Ways to promote indie games, techniques, tricks... + free Windows game ;-)

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Sadly original post is lost due that hacker issue so this is at least part of it...

My question is: How do you promote your Android/iOS (and also Win/Steam) games?

itch.io is good site, but it's for people that already are interested in indie gaming, so it has limited user base? And from what I see most games on it are rather demos/alpha projects.
Kickstarter (or other such sites), great for bigger teams, not single developer (or duo dev + artist) as it's highly advised (in my opinion) to have dedicated PR man to handle all those Goals/material gifts/social media/and so on stuff.
Earlier Steam Greenlight was place that you could pick some interesting projects from tons on crap games, now only Steam Early Access remains, yet still you can search on it for something interesting. But most promotion goes for games from larger teams or those that are closest to finish as final product. And that's obvious.
All above also in some way require that your game/idea is original or at least really good designed / polished.

What ideas you have to promote small / simple games that aren't unique in most part?
Any sites/FB groups dedicated for reviews of such games, or even sponsored promotion (if they have really active user base).
This is open topic so every idea counts.

Make giveaways on SteamGifts site (or similar), use good games from bundle (HumbleBundle, BundleStars, IndieGala and so on) to attract users. Potentialy up to couple thousands may see your game, or even download it if it's free...
Make good free mobile app that would have big/huge user base, and put advertisement of your games in it, not AdSense or other such that won't give proper earnings. All depends on time needed to make such app and possible user base, for example, free app that would show graphical banners (such as in forums) from popular online games (WoW, WoT, LoL, HS, CS whatever) as Android widgets...

My publishing experience is limited to Symbian OS (that dead os from Nokia), and on it even indie developer could get attention from users. Each app category (like games/puzzles) had several subgroups: top paid, top free, last updated and so on - and that wasn't limited to top5, but it was much longer. Also popular games could get spot on banner on main page, and some other like this.
Of course, every market / ecosystem is specific, so it's hard to compare newer systems with it. For example there were sites like AllAboutSymbian, and you could send them your games to review so they would be exposed to some number of active users / potential customers and so on...
Few days ago I've uploaded my pack of logical games to Windows Store and will see how it will go there. This will be opportunity to check how active is that market, and other ways to get attention.

ps. If you have Windows/WinPhone at least 8.1 use this code to get free version of my game: 67KVC-T6YF3-K6QRF-KW29K-49GTZ
Windows Store link: CLICK
I will delete this part after code will lost validity.
Check my source code editor for GLBasic - link Update: 20.04.2020


Quick reply here that I´m assembling a proper answer (nothing new) but to call a bit of attention to everyone about the point. :)


Sorry it took a while.

Anyways, apart from what you stated, I think a nice dev blog could come handy, maybe on the likes of TIGsource or indieDB.
I don´t get much back from facebook as I use it very weirdly and probably not as zuckenbuguer intends people to, but I´m part of some groups like IGDA (international game development association) and a trs-80/color computer group, they are both fine to show off, specially the later, since all my games had a similar coco II version back in the 80 or was inspired by something related to this computer.

Forums are also a pretty good place to show off, and like groups or anything indie, you should really be a part of the group for anything to matter. If you just pop up randomly somewhere and advertise your game and take off, it is not going to look good.

For example, I try help people on the pandora Forum as best as I can, even though I don´t own the machine. When I released my tank game(for free), a few people there payed for it and did so with quite a large amount compared to what it would cost if it was ever sold. So I guess promoting your stuff on groups where you have a good relationship works nice, and they are more likely to spread the word.

Another outcome of having a devlog, is that you can try to compile it into an article and then publish it on the likes of gamasutra.
I think if it done nicely, it will bring attention to your game.

Overall, I believe you have to work a combination of many things to pull it out.
I doubt paying for adds would result into anything good.

In sum, either your product is good by itself, your relationship with people/internet/groups is good or content your create about the game is good (in case the game is too simple). I don´t see any other way to showcase it.

Does anyone else have some extra ideas?




"It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had prior exposure to BASIC.  As potential programmers, they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration."
(E. W. Dijkstra)