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How to get press and How to's beside Development in your Project

Hi.

Me and my team are working in a project with Unreal Engine 4, called The Hum ( http://www.indiedb.com/games/the-hum ). I have some years in the game industry, but this is my first serious project as independent developer.
I am putting all my effort in have a team, develop the game, etc, but… I’m still a begginer with press, marketing and bussines side. I usually work with clients, but this is very diferent.

For example, I have this game, using new techs like Unreal Engine 4, Oculus Rift, it is receiving good feedback from people… but… what’s next? How to reach a widely audience? How to knock doors searching for funding?

Yes, this are very begginer questions, but… I’m a begginer as creator of self-contents! I think this kind of situation is very common too, so I’m sure it will help to many people =)

There are a bunch of videos and presentations I’ve watched about these issues. One was by Ben Kuchera (then part of kotaku), pretty sure I saw a few ones from Unite and Steam Dev Days. There’s also an old thing be Keiron Gillen. Plus, I think Rami from Vlambeer did a DICE talk about this? Finally, I remember reading the guy from Antichamber talking about his experience somewhere.

Unfortunately there’s no real formula, but from my perspective having good relations with at least a few press people is a good starting point. I’ve built up a couple of contacts by going to local indie events and I’ll leverage those into finding the right contacts for my games for sure. But I once had this strange experience where I’d literally just posted a single screenshot of a procedural city I was messing around with on twitter and one of those press guys had pasted it on indiegames.com front page. Within the next 4 hours, it got thousands of hits and reposts on tons of sites.

So my takeaway from that experience was that press tend to cover each others stuff, so if you can influence one or two guys locally, that might well become international news quickly if its worth covering. Key is to have something unique enough to get interest quickly and not just rehashing some “same old”.

The fact that pretty much any old **** you throw into UE4 looks good certainly helps :wink: make some nice screenshots and get twittering!

Hi, sorry the delay in reply.
Your answer was very useful. Using this and a link someone gave me in a forum, I am making a path on this stuff. The good thing: if you dont know it, you always can learn it! :wink:

This is the link, maybe is useful for someone else:
http://www.pixelprospector.com/indie-resources/

I think the one thing to bear in mind is that the press are just people, so there’s the full range of good/bad lazy/competent etc. Making yourself known to them in person can really help, so do your best to connect with them at events if you can make them.

Also, if you’re interested in the general area of buzz etc. I recommend reading a few books in that area, stuff like “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin, and “Positioning” by Al Ries have been recommended by execs at a few well known studios. I kind of like “Anatomy of Buzz” and “Tipping point” too.

Its a big old **** shoot in reality, but you can tip the scales in your favour by being a bit street smart and thinking about things too. Another skill to learn as an indie dev :slight_smile:

Sometimes you can succeed without depending on the press - initially. Minecraft, for example, was a small game, but Penny-Arcade did 3 strips about and BAM - Notch’s account on PayPal was locked on suspicion of foul play :slight_smile:
From what I’ve gathered on many sites (Gamasutra, Gamedev, many others), the best thing you can do is generate interest - that means creating a blog, and posting your process. People will start to get interested, and pass on - then a few sites might write something about it, and then others sites will start doing articles about the ‘promising’ game. However, this usually works with unusual games. Not sure where you game fits :frowning:

Haven’t you just proved the opposite though? I mean Penny Arcade ARE press :slight_smile:

Your point about having something press worthy is good though. Its just kind of hard to predict what that might be unless you can get inside the head of the press person you are aiming at. One thing they all seem to say, is to target a specific press person and tailor your message. So talking about RPG’s to a guy into twitch-based shooters is unlikely to be as well received as talking to one who is very obviously into RPG’s for instance.

Its worth reading Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow” for why this might be important. Personally I tend to imagine things as I want to show them to people, but the reality is that without armies of artists, I’m usually screwed. So I’ve taken to a more grass-roots approach and just doing my own livestreams and dev diaries and stuff, hoping that some of that will strike a note. The meagre feedback I get is usually encouraging in terms of concept, but is very rare (because honestly visuals sell far more than concepts, unless of course the concepts are visual ones to begin with).

Now I’m depressed :slight_smile:

Yes, PennyArcade is quite the press, but I meant that Notch didn’t seek them. They simply played his game and made the comic. PennyArcade is to games somewhat what TopGear (UK) is to cars. They review it in brutal honesty. If it’s good, they’ll praise it, if it’s bad… well, you get the gist :slight_smile: