- Title: Guide To Raising Replies On Gm Releases
- Description: Raising Interest in your GM Releases
- GM Version: all
- Registered: na
- File Type: na
- File Size: na
- File Link: na
- Required Extensions: na
- Required DLLs: na
Raising Interest in your GM Releases
Latest Update: Saturday 20th October, 2007
Written by Rhys Andrews
An example topic layout and game is available at the bottom of this post!
Being the 370th person ever to join these forums, I've examined how people respond to topics, how they create them, when, why, and even where, and how others take those responses. In fact, lately, it has been stressing me to see people blindingly respond and edit their topics to die out the chances of others replying to them. This topic will give you some tricks of the trade, and some tricks that most of us know - to really polish off your GM-Release Topics, and your GM-WIP Topics - to really give a bigger chance of people responding to them. You need to remember that this guide focuses on your topic layout, not your game. There will not be a dramatic increase in replies, however these guides will definitely contribute towards it, as well as give a nice layout for the community.
Part One || Your Game
Now obviously, the quality of your game is extremely important; if someone views your topic, only to see a review flaming how badly designed your game is, their chances of trying the game out them self is very low. It's also obvious you need to work hard on your overall performance, quality, and fun in your game. However, Iâ€™m not going into that.. I'm going into the simple features.
- Make sure your game has a strong documentation. If you leave out all the keys or the story or what the hell the game IS, you aren't going to like the output of the reviewers. Do NOT put the documentation in the games topic, having to refer to the topic while playing can get irritating.
- Make the game actually seem like a game, not an engine. Give your game a menu system, a customised loading screen, and its own icon. One of your biggest goals is to make the game look and feel like it wasn't created with Game Maker; thatâ€™s what shocks people the most.
- Completely disregard presenting this game to the public if you made it "because you were bored". This tends to end in flamewars.
- Any external documentation files should be in either PDF, TXT, or DOC format (PDF is the most professional option, TXT is good too). They need the basics... Story, How to Play, Controls, and Credits. Also allow people to access this easily inside the game (loading the file in-game with a press of a button, or opening a graphical version as part of the menu).
- Give a lot of options. A lot of people test out your game while listening to music, and if music is playing on the game that isn't mutable; You'll get some bad comments. Allow for a quick and easy way of muting music, switching resolutions, etc. It's really recommended that you have "No Change" for resolution, otherwise you'll have 1280X1024 resolutions stretching to say 800X600, pushing all the currently open windows up into the top-left corner.
It's everywhere: Make sure you use a fast host! Donâ€™t use free webs or Geocities! Give a description of what the game IS! Well letâ€™s make it a little more informative, descriptive, and clear.
- Make sure anyone can get access to your game; compress your game into a ZIP file, not a RAR file. If you have WinRAR, WinRAR can compress to both ZIP and RAR files. Remember, you are serving the viewers, they are not serving you. So you must be responsible for making sure they can download and run the game without a hassle. Also, make sure the host does not require registration to download, but just a few clicks (at the most).
- No installers! GM Games are only usually 1 file, sometimes a few more for DLLs and external files; Installers are irrelevant if you're just installing 1 file. People don't want a shortcut to your game in the desktop/quicklaunch/startbar. Keep the files directly inside the zip file.
- Fast Hosts; People aren't going to download from hosts that go at 2kb/s, so donâ€™t' host there. Use the pinned topic in this forum for good hosts (found here), or ask a friend to host it on their server for you. Also, put into consideration that people don't want to be directed to your site; they want to be directed to your GAME LINK; you can link them to your site somewhere else in the topic, but always allow a direct link. And that direct link needs to be clear and straight in your topic, not a signature and not small text.
- Multiple Mirrors; on the common case of a server going down or completely shutting down, it's good to have multiple mirrors. That way, the topic will cover for dead links itself, and you won't have to edit and upload all the time.
There are tons of topics around that has too little or too much or irrelevant information on the message body. You need to level it perfectly to get people to enjoy your game more; Yes, the topic can affect how people enjoy the game by a lot, because it gives them a bit of knowledge about who you are, so they would know what the purpose of the game is, thus would appreciate it more for what it is.
- Use a lot of italics, bold, size changes, and alignments where appropriate. Give Italics when you want to emphasize something, or make your text Bold to grab the viewerâ€™s attention. Make headings bigger than subheadings and subheadings bigger than body text. Colour important text [color="red"]red.
- Do NOT give the controls in the body text; people do not need to know this until they've opened the game. Make sure what you insert in this topic only shows the important info to make the viewer want to try out your game, and make sure you give them ALL the important info. Split that info into groups.
- SCREENSHOTS. They're very important. It's also good to have small thumbnails, and hyperlink them to the full size; image shack gives you a BBcode for automatically having thumbnails, etc. Screenshots are easy to take - Game Maker 7 has a shortcut key to save them, and if you're not using Gm7, just press the PRINT SCREEN button, between F12 and Scroll Lock on most keyboards - then paste in paint.
