Products standards guarantee we offer customers the best possible products and make their shopping experiences enjoyable. Customers should be eager to return and buy more products from the companies that sell through DriveThru. These standards are not an attempt to control the content of any products, but to set guidelines for presentation which will be to the benefit of partners, customers, and DriveThru.
The quality of products, from all partners, is the key component of the quality of the store. When partners put together high-quality products and offer accurate and detailed information about them, customers can better find what they want and make informed purchasing decisions.
There are three main components to the presentation of any product:
- The cover
- The product description
- The product preview
A customer's first impression about a product on any of the DriveThru sites comes from a thumbnail of the cover image.
These appear on the front page of the site when a product is new and in various contexts throughout the life of the product. Ideally, a product should be able clearly recognizable even when its cover is seen as a thumbnail. Therefore, the cover of any product needs to both represent the product well and be appropriate for display to the general public.
The cover, as displayed on the DriveThru sites, can be the graphic actually used on the cover of a print version of a product, or it can be a graphic prepared to resemble such a cover even though there is no print version. We recommend including your cover graphic in the digital product. A partner with a compilation of artwork might make a cover by adding the title to a single piece of artwork or making a collage of several pieces to indicate what is included in the product. The creator of an audio product might put together a colorful graphic for the sole purpose of presenting the product's title anywhere the cover thumbnail needs to appear.
In preparing cover images, partners should strive for a professional appearance. (See here for some helpful tips!) This does not mean that all artwork or graphics must be prepared by someone who is a professional artist. However, partners should keep in mind that product covers represent their business to the public, and should aim to have those covers represent them in the best way possible. This may include (but is not limited to) using art which is well done, having a legible product title, showing a distinctive logo for the company or product line, and arranging all these elements in a pleasing fashion. The overall effect should be to attract customers' eyes, and give them confidence that the product will be high quality.
Cover images should be 350 to 900 pixels wide (larger images, closer to 900 pixels wide, are better), in PNG, JPG, or GIF format, and in 8.5 x 11 or A4 portrait aspect ratio. For quicker load times of your cover images, please try to keep their file size under 200kb. We recommend PNG format for the best quality image.
Caveat: "Adult" Titles
Because DriveThru sites attract customers of a wide variety of ages and backgrounds, not all products will be suitable for all customers at all times. Customers may be shopping from computers in public areas, or the customers themselves may be young people. In these (and possibly other) cases, certain products with mature themes are inappropriate.
DriveThru has provided an "Adult" filter which will block that material from the view of any customers who do not opt-in for mature content. Partners have the responsibility to mark their products as "Adult" when appropriate, using the check box near the bottom of the product entry/editing form.
Guidelines for Cover Images
DriveThru uses the following 'universal' standard regarding covers for "adult" titles:
On any product cover or other graphic that might be seen on the front page of the sites, any human figure (or semi-human or humanoid figure, in the case of fantasy or science fiction products) will be covered at least to the extent of the Miss Universe or Mr. Universe candidates in the linked photos. If necessary, the coverage may be by text or some other graphical element. This does not apply to graphics which appear solely on product description pages or in a product preview. However, any product which does not include that amount of coverage throughout its presentation on DriveThru sites should be protected by the "Adult" label, so that customers who wish can opt out of even inadvertent viewing of the material.
Any product which does not meet the 'universal' standard mentioned above, for all material on DriveThru sites (including cover, product preview, and any other graphics that may appear in the product description) should be designated as an "Adult" product.
In addition, products are generally considered mature (and should use the "Adult" setting) if they include nudity, graphic sexual material, depictions of gore, or crude language. Obviously this is an area in which partners must use their judgment. Keep in mind that the purpose of the "Adult" designation is to benefit customers, not restrict the choices of partners. Allowing customers to filter content - or not, as they choose - provides a better shopping environment. That in turn encourages repeat shoppers and more purchases - everyone's ultimate goal.
The product description is the most important component in selling a product to a customer. It should be complete - telling the customer everything they need to know about the product - accurate, and clear.
