Hosting an IfComp game on – visibility settings


This year, I’m planning to host my IfComp game on itch for the first time. (There are several reasons I want to do this: I always publish my post-comp releases there anyway, I know how to easily provide both a downloadable and an online version, and I’d love to see how many people view/play my entry, which itch lets you do). I’ve read the rules and I’m fairly certain it’s possible, of course if I don’t make the game widely accessible before the competition. But here comes my question – how should I deal with the visibility settings during the Comp? If I include a password-protected link to a “restricted” project page with my entry, can I change the project to “public” once the Comp has opened (people would theoretically be able to find it by just browsing itch then), or should I keep it restricted, so it can only be accessed from the IfComp website? If anyone has previous experience with hosting IfComp games on itch, I’d love to know how you managed this!


IIRC, there is “public” and “restricted”, which are separate to whether it is “released” or in development. I would be tempted to make it public right away. However, perhaps someone could confirm whether that would be in violation of the competition rules, even assuming you do not promote public links. ie what constitutes “widely”.

If not within the rules, you’ll have to make it restricted until afterwards, then make it public.

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Thanks, I was thinking about “public” - fixed that.

Once the Comp opens and the games are released to the public, you can open your itch page completely. I’ve done that for a couple of years.

Also, when testing I’ve also had good success with “Draft” mode. With that you don’t need to deal with a password. In Draft your game is not publicized on itch, and If you click the “secret” link at the top, it will show you a non-guessable/non-searchable URL you can share with testers to directly link to your private game page in draft mode. Then when you make the game public, your “secret” link will automatically forward to the public link.


Thanks for the answer! Good to know you can make your game public once the Comp starts. I’ll do that and, maybe, link the main Comp website in the game’s description (the chances of someone randomly stumbling upon my game and learning about IfComp that way are probably tiny, but it may be worth trying).

I know about the “Draft” option and I’m actually using it right now to share the game with my testers. I wasn’t sure if the secret link works after making the game public (I know that the restricted link with appended password does), so thanks for letting me know it does! I’ll probably use this option to avoid additional steps with the password.

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