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Found 84 results

  1. Hello Guys! Please share your experience, where is it better to find sales manager specialists for indie team of 6 + people(remotely)? Maybe someone has a good experience of cooperation with finding projects through sale managers(USA and Canada)? Thank you Best Regards Alex Vovk Co-Founder of Sixteen Squares Alexander_Vovk@outlook.com
  2. thecheeselover

    Our first hater

    So we had our first hater... but first please listen to one of our music we think we was bashing against. After that, let's hear the context. Context Our development blogs on gamedev mainly focus on the actual development of our game(s) and any related research that we've done. So, our target audience is other video game developers. We also have our own subreddit where our target audience is everyone. Thus, we decided to make our subreddit public and allow subscribers to post content that follows the rules, which they are mainly about posting relevant content. Recently, we've been gaining more popularity and finally gained our 25th subscriber! 🎉 However, with popularity means more human attention. One thing I know about humans is that there are among them douchebag, troll, egoist, evil [and so forth] people. Inevitably, we were bound to attract the attention of one of those toxic people and so we had our first experience with what we call a hater. The Hater The hater firstly unannouncedly posted this on our subreddit : The person actually posted music of his game [I suppose]. It is an electronic music video. While it's true that we post vaporwave music videos on our subreddit, they follow the rule that it's about our game and our company. So I decided to remove his post and send him a warning as a message : Now, I don't clearly understand exactly what he meant by "Someone better than you, and wanted to make you feel better" but I do understand that this guy is saying he's better than us and that him posting his content on our subreddit would make us feel better (lol). I suppose the "better than us" part is related to our music, which is meant to be that way to fit into the game design of the game. Anyway, as you can see, this guy is so cool because he breaks rules. Wow. But wait, there's more! Just before I banned him, he posted this on our subreddit : Of course we banned you for posting content about your game on our subreddit to gain popularity. Our subreddit specifies precisely through rules that it is meant to be a platform of communication for our company and a way to keep our subscribers in touch with the development of our games. Just look at r/fallout for example. Their first rule says that all posts must be directly related to Fallout. Are they not cool to ban people who disrespect that rule? No, it does not make sense. Reddit is a magnificent social network that allows specific sub-forums as ours and it's actually what defines it. Anyway, I decided to ban him and then ignore him. I've always been more of an observer than someone who needs to express his opinion loudly and publicly on social networks but because this is the first time we had a hater for our game, I just needed to post about this. What we learned from this : Added a rule about not spamming that allows us to give warnings and ban people from our subreddit. Ignore banned people. Made our subreddit restricted instead of public. Now, only approved redditors are able to post on our subreddit. Toxic people take time from us video game developers that we could put into making our game(s)
  3. Hey everyone! My name is Aaron and I’m a writer, gamer, and marketer/campaign manager for PowerSpike, a startup in the Twitch space. For the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to build and run professional Twitch influencer marketing programs for some great brands (a few clients include Soylent, Camp Mobile, CreativeLabs, and more). I’ve been obsessed with Twitch as both an entertainment and marketing platform since 2014. Before entering the world of marketing, I was a broadcaster and a content creator myself and made YouTube videos in my spare time. Recently many game developers have shown interest in collaborating with Twitch streamers to promote their games -- and I think I can help! I’ve learned so much about entertainment and community development from studying the growth of popular streamers since then, and my current position has allowed me to learn an incredible amount about the process of promoting a product/game/service’s message to a large audience with the help of Twitch streamers. I’d love to share what I’ve learned with anyone who has questions. Ask me anything! … If you’d like, you can follow me on Medium at https://medium.com/@aaronmarsden -- that's where I'll be posting both personal and PowerSpike articles on game dev marketing. I also just released my first article, "The Ultimate Guide for Promoting Your Game with Twitch Influencers," here on GameDev.net! You can check it out here: Thanks everyone!
  4. Aaron is hosting an AMA in the GameDev.net Business and Law forum. Click here to participate! “$100. Gone.” Jonas leaned back in his chair, staring at his screen in disbelief. His social media ads had failed. A few weeks before, he had launched the beta for his first game, Startup Company, and planned to use the ads to drive pre-release sales, but to no avail. Frustrated and out $100, Jonas started looking for another marketing method — one that could successfully generate the excitement and sales he needed for Startup Company’s launch. And that’s when he found influencer marketing. His plan was simple: gather a list of YouTube and Twitch influencers, send them free Startup Company keys, cross his fingers, and hope they play it on stream/video. After hours of searching for and sending 500+ emails, Jonas waited. The result? The game took off. Within two weeks of its launch, hundreds of influencers were playing Startup Company and sharing it with their viewers. His success began to snowball — as more people starting playing the game, more content creators started making videos about it. With the help of those creators, Startup Company sold over 50,000 copies within its first two weeks on Steam. Jonas had made a hit. After seeing successes like Startup Company’s, many game devs have begun looking at Twitch influencer marketing as a means of spreading their game across the gaming community. The only problem? They have no idea how to start. The world of Twitch influencer marketing is frightening. But by educating yourself on the platform and learning the proper methods for conducting sponsorships, you can use Twitch to achieve your sales goals just like Jonas. But before you do anything…. 1. You must formulate detailed goals. To succeed on Twitch, you have to know why you want to work with influencers in the first place. Are you trying to… Drive beta users for QA testing? Collect feedback? Generate hype around your launch? Develop a tight-knit community? Promote a new patch/feature? Or blast your game to as many people has possible? Be sure to set your goals early. They’ll provide a framework for the rest of the campaign you’ll build shortly. 2. Next, set a budget. How much money can you realistically spend promoting your game? Your budget should reflect your goals — if you want to maximize awareness around your launch, you’ll have to hire more influencers than someone looking to drive a few beta users. We’ll talk more about promotion strategies and pricing shortly. But for now, go ahead and map your available funds. 