Display pages from the product in the product preview (see below) and use the product description to tell customers about the product. The "Set Up a New Title" and "Edit a Title Listing" tools encourage the entry of several important pieces of information by providing places to fill in the author, artist, and number of pages. The "Product Page Text" on the form is the place to put anything else potential customers should know.
For instance: Is the product a game, a supplement to a game, or something else? If it is a supplement, is it used only with a specific game, or can it be used with more than one genre or system of play? For whom is it intended - a Game Master, a player, or anyone? In what ways might a purchaser use the product? If the product has specific requirements or value-added components, this is the place to mention them.
Is it software, usable only with certain programs? Point that out clearly. Try to spell out any references to software - people may not recognize even common abbreviations or acronyms out of context.
Is it necessary to print the product in order to play? Make that specific, so customers know in advance, before they make their decision to purchase.
Point out if the product has an ink-saving version to print, or a screen-friendly version, set in landscape instead of portrait orientation. The text could also reiterate key points - such as the author or page count - so customers have more than one chance to take in that information.
We do not allow offsite links in product descriptions. For a full list of whitelisted URLs, visit the Set up a New Title page and navigate to "Product Page Text." We do allow offsite links in the Purchase Note and the PDF of your product.
The product preview is the place to really show off your product, and there are several different ways to provide one.
Products in the form of a PDF (or more than one) can use the Quick Preview or the Full-Size Preview, either of which can be automatically generated through DriveThru according to the product's settings. For other types of products, the partner can create a custom preview, as a PDF, which customers can download. This can be done using the Manage Previews of My Titles tool.
In addition, audio previews are possible.
If using an automatically generated preview, be sure to carefully consider which pages to include; using the default settings is easy but not always appropriate. For instance, showing pages 2-7 (the default) might include the title page, table of contents, two pages of introduction, and the first two pages of text. These may or may not be the pages that best display the essence of the product to customers. Products must be in the form of a PDF document to use the automatic preview tools.
For quick fixes to preview issues, check out our Bite-Size OBS 101 video!
When a product is new, it receives exposure on the front page of the site. It is important that all partners have the opportunity for their products to receive this exposure, so new releases on the front page are limited to three per day per partner.
A partner can use the "Date product should be available for sale" feature on the "Set Up a Title Listing" or "Edit a Title Listing" page to stagger the release of products that would otherwise be available at the same time. More sales are made by having regular releases than by releasing a large number of products at the same time, so this can be a valuable option.
Tool and Ai-Generated Artwork Policy
Update March 24th, 2023: The following policy applies to DriveThru Marketplaces, including Community Content Programs and Supported Marketplaces. DriveThruRPG defines “AI-Generated art” as images created through the use of artificial intelligence algorithms and techniques trained on pre-existing data sets. (Examples: Midjourney, Artbreeder).
- At this time, DriveThru Marketplaces require partners to set their own AI-generated artwork policies on Game, Rulebook and Adventure products. Any products that utilize AI-generated artwork must be tagged as such.
- At this time, DriveThru Marketplaces do not accept standalone artwork products that utilize AI-generated art.
Titles that do not comply are subject to removal from the marketplace. Repeat offenders may have their publishing permissions revoked.
Creation Method Filter
If your Game, Rulebook or Adventure product contains AI-generated art, you are required to indicate this using the Creation Method filter. In order to enable this filter, find the Category Assignments section under Filters when you Set Up a New Title or Edit a Title Listing. Under Format near the bottom of the filters list, find the box labeled Creation Method. Click the black triangle and it'll expand the dropdown list, where you can then select AI-Generated.
Neither your Work, description, nor any promotional material, including blog posts or press releases, may contain racist, homophobic, discriminatory, or other repugnant views; overt political agendas or views; depictions or descriptions of criminal violence against children; rape or other acts of criminal perversion; or other obscene material without the express written permission of DriveThru.
Illegal and Infringing content is not allowed. It is the content creator’s responsibility to ensure that their content does not violate laws, or copyright, trademark, privacy, or other rights.
DriveThru reserves the right to deactivate any product which is presented in a way that does not adhere to these standards, or which otherwise diminishes the overall quality of the shopping experience for customers. At its discretion, DriveThru may reconsider such an action if the product or its presentation is later modified so as to meet the standards.