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      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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Going Social: The Rise of Super Gunball!

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Good news everyone! My ongoing efforts at acting like an extrovert are paying off!
Well... not PAYING yet per se, but they are having a noticeable and empirically traceable effect.

The current development cycle goes something like this:
I watch the social sites all week and make notes of the feedback I get including bugs and suggestions for gameplay tweaks.
A few things happen during the week like a new sounds or sprites get made by the artistic teammates.
The three of us that are currently engaged with the project talk about it on the Google+ private community I set up just for this purpose.
The weekend arrives to where I implement all the changes that I have received and solved during the week.
Friday or Saturday, I build and release an "odd" version for internal testing and feedback. (Ex: 0.1.9)
Sunday is when the game gets bugfixed from new bugs that popped up for whatever reason and I update the version info file.
Late Sunday, I build the "even" version and upload it to the project page at IndieDB.com for public download. (Ex: 0.2.0)
Late Sunday / early Monday, I write up the IndieDB.com news article and upload some screenshots to stay on their front page.
Monday I write journals and blogs like this one in about three different places about the progress and learning I've accomplished that week.

Next verse... same as the first!


First off, if you have been following these journals, you can see the progression of "polish" in the quality of the artwork provided by the screenshots embedded in the article. It's like watching evolution in fast-forward.


Secondly, through my efforts, I now have the seed of a community. Some early adopters, if you will. People beyond relatives and lifelong friends are now noticing this game (and, by extension, me). While I make no effort to conceal the fact that I'm an introvert and very uncomfortable putting myself in the spotlight, I've noticed that to succeed in promoting a product, it has to get seen. And since I'm not rolling in pallets of cash and can't pay someone else to do it for me, that means it's up to me to get out of my comfort zone (check!) and do it myself. And so I have...


As of this posting, the ranking on IndieDB for Super Gunball DEMO is 216 of 11335. Last night before I uploaded Version 0.2.0, it was in the mid-3000 range. I watch it all week like a new cook hovers over the oven. Since I've been in this cycle for about a month now, I am seeing the cause-and-effect of my social campaign actions reflected in the metrics provided by IndieDB. It is exhilarating. Learning how to work the social networks and drive traffic to and fro across the web is a fascinating study. I am still uncomfortable with it, but it's interesting nonetheless.


So the quest continues to make a polished demo of a game in hopes of it leading to a successful Kickstarter and development of a Full Version! Thank you for reading my ramblings! Don't forget to help an up-and-coming Indie by going to LIKE my Facebook Page and Download the Lastest Version of Super Gunball DEMO! (The page hits drive the popularity index up!)


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Hi, fellow introvert!


It's great to see your effort paying off. I hope you don't mind that I'm taking notes!


- Ben.


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Good to see you're getting good results!


You might also consider adding your game to our new "indie corner" section using the "share your project" button in the upper right.  It's still a work in progress and not technically released yet, but there are a couple of projects listed already.


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No problem Ben!  It takes a lot of energy for introverts to get out there, but if you pace yourself, it's worth it.


Thanks for the heads up on the Indie Corner, JB.  I went ahead and made an entry for Super Gunball there so it'll be present when that feature goes live.  Thanks!


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