3. Now brainstorm promotion ideas and their requirements. Many game devs think there’s only one way to work with Twitch influencers: Don’t get me wrong — that strategy will work occasionally (just look at Jonas). But if you want to run long-lasting campaigns that help you reach your specific goals, you’ll have to go deeper. There are thousands of ways to promote your game on Twitch — too many to list. But here are a few to jog your mind: Sponsoring an event between streamers from the same Twitch community (e.g. the “Binding of Isaac” game directory) would work great for developing your game’s community within a tight-knit group. Paying a large streamer to play your game for 1–2 hours would allow you to generate brand awareness, hype an upcoming launch, and/or increase sales. You could even give them a discount code to share with their viewers if your goals are sales focused. Offering social media promotion to streamers in exchange for on-stream promotion could be a great way to generate buzz on a low budget. On top of promotion ideas, you’ll also need to plan the smaller aspects of your promotions. For instance, do you want your streamer(s) to: Place your branded graphic in their info section? A streamer’s “info section” is a small section below their stream where they place links to social media pages, gear lists, and most importantly, sponsored graphics (like in the image above). Post timed discount codes in their chat? (Most chat bots have this capability, so ask your streamer which one they prefer.) Promote sponsored content on their social media channels (e.g. post to Twitter announcing your partnership)? This is your time to get creative. The more engaging, entertaining, and easy your promotion ideas, the faster you’ll reach your goals. 4. Gather a list of streamers. After you’ve set your goals, defined a budget, and planned a promotion strategy, it’s time to find the streamers who will spearhead your campaign. Streamer delivering sponsored content to their viewers, circa 2018. …but before you start searching, it’s important you understand some key Twitch influencer marketing metrics: Followers: How many users have chosen to see a streamer’s broadcast in their “Following” list. Average Concurrent Viewership: The average number of viewers in a streamer’s channel. Follower Growth: How many followers a streamer is gaining daily. This number should always be positive. Monthly impressions: The number of unique visits a streamer had on their broadcasts throughout the month. Engagements: The number of chat messages sent during a given stream or over the period of days or months. The higher the engagements, the better. ACV is the main determinant for how much money you have to pay a streamer for sponsored content — as their ACV increases, so must your budget (generally). There are a few ways you can discover new streamers and measure their analytics: 1. Do it manually. Head to Twitch, click on a game, and start watching streamers that pique your interest. Measure how many viewers they receive on a daily basis and how many followers they gain. Observe how active and positive their chat rooms are. Determine whether you like their personalities. If everything matches up with your goals and your budget, you’ll know the streamer is a good fit to promote your game. This method is pretty monotonous, but it can work if you’re just starting out. 2. Use a tool. Twinge.tv is great for discovering new streamers and viewing their metrics. Or, if you’re looking for something more powerful, PowerSpike is a good option. It has all the metric measurement features of Twinge and more. The platform also allows you to post a “campaign” to a marketplace where streamers can apply (like a job board) — this is great if you don’t feel like manually searching for streamers. Full transparency: I work with PowerSpike so I’m biased towards our platform, but any tool will work for your needs. Once you have a list of potential streamers… 5. Find their contact information. If you manually searched for your list of streamers, you’ll have to manually find each of their points of contact. There are a few common places you can look for contact info: 1. The info section. This is where most streamers link to their emails or Discord servers. If a streamer’s info section is crowded, just Control + F and search for “@,” “gmail,” or “email.” If nothing comes up, you’ll have to look elsewhere. 2. Twitter descriptions. If the contact info isn’t in their info section, there’s a good chance they’ve linked it in their Twitter bio. You can usually find a streamer’s Twitter account from their info section. If it’s not there, however, you can Google “[streamer name] + Twitter” and (if they have an account) it will appear. 6. Send a sponsorship proposal. We’re finally getting to the good stuff. A “proposal” is an email that introduces you to a streamer and informs them of your sponsorship offer. It usually acts as your first impression, so it’s important to get right. Here’s the process I use to write proposals for custom-managed campaigns at PowerSpike: Greet the streamer and tell them a bit about yourself and your game. Briefly mention how you discovered their stream. Make it personal. Next, tell them you want to send them a free copy of your game and let them know you want to sponsor them. Give a brief description of your promotion idea. Then, provide an offer for how much you’d pay them for completing the sponsorship. Let them know when you’re looking to start the deal. Lastly, encourage ongoing communication by inviting them to a short voice call to further discuss the deal. Once your proposal is completed, send it to the streamer on Discord, Twitter, or email. Then wait. If the streamer accepts your proposal, great! You can move on to the next step. If they want to negotiate your price or requirements, that’s fine too. Talk it out with them. Be honest about what you’re able to offer and how far you can go in terms of pricing. If the offer goes out of your range or they decline to accept, it’s no big deal — thank them for taking the time and move on. 7. Send the necessary deal and promotion materials. Once a streamer accepts your proposal, there are only a few things left to do: If money is involved, send a contract. You can skip this step if you’re using PowerSpike. Set a time and date for them to complete the sponsorship. It’s best to let them choose this time, but don’t hesitate to propose your own time frame if it’s important. Send the necessary resources (e.g. game keys, branded info section graphics, tracking links, documents that restate your requirements, etc.). Lastly, ensure the streamer knows to include #ad or #sponsored in their stream titles or social media posts during sponsored content. If you‘re unsure whether this FTC rule applies to your sponsorship, more info can be found here. Almost done! 8. Watch the sponsorship. There are several reasons why you’d want to watch your sponsored content live: Viewers like to interact with devs. You’ll make them feel like they’re a part of your project by talking with them in the chat, and that’s cool. You can collect feedback and answer questions. The streamers and the viewers will know you care. Just be sure you aren’t micromanaging from the chat. Let your streamers do their thing and you can interact with their communities. 9. Record results, pay the streamer, and restart. It’s done. And now it’s time to measure the results. How many clicks did your website get? How many game copies did you sell? How much feedback did you receive? Did the streamer provide high-quality content? Were they professional? Did you set the grounds for an ongoing relationship? And most importantly: Did you achieve the goals you set in step one? I hope so. But if not, you can always learn from your mistakes and try again later. Once all your requirements have been fulfilled, you can pay your streamers and restart the process! By now, you should have a great understanding of how you can sponsor Twitch streamers to achieve your marketing goals as a game developer. To quickly recap the process: Formulate your goals. Set your budget. Brainstorm promotion ideas. Gather a list of streamers. Find their contact information. Reach out and propose the promotion ideas and sponsorship offer. Send necessary deal and promotion materials if they accept your offer. Observe the sponsored content. Record results, pay the streamer, and restart. And that’s it. Good luck out there! If you're interested in trying PowerSpike for free to kickstart your influencer marketing efforts, feel free to DM me and I'll help you out! Originally posted on Medium at https://medium.com/@aaronmarsden/a17045c32611.
