If I built a fun and stimulating free web-based strategy game about politics, would you try it out?

Aug 25, 2022
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Hi, I am in the process of building a quick-to-play multi-player (with bots available) strategy game on the internet in PHP that is about politics; it's a little bit like poker. The game and AI are already designed; I'm trying to gauge interest in the game. The game is free to play, and players who win can earn points that can be redeemed for a share of the site's advertising revenue, once it gets more popular. I think the game sounds fun, but I haven't coded it yet...the game design and AI design are done though.

Do users on this forum think that it might be a game that they would try out? If I can get enough interest, I will build it and try to post on a forum about the link to play the game.

Thanks!

Regards,
Philip White
 
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May 22, 2022
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That is an interesting concept, but maybe the details need to be a little fleshed out...

Maybe it could be good on paper, but who knows how that will turn out exactly.

also, will it a text based type game or will it have art etc. 🤔
 
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Aug 25, 2022
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That is an interesting concept, but maybe the details need to be a little fleshed out...

Maybe it could be good on paper, but who knows how that will turn out exactly.

also, will it a text based type game or will it have art etc. 🤔

It will be a text-based game, definitely at first. The details are fleshed out and I'll be sure to play-test it before sharing a link to it, I am essentially looking to see if people would give it a try. If I could get, e.g., 10-100 people to try it--there is the possibility of game players omeday making money from it, like poker, but there is no money risked, it's just drawn from possibly future-tense high ad revenues--I would think that people would like it. I've built simpler games before and I can play-test it on my own to make sure that it is at least fun to me. I posted about it on /r/gaming on Reddit and the idea was disliked by a few posters--they said they don't like the idea of a game about politics--and my post was then removed by moderators for reasons I don't understand. So, I'm essentially looking for a gaming forum where I would post it first...I want to build it and the design is done, but I am hoping to be able to access an audience whose members will want try it before I code all of it--it should take about two weeks. Sign-in will not even require email, registration will just involve picking a username and password and maybe passing a Turing test to make sure it's not a robot...people could add email later in case of a lost password.

Thanks for you reply.

Regards,
Philip
 
Aug 25, 2022
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It's impossible to say if I'd play a game if I don't know what the game is. "About politics" is too vague.


I don't want to give too much detail, because I don't want the game idea to be copied for the release...it is possible. I'm also not sure I'm allowed to post a link to the game...I just read the promotion policy on this forum a while ago and saw that I'm not allowed to link to the game once it's up, so I'll respect that--I'm not a rule-breaker. Feel free to read my Twitter account, where my user name is cplxphil, if you want to find out more about the idea later (my name is too common to be Google productively).

Here is a little more detail about the game. Basically, it is a simplified game about making decisions in the context of a political campaign. 16 candidates, 8 Republicans and 8 Democrats, are seeking to win their primary and then the WH. Each game is a fairly brief (< 15 minutes to play) session of analyzing some simple data (I'll work to make sure it is easy and fun and enough and not a chore) and making certain kinds of campaign decisions, at the same time that other players do, to try to win the election.

That's as much details as I'm comfortable giving.

Since I can't post a link here--I haven't gotten interest at all on other sites, so thank you both for responding!--do you have any advice on advertising or how to present the game? I'm thinking about doing a Google AdSense/AdWords campaign to try to get the game maybe 200-300 people who would try it out...the idea is to have simple registration and perks, related to possible money payouts without money risk (share of ad revenues), so that users don't have to even type in their email address to register.

Any thoughts on how to make this a success that you would be generous enough to share would be appreciated! I have played a number of games, including chess, poker, Civ 5, Civ 2, adventure games, etc., but I don't really know anything about marketing a game to get some initial users. I'm confident that if I got a few hundred, it would catch on and get bigger...I don't know how to present the game, on the main page with a text description and in ads to get people interested.

What would get you more interested in playing a game if you heard about it?

Thanks again for any help you provide!

Regards,
Philip White
 
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I don't really know anything about marketing a game
Welcome to the forum :)

That is the biggest hurdle with any entertainment product these days. Book, game, music, video—the good news is they're all much easier to produce, but the bad news is they're all much easier to produce. Competition in the thousands or millions, it's a problem of discovery, not one of creation.

Scan thru these channels:




You might get some useful market intel here:


 
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I don't want to give too much detail, because I don't want the game idea to be copied for the release...it is possible. I'm also not sure I'm allowed to post a link to the game...I just read the promotion policy on this forum a while ago and saw that I'm not allowed to link to the game once it's up, so I'll respect that--I'm not a rule-breaker. Feel free to read my Twitter account, where my user name is cplxphil, if you want to find out more about the idea later (my name is too common to be Google productively).

Here is a little more detail about the game. Basically, it is a simplified game about making decisions in the context of a political campaign. 16 candidates, 8 Republicans and 8 Democrats, are seeking to win their primary and then the WH. Each game is a fairly brief (< 15 minutes to play) session of analyzing some simple data (I'll work to make sure it is easy and fun and enough and not a chore) and making certain kinds of campaign decisions, at the same time that other players do, to try to win the election.

That's as much details as I'm comfortable giving.
I get not wanting to risk your idea being stolen, but I can't really give feedback on the game design if you cannot tell me more than just the theme. Though from what you told me, I'd personally not go with Republicans and Democrats as the names for the parties, because there's too many negative emotions tied to each name. You could do obvious stand-ins or parodies of each party though, depending on the tone of the game you're going for.

