What makes a good store page?

MechScapeZH

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Hi everyone,

I've been working hard on promoting my game now that it's completed, and I've run into a bit of a roadblock-

The promotion of the game (I posted a thread about how to promote a while back and was able to do so well using the advice I was given- thanks so much to everyone who posted in that thread) is going fine- my store page is getting a good amount of views per day. However, I've come to believe that the reason these views aren't translating into sales is my store page. To make a long story short, all of the sales I've had thus far have come from people that have commented on the game either on Reddit or here & have it sold to them basically personally- I realize most views are people just window shopping (or even bots) and that my game has a niche audience, but the reception I've received leads me to believe that the niche demographic I'm targeting does exist.

The fact that my sales come when I myself talk about the game but not when people see only the store page leads me to believe that it's the page that's the problem- does that make sense? However, I have looked over my page several times and I simply have no idea what to change.

So that leads me to my question: what does everyone think makes a good store page?

Thank you in advance for your help.
 

rue669

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I believe this link has been posted before, but it's a really good analysis:


I follow Chris and he's a really cool guy and obviously interested in the business side of things.

You might want to start with that article, if you haven't read it already.

Personally, I think a good store page tells you what the game will be like when you play it. And sometimes gameplay isn't just...it's a turn-based RPG...but rather stuff like: a game that rewards exploration, lots of loot and gear, strategic combat, fast-paced combat, etc. etc.

Sometimes comparing your game to another is helpful, too. But I find when people say, this game is like Final Fantasy!!!...it doesn't work. If you say something like, Final Fantasy V's class changes meets Earthbound's zany modern setting, then I'm in, because I know what those games are like and it's descriptive enough that I can know what you expect.
 

jkweath

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Dang, I was about to name off things I learned from the article @rue669 linked. That article is pretty much the end-all-be-all of "what should my Steam product page look like?" IMO. Though if I understand right, your game is only on Itch so far, but I imagine a lot of the advice from that Gamasutra article can also apply to Itch pages.

If I'm being honest, though, I looked at your game's Itch page and... Well, I can't find any problems with it personally. I clicked on it expecting to come back here and recommend you focus less on your game's story and more on your game's core gameplay features, but it looks like you've got that down already. You've done a great job. I feel like any lack of sales on your end is less due to your store page and more due to Itch being Itch.
 

MechScapeZH

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I believe this link has been posted before, but it's a really good analysis:


I follow Chris and he's a really cool guy and obviously interested in the business side of things.

You might want to start with that article, if you haven't read it already.

Personally, I think a good store page tells you what the game will be like when you play it. And sometimes gameplay isn't just...it's a turn-based RPG...but rather stuff like: a game that rewards exploration, lots of loot and gear, strategic combat, fast-paced combat, etc. etc.

Sometimes comparing your game to another is helpful, too. But I find when people say, this game is like Final Fantasy!!!...it doesn't work. If you say something like, Final Fantasy V's class changes meets Earthbound's zany modern setting, then I'm in, because I know what those games are like and it's descriptive enough that I can know what you expect.
Thank you so much for the article! It's very informative & exactly what I needed. So what I took away from that was: use "game verbs," have your screenshots show the core gameplay loop, and "preach to the choir" (i.e. people who already like your game genre). This gives me a great idea of what to do- thank you!

Dang, I was about to name off things I learned from the article @rue669 linked. That article is pretty much the end-all-be-all of "what should my Steam product page look like?" IMO. Though if I understand right, your game is only on Itch so far, but I imagine a lot of the advice from that Gamasutra article can also apply to Itch pages.

If I'm being honest, though, I looked at your game's Itch page and... Well, I can't find any problems with it personally. I clicked on it expecting to come back here and recommend you focus less on your game's story and more on your game's core gameplay features, but it looks like you've got that down already. You've done a great job. I feel like any lack of sales on your end is less due to your store page and more due to Itch being Itch.
Thank you for the compliment! It didn't occur to me that itch itself may be the problem- I do intend to put my game on Steam and possibly Google Play in the future. I'm developing some DLC now, and I was planning to go to those platforms when it was completed since they are bigger than Steam & it takes more to stand out on them. The main reason I asked this question is that I thought if my viewer/ customer ratio wasn't good on itch, it wouldn't be on Steam, but I suppose that isn't really the case, right>
Thank you for your help!
 