  5. Free tickets are available to The Business of Indie Games Virtual Summit happening next month from July 24-27, 2018. There will be 30+ well respected indie devs, producers, and industry veterans speaking about strategy, finance, and marketing of indie games. You can easily sign up on the website at https://businessofindiegames.com/info.
  6. Free tickets are available to The Business of Indie Games Virtual Summit happening next month from July 24-27, 2018. There will be 30+ well respected indie devs, producers, and industry veterans speaking about strategy, finance, and marketing of indie games. You can easily sign up on the website at https://businessofindiegames.com/info. View full story
  7. Hey guys, I've now spent a good amount of time to finish my first Game. The software is as good as ready for a Release, however I'm not! I've come up with so many questions regarding the release of my first Game and i don't know who to ask them. My Questions/Problems are: 1.Copyright Do i have to claim Copyright on my game, and if so, how do i do that? 2.Company Do i have to create a Company to release the game (regarding the copyright and the taxation of the Patreon income [I'm living in Germany]) 3.Release Platform I'm yet not sure how i want to release my Game. As my budget is as of now limited to 0$ a free release-platform is the only way to go. I thought about Itch.io or launching an download-website just for this Game. I hope that you guys have some advices for me regarding these Questions. Please keep in mind that I am a 100% Rookie on this field and excuse me for all the times i sound like a complete idiot. I'm thankfull for any Answers! Cheers, Wooks
  8. Egypt: Old Kingdom is now available on Steam for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. About the game: Strategy simulator of the Great Pyramids construction period, where you take your path from the unification of Egyptian tribes to the foundation of The First Empire. Deep historical research and stylized graphics - these two are the main features of Egypt Old Kingdom, the game made by Clarus Victoria Studio in cooperation with egyptologists from CESRAS (Center for Egyptological Studies of the Russian Academy of Science). The player will lead a small group of Egyptians, who came to the Lower Egypt to found a new settlement. All he has is a minimal stock of food, a handful of people and a few soldiers as a protection from threats and wild animals. As player will advance from the foundation of Memphis to the building of the first Empire, he will realize that the great achievements of Egypt were possible without UFO or Atlantians interference. He'll find out how did Ancient Egypt kingdom function, what role has religion had, why common people were ready to labor in order to build all these temples and tombs. The player will have to overcome same difficulties as ancient Egyptians - droughts, fires, earthquakes, or enemies waiting for a good moment to strike. He will learn eventually what ruined the first ever empire and discover the facts which cannot be found in any book. The game was created with the support of CES RAS scientists. They are true explorers, who study Egyptian history in the field, organizing annual expeditions to Egypt to dig oit more knowledges in Giza, Memphis, Alexandria and other places. About developers: CES RAS - established in 1999, the Center has a subdivision in Cairo, which is a sience base for a field work in Egypt. The main goal of the Center is to carry out complex scientific research in the fields of history, culture, languages and religion of ancient, medieval, and modern Egypt. The research is based on study of the literary sources and the data yielded in the course of CESRAS' archaeological field projects. Clarus Victoria - independent developers of vcomputer games, established in 2013. The depth and versatility of their games is based on a reliable historical data. Our stuff is learning and improving with every project. At the moment, we have 3 complete games which were warmly welcomed by the players around the world. For more information please visit: clarusvictoria.com Our communities: VK: https://vk.com/precivilization FB: https://www.facebook.com/precivilization/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClarusVictoria Website: http://clarusvictoria.com/
  9. After almost two years of grueling full time development the anticipated 2D RPG Towards The Pantheon has a release date of May 16th, 2018. While lead developer Connor O.R.T. Linning had been thinking of dates between April and June for quite some time, the date was solidified during a shower one morning and the Lagwagon song ‘May 16th’ from the legendary Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 soundtrack began playing. Development of Towards The Pantheon started when lead developer Connor O.R.T. Linning collected a long list of RPG clichés and decided to avoid as many of them as possible while designing his game. Gone are elemental types, elixirs, elves, inns, and generic love stories. Instead players of Towards The Pantheon will ride hamsters, journey through a survival horror inspired mansion, collect dead memories, make new friends, and partake in regular chats around the campfire. Artist Leandro Tokarevski joined soon after to create the pixel art for the entire world using a palette of only 16 colors resulting in a vibrant and distinct world full of charm. Towards The Pantheon follows the journey of Freyja the warrior, Bam the cat, Mishima the electropunk, and Phenez the ghost as they strive to defeat the source of a malevolent regime The Sworn Light at The Pantheon. To make the gameplay of Towards The Pantheon more unique, elements of adventure and survival horror genres have been implemented. The standard HP/MP system for party members has been altered so that every character has their own stat system. For example Phenez the ghost only has Necropoints which means that he must hurt himself to be able to attack, and Bam the cat has Energy Points which are restored by snoozing or using catnip. With a world containing over 10 distinct regions to explore, 45 enemies to battle, 80 soundtrack songs to experience, hundreds of items to collect, hundreds of NPCs to interact with, and over 15 hours of gameplay, Towards The Pantheon is the unique type of game for those looking for a new and fresh adventure. In October 2017 the horror/mystery themed prequel game Towards The Pantheon: Escaping Eternity was released for free and received an 89% positive score on Steam. The game was praised by reviewers and streamers for its original premise and dark atmosphere. Towards The Pantheon’s release date of May 16th also brings lead developer Connor O.R.T. Linning’s journey full circle. 15 years ago he spent his time at school creating an episodic pixel art story accompanied by trading cards that he distributed among his friends named ‘May 16th’. Now at age 26, he’s bringing that same love and dedication to storytelling and game development to Steam, Itch.io, and Gamejolt. Towards The Pantheon can now be added to your Steam Wishlist! http://store.steampowered.com/app/709510/Towards_The_Pantheon/ Links: Press Kit: http://www.towardsthepantheon.com/index.php/press-kit/ Steam Page link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/709510/Towards_The_Pantheon/ Website: http://www.towardsthepantheon.com Social Media Links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TowardsThePantheon Twitter: https://twitter.com/PantheonDev Tumblr: http://towardsthepantheon.tumblr.com/ Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/TowardsThePantheon/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/towardsthepantheon/ Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/connorort Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114060823024573957788?hl=en Indiedb: http://www.indiedb.com/games/towards-the-pantheon
