Here is a little experience feedback that might intereset you :
When I made my first little demo, I proudly mailed my friends and offered them the .love, plus a link to the Löve exe (they all use Windows).
But people are reaaaally lazy when things are not directly to their own personnal profit. Very few of my friends made the effort to grab Löve on the website and double click my .love to test.
Plus, they generaly don't want to install stuff on their computer when it's "just to see what your game looks like".
And explaining them about the non-installer binary takes additional "per-person" convincing... In fact, even having to tell them to drag and drop the .love on the Löve exe is too much for most of them. Half the person who tried told me "yeah I wanted to try your game but it didn't work, there was just a green monster oscillating". They had totally ignored the instruction.
Personally, the way Löve works is fine by me. But the "pre-game" is part of the experience too, and a non standard installation/launching is really bad for standard users.
With a way of having the whole engine + data in one file, I suppose the distributing scheme would be as follows (I would do it that way anyway):
- the three complete exes, one for each OS
- the universal .love, with the mention "prefered", and explaination that you have to install the Löve engine first (with a link to the website), but that it is better since all the games here are made with it, and that instead of having to download the complete file each time, you can get the engine once, and then only the game files (hence smaller downloads). Plus, you can benefit of updates in the engine if you upgrade it, while using the bundles freezes the version of the engine.
All in one distribution allows the "standard users" to do what they always do: click on the link you gave them, save the file, double-click. Period. Most of them simply won't go further, even when they are you best friends on earth and it's your creations that are at stake. For those who get a little bit more interested about your games, the engine + game files solution will come naturally, especially if you advice this on the download page. Geeks are like poets anyway, no one understands them
About the advertisment for Löve, I suppose it should be the choice of the game maker. I know *I* would write in big letters I used Löve, but the plain end-user doesn't need to know the mechanics. I could also put in big letters that it was programmed in Lua (did I mention my love for Lua ?
), but again, they wouldn't care, and wouldn't even understand what it is about. Some would even worry about having to install more stuff on their computers, I suppose.
Well well, again I use office time to write novels on web based forums. Shame on me. I hope this little contact with "the real world experience" proved useful. I know we often forget what life was before programming