Just a quick blog today. I'm going to be comparing the number of hits different amateur game-development websites get, alongside a range of other statistics. A pretty simple thing to do when there are sites like alexa.com out there on the internet so don't be expecting anything too flashy, I just thought that it'd be an interesting thing to do.
The sites that I'm going to be comparing are as follows:
www.rpgmaker.net - Probably the biggest RPGMaker community on the internet. It also freely hosts a lot of games created with other development programs. I personally think it is one of the most complete amateur development communities out there, but I'm pretty biased!
www.gamejolt.com - A more recent community that hosts a wide variety of games created with a range of different makers. Has a unique advertisement sharing model that shares the ad-revenue that adeveloper's web-pages receive with the developer themselves. I host downloads for my games here.
www.hbgames.org - Development forum and community that supports a range of different makers. Unlike the above websites, they don't host game-pages for separate games, preferring a regular "forum" format. I'm not a massive fan of the site, but the community their is really strong!
www.rpgrevolution.com - Another RPGMaker community. Its website is pretty broken and lacks a lot of features, whereas the community are often ridiculed for some of the games they produce/idolise. However, the community is pretty strong and supportive, so it surpassed some of the above sites in that respect.
www.yoyogames.com - The home community of the Game Maker crowd. Hosts a massive amount of games made both with and without Game Maker (mostly with) and has a large community of people helping each other use that program. I've never actually used Game Maker because it is mostly used for making platformers and the like, but I respect the community.
On to the actual comparisons:
As you can clearly see, the yoyogames.com Game Maker community is far stronger than any of the RPGMaker communities. Being the central hub and official site of a rather popular program makes it the obvious choice to lead in terms of this statistic.
I think that this, compared with the above, shows how dedicated the RPGMaker community is despite its lower number of members. I think this is also a predictable result, as a lot of people in the RPGMaker community have been at it for a long time and put a lot of work into pushing the community forwards. The rpgmaker.net stats are particularly impressive and I'd kinda like to know what those spikes in activity are related to. Shame I'm not psychic!
Surprisingly, despite being the home-site for Game Maker, yoyogames.com doesn't have a large number of visits that come directly from searches. You would think that the name of the program would result in a lot of hits, but apparently that isn't the case. In fact, this is also true of rpgmaker.net, as you'd think that a higher percentage of their hits came from searches... if you didn't already know from the previous graph that most of the site's hits come from dedicated users. Not much to learn from this.
Hmmm... so what can we make from all this?
- The Game Maker community gets a larger amount of attention, followed by the RPGMaker community. Communities that focus less on a specific maker (Gamejolt and HBGames) seem to garner less attention.
- The RPGMaker community is incredibly dedicated, as shown by the large number of daily pageviews coming from specific members of the community.
- Search engine hits don't account for as many of the hits the sites get as you might've thought. This makes sense with the RPGMaker communities given that their userbase is mostly made up of people who go there often (see the above point), but makes less sense for the Game Maker community. That the broader communities get less hits from searches isn't a surprise, as only specific searches for games within those communities are likely to yield results and people don't often search for specific, amateur games.