  10. On the 2nd of November 2017 we launched a Kickstarter campaign for our game Nimbatus - The Space Drone Constructor, which aimed to raise $20,000. By the campaign’s end, 3000 backers had supported us with a total of $74,478. All the PR and marketing was handled by our indie developer team of four people with a very low marketing budget. Our team decided to go for a funding goal we were sure we could reach and extend the game’s content through stretch goals. The main goal of the campaign was to raise awareness for the game and raise funds for the alpha version. Part 1 - Before Launch Is what we believed when we launched our first Kickstarter campaign in 2016. For this first campaign, we had built up a very dedicated group of people before the Kickstarter’s launch. Nimbatus also had a bit of a following before the campaign launched: ~ 300 likes on Facebook ~ 1300 followers on Twitter ~ 1000 newsletter subs ~ 3500 followers on Steam However, there had been little interaction between players and us previous to the campaign's launch. This made us unsure whether or not the Nimbatus Kickstarter would reach its funding goal. A few weeks prior to launch, we started to look for potential ways to promote Nimbatus during the Kickstarter. We found our answer in social news sites. Reddit, Imgur and 9gag all proved to be great places to talk about Nimbatus. More about this in Part 3 - During the campaign. As with our previous campaign, the reward structure and trailer were the most time-consuming aspects of the page setup. We realised early that Nimbatus looks A LOT better in motion and therefore decided that we should show all features in action with animated GIFs. Two examples: In order to support the campaigns storytelling, “we built a ship, now we need a crew!”, we named all reward tiers after open positions on the ship. We were especially interested how the “Navigator” tier would do. This $95 tier would give backers free digital copies of ALL games our company EVER creates. We decided against Early Bird and Kickstarter exclusive rewards in order avoid splitting backers into “winners and losers”, based on the great advice from Stonemaier Game’s book A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide (EDS Publications Ltd. (2015). Their insights also convinced us to add a $1 reward tier because it lets people join the update loop to build up trust in our efforts. Many of our $1 backers later increased their pledge to a higher tier. Two of our reward tiers featured games that are similar to Nimbatus. The keys for these games were provided by fellow developers. We think that this is really awesome and it helped the campaign a lot! A huge thanks to Avorion, Reassembly , Airships and Scrap Galaxy <3 Youtubers and streamers are important allies for game developers. They are in direct contact with potential buyers/backers and can significantly increase a campaign’s reach. We made a list of content creators who’d potentially be interested in our game. They were selected mostly by browsing Youtube for “let’s play” videos of games similar to Nimbatus. We sent out a total of 100 emails, each with a personalized intro sentence, no money involved. Additionally, we used Keymailer . Keymailer is a tool to contact Youtubers and streamers. At a cost of $150/month you can filter all available contacts by games they played and genres they enjoy. We personalized the message for each group. Messages automatically include an individual Steam key. With this tool, we contacted over 2000 Youtubers/Streamers who are interested in similar games. How it turned out - About 10 of the 100 Youtubers we contacted manually ended up creating a video/stream during the Kickstarter. Including some big ones with 1 million+ subscribers. - Over 150 videos resulted from the Keymailer outreach. Absolutely worth the investment! Another very helpful tool to find Youtubers/Streamers is Twitter. Before, but also during the campaign we sent out tweets , stating that we are looking for Youtubers/Streamers who want to feature Nimbatus. We also encouraged people to tag potentially interested content creators in the comments. This brought in a lot of interested people and resulted in a couple dozen videos. We also used Twitter to follow up when people where not responding via email, which proved to be very effective. In terms of campaign length we decided to go with a 34 day Kickstarter. The main reason being that we thought it would take quite a while until the word of the campaign spread enough. In retrospective this was ok, but we think 30 days would have been enough too. We were very unsure whether or not to release a demo of Nimbatus. Mainly because we were unsure if the game offered enough to convince players in this early state and we feared that our alpha access tier would potentially lose value because everyone could play already. Thankfully we decided to offer a demo in the end. More on this topic in Part 3 - During the campaign. Since we are based in Switzerland, we were forced to use CHF as our campaign’s currency. And while the currency is automatically re-calculated into $ for American backers, it was displayed in CHF for all other international backers. Even though CHF and $ are almost 1:1 in value, we believed this to be a hurdle. There is no way to tell for us how many backers were scared away because of this in the end. Part 2: Kickstarter Launch We launched our Kickstarter campaign on a Thursday evening (UTC + 1) which is midday in the US. In order to celebrate the launch, we did a short livestream on Facebook. We had previously opened an event page and invited all our Facebook friends to it. Only a few people were watching and we were a bit stressed out. In order to help us spread the word we challenged our supporters with community goals. We promised that if all these goals were reached, each backer above $14 would receive an extra copy of Nimbatus. With most of the goals reached after the first week, we realized that we should have made the challenge a bit harder. The first few days went better than expected. We announced the Kickstarter on Imgur, Reddit, 9gag, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, in some forums, via our Newsletter and on our Steam page. If you plan to release your game on Steam later on, we’d highly recommend that you set up your Steam page before the Kickstarter launches. Some people might not be interested in backing the game but will go ahead and wishlist it instead. Part 3: During The Campaign We tried to keep the campaign’s momentum going. This worked our mostly thanks to the demo we had released. In order to download the Nimbatus demo, people needed to head over to our website and enter their email address. Within a few minutes, they received an automated email, including a download link for the demo. We used Mailchimp for this process. We also added a big pop up in the demo to inform players about the Kickstarter. At first we were a bit reluctant to use this approach, it felt a bit sneaky. But after adding a line informing players they would be added to the newsletter and adding a huge unsubscribe button in the demo download mail, we felt that we could still sleep at night. For our previous campaign we had also released a demo. But the approach was significantly different. For the Nimbatus Kickstarter, we used the demo as a marketing tool to inform people about the campaign. Our previous Kickstarters’ demo was mainly an asset you could download if you were already checking out the campaign’s page and wanted to try the game before backing. We continued to frequently post on Imgur, Twitter, 9Gag and Facebook. Simultaneously, people streamed Nimbatus on Twitch and released videos on