[Tales of Entropy] Questions on marketing


Eero encouraged me to start a thread on marketing. My game is now out there, published and in most sales-venues already (DriveThruRpg:s paperback version is still under works). But what about marketing an rpg in these days, especially an "underground" drama game like this?

I must admit that I am not very marketing-oriented. I am much more at home in the gaming table or designing rules, or even when speaking to a crowd of people who are interested. But the game is out now, so no harm on thinking what can I do to make it spread out there.

The things I have done:
- Web pages (I update them currently using the good advice you gave me in previous thread that Eero put up)
- Facebook page
- Sent an email to rpg.net review-staff (few weeks ago, nobody has answered)
- Creating sales-venues locally here in Finland (local game retailers)
- Creating sales-venues internationally (book is published through Createspace, Amazon kdp and DriveThruRpg)
- Attended the largest game convention in Finland, had a publishing interview -event and played some short demos. I plan to continue this whenever possible.
- Content in the Facebook: I started a "Scenario of the Week" thread, where I introduce one scenario per week, with a little information of the writing of the scenario as well as some actual play experience we had with it.

Something I think I might need but haven't got yet:
- Reviews: Can you tell me, who reviews story/drama games nowadays and where? I would gladly send electronic versions of the game for reviews.
- Actual play reports: Perhaps here in story games. I have tons of actual play with the game as we playtested it for two years but it sounds bit cheap to bombard forums with actual play reports of your own game.
- Perhaps some other content in facebook, at least if I gain a decent following there.

Do you have any ideas you can share me? Perhaps we could collect a list of things that could be put as a sticky post to the forum to help all those game developers who struggle issues like this.


  • One thing that we haven't discussed much is that maybe you should think about G+ as well as Facebook? I understand that the latter is much more popular than the former in general, but it also seems to be the case that G+ has an active story games culture. At least I hear a lot more about the G+ story games groups than I do about whatever the equivalent in Facebook is.

    Aside from RPG.net, here and the social networks, are there any other virtual platforms where people interested in this sort of stuff congregate? I'm asking, because I am frankly out of the loop.
  • edited July 2017
    G+ is a pretty good avenue for finding reviewers. Aside from the Communities focusing on Game Design and particular podcasts, there is also a Community for Tabletop Podcasts in general, with a subcategory for seeking reviews...

  • edited August 2017
    When is the book coming? I will buy the PDF, but I think some of us really like to have the physical format.

    This might be for your next game's marketing: I became interested because I was given a version that you were working on prior to finishing the final version...in other words, sometimes an open playtest can help...I'm not sure if you did this or not, but it can help a bit...at least it does for people like me...maybe something to consider for next time. Anyway, any info regarding when you think you'll get the book out would be appreciated :-)

    P.S. I would also put some AP videos up on YouTube. Eric Vugaris does lots of videos about story games. His channel focuses entirely on indie games. As these games become more popular I think that his channel will be a place that more and more people go to see APs and learn about these games. Anyway, he does a segment called "Once Upon a Game," where he plays indie games with indie designers.

    Maybe try to get an AP on The RPG Academy Podcast.

    Also, word-of-mouth from people that are respected in the community, helps a lot. I wanted to get your game from the get go because I trusted the person who recommended it to me. I haven't even read your game yet; the person just said that they had been playing the game a lot and that it was similar to the types of games I'm interested in. I always make an attempt to publicize the games that I like; hopefully from word of mouth your audience can grow.

    It would be really cool of you, once you're done with the process, to make a post about what worked regarding marketing and what didn't…I think it would be very useful for those of us that will be publishing games soon. Marketing may seem like a dirty word, but for me it has nothing to do with money; I just want my games to have a wide audience. I hate the idea that there is a game as good as Fiasco out there that no one is playing because no one knows about it. Anyway, good luck and congratulations on finishing and publishing your game! :smiley:
  • I really appreciate your input, I'll put these steps on my to-do list to do them asap.

    I didn't do an open playtest as in any conscious effort. I just had the rules on wiki for myself and for the people testing the game, it was not restricted or anything but I didn't inform anyone of its existence.

    Jeff, the game is already on paper (the createspace version). You can buy it from amazon or from Createspace store directly. Here is the link. Only the drivethru-version is not yet completed and I am jumping through the hoops (and bothering Eero with file conversions) to get it done.

