Making Your First Game: Launching! – How to Market Your Game – Extra Credits

for the last three episodes we've been talking about where to start when making a game but once you've make the game you love what are you gonna do with it well first you got to find a way to let people know about it now many people might say

“Boo~ Marketing and PR~ Boo~” but if you're really gonna be an indie developer if you're really gonna make a living of this thing and be able to fund developing your games full time this is a big part of your job besides, if you truly have a great game

and you don't let people know about it you're doing everybody a disservice the first thing you need to is understand you own message why is your game unique and interesting with so many options for their free time why should people play your game what experience do you offer

them that they've never been offered before really understanding what's gonna draw players into your game is essential as you reach out to other people as a side benefit if you figure this out early enough it'll also really help you make the game better when you're building it ok

so now you've figured out what's special about your game and how to convey it how do you get the word out well, let's assume that you've got no marketing buget what can you do first, you'll need to put together a few things to get noticed these can be

pretty basic they just have to be clean, elegant and express that core idea one thing you need is a trailer make sure it's no more than three minutes long there is plenty of free video editing software out there so this can be done with just some elbow grease

but if you've got a friend who's already done some editing before it might be time to call in a favor the other thing you'll need is a website something basic is fine it could even be wordpress it just has to look presentable simple and professional is a lot

better than complex and amateur once you have those it's time to enter your game into the indie game competitions getting into something like IDF is a great way to get your game noticed and it's essentially free there are small fees attached to some of them but it's trivial

compare to any paid marketing or PR second, start communicating with other people in the game industry over social media see if you can get your game into the hands of one of the tastemakers out there if somebody like Tim Schafer tweets about your game a lot of people,

including media people, are gonna perk up again, don't be shy about calling in favors here next, mail all of the game news sites now you might think “I'll never get picked up by somebody like Rock Paper Shotgun or Destructoid or Kotaku” but the truth is their job is

to have content that's what catches eyes and generates ad revenue if it's a slow news day they'll absolutely post about a tiny indie game if it looks interesting and start also giving some love to the smaller game sites that really focus on your genre whether it's intense strategy

war-gaming or quiet emotive experiences there are sites dedicated to the aspect of play that your game focuses on and that's where you'll find your early adopters your most vocal evangelists as your game goes towards launch figure out how you're going to build up the attention as the launch

closes in consider doing a reddit AMA or go on podcasts release new screenshots and trailers frequently and make sure to let all the media sites know each time you do it once you've done all that it's time to launch but where are you gonna launch your game well

there are a ton of options here first off there are of course traditional digital distributors like Good Old Games and Steam we'll talk a little bit more about Steam in a bit but don't be afraid to reach out to these services they may seem like these monolithic entities

where real games go and you may think that your game is beneath their notice don't worry about that digital distributors are actually a lot easier to get your game on than many people think they make their money off of every sale you make whether you sell a hundred

or a hundred thousand copies and since it doesn't really cost them anything to put more product on their store they're generally pretty happy to work with anybody who has a reasonably well put-together product as for Steam in particular just know that you're really going to have to do

that press and PR stuff I mentioned earlier if you want to make it pass Greenlight when you're thinking about distribution also think beyond the traditional digital distributors the various mobile app stores out there actually reach way more customers than Steam does by a fairly wide margin sites like

Kongregate and Newgrounds allow your audience instant access to your game from basicly any PC in the world and provide you an opportunity to get feedback every second of every day specially distributors like Slytherin can really help you reach a niche heck, Xbox One, the PS4 and the WiiU

all have digital stores as well and while they are more difficult to get into than some of the pc distributors it's actually easier to get access to these as a developer than it's ever been since all these companies are looking for unique selling point for their platforms even

Facebook has a distribution possibility don't rule out anything think about how your game plays and where it's gonna find its audience and put it there and this is where I'm gonna make my one Unity plug because Unity makes porting your game to new platform really simple the real

answer to the question “where should I distribute my game” is everywhere you can back when James started working in games porting a game was a nightmare it required tons of work you often have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to some outsource company to have them port

the game for you and you would just cross your fingers and hope they did a good job the one button porting promise of Unity isn't entirely accurate you're probably gonna have to get in there and still fiddle with some things but still though for those of us

who have had to port games before engines like Unity were a thing the difference is amazing go get your games out there in as many ways as you can and once you do then comes the hard part supporting your game and accepting its flaws just going through the

exercise of exposing your work to the Internet and seeing the feedback you get has value it's tough and it will hurt and there will be plenty of times that your beautiful baby comes back covered in somebody else's slime-covered filth but for all that you'll learn so much more

about where you could go with your game and what it needs to truly shine way more than you learn from just testing it with friends your future games will be better just for having really released a game and lastly support your title this means bug fixes and gameplay

updates and all that stuff that we've come to expect but it also means keeping in touch with fans and the media planning out sales and promotions even doing the headache of accounting if you're not giving your game away for free well with that we say good luck and

good creating we hope to be playing some of your game soon see you next week

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