Youtube. This lead to a lot of demo downloads and therefore growth of our newsletter. A few hundred subs came in every day. Only about 10% of the people unsubscribed from the newsletter after downloading the demo. Whenever we updated the demo or reached significant milestones in the campaign, such as being halfway to our goal, we sent out a newsletter. We also opened a Discord channel, which turned out a be a great way to stay in touch with our players. We were quite surprised to see a decent opening and link click rate. Especially if you compare this to our “normal” newsletter, which includes mostly people we personally met at events. Our normal newsletter took over two years to build up and includes about 4000 subs. With the Nimbatus demo, we gathered 50’000 subs within just 4 weeks and without travelling to any conferences. (please note that around 2500 people subscribed to the normal newsletter during the Kickstarter) On the 7th day of the campaign we asked a friend if she would give us a shoutout on Reddit. She agreed and posted it in r/gaming. We will never forget what happened next. The post absolutely took off! In less than an hour, the post had reached the frontpage and continued to climb fast. It soon reached the top spot of all things on Reddit. Our team danced around in the office. Lots of people backed, a total of over $5000 came in from this post and we reached our funding goal 30 minutes after hitting the front page. We couldn’t believe our luck. Then, people started to accuse us of using bots to upvote the post. Our post was reported multiple times until the moderators took the post down. We were shocked and contacted them. They explained that they would need to investigate the post for bot abuse. A few hours later, they put the post back up and stated to have found nothing wrong with it and apologized for the inconvenience. Since the post had not received any upvotes in the past hours while it was taken down it very quickly dropped off the front page and the money flow stopped. While this is a misunderstanding we can understand and accept, people’s reactions hit us pretty hard. After the post was back up, many people on Reddit continued to accuse us and our friend. In the following days, our friend was constantly harassed when she posted on Reddit. Some people jumped over to our companies Twitter and Imgur account and kept on blaming us, asking if we were buying upvotes there too. It’s really not cool to falsely accuse people. Almost two weeks later we decided to start posting in smaller subreddits again. This proved to be no problem. But when we dared to do another post in r/gaming later, people immediately reacted very aggressive. We took the new post down and decided to stop posting in r/gaming (at least during the Kickstarter). After upgrading the demo with a new feature to easily export GIFs, we started to run competitions on Twitter. The coolest drones that were shared with #NimbatusGame would receive a free Alpha key for the game. Lots of players participated and helped to increase Nimbatus’ reach by doing so. We also gave keys to our most dedicated Youtubers/streamers who then came up with all kinds of interesting challenges for their viewers. All these activities came together in a nice loop: People downloaded the Nimbatus demo they heard about on social media/social news sites or from Youtubers/Streamers. By receiving newsletters and playing the demo they learned about the Kickstarter. Many of them backed and participated in community goals/competitions which brought in more new people. Not much happened in terms of press. RockPaperShotgun and PCGamer wrote articles, both resulting in about $500, which was nice. A handful of small sites picked up the news too. We sent out a press release when Nimbatus reached its funding goal, both to manually picked editors of bigger sites and via gamespress.com. Part 4: Last Days Every person that hit the “Remind me” button on a Kickstarter page receives an email 48 hours before a campaign ends. This helpful reminder caused a flood of new pledges. We reached our last stretch goal a few hours before our campaign ended. Since we had already communicated this goal as the final one we withheld announcing any further stretch goals. We decided to do a Thunderclap 24 hours before the campaign ends. Even after having done quite a few Thunderclaps, we are still unsure how big of an impact they have. A few minutes before the Kickstarter campaign was over we cleaned up our campaign page and added links to our Steam page and website. Note that Kickstarter pages cannot be edited after the campaign ends! The campaign ended on a Tuesday evening (UTC + 1) and raised a total of $75’000, which is 369% of the original funding goal. After finishing up our “Thank you” image and sending it to our backers it was time to rest. Part 5: Conclusion We are very happy with the campaign’s results. It was unexpected to highly surpass our funding goal, even though we didn’t have an engaged community when the campaign started. Thanks to the demo we were able to develop a community for Nimbatus on the go. The demo also allowed us to be less “promoty” when posting on social news sites. This way, interested people could get the demo and discover the Kickstarter from there instead of us having to ask for support directly when posting. This, combined with the ever growing newsletter, turned into a great campaign dynamic. We plan to use this approach again for future campaigns. Growth 300 ------------------> 430 Facebook likes 1300 -----------------> 2120 Twitter followers 1000 -----------------> 50’000 Newsletter signups 3500 -----------------> 10’000 Followers on Steam 0 ---------------------> 320 Readers of subreddit 0 ---------------------> 468 People on Discord 0 ---------------------> 300 Members in our forum More data 23% of our backers came directly from Kickstarter. 76% of our backers came from external sites. For our previous campaign it was 36/64. The average pledge amount of our backers was $26. 94 backers decided to choose the Navigator reward, which gives them access to all games our studio will create in the future. It makes us very happy to see that this kind of reward, which is basically an investment in us as a game company, was popular among backers. Main sources of backers Link inside demo / Newsletter 22’000 Kickstarter 17’000 Youtube 15’000 Google 3000 Reddit 2500 Twitter 2000 Facebook 2000 TLDR: Keymailer is awesome, but also contact big Youtubers/streamers via email. Most money for the Kickstarter came in through the demo. Social news sites (Imgur, 9Gag, Reddit, …) can generate a lot of attention for a game. It’s much easier to offer a demo on social news sites than to ask for Kickstarter support. Collecting newsletter subs from demo downloads is very effective. It’s possible to run a successful Kickstarter without having a big community beforehand. We hope this insight helps you plan your future Kickstarter campaign. We believe you can do it and we wish you all the best. About the author: Philomena Schwab is a game designer from Zurich, Switzerland. She co-founded Stray Fawn Studio together with Micha Stettler. The indie game studio recently released its first game, Niche - a genetics survival game and is now developing its second game Nimbatus - The Space Drone Constructor. Philomena wrote her master thesis about community building for indie game developers and founded the nature gamedev collective Playful Oasis. As a chair member of the Swiss Game Developers association she helps her local game industry grow. https://www.nimbatus.ch/ https://strayfawnstudio.com/ https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/strayfawnstudio/nimbatus-the-space-drone-constructor Related Reading: Algo-Bot: Lessons Learned from our Kickstarter failure.
