Indie self-marketing 101


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edited in Tutorials
Hey guys

So I've been thinking that the one thing we lack most is probably the ability to market ourselves - market early, market wide. Let people see you, see your game, in development, in sketches, in whatever.

By we I mean those that aren't well-versed in this whole thing. Of course there are experienced guys here, so... I'd like to ask practical things:

A. Where do you post your prototypes to be seen?
1. MakegamesSA.com
2. IndieSquish.com
3. indiedb.com
4. Toucharcade (mobile)
5. Slidetoplay (mobile)

B. Which press do you contact if you have a game you're keen to show your prototype (with the intention to finish)? Are there any particular journos that you guys can point us to? (Hello Zoe, still looking forward to your talk on what the press are looking for from us!)

C. Everyone should do presskits for their game. And studio. And person. Vlambeer's presskit() is invaluable. http://dopresskit.com/

D. Any other tips for everyone?

Comments


  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    Probably worthwhile to direct to this article that @Nandrew wrote forever ago.

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    I once upon a time wrote a Zero-Budget Indie Marketing Guide, had the blessing of several journos and broader community members: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RodainJoubert/20090622/84524/The_Zero_Budget_Indie_Marketing_Guide.php

    Adjust for time-lapse and current avenues like Youtubin'.

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    Oh lol @Chippit

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    :D
    That's Ninja Chippit to you.

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    Thanks guys, that's a super insightful article :)

    So other than those principles (very useful) any practical points of contacts that is often used?

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    We just email the people that covered DD when it first appeared and broke out of the forum or saw it at a convention. Best way to build a relationship is when someone's already keen on your game.

    I think people might not be really considering the impact of open development properly. Yes, market your game once you know it's going to be something people want. Marketing it before that point is a waste of time that would be better spent on making something more fun/meaningful/experimental.

    How do you know when other people want your game? Develop it in the open (ie: posting it on a forum and/or somewhere else with reasonable traffic and competition, but not overwhelming amounts of either) and when people start giving it to their friends, you know it's time to invest and THEN if press picks it up after a few more months of investing real resources into a game, that's when you should start marketing...

    I see a lot of people spending way too much time expecting their first few games to do great thanks to wonderful marketing. That's not how this works, Flappy Bird was a fluke. If you want results, you need players.

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    and Flappy Bird was on the maket for 8 months, doing nothing..... before it went atomic

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    @Tuism This is really cool, how would one do this sorta thing for board games? :)

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    dislekcia said:
    I see a lot of people spending way too much time expecting their first few games to do great thanks to wonderful marketing. That's not how this works, Flappy Bird was a fluke. If you want results, you need players.
    This. Marketing can do a lot, but it can't turn a game that no one wants to play into one that people want to pay money to play. Marketing is taking something that people definitely want to play, and telling the people who want to play it where they can find it.


  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    I do understand that marketing isn't a magic silver bullet, but it can't help unless we just go out and do it anyway, and mostly I feel like I don't know where to do it at... I'm not gonna obsess over marketing and think it's the be-all-end-all, I just want... Targets I can shoot at XD

    And if shots don't hit, I know I can keep shooting :) And of course I'm not saying I'm not gonna polish the crap out of my game and make sure it's a good game FIRST :) But I wanna do it in parallel to fighting for some exposure :)

    I'm seeing a lot of principles, but I'm not seeing any solid, concrete targets I can shoot at... Like "Try these forums" or "These journalists are good to try for PC games, these are good for mobile games, and these guys have been receptive to my games" etc.

    Is it a case of google and shotgun?

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    @Cheatsi I would love to know how it works for boardgames, but I don't know enough to really say! Though Boardgamegeek has an entire game design section, and if you're active on there you'll get pretty far in terms of exposure - because most if not ALL the boardgame fanatics and enthusiasts focus like lasers on that site :)

    Other than that, same things apply, write about it, talk about it, polish it...

    I think RPS (Rock Paper Shotgun) has a lean on boardgames, though I'm not entirely sure.

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    write to the press, then write again. then, follow up again :) take to twitter and write to people you like and whose opinions you value. maybe even approach youtubers that you're impressed with. :)

    i promise, i will cover loads of stuff in my chat at the joburg meetup. marketing games is really important, and often the reason good games fall through the cracks.

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    write to the press, then write again. then, follow up again :) take to twitter and write to people you like and whose opinions you value. maybe even approach youtubers that you're impressed with. :)

    i promise, i will cover loads of stuff in my chat at the joburg meetup. marketing games is really important, and often the reason good games fall through the cracks.

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    woah! sorry for multiple posting, apparently the post comment button decided to be over zealous

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    @Tuism: From your questions above, you seem to be focused on 1 aspect of marketing which is PR. This is a pretty difficult part of marketing and whole companies dedicate themselves to just this. Hell, we have our own marketing department and still pulled in a PR company recently.

    My suggestion, in process, is:
    1. Build a great game
    2. Create a solid website for the game to live on, which is SEO compliant and regularly updated
    3. Then pick the social media platforms that are relevant, and start a decent campaign
    4. Get involved in events - like the superfriendship arcarde - or do interesting things - like pay for a bursary - and then send out press releases on those things to the places you want to feature
    5. Get involved in conversations online about topics that are related to your game and link back to your own game (where relevant)
    6. Email the youtubers who do playthroughs and show them the following you've garnered on your social media channels to argue that it's worth their effort to do this game*
    7. When you get enough followers and interest, start an email campaign - shown to have the highest ROI

    *You always need to show how you can provide value for the other party involved. Value can be very varied, but for people who make their living through traffic to their channel, that's going to be quite important.


    Boardgames would follow a similar pattern, though, again, it's more niche and it would be a much slower up take.

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    I think the thing that's missing in all of this is that it's important to have a marketing story. It's impossible to reach all journalists/youtubers everywhere. But by having a very compelling marketing story it's easy to get covered in a few select places, and then hopefully larger and bigger news sources will start to pick up on this.

    Some recent marketing stories I can recall off the top of my head:
    No Man Sky: "Procedurally generated universe"
    The Stanley Parable: "Perhaps the best demo not showing the game ever"
    Desktop Dungeons "it's fiiiiiinnnnnnaaaaaaallly out" ;)
    Brofroce: "Everything the expendables should have been"
    Hyper Light Drifter "Evangelion meets pixel art meets..DEAR GOD JUST LOOK AT IT"
    Sentris "The game that allows you to create music"

    You get the idea. Crafting your marketing story is key to informing people why they should care about your game. It's responsible for both creating a fan base and for getting covered by the press.

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    @Tuism thanks :)
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