Submitted by Duion on
As an open source game developer I needed to search for methods to market my game and since the mainstream market is not my main target group I needed to search for alternative ways for marketing. So I searched what open source gaming communities there are and also what Linux gaming communities there are, but there were not that many active ones and the "active" ones I found basically all live in denial and therefore are as good as inactive.
Let me explain some of my experiences, for example there was a Linux gaming community I joined and thought "Hey that is exactly what I need, maybe I can reach some new target audience there and make some friends to play games etc". After I joined I tried to talk to people and created a page to promote my game, but after some time I noticed that this whole undertaking basically gave me close to zero new visitors. I thought, maybe I was not good enough or made mistakes in my presentation etc, but then went to some analytic tools that you can use on other peoples websites and they give you rough estimates about the traffic and relevance and I found out, they had almost no traffic.
My next logical conclusion was to tell the people running that website and community about my findings like: "Hey guys did you know that you have no traffic? And did you know that your community did not grow in almost a decade? Have you ever considered doing something about it?".
The replies were quite irritated, some ignored it and others tried to justify things like: "Oh we do not need doing advertising, we are doing fine" or "Oh we do not need to do anything, because we are not commercial".
That amount of insanity and denial just struck me, I mean commercial or not, you are running a business or something similar to a business and you still have a goal to achieve something and if you are not achieving anything over many years, then maybe, just maybe it is time to reconsider and do something about it. For people in denial however there is no problem with that, they can run a failure project basically forever and still pretend everything is fine, but I'm not in denial and want to achieve something for real. However most other people do not seem to want to achieve anything for real, they seem to be satisfied with pretending to have achieved something. In the end I think they even banned me, I don't remember exactly, but what I know for sure is that they were pretty pissed off and did not want me there anymore, so I left.
Oh I just realize I already wrote about that problem here: https://duion.com/blogs/why-most-open-source-communities-never-grow you can read that as well, since it is related, but I will keep on writing on this one, since that topic is really important, but I will not make all the examples I made again.
So what other communities you can go to to advertise your open source game? Well there is this "certain" open source gaming community that controls almost all the open source gaming communities, the only problem with them is, they also have no visitors and do not grow. They are even worse than the Linux gaming communities, since they are even more in denial and are very motivated to censor you, if you mention the uncomfortable facts, as they banned me multiple times and even deleted or modified some of my posts.
Almost all of the open source gaming community also suffers from a zero growth in customers, but even worse is, that they cannot see the problem. I mean you can try to tell them and back things up with statistics and such, but it seems they literally cannot see it. If you get too obtrusive they will just censor and ban you. Those open source gaming communities also die from time to time and they disappear, but the people from the community cannot even see that.
I then tried to at least find people I can play some open source games with, but this was also a close to impossible undertaking. What are communities then good for, if you cannot do anything with them? I think those people just like to be in a group and validate each other and don't really care to actually achieve anything.
I'm into open source game development for almost 8 years now and I never witnessed anything significant happen in the scene or received significant help from any of them, but the worst part of all that is, I also never met anyone who is even able to see the problem and try to do something about it.
In the commercial real world this is the most obvious and logical thing to do, you try to achieve something and measure your results and when they are not good, you try to do something to improve your results, since they are not in denial. Of course many business owners are also in denial, but they don't survive long, since they will go bankrupt soon.
Imagine the insanity, in the real business world big companies are investing millions and billions to make progress and employ hundreds and thousands of people and they try every dirty trick in the book to get ahead and what do the open source communities do? Nothing absolutely nothing and the most insane part of all is, that they don't even see a problem in that and keep saying "We are doing fine" and that after they have been beaten by the enemy so hard, that they are well below 0.1% market share.
I did some research into psychology, because I just could not grasp that amount of insanity, but in psychology it is described that people in denial are like that, because they are faced with facts that are too uncomfortable to accept, so they just deny them and deny reality, no matter how much proof you give them. Now I can understand a bit why being in denial is so rampant in the scene, because the commercial companies are just too big and powerful to compete with, so they just deny that there is competition, even though those companies are explicitly hostile towards for example open source and try everything to destroy it.
Open source gaming is a bit like being an alcoholic that is in denial about him being an alcoholic. I mean I was partly in denial myself, I thought for a relatively long time that open source gaming does exist and makes progress, but slowly over time I came to the realization that it is basically nonexistent except for a few insane people that still play the same games from 10-20 years ago, with the same people, making no progress and pretend they are having so much fun and open source gaming is relevant in the world.
I mean what can be so hard with that? I'm not doing serious politics or so, where people deny really serious problems. I just want to have a little escapism now and then and those insane open source people even destroy that through their denial and on the other hand the commercial industry destroys it through their corruption. There seems to be only the choice of corruption or denial for some weird reason I don't understand, since I can be not corrupt and not in denial at the same time with no problem.
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