  11. Corbbin Goldsmith

    Marketing I'm writing about games!

    Hi, everyone, For the last month, I've been building out my news site for developers of all sorts, and I cover games, apps, web apps, SaaS, you name it! If you want to have an article written about your game, contact me so I can get started! Requirements: A "playable" game A good idea behind it Um, that's about it. Just send me a message through my site. Articles I've written: https://www.theinspectorpress.com/news/dreamscape-168-z-run https://www.theinspectorpress.com/news/unlok-wayward
  12. Showcasing the game to new folks, meeting other developers, learning from their experiences, making friends, and dancing my legs off. That's the TL;DR of my Orlando Overdrive experience this past weekend. Battle Gem Ponies had a booth right in the middle of the indie game hallway leading to the bar & dance floor of The Geek Easy. Turns out the whole brony thing wasn't a passing fad, and lots of people still smile when they see marshmallow horses with super powers. Check out this week's devlog to see how the indie showcase went. 👾 The promo poster for the indie event we had to submit title logos for and I make a mistake right out the gate. I tried so hard to be prepared but I still missed a couple spots. I never made a version of the logo over a colored, blank background. Always assuming the app store promo banner sizes plus the transparent logo by itself would be enough for anything. I really should have just asked then drafted something up real quick. So I corrected the mistake, too late to change the poster now, but in the future. I'll need this version of the logo and a colorful background that pops compared to the images around it, and doesn't obscure the letters too much. Had a lovely booth setup with my friend Lawrence who volunteered to watch over my stuff as I ran around to mingle and go back and fourth to nearby stores for extra supplies and food. Completed: Made a GameDev.net Account (reposted my forum and blog content) Found a Volunteer & Prepped My 1st Ever Demo Booth (TV, table, shelf, and couch provided by the venue) Presented Battle Gem Ponies at Orlando Overdrive Befriended Indie Devs from around Central Florida Noted Feedback, Adjusted Tutorial in Design Document Learned From Other Devs that I'm Doing Pretty Good and Should Keep it Up Spruced Up My LinkedIn a Bit (made the tone a bit more casual and fun) Made it a lot more like my Twitter and a lot less like a resume because I'm an indie developer and don't need to pretend I'm all stiff and formal. I'm here to connect with my peers, not beg to be a cog in some company. And here's the new BGP page on GameDev.net Lessons Learned: When someone asks for a logo, ask back "what size?", "surrounding images allowed?", and "what do the others look like?" so you can submit the perfect first impression. Even without the new version ready, I can smooth talk past the bugs. Turn that into a relatable opportunity and explain the gamedev process in layman's terms. At expos, I'm not just showcasing my game, I'm showcasing my personality. Having people walk away liking me as a person might be even more valuable than them liking the game. Which would you be more likely to buy, a cool looking game, or an okay looking game a friend made and is really depending on? I'd think you'd put the former on a wishlist you may never get around to and the latter as a priority at launch. I've become incredibly frustrated with Facebook's business page management hurdles and wish I never converted the Yotes Games page when I experimented with Instragram. It's been nothing but a headache to do the simplest things since. I can't even simply add photos to an album without minutes of permissions, reuploads, re-typing/tagging, and general hoopla. And the most important thing to take away from this weekend is... I'm onto something. And should really keep at it. Battle Gem Ponies could be huge, if I just market this correctly. If Saturday's event was practice for expos to come, I seriously think I could make a splash too big to ignore. __________________________________________________________ Downloads: Business Stuff! This shows how my 3 remaining iOS apps are doing lately. Basically $5 a month. Steady growth as usual, big bump of attention on Itch.io with BGP being there and me sharing the link with everyone lately. Amazon also changed their developer reports so now I'm only able to track active users and not total downloads. They also want sales and royalties kept confidential now. So I won't be able to keep accurate tabs on that column anymore. Predictable numbers at this point. Slow and steady as time goes on, and the thousands of new apps released weekly drown Unicorn Training out of the search results. Didn't see a spike after the Overdrive event because I was more focused on getting people to like Battle Gem Ponies than trying to sell them on Unicorn Training. However, quite a few people did ask to see my website and other games, so at the very least I made a bunch more followers. You know, until a friend recently brought up how hard it is to gain traction on a written blog, I completely forgot about my AdSense account that was supposed to be funding my development (or at least covering web hosting costs). Would you believe that I started this website, update it's content on a regular basis, spread its presence to other blog sharing sites as well as connected it to an App Store linked YouTube account, and 5 years later I STILL only just passed the halfway mark towards fulfilling the first payment threshold. 5 years, and $50 I can't even touch because Google thinks it's too small to be worth the trouble of sending to me. Which is extra weird because their app store payment threshold is just a dollar. Guess ads work as a package deal on the advertiser's side or something. It's cool to get a few hundred visitors each week, but I feel like I'm just not on the radar of tons of folks who'd probably love to see this type of stuff. So maybe I need to put effort into being where they are. Bring my stuff to them instead of waving a flag on my tiny island and hoping they come to me. This led to me thinking I should take YouTube a lot more seriously next time around. I want to do video devlogs every month along side these written posts where I can share screenshots, breakdown graphs and do the whole Completed checklist thing. I'd like to do something like Yandere Dev or Exiled Game Team and just put on a show and build some hype with Battle Gem Ponies 2. 2 million subs, $4.4K on Patreon, and an army of cosplayers. Clearly this guy is onto something and it's connecting to fans on a deep level. Only growing more popular over the years and even scored him a publishing deal. Who knows. It might even blow up like Yandere Dev's channel and I'll be able to fund web hosting and pay video editors to do the time-consuming video production for me. If I reach more people, I can cultivate a community, make a bigger name for myself, increase sales, and ultimately increase the chances of success for all my future projects because people will know who "Yotes" is and be interested in what he's working on. Just a thought. Featured: First-ever Battle Gem Ponies indie expo booth! (outside of school) My setup involved bringing along my precious work laptop (the Macbook purchased with Unicorn Training money) as well as a pretty cheap tablet I got for Christmas years ago, my Clover plushie, the Yotes flag, and a bunch of MLP & Pokemon figurines I collected over many birthdays. Just about every little thing I had to signal to folks what this game was all about and convince them to stop and stare long enough for me to swoop in and feed their curiosity. A friend volunteered to help me set things up in exchange for food and I was happy to have some backup. I ended up not needing my extra monitor, so after that was setup and we realized the mounted TV looked way better, that monitor was put back in my trunk. As for controls & comfort, I went to a nearby Target (the only store nearby selling electronics) and bought a mouse to use with my laptop tray and new gaming mousepad to replace the Xbox 360 controller setup Mac's aren't compatible with anymore and make use of the couch given to us. Told him to look excessively comfortable and happy to simulate the player experience. With the mouse tray being moved around so much and usually so far from the laptop, it needed to be wireless. But foolish me first grabbed the $1 cheaper wired one thinking it'd be fine for just a demo and I wouldn't have to worry about batteries. I ended up running back to the store and exchanging that one for the wireless red mouse from the same brand that cost only $9 and already had a battery inside. For cases where I could tell someone didn't want to sit or someone looked like they'd get frustrated with the laptop controls, I handed them the tablet first, because the touch interface is way more intuitive. My main goal was to eliminate as many barriers as possible and convince everyone who passed by to witness or play a quick match or three. The bar section of the Geek Easy. Everybody had to walk past my booth to get here, and pass again to get out. I had at least two chances to grab people's eyeballs. This place gets pretty packed on a night like this. I wasn't keeping an accurate count, but I remember sitting with and witnessing about 25 people playing the game while others I weren't keeping tally on watched nearby. And I consider that a TON since there were way over a hundred people coming in and out. The event went from 4pm to 1am, and the expo setup began at 2:00pm and packed up at 11:30pm. In that short time I feel like I made the most of every second and succeeded in getting just about everyone in the place to at least glance at the game and see what the hubbub's about. BGP was possibly the most eye-catching game of the show (that's what I heard from the host) and it was lucky enough to be placed exactly in the center of a slightly narrower part of the hallway, meaning you can't help but see the screen. I'm super honored and grateful for the whole opportunity and I'm really glad I went. The future of indie devs in the growing gaming culture of central Florida seems pretty bright. Looking forward to having increasingly impressive games to show. __________________________________________________________ One last playtest as the doors were opening... Now it's time to crunch on the big update. Needs to come quick so people can play a sleek-stable build from the comfort of any platform they choose! I'm more excited than ever to get the game out and now I feel like it's sure to be a success if I just get it in front of people and put the free version in their hands. It's time to make some hardcore BGP fans across the world. I mean, I've got the title theme stuck in my head now and it's not fair I'm the only one who knows it this well! Gotta do everything I can to make Battle Gem Ponies one of the great indie titles in history!
  13. Sandman Academy

    Sandman Academy Alpha 0.1

    We are happy to publish our Alpha 0.1 release of Sandman Academy! This release includes many new features and fixes, below you can find a list for most of them. Keep in mind some glitches might still occur, some more or less game breaking. If you find any, we always appreciate any bug reports! The updates for Sandman Academy will be a bit slower as we figure out a future for our project now that we have finished our course that this project was a part of here in the Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences but keep an eye on our social medias for updates on our game's future! Have fun, and sweet dreams! Sandman Academy development team. Download Here: Itch.io Indiexpo Gamejolt New features: 1 new quest The Principal is watching and judging your performance, you can now hear his comments while playing! (Subtitles included! Many new objects, see if you can spot them all! Many new sound effects New HUD elements including icons and button hints for an improved user experience Glow effect for interactable and quest objects Credits are now viewable from the Main Menu, see the team behind Sandman Academy! Bug fixes: Sticky jumping is fixed And many more bug fixes and quality of life changes
  14. QuizTime.live is a new quiz platform, a collection of skill games where you can win a LOT of money! The games are played in real time, with 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 players. At special times there are tourneys, with an unlimited number of participants. The prize money depends on the number of players. I would appreciate your feedback.
  15. Hello! We succeed to publish a small game on googleplay named "sting attack" https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.room.stingsattack Now we need help of someone experienced in marketing. We expect you be active and update our different pages each week and maybe each day. You should market this game and our other game (which is a large scale game for PC) and starts newly for develop. If you are interested please let me know and please send your resume too. Thanks Contact info: rezfar_8@yahoo.com
  16. CocoaColetto

    Game Name Copyright

    Can I get in trouble for naming my game similar to one that's not in the same genre? For instance, if a game is named Playarada and I name my game Playarade, can I get in trouble? Be mindful that the games would be in two completely different genres. Thank you!
  17. 3 Reasons Indies Should Apply for DreamHack's New Activities Coming to Austin June 1-3 We're expanding our DreamHack events to encompass a "Gaming Lifestyle" approach. So basically we're bringing a ton of new content to the already massive show that focuses on Indies, Tabletop, Films, Students, Art, and more. Of course this means we're making everything we're already doing even bigger and more awesome such as Esports, LAN, Music, Expo, and pretty much everything else. The Top 3 Activities Indies Should Apply For... 1. Indie Playground: The Indie Playground is a curated area where games entered into our competition before the event have a chance to win a complimentary booth to showcase their game. The selected games are organized into 12 genre categories that are reflected in the layout of the Indie Playground. Multiple titles are selected for each genre ensuring attendees will enjoy as many indie titles as possible. It's free to enter and those selected will score a FREE 10'x10' booth. We're pretty flexible on what you can send us. If you're not finished with your game yet you can definitely still submit. We've judged and accepted tons of unfinished video games, tabletop, etc. before. Entry form....https://tinyurl.com/DH-IndiePlayground Deadline: April 20, 2018 2. Game Pitch Championship: The Game Pitch Championship was created to help build the skills you need to successfully get your product out there. Many developers are talented and either nail the build they have to show but don’t really nail the business plan or they nail the business plan and not the build. With a pitch, you have a short time to impress so you need to nail it all. This competition will not only help hone your skills with industry vets guiding your progress through the competition, but you’ll win accolades too. You could also win $2,500! Entry Form....https://tinyurl.com/DH-GamePitchChamp Prize: $2,500 USD Deadline: April 20, 2018 3. Art Gallery: Exactly as it sounds, our gallery showcases some of the most amazing artists in video games, tabletop, comics, anime, and more. DreamHack staff select a number of works then we just print cool art on canvas for FREE—your game gets a slice of advertising while our fans enjoy a non-TV wall on the expo floor. It doesn't even require you to be onsite for the event, so this one should be a no-brainer. Entry Form....https://tinyurl.com/DH-GameArtGallery Deadline: April 20, 2018 Good luck!! Reach out to sydney.mantrom@dreamhack.com for questions.
