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  1. Pistache Games: IOS release

    Pistache Games has been published in iTunes. Check it out! https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/pistache-games/id1345143005?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2
  2. Hi, I would like to ask your opinion on what's the best way for marketing your game project and building it's community. I've done some research here is what I got so far: - Website, twitter (update often), trailer, demo, blog, press kit, contact journalists. Any hint or experience?
  3. Will the logo of my game engine at the beginning of the splash screen improve the brand of my game/software? Will it have any influence on users that the game/software's graphics were created from the scratch by the developer? I know some of them really don't care how it was made and it's not their thing but will it somehow embellish my game? From my own perspective, I enjoy more playing games which have their own game engine, because they feel more dynamic and controlled, I just like them. Whats your opinion? Just to note. I know it's impractical to create a game engine just to create a game, but my goal was to learn OpenGL because I was very interested and I feel more comfortable of possessing my own API rather than using a third-party engine, I feel more control over my app.
  4. HEY GUYS! i'm working on a game based on Adventure Time(cartoon show) but recently found out that i need rights to do it. Well, worked pretty much on the sprites, animations backgrounds and all stuff so it'll be just a lot of time spent for nothing. And I don't want to give up on the game, I'd really love to finish it and publish for some platforms. So may someone help me, what do I gotta do for those rights? How do I publish it legally without breaking any kind of law. Who I need to contact? thanks.
  5. Which ASO Tools are Right for Your Game? When I started doing app store optimization (ASO) for my games, I was so overwhelmed by the numerous ASO tools available in the market… App Annie, Mobile Action, Meatti, Sensor Tower, App Radar, Priori Data, ASOdesk, Searchman, TheTool, Keyword Tool, AppKeywords.net, Apptentive, Appbot, AppFollow, Apptopia, APPlyzer, SplitMetrics, StoreMaven, Raise Metrics, TestNest, SearchAdsHQ, SearchAds by Mobile Action, adAhead, you name it. And as if things were not already complicated enough … These ASO tools provide very different features, pricing, options, … When deciding which ones to use, I was like… How to Choose your ASO Tools If you are looking for your best ASO tools, check out my findings below. I will first start with a categorization of ASO tools, and follow up with a big list of app store optimization tools. You can then choose your ASO tools based on the category and the details of individual tools. Free Bonus: Click here to get a free comparison spreadsheet of all top ASO tools. It can be printed nicely on one page, and you can easily sort the ASO tools by type, price, availability of free version, etc.It also includes 2 more ASO tools that are not covered in this post. Types of ASO Tools ASO tools come in many flavors and packages, and they can be grouped into the following categories: 1) App Keyword Optimization Tools ASO tools of this type help you optimize your app keywords to increase your app search traffic. The app keyword related features include app keyword suggestions, keyword optimization, keyword tracking, etc. ASO tools like Mobile Action, Sensor Tower, Meatti, App Radar, Priori Data, ASOdesk, Searchman, TheTool, Keyword Tool, and AppKeywords.net are some good examples. 2) Review & Sentiment Analysis Tools ASO tools of this type perform optimization of your user reviews and ratings. Tools like Appbot, Mobile Action, Meatti and TheTool analyze your user ratings and review contents, and tell you what your users like and don’t like. With this kind of sentiment analysis, you can then refine your product development roadmap to earn better ratings. For example, if you find out a lot of users are complaining about a specific issue, you can prioritize your effort to fix that problem, and tell the complaining users about the solution. Many users will appreciate your positive reaction to their comments, and give you better ratings. Related to this, AppFollow provides features that help you reply all comments in App Store and Play Store efficiently. On the other hand, ASO tools like Apptentive help you increase the chance of getting 5-star reviews. It optimizes your app’s rating prompt process by deciding who, when, and how to present your rating prompts. 3) A/B Testing Tools A/B testing enables you to test your mobile app just like a science project. It helps you test two or more app product pages and determine which one gives you a better download conversion rate. Tools like Splitmetrics, Store Maven, TestNest, and RaiseMetrics are some good A/B testing tools for your app product page. 4) Search Ads Optimization Tools These ASO tools help you optimize your advertising campaign on Apple Search Ads. They provide automation features and competitor data that help you run ad campaigns more effectively. Some tools also integrate with app attribution partners (Adjust, AppsFlyer, Kochava, TUNE, etc.) and allows you to optimize campaigns not only for installs, but also for in-app events. ASO tools like SearchAdsHQ, SearchAds by Mobile Action, and adAhead are some good examples. 5) App Store Intelligence Tools ASO tools of this type provide estimates of competitor performance and app market trends. For instance, they offer estimates on data on competitor apps. These estimates include app downloads, revenue, advertising spend trends, market penetrations, etc. The information can be useful to app product managers and marketing managers for doing competitive analysis and marketing planning. App Annie, Mobile Action, Sensor Tower, Priori Data, Apptopia, and APPlyzer are ASO tools that offer app store intelligence. Top ASO Tools Listed below are the top ASO tools in 2018. The list is organized according to the types of ASO tools discussed above. To make the list more authentic, I personally reached out to everyone of them and collect their views of how their tools can help their users. And I’m fortunate enough to receive some great answers! Lastly, I’ve prepared an one-page comparison spreadsheet with all the ASO tools. It is a printable version, and you can easily sort the ASO tools by type, price, availability of free version, etc. 1) App Keyword Optimization Tools Mobile Action Meatti Sensor Tower App Radar Priori Data ASOdesk Searchman TheTool Keyword Tool AppKeywords.net 2) Review & Sentiment Analysis Tools Mobile Action Meatti TheTool Apptentive Appbot AppFollow 3) A/B Testing Tools SplitMetrics StoreMaven Raise Metrics TestNest 4) Search Ads Optimization Tools SearchAdsHQ SearchAds by Mobile Action adAhead 5) App Store Intelligence Tools App Annie Mobile Action Sensor Tower Priori Data Apptopia APPlyzer A Side-by-Side Comparison of ASO Tools One Page Comparison Spreadsheet of all ASO Tools Mobile Data Intelligence & Actionable Insights Mobile Action Mobile Action is an intuitive App Store Optimization tool and a data company providing actionable insights for their users. It provides its users with the most accurate data possible but that’s what every ASO tool claims to do. In fact the difference of Mobile Action is its dedicated customer success team that provides instant support across the entire globe 24/7. Mobile Action got into business as a ASO agency so we know a great deal of stuff regarding App Store Optimization and we build our tools from the perspective of an ASO specialist. Aykut Karaalioglu, CEO Mobile Action ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $69/Month Boost App Downloads using Artificial Intelligence Meatti Meatti helps mobile app developers boost app downloads without spending a penny on advertising. Our Meatti platform analyzes data from millions of apps every day. Using the data and artificial intelligence, it provides app developers with the best keyword and optimization suggestions to gain more app downloads in a systematic way. Marcus Kay, CEO Meatti ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $24/Month Data That Drives App Growth Sensor Tower Sensor Tower provides mobile developers with powerful market intelligence and App Store Optimization solutions that enable them to easily surface competitive insights and achieve maximum organic growth on the App Store and Google Play. Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights Sensor Tower ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $79/Month App Store Optimization made easy App Radar App Radar is an search engine optimization tool that helps app developers optimizing their apps being more visible within the app stores. With a direct integration into iTunes Connect & Google Play Console, App Radar makes the process of App Store Optimization easy like never before. Thomas Kriebernegg, CEO App Radar ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $150/Month Win Your Mobile Market Priori Data Priori Data App Intelligence enables you to research, benchmark, and track your competition all in one place. Create individual or team viewable watchlists and comparisons of apps in your competitive set, and track their rank, download, revenue, DAU, MAU, ARPDAU and retention performance on a daily basis. Set up smart alerts to get notified of any major shifts, and receive daily and weekly reports so that you never lose track of the big picture. Priori Data ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? No Premium plan starts at: $99/Month Boost your organic downloads with Data-Driven Marketing Technologies ASOdesk Our dream is to make our customers more and more successful. App Store Optimization is a never-ending optimization process that can bring millions of free installs. Our clients have many opportunities to make their business more effective. Just in a couple of clicks our product is available for you and ready to help you to find new real users. Sergey Sharov, CEO ASOdesk ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $41.6/Month App Data Solutions to accelerate Ecosystem success Searchman SearchMan is the leading App Analytics Data & Technology company with over 100 000 companies actively using our solutions to help them succeed in the App economy. SearchMan’s parent company, AppGrooves was founded in San Francisco Bay Area by former executives of Rakuten, AdMob, Yahoo and many other startups. Our investors include 500 Startups, Digital Garage, and several internet luminaries whose experience includes Disney, Google, Yahoo, Gree, Ricoh, Hatena, and Rakuten. Searchman ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $25/Month Performance-Based Mobile App Marketing & ASO tool TheTool TheTool helps developers and marketers to track and optimize their App Store Optimization strategy in 91 countries or globally, carry out keyword research, benchmark ASO KPIs with competitors, understand the impact of marketing actions on installs, conversion rate and revenue; and, ultimately, grow the organic installs of their apps and games. Basically we help people make more money with apps. Daniel Peris, CEO TheTool ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: €29 /Year Find Great Keywords Using Autocomplete Keyword Tool KeywordTool.io helps marketers and app creators discover what app store users are looking for by generating keyword suggestions using the app store’s autocomplete. A simple search can yield hundreds of hidden keywords for you to optimize your app towards. Khai Yong Ng, Head of Growth KeywordTool.io ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $48 /Year Sneak into Google Play's auto-suggest feature AppKeywords.net When I launched AppKeywords.net back in 2015 it was really hard to get proper data on keywords. Sure you had a lot tools giving you some kind of estimates but you could not be really sure if the data is accurate. Especially when you were researching non-english keywords. Sebastian Knopp, Growth and Product Strategy Appkeyword.net ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: Free Build a brand your customers love Apptentive Using proactive mobile communication tools, Apptentiveempowers companies to better understand more of their customers—at scale—in order to drive app downloads, create seamless customer experiences, and validate product roadmaps. The product gives brands the opportunity to listen to, engage with, and retain their customers through intelligently timed surveys, messages, and prompts. They power millions of customer interactions every month for companies including Buffalo Wild Wings, eBay, Philips, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Zillow. Robi Ganguly, CEO Apptentive ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: Custom Plan App review & ratings analysis for mobile teams Appbot Appbot helps developers understand how customers feel about their apps, by monitoring and analyzing their app reviews and ratings across all major platforms. Appbot applies proprietary sentiment analysis and clustering techniques to help developers understand current issues, and identify quick wins. Claire Mcgregor, Co-founder Appbot ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $39 /Month Reviews & Updates Monitor for App Store & Google Play AppFollow AppFollow is created to support everyone (this year we will expand this support even further) involved in the process of development and growth of mobile apps and games. We support everyone whether it is a developer, CEO, customer support or product manager, ASO expert or publisher. Anatoly Sharifulin, CEO & Co-founder AppFollow ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: Custom Plan Achieve success through apps App Annie The industry’s first app data platform integrates your app data with our comprehensive market data, cutting-edge data science, deep data foundation and engaging data experience. Through our platform, you can get immediate access to all our latest technology innovations and data sets, share the right data with the right people at the right time, pinpoint prime opportunities — and most crucially — create winning strategies. App Annie ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $15,000+/Year (source: TechCrunch) Grow Your App Business Apptopia Apptopia provides competitive intelligence for the mobile app economy. Through intuitive tools, we’re able to display actionable data. This means user acquisition managers, product teams, SDK sales teams, growth marketers and more can make smarter decisions faster. Data we provide includes downloads, revenue, usage, retention, rank, SDK data, audience intelligence, advertising intelligence and more. Adam Blacker, Communications Lead and Brand Ambassador Apptopia ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $55 /Month App Market Analysis & App Store Optimization APPlyzer Applyzer is a leading app industry analysis service providing market insights since 2009. Our service offers reliable data to a wide range of customers in the app business – From actionable data for publishers to relevant information for tech investors. Applyzer ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: €10 /Month Optimize Your App Conversion Rates on the App Store and Google Play with A/B Testing SplitMetrics With SplitMetrics, such app publishers as Rovio, Halfbrick, Wargaming, ZeptoLab, Pocket Gems optimize app store conversions by A/B testing app page elements: from icons and screenshots to subtitles, app previews, etc. To help publishers get the most out of their app marketing efforts, SplitMetrics shares industry benchmarks and a great volume of educational materials, such as an AppGrowthLab course. Alexandra Lamachenka, Head of Marketing SplitMetrics ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $4,999 /Year Increase app store conversion rates & pay less for every install StoreMaven StoreMaven helps more than 60% of top-grossing app publishers optimize their app store product pages to increase install rates and reduce the cost of user acquisition. Companies like Google, Uber, Facebook and Zynga rely on StoreMaven‘s testing and analytics platform to define their ASO and global mobile marketing strategies. Gad Maor, CEO StoreMaven ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? No Premium plan starts at: Custom Plan Raise your App Store & Google Play install rates with A/B testing RaiseMetrics Insight Is Everything. RaiseMetrics provides a visual understanding of how your audience interacts with your app page, and what you can do to maximize conversions. RaiseMetrics ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $99 /Month Best Self-serve App Store and Google Play AB Testing Platform TestNest Best self-serve app store and google play ab testing platform. Unoptimized App Store pages may increase CPIs by up to 40%. A/B test your app listing pages and get more quality users for less. Learn from user behavior analysis make optimized data-driven decisions. TestNest ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: $149 /Month Optimize Apple App Store Ads for Revenue, not just downloads SearchAdsHQ SearchAdsHQ helps app publishers run ROI-driven Apple Search Ads campaigns. To make it possible, the platform connects Apple Search Ads with app attribution partners (Adjust, AppsFlyer, Kochava, TUNE, etc.) and allows to optimize campaigns not only for installs, but for in-app events: in-app purchases, subscriptions, conversions. Alexandra Lamachenka, Head of Marketing SearchAdsHQ ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: Custom Plan Mobile Action provides awesome tools to make the most of your Search Ads and keep up with the competition. SearchAds by Mobile Action Searchads.com was created specifically for Apple Search Ads and as Apple Search Ads is a rather new service it tries to cover the shortcomings of Apple Search Ads by providing competitor data, more reactive notifications and automation features that allows users to get the most out of the time and resources they have spent in Apple Search Ads. Aykut Karaalioglu, CEO SearchAds by Mobile Action ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? No Premium plan starts at: Custom Plan Optimize Apple App Store Ads for Revenue, not just downloads adAhead adAhead is an Apple Search Ads Optimization Platform that is fully self-managed by mobile app marketers. It provides GEO reports, COHORT analysis, keyword reports and charts, powerful rule manager tool, keyword rank monitoring, custom ad scheduler, bulk edit, duplication option for campaigns/ad groups, and multi account dashboard. adAhead also provides fully featured live demo for new visitors. Yury Listapad, CEO adAhead ASO Tool - Quick Facts: Free version / trial available? Yes Premium plan starts at: 2.5% of ad spend A Side-by-Side Comparison of ASO Tools The list of ASO tools here is really long. To make it easier to do comparison, I've prepared an one-page comparison spreadsheet with all the ASO tools for you. It is a printable version, and you can easily sort the ASO tools by type, price, availability of free version, etc. Click here to get a free comparison spreadsheet of all top ASO tools. The spreadsheet also includes 2 bonus tools and additional details that I didn’t have room to include in this post. This post originally appeared on Meatti Marcus Kay Marcus is the founder of Meatti - a platform that helps mobile game developers boost app downloads using artificial intelligence. Find him on Twitter, LinkedIn and his blog.
  6. 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.
