Having had a lengthy discussion on this topic over at StarbaseUGC, a few days back, I thought I'd ask the forum. What is the secret to getting your new foundry mission played? You can go through the mission list and see that some authors missions get thousands of plays while others are hardly even touched. How do these authors spread the word? Some say "Get reviewed on a podcast." Ok, that's one way. "Make a trailer for your mission". that's another way, but where do you play this trailer? "Advertise on the forums". That's all well and good, too. Having done that, I can say that the post has been looked at many times, but I have seen no new plays or reviews as a result. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this. Thanks.
I haven't released any missions yet, but I would imagine that mass-advertising is key. The more people who hear about the mission, the more who play it. The more who like it, the higher it gets in the "Highest rated" list. The higher in that list, the more it gets played.
The only tool I have is the forums and those who do reviews. I don't have the skill, ability, or zeal to make trailers or even banners. The only tools I have are the reviews from podcasts, forum members, and my in game reputation.
I do have some things working in my favor though that I know; the biggest one being the Fan Favorite character of Amanda Barclay. The Barclay name is a fan favorite when it comes to Star Trek, so that no doubt grabbed attention, but it really relies on my missions and what I put out there to back it up.
Also, winning the Spotlight as a reward for the Foundry Challenge #3, as well as the challenge itself, also got my name out there.
The biggest thing to getting my missions played is just making sure my missions are up to my standard and to keep putting those missions out there. Reviews help for the population that read/watch them, but just getting my name out there with something people appreciate with it is all I can really bank on. Captain Revo has the same good deal going for him I think. In a sense so does Nagus, since his population know what they are getting when they play his. And to his credit they aren't console clickers, they are just simple patrol missions in a sense. It gets people looking at the content and perhaps interested in something else at least.
I know the only reason one of my best missions (IMO) crawled out from a 3.75 rating and 34 1 stars due to season 4 was because people played my other missions, probably a Barclay one, then checked to see what else I had done. The same thing with my luck in having my Computer's Children missions topping the charts for so long. People liked it, checked what else I put out.
It's why I am elated that the foundry in future incarnations will have a subscribe feature. That's instant notification. Some Authors will have easily over 100 plays in an hour. Others who get a sub from a few folks for a mission they put out earlier will get sudden recognition and a chance to improve their name and reputation. Complete win.
Keep putting out missions people like,
see a lot of them say "Checking out other works from this author."
Getting noticed is definitely one of the more difficult aspects of the Foundry. Sometimes all you can do is beg your friends to play it just to get it the 5 reviews to get it out of purgatory.
If you worry about getting plays (some don't, me I live for getting moar playz) the best advice I can give is to FIRE EVERYTHING!
-Post on the forums. First create a flashy signature, or even a non-flashy one, it isn't too difficult. Even if its just colorful text with the title of the mission, that's better than nothing. Then post, a lot, not even specifically in relation to your mission. Just post on other topics, and your sig will do the rest. Do look for related discussion topics as well. Maybe there's a thread about some Foundry trick that you used, so suggest people check out your mission if they want to see it in action.
-Try to get your mission on a podcast or a videocast. Most of our podcasters and videocasters are great people who are more than willing to add your mission to their queue. Don't expect it to happen right away though, they often have a backlog of requests. They can usually be found in the Starbase UGC chatroom. Beware though, it is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
-Participate in the contests, those missions are guaranteed to get at least some plays. And if people like your contest entry, they may play your other missions as well.
-Let BranFlakes know you'd like to be considered for a spotlight.
-Post on Starbase UGC.
-Create a t-shirt with the name of your mission on it and parade around Time Square (hey, it could work).
-Make a trailer.
-Throw your mission out there in Zone chat.
-Be patient. The vast majority of Foundry missions do not get 1,000 plays overnight. Sure, some authors have 30,000 plays, but they are few and far between. I've been around since the Foundry began, and one of my first missions is only now nearing 1,000 plays. So be patient, if you build it, they will come.
We had a small chat about this in StarbaseUGC. One thing that was speculated was how the level requirement factors into the amount of plays a mission gets. A Klingon-centric fed mission would be accessible to everyone while a mission with the Borg (even if its just one lonely npc group) would cause it to be locked out to all but Admiral level players.