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  1. There are so many of those 'How to market your indie game' articles written by more or less successful developers that I decided to write about this from a different angle. From the angle of someone who failed at marketing. My angle. I have a long record of failing at marketing and PR and you can easily check that by looking at my name/nick and not recognizing it. Thus you can trust me on what I'm going to say. Warning: the following list might be filled with things so stupid that you wouldn't ever imagine doing them, and yet I did all of them at some point, often multiple times. If that's the case you can as well just make fun of me since you're already here. Don't accidentally forget to put the links to your website, Facebook and Twitter under anything you post about your game. Don't post detailed stuff about your game that only the most eager fans would be interested in. Especially when your game isn't finished yet and doesn't have any fans. Like this very post we've posted a few days ago. Who the fuck could care about the backstory of one of the political parties in one of the playable races in our game that no one knows about? Don't casually accost random editors that've never heard of you on Twitter or Facebook. Don't fill your email's title with tons of buzzwords. i.e. (Steam-punk MMORPG with a vast world to explore and innovative storyline, also a spiritual successor to XXX). Despite the amount of words it actually doesn't say anything about your game. The same goes for Reddit posts. Don't release the screenshots that you took 5 days into the development, they will stay in the Internet forever and haunt you. (Press posting about your game and using a year-old screenshot as a news header would be the best example) Don't try to be funny if it doesn't come to you naturally. It's the most pathetic thing ever. Don't send a press release to 20 editors, putting their email addresses in 'To:' instead of 'Bcc:'. In fact don't send a press release to 20 editors at all! Send each of your emails separately, with some consideration as to who you're talking to. Don't believe them when they say that the press wants to write about your game. You have to do EVERYTHING that is in your power to make yourself and your game look outstanding in the crowd of other developers and their games. Don't post your updates in the middle of the night. Do your research on when's the best time to post. Facebook's added a cool feature recently that lets you check the hourly activity of your fans. Don't wait with spamming the press until your game is released. Email them right now. They need to know about the awesome project you're working on, even if they don't reply or post about it on teh websitez. Don't send an email titled "We're making a game, it'll be fun". They're not gonna make a story about it. They're not gonna post about it. Unless you're Notch, of course. Don't ask reviewers if they want a review copy of your game. Throw it at their faces. They weren't gonna buy it anyways. Don't visit Twitter and forums only to post an update on your game's development. If you're not a part of a particular community, it's better to not spam there at all. (Some may not agree with this, but IMO it's kind of a scumbag move.) Don't miss out on #screenshotsaturday. Don't hate everyone that is more successful than you. It's not good for your health. There's simply too many of them. Don't use your blog as a weekly list of all the sprites you did in the past days and all the little bugs you've fixed. No one cares about that. Don't bore people to death for deciding to read your stuff. Don't play the 'Top-secret project' game! If you don't show how cool your game is, then no one will know how cool your game is. Unless you're already a successful developer, but then you wouldn't be reading this, right? If you don't reveal your secret ultimate feature then no one's gonna know about it. Dang, even if you reveal it most likely no one's gonna know about it. Don't use '6 playable characters' and '20 enemies to kill' as your key features. Trust me on this one. Google 'USP' and think harder. Don't trust yourself on how good your gameplay is. Your opinion is ultimately biased. Don't make a game similar to a well-known hit if you can't make yours better. People would rather just play the original. Don't skip on the pre-production phase, and don't skip on thinking of your target group of players. (There has to be one!) Look at your game! And I mean: look at it like you're looking at other games. Make your friends look at it. Make strangers look at it. Don't say anything more than what you have on your website/in your posts. Accept their feedback with gratitude. Change the way you're presenting your game when you still have time for that. Even if you're making an awesome, innovative and original game in an entirely new genre, it may still look generic in your presentation, or in the way you're describing it. Think about that. Don't try to make a game for both casual and hardcore players. Don't make the art in your game look inconsistent. It's better to have bad but consistent art than a few good pixel-art assets mixed with good 3d renders, and so on. Don't skip on polishing the game! Don't insist on adding more content instead of polishing what you already have in the game. Don't have your website look like shit. Don't have your Facebook fanpage outdated and looking like shit. Don't expect people to think too much! They don't find your game worthy of such a drag. Make everything obvious and in front of their very eyeballz. Don't be a dick if no one plays your game. It sucks. Deal with it. I hope that helps : ) Now get back to working on your game! Don't waste your time on reading articles like this one. It's not like you're gonna believe anything that someone else says, before you make the same mistakes as them. At least that's my case. And yes, I've read thousands of those articles. In case you would like to see more of my epic failures with your own eyes then you ought to follow me on Twitter. And if you like games that you find awesome you should follow my game's fanpage on Facebook, it'll exceed your expectations.
