Question / Discussion about the path to becoming a popular game

hi community!

I love roblox. Making games have always been my dream and this platform made it happen! However when i see the popular games with thousands of people playing, i cant help but feel a sense of hopelessness.

How can my games be popular too? To me, popularity comes when there is an established base of players. However we all know that people will hardly click to play a game with 0 or even 10 players. This is a chicken and egg question that has baffled my mind.

I know that with an attractive game icon and thumbnails, you increase the odds. However what odds are there to be worked on in the first place if even a direct search “Exact Game Name” doesn’t show your game.

Of course we need to put in our own effort to share our games. With friends, communities etc. Having said so, it is likely that the visits do not coincide, leading us straight back to the question.

I am definitely not a super star coder with games that leaves the competition in the dust, but let us just consider that even such a game will also be at the mercy of the factors stated above. People may come and play or even return. However it will likely still result in lots of pocket of time with a player count of 0 - 10, turning off potential would be players. Now imagine what it means for not “super star” games like mine!

The other option is to run massive ads so that players come by the truck load and hope it reaches a critical tip off point and self sustains. However, as much as i feel that roblox deserves the revenue with this wonderful platform, thick wallets i do not have.

This is not a rant. This is an appeal to those who have been there and done it. Can you kindly shed some light on how can a game go from 0 to being played. I love roblox and i love my games. It is sad to see them sit on the shelf, desperately reaching out to would be players.

I do not seek to earn millions of robux. I just want my games to be played and continue to live my dream on this wonderful game platform called Roblox. :frowning:

Much appreciated!

2 Likes

The best way is of course Advertisment, honest advertisment but not only in roblox but anywhere! For example, Devforums, Discord, Youtube or Twitter!

Of course the second best way is to make the game as easiest to understand but also intresting. If the game is hard to get, people will join and think: “How do I play this? I don’t understand” and leave.

I think to be honest you have to be patient and make the game as best as possible. Advertisment is a huge bonus for your game. You have to remember, a lot of awsome games don’t get to the top page. It might make you lose motivation but I just tell my self, never give up and I hope one day my game will get popular.

1 Like

Like it or not, you’re definitely going to need to spend Robux in order to create a successful game.

First of all, you need to actually have a good game to play. Before you even start, ask yourself: “Would I be willing to play this game for a week, one hour every day?”. If the answer is no, you need to stop thinking about making a game popular, and make your game better.

Do you have a younger sibling? Ask them to play the game. Roblox is made up of a younger audience, so if a younger sibling can enjoy the game, then you have a good start.

Now, ask your friends to get their friends to play it with them. This could start getting you visits, and if your game truly is good, then they will come back.

So, we know the game is good. Now, use, say 5K Robux to advertise your game, and depending on the platform, you may advertise or sponsor. Make an appealing ad, and people will click.

Hope this helped!

2 Likes

Make
Your
Game
Fun

Once you do that, players will come back.

Unfortunately this is a struggle that lacks a single answer. Usually it’s easier to say how someone’s currently messing up, rather than what they aren’t doing. There’s no one correct way to make a popular game, but there are some tried and true tactics.

Audience Focused Design

I’d start by familiarizing yourself with the player motivation plot. These are the reasons people play games. You may have heard before that you need to design with a target audience in mind, this is a great way to do that. Choose a color, maybe two (though I advise not doing yellow + red as it lacks a good bridging motivation, thus you risk splitting your core loop), then once you have your goal hue start looking at the mechanics associated with that color.

Core Loop
Once you know what kind of mechanics are expected, try to design a simple core loop. A core loop is a very high level look of the moment to moment gameplay and how it flows between different experiences.

image

Here’s the core loop for pac-man. It’s very simple, yet the game has proven to be quite fun for many. You can certainly get more complicated than this with core loops, but for your first attempt start simple.

Prototype
Once you have a core loop for your game, prototype it. Don’t make any fancy assets, just do the minimum amount of work for you to simulate that gameplay. This should take a few days at max, but by the end of it you’ll have a playable version of your game that you can quickly use to verify your idea is fun.

Also, when making these, promise if you go ahead and make a full game you won’t reuse the code. If you make a core loop prototype with scalability in mind it will take too long. If you don’t make it with scalability in mind it won’t scale well, hence wasting your time if you try to use it as the technical base for your game.

Testing
Once you have a working prototype play it. If you can do in-person playtests that’s great. If not try to do some remote ones, with video calling if possible if they’re a person you trust.

Figure out if they have fun, figure out if there are things they dislike. Once you have good feedback revise your core loop, and revise your prototype, and try again. Repeat until the core of your game is certified fun.

Make the game
Now you need to make the actual game, I advise teaming up for larger projects, and if you run into any technical problems that developer.roblox.com can’t fix, the devforum is there for you. Try to get a playable version of the game within 4-6 weeks if possible. Try to create milestones along the way so that you can track your progress. There are books upon books that could be written about game production, and frankly I’m not qualified to write them.

When making a game you’ll never do it perfectly and that’s okay. My games have been played almost 150 million times, and with every single one I have a long list of regrettable production decisions that could have been done better. Just learn from your mistakes and do better next time.

Don’t Screw Up Onboarding
Onboarding is the process of getting a first time player integrated into the game. It’s a mixture of a learning curve and engaging the player. Try to have the player do the fun core loop stuff as soon as possible, and if there are things to learn try to teach them as quickly and effectively as possible (keep in mind many players are young so don’t use too much text).

I’d say the number one reason many fun games flop is because of bad on-boarding. If you’re willing, I’d also suggest using off-site analytics like google analytics, or gameanalytics.com, or even playfab if you can get into the program. These allow you to track the onboarding process at a larger level, even do some A/B tests (making a slight change to the onboarding experience for half the users and seeing how it changes the player engagement). Analytics might be a bit farther ahead than you need to be though, if you’re uncertain about analytics, a good excel sheet or even a word document can go a long way in recording playtester onboarding experiences.

Launch the Game
Time to launch the game! You can try advertising, but in order to get enough clicks to make an impact you may need a few thousand robux. The goal is to get the game momentum, allowing it to snowball and bring in new players for free. This is difficult, but at the very least the players who do join will give you valuable playtesting opportunities. A twitter account is free though, so post some prototypes under the hashtag #RobloxDev and #Roblox and maybe you’ll get some traction and valuable feedback! Don’t wait until the end to do this though, it’s often a slow process and once you start making the game you should start posting.

Conclusion
You may have to do this a few times. And it might not work at the end of it - sometimes the reasons a game fails aren’t easy to see, or the reason is too difficult to fix. I’ve been doing this for 12 years and I’ve had 3-4 different games hit the front page over two separate accounts, so it isn’t just random - if you put your mind to it and work hard you can improve your odds a ton. But at the same time this chaotic industry isn’t for everyone, and you’ll have to do a lot of hard work to make it, so at the end of the day make sure what you work on is something you enjoy, because if you don’t enjoy it you likely won’t be putting in the amount of effort needed to make it to the front page - that was at least the case for me.

Hope this helps! Best of luck on your future games!

1 Like