2007-03-27 : Google contest

Here's a link to page 62 of a monster RPGnet thread about GNS. The thread itself is, well, what it was destined to be. But here on page 62 someone called Alnag Google-contests some games. Check this out:

"Dungeons & Dragons" - 1 660 000
"Vampire the Masquerade" - 1 200 000
"Dogs in the Vineyard" - 51 400
"My Life with Master" - 29 500

"Dungeons & Dragons" message boards - 877 000
"Vampire the Masquerade" message boards - 160 000
"Dogs in the Vineyard" message boards - 579
"My Life with Master" message boards - 479

"Dungeons & Dragons" supplement - 370 000
"Vampire the Masquerade" supplement - 38 900
"My Life with Master" supplement - 1 980 (only surprise of today's evening, MlwM beating DitV)
"Dogs in the Vineyard" supplement - 773

"Dungeons & Dragons" blog - 950 000
"Vampire the Masquerade" blog - 182 000
"Dogs in the Vineyard" blog - 20 900
"My Life with Master" blog - 10 200

"Dungeons & Dragons" mailing list - 958 000
"Vampire the Masquerade" mailing list - 107 000
"Dogs in the Vineyard" mailing list 771
"My Life with Master" mailing list - 666

"Dungeons & Dragons" game design contest - 140 000
"Vampire the Masquerade" game design contest - 17 200
"Dogs in the Vineyard" game design contest - 493
"My Life with Master" game design contest - 490

"Dungeons & Dragons" con - 866 000
"Vampire the Masquerade" con - 108 000
"Dogs in the Vineyard" con - 834
"My Life with Master" con - 591

His conclusion is that the enthusiasm of my game's players doesn't make my game Dungeons & Dragons' equal. Yeah, it's true. I'm fine with that, and in fact I'm fine with whatever conclusions anyone happens to draw.


According to those numbers, Dogs in the Vineyard is at least 0.1% as well-known as Dungeons & Dragons, up to 3% as well known. Up to 4% as well-known as Vampire: the Sucking. Holy crap dude! That's ENORMOUS.

1. On 2007-03-27, Troy_Costisick said:

For a one-man self publisher like you?  Heck yeah, that's enormous.  You've got a full time job, kids, and a wife you have to look after well before you start promoting DITV.  DnD and V:TR have entire corporations working to promote them.  The fact you can attain 1-4% recognition of them is incredible.

I wonder what the precentages of the amount of money you spend on your game vs. the amount they spend on their games would look like.  I betchya, you get a lot more recognition per dollar spent than they do.




2. On 2007-03-28, Ben Lehman said:

"Polaris" owns all of you.

Of course, most of the hits aren't for me.


3. On 2007-03-28, Matt Wilson said:

For my next game's title, I'm just going to pick a preposition. Take that, Alnag. Fear the mighty numbers of "with."


4. On 2007-03-28, Paul Czege said:

Some percentage of the "My Life with Master" references are folks writing about their dom/sub lifestyle. And I imagine this percentage is greater by far than that of vineyard owners blogging about canine incursions.


5. On 2007-03-28, Moreno R. said:

Do you want even more impressive numbers?

Do a search for "Dogs in the vineyard" and "played"
32.900 hits.

"GURPS" and "played":
163.000 hits
"Ars Magica" and "played":
237.000 hits
"Hero system" and "played":
62.500 hits
"7th seas" and "played":
1260 hits


6. On 2007-03-28, Tobias said:

I think this one is the most significant of all:

"My Life with Master" mailing list - 666


7. On 2007-03-28, Andrew Cooper said:

Let's not forget that Dungeons and Dragons has had a few years to gather that glut of recognition.  If you take those numbers and divide them by the number of years the games have been out then Dogs does even better.


8. On 2007-03-28, Brand Robins said:


Sure, but 11,000 of those "played Dogs" are me and 12,000 of them are Judd. ;)


My next game will now be Big Breasts. You will get many hits for it, and many hits for play and Big Breasts.



Jokes aside, awesome.


9. On 2007-03-29, Jay Loomis said:

What I don't get is:

1.) Does anyone really believe that popularity = quality? (yeah, I know they do, *sigh*)

2.) Did anyone even try to assert that a one-man indie game that's a couple of years old could out google the name recognition giant of the hobby? That your game is even a blip on the D&D radar kinda proves that it's got some penetration.


10. On 2007-03-29, xenopulse said:

Well, "beast hunters" and "played" gives me 3,350 hits, but... there's really only one actual play report out there :)

Interestingly, just going with "beast hunters" nets fewer hits, namely 803. I'm not sure how that works out. (Some strange article is on the top, but at least we get slots 2-5 and several further down.)

I agree with Tobias, by the way.


11. On 2007-03-30, Moreno R. said:

It's because "Beast Hunters" seems to be a character class of something like this in some online game, from what I see looking at some link...  ;-)


12. On 2007-05-06, fifth_child said:

Jay Loomis said:

"2.) Did anyone even try to assert that a one-man indie game that's a couple of years old could out google the name recognition giant of the hobby?"

No.  That was me that Alnag was arguing with over at RPGnet.  I made a point that there is a pretty extensive network of indie gamers, that there's internet presence (in the form of boards like the Forge and Story-Games) as well as con presence, and even brick 'n mortar game stores like EndGames in the Bay Area selling the books.  Alnag came back with "Oh yeah, well D&D's player network is bigger."  Which is, y'know, obvious, and totally not in contention.

I also in that thread made what I felt was a pretty cool comparison between indie gaming and Ani Difranco's music career.


13. On 2007-05-06, PaulCzege said:

Hey Dan,

Please post a link to that thread. I'm interested in seeing your Ani DiFranco comparison.



14. On 2007-05-10, fifth_child said:

Uh, I'm not 100% sure that html works here, so I'll avoid it and just paste the links.  Just to note, I have my options set to view 20 posts per page - the links may not work right if your options are different.

You can find the whole thread at:
Be warned though - it's truly massive, and was pretty much a completely useless trainwreck for the first ... oh, maybe 300 posts before a couple of us managed to wrestle it around to a more interesting direction.

The branch of the argument that eventually led to the Googling started here:
with post #611.  It culminates with the actual Googling in post #618.

Finally, the Ani DiFranco thing was here:
in post #872.

Yes, that thread was a massive, massive beast, with a total of 952 posts.  I don't recommend reading the whole thing unless you've got a lot of spare time.


15. On 2007-06-10, Alnag said:

Oh, I am happy that Google contest is so popular here, despite it is somewhat limited tool. Anyway, some of the conclusions here are pretty weird such as dividing by years, because information penetration didn't work that way.

And yes DitV is pretty popular, nevertheless, that was not point of my argument. Still, it is good to see the data saved here, if you are interested you can run it a year later, and than another year later... that way you can actually watch trends.

Trends are actually more interesting than just currnet numbers. And D&D seems to me as a good reference, to put the trends in perspective.

Hope, you don't mind my intrusion. :-D


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