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TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhallForum IssuesArchived subforums (read only)CreativeToo soon for a DevLog?
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DifferentName
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« on: April 16, 2015, 07:22:19 AM »

I recently learned the importance of marketing, and a DevLog seems like a great way to get people interested in a game early and often. But do you think this can be done too early? How early is too early? Or is still good to start a DevLog as soon as a game is started?

Also, any tips on doing a DevLog would be welcome. 
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2015, 07:36:57 AM »

Earlier is better IMO. You might not get as much interest in the beginning if the OP has nothing pretty to look at, but just update the first post when you have the material and make sure to add something to the thread title to indicate that you have done so.

A piece of concept art in the beginning wouldn't hurt if you haven't got much in-game yet.
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DanglinBob
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2015, 12:15:59 PM »

It's never too early for a devlog for two good reasons:

1) If the product takes off it will be very valuable, both to other developers and as a PR tool.
2) It can help you mentally decompress what you're doing and actually aid in development. Especially for those of us who try to keep a lot of their design in their head, only.

So go forth and write!
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Polyflare
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2015, 08:04:52 PM »

I am facing this very same dilemma: Does a dev log work for all types of games and if so when is a good time for the first log entry? I feel that for some games it's better to wait until you have more direction and certainty about what the game will be while for others that journey of changing the game as it's being made is part of the fun. There's also the difference between hobby games vs commercial games.

For games with lots of action posting teaser GIFs from an extremely early stage seems to be a great idea. One recent example of this is Secret Legend where Andrew posted his first GIF only a few weeks into development with no description. For games with almost no action, such as the city builder I'm currently working on, I have no idea when the first post should be. In my case most of my time right now is spent crunching numbers, drawing diagrams, mentally testing gameplay mechanics and writing a game design document--no fancy GIFs here anytime soon!

There's also the issue, albeit rare, of potentially having a smaller game (<6-9 full time person months development time) cloned and on the market before the team even finishes the original. I don't follow dev logs for small games so I don't know much about them or how common they even are but it's definitely something to keep in mind. For larger games with more complexity the chance of being cloned before release diminishes quickly and it is that complexity that makes those dev logs more intriguing to follow anyway.

I'd like to hear the opinions of developers who have released a commercial game that had a dev log from an early stage! :D
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2015, 09:48:40 PM »

It's NEVER too early. Wizard
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Quicksand-T
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2015, 11:57:16 AM »

I'd say make sure you have at least some sort of visual in your first post, WIP or not. Could be a screenshot, concept art, a logo, whatever.
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ProgramGamer
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2015, 04:22:57 AM »

As long as you can post screenshots you are good to go.
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Oddball
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2015, 04:56:10 AM »

"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late." - William Shakespeare
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LuisAnton
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2015, 07:06:48 AM »

And this may seem silly in a forum where you can create your devlog but... where is it better to do it? Your own site? A community like TIGSource? Both places, maybe, duplicating content?
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guille
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2015, 07:20:47 AM »

I think duplicating content is fine to reach different kind of users, you can do it here, on indie DB, Facebook, your personal site, etc. The audience and the feedback will be different.
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Jordgubben
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2015, 11:30:07 AM »

For games with lots of action posting teaser GIFs from an extremely early stage seems to be a great idea. One recent example of this is Secret Legend where Andrew posted his first GIF only a few weeks into development with no description. For games with almost no action, such as the city builder I'm currently working on, I have no idea when the first post should be. In my case most of my time right now is spent crunching numbers, drawing diagrams, mentally testing gameplay mechanics and writing a game design document--no fancy GIFs here anytime soon!

You should definitely start your devlog at this stage. Reading about how some one else crunches numbers and mentally test mechanics could potentially be a really interesting read.
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ProgramGamer
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2015, 11:32:39 AM »

JUST MAKE EVERYTHING PUBLIC HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  Cheesy

Except nudity.
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DifferentName
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2015, 08:00:48 AM »

For games with lots of action posting teaser GIFs from an extremely early stage seems to be a great idea. One recent example of this is Secret Legend where Andrew posted his first GIF only a few weeks into development with no description. For games with almost no action, such as the city builder I'm currently working on, I have no idea when the first post should be. In my case most of my time right now is spent crunching numbers, drawing diagrams, mentally testing gameplay mechanics and writing a game design document--no fancy GIFs here anytime soon!

You should definitely start your devlog at this stage. Reading about how some one else crunches numbers and mentally test mechanics could potentially be a really interesting read.

Wow, I guess I didn't click that link the first time I read Polyflare's post. Did that gif really come from just 2 weeks of working on the game? It looks amazing.

Yeah, I don't know if I'll get people excited about the game yet since I don't really  have the visual style down, and there's not much to show of the mechanics yet, but showing progress as I go could be interesting. So I've started my DevLog with some basic info about the game idea, and I'm starting to post about the characters one at a time so I can make a habit of posting in it once or twice a week.

I think starting the DevLog early will be a good thing.  Smiley
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IonForceStudio
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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2015, 01:34:17 AM »

It's NEVER too early. Wizard
But you should have something to interest community.
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JohansenIndustries
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2015, 02:27:55 AM »

It's NEVER too early. Wizard
But you should have something to interest community.
NEVER too early.

As Princessa says first posts can be editted in future.

That's what I think anyway.
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IonForceStudio
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« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2015, 02:44:59 AM »

It's NEVER too early. Wizard
But you should have something to interest community.
NEVER too early.

As Princessa says first posts can be editted in future.

That's what I think anyway.
Yes, you can edit your first post. But if have only some ideas (no materials) can you start your topic on the forum how many people start reading this?
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Jordgubben
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« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2015, 06:22:25 AM »

Quote from: Lots of people
... stuff...
Yes, you can edit your first post. But if have only some ideas (no materials) can you start your topic on the forum how many people start reading this?

Your argument implies that the posts will only be read while fresh. This assumption would be entirely correct for twitter, tublr or facebook. The difference here is that forum threads can be backtracked. Following a incomprehensible mush into a genuine hit (or a brilliant idea into a horrible train wreck) is incredibly useful to the community at large.
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IonForceStudio
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« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2015, 09:20:55 AM »

Quote from: Lots of people
... stuff...
Yes, you can edit your first post. But if have only some ideas (no materials) can you start your topic on the forum how many people start reading this?

Your argument implies that the posts will only be read while fresh. This assumption would be entirely correct for twitter, tublr or facebook. The difference here is that forum threads can be backtracked. Following a incomprehensible mush into a genuine hit (or a brilliant idea into a horrible train wreck) is incredibly useful to the community at large.

... so I also started DevLog, thanks for advice
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Conker
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« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2015, 10:33:44 AM »

start now

worst thing that happens is its abandoned on one page, gets pushed to the end of the forum and is forgotten.

best thing that happens is you have a piece of history that documents your development, whether you finish the project or not.

start as soon as possible. start at just an idea, a thought. earlier the better!
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Andrew Brophy
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« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2015, 12:04:34 AM »

as long as it generates something to talk about - whether it's a good write up on what the game is about or the mechanics, or if there's neat screenshots (or fancy .gifs).
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