Since I can't post a link here--I haven't gotten interest at all on other sites, so thank you both for responding!--do you have any advice on advertising or how to present the game? I'm thinking about doing a Google AdSense/AdWords campaign to try to get the game maybe 200-300 people who would try it out...the idea is to have simple registration and perks, related to possible money payouts without money risk (share of ad revenues), so that users don't have to even type in their email address to register.

Any thoughts on how to make this a success that you would be generous enough to share would be appreciated! I have played a number of games, including chess, poker, Civ 5, Civ 2, adventure games, etc., but I don't really know anything about marketing a game to get some initial users. I'm confident that if I got a few hundred, it would catch on and get bigger...I don't know how to present the game, on the main page with a text description and in ads to get people interested.

What would get you more interested in playing a game if you heard about it?

Thanks again for any help you provide!

Regards,
Philip White
I'd take a look at how InnoGames does their marketing and how they set up their websites. Their browser games, like Tribal Wars and Grepolis, are pretty popular, so they must be doing something right.
 

Lutfij

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If you're going to base a game pertaining to real world (political)events(and maybe politicians) as things stand now, you're going to end up with a dumpster fire...for lack of a better word/term. I'd move on the side of caution but as people here have already pointed out, no one is going to say a yes or no with confidence unless you've got something to present to your target audience, that is concrete/tangible and not a wall of text or a number of ideas expressed by waving hands around in the air.

You would need to make a demo of some sort and also, if you think the platform you're working on is something that someone else might bank on, you could go into legal side of things.
 
Last edited:
Aug 25, 2022
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Thanks everyone for the advice! The YouTube videos were particularly helpful. I'm working on getting the finished product up...I decided to add graphics, and ought to have fully launched by Sept 10. I can't post a link here because of site rules; feel free to try to find the game yourself if you want to try it.

I am sort of aware of laws; I'll look into starting a business if it takes off, and just pay taxes on income other than that...I think I would just register as self-employed or whatever if it made enough money for me to pay taxes on it. I'll be sure to be ethical and follow the law.

I'll share that I'm not planning to involve "current political personalities" in the game, so hopefully people can maybe think of the two parties in their favorite decade for politics instead of today.

Also, the best two YouTube video tips I got so far were: Treat your career like an RPG (an unusual metaphor that can be kind of useful, partly because a lot of people would feel weird using that lens), and, best of all, try to contact a YouTube streamer who does gaming or a gaming blogger to ask if the person would promote your game. Both of those tips were ones I found in the links that Brian Boru was generous to share.

Thanks again everyone! This has definitely been the best forum site for helping me!

Regards,
Philip
 
Thanks everyone for the advice! The YouTube videos were particularly helpful. I'm working on getting the finished product up...I decided to add graphics, and ought to have fully launched by Sept 10. I can't post a link here because of site rules; feel free to try to find the game yourself if you want to try it.

I am sort of aware of laws; I'll look into starting a business if it takes off, and just pay taxes on income other than that...I think I would just register as self-employed or whatever if it made enough money for me to pay taxes on it. I'll be sure to be ethical and follow the law.

I'll share that I'm not planning to involve "current political personalities" in the game, so hopefully people can maybe think of the two parties in their favorite decade for politics instead of today.

Also, the best two YouTube video tips I got so far were: Treat your career like an RPG (an unusual metaphor that can be kind of useful, partly because a lot of people would feel weird using that lens), and, best of all, try to contact a YouTube streamer who does gaming or a gaming blogger to ask if the person would promote your game. Both of those tips were ones I found in the links that Brian Boru was generous to share.

Thanks again everyone! This has definitely been the best forum site for helping me!

Regards,
Philip
I will definitely try your game. BTW, I'm not a mod, but indie developers have their own forum section here near the bottom called Studio Spotlight, and I can't imagine you wouldn't be allowed to post your link there. Only one developer has posted there, but they posted a link to their demo and other stuff. If for some reason you aren't allowed to post it there, private message me the link so I can try it out. If I enjoy it, I'll mention it in the weekly thread.

I wouldn't waste your money on Google Adsense. Just make a great game first. See if people like it. It might take off on it's own through word of mouth. But I would just concentrate on making the game as good as possible before I worried about advertising it in any significant way. When you are finished and people like it, then you can worry about spreading the word.

Lastly, you can't advertise both that you are going to pay players and also push the idea of a simple login that doesn't even need an email address. These two concepts are incompatible.
 
Aug 25, 2022
5
9
15
I will definitely try your game. BTW, I'm not a mod, but indie developers have their own forum section here near the bottom called Studio Spotlight, and I can't imagine you wouldn't be allowed to post your link there. Only one developer has posted there, but they posted a link to their demo and other stuff. If for some reason you aren't allowed to post it there, private message me the link so I can try it out. If I enjoy it, I'll mention it in the weekly thread.

I wouldn't waste your money on Google Adsense. Just make a great game first. See if people like it. It might take off on it's own through word of mouth. But I would just concentrate on making the game as good as possible before I worried about advertising it in any significant way. When you are finished and people like it, then you can worry about spreading the word.

Lastly, you can't advertise both that you are going to pay players and also push the idea of a simple login that doesn't even need an email address. These two concepts are incompatible.
Excellent, thanks! You might be right about AdSense...it might be better just to contact gaming bloggers/streamers as the guy in the YouTube video suggested. I might just do that.

The idea of a simple login that doesn't require email is that people can add an email address later if they want to. You would be able to add email (for password recovery) and payment options after registering with just a username and password.

-Philip
 
One thing you could try is making a Facebook page for your game and make one good post with a video or something. Then you can advertise that post on Facebook very inexpensively and reach a lot of people. They have good demographic settings for who you'll specifically reach. It's very cheap and effective.
 

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