EthanFox

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There's some good advice here, so I'll just add one more thing - don't take your "views vs sales" metric to heart; that way leads to madness.

A straightforward way to express this is with a metaphor about cheddar. Assuming you're not lactose intolerant or something, most people will eat a basic cheddar; they'll be fine having it grated, or in a sandwich, or whatever. That's because it has two key qualities; it's "bland and inoffensive". Who wants to be "bland and inoffensive"? Aside from cheddar manufacturers.

Your game has quite an abrasive, hard-edged, almost industrial art-style. I think it's really unique and memorable! However, it will likely lead to a fair amount of attrition, i.e. people seeing it, taking an immediate dislike to it and "bouncing" (i.e. leaving right away and not coming back). That isn't a problem with your art style. The more interesting or different an art style is, the less "middle-of-the-road" it is, the more people you'll put off - but those people you do keep will love it.

Obviously, you want people to play your game, so you want to optimise your page to get people from visitors > players. I'm just saying that you'll never get that number super-high, so try not to rely on it too much as a metric.
 

jkweath

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There's some good advice here, so I'll just add one more thing - don't take your "views vs sales" metric to heart; that way leads to madness.
Yep, this right here. If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say my Itch viewer-to-sales ratio is less than 1%. It's probably even less than 1% on Steam, but my Steam sales are so much higher than Itch that the two numbers can't even be compared.

The main reason I bother with Itch to begin with is that you can link to other storefronts your games are on - in my case, Steam and Google Play - and while I don't have a way to show if those links have impacted my sales on other storefronts, they're still nice to have. I consider any direct sale on Itch to be a bonus compared to the links.

I do intend to put my game on Steam and possibly Google Play in the future.
As a suggestion, I'd start working on the Steam page sooner than later. Assuming you're not aware of how the Steam developer program works, setting up a game on Steam is a -much- longer and more complicated process than Itch, believe me.
If you think you might be ready for a Steam release in a month, I'd start on it today, mostly since even after setting up the game and the store page, you still have to wait two weeks before the game can be available. In the meantime, you can post announcements and such (much like you did on Itch, I noticed), and that might help your game get some traction on release day.

And a few recommendations for when your Steam store page does go up:

1. You can use GIFs. If you can make a cool-looking GIF that shows off your game's core gameplay in a few seconds, it could help a lot. Alternatively it could just be something cool and unique. I believe the store page for LISA has some characters walking around on the Store page, or something like that.

2. It's been said before but focus on your "X-factors". These is whatever core gameplay loops or features of your game that you believe can hook in buyers. Your game's graphics will also help with this.

3. Related to #2 and like Rue669 was saying, if any X-Factor from your game can be compared to another more popular game's X-Factor, that can also help.
 

MechScapeZH

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There's some good advice here, so I'll just add one more thing - don't take your "views vs sales" metric to heart; that way leads to madness.

A straightforward way to express this is with a metaphor about cheddar. Assuming you're not lactose intolerant or something, most people will eat a basic cheddar; they'll be fine having it grated, or in a sandwich, or whatever. That's because it has two key qualities; it's "bland and inoffensive". Who wants to be "bland and inoffensive"? Aside from cheddar manufacturers.

Your game has quite an abrasive, hard-edged, almost industrial art-style. I think it's really unique and memorable! However, it will likely lead to a fair amount of attrition, i.e. people seeing it, taking an immediate dislike to it and "bouncing" (i.e. leaving right away and not coming back). That isn't a problem with your art style. The more interesting or different an art style is, the less "middle-of-the-road" it is, the more people you'll put off - but those people you do keep will love it.

Obviously, you want people to play your game, so you want to optimise your page to get people from visitors > players. I'm just saying that you'll never get that number super-high, so try not to rely on it too much as a metric.
...Well, I certainly don't want to be cheddar. :guffaw: Thank you for your advice- I knew from the start the art style would be polarizing, but it's just something I had to do- from the genesis of my game's concept, I always wanted it to look like that. No other style would do.

