Brass Lantern
the adventure game web site


Promoting Your New Text Adventure, Page 2

by Stephen Granade

If you are mainly interested in having the interactive fiction community play and comment on your game, then for the most part your job is done. If you want your game to be more widely played, though, you'll have to do more legwork.

One thing you can do is announce your game on some of the bulletin boards run by various adventure game web sites:

As with your post to, you need to get people interested in your game without overselling it. If you created a Windows and/or a Mac executable from your game, point people to those rather than a platform-independent file; otherwise, you'll also need to tell people where to get interpreters to play your game.

Remember that none of the above sites focus on text adventures. Don't expect the people on their bulletin boards to be familiar with text adventures, let alone TADS or Inform. Also realize that, if you can spare the time, it's worth taking part in the various sites' communities ahead of time. Contribute to some of the discussions and let the regulars get to know you.

The other thing you can do is submit your game to some of the many online software archives other than the IF Archive. Those archives are only interested in operating-system-specific programs. That means no TADS .gam files, no Inform .z5 or .z8 games, no Hugo .hex games.

One of the more well-known is, which lists Windows, DOS, Mac, and Linux programs, among others. If you visit there, near the bottom of the main page is a "submit a file" link. doesn't actually archive files; instead, it links to the file on some other archive. If you uploaded a Windows or Mac version of your game to the IF Archive, you can use that for your first download link and the copy held on the mirror site for your second. Do know that is rather spotty about listing text adventures. I've had games listed on there, only to find them gone some months later. Others have never gotten their games listed at all. Still, if you can get your game added to you'll get people playing your game who otherwise would never have seen it.

Tucows is a large repository of freeware and shareware programs for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Unlike, Tucows will keep a copy of your game on their servers. You will have to create an account with them before you can upload your game, but doing so is free.

Another good site is, which archives Windows programs. Unlike and, this site actually archives files, much as the IF Archive does.

Finally, if you created a Mac version of your game, you can submit it to the Info-Mac Hyperarchive, a huge archive of Macintosh programs. Like the IF Archive and, Info-Mac actually archives the programs submitted to it. Check their submission guidelines before you upload your game.

Once you've added your game to additional archives and announced your game on the web site bulletin boards, you're done. Now sit back, and with any luck more people will play your game than would have otherwise.

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