Low amount of votes received

I’d like to congratulate all other authors for their games in first place. So many great histories, ideas, worlds built, so much work and dedication, I’m glad to be part of this.

But I was just wondering why my game -Rio Alto- wasn’t even an option for most voters out there, 15 ratings received, being 12 the lowest I think.

Was it inaccessible due format? (only windows executable, browser version added later, that one may perform poorly though), due language barrier, or even due gameplay reasons?

Was it disliked (or ignored if you prefer) due mechanics? Drag and drop seemed like a second class citizen for some reviewers.

Anyway, just trying to learn from this experience, as I’m new around here and don’t want to repeat the same mistake/s.

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In my case, it was because of the format. I don’t run Windows, and the online version didn’t run without WebGL, which apparently isn’t set up on my machine. With 82 games in the comp, I had little incentive to start digging into technical problems, so I just proceeded with the next game on the list.

According to wikipedia, “WebGL is a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 2D and 3D graphics”. It seems like a strange requirement for a text game, but there you go. More than one game required it, so I assume it’s inherent to your chosen authoring system. But again, with 82 games on the list, you’ll want to do your utmost to be accessible.

Edited to add: Now that the voting deadline is over, and I’ve run out of games that “just work”, I hope to be able to return to the problematic ones. Especially those that have been well received by others.

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Having specific system requirements always reduces the number of voters: some can’t run the game at all, some may be playing on mobile part of the time, some don’t want to install executables. Having a game that runs for more than two hours also reduces the number of voters: many people will try the shortest games first, and seeing that a game will run over the competition limit may put some people off altogether. I don’t think being disliked would explain much: people who dislike a game tend to just give it a low score!

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Building on what the others have said, these kind of minor or major barriers to playing a game in IFComp have always had the effect it seems they’ve had in the case of your game. However, to give you some context, if you go back about ten years, there were less than half as many games to play in IFComp, but judges still had the same 6 weeks to play everything they have today. So even if they de-prioritised a game, there was likely a greater chance they’d still get to it in the end than there is now.

-Wade

If I remember correctly, it was a format issue for me as well. I’m on a Mac.

If the game won’t launch immediately for me, I throw it in a “for-later” folder on my machine, with the intention of going back and trying to figure it out after I go through all the other games. I think I saw you added an online format at some point, maybe? I can’t remember, there were too many games. Anyway, this year I barely got through the games I could launch immediately, so I never made it back to my “for-later” folder. I think I missed out on playing Poppet for the same reason (or did Poppet always have an online version, too? Again, too many games to remember).

I don’t see any options on the IFDB page for your game presently, but if you made your online version available that way, maybe you could get more feedback via IFDB. Just an idea.

Just random shuffle chance. And platform lock. Generally, a lot of people play online, on tablets and phones, notebooks. Widescreen HD desktop is somewhat rare (1/3 of viewers at best).

I think it’s a cumulative effect of small things.

The performance of Unity on less powerful platforms is worth considering: I play most of the Comp games on a mid-range laptop, and Rio Alto ran a little bit sluggishly. if you have a drag-and-drop interface, drag-and-drop absolutely needs to run smoothly and instantly, without the dragged object stuttering or trailing behind the mouse. Asking people to learn an interface that’s a little bit unusual is a slight barrier, but the chances of them adapting to it go way down if that interface is a little bit laggy.

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I think I get it, thank you all. I didn’t place too much attention on making it available on many platforms, nor I explained that disabling shadows may increase performance quite a bit. Fact it I could play in on a Galaxy j5 from 2017, which isn’t fast by any mean.

Widescreen HD desktop is somewhat rare

16:9 ratio is mandatory, sadly

I don’t see any options on the IFDB page for your game presently, but if you made your online version available that way, maybe you could get more feedback via IFDB. Just an idea.

Just added a link to the browser build, may also upload an android version later.

Also, there are still people who will only download the initial day-one release zip file of Comp offerings and vote based on that, never checking for updates. This is, of course, a major bummer if you made the game more platform-accessible as time went on, or had a game-stopping bug that got fixed the second day. This is just something entrants have always had to grimace and bear since we can’t force updates on voters.

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