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Game Design Secrets by Wagner James Au

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Optimizing Your Game’s Web Presence

Although it’s a good idea to build up an audience of fans on large sites like Kongregate, you’ll probably want to draw traffic to your own site, where you can fully control the experience around your game, and better yet, collect much more of the money it earns. The following sections provide tips for optimizing your game’s web presence.

Put as Much Thought into Your Web Page Design and Advertising Deployment as Your Game Design—and Track Changes!

“It has been very surprising to us how much difference small changes on the site can affect the amount of money we make,” says Matthew Annal.

This advice is especially important for web game developers who want to host their own games (which is why I spelled it out in such a long subtitle). It’s not enough to have a site that can handle heavy traffic and displays well on all the major browsers. The site itself is the frame for your games, and how it appears on the site can impact how much money you make. Nitrome originally developed and published its games by instinct, but eventually learned to track how changes to their site layout impacted user behavior, such as click-through rates, which translate into more revenue.

“It is only by monitoring what you change that you can really see what works,” says Annal. “For example, at one point we added a new tab to the website to link to all of the multiplayer games.” (See Figure 8-5.) “That tab, which took minutes to add, ended up making us more money ...

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