2013-08-22 - Let's talk Empire Building 002

Noble Kale's picture

Empire Building for Gamedev Folk

This is the second in a series: Part 1, Part 2,Part 3,Part 4,Part 5
A few days ago, I talked about the general activity that I go through when I'm in PR mode for Arnthak. This time around, I'm going to write about something else: Reddit, r/gamedev, and how best to present your game for ScreenshotSaturday.

It may seem odd, but your first post to ScreenshotSaturday on reddit may indeed be your first step into building interest in your project. Your fellow gamedevs are probably going to be your first fans, and staunchest supporters. The problem here, is that a lot of devs don't present their projects coherently, nor easily. In the past, I have gone through every single entry on SSS, and there's quite a few things that go into a good post, and a lot of things that will banish a post to the lower scores (the following are numbered in case I need to refer to them, but this is not a prioritised listing):

  1. Make the name of your game apparent - In the past, I've told people to at least bold the name of the project. If you don't have one, give it a working name.
  2. Learn how to encode formatting for reddit - Seriously, learn how to make text bold, emphatic & learn how to make URLs text instead of just the address. Also, remember you have to double linespace to get a new paragraph...
  3. Have your screenshots prepared - Have them made, uploaded and good to go, probably on thursday. Remember, SSS goes up on Australian time, which may be your Friday
  4. Have your post written and ready to go - See above!
  5. Throw in a funny story/joke - Everyone likes a bit of laughter. Always Geeky's posts for Vox tended to be damn hilarious, and reminded people that there was a human behind the post. Always good. Tell me how many times you died trying to obtain this shot...
  6. Include your contact details down the bottom - Make it easy for me to find & stalk you
  7. Include your twitter handle in your flair - See above!
  8. Give thanks to anyone who gave you feedback last week, etc
  9. Answer the damn bonus questions
  10. Reply to everyone who comments, and keep an eye on your post - build the conversation. Your project is the talking piece, after all.
  11. Give me direct links to your images, and then a link to your blogpost containing the images, or an Imgur gallery with all the images in one spot
  12. Tell me what's new! - Seriously, point something out. Tell me why you're posting.

Let's have a quick look at one of my posts from not too long ago:
A post for Screenshot Saturday by Noble Kale
Here you can see I've hit (most) of the points above - I use the same format for all of my posts, which means you can spot the Arnthak post if it's there. Now, I'll drop a few 'wait, no don't do that' items:

  1. Complaining about voting, your score, and downvotes - Downvotes happen. Deal with it. Your post may not score well, deal with that too.
  2. 'Placeholders' that are actually someone else's IP - really, really, really don't do this. Ever. Establish your identity, even if it's terrible programmer art.
  3. Don't just post animated gifs - These take forever to load, and consume (watch). Often, they're smaller and don't show detail, so you're now presenting me with something less pretty that takes me time to care about.
  4. Don't just post youtube videos - See above! If I have 300+ entries to glance over, why would I watch a ten minute video?
  5. Don't present a wall of text - the post is about screenshots, make 'em stand out. Don't hide them away

Right. There may be more added later, that's all I can think of right now.

Remember, though - other gamedevs will be your biggest fans. Your first fans. Make me excited about your project.