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I am in the process of finishing the first open beta for my own browser game. Naturally, I want to have some way for players to get answers on questions they have - maybe by me or (even better) by other players.

As I've been an avid SE user for many years, I thought about just linking to this particular SE page for any questions concerning the game itself (discussions about features, bugs, etc. will be handled in a bug tracker and a board attached to the game).

Of course, this raises the question of this being actually accepted by the community of this site, hence this question.

Has this been discussed and agreed upon? Is there a certain "reach" my game should already have before questions are allowed here? I couldn't find a similar question through the search, so if there is, please redirect me.

I don't want to sugarcoat the facts; of course, using this page to ask and answer questions about my own project is also a not-so-subtle way of raising awareness and popularity of the project itself. The only question is: Is this accepted by the community?

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    If the game is playable and and generally available then people can ask questions about it – user61492 Sep 23 '14 at 12:04
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    Asking questions about your own game... I'd consider that spam. Answering questions that occur naturally about it, with disclosure, is fair enough. – TZHX Sep 23 '14 at 12:11
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    @TZHX Fair point - I would actually not "pro-actively" create questions by myself, because I too believe that qualifies too much as spam. I merely want to tell my users "If you have questions, ask them here, and they will be answered" (probably at first mostly by myself though, but I hope to make other players answer them as well). What do you mean by with disclosure? – F.P Sep 23 '14 at 12:13
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    I suggest that you first educate your players in how to ask a question here at gaming.SE . I think a similar situation was talked about in the stackoverflow meta, where a company essentially redirected their support system there, without giving proper guidance as to how the network works. This has consequences, both for the user and the company. – Doktoro Reichard Sep 23 '14 at 12:22
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    I had similar experience with some companies giving support on SE, too. Here are some questions Is it okay to use Stack Overflow as the support forum for a product or project? and Product support redirects to Stack Overflow. – CSchulz Sep 23 '14 at 12:26
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Short answer: Yes

Long answer: Yes, but make sure you don't break any rules.

Disclosure: I have made games and answered questions about them.

Basically, answering questions that other people genuinely ask about your game is great. Please go ahead and do it. Make sure you add disclosure that you're the creator of the game.

Asking questions about your game that you wrote is slightly shakier ground. As Jeff wrote in his post on MSE, it's about the community adopting your game, rather than forcing them to adopt it. It would be hard to imagine asking legitimate questions that you do not know the answer to about the game you wrote, and seeding lots of questions (self-answered or not) about a game would certainly trigger my self-promotion alarm. (Hint: the self-promotion alarm is hot-wired to the deletion button).

However it's not all bad. As a long-standing member of SE, it's likely requests for playtesting, ideas and support from people in the various SE chat rooms will be accepted. Again, as long as it's not outright promotional, you should get support and encouragement, and this may prompt people to start asking questions on this site.

With regards to directing traffic to the site, go ahead, we love traffic! However the best way to do this might be something along the lines of links with simple instructions that don't promise anything from the existing community or imply that there is any official partnership in place, e.g.

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    You can also consider (if you have already a tag) to use a link which prefills the tag input. – CSchulz Sep 23 '14 at 12:51
  • @CSchulz Does such a thing exist? If so what's the format? – fredley Sep 23 '14 at 12:51
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    Yes it exists, nothing special just ?tags (source). – CSchulz Sep 23 '14 at 12:53
  • Thanks for all the input. I will probably go along and create multiple choices for the players where to ask questions, so only one of those will be Arqade.SE - along with the board. – F.P Sep 23 '14 at 13:16
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Yes, that is cool with us. That said, do not expect preferential treatment for your players :) our definition of "question" is pretty strict and people might be surprised by it.

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Regarding another answer on Meta SE Is it okay to use Stack Overflow as the support forum for a product or project?, I would say it is okay to use SE network as support platform.

I think this idea of using Stack Overflow as an official support forum is inside-out : the community has to adopt the project, find it of interest, and talk about it on Stack Overflow.

There are some companies using SE pages to support its users:

But you should always consider that there could be new users, which don't understand how to use SE.
Probably you can add some information about using SE network and to support the user create a link containing prefilled tags or title.

  • So long as it follows all our rules, yep, no problem. But as Fredley said, attempting to shoehorn it in tends to trigger an allergic reaction from the community. – Frank Sep 23 '14 at 13:19
  • I think Ubuntu actually uses the Ubuntu SE as the official support site as well. – Jon Sep 23 '14 at 21:22

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