Gaming

Indie Game Development Tips

Are you an indie game developer looking to get into content marketing?

Well, you have come to the right place. First, I want to give some background. I was a video game developer and still dabble in the gaming world since 2010, and have been the owner and proud founder of New Breed Games, LLC, which can be found here. We created a couple of apps, but I will not lie and say I was ever a success. However, the reasons behind that were different. I was not in the right state-of-mind, and if I had been where I am now back in 2010, I would have done a lot better. So, with that said, here are some tips.

How is competition in the video game realm going to affect your chances?

Example: when you are writing the book itself, you are working with art. The moment that you publish it, or finish it, it is now a product. Read more about that blog here. The same goes for a video game. Remember, it is a landscape with some huge competition. Right now the gaming industry’s value follows Pareto’s Law: that 80 percent of the market share is owned by 20 percent of actual studios. So, the best way to market an indie game is to first start thinking like it is a product rather than as a work of art.

What in God’s green earth does that even mean to an indie game developer?

Sorry but it is impossible to market a game without a budget these days. We are in a world where such an industry is dominated by Blizzard, EA Games, and so on. So, your best bet is to go beyond the Game Design Document and instead, also focus on a business and marketing plan. Business Plan Pro provides some ways for you to develop this, so you can easily get investment! That will allow for some work on Facebook Ads (to be discussed in another article). You will be able to market appropriately doing this. You also need to focus on other outlets, and many you may already use…

Use the Lean Method to make sure you develop something actually needed!

Before you go and build a video game, make sure you do some market research. This means building your game around the notion that it will be wanted or needed. Nothing is more wasteful than creating a game nobody wants, right? That is the essence of the Lean Method, which is linked to here. There is a great book out by Eric Ries that explains the Lean Method, which is a way to start with a bare-basic concept, and then present the idea to others. From there, you are able to use their feedback (whether in person or via survey) to build something many gamers will love to use! If you are developing a game and have something viable, begin in increments.

More about the Lean Method and building a product people will love.

Build based on milestones. Then, release each new beta to your group of Lean Runners and see where they would take it next! Find a group of dedicated gamers relative to your genre. Then, build each beta in increments and release it to them. You should not need more than ten (10) or so beta testers, but ask less about bugs and more about what they feel the game could use, what it should be leading to, and where they would like to see it as an end product. Keep in touch with them; they will be your most valuable resource.

Social media marketing and ads for video game developers.

Social media is honestly the best way to build your video game’s reputation. If you are a developer looking to break into content marketing, you should be very familiar with having a social media Page on Facebook and an account on Twitter. Use sources like HootSuite to post scheduled updates, and be sure to stay active. Use photos of the game; use videos of the scripts being written in fast motion with some cool music; put together slideshows of images of your development team…think truly outside of the box. But what about content?

What kind of content do you post for your indie video game?

Videos, photos, graphics, writing. Those are the four keys to successful content marketing for any industry. Videos have a much higher rating on the social media algorithm (more on that here). Photos are next, even if it means posting text alongside it. Graphics kind of go hand-in-hand with photos, but involve some hefty Canva.com or Photoshop/Illustrator experience Lastly, plain text does well, too, but you really should never leave content without photos or other forms of media – basically, do the opposite of this article…

How to properly sell that game on the App Store or Google Play!

When you are creating an app, take into consideration the fact that there are an average of around 700-800 mobile apps/games uploaded daily. That is a scary statistic, so you have to make sure you do a lot of pre-planning before you go about even creating that game. It is expensive enough affording a proper team for the job, let alone marketing it. Remember, 20 percent goes into production, but 80 percent goes into marketing. Otherwise, what was the point in creating it to begin with if you are not going to make a sale?

How to properly sell an indie game meant for PC/Mac or for console.

Videos, photos, graphics, writing. Those are the four keys to successful content marketing for any industry. Videos have a much higher rating on the social media algorithm (more on that here). Photos are next, even if it means posting text alongside it. Graphics kind of go hand-in-hand with photos, but involve some hefty Canva.com or Photoshop/Illustrator experience Lastly, plain text does well, too, but you really should never leave content without photos or other forms of media – basically, do the opposite of this article…

Last words of advice for properly marketing an indie video game…

Remember, a video game is a saturated product. Again, Pareto’s Law: Angry Birds cannot be competed against, nor can Candy Crush. But that does not mean you are without a chance at success. With the right content marketing tools, and with the right amount of persistence and planning, you can get very far with very little in budgeting. My advice is to honestly think to yourself: “Who wants to play this game, if anybody at all?” Then, write a business and marketing plan using this software, or download a template I created by clicking here. It is up to you to properly execute these techniques!