to increase the likelihood of getting feedback, and feedback that is useful to you, you could provide a list of questions that you want the answers to to help you moving forward. Maybe you want to know if the sprites worked with the backgrounds, so you ask that. Maybe you want to know if using first person worked for people. Or if the dialogue read natural. Ask specific questions. Provide a feedback form.

But also? Ask specific people to give you specific feedback. Ask a graphic designer friend/colleague to check out your game and give you feedback on the graphic design. Ask a composer/sound designer if your sound design is working and how it could be better.

That is if you want actual feedback. If you just want ego strokes...then say that. Because it is way easier for me to say, "Your game is so great!" than to spend a few weeks going over the whole game and crafting detailed thoughts and answering questions only to realize the creators didn't *actually* want feedback.
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Re: How do I get people interested in playing my game?

#3 Post by Imperf3kt » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:59 pm

I like to give feedback myself, but I always find myself putting it off and never really end up doing it.

What I don't like is when a game pester me to give feedback. It feels annoying if it's too often and distracting if it's interrupting the gameplay experience.

I think a lot of people are probably similar to me.
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Re: How do I get people interested in playing my game?

#4 Post by namastaii » Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:55 am

I don't leave feedback on games I play really, indie or not. Honestly no feedback is probably good feedback. And you said people are actively downloading it so people are indeed playing it. It's not related but sellers on Amazon often have to offer free products to people for feedback in return because not many people go out of their way to give a product a review (unless the product was so awful that the customer was outraged) so I personally wouldn't worry about it. You can also request feedback from friends, family, people on forums etc but I wouldn't focus too much on that aspect. The reason why so many games (like Imperf3kt described) throw pop ups in your face to review what you're currently playing ("hey are you enjoying the game? give us 5 stars!") because feedback isn't usually something people feel like giving haha so it becomes an effort to get any. People here and there will review the game if they feel like it. I'd say probably 1/50 people would leave a review or rate something - if that.

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Re: How do I get people interested in playing my game?

#5 Post by Katy133 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:28 pm

Become a part of the EVN community: Join in conversations with developers. Help others work on their VNs. Share your work as you're developing it.

Twitch stream your game: Make livestreams of yourself developing the game (working on art, writing, programming, playtesting, etc.)

Use social media to interact with the EVN community, and to create a marketing campaign (post wip screenshots, post trailers, post eye-catching gifs from your VN).

Contact blogs and Let's Players who have covered VNs similar to yours and ask if they'd like to cover your game.

Getting people interested in your game is a very long, ongoing process. It is not something you do last-minute or as an afterthought.

Hope this helps!
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Re: How do I get people interested in playing my game?

#6 Post by SinaAzad » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:49 am

namastaii wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:55 am
Honestly no feedback is probably good feedback.

not really, If I really enjoy a game, I will write a review or something similar, same goes when I hate it, but when the game is not Great nor awful enough for me to care about, I just don't do it...
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