- Do not say things that make people praise you more... like humbly saying "I did this in a few hours, hope you like it", or "it's not that good, but I thought Iâ€™d release it anyway". Keep the topics looking formal, as if you don't think anything about your game, you're simply here to give it to the viewers, and let them decide. It's also not important info, so viewers won't respect the comments.
- Most importantly, NEVER use the "ph34r" or "medieval" emoticons (ninja-smiley and warrior-smiley). It really makes people think you're all teletubby like... well that's not necessarily the word, but just don't use them. Actually, don't use the "lol", "chiken", "rambo", or "lmao" smilies either.
- Keep the email talk and abbreviations out. lol and lmao and omgwtfpwned really puts a dent in the formality of your topic.
- Make your topic title the name of the game, not "My first game" or anything like that. As for the description, make sure it's something that will attract the viewersâ€™ attention. Download count (even an estimate is ok), Viewers Comments, or a simple slogan or description about the game.
- Preview your topic before posting. Quite often you'll forget to close tags, leaving a messy looking design. Also, spell-check your work (unless you very rarely spell a mistake, in which case you should just quick-review your work).
- You can find.Ablach Blackrats topic format (found here) if you cannot get your own going.
- Your topic is useless without a download link, so make sure it's easy to see, and that it isn't in your signature or it doesn't take a bit of forum browsing (or site browsing) to reach. It needs to be *right there*.
- Use the or icon for the post icon, to kind of show the user which version the game was created on (definitely helps for people with compatibility issues)
- Sometimes its a good idea to inform the public what type of functions you use in this game... like particles, surfaces, texture primitives, etc. Because I for one know a lot of people have issues with say just particles, or just surfaces.
- Spellcheck your work. It's absolutely vital to keep your design/layout nice. If English isn't your native language and/or you simply aren't 100% familiar with English grammar, get a friend to rewrite it for you. And don't trust the language converters on say Google.
- Using D&D Icons are a nice little upgrade to your topics design. Use them via clicking "Show All" just under the emoticons list. Some people use these icons next to their subheadings (for instance "Download Mirrors" or "Description"), using an icon that looks similar to the purpose of that sub-heading.
This is REALLY important; Iâ€™m telling you WHEN, HOW, and WHY to respond to your own topic.
- Most importantly, your repliers have put time out to test your release. No matter what, do NOT get annoyed or angry at them; a nice comment that corrects them, yes, but what they say is up to them so long as it's within the GMC Rules and ethical rights.
- It's their review, so let them say whatever they want about it. If they report a bug you know about, thank them, and donâ€™t say that you already knew about that one. It's your own mistake for not giving a known bugs list; and if you did, read the first point.
- Put their suggestions, reviews, and bug reports into SERIOUS consideration, especially if your work is a work-in-progress. Viewers are the people that are going to be playing your game, so let them get what they want, they know what they want.
- Believe it or not, people are less likely to even visit your topic if you are the latest replier. If you don't believe me, try it out sometime. In which case, don't reply unless you have to, and upon replying, Make sure you acknowledge EVERYONES comments. At least you're minimizing your replies, and still covering everyoneâ€™s thoughts.
- Don't flame back flamers. This will screw up your topic with a huge flamewar, and would probably end in a topic close. Just report any unfair comments and moderators will take it into their own hands.
- If you have more news on your release, edit your topic-message with the new news, and only post a new reply with the news if you are not the latest responder. This could result in a topic lock if otherwise.
- Quote replies before responding to them; Make sure to have their name in the quote box. Lead by example:
Yes, Thankyou for that.
As you can see my name is in the title-bar of the quote
IntroductoryThis guide is designed to squeeze all the juice out of your topic, making sure you get every last drop of replies possible. At one point in time, Hero_Yuy suggested that I create an example topic, that follows all the guides shown on the pinned topic. Well, I've decided to take that suggestion on board, and as you see now, I've created an ideal topic layout. Some of you may argue some problems with it, I guess some things are different according to opinion. Anyway, to go along with this topic I've created a mini-game that also follows the few guides about games themselves. Do enjoy this small little game; Submit your score if you wish!
Genre/Category: Fast-Paced Minigame
Download Size: 1,465KB (1.4MB)
Game File-Type: Stand-Alone Executable
Resolution: No Change, Windowed
Current Version: v1.0
Written In: .1 Registered
GM Function-Types Used:
- Particle Functions
- Blend Modes
- Alpha Mapping
Ball-Bouncer is a score-based game, in which you must reflect or avoid incoming enemy spheres. You have absolute control of your player, using the mouse to avoid both slow and fast enemies coming from all directions. Along with full control, a shockwave move can be done to 'bounce' enemies away from you; giving you even more points! With vibrant yet simple graphics, and a nice soundtrack to keep you pumped, Ball-Bouncer is a fun little game to play when you've got absolutely nothing else to do!
Link Version: v1.0
Link Version: v1.0
Link Version: v1.0
Thankyou for trying out this game, if you do. Of course, It was designed mainly to emphasize the little finishing touches you can easily implement into your game to give it a much higher chance of getting the replies it deserves. All feedback is appreciated.
Edited by icuurd12b42, 30 April 2012 - 07:41 PM.