  7. Hello! Merry Christmas and Happe New Year everybody! Lina's here. Thanks for checking our blog again I would like to share with you a bit of our development jorney with the focus on the new game, Egypt: Old Kingdom. It all begun with the idea of making a strategy game which will be truly historical, not only set in historical decorations, like many other strategy games. But having some experience in the gamedev industry, we didn't want to rush into an ambitious complicated projects which we will have no chance to finish. In 2013 our first game Stone Age was released. It was made by Mikhail, the leader and the mastermind of our team. The game was intentionally simple and focused on workers management. The feedback was mostly positive, so we kept the gameplay, and added more functions for the next project, Bronze Age. It became our main approach to making games - present the concept, check the feedback, keep the good parts, get rid of the bad parts, add some new features. On and on. Games got more complex, the team got more members in order to divide tasks like programming, art and game design. The most challenging part of the process, aside of solving thechnical problems, was the historical research. Everything had to be 100% according to the history. For the games like Bronze Age and Marble Age Mikhail somehow managed by himself, but it changed when we started to work on Predynastic Egypt. The support came from Center of Egyptian Study of Russian Academy of Science (CES RAS). Scientists who work there are not only in the University, they are also archeologists and their support was invaluable. That's how our main routine of game production was established. It's based on our ideas, players' ideas and scientific data. That's how, by the time we started to work on Egypt: Old Kingdom, we had a clear image of what we would like to make. Before we will get into a more detailed explanation, let's cover the basics: The history fo the Ancient Egypt is commonly divided by these main periods (credits to Wikipedia): Early Dynastic Period 3150–2686 BC Old Kingdom 2686–2181 BC 1st Intermediate Period 2181–2055 BC Middle Kingdom 2055–1650 BC 2nd Intermediate Period 1650–1550 BC New Kingdom 1550–1069 BC 3rd Intermediate Period 1069–664 BC Late Period 664–332 BC Predynastic Egypt game was set in 5000-3000 year B.C. in the place called Nekhen, or Hierakonpolis. In this game player has to develop the city, discover new territory and learn ancient technologies. At the same time (s)he learns about the very beginning of Egyptian civilization. Egypt: Old Kingdom is the sequel, the next chapter of the story. It begins with a group of people sent from Hierakonpolis to discover a new territory. It overlaps with Predynastic Egypt by 500 years. The period of the new game is 3500-2140 B.C. Said group of people came to the Lower Egypt border, where they will have to establish a new settlement, Memphis. After Predynastic Egypt was released, first people to start the research for a new game were our artists, Maxim and Ivan. For their part of the job, they had to find out what how did Memphis look like at that time? Surely it wasn't the same as today. As they found out, during Old Kingdom period Memphis was less dry, it was a savannah. It resembled a lot the current nature of the South Sudan. With this reference they were able to start sketching maps and arts for a new game. After that the main research for the game design begun. It included reading a huge amount of historical sources and the work with scientist. It's a whole another topic, so we'll keep it untill the next post. To finish today, please enjoy this beautiful video about the nature of South Sudan. See you next time! Our sources. Please subscribe and add our new game to your wishlist! Egypt: Old Kingdom on Steam; Predynastic Egypt on Steam; Our community on Facebook; Our Twitter. P.S. I try my best to write without mistakes. But English is not my native language, so some mistakes are inevitable. Please don't hesitate to correct me if you see any, I will really appreciate it!
  8. Introduction

    Hello! I'm glad to see you here We're Clarus Victoria, Russian indie game studio. There are only 6 of us, and we're mainly developing historical strategy games with the support of Russian scientific society. You might have heard of our previous games, such as Bronze Age, Marble Age and Predynastic Egypt. The 4th game, Egypt Old Kingdom, is a sequel to Predynastic Egypt. The development of Egypt Old Kingdom began almost one year ago, in February 2016. After a year of hard work we're nearing release. Our game is a strategy simulator of the Great Pyramids period, where you take your path from the unification of Egyptian tribes to the foundation of The First Empire. We developed tit with the assistance of Egyptologists, because we want our game to be as historically correct as possible. For starters, we'd like to share our teaser with a comment revealing its secrets Please check the video first. I'll wait! Soooo, what do you think? Intriguing? Confusing? Plain? All above? Or maybe you're wondering what the hell these weird words mean? Ok, I can help with weird words In this video we used the Pyramids Texts - ancient Egyptian spells which were written inside the pyramids. Here we used the Utterance 32. The full text is: 22a. This is thy cool water, Osiris; this is thy cool water, O N., which went forth from thy son, which went forth from Horus. 22b. I have come; I have brought to thee the eye of Horus, that thy heart may be refreshed by it. I have brought it to thee. It is under thy soles. 23a. Take to thyself the efflux (sweat), which goes forth from thee; thy heart shall not be weary thereby. 23b. To say four times, when thou goest forth justified: Libation; two pellets of natron. This is a part of a magical spell, and at the same time it is a reference to an old Egyptian myth. If you ever hear or read Egyptian myths, you'll probably recognize a few names of this Utterance. Osiris is the god of transition, resurrection, and regeneration. He was the first ruler of Egypt, as Ancient Egyptians believed. Horus, son of Osiris and Isis, is a god of the sky, war and hunting and a heir of Osiris. Unfortunately, Osiris' brother Seth also wanted to be the king of Egypt. He killed Osiris and chopped his body in 12 pieces, then hid them in different parts of Egypt. While Isis went off to find all of the pieces, Horus went to fight with Seth. Horus was young, so he lost the first fight. Seth ripped off his eye and by an old habit chopped it into 64 pieces. Horus later found them all and recovered his eye. Meanwhile Isis found and joined all of the parts of Osiris. Horus sacrificed his eye to his father, and Osiris came back to life. Later Osiris became the god of the underworld, and Horus became the king of Egypt. But not before he defeated Seth. Guess what he did? Right, chopped him in pieces))) Egyptian habits... Egyptians believed that their kings are descendants of Osiris. They also believed that all of their actions were defined by gods' deeds. That's why every time they brought offerings to their late kings (which happened quite often), they considered it to be a replication of Horus' actions, when he sacrificed his eye to Horus. And during this ceremony every late king of Egypt became like Osiris. They read the spell and believed that their late king will come back to life in the afterlife, so to speak. And will continue to protect Egypt. Now when you know the background, let's go back to the teaser. In the video we used only one line: 22b. I have come; I have brought to thee the eye of Horus, that thy heart may be refreshed by it. I have brought it to thee. It is under thy soles. We came to you, because we wanted to give you a present, which is our game. We came to you, and we hope you will like it. This is the meaning, hidden in this teaser. I hope it was interesting to know If you would like to know more about us ans about the game, you can visit us here: Steam: Egypt: Old Kingdom on Steam Facebook community: Egypt: Old Kingdom on Facebook Twitter: Clasur Victoria Team on Twitter We are: Mikhail - game designer; Anton and Georgiy - programmers; Ivan and Maxim - art and graphics; Lina (me) - pr and community management.
  9. PROMO Codes

    We would like to give out promo codes for our children's app Abigail's Tales: First Day Butterflies, tailored towards kids ages 6 thru 8. If you have children and want a code please message us at info@dabsterent.com the app looks best on iPad.