  18. Important links Website | Whitepaper | Onepager Facebook | Twitter | Telegram | LinkedIn SQUID token - SQWD Opportunity for early supporters We are now at stage where we are able to start making connections with game developers who would be interested in being a part of Squid Networks in the future, not only would you be guaranteed a place on the Squid Platform but other incentives such as SQWD tokens and have a say in how the platform work, as after all game developers are extremely important in the market. If you are interested in be apart of Squid Networks please don't hesitate to get in touch respond on this thread or email us: business@squidnetworks.io Learn more about what we've done so far Key developments Whitepaper version 1.0 is live - 05/04/18 Video explainer is live - 10/04/18
  19. My university class this term is prompting me to ask a few questions, and hopefully you guys could help me out. I'm supposed to crowdsource ideas and techniques on how to "sell" my prototype asset. For context, my prototype is a procedural weapon generator similar to the one used by the Borderlands series.
  20. Okay, I want to find someone or a group whos in the process of making a browser game or mobile game or is interested in doing so. Im interested in guiding and help choose the route the general direction of the game should lean twards. Of course it is your game and you do have the rights to refuse the suggestions i have to improve the game, I have marketing concepts and ideas in mind and i do take time studying other strategies as well as come up with my own strategies for success. Look at it this way, you have a game you are trying to perfect, yet dont know how to raise a fanbase or increase player count, dont know how to generate revenue substantually. I have solutions to try, and as you may see it, I am your npc offering you the optional side quest to improve your game... Like normal side quests, they are optional but can be rewarding. I dont need money or asking for it either, because my service is free, but if it does lead to success then a generous donation or hiring me as a permenent team member in the future might work for the best for me.
  21. Hi! I am new here, so if I made some mistakes tell me about it. Also English is not my native language. Let’s start. I am part of a young gamedev team. Now we don`t even have a title. Shortly about a game. Our project is a T-RPG in the style of a bright noir (the closest example is L.A. Noir), where the story revolves around the misadventures of a private detective and his mixed team of comrades-in-arms. The main rivals are not only gangsters who have entangled the city with criminal networks, but also policemen who disagree fundamentally with the methods of the main characters. But at the beginning we faced with a lack of statistic information. So, I want to ask you to tell your opinion about this conception. And, maybe, answer some questions from this Google Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdZXkOV_D_NrwzgYBnW7LswU1XSMtY8V2VxW47QNk1z4hZPIQ/viewform?usp=sf_link
  22. If you have CROWDFUNDED the development of your game, which of the following statements do you agree with? 1. I went out of my way to try to launch my game by the estimated delivery date 2. I made an effort to launch my game by the estimated delivery date 3. I was not at all concerned about launching my game by the estimated delivery date ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hi there! I am an academician doing research on both funding success and video game development success. For those who have CROWDFUNDED your game development, it would be extremely helpful if you could fill out a very short survey (click the Qualtrics link below) about your experiences. http://koc.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5cjBhJv5pHzDpEV The survey would just take 5 minutes and I’ll be happy to share my findings of what leads to crowdfunding success and how it affects game development based on an examination of 350 Kickstarter projects on game development in return. This is an anonymous survey and your personal information will not be recorded. Thank you very much in advance!
  23. Hey Everyone, I was part of this community 10 years ago. I made a game that Steve Pavlina at Dexterity published and almost no one bought. I'm a programmer, I like to build stuff and HATE to market and sell stuff. If you want to take my product and make a pile of money with it, I'll split it with you 50/50. I owned picross dot com for several years before Nintendo took it from me. All I was left with was a few thousand user-made nonogram puzzles in my database. I've been trying to do something with them, but again, I'm not a business person. So I've made a mobile friendly html5 page with a version of picross and it's pretty much complete, if you can monetize it I'd love to have your help. But picross games on mobile suck right? Because there's too many little things to tap and too much zooming in and out! Not with my game. I automatically fill in every other cell in the puzzle, then highlight the unsolved cells one at a time and the user need only select "mark" or "blank". You still have to use picross-like logic, but it's faster and the UI is far simpler. So this thing already exists, you can play it here http://www.questengine.com/quickcross/ I think it only responds to touch events so it may not work on a full desktop browser with mouse clicks. There's a google adsense ad that pops up after each puzzle, but please ignore it, I'm not trying to get clicks, I seriously want a person who's good at building business relationships and who's just looking for a product to work around. Hope you'll have a look, thanks.
  24. Hi All, I am brand spanking new to this forum so let me start with a little about myself.. I am a pro record producer, composer / mixer and have been an avid gamer also for 20 years now; Wolfenstein 3D days (bought it on floppy disk around '99). Duke, Quake, Unreal 3D etc etc etc been passionately watching the industry progress whilst playing as much as I can.. I cannot express my excitement for the future of gaming. I haven't worked in the gaming music world, per se, but would be interested in chatting to anyone who could point me in the direction of independent devs who may be interested in working with some contemporary music producers and artists.. I am keen build some relationships in the industry and share some of my art / contacts with like minded people. Here's a little something I've been working on: Feel free to get in touch and chat ideas ::) Charlie
  25. Jesse Collins from Zettabyte Marketing discusses marketing for indie game developers. View attached outline: Download Related Reading: Jesse has also written a series of articles on 'Indie Marketing for noobs' in his column "Gamedev Unboxed".
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