It's what every RPG Maker user hates... You've spent weeks, months, every second of your spare time crafting the next freeware RPG Maker masterpiece, which you're sure is going to be big. You've crafted the best game out there, written a story to rival the RPG greats, introduced great new features and worked painstakingly on your maps, but there's one thing wrong. Your presentation topic has only 60 views, and nobody's commented for a week now. Unfortunately, some great RPG Maker games out there are often ignored, and the reason is because the creators do not put enough effort into trying to present their game as what it truly is.The Initial Problem
There are dozens of decent indie games out there all over the RPG maker community that are often overlooked. This is not because of their quality, which is what really warrants their playability, but instead the amount of effort that has gone into the presentation thread housing the game. There are hundreds of RPG Maker games out there. Nobody has time to try every single one to see if it is good. Most players will quickly judge a game's worthiness to them by how well it's presentation thread has been put together. Those that stand out will recieve the attention they deserve. Those that just present a name, a features list and two screenshots fall back into the sea of other RPG Maker games. Fortunately, it's easy to make your game shine in it's presentation thread, and this problem can be fixed.Image Selection
The first thing that should be done before the writing of a presentation thread is the selection of images that should be used. Firstly, you should always include screenshots (which will be near the top, not the bottom of the topic as they are usually the things the player will look at first) that are carefully chosen from parts of your game that display quality. You should not just lump off five screenshots from your worstly mapped dungeon. Choose your best looking areas to be featured in the screenshots, and always include screenshots of many different areas. Your best town, dungeon, world map scene and a shot of the menu and a battle (extra points if you can get one showcasing a skill animation) should provide a wide variety of shots from all areas of your game, giving the impression that your game is quality all around.
Next, you should always have a title banner or logo for your thread. Even if this is just a cropped, resized version of your title screen, an image heading off the topic will always look better and more proffesional than a heading written out of simply the enlarged forum font. It's better to get a custom logo photoshopped just for your topic, but if this cannot be done, simply cropping part of your title screen and adding a border around it will look just as good.
Any concept art you may have of your characters and such should be spliced into different parts of the thread as well, it makes it look so much better.
)Presenting The Text
Of course, the images in your thread are used simply to spice things up and to appeal to those who judge your game on their first glance. Most prospective players, after being impressed by your images, will wish to read what you've written about your game. This is often what makes the deal. Whatever you tell them about your game may make them want to play it, or not, if you haven't presented your text well.
Firstly, you should mark off each text sction clearly with a large, bold heading (the forum features options for large, bolded, or underlined texts), so that there is no confusion as to what the player is reading about. You can present the heading "Story" under which only information on your story (a short introduction, don't give it away) is contained. Under this section, leave a blank line, then have your "Characters" heading with text, and so on.
You should present your text in a logical order so that the questions players may have are answered as they come. Often, they will firstly be curious about the story and characters, so you should present these sections of information first, then your features list (only list features unique to your game, such as custom battle systems or graphics, stock standard features such as "a Final Fantasy style menu system" are taken for granted by the player and you won't need to list them. Also, avoid listing ALL your scripts here, only list those that add huge, customized features to your gameplay. Also perhaps list your gameplay time and side quest count here.) and finally, since most of their questions will have been answered by now, the download section. It's wise to include more than one download link here, so that players can always have a backup download if one link doesn't work. If they can't download your game, they WILL NOT play it in the future.Other Tid-Bits
If you can, you should make sure your spelling and grammar, along with punctuation are spot on in all sections of your presentation thread. This makes your thread both easier to read and better looking, and good writing skills in your thread can prove to the player that your writing skills in your game are also of a high standard, which means an easy to understand game and often a good story. This will increase the chances of a download.
You should also provide plenty of incentive for the players to come back to your thread and comment. Encourage them to ask you questions and give you feedback (even negative feedback), give them challenges to complete within your game, encourage them to post their achievements and scores, and soon you'll have a lot of replies to your topic, giving your game the impression of popularity and inviting even more players to try it out.
Finally, on most RPG Maker forums, the members will be more inclined to try a friend's game than a stranger's. Thus, try to become a bit more active on your host forum. Post in other people's projects occasionally, and join in the discussion on other parts of the forum too. If members know you somewhat well, they will feel more like supporting your game and will encourage others to play a game that makes the whole forum proud. Your personal forum friends will often be your first players whenever you release a new game, and they will get the topic started for you with their comments.I Want To Play Your Game!
And there you have it, people. Using the tips I've given you in this guide, you should be able to craft a wonderful presentation thread and make sure that your game gets noticed, as it should be.