  10. ManaKeep is the first website builder made specifically for indie game developers. Designed to take the hard work out of creating an official game site, the service includes game focused templates, forums, media galleries, news, custom pages and most other features a typical indie game needs. ManaKeep can act as your store front to sell games as well. Create products you want to sell (versions of your game), upload your game files, set your price and you can be selling in minutes. With support for multiple currencies and the option to bundle Steam Keys, ManaKeep can be a great distribution channel for your game (bonus points: ManaKeep charges no transaction fees!) A few features not mentioned above: Stats Dashboard: track stats important to your game, including sales, downloads and order stats. Easy Parallax: popular on AAA game sites, add parallax to your backgrounds with a simple toggle. Scroll Animations: animate elements (such as text and photos) as they are scrolled in to view. Social Integrations: automatically post your news articles to twitter HTML, CSS & JS: can all be used if you love to tinker and do it all yourself Custom Domain Names: supports using your own domain name Free SSL Certs: all sites get a free ssl cert and are served over https For indie developers considering WordPress or SquareSpace, ManaKeep is worth a look and may be exactly what you need. Learn more at manakeep.com
  11. ManaKeep is the first website builder made specifically for indie game developers. Designed to take the hard work out of creating an official game site, the service includes game focused templates, forums, media galleries, news, custom pages and most other features a typical indie game needs. ManaKeep can act as your store front to sell games as well. Create products you want to sell (versions of your game), upload your game files, set your price and you can be selling in minutes. With support for multiple currencies and the option to bundle Steam Keys, ManaKeep can be a great distribution channel for your game (bonus points: ManaKeep charges no transaction fees!) A few features not mentioned above: Stats Dashboard: track stats important to your game, including sales, downloads and order stats. Easy Parallax: popular on AAA game sites, add parallax to your backgrounds with a simple toggle. Scroll Animations: animate elements (such as text and photos) as they are scrolled in to view. Social Integrations: automatically post your news articles to twitter HTML, CSS & JS: can all be used if you love to tinker and do it all yourself Custom Domain Names: supports using your own domain name Free SSL Certs: all sites get a free ssl cert and are served over https For indie developers considering WordPress or SquareSpace, ManaKeep is worth a look and may be exactly what you need. Learn more at manakeep.com View full story
  12. Are you thinking of strategies to engage your users more or to retain more users? Are they working? Let’s perform a reality check. With so many apps coming up on the market, the smartphones cannot tackle all apps for the user. A thus faces cutthroat competition today and needs to think of strategies to acquire new users for your app and engage them as well as to retain your existing users. The chances are that a user may find your app cool and install it but delete it if it is not engaging enough for them. Also, constant notifications for updating the app may make it more challenging to use in the mobile and irritate the users if they do not use your app. Statistics of app installation, retention, and engagement rates Statistics have shown that after installing an average Android app, 77% users abandon it within the first three days and 90% within the first 30 days. It has also been observed that nearly 22% of the installed apps are never used more than once. Thus, though acquisition tactics are very crucial in the early stages, engagement and retention are needed in the long term for continuing a successful business. Most common reasons for low retention and engagement of a mobile app The most common reasons that push off a potential customer are the lengthy sign-up process and its demanding requirements, too many bugs and errors, slow performance, too frequent crashes, too many adds, free alternatives for the paid app, etc. However, using certain strategies, you can engage and retain the users and add value to your app business. Here are the key strategies you need to retain and engage your mobile app users. Strategy #1: Understand customer lifecycle The customer lifecycle plays a very important role in building trustful relations with customers. Neither is the customer lifecycle a straight line nor is it about a single purchase. Users may make a purchase from your app and disappear if you don’t provide them with attractive offers. You can build user engagement with your app in stages that form part of the user lifecycle. Your users may be loyal (strongly engaging with your app and supporting your monetization campaigns), active (regularly engaging with your app), lapsing (becoming less active and less interested in your app), or inactive (showing no visits, actions, and response). Using various internet tools or devising your tools that fit your business goals, you can segment these users to understand the suitable time for engaging or re-engaging users to maximize the output of your marketing efforts. Strategy #2: Create the best first impression The internet savvy users today are usually well experienced and cynical. It is quite challenging to surprise them with your app. However, the first impression of your app determines user loyalty. So you should make the greatest impact on the first encounter with your users by providing flawless app performance, full control over the app settings, bug-free and updated app, safety and security to create the best possible user experience. Strategy #3: Make speed a top-priority feature For attracting the attention of your potential customers, you need to create a strong impact within the first 10 seconds and help the customer decide to stay with you or leave. You can acquire a loyal customer by ensuring an error-free initial app experience. The user may abandon the app right away if the app takes too long to load or gives an error on initial install. Strategy #4: Use analytic tools to monitor the initial performance of your app continuously Capture the attention and engage app users initially by making registration easier, launching an easy and engaging onboarding process for new users, making social media sharing easy, letting push notifications be optional, providing rewards to users for sharing personal data and completing their profile, offering personal recommendations on the app to save the customer’s time. All these feature help captivate the user. Strategy #5: Provide super-personalized deals and free trials Users love freebies, discounts, and best deals. If you contact customers in a personalized manner by making exclusive and attractive offers based on user preferences or introduce free trials, users are more likely to stick to the brand. Strategy #6: Launch seasonal promotion campaigns To attract customer attention and loyalty promotion campaigns are the most effective during certain periods in the year when you gain the most revenue. These seasonal campaigns include special discounts, and limited edition offers or items. Strategy #7: Induct gamification Building a gaming strategy helps bring value to customers and motivates them to interact with your brand. A close look at the preferences and lifestyle of your users enables you to build gaming campaigns that strongly engage users. You can run competitions and encourage personal wins. Allow easy sharing of personal wins on social media. Strategy #8: Measure and analyse the outputs All efforts you put to make your mobile app engaging need to be measured and from the results. Certain metrics need to be applied for measuring engagement based on the most important indicators of user engagement depending on your industry and vertical. DAU (daily active users), MAU (monthly active users), stickiness (DAU / MAU, %), session length, retention rate (number of users using the app in a set period / number of users using the app in a previous period), average revenue per user (ARPU, total revenue earned in a specific period / number of active users in the same period), are some of the important metrics that should be analysed as per your business needs. Strategy #9: Explain why your app is expensive (if it is) You may come to know that your competitors are offering the same solutions either free or at a lower price and this is making users delete your app. You have either an alternative to lower the price or conduct a detailed research by installing their app and testing it thoroughly to find how your features are different or can be made different to justify its value to the users. Emphasise those points in the app’s advertisement to tell the users how your app is worth the money. To conclude The success of any app developed by a mobile app development company is determined not only in proper app advertising but also hoe ‘sticky’ is it for the users. You need to know your user’s preferences and segment them accordingly and target to engage them in getting maximum profit from your app. In today’s saturated market, you can get a competitive edge by building sophisticated and personalized engagement marketing campaigns.
  13. Hi, everybody!

    Hi! We are Evil Corporation Games, an indie studio, which was founded in 2016. In April 2017 our first game project - Star Story: The Horizon Escape (a text turn-based adventure RPG with 24+ alternative endings) was released on Steam. We are currently working on our next game - TERRORHYTHM. That will be rhythm + beat'em up action in the style of cyberpunk. In this blog we will inform you about our game projects and the latest news about it. First post we would like to dedicate to our first project call "Star Story: The Horizon Escape". It was released on Steam 05.09.2017 (http://store.steampowered.com/app/610310/), then it was published on itch.io, g2a.com and gamersgate.com. Was a work experience with chrono.gg. Soon Star Story will be available on kinguin.net and greenmangaming.com also. It’s a text turn-based adventure game with elements of RPG. The plot is developing in accordance with the actions of the player; there are 24+ alternative endings of an exciting adventure. Trailer: A spaceship of archeologist Van Click crashes, and he finds himself on the last unexplored planet in the whole galaxy called “Horizon”. As the Hero is trying to get out from this planet, he meets various inhabitants of unknown locations; he has to struggle for life encountering extremely aggressive species of Fauna and resolving various puzzles. The end of this eventful flee from the Horizon planet depends only on the player’ choice. In this game we have mixed the mechanics of dialogues, choices, turn-based battles, puzzles, crafting and technology researches. Work on this game lasted 1 year. And before an official release Star Story took the first prize in the nomination «Best PC game» according to Indie Cup 2017 and got the first place in the Deconstruction Workshop at the White Nights St. Petersburg 2017 conference. As it our first post, in honor of it we would like to share 5 STEAM keys to Star Story for our very first readers and friends here: FZGMK-9HVVZ-R6HY4 6RYY4-VBX2Z-67X2B 3VGHH-Q8YY9-LTW73 J4CRJ-ZAZFT-X8FIV HG8RV-IQ8Y4-IEH8A Very soon we will post the early details of our new project making, that will be released Spring 2018.
