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increasing visibility of content

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So I've got this mod.  Just did a 1.25 release.  Number of downloads has always been consistent, but slow.  Recently, I started worrying that it might be slowing down, even by such slow number of user standards.  I thought I'd try to boost my visibility by doing an AAR to go with it.  Especially, to post to Reddit.  My old stuff is still in the top spots of /r/alphacentauri, but I thought, perhaps getting something new up there after 1 month, might help.  Just realized, I don't think I've ever posted to the more general /r/4Xgaming, which has a larger audience.  Since 1.25 may be the end of my development cycle, or close to it, I'm willing to take the risk of posting there and having people yell at me.  My defense is /r/alphacentauri is way too quiet, and for the amount of times it's mentioned in /r/4Xgaming, it doesn't get a sidebar or anything.

I released on 6 websites today: this one, Realms Beyond, Apolyton, We Play Civ, CivFanatics, and Reddit.  What more is there to do?  Maybe check out GoG and Steam, but last I looked, didn't seem to be much going on there.

Part of me thinks the only way to get real viewership, is YouTube.  I don't know if that translates to downloadership, the real goal.  In the game industry that's called "conversion", I think.  But just about anything has got to be better than what I'm managing presently.

I have no idea what I'd do for video, because video is not my forte.  Not that I can't wrap my head around video, I've done modest study of screenwriting for years.  But my forte is the written word, so my AARs evolved that way.

The vast majority of game related content I've seen on YouTube, has been a dead bore.  I couldn't point you to even 1 exemplar, of how I'd want to see my time used watching something, regarding games.  I think quite often, people make videos because it's easier for them, as a production.  Not because the content is better.  In fact, I think their typical disorganized spew, shows a serious lack of expository skill.  But hey what do I know, I only spent 4 years doing expository writing in college.  I think a lot of people can't organize content for piss.  Maybe someone doesn't think my AARs are saintly, for all I know.  But at least I bang them out to an acceptable level of production values, for the time spent and the money paid ($0).

I really wish there were something other than a "YouTube learning curve" in front of me as to how to get people to actually pay attention to a SMAC mod.  That's what I'm presently seeing though.  Don't know what else there is to do.

Well I've posted to /r/4Xgaming.  That's a 10x bigger crowd than /r/alphacentauri.  I added some forum specific ad copy to my SMACX AI Growth mod 1.25 post, for the benefit of people who may have never heard of SMAC before.  Also a pictoral reference and link to my recent AAR, "Vote NERVE GAS", for people who don't immediately want to learn how to play the game.  It's a package deal, pretty slick.  This will test the limit of what Reddit can do for exposure.  If it doesn't amount to much, then at least I learned!

The early returns are 38 upvotes on /r/4Xgaming vs. a mere 14 upvotes on the more dedicated /r/alphacentauri.  The former has 12.5k subscribers, the latter a mere 811.  That forum just doesn't have critical mass / health.  Hardly any communication.  I will not worry seriously about where to put my release information anymore, it'll get posted in both groups.  I feel stronger about making that move, now that my content is "mature".  Not like I'm trying to pass off anything untested or half-baked in the "serious" 4X forum.  I mean, Brad Wardell hangs out there, I don't feel like looking bad in front of the occasional such person.

I've looked at a fair amount of YouTube stuff specifically about SMAC.  Energy has gotten put into it over the years.  Some of it recent.

The heavy duty quill18 guy played a Gaian game earlier this year, and he's got half a million subscribers.  He didn't get half a million views and he didn't finish the game AFAICT, but he did do 13 episodes on it.  His 1st episode had ~60k views, the 2nd had ~20k, and then I think it trailed off, maybe ending in ~10k.  He's also done Zhakarov and Morgan in the past, years ago, so clearly he likes the game.  He plays a lot of Civ too.  And somebody from New Zealand (?) sent him "Canadian" chocolate.  That's the last thing I learned in that episode, that people will send this guy chocolate.  He's alright!

Then there's some guy who nobody's heard of, who has no following, who's only got like 100 subscribers and made a video so thankful that people broke that number for him, doing a Zhakarov game as recently as 1 week ago.  I think he had 1 view and I might have bumped it to 2!

There's a guy that did a fake movie version of SMAC, using the opening music and narration, but substituting his own version of characters and scenes from other films.  He picked the ancient Asian guy from Inception, to stand in for Chairman Yang!  Harsh.  I think that project was only 2 years old.

There's 2 guys who did a 2.5 hour video about SMAC, within the past 2 years I think.  I haven't watched much of that because, you know, 2.5 hours.  But hey, it's cool... who is watching videos that long?  Good grief!

Anyone who looked like they seriously liked the game, I made a comment and made a terse pitch for my mod.  2 potentials in that.  One is that one of those YouTube channelers might choose to play it, really like it, spread word about it, and in the best of all possible worlds do an episode about it.  That's too much to hope though, as I expect their "bread and butter" is doing lots of different games.  Still, you can't predict, because even the mighty quill18 has revisited games a few times.

Another is that when discussion about a video has died out, my final post is on top!  So if anyone actually goes searching YouTube for SMAC, they're likely to run into my comment with URL for the mod.

A week later, the post on /r/4Xgaming is at 41 upvotes.  That's about as well as most posts can be expected to do in that forum, i.e. I've matched a long, ongoing discussion about whether EndlessSpace is worth recommending on a curated Steam page.  Downloads of the mod itself have reached 38, a new high mark, about 10+ more downloads than any previous that I recall.  So releasing on that subreddit was definitely worth something.

Meanwhile, the upvotes on /r/alphacentauri haven't moved.  I guess that forum is pretty dead.

This morning in /r/4Xgaming I posted about GOG's Black Friday sale of SMAC for $1.49.  It is now the 2nd most upvoted post of the past 3 months.


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