I'm not sure if this is where I should ask this as it might be opinion based so I apologize.

I am creating a game and I would like to know at what point in development I should reveal it to the public. An example would be posting on a forum about the language I am using, and having that post announce the game.

I am wondering how close to completion I should have the game before I begin to reveal it.

edit: Lets say that the game is a puzzle game similar to portal in style however without using a portal gun.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is really an opinion-based question. For example, my current puzzle game is nearing completion, but it would be so easy to rip off, that I haven't announced it because my progress is so slow that someone could beat me to market easily. \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Nov 11 '15 at 21:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wrote something that might help you here. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Nov 11 '15 at 21:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is the typical kind of fringe question: it is clearly opinion-based, thus infringing this site rules, but still potentially interesting for beginners. I thought about flagging it for closure due to that problem, but I myself opted to just flag it for moderation attention. \$\endgroup\$ – MAnd Nov 12 '15 at 0:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am aware of how opinion based this question is as I previously stated, however I didn't know where to ask this and I figured it would help other people as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Cronnoc Nov 12 '15 at 0:30

As early as possible.

There is no reason to keep your game secret. Creating a public development blog, for example, is a great way to document your thoughts and keep yourself motivated. A modest audience of interested people might give you some valuable feedback, even when all you post is still conceptual.

There is really no reason to be afraid someone might rip off your ideas and beat you to market.

  1. The documentation of your progress is proof you had the idea first.
  2. Ideas are far less valuable than you think. Everyone has great game ideas (at least they sound good in their heads...). And just like you, they would rather prefer to work on their own ideas, and not those of someone else. The only ideas people rip off are those which are proven to be commercially successful, and that proof won't come before you start selling your game.
  3. A single idea or good core game mechanic doesn't make a good game. A quality game is one where all the components fit together. When you look at the most successful games, you will notice that very few of them really did anything of matter which was completely new (and with those which did, the idea was often something where nobody else though that one could actually make it work well). What they did better than other games is not just do every single component of the game better than average, but also fitted them together well. And this is something you can not "rip off". At least not without actually experiencing the finished product.

But a really aggressive marketing campaign which actually takes considerable energy and resources does only make sense when there is already something playable. Unless your release date is already scheduled, there is no reason yet to push your product into your customers faces.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, I did consider letting the community know while I am developing it so I can get feedback, now I will. \$\endgroup\$ – Cronnoc Nov 11 '15 at 21:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Useful insights. \$\endgroup\$ – david van brink Nov 12 '15 at 1:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would be careful about revealing games that are still in-development. First-time announcements usually generate a lot more views; if they see the game is barely started, or very poorly done, they won't return. I've been burned on that a few times. \$\endgroup\$ – ashes999 Nov 12 '15 at 2:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ideas and mechanics do not have copyright. Therfore your answer is right for big games that will benefit from a large community other then getting the name out. For much smaller games with unique mechanics I would not advice this. Just hype those a couple of days or weeks before release to spread the word and kickstart the release. \$\endgroup\$ – Madmenyo Nov 12 '15 at 22:36

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