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Promotion/Marketing Strategy

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by astracat111, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. astracat111


    Sep 21, 2016
    I want to preface this and say that I am not trying to plug or advertise anything that I'm creating, so I please ask that you just look over whatever I'm working on, as I want to discuss some realizations that I've had about marketing and advertising.

    I've been working on games for over 10 years now in my spare time and for the past 2 years I've had this game that I've wanted to really get out there, working full time while holding part time jobs. I've learned some things along the way but I've always been pretty bad at promotion and marketing mainly.

    So I've created this world where people battle using magic and martial arts, and the story is about this misfit kid who wants to get into this competitive school system. I'm making a lot of revisions to my strategy after watching to a lot more marketing lectures and reading a lot more articles.

    The idea is that I'd like to run a successful kickstarter campaign around the project (somehow). If I don't do that, to finish it up as about 80% I'd say of the game is really finished, I would just take out a personal loan to pay for rent so I could work on it full time without the day job ("that's unadvisable" is probably coming I know...)

    So about promotion....

    There was a really good GDC talk I listened to named 'Making the World Give a Damn About Your Game in 2018'. In it there were a handful of key tips that I noted I've been missing. Mainly, he mentions that the thing about your game that you think is interesting isn't necessarily interesting.

    You see this helped me out I believe (well, still have to test it) so much because the way I've been marketing my game to people is saying 'My games name is Astralojia, it's about this fantasy world where this kid etc etc...'. After working on the battle system, finishing it's first draft, and hooking it up to the game I'm noticing that the people that I'm showing the game are all of the sudden lighting up completely to it, more so than the click and point adventure game module that I had put together before it.

    I realized that people like the fighting, the battles, the action. Even so, whether this might seem distasteful to some, for me my game is really about the story, music and exploration. This is the part that I was showing off. Now I'm realizing that you almost have to have two parts to your pitch, at least this is what I think as of this moment (because what do I know seriously I'm not a successful game maker at this point).

    Part 1) The dumb version of your game that you can tell to virtually anyone, especially to younger kids.
    Part 2) The more technical aspect that makes the project compelling.

    After a lot of studying and first hand experience, NOT that story doesn't matter, but I can tell you that when marketing your product, no one gives a sh*t about your epic or deep or emotional story [at first]. This isn't necessarily the case once they delve into it, but when you actually are showing off a trailer and promoting it to new people, it's a thought to be had I suppose.

    It's almost like I'm realizing there has to be a front end. So, for me, instead of

    Before) 'Astralojia - It's about this kid who blah blah etc etc...',

    I will now try out

    After) 'Astralojia - It's about mages that fight with martial arts, you can throw fireballs and stuff' as the first part, the dumb version of the pitch.

    After Part B) The second part, the more technical aspect, I feel should be changed to something like 'and it has a battle system like Final Fantasy but in VR, and...'

    Lastly) It's about this kid who etc etc...

    The other part of changing my strategy that I was thinking of, was to offer a closed beta/demo. I've seen this with a lot of recently successful kickstarters. A finished, polished, playable demo that is debugged and optimized it seems is necessary, as well as your typical press kit, screenshots, animated gifs and at least one trailer, all very polished, shiney, with a good amount of movement throughout using possibly transitions and lots of moving particle effects.

    I'm not so sure about what he suggested using Discord, I haven't used it that much yet, but it could be something special because the technology is changing every damn day.

    The third part was just that no one comes to you. For me, if I get 1000 sales on my game for $9.99 it's a humongous success and I can keep going, as my living expenses are so low, since I'm living with a roommate in a small apartment.

    Just going to people and asking...It's almost as if everything in this world works that way. If you turn in applications for a job, you have to be detached and turn in like 100, then when you get interviews take them with a grain of salt. I suppose it's the same way, and I don't see a ton of indie developers giving out tips actually mentioning this part. From what I've heard there are marketing firms that will have an e-mail list of about 10,000 people that they've built over years. I suppose about 10 responses out of those is a good victory. I'm still not really sure how this part works.

    My game is similar to Octopath Traveler in it's use of graphics and that it has a turn based combat system, so I was thinking of simply just asking people directly if they'd like to try the closed beta out, which would end up with someone signing up to the e-mail list.

    I can't really think of anything else, that's just some ways that I mean to change my own strategy in marketing, as I'm determined to succeed at this no matter what it takes. If anyone has anything to share on the subject, successes or failures or revisions that you had to make on this stuff I'm all ears...