The fact that the metric isn't all that important is very reassuring. Since it's located right at the top of itch.io's statistics page, I assumed it was an all-important measure. (As you can see, I don't know all that much yet.)

Thank you for your advice- it means a lot coming from you since I saw your game was featured on itch a while back. :) (How'd you manage that, by the way?)

Yep, this right here. If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say my Itch viewer-to-sales ratio is less than 1%. It's probably even less than 1% on Steam, but my Steam sales are so much higher than Itch that the two numbers can't even be compared.

The main reason I bother with Itch to begin with is that you can link to other storefronts your games are on - in my case, Steam and Google Play - and while I don't have a way to show if those links have impacted my sales on other storefronts, they're still nice to have. I consider any direct sale on Itch to be a bonus compared to the links.



As a suggestion, I'd start working on the Steam page sooner than later. Assuming you're not aware of how the Steam developer program works, setting up a game on Steam is a -much- longer and more complicated process than Itch, believe me.
If you think you might be ready for a Steam release in a month, I'd start on it today, mostly since even after setting up the game and the store page, you still have to wait two weeks before the game can be available. In the meantime, you can post announcements and such (much like you did on Itch, I noticed), and that might help your game get some traction on release day.

And a few recommendations for when your Steam store page does go up:

1. You can use GIFs. If you can make a cool-looking GIF that shows off your game's core gameplay in a few seconds, it could help a lot. Alternatively it could just be something cool and unique. I believe the store page for LISA has some characters walking around on the Store page, or something like that.

2. It's been said before but focus on your "X-factors". These is whatever core gameplay loops or features of your game that you believe can hook in buyers. Your game's graphics will also help with this.

3. Related to #2 and like Rue669 was saying, if any X-Factor from your game can be compared to another more popular game's X-Factor, that can also help.
Oh, really? I'll definitely take that into consideration- I saw there was a lot of paperwork, but I didn't know it was that complex. I'll start looking into it right away.

Your 3 tips are also great- I'll save them & refer to them as I set up my page.

Thank you so much!
 

bgillisp

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One suggestion is to also look at what the best selling games on that page are doing. There's a way to filter by best selling on itch.io, try that and see what some indie games that show up that way did.
 

EthanFox

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One suggestion is to also look at what the best selling games on that page are doing. There's a way to filter by best selling on itch.io, try that and see what some indie games that show up that way did.
This is good advice, and it's one of the things I did when I first started. I seem to remember that a game called Super Lesbian Animal RPG ended up being my favourite "landing page" example.

but it's just something I had to do- from the genesis of my game's concept, I always wanted it to look like that. No other style would do.
That's great, and I had a similar experience with NALE. I came from writing books for Kindle, and when writing fiction, there's a term called "writing to market"; that's where the author intensively analyses the common features of a piece of genre fiction, such as fantasy novels or mystery novels, and aggressively writes something specifically tailored to those requirements to sell. I never got along with this; but then writing was never my primary job.

The fact that the metric isn't all that important is very reassuring. Since it's located right at the top of itch.io's statistics page, I assumed it was an all-important measure. (As you can see, I don't know all that much yet.)
That's fine! Metrics are tricky. The number of viewers is certainly a useful metric, just not the be-all-and-end-all. You kinda view the process as like a funnel; people hear about your game (1), then maybe go looking for the game (2), then find it (3), then read about it (4), then play it (5). Each one of those numbered steps, you're gonna lose people - not everyone who hears about it goes looking, not everyone who goes looking finds it...

So what you can usefully take away from this is that you kinda have three options:

(1) You can try and get more people to discover your game
(2) You can try and make sure those discovering your game are the right people who are likely to try it (so you advertise etc. in the right places)
(3) You can try to make sure that the page gets more people who arrive to actually try it

Note that the information on the page is only one of these things, but obviously it's still very important, because it helps with both (1) and (2).

Sometimes the way you communicate is really important. It's like with my games; not many people will try "an experimental RPG Maker MV visual novel/graphic adventure mashup about being a lawyer" but more people will try "an anime-themed game about being a lawyer in a fictional city".

Thank you for your advice- it means a lot coming from you since I saw your game was featured on itch a while back. :) (How'd you manage that, by the way?)
Thanks! It's great to hear you say that; you wonder if people notice or if the games kinda get lost in the melee.

