Publishing your game in Catalog
Any Playdate developer is welcome to submit their finished Playdate game to Catalog, our curated selection of games. If your game is accepted for inclusion in Catalog, here are some tips for making sure it’s presented well to our players.
Table of Contents
You can edit the assets using the Catalog Assets page for your game. This is where you upload art for the Catalog website, and for the Catalog app on Playdate. It’s entirely up to you how you construct these assets, but here’s what we’ve found to work well:
Playdate Website Assets
- You can use full-color images on our website, and doing so might make your game stand out better. Think of these assets as “box art” for games; it’s ok for them to be fantastical or aspirational, rather than reflecting the actual look of your game on Playdate.
- It’s often a good idea to include your game’s name in the assets. If you think your game’s branding is strong enough, or you prefer a more mysterious mood, you can leave the title out—we will usually show it under your game’s art.
- We ask for several asset formats (large, small, wide) because we find that an interesting, varied layout for Catalog is more fun to browse. It’s best to provide all these formats, since we might change the layout and feature your game in a different way.
Catalog App Assets
The Catalog app will, for obvious reasons, show 1-bit art, just like your game.
- Double-check that your game’s art looks good on the Catalog app background. The template files we provide on the Catalog Assets form will help with this. For instance, some dither-pattern backgrounds will interact oddly with the app’s own background, so they should be avoided.
- In the smaller asset sizes here, you won’t have a lot of pixels to work with, so think about how to distill your game’s idea to its essence. Find an image that will be compelling and descriptive, even when tiny.
- Your game screenshots should be Playdate-native: 400 x 240 px, 1-bit, black and white.
- It’s best to capture these in the Playdate Simulator, with the Simulate Device Appearance option turned off. Having this option enabled would generate gray-colored screenshots and GIFs. If you already have gray-colored screenshots, please convert them to pure black and white before uploading.
- You can submit static PNG/GIF files, or animated GIFs. Animations may show off your game more excitingly, so consider including at least one. Try to keep these under ten seconds in length; larger files will take longer to download on Playdate.
- Playdate Mirror captures video, which is handy for sharing on social media. However, it’s not ideal for creating screenshots for your Catalog page; even if you convert these to GIF, it will be done lossily, with a noticeable drop in quality.
You can include a number of external links on your game page. Here are some examples of things to consider linking to:
- The game’s official website somewhere else
- The developer’s website
- A devblog, behind-the-scenes, or post-mortem writeups of the game
- The official soundtrack
- Walkthroughs, playthroughs, tips and hints
- Project page for open-source games
- Notable press coverage of the game
You can specify a few custom colors to match the page to your game’s branding. Please make sure that your color combinations are legible; especially the color of text on buttons, and the color of links against the page background.
Previewing Your Game
The Catalog Asset form will let you preview your game on our website. It’s a good idea to check that things look the way you expected them to.