How to promote indie game?
You are a Game Developer. You are creating your first serious game together with the bunch of the enthusiasts like you. You are working in a little, independent studio that no one heard about before. You are spending most of your time on development — if you are lucky. It’s worse if you have to create it after hours…
With all that stuff on your back you couldn’t forget about one important thing: no matter how good your game is, you cannot forget about promotion. Your baby has to stand out from the crowd. You only have one shot, so better aim well. There is no three lives here.
Level 1 — Let them hear about it, make some noise
Social media — you can admit it right now, you are using it every day. Aren’t you? Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. What your friends are doing, what they are eating and what’s new in the political world. You can find this information right there.
Exactly on those portals your game is supposed to show up. From the beginning — the sooner the better. You should build the community around your game. They will test your game, send you some feedback and support you from the beginning.
You could use Facebook as the “development blog”, where you can tell about every update, press mention and YouTube movie with your game. You should also tweet about everything. Remember to tag the people/website, which has mentioned something about you. It will help you gather new fans.
- 1st clue: You should take ‘the hate’ with equanimity, as long as it is constructive. You can draw some positive conclusion from it.
LEVEL 2 — Website, your business card
It might be obvious but a lot of developers forget about it. Your game is supposed to have the official website. It should be created with reference to the game and its main theme. Of course, it should contain all the necessary information about the production, references, and contact information. It must be the official source of the information about it.
- 2nd clue: Update the website only after some big changes in the game. For current information use social media channels.
LEVEL 3 — Trailer: everything about you in 90 seconds
People buy with their eyes — we all know that. If your game has got a pretty good design, it will defend on its own. But you can enhance the positive experience thanks to the trailer.
The good trailer is supposed to take more or less 90 seconds, so very important thing here is the script. In your video you need to show all the necessary info about your production. It should be created with reference to the game, but what you will show there it’s up to you (and of course the budget ;)
You should also create some short videos that present gameplay, gifs etc.
- 3rd clue: Don’t show everything in the trailer. Players must be hungry! They need to want more!
LEVEL 4 — Media — man cannot live by own content alone
Your duty is to take care of your social media profiles. However, you should also take care of good relationships with the press. There are thousands of gaming portals all around the world. You need to be in touch with almost every paper magazine or portal (especially in your country).
The very important groups are bloggers and YouTubers. Their posts and videos could reach hundreds of thousands viewers. Players rely on their opinion and, if it’s positive, they will definitely check out your game.
There are also Steam curators and people who gather players in Steam’s groups. They are always open for some potential cooperation.
- 4th clue: Don’t be afraid to give free copies of your game to the people I mentioned above. They can make your game famous.
LEVEL 5 — Party hard!
Go outside and meet people! I know that you would like to spend most of your time developing the game, but sometimes it’s nice to leave your desk and show up at some event. There are thousands of them across the world.
Create unique stand, talk with the players and journalists, let them play your game there. Give people some gadgets: posters or stickers. Organize some quiz or lottery maybe. Do everything in order that the people could remember you.
- 5th clue: Give people copies of your game for free. This is always a bull’s-eye!
All those clues are not everything and there are different ways to promote your game. The ones above cannot guarantee the success. There will be a lot of traps and multitasks and your Boss Fight will certainly happen a lot of times. The amount of HP and experience points at the end depends only on you.
The article is based on the experience of the author with game Kopanito All-Stars Soccer. It’s featured in ppe.pl