In honesty? I asked. That being said, the game was already seeing quite a few views/plays and had received good reviews before that, which probably helps. I also spent a few days changing up the game's categories to find ones which actually worked (for example, one of my categories was "legal drama" but I realised that there are only ~3 games on Itch with that keyword and it generated zero traffic; I swapped it out for "female protagonist" and got a huge bump in views).
 

MechScapeZH

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This is good advice, and it's one of the things I did when I first started. I seem to remember that a game called Super Lesbian Animal RPG ended up being my favourite "landing page" example.



That's great, and I had a similar experience with NALE. I came from writing books for Kindle, and when writing fiction, there's a term called "writing to market"; that's where the author intensively analyses the common features of a piece of genre fiction, such as fantasy novels or mystery novels, and aggressively writes something specifically tailored to those requirements to sell. I never got along with this; but then writing was never my primary job.



That's fine! Metrics are tricky. The number of viewers is certainly a useful metric, just not the be-all-and-end-all. You kinda view the process as like a funnel; people hear about your game (1), then maybe go looking for the game (2), then find it (3), then read about it (4), then play it (5). Each one of those numbered steps, you're gonna lose people - not everyone who hears about it goes looking, not everyone who goes looking finds it...

So what you can usefully take away from this is that you kinda have three options:

(1) You can try and get more people to discover your game
(2) You can try and make sure those discovering your game are the right people who are likely to try it (so you advertise etc. in the right places)
(3) You can try to make sure that the page gets more people who arrive to actually try it

Note that the information on the page is only one of these things, but obviously it's still very important, because it helps with both (1) and (2).

Sometimes the way you communicate is really important. It's like with my games; not many people will try "an experimental RPG Maker MV visual novel/graphic adventure mashup about being a lawyer" but more people will try "an anime-themed game about being a lawyer in a fictional city".



Thanks! It's great to hear you say that; you wonder if people notice or if the games kinda get lost in the melee.

In honesty? I asked. That being said, the game was already seeing quite a few views/plays and had received good reviews before that, which probably helps. I also spent a few days changing up the game's categories to find ones which actually worked (for example, one of my categories was "legal drama" but I realised that there are only ~3 games on Itch with that keyword and it generated zero traffic; I swapped it out for "female protagonist" and got a huge bump in views).
...Writing is my primary job, and I never liked that approach either. Some of my professors call me nuts ("You have to eat too!" and such), but I just can't get into it. It feels like an assembly line, and frankly, if I wanted to work a factory job, I'd work as a car manufacturer, not a writer. Maybe that's not financially the best approach, but I believe that if I'm passionate about something I write, others will be too. Whether that's correct remains to be seen, but I believe it.

Ah, I understand. That's actually a really great metaphor- when you put it like that, I totally get it. The numbered list helps a lot too. Thank you!

The tags are also an area that could be improved- I'll check them right away, thank you. (Already swapped "1990s" for "psx"- which describes me perfectly, didn't know why I didn't notice that tag in the drop-down menu before- and "low-poly"- which appears to be mostly game dev assets- with "post-apocalyptic.")

So you just asked? If it's all right to ask, whom did you speak to? (Of course I'm not going to rush to speak to this person- I'm very aware that I'm simply not there yet.)

Thank you so much for your help!
 

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Hi everyone,

I've been working hard on promoting my game now that it's completed, and I've run into a bit of a roadblock-

The promotion of the game (I posted a thread about how to promote a while back and was able to do so well using the advice I was given- thanks so much to everyone who posted in that thread) is going fine- my store page is getting a good amount of views per day. However, I've come to believe that the reason these views aren't translating into sales is my store page. To make a long story short, all of the sales I've had thus far have come from people that have commented on the game either on Reddit or here & have it sold to them basically personally- I realize most views are people just window shopping (or even bots) and that my game has a niche audience, but the reception I've received leads me to believe that the niche demographic I'm targeting does exist.

The fact that my sales come when I myself talk about the game but not when people see only the store page leads me to believe that it's the page that's the problem- does that make sense? However, I have looked over my page several times and I simply have no idea what to change.

So that leads me to my question: what does everyone think makes a good store page?