  14. Hi everyone! It’s been a while… How is everyone doing? We have a lot of news for you but today we are going to talk about Web Summit! As you might already know, last week was the Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon and we were there! Web Summit First of all WOW! Ahah I think I talk for everyone when I say Web Summit was an intense experience. In the first two days we only strolled around...met new people.. attended a few conferences and we even watched a few pitches from other companies. But then day 3 came! [Dramatic music] It was 7:30am when we got to Web Summit. It was soooo early all we wanted was sleep. Around 9am people started to show up and then it’s when things got real. We had to pitch over and over again Project SpaceVille. We must have pitched about 1 thousand times? Ahaha And no I’m not exaggerating. Imagine this: standing up for 10hrs straight and always repeating yourself. Ahah It was somewhat exhausting, I won’t lie, but in the end it was a wonderful experience! We met a large number of interesting people, a lot of interesting startups and even some investors! In the end of day three, our sponsor, Startup League, organized a closing Mixer which was a great way to relax after such a long day. We’d like to thank Startup League for helping us and making us goodies. Alpha We launched a new version of the Insider Program. Unfortunately, some people have told us they have been having trouble with this new version. Screen shaking or a loading bug, might occur. If you're experiencing this, try restarting the game and don't touch anything until the game loads. If the problem sustains, let us know. We will try to solve this problem as soon as possible. Screenshot of André Soares See you soon, The FAXIME Team Follow us and keep updated at: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaximeGames Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/faximegames Twitter: https://twitter.com/FaximeGames Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.pt/faximegames SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/faximegames
  15. In this era of mobile gaming, numbers of apps contribute to the pool of apps in Play store and App Store daily. Thus, it becomes essential for any mobile app development company to increase the awareness of and interest in the apps. With increasing competition, the necessity to attract and engage more users increases with the number of active daily users. To reach the right set of audience at the right time, mobile app marketing plays a vital role. However, many mobile app development companies fail to understand the importance of coming up with relevant and good creatives that promote their game or product. Mobile marketing helps to promote the mobile game app to get users, players, downloads, installations and sales. It is an approach that helps to turn quantity into quality and provide you with the best productivity. It involves social media marketing, digital marketing and many such promotional strategies. According to mobile marketers, the mobile marketing is the most vital thing today. In today’s world, where social media plays a key role in growing both professional and personal networks, its involvement in the mobile app marketing proves to be beneficial in many ways. The number of mobile device users spending time on social websites is increasing these days. A marketer would find it very easy to analyze customer preferences and behavior through signup. Social networking also gives him customer's demographic data when they are online. Utilizing this aspect of social networking, mobile app development companies and mobile marketers can take advantage and gain immensely from it. Here is how social media marketing can benefit mobile marketing. 1. Highly targeted traffic Marketers suggest mobile marketing with social media to be of great use to the mobile app development company for promoting their mobile apps. It helps to drive highly targeted traffic. For a mobile marketer, social media provides a detailed study of consumer behavior. It helps to understand the needs of the audience and what the potential users would expect from the company and the product or app. Using this data, the mobile app development company can offer highly personalized service to the customers. 2. Accessibility As per reports, mobile apps observe some mobile/smartphone users logging in through mobile apps than PC/desktop users. Mobile devices have higher accessibility in comparison to the desktop or PC. With the help of social media, mobile networking is now easy and affordable to most of the marketers. In the coming years, one can expect a gigantic rise in this field. It has now become a trend for Facebook/ Whatsapp users to constantly connect and update their statuses via mobile devices and smartphones. Hence, such channels provide huge opportunities for the mobile marketers and mobile app development companies to build their customer database. This also helps to create brand awareness regarding the mobile apps and products. 3. Good chance of publicity Social media helps to get maximum outreach on promoting the mobile apps and products. In return, it helps to get good publicity in return. If marketers implement proper planning for marketing strategies, they can get immense publicity. Marketers say good publicity spreads quickly and effectively on social networks. This can then be used to establish product through mobile marketing. To achieve best results in the mobile app development companies, it is important to analyze the audience, the right kind of social media platform, and then a properly developed marketing plan. 4. Strong Numbers game Number games rule the social networks. Many companies promote their products on social media and reach the desired audience. If a marketer manages to attract more followers and build a trust, he is sure to get significant gains in his business. This helps to make a good branding image and reputation among the social media and the users. A good marketer always plans to indulge in offering more benefits, rewards, surveys, campaigns - in order to involve more user interaction and engagement. 5. Longevity and user retention Social media proves to be a stronger mean of communication and indulgence in a mobile marketing strategy. If the trust factor is established between the marketer and his customers, user retention and a long-lasting relationship would not be an issue further. Users can be offered more incentives, via distribution of freebies, discount coupons, and so on. This way user will be retained, and even they help to promote the product. This helps to engage more users and attract new users to use the products and enjoy more benefits and values. Extracting the best marketing strategies from social media and involving it to gain the maximum benefits, mobile app marketing can turn fruitful in growing the app market in the pool of apps in the app stores. Thus, marketers suggest mobile app development companies to utilize the best of social media strategies and build and establish an efficient business.
  16. Hi everyone! We’re back again for a quick update! We’re decided to create a Thunderclap campaign just to keep us motivated to continue to develop Project SpaceVille. It would mean the world to us if we had your support! Check out the campaign here! See you all soon! The FAXIME Team Follow us and keep updated at: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaximeGames Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/faximegames Twitter: https://twitter.com/FaximeGames Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.pt/faximegames SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/faximegames Thunderclap: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/63892-support-project-spaceville
  17. With the Mobile technology taking our lives by storm, the average time spent by people on their phones has increased almost five times over the past few years. Therefore, mobile games are one of the main reasons why so many people spend their time on their smartphones. The primary reason behind the success of mobile games is they are portable enough and provide the best forms of entertainment at any time. As per quarterly update of Global Games Market Report, the mobile gaming industry will scale $108 billion in revenue this year, an increase of 7.8% from last year. The trends are expected to grow more in the coming years. This rapid growth in the gaming industry has led to the growth of a number of mobile app development companies offering wonderful apps in the mobile games space. But with faster growth, there are more risks and competition too. Hence, every mobile app development company needs to focus majorly on the mobile app marketing strategies and marketing trends. For any mobile app development company, planning a proper app development plan and marketing strategy becomes a must. However, these are not only the points a mobile app development company considers. Other than this, it has to keep up with the latest trends in the mobile apps as well. So, while following the process, consider some of the top trends in the mobile gaming apps. Messaging Apps Messaging has been a medium for communication for decades. But with the technology acing, they have taken over the mobile app industry majorly. Some famous messaging apps like WhatsApp, Hike, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger are amongst the top 10 most used mobile apps. Study and statistics believe that in the coming years, messaging apps will take over social networks. Also, the Instant messaging apps will become the connection medium of the future. Android Instant Apps After Google introduced the concept of Android instant apps, this has slowly become a common trend in 2017. The feature of Android instant apps is that it works without installation. Such apps provide quick mobile experience and utilize no space in the mobile devices. Thus, many mobile app development companies are into developing instant apps. We will be seeing a massive increase in the near future in the number and quality of instant apps. Mobile Security The mobile app development companies will continue to invest in mobile apps and spend more on mobile marketing. During this, mobile security is the most important factor they should consider. Security remains a concern for the smaller apps to the larger ones. More the security more will be the number of users involved and thus, there have to be more market values. Big Data Big Data is one of the leading marketing trends for the year 2017, as per Smart Insights. There has been a tremendous rise in the big data marketing apps for mobile app marketing. This has helped the brands to get the customer insights and predictive analysis. Big data is the key to mobile marketing. As per Business Insider, big data shape the growth of the mobile app marketing. It depends on how the businesses deal with big data and how they utilize it to get better with mobile app marketing strategies. IoT marketing applications IoT is the new marketing trend in the league. As expected, by 2020, there will be more than 75 billion connected devices. This means better and effective communication by 2020 than the total number of people. However, how brands use this new concept to connect and bring more customers via the marketing is a significant trend. Augmented Reality. The best example of Augmented Reality games is Pokemon Go and also the Snapchat Spectacles. It is expected that such technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality will strongly impact the mobile marketing. Thus, slowly and gradually, marketers and the mobile app development companies will understand the importance of AR and accept this trend to reshape the process of mobile marketing. Social Media - Mobile only There has been a rapid growth in mobile marketing due to this trend. Messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram have evolved and have been widely accepted by the users. This leads to a major trend in the mobile-only social networks. And in future, we can see more social networks switching to mobile-only s apps. There is a possibility that there will be new entrants in the mobile market. Artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligent apps will be the next big thing for the mobile marketers. This is soon going to be the biggest trends in mobile app marketing. Apps like Google Now, Siri, Cortana are already available in the popular app stores that work on the artificial intelligence domain. To get a future hold of mobile marketing, it becomes essential for a mobile app development company to find ways to capitalize on these marketing trends.
