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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Marketing Madness...

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Well, I've just spent the morning (and now day) touting Slam! to the iPhone review sites worldwide... my brain has nearly dissolved under the strain...

Website reviews, 100's of ways to submit an app for review, different requirements... Facebook... Twitter... must have presences... all requiring "maintenance" to keep the thing alive... it's more than a full time job, surely?

I've seen really cool developers out there - with nice websites, lots of content - they seem to have the time to post useful, and informative material... and also hit the marketing avenues... how do they do it? I could easily spend my entire day on this, every day... and not do a single line of code towards my next project(s)...

I remember this trauma from Gemstars back in the day - I spent a solid week marketing it, and got nowhere... I sense the same happening all over again - not that I am doomsaying... but, it seems hard to justify all this effort with no quantifiable feedback.

Let's hope the iPhone review sites like Slam!... then I may stop whinging so much :)

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I would reccomend a healty pacing to get everything done. One of the hardest parts about being indie is actuially getting people to know about your projects. Heres a few tips I picked up along the way marketing/developing my last project:

1. CMS: Set up a website with a CMS (content management system) such as Wordpress or Joombla. These sites are SEO friendly (search engine optimized) which will help people find you around the net, as well as easy to update and maintain. Posting news to the site is as easy as updating a Facebook status. Pages can be added in and taken out in seconds, all the while keeping web standards in tact. It's a way to have an awesome site without having to take time away from development of a game to do development on a website. Not on that but there are countless free themes available, and even better buying custom themes are cheap (hit me up, I might feel generous).

2. Spread it out: Instead of sitting down everyday to post a news update take one chunk of a day to write 3-5 of them. With a CMS system you can choose which date to publish articles, as well as keeping them as drafts until you see it fit to go public. This way you can get in the writing "zone" and crank out some fun and interesting news bits, then drop them slowly to the world. This way you can focus one day on articles, and the rest of time on other things. Its easier to sit down and hammer out one particular element as opposed to juggling a bunch. This is a major time saver.

3. Forums == Free Advertisements. Places like GameDev.net, Indiegamer.com, and a slew of other places all have free Announcement forums. Write one post, cross post it on multiple message boards. An advertisement campaign can cost a lot of money, people might not click through your ads, and you dont really know where they will and when they will pop up. Going to a forum to share your project not only gets you the attention you want, but it will give you an avenue to get user feedback.

Im at work, so I cant post to much, but this should be a good start. Welcome to Journal Land, post pictures!

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I know exactly what you mean because I've struggled with being the programmer in a 2 man team and sufficiently marketing our titles upon release. I'm getting pretty quick at sending out review request emails to all the relevant sites and other than that I generally post threads on Touch Arcade and try to keep those bumped (legitimately) for a while.

But I too feel like I should be posting to a site and doing a lot more with my marketing, but I always just want to spend time on the next game. I think this might mostly be a reflection on the quality of games that we've made so far. Don't get me wrong, I think compared to the majority of iPhone games they're actually quite polished and good, but that doesn't mean I think they meet the standard that I should be producing.

Perhaps you, like me, should decide to turn a new leaf and spend the time to setup an easily updatable site (like suggested by the post above) and take longer on/put more into the next game, so that it's a better product that you're more motivated to promote, and so that you have time leading up to its release to create a full featured marketing campaign.

My goal with future iPhone titles is to make them to a AAA standard, even if they're small. Atleast in terms of presentation and polish. If I produce a game that meets my expectations then I don't feel like I'll have any problem finding the time to properly market and promote it. Now I haven't seen your game(s), but maybe you're in the same situation and need to make something that you're really proud to promote too.

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