Thank you in advance for your help.
I believe a good trailer is the most important part of a store page, a picture is worth a thousand words and a video even more. Make sure to show the parts if your game that would interest people, and make sure to pick good fitting music!
 

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While I do follow a lot of the advice in the article, for me, it doesn't quite tell the whole story. At least, in terms of how I work as a game purchaser.

Here's what I do, in order:

1. Browse the main page of the website I'm using (Steam, in this case) and just see what the top "recommended" to me are. In practice, with Steam, it has a very poor track record of recommending to me games that I'd like to play. But, once in a while, there's a hit.

2. What I'm looking for is something familiar. Not "The same as everything I already own", but similar to what I actually enjoy. For example, I love Stardew Valley and games similar to the "Harvest Moon" farm simulation genre thing. I am not looking for games almost exactly like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon. I am looking for games that take the primary portion of that genre and do something interesting or unique with it. I gave "Rune Factory 4" a shot as a result. It was a terrible game in comparison to Stardew and Harvest Moon, but they got my money for it anyway.

3. I look for evidence that your tags are accurate. "Story Driven" doesn't tell me anything. What is your story? Can I get the set up and what I'm meant to expect in the description or the trailer? I'm not looking for something "vague". Vague almost invariably means "disappointing". Let's look at, for example, "Moons of Madness". At first glance, the trailer shows an FPS game with where Cthulhu type horrors abound. Obviously, it's going to be a "story driven" type game. But, the page itself doesn't tell me anything about the game. I'm a repairguy on Mars, there was a signal, and some company buried it, and vague vague vague blah blah blah. It's not enough for me to go on. I didn't pick up the game because I think I'd be hyping it up in my head more than it actually is. It looks mediocre at best. The story doesn't look interesting and the world doesn't look atmospheric. In a "Lovecraftian Horror" type genre (which I do ACTUALLY enjoy), I tend to prefer that the horror be as subtle as possible. The "big scares" are meant to throw you off of the subtle horror actually going on. For example: In "Shadow over Innsmouth", the horror isn't that the main character is dealing with a dangerous cult or strange monsters... These are shocking and looming threats, yes, but that isn't the horror. The horror is that this God they worship... is changing them into these things. Through some unknown power. The horror is that they understand much better than you do what is going on and welcome it. The horror is that your presence is a disruption to their natural way of life. That's the horror. That what we are seeing is normal and natural. That's what a Lovecraftian Horror actually is. That the crazy we see is normal. This game, does not appear to "get it". It is apparently using "Lovecraftian horror" to just mean some random alien presence that kills people. Even "Stellaris" understand this better than this game does. Stellaris had an entire storyline about Lovecraftian Horror that was equal parts fascinating and equal parts horrifying. All the while taunting you with the phrase "What was shall be." and making references to "The Worm In Waiting".

Anyway, that's the example of what I'm looking for. When I see what your tags are, or what you're describing your game to be, I look to see that you are actually being accurate. In the interest of "Story Driven", I need the dev to actually set up the story for me. Read the page on "Moons of Madness" for the story and then go read the page description for "Clannad". Now, these are drastically different games, but look at how their "Description" is put together. One is more exact in what the story is as well as your goals. The other is just vague. Now, go look at the store page for "Inside". Look at how atrociously vague the description of the game even is.

For me, how vague of a description you provide is usually proportional to how crap the game is likely to be. That is... the more vague it is, the more crap it probably is. The more detailed and "to the point", the more likely it is that the game is going to be pretty good.

So, I look to see if a game matches what it is advertising itself to be.

4. If you have a Trailer, I look to see if the Trailer actually tells me anything about your game. What does the gameplay look like? What is the story like? What do the advertised systems look like? If you advertise "crafting", is there a trailer that shows off how crafting works? If the game advertises romance options, I want to see what that looks like. If the game advertises "great AI", I want to see what that looks like. I want to see what all the "game features" actually look like. As in, I want to understand 100% how it works just from viewing it in the trailer. If I have to guess or assume, I'm going to assume it's crap since I can't figure out how it's meant to work just based on what you're showing me.

