Editorials

An Indie Developers Biggest Threat

Developing a game can be difficult, and marketing one can be even more so, especially if you’re not a social person.  There’s not exactly a clear path to success and there a lot of options on how to market your game.  Today we’re going to look at a few and see how they can help you market your game.

Indie Developers

Sharing Your Work

Many independent developers spend years working on their projects only to find they have no idea how to get people interested in the game.  The funny thing about that is they were creating marketing material the whole time.  Every piece of art, every song, every gameplay mechanic, they can all be shared and if done correctly you can build yourself quite an audience.  It’s just a matter of finding the right place to share it.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter work if you’re going to be writing updates or speaking with your followers.  Visual based sites such as Deviantart, Tumblr, and Imgur are also worth checking out if you have art and screenshots to share.  It’s important to learn the ecosystems of each of these sites if you intend to use them.  For example Twitter is more about constant activity and interacting with people through talking, sharing, and so forth.  Facebook on the other hand is more suited for larger, single post on the other hand as it doesn’t limit you on characters per post.  That being said Facebook also puts a limit on who will see your post unless you pay for “boost” so even those that follow you may end up not seeing your post.

Community Events

There are nearly limitless amounts of events throughout the year that can help an indie developer share their work.  From small social events like #screenshotaturday to large contest such as the Indie Game Maker Contest.  Social events can help you build up steam as you work towards a finished product and the contest can help you expand your skills and possibly bring in some additional income to help fund the game.  Here’s a list of some of the contest you can enter.

Publishers

These come in a few shapes and sizes.  Publishers like Square Enix have a more hands off approach with their program Square Enix Collective where they help promote your game if you’re planning on crowdfunding by putting you through a voting system to see if their audience likes your game or not.  If you receive a majority of yes votes you’ll get an email blast from Square that will help get people participating in your crowdfunding campaign.  Now if you’re not going the crowdfunding route you may want to consider more traditional publishers like Devolver Digital to help market (and possibly fund) your game.  Let it be noted that every publisher is going to look for a share of the game’s profits and some control over the game’s development in return for their help.  If that isn’t something you’re comfortable with you may not want to seek a publisher’s assistance.

Cross Promotion

Like someone else’s project?  Want to share their work and in turn share yours?  That’s cross promotion.  This has become pretty popular recently with Kickstarter projects wanting to help each other get funded but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to crowdfund in order to have a reason to cross promote.  Just find a team with similar interest as you and see if they want to work on putting a character or such in their game as a little nod to you, and you can do the same for them.

Dakota B.

Dakota Barrett is an indie game developer and journalist. His goals are to create high quality experiences and supports those that do as well.

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