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October 16, 2019
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The comprehensive guide to videogame stores and where to publish

by Justin Popa on 10/02/19 09:57:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

So you're an indie game developer (like me), and you've made a brand new and shiny videogame (like me); CONGRATULATIONS! You've done the easy bit, now for the hard bit: getting your game in front of people! 

One of the tasks I've found most daunting is figuring out where to post a videogame to get it in front of players. You'd assume since my game is free, that shouldn't be so difficult. Free is not as good a label as you'd think as people tend to associate "free" with "crap". Now I'm not saying that Vecter is the second coming but I like to think it's okay, and other people have told me it's okay and fun so I'm driven to keep working on it and get it in front of the masses.

This page on my website will serve as a living document where I catalogue my experience with various stores. I'm mainly interested in documenting: The store I uploaded to, the number of downloads it received from that store, the procedure needed to upload Vecter to said store and how much it cost me to do so.

I recommend checking this page regularly to see if I add new entries in the store list. That's enough waffle, let's get on with the list. (DISCLAIMER Your mileage will vary)

  1. GameJolt - Submitted 12 May 2019
    Cost: Free | Experience: Very Positive

    GameJolt was my first and remains my favourite indie game platform. The process to submit a game is super easy (you do need to create an account though) and it's very straight forward although it does ask for a lot of images and videos to prettify your page with. Once you've created your GameJolt account all you have to do is this to get started. A lot of my traffic comes from GameJolt itslef, although you do have to post new things semi-regularly in your Dev Log to have traffic coming in.

  2. Itch.io - Submitted 10 September 2019
    Cost: Free | Experience: Meh...

    Itch.io was my second submission and I can't say that I'm overly impressed. It does alright, the pages it generates are okay but a little messy, the exposure to players on its platform is not stellar and the dashboard is a little confusing. I didn't have a great experience with it and the traffic it generates is pretty small but maybe I did something wrong. To upload your game to Itch just go here and sign up.

  3. Discord - Submitted 24 September 2019
    Cost: $25 | Experience: Awesome, but pointless...

    The developer console of the discord store is EXCELLENT! It has some really powerful features when it comes to storing your game and it also provides an SDK to integrate with your game and do all sorts of crazy stuff in the Discord client. However, all of that is useless because the store is buried deep in the discord client where nobody cand find it. Seriously check this out:



    Y U SO HIDDEN? Anyway, because the store is so inaccessible and considering it also costs $25 to post, I guess a submission here is pretty useless. They advertise it as "Distribute your game straight on your discord server" which is true but with so many other alternatives what's the point? Still, it's nice that there's an option. You can see here how to submit your own game to the store.

  4. IndieDB - Submitted 30 September 2019
    Cost: Free | Experience: Very Positive

    IndieDB is the uglier, yet somehow clearer GameJolt. While the website is aesthetically stuck in the early to mid-2000s, it is very powerful. You get stats on top of stats about how your game is doing, who is visiting, how people are getting there, how many have downloaded or rated your game, awesome little embedded buttons that look good and so much more. Yes, the darn thing looks pretty bad but it is quite a good platform to show off your game and write articles about it which will be displayed on their front page thus driving new traffic to your baby.

    Vecter (Note: The position updates automatically as your game grows in popularity)

    It's a bit of a learning curve and there's a bit of trial and error involved when setting up your page, but the spike in traffic is worth it (at least in my experience). You can add your game at this address.

  5. Gamer Front - Submitted 01 October 2019
    Cost: Free | Experience: Too easy not to consider doing

    Gamer Front is a strange little website in which people upload files (like mods, texture packs and other things) for games. You could potentially use this as a means of hosting your game files somewhere for free if you wanted to but everyone has access to these files so it's not particularly secure. Because everyone can see what you've uploaded it might be a good and quick way to get a few downloads if your game is free. Not very usefull if you have a paid title tho'. Here's how to upload your own. You'll need an account first, but it only takes a few seconds to set one up.

  6. Gamers Gate - Request Submitted, Awaiting Response
    Cost: Free | Experience: None yet

    Now we're getting into the lesser-known stores. Gamers Gate is a semi-popular Windows Mac and Linux game store. I haven't tried it yet, but you can check here how you could request that your game be published on their store.

For the full list that will continously be updated, check out my website here.

Also if you're curious about the game i'm making, click the video below and give it a bash, it's free.


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