5. I look at screenshots. A screenshot tells me what you think is important about your game as a dev. I prefer I these screenshots actually show me something visually interesting, perhaps even about your game in general (If you have a huge tech tree, a screenshot of this tech tree in its entirety is greatly appreciated). If your screenshots don't show me anything of interest, I'm probably likely to not pick up the game.

6. Game reviews. I don't care who liked your game. I really don't. Most reviews that say "Game is great" don't tell me anything useful. I'm scrolling until I find all the negative reviews. I want to know the major issues of your game. Most issues are not a "dealbreaker" for me. I'm looking for problems I might have with your game that ARE dealbreakers. Is the conclusion to your game not satisfying? Is the gameplay loop repetitive and grindy? Are the controls awful? Are there gamebreaking bugs? If a complaint of your game is something minor, I usually just let it go. I look for major issues. A review endlessly singing the praises of a game doesn't tell me anything about the game, not even what is good about it.

7. Price point. The final thing I look at is how much you're charging me. I have an internal value of money I'm willing to pay for a specific experience. If you have overpriced that perceived experience... I'm probably not going to buy your game. I probably won't even put it on my Wishlist. Now, if your price is reasonable, but I don't have the money, it goes on my Wishlist. For example, I would not pay $60 for Stardew Valley. I would not pay much more than $20 for an RPG Maker game. No, I don't care if everything in it is 3000000000% custom everything. Just... no. Not unless you managed to completely rework the entire engine so that it does something I know the engine cannot do easily... I'm not gonna pay more than $20 for your RPG Maker game. I'm just not. I don't care what plugins you have.
---
Anyway, that's how I decide whether or not to even buy a game.
 

MechScapeZH

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I believe a good trailer is the most important part of a store page, a picture is worth a thousand words and a video even more. Make sure to show the parts if your game that would interest people, and make sure to pick good fitting music!
While I do follow a lot of the advice in the article, for me, it doesn't quite tell the whole story. At least, in terms of how I work as a game purchaser.

Here's what I do, in order:

1. Browse the main page of the website I'm using (Steam, in this case) and just see what the top "recommended" to me are. In practice, with Steam, it has a very poor track record of recommending to me games that I'd like to play. But, once in a while, there's a hit.

2. What I'm looking for is something familiar. Not "The same as everything I already own", but similar to what I actually enjoy. For example, I love Stardew Valley and games similar to the "Harvest Moon" farm simulation genre thing. I am not looking for games almost exactly like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon. I am looking for games that take the primary portion of that genre and do something interesting or unique with it. I gave "Rune Factory 4" a shot as a result. It was a terrible game in comparison to Stardew and Harvest Moon, but they got my money for it anyway.

3. I look for evidence that your tags are accurate. "Story Driven" doesn't tell me anything. What is your story? Can I get the set up and what I'm meant to expect in the description or the trailer? I'm not looking for something "vague". Vague almost invariably means "disappointing". Let's look at, for example, "Moons of Madness". At first glance, the trailer shows an FPS game with where Cthulhu type horrors abound. Obviously, it's going to be a "story driven" type game. But, the page itself doesn't tell me anything about the game. I'm a repairguy on Mars, there was a signal, and some company buried it, and vague vague vague blah blah blah. It's not enough for me to go on. I didn't pick up the game because I think I'd be hyping it up in my head more than it actually is. It looks mediocre at best. The story doesn't look interesting and the world doesn't look atmospheric. In a "Lovecraftian Horror" type genre (which I do ACTUALLY enjoy), I tend to prefer that the horror be as subtle as possible. The "big scares" are meant to throw you off of the subtle horror actually going on. For example: In "Shadow over Innsmouth", the horror isn't that the main character is dealing with a dangerous cult or strange monsters... These are shocking and looming threats, yes, but that isn't the horror. The horror is that this God they worship... is changing them into these things. Through some unknown power. The horror is that they understand much better than you do what is going on and welcome it. The horror is that your presence is a disruption to their natural way of life. That's the horror. That what we are seeing is normal and natural. That's what a Lovecraftian Horror actually is. That the crazy we see is normal. This game, does not appear to "get it". It is apparently using "Lovecraftian horror" to just mean some random alien presence that kills people. Even "Stellaris" understand this better than this game does. Stellaris had an entire storyline about Lovecraftian Horror that was equal parts fascinating and equal parts horrifying. All the while taunting you with the phrase "What was shall be." and making references to "The Worm In Waiting".

