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Magogan

Two weeks until "release" and almost no one knows my game...

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

So, how's the release going? I see one playthrough on YouTube.

You mean the one from 9 months ago? That was me. I'll do another one soon though. And I will upload some videos (tutorials etc.) on my company's YouTube channel.

I have contacted some YouTubers and about half of them seem to be interested. No one really big though.

I have been contacted by one news site that was not just a scam (like the rest of the emails you get when you are on Steam) but it's not really big. I'm not sure what news sites I should contact. Does anyone know? The thing is, you easily find the popular ones but those probably won't cover my game that early. The ones that are less popular might do that but they are not easy to find (otherwise they would be popular).

I have also gotten in touch with a CDN so in case someone big plays the game my site shouldn't crash.

In terms of revenue I made more by accepting parcels for my neighbors - I got free potato chips... That's kinda sad.

Edited by Magogan

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On 7/22/2019 at 6:22 AM, Magogan said:

Well, that's helpful, two contradicting opinions.

This is what will happen every time you ask a question of multiple persons. 

On 7/23/2019 at 5:38 AM, Magogan said:

Well, what am I supposed to do?

You'll get contradicting answers to that question, too. Decision-making is what life and business are all about. I use a decision grid whenever I have an important decision to make. Take the options and break them down and weight the criteria. The opinions you get from those who respond to your question can help examine the options, but you can't expect a decision to be made for you by anyone other than yourself. 

On 7/23/2019 at 5:38 AM, Magogan said:

That said, I now call the smaller blocks "Mini Blocks" to not emphasize the comparison that much. I'm working on a trailer that shows some quests and calls the viewer to action.

Good. Keep moving forward. 

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Posted (edited)

Someone actually played my game on YouTube and it got about 700 views and the comments were positive, yet no one has bought it. Why? Is the audience just too small? Does it take some time maybe?

Edited by Magogan

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22 minutes ago, Magogan said:

yet no one has bought it. Why? Is the audience just too small? Does it take some time maybe?

For someone to consider buying your game they need to know about it and be your target audience. If your game doesn't cater to the majority of gamers it's even that much harder. Spend time and money into marketing if you want to grow your exposure because placing your game on Steam isn't enough regardless of any YouTube videos. Is your game getting wish listed from those interested but not able to buy your game right now?

22 minutes ago, Magogan said:

Someone actually played my game on YouTube and it got about 700 views and the comments were positive,

If you have 700 unique or mostly unique views and zero sales that would tell me they're not your target audience and if they are there is something wrong with either your product or price point. Positive comments are great, but if those people are not willing to play the game then it doesn't mean anything.

You cannot expect to make money in this industry if you're not willing to invest money for that exposure. Games are highly competitive so either pay or find someone who can handle marketing for you and get a budget together.

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Posted (edited)

Well, the video got 700 views. But it's a let's play, so people watching it are less willing to buy games I guess. I have watched thousands of let's play videos and haven't bought any game I saw in them (except for Super Mario Odyssey, but I don't think I bought it because of a let's play).

My game is not on Steam. And I do not have wishlists on my website yet. I need to figure out how to do that while complying with all regulations, it's basically a newsletter I guess. And I still need to figure out why Google flags all my mails as spam. I did everything they expect me to do: SPF, DKIM, DMARC, putting my address in the email, ...

I would really like to spend money on marketing but I do not have any significant budget.

Edited by Magogan

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I saw a playthrough that was from last week. It's here -

- and a follow up is here -

You absolutely must be looking out for this stuff (e.g. via a Google Alert, or a script that checks search engines for you) and engaging with it. This YouTuber is doing free marketing for you, so help him out, and maybe link to him from your site, etc.

As for finding less popular game sites, there's no magic trick to it - you just need to put in the search terms, start at the top, and work your way down the list, contacting each one you find that is suitable. Make sure you have a compelling message to send them, give them a direct link to the installer, provide some facts about you and the game that they can copy into their article (because most journalists do indeed copy and paste from the press release) and make their job easy.

Some other ideas (and many are repeats of earlier in the thread, which I hope you'll reconsider):

  • Put the game on Steam (and Itch.io, and anywhere else) for greater visibility.
  • Shorten your 'funnel'. The free demo installer isn't even on your landing page.
  • Improve and simplify the website. Show your unique selling points front and centre. Get your video autoplaying on the front page to show people the game instantly. If you have any positive quotes from the early access period, put them up-front too.

