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Found 95 results

  1. I am a few weeks into making my first "real" game and want to take it somewhat seriously. It'll be a single player top-down dungeon crawler RPG for PC. At what stage should I start marketing? From observation, sales benefit from building a customer base during development, but starting too early can cause customers to lose interest and showing unfinished assets/ideas can mar reputation. I also have that irrational fear someone's going to steal my ideas if I share them, but I'll get over it. When should you start putting your concept/aesthetic, code snippets, mechanics, gameplay footage, etc out there? Do you share in relation to when your content is presentable or your release schedule? As for where I'm at ~ I am still building the skeleton of my game, so there's lots of features but no substance or levels yet. The art is 100% placeholder. My concept is fleshed out, and I could give an elevator pitch for it. I'm beginning concept art, so I'll also have some aesthetic ready to share soon. I've been keeping a day-by-day journal of my activities and ideas, so I'll have plenty of content to rework into a developer's diary and marketing whenever it's okay to show people. It's probably early, but I want to start planning. Any perspectives are welcome! I'm mostly looking to learn from others' experience.
  2. There are a lot of blog posts online teaching indie developers “how to write proper press releases for their new games,” and they all provide different (and sometimes conflicting) information. It’s confusing. So, for the past week, I’ve spent my afternoons taking notes on all the useful information within each one, reaching out to established game developers to get their advice on how to write killer game press releases, and talking with PR pros in both game development and outside marketing environments to gather the absolute best information possible on the subject. This post combines all my findings. By the end, you’ll never have to read another “how to write a press release” post again. Sound good? Let’s start with the basics: What is a press release? A press release is a 1-to-2-page piece of writing that announces new and exciting projects you’ve been working on. The purpose of the release is to inform journalists and media sources about your news so they can (hopefully) publish stories about your work. They’re usually written in the third person — in other words, they’re written as if a journalist is writing about your game when in reality it’s just your writing. Press releases are usually distributed through distribution tools or PR firms — but as an indie developer, they’re mainly used to help journalists solidify a story about your news when you pitch them over email. We’ll talk more pitching writers later, but for now, understand this: Getting press is a great way to drive traffic to your new projects and can save you thousands of dollars in advertising costs if done right, so press releases are important! When should you publish press releases? Press releases are typically published when you announce: A new game Game-changing new features or technology Events Partnerships (or other business-related news, like investments or grants (thanks Unreal)) New research Awards Or a resolution to a crisis (which hopefully isn’t your case) …and that’s it for the basics. Now let’s cover the steps for writing your release. Step 1: Find your angle Here’s a brutal truth: No one pays attention to news that isn’t new or interesting. This is especially true for journalists. So without an interesting “story angle” you can take when announcing your news, no one’s going to pay attention to yours either. Gabby DaRienzo, creator of A Mortician’s Tale and co-founder of Laundry Bear, said it best: How do you find that “unique selling point,” you ask? Lewis Denby, creator of the indie dev PR firm Game If You Are (this firm is great for indie devs — check it out!), recommends observing your original motivations for creating your game: A great example of a USP (unique selling point) comes from Numinous Games, creator of Galaxies of Hope, who developed their game to help neuroendocrine tumor patients understand their diagnoses: Taken from an Apple App Store article written about Wahmann’s game. The combination of Numinous Game’s inspiration for creating the game (to help neuroendocrine tumor patients) along with their unique selling point (a game that teaches people about neuroendocrine tumors) makes for a killer story any games journalists would be happy to cover. THAT’s your goal. * * * After you’ve found your angle, it’s time to start the boring s**t. Step 2: Write your headline and subheadline. A good headline serves two purposes: It shows the reader what’s being announced immediately, clearly, and concisely… …and it entices the reader to read the subheadline or first paragraph. A simple formula to follow when writing headlines is “[x] does [y],” like in the following releases: SkyBox Labs Brings Bedrock Version of Minecraft to Nintendo Switch Slitherine is nominated as Economic Disruptor of the Year Keywords Studios acquires Snowed In Studios Bandai Namco Amusement Lab Inc. established for VR arcade development Aaron Marsden writes captivating article about indie game press releases (in his humble opinion) Don’t bury any information here, but don’t make it too boring either. No one wants to read a press release titled “Game Studio releases New Game.” Strike a balance between conciseness and charm and your headline will do just fine. Tip: Great headlines are always written under 18 words. Subheadline The purpose of your subheadline is to expand on the headline if it’s not enough to fully capture your reader’s attention. It serves as an extra “attention grabber” that boosts your readers into the heart of your release. In