  2. exactly, that's the only reason, but it also applies to forums and twitter, not only facebook.   Not being a 'Facebook user' doesn't release you from the responsibility to promote your game ;)
  3. I'd recommend this http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/198381/How_to_talk_to_the_video_game_press_in_2013.php and browsing this huge list  http://www.pixelprospector.com/the-big-list-of-indie-game-marketing/
  4. exactly, and also the fact that you hate waiting with sending/posting stuff so you send it immediately ^^
  5. If you're creating your first game ever and you don't know programming or you can't draw... don't look for someone that will help you with it. If you're more of an artist download GameMaker or Stencyl and with some English knowledge (if you are reading this I bet that you won't have any problems with that) along with your own willingness to spend time on it, you actually CAN handle it on your own. Same goes for programmers. To develop a prototype you do not need god knows how many top notch sprites. Placeholders such as squares, stars, circles, free sprites (try Opengameart.org) will do just fine to give you an overall feel of the gameplay. Designers will have tougher time as they need to grasp a little from both coding and graphics but it's all for good. Is your prototype no fun? Friends just politely told you that they enjoyed it even though they really didn't? Guess what, time to make some more prototypes. Take your time, make as many as you need and when you find the true gem you'll know it. Nobody wants to work for months on a project that turns into unplayable crap at the end and no one wants to play it. After finishing a playable prototype with more-or-less final graphics or placeholders that look aesthetic enough, you can finally start looking for some people to help you in your project. Remember though - the less, the better. Why not earlier? Experience and some actual knowledge about other team members' work will come in handy when working in a team Maybe you will find your hidden talent? If your idea won't look so awesome anymore after you create prototype, you won't waste other people's time There's a much higher chance that someone will join your project if they see your own contribution If in the middle of the project you will start to get lazy and somewhere lose motivation (and trust me, it happens quite often even if you feel like there's no way for it to happen at the start of the project) again: you won't waste other people's time There's no point in committing too much time to work with random volunteers instead of working on the prototype It will turn out what sprites and sounds are needed for sure (will save artists' time when they'd create assets that would have to be changed or god forbid completely discarded) There's very little chance that someone will want to join you seeing only scratches of an idea from a guy with no experience or a portfolio. And if you happen to receive any offers at that stage, they're most likely not going to be serious and eventually they'll just waste your time. I'm writing this from my very own experience. I've started many different projects and one I can tell for sure - if you have something to show, people will want to join your project more willingly and sometimes they even might be asking you to let them in without your invitation.?I've made this mistake several times myself too... Posting threads on forums like "Looking for artists, writers and translators" before writing a single line of code, drawing a single concept/sketch or doing any actual work. However, when I started working on Rune Masters I didn't spend time on making any threads, asked nobody for help. Half of the assets I took from the Internet, half did myself even though lacking experience and skills. I've been sitting on this all on my own for over a month coding and taking care of graphics. After that I released an alpha version and most people enjoyed it. That's how I found a great musician (Chris Sinnott), talented visual artist (Toxotes) and a programmer (waxx) that had more experience than me. Doing that I've gained some valuable experience in coding and making graphics, and also formed a great team that I can work with to finish a high quality game. I can see no cons in this case. Now fast forward to the day I actually finished the game (I wrote this article when I was still in the middle of development, just touched it up a bit now): Toxotes disappears after a while leaving us with half of the quality assets needed, unable to finish the game. I've spent some time practicing art and we came back to the project pushing it to the final release. Chris and Max stayed with me to the end and both were great teammates. Though this story should give you a one more example of potential teammates bringing more harm than good. Even if the person is very skilled for me their personality and dedication is more important than that. After all it's better to have all quality assets than a few masterpieces that you can't even use on their own. While writing your advertisement where you look for the lacking team members, you need to bear in mind a few things: Include a short description of your project with the most essential info: genre of the game, art style (b&w, vector graphics, 3d, isometric, top-down or something else?), short gameplay overview Freeware/commercial Targeted platforms Estimated time in which you want to finish project Who you're looking for and what you demand from them Contact Screens and prototype download link What you can bring into the project Show your portfolio if you got one Useful links: Look here for paid collaborator Here for unpaid/revenue share ones If you're looking for an artist why not ask artists from deviantArt directly? Also try /r/IndieGaming and /r/gamedev if you have something to show Try gamedev.net for programmers Various engines' communities may also be a good source of programmers/developers Same goes with various art websites/forums So that's it for the making a prototype and gathering a team part, next will be organizing your work as a team. Let me know what you think or what you'd like to read about in the comment section. Reprinted from the Spiffy Goats blog
