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I figured this might apply to a lot of us. How do you go about promoting your dev page once you've got it up? At what point should you even put up a page for a work in progress?

You can put up a game page as soon as you have enough of the idea made into reality to show off.

As for promoting - when the page is made it will show up on the front page. If it's of a high quality it will be tagged as Notable and have a longer run on the page (depending on how many new games come through that are tagged the same).
Talk on the page will generate Buzz which bumps it up into the buzzing section on the front page. Reviews it garners will show up there. Media and blogs will as well.

Make a good game and people will talk of it and then others will hear of it. A good idea is to show of WIP screenshots and ask for help in the screenshot thread. Show it off on other sites - RM or otherwise.
Hmm, thank you. How does it get tagged as "Notable?" Review scores?

Notable is only tagged for new games and they're only the best of the crop - ones that look interesting and look of very good quality.
That mean:
- very good mapping and/or nice-looking custom tiles/art
- interesting gameplay mechanics
- something that pops out or looks like it would be fun/awesome

I forgot to mention that depending on how promising your project looks, it might get other front page spots - Dev spotlights are for those games that look good, sound good and have been consistent in their development (or look interesting).
Feature game is for completed games that are of very high quality.
Game spotlights like Hidden Gem and the like are given to good quality games that flew under the radar or look like they'd be interesting.
There's also RMN TV which showcases videos from gamepages that look interesting and Picture of the Moment, which show off especially good-looking images from games.

Most of those three are chosen by the community in the three stickied threads in the Feedback forums.
Wow, thanks for all the stuff I never knew! It's really appreciated!

Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
The conventional wisdom around here, the old saw, first expressed with typically acerbic venom/wit by Craze circa 2010 or so, is that if you are concerned overmuch with promoting your game on RMN, you have already lost.
Actually, if I could expand this discussion (let me know if this is too off topic and I'll start a new thread):

I've been working on a game that I want to go commercial with. Because of this, my old schtick of "let's slap it on the website when it's done" isn't the best business model, so I've been thinking about getting it out there early so I can hopefully build up an audience prior to release. I know RMN isn't the best method to do this (though I do plan on making my RMN site the homepage). Social media seems like the poor man's hype machine, so I'd like to use it, but I tend to not really use social media aside from facebook, which I really only use to keep in contact with some old friends.

Twitter seems like the most ubiquitous site, so I'll set up one for the sake of announcements. What else should I use, though? From what I've seen, Tumblr seems like the most-used option for this kind of thing. So, I guess my questions are:

-Is Tumblr a good means of developing an audience while your game's in development?
-Are there any sites I should use in addition to or in place of Tumblr and Twitter?
-Once I get going, how often should I update said sites? I'm the kind of guy that likes to just keep his nose to the grind, but that seems like a great way to sell a game to an empty room.
Your mom is a hero
Tumblr likes tumblr-games (as in Pom Gets Wifi and its ilk). Quirky short and visually interesting games. Something that people can share to show how hip they are.

If your game is visually stunning, you can try Imgur. They sometimes like those things.

GameJolt can sometimes get a little exposure, but not much more than RMN (and potentially a lot less).

What you WANT is to host the game on RMN or wherever, and then GET AN ARTICLE written up about it on a site like RockPaperShotgun or Destructoid or Kotaku. Or get an LP by someone with a huge following (Pom style!). So basically you have to get enough awareness to catch the eye of someone with real social clout. Tumblr might work for that, if your game is hip enough.
Tumblr likes tumblr-games (as in Pom Gets Wifi and its ilk). Quirky short and visually interesting games. Something that people can share to show how hip they are.
... Tumblr might work for that, if your game is hip enough.

To specify, with imgur your game meets the eye of a bunch of random people after it reaches User Submitted. If you have good visuals and concept, and don't have a description that can be nitpicked, you might succeed.

With tumblr, you need to establish connections to already popular topics, like by tagging your game with OTHER successful games so people following those tags can see it. It also helps if people with a lot of followers reblog-- for example if your friend A has 9001 followers, if he reblogs you get 9001 people viewing your stuff.

