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Why do people never join my game? I've gotten to a point where I stooped so low as to advertise on another game, and its getting to point where I can't take it. I try very hard to make my games a good one, still nothing. What am I doing wrong? I literally cannot afford any advertsing. Argh.

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You clearly aren't entertaining them with what you have.

I have seen game owners keep players active simply by running random competitions in game -- like randomly asking a question in chat and first to answer right, wins.

This keeps people talking in the game.

Community makes a game now -- long are the days of having limited choice, where a game just had to be playable.

Now you need a community and good communication options, to make them last.

The world has moved on rapidly and people just aren't adjusting fast enough to it.

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There are many ways to advertise your game free. Some forums allow you to advertise your link with out spamming craigslist is an other good way to advertise free. Do your research. When I had my game I had roughly 10k registered with about 100-200 logging in everyday. I spent a total of 0.00 usd advertising

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A tip for you is to visit other popular games similar to yours and see what kind of features they are offering. I have created features very similar to those in other games. It's important to be original but its also important to have features that players enjoy using.(even if its the same as another game.)

I'm not saying go out an clone your favorite game because that will most likely end in a fail.

Also from experience and owning a game for 3 years now, I can say its not any kind of get rich quick plan and it takes a lot of time and dedication.

Good Luck

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I don't think I'm being any bit arrogant when I say I've created one of the more successful games out of the people on this site and I can tell you giving them reason to stay is just as important as getting them there.

I don't know about what chicka is advising. "Free" advertising methods are iffy at best. You make the right pitch and maybe you'll manage to find the occasional rightly targeted potential customer, but for the most part, even paid advertising is a bit of a shot in the dark, as you're often competing against people with much deeper pockets.

So, yes, I'm on board with what Guest is saying. Whoever you do manage to bring in, try to stay engaged. Don't turn into one of those owners who just sits back and watches, ignoring every message and never doing anything new. People bore easily. They need lots of shiny things to keep them chugging along.

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  • 4 weeks later...

we have tried alot of ways to advertise from google to facebook, GAO, leetmedia ..many topsites as well as a couple other sites and most dont seem to bring in many signups ..most real signups come from players referring and topsites so the majority of ads we pay now is just on the topsites.

If you keep players entertained and treat them fair but stick to your rules then they are normally happy and if there happy they want there friends there too so will try and encourage them to stick around after they have referred them.

this is how i see it from my own experience running games.

worse thing you can do is go spamming other games though - you make it harder for the rest of us who do pay for our ads

Edited by strangeeyes
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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm getting close to no signups from topsites or friends refering. I've tried advertising a little with gameadvertisingonline and it works ok, but I don't have a budget so that I can really learn how to do it. My lesson learned so far is: Do your best to actually keep the few new registrations you get.

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what's your site called? is it an original theme? what does it offer that other games don't? i've definitely found that diversity keeps players interested as well as skill based competition, rather than random outcomes to activities like crimes and attacking.

we're still in the starting out phase currently, but we have a core group of players that come on everyday. we've gained likes through facebook but i dont think we have had one signup when advertising on there.

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Well, the coder if your attitude towards your players are anything like your attitude here then that would probably be the main issue. But spike has pointed out some good things about a game. Most games these days are pretty repetitive in a way and 80% of them are all mafia based. So think of it this way: What do you have to offer players of your game that the game they are playing doesn't already have?

You should have a theme which has been pointed out in numerous threads here. Whats the point of having a mafia based game where weapons, crimes, etc don't fit the genre.

A story line is beneficial and pretty mandatory in almost all aspects. If you have crimes in your game make it follow a story instead of "steal some cds". That's not following a story.

You can do the same with education (if using mcc for example). Make the education follow the story as well, and align everything up.

Little things also make a world of difference, for example:

Leveling - Levels 1-15 => "this rank" so on d so forth. This could also be inline with your crimes and education. Make things aligned and flow with eachother. A lot of hardcore gamers notice these subtleties.

Another thing I have seen make games fail is currency. Keep track of money in your game and make logs that csn track them for you. Think of it like balancing your checkbook. Dont pump a bunch of money in the game and not give players a way to spend it. Things like lottos can ruin a game so take a portion of it out of the winnings.

Be nice to your players but don't give into them either. You should have staff you can trust and your job should be to add content and communicate directly through your staff. But please monitor them as well, let them run the game but you just be the law of the land.

These are just things that I have seen in some big games that still run or know from failures/success on my part from running a game

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I have 1.6k total users and about 110 - 130 logging in everyday. I am ALWAYS working on new updates and I keep the users fairly informed so they can expect some of whats coming, this also falls in line with keeping them interested. I try to keep things lively by having competitions. Like for instance right now there is a competition going that I built, snowball fights, first you build your snow fort and watch it grow and you have a time limit to build it up, 7 days or so, then you fight against the other forts to see who will come out on top. Then everyone gets to destroy my mega fort and whoever gets the most damage wins, point is keeping them entertained is KEY. And originality goes a long way too. Also communication and community, my users know I can be found in the chat most hours of the day and I listen to ideas or help players when needed. I spent tons of money on advertising at first, and I feel like I got ripped off so I don't really recommend it unless you have a super awesome frontpage that people can't resist signing up to. Most of this was already said in this thread really but my 2 cents anyway.

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Definitely agree with Smokey, constant updates are important, as long as they are meaningful ones or that improve on something! Might also be a good idea to start keeping a spreadsheet of what you are doing and what needs to be done as well as what is coming up. As long as your comfortable with what's on the spreadsheet, you could share this with your players to keep them up to date and they get a feeling of being valued and kept in the loop.

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All of this information is definitely helping me. I'm planning out a new game and basically taking notes off of this topic. I've learned a lot of what I should and shouldn't be doing, so if I can pick it up then I'm sure other Game Owners who feel their games are a bit dead might be able to work out why and how they can combat it with this. For some people, I think a relaunch might be a good idea.

For the owner of this thread, I think a relaunch might be a good idea, but it would take a bit of work. For one, you need a massive update - your reason for the relaunch. Then maybe change your template out and ingame. Also update and improve a few smaller things, maybe make training a little or more interactive, or give your users an option of a quick train all, or a way to use certain amount of energy, but make it interesting. Then other things, like maybe the attack system could be revamped. You'll definitely need community things. Chat and Forum are good, but they don't always cut it in games. Give players a reason to interact with each:

- Player run businesses ( can sell stuff from their inventory for x price )

- Competitions ( that make sense, don't over do it )

- Random Events

- Factions ( Gangs whatever, but give them a reason to play. For example gang with most inf points at end of month get a reward, but the player that has earned the most inf points from each gang get a reward as well (inf = influence))

- More things to do ( a game will get repetitive quickly if there is only a certain amount of things to do

- Monitor abusive players ( players that are abusive to others ( even if they donate the most ) should be discouraged, warned and finally banned, because they can do massive damage to your game) - includes staff members

Just some things I think might help

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