• Advertisement
  • 10/05/17 04:03 PM

    Indie Marketing For N00bs: Lesson 5 - Marketing Ain't Free

    GameDev Unboxed
       (1 review)

     

    Welcome to the fifth lesson in the series known as Indie Marketing For N00bs. Today, we’re going to cover a short lesson that most indie developers believe is a myth but really isn’t. Marketing isn’t free and anyone that ever told you otherwise lied directly to you.

    If not in monetary spending, it’s definitely in time needed to market properly manually. As you’ve read in the previous entries, marketing, public relations, community development and management, and social media all take time. A lot of it. As the old saying goes, “Time is money”. You will either take the time to do it yourself properly or bring in some additional tools for your arsenal that costs money. There is no in-between.

    The immediate answer that people go to is advertising. This is the oldest and most well used form of digital marketing in the modern era. Creating an ad, focusing the target market (which you should have a comprehensive idea of due to your marketing plan), and paying for impressions (those that see the ad, but don’t necessarily click) is about as simple as it gets. There’s even a ton of options to go to depending on your demographic and social media that you utilize:

    Wanna know a secret? Put in the Work.

    If you want a truly successful campaign, you will spend money to get the right resources. But, that shouldn’t stop you from taking on the manual options as well. As I’ve said before: Get yourself out there on your own. Make sure every eye possible sees you. If you don’t know how (or my guides just weren’t as effective as you hoped), there’s always the option of bringing on a marketing specialist to your team or even hiring an outside PR company to handle the affairs. But, again, those cost money. People don’t work for free.

    If you DO want to do it yourself, here’s the trick. There is no secret, special trick. It’s really just a lot of hard work and know-how.

    Understand That There’s A Lot Riding Against You

    Everyone has heard of Star Trek, the classic science fiction show that premiered in the 1960s. Don’t worry, this is relevant. In the original series (and the newer movies), there is a test that is given to cadets of Starfleet called the Kobayashi Maru. The point of the test is that some situations are completely unwinnable and it’s to show how well cadets cope with the concept of a no-win scenario.

    Now, I’m not going to lie. The cards are stacked against you as an indie developer. The day this was written (October 4th, 2017), 15 games came out on Steam alone and every one of them were a free indie game. There’s a lot of evidence and statistics that show you will fail. You can do everything right, spend money to get the proper tools and help, make a fantastic game, and still fail. This is what I refer to as the “Kobayashi Maru of Marketing”. You just can’t let this discourage you. It’s an obstacle and your next game will do better.

    Marketing takes a village. If your marketing budget is zero, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will fail. It means you have to work harder, step twice as fast, and learn from mistakes quickly to adapt. Put in the effort, get the word out, make sure every eye that can possibly see it does. Make sure you’re in the face of journalists because you need them on your side because you can show them everything you want, but if they do nothing about it, it’s lost to the wind.



      Report Column Entry


    User Feedback

    Create an account or sign in to leave a review

    You need to be a member in order to leave a review

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now


       1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

    As always Jesse managed to convince me. To be honest, I was waiting with bated breath for the last part of the series. His article reflects the bitter truth of either investing much time or much money to a good PR, especially as an indie developer like me.

    For me it's simple. I've got no money, so I must invest much time and work twice as hard as others, to survive this fight. But that's OK, because working on my first mobile game was a quite long journey, too.

    Thanks for the complete series of articles for n00bs like me. I've enjoyed it very much. 

    Share this review


    Link to review

  • Advertisement
  • Similar Content

    • By tomcalm
      So I've decided to make a multiplayer mod for dark souls, the idea was to cut a lot out of the game and make a multiplayer 5v5 or 3v3 with Stat and Item presets so the player could just go in with out the steep learning curve. 
      I have no experience what so ever. But a lot of time and patience.
    • By Uplinked

      Too often nowadays we see the need for a driving narrative or gripping plot not necessarily overlooked, but perhaps glossed over or replaced with cutting-edge graphics or revolutionary game design. Let me ask you a question. What is going to stick with an audience more? Stunning graphics, or a story that hits them like a freight train? The best gun-handling in a game they've ever experienced, or a plot that shakes them to their core?
       
      This is what I'm looking to deliver. Complex stories, gripping dialogue, and detailed descriptions are all crucial to a story driven game. Even when the story takes a seat on the back burner, anything revolving around dialogue needs to be carefully tailored. If this has at all resonated with you, I encourage you to consider hiring me as a writer for your game.
       