Numinous Games’ case, the headline and subheadline of their press release could look something like: Headline: “Numinous Games releases Galaxies of Hope for Neuroendocrine Cancer Sufferers” Subheadline: “Game aims to help NET patients understand and cope with their diagnoses” I’d read it. Step 3: Write the first paragraph The first paragraph is the most important part of your press release. Although the headline/subheadline captures your reader’s attention, the first paragraph is what locks them into the piece and keeps them there for the rest of the way. Your first paragraph should answer the all-important “5 W’s”: who, what, when, where, and why. Who’s the press release about? (This will be your company) What’s happening? (This will be your announcement) When will it happen? (The date of your announcement) Where is it happening? (ex. What platforms is your game releasing on, where is your event occurring, etc.) Why is it important? Coschedule, a marketing application, provides this useful template in their blog post for writing effective first paragraphs: [WHO: COMPANY] today announced it will [WHAT] at [WHERE] on [WHEN]. The [EVENT/ANNOUNCEMENT] will provide [BENEFIT] for [AUDIENCE]. Here’s a great example from E-Home Entertainment, the developer of a new game, Gene Rain: Ignore the grammatical errors in the second sentence for now. I’ll say it again: be sure you’re providing the most important information up-front. No burying. (also, stay away from cliches — everyone has “the best game” or “the most exciting gameplay.”) Step 4: The second paragraph The purpose of the second paragraph is to elaborate more on your game and why it’s important to you and to your players. A great way to do this is with a personal quote. As an indie dev, personal quotes allow you to dive deeper into your USP— what compelled you to create your game in the first place? What problem does it solve and how do you hope it helps your players? That’s the information your quote should contain. In the App Store article I referenced earlier, Amy Green of Numinous Games provides a great quote where she talks about the game’s purpose of sharing stories from other tumor patients: Notice how Amy’s quote fits perfectly into the context of her game’s story — this is exactly how you should format yours. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for journalists to write stories about you, and allowing them to grab a relevant quote straight from your press release without an interview is a great way to do that. Note: In your actual press release, your quote should be a bit longer than Amy’s and should be written in third person. I don’t have the original press release for their game, but if I were to guess, the quote was written something like: “Our goal with Galaxies of Hope was not only to share Maryann’s personal story with NET, but also to help other patients,” said Amy Green of Numinous Games. “It meant so much to tell our own story through this medium that we started thinking about how we could share the stories of others.” Step 5: The third paragraph (Don’t worry, we’re almost done.) The third paragraph completes your story. This is usually where you’ll write about the nitty-gritty details of your game: When writing your third paragraph, ask yourself: “What’s interesting about my game from a player’s perspective? What makes it enjoyable? What could I say to get potential players excited?” That’s what you should describe here. I really love Magicka’s third (and fourth) paragraphs in their press release for their PvP mode. Notice how they’ve divulged just enough information to excite their players on the new mode: (Their tone is killer, too.) Step 6 (Optional): Key, bulleted features If your game has some interesting features that wouldn’t fit into your above paragraphs but still deserve a spot in the press, a common practice is to list them near the bottom of your release. Here’s another example from Magicka: Just be sure not to go overboard — only include things you think your players (or journalists) would find value from. Step 7 (Optional): Technical details. If your game is resource-heavy, it’s a good idea to throw your system requirements here. Step 8: Call to action By now, your potential players have read your release and are pumped to jump into your game. Now they just need to know where to play it. A CTA (call to action) is a short action statement at the bottom of your release that drives traffic to your Steam page or website. Think of it as the “final push” your readers need to take action on your announcement. The key here is to make your CTA actionable. A simple link to your page or a “click here to buy” isn’t enough — you must make it enticing. If you were releasing a VR war game, for instance, you could write something like: Tip: If your Steam store page is super long, consider using a bit.ly link to shorten it up. Step 9: Link to your press kit. If you aren’t already aware, a press kit is: Press kits make it super easy for journalists to grab videos and gifs of your game to use in their articles. I highly suggest checking out the Mortician’s Tale kit on Laundry Bear’s website if you’re making your kit for the first time. It has pretty much everything an effective kit needs, so feel free to copy its base elements. (Thanks again Gabby!) Step 10: Contact information. If a journalist were to reach out to you for more information, where would you send them? It’s usually formatted like so: Name Company Name Phone Number Email This information can go both at the top of the page, as well as near the bottom like on this release (we’ll format this in a second). Step 11: Add the final touches Almost done. Now you just need to add some extra information to make your press release an actual press release: A “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” tag with the date of your release. This