  18. More often than not, I’m asked questions by indie developers about bringing external help in. This lesson of Indie Marketing For N00bs will deal with marketing professionals, public relation firms, publishers, and who you want on your side. An alternate title to this lesson would be: “PR Gurus, Publishing Pros, and Community Managers, Oh My!” All of the lessons before now focus on the assumption that you’re on your own. But, you’re only one person. Your team, whether it’s small or larger, may not have the ability to focus on the particular tasks of managing the social media or sitting down to crack out a press release masterpiece. It’s OK to need help. Everyone should have someone that knows what they’re doing, knows the ins and outs of the game being made, the industry itself, and how to get the word out properly. Whether it’s you or someone else is the question to ask. They are your writer, your voice, your relations with the public, and your metaphoric face. Publishers Are Not Always The Infallible Fix Let’s get Publishers out of the way, because the most common question I get when people ask for advice is “Can you get me a publisher for funding and marketing?” This predisposed and panned need is due to misconception that all publishers are end-all, be-all and will save a game from doing terribly. This, as stated, is one of the easiest mistakes that developers can get themselves into. Indie developers go head first into finding a publisher, but should be more picky because each publisher has their own tools, needs, and requirements themselves. When most people think of publishers, they think of the big names like Activision, Valve, or the countless first-party options out there. These fine folks aren’t the publishers that you’ll be looking for. They comb through thousands of games a day to find the diamond in the rough that will be their poster child of indie in a sea of junk, if they are even looking to add an independent game their their repertoire. Many of them, like Blizzard (under the proper name Activision Blizzard), develop games internally and publish those. Let’s face the facts: World of Warcraft was not an indie game. Now, there are some better alternatives out there. But, they’re not always this almighty publisher that people believe they should be. First off, most indie-based publishers are not going to fund your game. Some will, if they find something they truly and wholeheartedly believe in, but all-in-all, the publisher is there to do one thing: publish. Some indie publishers, like Team17, New Blood Interactive, or Digital Devolver, have their own internal public relations and marketing departments or have their own methods to get what you need. Some will even personally invest in your project and are all self-contained to your liking. But, that’s not all of them and the likelihood that you’re chosen is not very big. Some publishers, like Apogee Software LLC and Digital Smash, are there to help give resources and help liaison the needs of publishing to niche platforms, but don’t have the funds to personally invest. As a developer, understand that this is still a viable solution if you’ve never published before. All options take a percentage of royalties, but these guys might be less inclined to take both the arm and leg to help you. However, they may be able to help get marketing professionals on your side on the back-end or get you properly set up for a crowdfunding option success. Some publishers will, at times, treat their acquired development teams as pets. They feed you, they talk you for walks. But, you better not leave any presents on the carpet or chew up the couch pillows or you’re in for as hell of a time. They will set your deadlines and your timelines. They will be your wake up calls, your drill instructors, and your nannies. You jump when they tell you to and there’s no real problems. This is how half-assed games come out on deadlines, where bugs are fixed post-release. If you feel that the game should be developed at your own pace, a publisher may not be your answer. Just remember: Publishers are not always necessary, but if you get attached to one, it’s definitely a good idea to know what you’re getting into and what to expect for each. There is no I in TEAM What do Marketing people do? This is a question that a lot of developers really have no idea how to answer. More often than I would have ever thought, devs believe that marketing and PR people are in charge of finding funding for the project. I’ve even been asked how well I can program before because they thought “Marketing and PR” had to do with programming the game somehow. All of this is wrong. Where some marketing folks can also specialize in these topics, that’s not the point of a marketing person. You need someone to market the game, get it out to the masses. Someone that can help set the tone for the entire brand you intend to show the world. In larger companies, each of these people even are separate from each other in different roles. As an indie, you may not have that luxury to have a PR manager, marketing manager, brand manager, and community manager. So, you need a well-rounded person to do as much as they can. Enter: The On-Team Marketing Manager. This is your go-to guy to handle community efforts, writing press releases, or focusing on creating and enforcing marketing plans. This will be one of the most hard-working people on the team since they wear so many hats. With that being said, don’t overwork them. Create a plan (you know, a marketing plan) and let them implement it. This can also be an opening to mention interns. Bringing in your own intern off the street has its advantages. You can mold them and shape them to how you want them to fit into your puzzle, especially with everything you’ve learned from the lessons I’ve given. It gets tricky without money up front to pay them salary though and they can quit pretty quickly with no backing behind all the work. If you don’t pay, there’s a high chance they won’t stay for very long. Consider figuring out a budget to pay a marketing person to help, even if the budget is technically zero. They’re not there to work for free, or the possibly empty promise of being paid on the “back-end”. Back-end paying is when nothing is given up front and the share of the revenue is given after the release of the game generates profits. Offering someone only back-end payment for hard work will probably get you laughed at more often than not. If it's firm it means it's ripe, right? Many developers take on the age old mentality of having someone else do it for them. Hiring a public relations or marketing firm is incredibly common and a solid choice among both the indie and AAA developers. A firm will generally assign you an “account executive”, which will dedicate time and focus on you and your needs that you have paid for. They’ll usually have multiple clients that they are involved with and will split their time to each evenly. The real question involved is if you’ve found a valid firm or someone that’ll give you the runaround. If you feel like the price is not right, for instance, you might be correct. Many firms will over charge for minute tasks. Many of them will want a huge chunk of the share of back-end. Get a fair percentage and you know you have a good company working with you. Just remember that almost all firms will want some sort of payment up front. Sometimes they can work with you a little, but they are a business and can’t take on a bunch of free, volunteer jobs. They have to eat and keep the lights on too. Many of these firms will treat it like a job instead of a passion. The very best firms will emotionally invest in your game. Be friendly to the developers, “like” or “follow” the game on social media, be more than just professional. These people are more interested in making lifelong partnerships and networks than dropping you the first sign of trouble. They want to help, give advice, and consult. They generally want to see you succeed. They cross their fingers for you and hope for the best. Additionally, success stories look better on their track record than a botched game, so personal investment helps keep them on track as well. In any case, find yourself a good team for your game. If it involves a marketing consultant, a PR firm’s account executive, or even a publisher to keep you on track, it doesn’t matter. A good team will be cohesive and work together to get the job done, whatever it takes.
  19. Welcome to the fifth lesson in the series known as Indie Marketing For N00bs. Today, we’re going to cover a short lesson that most indie developers believe is a myth but really isn’t. Marketing isn’t free and anyone that ever told you otherwise lied directly to you. If not in monetary spending, it’s definitely in time needed to market properly manually. As you’ve read in the previous entries, marketing, public relations, community development and management, and social media all take time. A lot of it. As the old saying goes, “Time is money”. You will either take the time to do it yourself properly or bring in some additional tools for your arsenal that costs money. There is no in-between. The immediate answer that people go to is advertising. This is the oldest and most well used form of digital marketing in the modern era. Creating an ad, focusing the target market (which you should have a comprehensive idea of due to your marketing plan), and paying for impressions (those that see the ad, but don’t necessarily click) is about as simple as it gets. There’s even a ton of options to go to depending on your demographic and social media that you utilize: Facebook Sponsored Ads Twitter Ads Google AdWords Bing Ads AdRoll YouTube Twitch Wanna know a secret? Put in the Work. If you want a truly successful campaign, you will spend money to get the right resources. But, that shouldn’t stop you from taking on the manual options as well. As I’ve said before: Get yourself out there on your own. Make sure every eye possible sees you. If you don’t know how (or my guides just weren’t as effective as you hoped), there’s always the option of bringing on a marketing specialist to your team or even hiring an outside PR company to handle the affairs. But, again, those cost money. People don’t work for free. If you DO want to do it yourself, here’s the trick. There is no secret, special trick. It’s really just a lot of hard work and know-how. Understand That There’s A Lot Riding Against You Everyone has heard of Star Trek, the classic science fiction show that premiered in the 1960s. Don’t worry, this is relevant. In the original series (and the newer movies), there is a test that is given to cadets of Starfleet called the Kobayashi Maru. The point of the test is that some situations are completely unwinnable and it’s to show how well cadets cope with the concept of a no-win scenario. Now, I’m not going to lie. The cards are stacked against you as an indie developer. The day this was written (October 4th, 2017), 15 games came out on Steam alone and every one of them were a free indie game. There’s a lot of evidence and statistics that show you will fail. You can do everything right, spend money to get the proper tools and help, make a fantastic game, and still fail. This is what I refer to as the “Kobayashi Maru of Marketing”. You just can’t let this discourage you. It’s an obstacle and your next game will do better. Marketing takes a village. If your marketing budget is zero, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will fail. It means you have to work harder, step twice as fast, and learn from mistakes quickly to adapt. Put in the effort, get the word out, make sure every eye that can possibly see it does. Make sure you’re in the face of journalists because you need them on your side because you can show them everything you want, but if they do nothing about it, it’s lost to the wind.