And things which aren't strictly marketing, but which feed into marketing because they appear on Lets Plays, screenshots, etc:

  • Improve the tutorial (watch that first video to see how he struggles a bit. Most people won't persist as long as a YouTuber would.)
  • Work on accessibility (some of the text is tiny, and it might put people off)
  • Try and get some help on art direction. Unlike most hobbyist projects you're in a great position of having a game that is almost finished, so you might get more serious offers than other projects could expect. The game would definitely benefit from a more cohesive art direction and I am sure there are some artists who would love to work on a late-stage project where their work will get seen by the public - providing you can compensate them from future sales.

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14 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

I saw a playthrough that was from last week. It's here -

(...)

- and a follow up is here -

(...)

You absolutely must be looking out for this stuff (e.g. via a Google Alert, or a script that checks search engines for you) and engaging with it. This YouTuber is doing free marketing for you, so help him out, and maybe link to him from your site, etc.

I do look for those videos. I didn't find it when you mentioned it in the last post even though I searched for it on YouTube right when I saw your post. A couple hours later it appeared in the search results. Weird.

I gave him a key though. I could link his video on the website, that's maybe not the worst idea.

21 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

As for finding less popular game sites, there's no magic trick to it - you just need to put in the search terms, start at the top, and work your way down the list, contacting each one you find that is suitable. Make sure you have a compelling message to send them, give them a direct link to the installer, provide some facts about you and the game that they can copy into their article (because most journalists do indeed copy and paste from the press release) and make their job easy.

Still haven't found the time to do that. I will do that soon, thank you for the advice.

1 hour ago, Kylotan said:

Put the game on Steam (and Itch.io, and anywhere else) for greater visibility.

Visibility is almost zero on Steam nowadays. itch.io is even worse.

1 hour ago, Kylotan said:

Shorten your 'funnel'. The free demo installer isn't even on your landing page.

I took down the link to the free demo. And put it back up again a few hours ago. I'm not sure if having a free demo is good or bad.

1 hour ago, Kylotan said:

Improve and simplify the website. Show your unique selling points front and centre. Get your video autoplaying on the front page to show people the game instantly. If you have any positive quotes from the early access period, put them up-front too.

I hate autoplay. Autoplay is just the worst. The quotes thing is probably a good idea, I'll see where I can put them.

2 hours ago, Kylotan said:

Improve the tutorial (watch that first video to see how he struggles a bit. Most people won't persist as long as a YouTuber would.)

Already did that. I hope it's good enough now. It is very hard to make a good tutorial in an open world game like this, especially when you can do a lot in the beginning.

2 hours ago, Kylotan said:

Work on accessibility (some of the text is tiny, and it might put people off)

I already made it bigger. How big does it need to be? I guess I'm too used to my 4K monitor with 100% scaling. I have no problems reading tiny text. Maybe I'll need to play in 1080p windowed mode.

2 hours ago, Kylotan said:

Try and get some help on art direction. Unlike most hobbyist projects you're in a great position of having a game that is almost finished, so you might get more serious offers than other projects could expect. The game would definitely benefit from a more cohesive art direction and I am sure there are some artists who would love to work on a late-stage project where their work will get seen by the public - providing you can compensate them from future sales.

You would think so but I haven't had any luck with that so far.

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3 hours ago, Magogan said:
5 hours ago, Kylotan said:

Put the game on Steam (and Itch.io, and anywhere else) for greater visibility.

Visibility is almost zero on Steam nowadays. itch.io is even worse.

 

3 hours ago, Magogan said:
5 hours ago, Kylotan said:

Improve and simplify the website. Show your unique selling points front and centre. Get your video autoplaying on the front page to show people the game instantly.

I hate autoplay. Autoplay is just the worst.

You are getting great advice. You have reservations about some of that advice, fine. But it's wisest to just say "Thanks, I'll keep that under consideration" rather than argue against the advice. Arguing against advice discourages other advisors who can see how you react to previous advice. Better to form those arguments as questions ("But what about the fact that autoplay is just the worst, because of X?")

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