will go to the right of your contact information. City, state, and location information. This will go directly before your first paragraph. An image, video, or gif showing off your game. This can go directly above or after your headline and subheadline. And BOOM — you‘re done! At the end of the process, your release should look something like this: Although Magicka’s release is really good, there are a few things I’d change about it: There’s no “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.” This may confuse journalists. There’s no quote from the developers. This makes it feel impersonal. Their CTA is pretty bad (“Find out more here”). …but other than that, it’s a great reference point you can use when writing your own release. Extras When should you post your release? Sometimes the timing of your release is as simple as “whenever your game is ready.” But other times, especially in Tim Ruswick’s case, putting thought into the timing of your release can be crucial to its success: Keep this in mind with context to your game. Where should you send your release? Most companies simply post their press releases on their website, announce it on social media, put it through a PR distributor like PRNewswire, and wait for journalists to pick it up. But that won’t work for indie devs. When you’re starting out you don’t have enough of a media presence to simply post your press release, and on a tight budget, paying big bucks for PR tools isn’t viable. That means you’ll have to manually send your release to journalists. So before you post your press release, go on some of the popular gaming news sites like Kotaku, Polygon, or PC Gamer and gather a list of journalists (and their emails) who’ve written about games similar to yours. Then, once you’re ready to release, send them an email with a pitch for your story. I just made that process sound way more simple than it actually is, so I recommend using this guide for reaching out to journalists. * * * That’s it! By now, you should have enough information to write effective press releases without having to read another “how to write a press release” post. But here’s the thing: Getting press is only one way to market your game, and by no means is it the end-all-be-all. Continuing your marketing efforts is crucial to your success. That’s why I put together a complete guide on how you can promote your game with Twitch influencers — it covers everything from finding the right influencers, to reaching out, to setting up deals, to verifying content, and much more. You can read that here. Note: This post was originally posted on the author's Medium blog, and is reproduced here with kind permission. Aaron recommends PowerSpike's Game Marketing Advice Newsletter, sent every Monday.
  3. I got an itchy twitch finger and put up the new Patreon ideas immediately. Still eager for feedback and willing to add any new ideas or mix things around, but I really felt like kicking off August with the new revamp and just having that ready to go as soon as my first couple YouTube videos go up. And new videos will be popping up twice a week at least for the next little while, just to build some momentum. It's all really exciting stuff and I can't wait to see how it grows. Now then... Onto to the devlog!
  4. Originally posted on Medium In April 2018 I received a gift from Google Ads (aka AdWords) — 2000 rubles (~30$) to spend for my Totem Spirits game advertising. In this article I want to share some statistics and overall impressions of this platform. First of all let me tell you that 30$ for advertising is not really ‘a lot of money’ so I didn’t expect it to give the game any significant boost on the market. But the end result was slightly better than I anticipated. While configuring an ad camping I set the budget to ~0.8$\day expecting it to last one and a half months. Actual campaign was active for almost 4 months. As targeting countries I chose the top 5 countries downloading the game: India, Ukraine, Russia, US and Germany. The interface of the Google Ads platform is rather intuitive. I wrote rather since it takes some time to find where to press and what is behind all of those statistics and rates. But I can see its improvement over the old AdWords version. Now it’s time to dive deeper into statistics and numbers. At the next graph we can see the overview of the whole campaign: One point represents stats for the whole week There are two impressions\clicks peaks: week of April 9 and May 7 (I have no clue why). Overall, the campaign is rather linear with ~2500 impressions\~70 clicks per week starting from the peak of May 7 slowly increasing to ~38000 impressions\~500 clicks towards the end. At the next graph we can see the conversion stats: 1$ is roughly 62 rubles at this very moment The cost of one conversion is just 9 cents! Conversion rate is 7.84% which is actually quite high for the industry. Now let’s look into Google Play Console stats: Google Play Console Installs stats As we can see the numbers match: 365 installs with top 18 installs per day several times. Unfortunately, no other relevant statistics can be gathered from Console, since there were no ratings\purchases :( So far the promotion of the game is the hardest part in the whole Game Development process (see my previous article about games promotion for free). And paid advertising seems like a right way to go on. In the end I’d like to quote Mark Twain:
  5. I'm currently working on a POC along with a prototype for my Digital Multimedia Development course. We're talking about crowdsourcing this week, which leaves me with a few questions. How would you sell your idea for a game? I'm sure there are plenty of ways to go about it, but just in a general, step by step fashion, how would you do it? And are there any advantages to crowdsourcing your idea? Crowdsourcing is a pretty new concept for me.