The point is you need a connection of interests that inspires people to put your work on their blog, and I sadly haven't seen where those interests connect as far as RPGs/non animu work. There are dozens of horror blogs but the RPG aggregate blogs are few or too generalized to attract a consistent hype-driven audience. It'd be cool if someone else who uses tumblr (like Liberty, maybe?) knows where to find those hubs though.

-Is Tumblr a good means of developing an audience while your game's in development?
-Once I get going, how often should I update said sites? I'm the kind of guy that likes to just keep his nose to the grind, but that seems like a great way to sell a game to an empty room.

To 'connect' to your audience you need to keep your Ask box open (allows people to send you messages that you answer and post publicly). If you don't update, you will get people asking why you haven't updated. Blogs popular with the younger gen like Pocket Mirror and Mica often get tons of requests to draw their characters in christmas theme and with crossovers with X game, or to answer what MC's favorite pokemon is, etc. However, you can stymie some of these by not allowing people to ask anonymously. Basic internet knowledge can tell you why letting people contact you anonymously is a bad idea.

But, if you play it right by being charming, interesting, or just having really damn good game content, you can get a decent to large following.

As small help to you Housekeeping, if you ever want a promo vid I can offer to make a nice-looking one for free so long as you hand me the assets you want included (gameplay clips, promo art, and music/other sound clips) and tell me what audience you're looking for + what impression you want to give them.

BTW, how is reddit for advertising your games?
This is really neat info... Anyone had success with these methods???

I apologize if this is off-topic, but I feel the need to say this heh...

I honestly never tried advertising my game much. Before I was on RMN, I only showed it on DoujinStyle, RMRK, and Pooshlmer (where it got ridiculed to death). Then it came here, and spread out to other sites like Mugen Fighter's Guild and Maiden of the Kaleidoscope. It's had a pretty good following overall, but it still feels not enough. I never bothered with advertising seeing as the game was still a beta and all that (but it's nice to hear feedback from people and hear what they liked and disliked about the game!). Haven't heard anything at all about it in the past year really though outside of the couple things here. I know I haven't released beta5 in like 2-3 years now (really slow progress, what with all the updating of old stuff and adding in the new stuff and it being mostly a solo project still), but...I dunno. *shrugs*
I might be an odd one, but I never do stuff like this. I just think its a bit of shameless plugging on my side.
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
It's kind of weird, actually. On the one hand, I dislike when people promote their games, and on the other hand, how are people who make commercial games supposed to generate exposure on RMN? I mean, isn't a game website supposed to support commercial ventures? Then why are we so anti-plugging? I don't know the answer to this, but I would definitely like for RMN as a community (rather than blaming it on the website or the moderators) to be more supportive of commercial projects, but it just seems like the current model makes it very difficult. It's almost like if you want to promote your commercial game, RMN is not the place. You can host it here, sure, but promotion is for other sites.

Then again, the introduction of the RMN storefront is something I'm very much looking forward to. I think it fits in more with RMN's philosophy of a free gaming community whilst being able to pay to support developers that have blessed your life with their games.

But I guess the real money for commercial ventures are for other sites like Kickstarter and Steam. Maybe it's just the fact that only a few games made in RPG Maker that go commercial are actually worth spotlighting or plugging. Especially when it comes by the developer.
@Accha: Thanks so much for your response--I was really hoping someone with your experience would chime in! My game has horror elements, so I might be able to tap into that audience, and it's a bit Earthboundy, which I guess qualifies it as hip, so tumblr sounds like the way to go. I'm still very early in development, so it'll be a while before I can scrap together footage for a promo video, but I'll definitely keep you in mind, at least for some advice/feedback. Again, thanks so much for sharing your experience; it was a big help!
Great discussion. I at least feel encouraged to keep making quality games and attempting to promote them! In a few months or so the team and I should have an almost complete first chapter of our game to start hyping. I'll be referring back to this thread at that time ;)

Tumblr is for another style of use than let's say Weebly or Wordpress. It's possible to get there loads of views you have no idea about. What I mean is, that if you are not willing to implement Google stats to your page (they are some more 3rd party options as well), you don't have any idea how many actually did see the given post. You have limited info on reposts and number of followers.
It also helps to have custom domain.
I would recommand to create a page for the game on Indiedb. You can get some followers there too as well as access to Desura.
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