  20. Building Block Heroes Released! After six months of full-time development, Building Block Heroes is released on Steam! Price is set at $9.99 but is currently enjoying a 20% launch discount. Building Block Heroes on Steam Building Block Heroes is a puzzle block platformer in which you use coloured blocks to build pathways around each level in order to free the Jollyfolk from their cages. Simultaneously control both building blocks and heroes, with a friend or by yourself, in this colourful romp through a cartoony and exotic hand-painted world. Explore different lands, use special powers, and combat various enemies as you construct the means to save the Jollyfolk! A True Puzzle Platformer Game Use falling blocks to build your own platforms and pathways around each level. Build your own stairways and bridges to navigate around obstacles and pits! Use blocks to avoid enemies that try to stop you from reaching the Jollyfolk. Each area in the game introduces a new challenge - from moving platforms to irresistible ocean currents that sweep you away, no two areas are alike! Characters Four unique characters, each with their own unique abilities! Destroy blocks to build up your power meter. Dash across gaps as Heatwave, conjure blocks of ice as Ice Queen, soar through the air as Airhead, or smash through blocks as Dirtbag! Bosses A puzzle game with boss fights! Bosses will do everything in their power to smash your colourful creations. Build your way to reach each boss's weak point as they launch powerful attacks to stop you. This game is not turn-based - bosses aren't going to simply stand there and let you work your way towards them! Avoid attacks while you build! Feel free to let me know what you think! I'll be checking in all week for feedback and the like. Thank you all for the support! If you want to see the game in action, here's another Let's Play video. Big thanks to Firebird Gaming:
  21. Hi all, It's the weekend before release, so I thought I'd show off another Let's Play! This one is a rather in-depth look at the secondary game mode of Building Block Heroes, Connect Mode. Thanks to PalicoPadge for taking the time to do this! Let me know what you think! Feel free to check out the store page if you're interested: Building Block Heroes on Steam
  22. Welcome to the fourth entry to Indie Marketing For N00bs. This week, we’re going to talk about some things that most developers fail to really follow through on: Marketing Plans. These are both fundamental additions to any successful game on the market. We’re going to take the time here to really explain the importance of these tools, what they’re used for, and how to create them yourself. PLAN? I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ PLAN! You’ve designed a game. Go you. What is the first thing most developers do before they make the game, though? They create a game design document, which entails the plan for what’s going into the game, how it’ll be implemented, and something that can be followed through or be utilized by a publisher that wants to take your game under their wing. In theory, you already know how to do exactly this, so why aren’t you designating time to do the same thing for other aspects of the process? A marketing plan is your personal guideline to what needs to be done early on, as well as in post-development when it comes to marketing, public relations, social media, and community management. It’s big, generally. But, it helps developers know when they need to make a post or a blog, or when they need to make an announcement due to hitting a target. This includes when you should do “Dev Diaries” or how often you should tweet. Make a plan and stick to it. I Love It When A Marketing Plan Comes Together! Everyone has a different method for their own versions of a marketing plan. Some people do a simple outline with key points and some people go above and beyond for a true precision strike outward (For instance: My plans tend to be between 9 and 11 pages, including a title page). I mentioned earlier that the plan can be for a publisher. If you ever plan to get picked up by a publisher (even the indie publishers), they want you to be as impactful as you can be autonomously. It’s less work and hassle for them if you come equipped with your own knowledge and tactics. But, maybe I don’t want a publisher. Why do I need a plan? Making a plan for yourself keeps you on a strict regimen to get your game out there. Will it ensure a 100% success story? Of course not. But, it will ensure that you are following my rule from previous entries to this series: “Every eye possible”. Know Your Audience And They Will Know You A plan should include two major sections, split into explanations for each one: Information and Marketing Tools. In the Information section, include a quick description of your game, maybe one or two paragraphs. This is to guide anyone other than yourself that may read this document. If you have any current statistics or analytics about your game or company, include a section for them. Set your goal here, as well. Make an attainable goal based on similar games on market. Knowing what you’re up against and adjusting your expectations to adhere to logic is a perfect way to set yourself up for a win. Additionally, do some research and figure out your demographic. Come up with a range of people that you believe your game is targeting. Include: Age range Is your game more mature themed? Would it appeal more to a nostalgic retro audience? Is it cartoony and kid-friendly? These aspects matter. Gender(s) With women taking to the industry in recent years, more women are likely to play your game. Take this into account here. Languages For instance, if you game is only in English and you have no plans to localize the game to Chinese, China might not be your demographic. Systems Is your game only on PC? Probably shouldn’t focus on console gamers too much then and vice versa. Is your game mobile? Why are you contacting people that only play PC games? Know your audience and it’ll help with future endeavors and needs. List Out All The Tools You’ll Use Marketing Tools should include Social Media, Video platforms, Game’s Website, Community Presence, Press, Paid Advertisements, and Software and Services you plan to use. This section is a lot bigger than the other, but it’s where the majority of the plan is laid out. What social media are you going to use? List them out here. We’ve discussed social media in a prior lesson, so add in any that are going to be linked to this game, no matter how small. Think of this as your reminder to post on Google+ or Instagram. How often will you be posting to each platform? Do you plan to tweet daily? Are you hitting other platforms often? Make sure to include even game developer specific platforms here as well. Any presence needs to be noted and should have a guide for how you handle each one. Do you plan to make videos for your game? Have you made a trailer? Will you be streaming the game during development or post-development for people to see progress or features? Make sure to include if you’re using YouTube, Twitch, or any other video platforms. How will you post these videos and how often? Will you be live for most of it on Twitch and then upload it to YouTube after? What’s the plan? Most indie developers don’t utilize their own website for promotion, but it’s a powerful tool to have a simple domain to send potential eyes to. This looks great on business cards, promotional materials, or any shout outs you make need. Some people even go a step further and implement a dev blog into their site. This can tie to the videos, as well, showing off aspects of the game that may not have been apparent. Dev Diaries, which can be shown on your site, are one of the easiest ways to keep community involvement during the creation of your game. Utilization of the forum structure is always a good way to keep community involvement, in both the traditional sense and the more modern takes. Reddit is ridiculously popular to show off progress and several sub-Reddits (specific sections dedicated to particular topics) are designed specifically for indie developers. Additionally, the use of Discord could be considered a “modern take” to the forum structure. Taking on an old-school IRC style mixed with vocal capabilities like Teamspeak or Ventrillo, Discord is designed for gamers and widely utilized as a community tool for the game industry. Media Shower: Wishing Among The Stars As we’ve discussed in an earlier lesson, the press and media are your friends. List out your plan to contact them and how you plan to keep them notified in your plan. This includes a guideline of when you plan to write press releases to get out to the media and press sites. Figure out what kinds of streamers and “Let’s Players” you want to try to contact and set a target. Include a full plan for a customized “press kit” in your marketing plan. I’m going to be setting “press kits” aside as its own lesson at a later date, but expect a much more substantial detailing of what should be in a standard press kit. Software, Services, and Ads As with any other game-related step out there, tools can and should be used when marketing. This can be a number of things, from minor social media tools like Hootsuite or Buffer, all the way to full analytics reporting programs like Google analytics. A popular free tool to use is Google Alerts, which can set keywords and have Google email you when something comes up in the search engine. If you intend to have people play the game in Let’s Plays, websites like Gamesight can be very helpful in tracking your game. After the game has been published, it’s important to try to get your game on such aggregates as Metacritic, not for any other reason than Twitch and other websites pull from that site for their content. This section should also include any paid advertising you, your publisher (if applicable), or third party will intend to use. Be concise. Since this uses real money, you can utilize the demographics designed in the first section of the marketing plan to focus the impressions and clicks. Ads can be Google, Facebook, Twitter, or a number of other platforms. Understand the difference between sponsored advertisements and "like" purchasing, though. It's the difference between having real eyes see your product and having some company in a click farm boost your numbers in a fake way. Fake followers and "bots"can completely mess up any intended reporting and realistic charts. You'll never know if you're actually doing good. Don’t forget to think out of the box, though. Marketing is only limited to your own mind. Be creative and sometimes it will pay off. Some people get a proper Wikipedia article put up for their game. If you intend to make a commercial, YouTube and Twitter can be tapped for a video-based ad. Heading to small events in your area can help get more eyes. Just make sure you have it all in your Plan.
  23. Hi every one. Please I urgently need your advice on my project. I just finished developing my first game and I don't know what next being an amateur.. seeking advice from you guys. Thanks.
