Why Is It So Difficult to Submit Games to Linux Gaming Sites?

On Monday, I posted the official announcement that the next version of “Stop That Hero!”, aka the Sound Update, has been released.

Existing customers received an email with a link to their copy a couple of weeks ago. There’s a demo available this time, and I’m looking forward to getting feedback about this new version.

I wanted to submit the news to a few Linux-focused sites, but it’s been a bit of a pain to do so. For some reason, many sites don’t seem to handle form data correctly.

When I went to submit a news item to LXer.com, I had some difficulty with a difference between what I submitted and what came back when I previewed the item. It did get published, but the headline was changed by someone to “Announcing the Sound Update”, which makes sense on a site about the game, but isn’t so attention-grabbing on a site that publishes many posts each day.

I learned that The Linux Game Tome updated their forums this past summer, and now submitting or updating entries in their game database is broken. Since no new submissions have arrived since June, according to their main page, I’m going to assume that other people haven’t been able to do so either. I sent an email to the staff and am waiting to hear back.

SubmitANewsItem

And LinuxGames.com needs you to use HTML to format your entry, but if you click Preview, the page reloads and your text is gone. If you click submit, it looks like the same result, only it takes a lot longer to load, so hopefully it got through? You’d have no idea because the site doesn’t indicate that you’ve submitted anything.

And these sites aren’t the only ones with problematic submission forms. In some cases, I have no obvious way to contact the site owners, so I can’t even email someone to say, “Hey, I think I’m having trouble using your site.”

What gives?

It’s 2012. Haven’t best practices for HTML form validation been around for long enough? Why do your users need to be aware of HTML markup to correctly use your website? Why does it feel like there is some trick to it? It’s too bad because I really like these sites, but contributing to them is always awkward and confusing.

What has your experience been when it comes to submitting news of your game to enthusiast sites?

5 comments to Why Is It So Difficult to Submit Games to Linux Gaming Sites?

  • Well these are Linux geeks we are talking about.
    You cannot expect them to even understand easy-of-use or gui development.

  • You’d probably have an easier time submitting your press release if you would just ssh into the server and submit via terminal like a normal linux user. There’s probably a sample SQL query for adding an entry somewhere in the site’s FAQ. Pretty simple. (It was a joke. I use Linux, so I am allowed to make such jokes.)

    In all seriousness, though, I’m sending you some information on this topic through the contact form on your blog. Unfortunately it’s not something I can publish in the comments here.

  • Shaun Hamman

    Did you hit view source on the page, fix the incorrect bits, and submit the fix to the webmaster hoping that he feels like accepting submissions?

  • Yeah, I’ve encountered the same problems. πŸ™

    Another good gaming site to submit to is gamingonlinux.com. This site has started growing recently, especially with LGT getting stale.

  • Yep, that site is on my list. I’m also looking into creating a trailer so I can submit to PenguSpy.

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