New game - help needed

Hi folks, I need some advice.

I wrote a game. It is text/fiction based, but it is not interactive in a typical way. You are given a virtual copy of a USB Stick Found in the Grass in a place where someone was probably hurt and your job is to find what it is all about, if the stick is in any way related to what have happened nd IF anything happened. Basically you are playing a police officer trying to solve a case with a very limited information. You are not given any tools to do so, but you can use any tools you have on your computer. You will need some deduction and some forensics, but nothing that a reasonably computer-savvy user can’t manage.

Game is almost ready (it actually started as a hardware version on real USB sticks in 2018, now I just translated it into English and converted it to a downloadable Steam version), and it will be released in January. Trick is, it is a very niche concept, and I have serious troubles finding communities to promote the thing. It is definitely narration/fiction/story based so in some ways it can be interesting to intfiction.org folks (I can post more details in the Project Announcement forum, not doing it now as I am not here to spam with links), at the same time it goes in a rather different direction that most of the games you are discussing.

Any ideas of communities that can find my project interesting? Anybody interested after reading the description?

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It’s an interesting concept and I’d gladly poke at it. Whether I liked it or not would largely depend on the execution, of course, but I like the concept description. There’s always the marketing tie-in option of selling an actual USB stick with the game on it to people, too. I think that the basic difficulty is that your game requires technical savvy to play that many gamers may not have.

One type of place where you might get traction is in game development forums, which have a high percentage of people who do have those skills. Reddit’s r/IndieGaming might be one example of such a place, but there are ohers.

I don’t know any communities myself, but I might be able to point you in the right direction to find some.

Your game description is a good example of something similar that game developers used to make for fans (usually to promote a new game but not always). It’s called an ARG, an Alternate Reality Game (not to be confused with augmented reality, which is computer graphics displayed on top of real world images in real time).

A good example of this is I Love Bees which was used to promote Halo 2. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Love_Bees

Another example is Doki Doki Literature Club, which is a visual novel, but each character in the game has a character file in your game directory associated with them, and the villain in the game deletes the file from your PC in order to remove them from the game. In order to beat the game you need to manually delete the villain’s character file from the game directory.

There are also a bunch of games on mobile where it’s designed like you found someone’s phone and you go through their phone to figure out what happened to them. Not exactly the same thing, but a similar concept (without being able to manipulate actual data). Here are a couple examples: Sara is Missing and Simulacra.

So, I would try to look for those communities maybe. Especially hunt for the ARG and lost phone stuff, since that might give you the best results.

I wouldn’t really call DDLC an ARG.

ARGs tend to be “community co-op”, where many people post ideas or find small clues to collectively solve a puzzle once, rather than each person working independently. They tend to work best when there’s already an established community forum to use to coordinate.

They tend to be, yeah. But I think any game that makes you go outside of the game in order to complete the game is an alternate reality game. Or at least I don’t know of a better name for the genre, but it definitely feels like a subset.

I think Mathbrush also made a game in which you had to alter the source code in order to complete the game, right? I would count that as one too.

@patrick_mooney

Execution is the king, no doubt about it. I believe what I did is reasonably good, but in the end it is not for me to judge. (In case you wonder: I wrote the original, Polish version, but the English translation was NOT made by me, but by someone much more skilled in the language :smiley: )

Yep, already thought about it, but rather in terms of a “special edition”, probably crowd funded. As I started with the hardware version (and made several hundred copies) I already have a necessary production know-how, so it wouldn’t be too difficult. But that will make sense only if the game itself sells.

Yes. I did my best to check that everything can be checked/done using free tools that are rather easy to use, so hopefully that won’t be a serious problem.

Thanks. More or less intfiction is such a place and that’s why I landed here :slight_smile:

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Interesting lead. I already tried with Notpron players, I believe this is in a way related concept, but I see
what you are aiming at. Thanks.

“A normal lost phone” on PC comes to mind, yes, that’s similar. I will look at these mobile games, I wasn’t aware of them. I am mostly Wintel guy and mobile games are not my thing.