  6. 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
  7. 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!
  8. Hi all, My name is Supereor. I recently developed a game titled Night of the Red Cubes: Crimson Tide (link here if you are curious), and now that it's on the Play Store, I am wondering if there is any good way to market it and get it to people that might be interested in it. I am all for fixing bugs and trying to listen to people that have issues with it, but the game has no community at the moment to tell me what's wrong. I totally understand that the Play Store likely has thousands of new games coming out every week for it, but I wonder if there is any way to get your game noticed among them, or if it is a lost cause altogether. Does anyone has any tips on how to market a game on the Play Store (preferably tips that won't cost too much)? Or even feedback on why you wouldn't play it?
  9. OK.ru, one of Russia’s largest social networks, has tripled mobile game developer payouts to $1.6 mln (100 mln rubles) over the past five months. In a move to lure more developers from all over the world, OK.ru will give free traffic to new HTML5 games starting from July 1, 2018. There are a lot of opportunities for HTML5 developers in OK as it’s a relatively new platform and a low-competition niche in the social network. That said, the new games can quickly earn revenues and ramp up user base. In May 2018, 50% of payouts in OK were passed to top-5 games. The increase in developer payouts was caused by OK’s growing number of mobile users, higher penetration of broadband connectivity and the emergence of new mobile technologies that allow to launch any game inside a mobile web browser. That resulted in doubling the number of daily game launches on OK mobile platform to 350 mln. OK has 71 million monthly users. The social network allows users to watch streams in UltraHD, listen to music, buy goods and services inside the network and transfer money to 18 countries. OK is a part of Mail.Ru Group, the largest IT holding company in Eastern Europe.
  10. OK.ru, one of Russia’s largest social networks, has tripled mobile game developer payouts to $1.6 mln (100 mln rubles) over the past five months. In a move to lure more developers from all over the world, OK.ru will give free traffic to new HTML5 games starting from July 1, 2018. There are a lot of opportunities for HTML5 developers in OK as it’s a relatively new platform and a low-competition niche in the social network. That said, the new games can quickly earn revenues and ramp up user base. In May 2018, 50% of payouts in OK were passed to top-5 games. The increase in developer payouts was caused by OK’s growing number of mobile users, higher penetration of broadband connectivity and the emergence of new mobile technologies that allow to launch any game inside a mobile web browser. That resulted in doubling the number of daily game launches on OK mobile platform to 350 mln. OK has 71 million monthly users. The social network allows users to watch streams in UltraHD, listen to music, buy goods and services inside the network and transfer money to 18 countries. OK is a part of Mail.Ru Group, the largest IT holding company in Eastern Europe. View full story
  11. Starting to build out all the actual tile maps to be used in the beginning segment of the game, up to the first badge and a little beyond, just to get players hooked and hungry for more. Now, while the completed Alpha won't be a thing until the entire game is playable start to finish, I do believe I can get the first part of the game out within the month of July. While everyone is enjoying the new story, learning the mechanics, interacting with the world, and getting that first badge, I'll be working on getting the demo in as many Let's Player's hands as possible by day and implementing the rest of the design notes by night. Time to put everything I've got into a super-polished build that'll make people go nuts when they try it. Time to make sure every 30 seconds of the game gives players a Ben & Jerry's sized chunk of fun to chew on. Time to get Battle Gem Ponies on the map! Read More: yotesgames.com
  12. DreamHack Activities

    DreamHack Atlanta

    until
    DreamHack Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia 16 November – 18 November 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. CALL FOR ENTRIES: 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: Friday, September 28th, 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: Friday, September 28th, 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: Friday, September 28th, 2018 Good luck!! Reach out to sydney.mantrom@dreamhack.com for questions about the forms.
  13. DreamHack Activities

    DreamHack Winter

    until
    DreamHack Winter Jönköping, Sweden 30 November – 3 December 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. CALL FOR ENTRIES: The New Indie Activities we're adding to our Sweden Event.... 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: Friday, September 28th, 2018 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: Friday, September 28th, 2018 Good luck!! Reach out to sydney.mantrom@dreamhack.com for questions about the forms.
  14. 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)
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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/
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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!
  24. 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
  25. 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.
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