Anyway, that's the example of what I'm looking for. When I see what your tags are, or what you're describing your game to be, I look to see that you are actually being accurate. In the interest of "Story Driven", I need the dev to actually set up the story for me. Read the page on "Moons of Madness" for the story and then go read the page description for "Clannad". Now, these are drastically different games, but look at how their "Description" is put together. One is more exact in what the story is as well as your goals. The other is just vague. Now, go look at the store page for "Inside". Look at how atrociously vague the description of the game even is.

For me, how vague of a description you provide is usually proportional to how crap the game is likely to be. That is... the more vague it is, the more crap it probably is. The more detailed and "to the point", the more likely it is that the game is going to be pretty good.

So, I look to see if a game matches what it is advertising itself to be.

4. If you have a Trailer, I look to see if the Trailer actually tells me anything about your game. What does the gameplay look like? What is the story like? What do the advertised systems look like? If you advertise "crafting", is there a trailer that shows off how crafting works? If the game advertises romance options, I want to see what that looks like. If the game advertises "great AI", I want to see what that looks like. I want to see what all the "game features" actually look like. As in, I want to understand 100% how it works just from viewing it in the trailer. If I have to guess or assume, I'm going to assume it's crap since I can't figure out how it's meant to work just based on what you're showing me.

5. I look at screenshots. A screenshot tells me what you think is important about your game as a dev. I prefer I these screenshots actually show me something visually interesting, perhaps even about your game in general (If you have a huge tech tree, a screenshot of this tech tree in its entirety is greatly appreciated). If your screenshots don't show me anything of interest, I'm probably likely to not pick up the game.

6. Game reviews. I don't care who liked your game. I really don't. Most reviews that say "Game is great" don't tell me anything useful. I'm scrolling until I find all the negative reviews. I want to know the major issues of your game. Most issues are not a "dealbreaker" for me. I'm looking for problems I might have with your game that ARE dealbreakers. Is the conclusion to your game not satisfying? Is the gameplay loop repetitive and grindy? Are the controls awful? Are there gamebreaking bugs? If a complaint of your game is something minor, I usually just let it go. I look for major issues. A review endlessly singing the praises of a game doesn't tell me anything about the game, not even what is good about it.

7. Price point. The final thing I look at is how much you're charging me. I have an internal value of money I'm willing to pay for a specific experience. If you have overpriced that perceived experience... I'm probably not going to buy your game. I probably won't even put it on my Wishlist. Now, if your price is reasonable, but I don't have the money, it goes on my Wishlist. For example, I would not pay $60 for Stardew Valley. I would not pay much more than $20 for an RPG Maker game. No, I don't care if everything in it is 3000000000% custom everything. Just... no. Not unless you managed to completely rework the entire engine so that it does something I know the engine cannot do easily... I'm not gonna pay more than $20 for your RPG Maker game. I'm just not. I don't care what plugins you have.
---
Anyway, that's how I decide whether or not to even buy a game.
Both of you mentioned needing a trailer- I don't have one since I have a demo. I thought that if people can just try my game, there's no need to show them a video of it. Do you think both are necessary?

Thank you both so much!
 

a_a

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Yes, I do believe it is necessary. Even with demos, most will want to see a trailer of what they are downloading.
 

MechScapeZH

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Yes, I do believe it is necessary. Even with demos, most will want to see a trailer of what they are downloading.
I see. Thank you- I guess I'll need to look into how to make one then.
 

TheoAllen

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You're competing with many store pages. Having a trailer means that your potential player can watch it in a mere few minutes to get most of your game content than trying the game that they probably need to get in more than 10 minutes to see your overall game and they may be stingy to spend their time for your game, not to mention if your game demo is big. In other words, trailers are more reachable.
 

a_a

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You're competing with many store pages. Having a trailer means that your potential player can watch it in a mere few minutes to get most of your game content than trying the game that they probably need to get in more than 10 minutes to see your overall game and they may be stingy to spend their time for your game, not to mention if your game demo is big. In other words, trailers are more reachable.
Amazing way to put it, I 100% agree. Nice job!
 

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