  24. Visuals easily grab attention and particularly the video content just give users all the relief from the exercise of reading a text. Watching a video is a passive exercise allowing a sense of comfort while always explaining things better. Even then, we detest videos that instead of telling us straightforwardly what it is all about just beats around the bush. What happens when such a lengthy and monotonous video appears on the app store trying to explain the uniqueness of an app? Obviously, such app preview videos instead of captivating attention make us quit. Do you think it is interesting to use a video as part of your app store preview? Before venturing to create it just have a look at some important stats and tips. Deciphering the Stats about app preview video Most studies say that preview videos not only boost app store conversion but also boosts the Lifetime Value (LTV) of an app. App marketplaces are tremendously competitive with every new app needing to compete with millions of other apps across the niches. With such huge competition and decreasing user attention, every app needs to impress its potential audience at the first chance and quicker it happens the better. Naturally, preview video perfectly fits into this requirement being both impressive and less time-consuming compared to text. Many Indian app developers made app store preview videos central to their marketing strategy. In the time to come, we can see most app marketers adopting to this trend. Here are some key statistics about the preview videos used for both Google Play Store and Apple App Store. ● on an average among the Google Play visitors, only 15% prefer to play a video. ● only 7.5% of average App Store users prefer playing the preview video. ● While 55% of iOS users complete watching the preview video just 45% of Play Store visitors watch preview videos till the end. From the above-mentioned stats, it may seem preview videos as still not popular and they may not be as successful as they are presumed to be. Many of these videos just lack the attributes necessary for impressing visitors quickly. On the other hand, the people who watch preview videos offer far higher conversion than people who do not watch them. Here are a few more stats about what the visitors do after watching a preview video of an app. ● among the watchers of these videos, 50% of iOS users and 25% of Google Play visitors scroll down the gallery. ● a whopping 70-80% of visitors on both App Store and Play Store scroll down further to look for contents about the app. ● only 5% of watchers read the App Store description. ● 20% of visitors on both platforms take an instant call on installing or skipping the app just after watching the video. Lastly, it is a sordid fact that most users across the platforms are seen to be so reluctant to go deeper into any app description or preview that they are less likely to watch it. But still, with a great preview video perfected in every respect, your app can boost conversion to a significant extent. Lastly, among the top 50 successful apps, 84% of them use a preview video. So, if you want to learn from the leaders, a preview video is something you cannot do without. Some app developers in India and elsewhere seem to be rather enthusiastic about this visual tool. But, preview video needs to be perfect in all aspects since it is your first and last chance of introducing an app to a potential buyer. Here we go with a few tips for preview video that can help pushing conversion. Video Content The attention span of mobile audience irrespective of the platforms has touched the bottom low, and it's only a span of few seconds that you get to grab their attention. Do you know among the visitors who start watching a preview video both in App Store or Google Play Store, 10% of them just leave the video within every 5 seconds? So, you need to deliver your message quicker and most straightforwardly. First of piece of truth that you should remember while creating a preview video is that it is not a tutorial video and so you do not need to go into details about how to use the app. All you need to focus is why the users need it. Just explain the biggest USP of your app in a short, impressive and direct manner. Game app preview Games are different from all other apps in terms of audience and user intentions for downloading them. In most cases, games are downloaded by judging the graphics quality and game playing experience. So, your game preview video must deliver the excitement of the actual gameplay. Video length As we have discussed earlier, your video length must be short and precise enough to keep their attention throughout. Mobile users are already a restless lot with almost frantic attention span, and so any dragging and pushing around a few points will only make them leave undecided. Sound and Narration A nice audible narration and background score is nice as long as the video is watched in private places. For public viewing, your video should come with muted video options with subtitles, transitions and callouts to ensure a rich watching experience without sound. Let's cut a long story short by telling you that preview videos are good as long as it can work as a captivating piece of content for your target audience. Give your most important message within a few first seconds since most decisive users can take a call much earlier than the span of the video. On the other hand, so-called casual explorer audience can eventually like the app by watching the video and so make the rest of the video impressive by explaining the value it offers.
  25. Press Releases Are Important, So Why Aren’t You Writing Any? Welcome back to our marketing lessons focused on the indie developer, aptly titled “Indie Marketing For N00bs”. This lesson will focus on the importance of getting the news out to journalists and the media. This can be done a number of ways, but our primary focus is on proper etiquette for writing a press release. If done right, a press release can be seen by thousands of people, so there’s certain things that anyone writing the release needs to focus on and present. The world has their eyes on you for that brief second; make it count. A well written press release can go a long way. What makes a good press release, though? We can talk for hours on intricacies of writing and proper culture in dedicated writing. But, we’ll bring this down to some general tips to make your writing better without boring you too much on the details. No Fluff! Look, the details are important. You need to make sure you convey everything you want to say to the masses and I understand that. But, this isn’t technical writing. This is your great stand about your game. People don’t care about the coding that goes into a game. They don’t want every detail about how it was made. Leave those to Dev Diaries and blogs that you can go into detail about how you made your main character’s arm move super realistic with a special line of code. “Tl;dr”, which is shorthand for “Too long, didn’t read”, is a well-known term in writing. Get your point across first. Saving important details until later in the press release can damage your chances of getting eyeballs on the post. “Personality” Doesn’t Mean “Opinions” Personality is key and will optimize the eyes that see your writing. Boring press releases get overlooked because writers want to write about things that interest them and get their attention. Be humorous and witty. Don’t be afraid to make a relevant pun in writing. If you can make the journalist laugh, you’re likely to have a good write up about the news. Extra fluff can come in a number of ways. Press releases, for instance, should be devoid of opinions. You can be happy you get your game out there, but going into opinion and blog-like writing is an automatic turn off for a lot of journalists that are picking up the write-up. People want news to be, you know, news. Inject some personality into the writing, though. This isn’t an expository high school essay. This is your masterpiece. Be proud of what you’d got here. But, be careful not to turn it into an opinion piece. You may love it, but someone else may not. Create hype by being honest and straightforward. If I wanted your opinion, I’ll read your Dev Blog or watch your Dev Diaries (which are also a great way to create hype, but need to remain separate from the news). Empower Yourself With Quotes Now, let me go against everything I’ve said prior, but only if done in a specific way. Quotes are the one place that a press release should have enthusiasm or opinion. By quoting yourself or someone on your team, you open up the ability to say whatever you want. This is your time to shine as a human that made the game. Be excited and enthusiastic. I’ve seen too many quotes that read like a robot wrote them. I once had to explain to one of these robots the best way to give a quote, “Pretend you’re telling your best friend in the entire world about your product for the very first time. Show the excitement from that moment!” I do have a personal rule that works well for quote, though. Too many quotes will drown a press release. Most reporters that take your release and have to massage it are going to pull the main information and re-write it, then maybe snag one or two of the quotes for the article, if any at all. Limit the amount of quotes in a single release to be no more than three, with no more than two quotes for a single person. Source Your Sources Everyone wants to compare their game to a bigger, well-known game. Everyone wants to mention other companies, studios, or events that are relevant and/or topical to the news. This is where the ground gets a little shaky. This release isn’t about others. This isn't an elevator pitch, this is the real thing. This is about you, your team, your game, and everything involving those things. I highly recommend keeping others out of the mix. But, if you have to, there’s good ways of going about it. Make sure to include the proper copyright and trademark information for any brand you decide to utilize. You can’t mention another company without the proper legalese. This should be included near the bottom of the release, just to cover your own behind. Additionally, if you mention any copyrighted systems that your game will be on, it’s important to give the proper copyrighting symbol with it and make sure it’s named properly. Look up proper style guides for anything you mention, because each brand has their own unique shorthand. It’s “Sony PlayStation 4”, not “Playstation” (The “S” is Capitalized). It’s “XBox One”, not “Xbone”. Properly attributing your mentions makes you look more professional, as well as more likely to have people pay attention. Don’t be afraid of links in the press release. Embrace them and link to all of your sources properly. Did you attend an event that is in your news? Link the main page of the event. Are you name-dropping a specific console or game series? Give them props. Do you have assets for your own game, like a press kit? Link it and make it bold. Adventure, Excitement… A Journalist Craves These Things I talked about journalists a bit in a previous entry to this series, but I want to elaborate on their thoughts about press releases. When you network, you make allies. But, it’s a lot easier if you give them news that they can do something with. Searching them out makes their job much easier for them. They are actively looking for things to write about and most publications keep themselves on a constant stream of press lists for this exact purpose. Even if you don’t know them, utilize that press list that you made in the earlier lesson to get ahold of them and make yourself known. Journalists, for the most part, are pretty personable and are just looking for a new scoop. Just remember: Journalists and the media love press releases. Even if the release you write isn’t as successful as you had hoped, they can be added to your own “Press Kit” that any game should have for later usage. But, Press Kits are a lesson for another day. Also, don’t forget: Hit all of the relevant news-wires and aggregators if possible. This will be key to getting the press release to those you don’t already have access to, as journalists (and even everyday people) look at sites like Gamasutra and GamesPress. Even websites and forums like GameDev.Net are notable examples of places to put your news, sharing among other developers. Additionally, don't forget to share the press release on your social media.
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