Giving people the best chance of playing your game

Posted by (twitter: @tuism)
December 12th, 2014 5:47 am

As I was playing through and commenting last night and today, I noticed that there’re still a lot of people who don’t seem to realise what a little change from their side would mean for the number of players they could get.

I wrote this as part of my post mortem of learnings for my LD31 game No More Boxes. Read it, and hopefully it’ll help you get a few more plays from your game :)

Hell I made a fundamental “mistake” too, so let’s talk about that:

  1. The basic principle: LOWER BARRIER TO PLAY. This sounds so simple but so few people seem to keep it in mind. This encompasses many things:
  2. Web player. This is the single easiest and best way to get people to play your game – it works across Macs, Windows, and is usually the best option to deliver your game on if you want people to play your game. And you do, obviously.
  3. Be aware of current affairs: I said “usually” in the above point because Chrome is having a row with Unity web plugin. You can find more details if you Googled for it, basically Unity acknowledges it as Google not liking a tech that they’ve been using and Google’s shut it down with Chrome. I’ve been using Safari as a backup to continue playing Unity web games, but so many people won’t know this and it just appears as if the developer screwed up. So…
  4. Deliver in as many platforms as you can: So yes you got a web player, but it’s better to get a Windows and OSX build up alongside – not only are more options intrinsically better for getting more people access, it also gives streamers more options, if you get their attention.
  5. Single player option – Always *try* to make your game so it’s possible to play single player. Finding other players to play with is TOUGH when everyone basically just finished a jam, is dog tired, and is in front of their laptops at home. That said, I obviously went and made a non-single player game… So I broke this rule, but I thought long and hard about it. If you have time to make a single player mode, or some REALLY RUDIMENTARY AI, or whatever, do it.
  6. Clear, simple, quick instructions. FIRST. Consider the possibility of people not reading. It will always happen, and their failure to get stuff working is your loss, not theirs. I stuck my instructions at the top above the game, and made it as simple and clear as possible. Fuck sentences, just get people to understand it.

Good luck with getting eyeballs for your game!

Enjoy No More Boxes, my 4P physics-em-up arena platformer :)

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3 Responses to “Giving people the best chance of playing your game”

  1. K.Chplr says:

    Good call. Another things to be careful about is the use of color coding. A lot of people are affected with deuteranopia and other types of color blindness out there. Either mixing the color coding with another visual discriminant (e.g. shapes) or allowing the player to choose between different set of colors is usually enough to alleviate the problem.

  2. zorfmorf says:

    Just a small note: The unity web player does NOT work under linux, so if you are using unity, still consider to deploy a linux build. It’s not hard and very nice to see.

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