      EXPERIENCE:
       
      As far as writing for particular video games, I've written for two independent, released (one is currently soon-to-be-released, within a month.) games, one named "SpaceDweller" which is a turn-based tactical fighting game. (http://store.steampowered.com/app/599510/SpaceDweller/) For this, I wrote the entirety of the lore behind the game, all of it able to be found after destroying enemies and taking form as ship logs. This was a great project for me to get started as a writer in this field. It was small enough to not overwhelm me, yet enough content to give me a proper job. I did well enough for the owner to let me use him as a recommendation. "Uplinked is a very efficient, responsible and creative writer. I had the pleasure of working with him." Unlike me, Roman is a man of few words, but it gets the point across. I deliver.
       
      The other game I've written for is a contract a very recently finished, and it's a skill-based train racing game which will be on mobile devices. Currently, it's in its final steps of being released on the market. I wrote in all of the achievements, and a small amount of dialogue that takes place as prompts for the player, and as a space filler between rounds.
       
      Outside of game writing, I have five years of serious writing under my belt, all looking to improve my skills. I love writing, I always have, and the interest to pursue it professionally was a rather recent development. The love stems from me writing a book for fun when I was seven. This 'book' was about a family of penguins that went on a series of adventures, and it opened up my love for the fantasy genre. I'm currently working on an actual book I hope to get published one day. It's actually a theme you don't see all that often; Steampunk. It has been a wonder creating the world, make of floating islands and traditional sailing ships turned into colossal airships, and I'm happy to share it with anyone who's interested.
       
      SKlLLS:

       
      I'm timely and efficient, always looking to work with deadlines as they add a sense of urgency and I work well with pressure.
       
      I'm affordable, I'm not looking to get rich off of writing. It's something I enjoy, but I'm currently just a student. I won't work without pay, in part because this isn't an easy service to provide, but it also shows that it's an investment that developers are willing to invest in.
       
      Simply put, I’m good at writing. I’ve included the link to my website at the bottom of this pitch and you can find my contact info and some writing samples so you can see for yourself.
       
      I’m also available for proofreading. This goes especially for people who have a good grasp on English, and have translated their game themselves, but want someone to iron it out.
       
      I can also do status updates and blog posts as well, providing a fanbase with information in a clear and readable fashion, while also keeping it light and fun to read.
       
      STRENGTHS:
       
      I have a wide variety of skills that I can use while I’m writing for you. My best strength is in descriptions, (item descriptions to be specific) and story-telling, but I’m great with dialogue as well.
       
      CONTACT:
       
      I’d love it if you would email me at uplinkedxd@gmail.com.
       
      Discord is also another great way to contact me and tends to be a little bit faster. My tag is Uplinked #6179
       
      My website: https://uplinkedxd.wixsite.com/wordforge
       
    • By jaydee999
      Hi All,
      We’re looking for beta testers for our new 3D publishing platform “3veo”.  3veo is a new YouTube like service for instantly publishing models, animations, and even full Unity projects to web, mobile and VR.
      We built 3veo to help game designers and game creators share working live interactive Unity previews, demos, experiments, indie projects, animations and experimental mini-games without the need to build, download and install apps.  3veo publishes standard Unity scenes/projects to the cloud with an on-the-fly streaming format where content can be easily shared and played on any platform.  3veo clips can easily be posted to Facebook and Twitter which helps you easily share your working Unity projects  with your friends, co-workers and fans/followers.

      (Unity’s Classic Corridor Scene - To play this 3veo clip in your browser now click here
      Note: At this stage in the 3veo Beta cycle, we're recommending Firefox for viewing 3veo content.
      We’d love to have some of you give it a try - and we’re making it super easy by providing a small sample ZIP Unity project so you can easily just try it out here:
                Try it Out;- Publishing a Unity Project to 3veo in 3 Minutes
      We’ll also have a rewards program for top contributors in the beta program.  
      Or you can go to 3veo http://watch.3veo.com/ and watch some of the Unity projects and models that others have uploaded.
      ---------
      About 3veo
      3veo is a platform to instantly drag and drop to publish and share fully interactive 3D models, animations and even full Unity projects to the web, mobile, and VR.
      Platforms
      - Web 
      - Android
      - iOS
      - VR (Coming):  3veo for Oculus, 3veo for HTC Vive, Mobile VR on GearVR, Daydream, and Cardboard
      Support for FBX, Collada, OBJ support (Maya, 3dsMAX, Blender)
      - Auto PBR material detection, setup
      - Orbit view for models, Tour for environments
      - Advanced lighting and full screen post effects
      - Easy to share on Facebook, Twitter with content URL
      Support for “Full Unity 3D Projects”
      - Physics, Cloth, Advanced Particles, Timeline, Cinemachine, Mechanim, Terrain, PBR,  PostProcessing, Global Illumination (it’s Unity)
      - Cloud hosted on 3veo.com -  available on all platforms immediately
      - PlayMaker scripting support (C# scripting support is coming)
      - Uploads published automatically to all platforms: WebGL, Android, iOS, VR (Vive, Oculus, GearVR, DayDream, Cardboard).

  • Advertisement