Where To Start Building Community…

My traitor game networking code got a breakthrough when enet (gnet) based system: the client is loading the correct map! (In other words: I managed to send a string from server to client without crashing them. Talk about progress.)

Now, with that being sorted, I’m starting to feel that I want to have this place where to announce all stuff. From Dead Wake dev I learned that community forums are double edged sword (good thing is that fans love ‘em, the bad news is that they need moderation time, even with helper mods around).

For this reason I’m pondering where to start announcing this game:

  • Moddb would be cool, but they require more complete games.
  • This blog might seem like an obvious choice, but I try to keep this for game dev audience, and not too much about player audience.
  • Forum (see above: moderation issues)
  • Facebook page: issue, I don’t like the fact that I’m giving control to somebody else
  • Twitter: it’s not a community building place. Sort of.
  • New blog: hmmm. (has some issues: while people cannot start new threads, at least they have opportunities to comment and blog can be tied to Twitter and others. This feels pretty good.)

To me, a new blog sounds like a solution (dedicated to traitor game).

Optionally, a blog that would appear in my own company site (I haven’t needed that for 5 years, so haven’t set it up yet) – but I really want to promote game sites on their own, and then cross-promote games on these different gaming sites.

Where you guys build your community?

9 thoughts on “Where To Start Building Community…

  1. @Alfred plus the money you save especially if / when your product reaches it’s shelf-life. :)

  2. I think having everything under the same domain and subdomains is the best approach:
    - blog.domain.com
    - gamename.domain.com
    etc.

    This way you add value to your domain and even to your company’s name.

    Look at big studios: even for multi million games they keep the site under
    their belt:
    http://www.rockstargames.com/reddeadredemption
    http://www.rockstargames.com/IV
    http://www.bungie.net/Projects/Halo3
    simcity.ea.com

    That’s some kind of internet marketing, as I said, to add even more value to the company’s name, as everyone looking for a big hit title will need to access the main site, or at least, the domain,

  3. @Juuso: yeah, I heard that too … To be fair I had to cut some of the work because between the blog, main website updates, forums management and actual coding … ModDB was part of the stuff I cut because it was impossible to manage. Probably that with more work dedicated to it the results would have been better.

  4. Mr Phil: yeh, if you want to mix company site + gaming sites to several blogs, that’s just fine (we discussed/argued this at the Insiders forum, didn’t we ;))

    I think there’s 2 schools here on this. One site seems to work just fine for many devs.

  5. Thanks guys for the comments, all this makes it even clearer to me to use the blog.

    Later today I also thought that with blog, you can update stuff to twitter (for those who want to use it), you can publish in facebook (for those who prefer that)… and like hermitC: expansion options are superb.

    @Dave: hmm, I’ve heard good word about moddb. I don’t have any examples though, so… maybe it doesn’t work for everybody.

  6. I’ve noticed that most indie’s tend to have a blog integrated with the company site, not specific to the game.
    ex. http://www.wolfire.com/ http://www.winterwolves.com/ http://www.puppygames.net/ http://www.positech.co.uk/

  7. My own experience with ModDB is that there’s more devs or people that are trying to get noticed there than an actual crowd of players. Maybe that’s the nature of my games or just bad luck but it didn’t helped at all so I’m not putting energy in this anymore.

    I’d go with a new blog too and maybe expand later to a forum once there’s actually enough people/content for the place to be alive. You already have a nice network to make people aware of this new blog so it’s not like you’re starting from scratch anyway.

    As for mixing dev/player content on the same blog it doesn’t work very well from my experience. I don’t have the time to handle a new blog so I deal with the consequences but obviously people come with expectations and if the content doesn’t match their expectations they are gone faster then you can post your next subject.

  8. I think a blog is the best solution:

    - simple setup
    - extensible as you like (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.)
    - today’s visitors are familiar with blogs
    - plain sequential posting compared to parallel posting in forums
    - people can reply to your progress, give feedback, rate, etc.
    - people can’t run their own threads, they have to follow your way
    - small overhead of registration, moderation, security, etc.
    - full control over your content
    - social network integration
    - no common rules like xxxDBs have, you define them yourself

    Thanks for this post. It made me thinking in advance which solution I should use for publishing the Nordenfelt demos.

  9. You should totally check out the new http://www.indiedb.com/ It’s ModDB only for indies :)