  6. Let's see, we already have a game prototype and a team of quality people. What do we do now? Well, you could always actually start working on your game and maybe someday finish it and release it. After all, that's what we strive to achieve. And if there's something that could help us all in that long journey, it's called work organization. First of all, I'll remind you once again that the more people you have on your team, the worse - the more people you've got, the bigger the tension and stress can get and you may easily lose control of them. There are many approaches to working on a project, I'll present you how I do this. Now, if everyone has already looked through the prototype, group yourself up and start a conference on Skype or any other communicator of your choice that allows more than 2 people to chat at the same time. Or just meet IRL if you can. During that 'brain storm' everyone should give their own ideas, remarks and comments about the project. Even if the idea might seem meh at first, someone might be able to modify it and turn it into a very good one, so never be afraid to share your thoughts. Someone that is working as a designer in your team should be writing down all those ideas. After the 'brain storm' he should sit alone and separate good ideas from the bad ones, bearing in mind that he has to limit himself to not design a project that would take too much time to complete. He should also take into account that the team is most likely inexperienced and so very complicated mechanics shouldn't be included in the final design. Surely there might be many great features you would like to see in the game, but you have to be realistic - someone will have to implement them and do all that in an optimal time. Pick what you're capable of, you don't want to sit on your first project for two years. After the initial adjustments, the designer shows a more detailed vision of the game to the other team members. And again - discussion. Now without those big ideas, just do the small changes if needed and you're ready to go. Keep in mind that you don't have to plan all maps, missions, vehicles, enemies or anything like that at the beginning. Those details you can always do further in your development cycle. Programmers and artists should know from start what to expect from the game and what is needed (it sucks when you realize in the middle of your work that half of the code is trash as someone just thought of changing one feature or that some of the assets are going to waste because something wasn't clarified from the beginning). Someone who is handling organization in your project should write down all the needed assets (sprites, sounds) and create some sort of milestones for the development process. Sure, you could go with just todo lists, but the possibility of 'unticking' more tasks at once as you approach your big milestone, which puts a solid closure on this particular part of the game, is a much better motivator. You will always know what is done, work will be divided into portions that are easier to handle. It's also easier to force yourself to work when you see that there are only a few more tasks until the end of the current milestone, instead of seeing a 2MB txt file with the todo list of all things needed to finish the game. And picking tasks for the next milestone is always a fun event for the whole team ;) Here is a list of some tools that might help you in your work: Dropbox - for assets, design documents, you can also store here todo lists, assets list, some other project files, etc. SVN/Github/Bitbucket - for programmers specifically as for example Visual Studio and Dropbox seem to hate each other. When you and others work on the same project opened several times on Dropbox, it will start to create some crappy database files or other shit that takes quite a lot of space. It's just irritating. Forums - can work the same way as Dropbox, surely brings better organization of files and may look better but isn't so convenient, Dropbox is much faster to use, though we still use forums for some development-related things. Wiki - project documentation, not every project needs it though, for some forums work just as fine Skype/MSN - for chatting & conferences. Google Docs - sharing documents, with the possibility of real-time co-writing is surely something that could be useful. While using Dropbox it's good to spend some time on creating a proper folder structure as after some time without any form of order, you will start to waste more time on looking for some files than actually doing anything with them. There is one more tool that I left for the end of the post, it's so good that I can't express it. It's called Trello, it's a website where you can easily organize work for the whole team. We're using it since Rune Masters and it's really a perfect tool that can substitute almost all other tools. With Trello you can create milestones, todo lists, handle discussions about various topics, host images, files, notes, literally everything that you could need. It looks like this: Let me know what you think or what you'd like to read about in the comment section. Don't forget to subscribe to our blog or like us on Facebook/follow on Twitter to not miss any posts. If you have yet to start working on your prototype, remember - a small but interesting idea is the key! Reprinted from the Spiffy Goats blog
  7. working on a new codedaemons website
  8. Anyone already checked out Windows 8? Any opinions?
  9. Planning to go on Szczecin Game Show to socialize with other game developers
  10. In how many projects can one guy participate at the same time?
  11. So, there will be some changes in our team :/
  12. PS not always displaying hud color picker, what a drag >.>