How do I promote my computer game?
March 13, 2008 5:07 PM   Subscribe

I'm writing a little shareware game for Mac/Win/Linux. But I have no idea how to promote it apart from putting it on and How do I get people to notice it?

Basically, I know lots about programming but nothing about marketing. So I've ended up with maybe a few hundred people actually noticing the development version I've put out and trying it out. Most of them like it a lot, but I'd really like the game to reach a larger audience.

Are there web sites that write about indie games in development? If yes, how do I get in touch with them? Do I just send them an email saying "please write something about my game"? Are there other large download portals apart from VersionTracker and I should put the game onto?

I don't want to "astroturf" the game, or just cold-post it on a zillion forums. And it's a bit to early to advertise for it - I will do that once it's done, but it still needs work.

(I made the question anonymous because I know the answer to "How do I promote my game?" is empathically NOT "spam Ask MeFi with a link to it". Hence, there is no link to the actual game. I will put it up on MeFi Projects eventually, so if you browse that you'll see it.)
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Mac users don't use much; they like Apple's Games List, MacUpdate, or VersionTracker. If you have a good OS X port, Mac users will find it via those sites--and they tend to be tastemakers, for whatever that's worth.

Play This Thing is a great blog for indie games that I trust to pick "casual" games of quality for review/promotion.
posted by bcwinters at 5:18 PM on March 13, 2008

Jay is Games links to some shareware stuff on the weekends in their "weekend download." I think the stuff they post during the course of the week is mostly web-based & free.
posted by juv3nal at 5:57 PM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'd try submitting it to too. And

Maybe mention it to a few of your favourite bloggers. Also, don't be shy about telling people about it. As long as it's in context and you're obviously not spamming, I'd mention it as much as you can.
posted by Magnakai at 5:59 PM on March 13, 2008

Do you know how the people using your dev version found out about it? Do you have a way to communicate back to your current users? I'd put the question to them, say you are a programmer, not a marketer, and ask if they have ideas for ways to promote your game.
posted by Good Brain at 6:21 PM on March 13, 2008

Not only is Play This Thing a great game, it's the blog for Manifesto Games, an independent game development site. There are several companies doing this, I just happen to know Greg Costikyan who started Manifesto and he's awesome. See if you can get them interested in your game.
posted by Nelson at 9:00 PM on March 13, 2008

Adding The Independent Gaming Source to the list. I always check it. and for the record you'd probably want to contact the guy at the blog at Good luck!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:12 PM on March 13, 2008

you could also sumbit it to MetaFilter Projects.
posted by kall at 5:23 AM on March 14, 2008

Correcting myself; Manifesto is not a game development site, it's a game marketing site. Give them your game to sell and they'll market and distribute it. More details for developers here.
posted by Nelson at 8:33 AM on March 14, 2008

Spreading the game on developers' forums is a good way.
posted by mnop at 8:35 PM on March 15, 2008

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