    And thanks, it feels great to have the game finally out there!
  • For the Finnish audience, you might also want to contact Loki at https://roolipeliloki.com/, and maybe write a short news report to Roolipelitiedotus at https://roolipelit.wordpress.com/.
  • Indeed Roolipelitiedotus and Loki would be good approaches in Finland.
  • edited August 2017
    I'm having trouble opening your site for some reason. I also had trouble before, when Eero originally posted it. Is there another link you can provide so I can buy the print version?
  • (I don't have any trouble with the website. Maybe it's not mobile-friendly? Are you looking at it on your phone by any chance, Jeff?)
  • Yes, I will try my computer. Thanks :-)
  • That seems odd as it is written on top of a responsive html-template. Can you please elaborate what kinds of problems you have with the site. I would very much like to fix it if possible.

    Anyway the direct link to createspace store is https://www.createspace.com/7233894 and if you prefer Amazon then https://www.amazon.com//dp/1547207876/
  • The page won't load...it tries to and then gives me this message:
    "Safari could not open the page because the server responding"
  • Safari hmm. It could be a mac issue then. I don't have one and for such haven't been able to test the site with mac. I'll check whether safari can be found for windows and test the pages with that. Thanks for the info.
  • edited August 2017
    A bit of a progress report.

    I hacked the www-pages a bit according to the advice I was given here in the other thread (http://www.talesofentropy.com). It now has a responsive menu element at the top of the page, this made it possible to make the pages shorter and more clear.

    Meanwhile I am waiting for the DriveThruRPG:s paperback department to answer whether my files are valid. It seems to take a long time. I also sent an inquiry to rpg.net:s review department, nothing to mention yet from there.

    Oh yeah and the man responsible for Once Upon a Game podcast was interested so I sent him the book files. Now I am chewing my nails and waiting whether something happens :smile:

    One Finnish con down and another coming in the beginning of September. I am going to do short (30-45 minutes) demos of the game over there.

    So Jeff, I guess you bought the book right? Someone did from Amazon at least.
  • Did ya, Jeff? Any thoughts?
  • edited August 2017
    Did ya, Jeff? Any thoughts?
    I bought the PDF and Book but haven't cracked it open yet. Got them from Drivethrurpg and Amazon respectively. Looks really cool :-)
  • Thanks so much Jeff.

    One thing I forgot to ask in my previous post. The article series "Scenario of the Week". What type of content would you like to see in such entries? My idea is to first tell something about the writing process and then if possible something of the actual play of that particular scenario. Perhaps I have missed something that could be beneficial to such a concept.

    There are now three entries: http://www.talesofentropy.com/#scenariodb
  • Hi Petteri,
    I'm on my iPhone and have trouble accessing your site with it, but I will be on my computer later and check it out then and offer some ideas. I definitely like the idea of outlining the scienero process through written instructions if I'm understanding you correctly. Anyway, when I get a chance I'll check it out and get back to you. Thanks :smile:
  • That website thing is so weird. I tried with some online iphone emulator and the pages opened fine. Tried googling about the template I used and problems with Iphone and didn't find a thing. I got to get my hands on a device so I can try it.
  • I'm on an iPhone, I'm using Safari, and I'm on a sketchy wifi connection abroad. Decided to try it, just out of curiosity: It's loading absolutely fine. (And even looks great.)

    (For what it's worth!)
  • edited August 2017
    Could it be because I'm in the U.S.? I've tried it multiple times on different days and it won't load; and, I really want it to, haha :smiley:
  • I was in the US at the time!
  • That is really weird. Jeff, does the direct address to the scenario database work:
    http://www.talesofentropy.com/scenarios/ ?
  • (Again, works completely fine for me, even on an iPhone using Safari.)
  • edited August 2017
    (Again, works completely fine for me, even on an iPhone using Safari.)
    Are you just trying to rub it in now, Paul :-(

  • Ok, I literally just tried to access the website on my Desktop computer and it wouldn't load on that either...whether I used the regular site or the scenarios page? I'm at a loss?
  • (Oh, no! He's on to me...)


    Try getting your friends, neighbours, or fellow gamers to access it. See if it's some kind of local/provider phenomenon? Maybe the Church of Mormon isn't allowing access to Tales of Entropy for local residents? (I dunno; I'm at a loss here.)
  • Maybe the Church of Mormon isn't allowing access to Tales of Entropy for local residents?
    Haha :smiley:

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