So for the past year and a half I’ve been running this game development group called Bit Phoenix Software (formerly “Watercolor Games,” I need to update my username here lol) as a hobby. I’m looking into turning it into a full-time career and into an actual company when I get out of highschool and finish college. First I’d like to spread the word about my little community and see if I could actually manage it.
I have a few questions about it though and I could use some advice. For those curious, I’m hosting it at https://community.watercolorgames.net/ (I need to get a new domain name, I know) with the help of @HAWK and @pfaffman (those two are awesome. :))
So…here I go I guess.
How can I properly organize my categories?
I’ve been looking at some blogs and some posts here on good practices for category organization but I’m really not sure if I’m on the right track.
I want to be able to post updates for my own games, while also allowing people in my community to freely discuss programming/game development, etc, and ask for advice much like I’m doing here. I also want to create a general hangout spot.
Finally I’d like to have a place where people can post their own games and get feedback from the rest of the community. I feel like that could really help people get their foot in the door when it comes to building a community around their games as well as seeing if their game would be well-received.
Where would be some good spots to spread the word about this community?
Our community is very small right now and I’d really like to grow it. I’m about to release the first alpha build of my game as well and I myself would like to see how well it’s received. I know I can’t just roll up here or on some rando forum and advertise it, and YouTube suffers from the same sorts of issues when it comes to getting the word out, so… I’m really not sure.
One of the issues I’ve definitely noticed as well is our Discord server despite being inacyive a lot of the time because of the small community, it’s way more active than the forum. Seems like people tend to prefer the Discord over it and I’d like to give people a reason to use both. Announcements/updates are easier to post to the forum for me, I can do it from school, and things posted on the forum are more “permanent” in that they don’t get buried by other topics as much. Keeping in mind that a Discord chat is… a chat… so naturally there’s a frequent amount of little messages going in rather than a forum where there are less frequent posts going in but they’re more in-depth.
What would you guys recommend I set up for my use case?
Are there any plugins I should install, settings I should set, etc., for my use case? I’d like to get the most out of Discourse because…out of all the community platforms I’ve tried over the years (phpBB, MyBB, Drupal forums, etc)., Discourse has the best user experience and feels the most modern to me. I really like how clean it is even though it’s definitely not as easy to set up as something like phpBB.
Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for the advice.
EDIT: So that’s a bit of a sack in the face… I just found out my domain name’s about to expire next week so I need to get the Discourse instance reconfigured… Yikes…