Here are my notes from before the stream, steam of consciousness style:
- “Not 3 16 year olds in a garage” or “Wekindasuck.com”
- Epic Mega Games! (It was just Tim!)
Clean, simple logo
- Think about one color printing
- Being easily sized
- Have a vector version that can be modified for print, web, etc.
- Should not look like a Heavy Metal band logo from 80’s (it was cool when you were 14)
- Focus test it with friends and family!
Have a business plan EARLY
- understand the $ needed to go to market (dev cost + PR + marketing + operations)
- budget for marketing
- Don’t “hope it works out”, cause it won’t
Community, Community, Community
Forums, Twitter, Twitch, Youtube, Facebook, etc
- go where your community is! do everything, see what gets the best response
Instagram is taking off, some folks are experimenting with Snapchat and Periscope
Build a game personality, or in marketing speak “A Brand”
- Talk about what that means
Look at what other successful indies have done
- Torn Banner, Tripwire, Coffee Stain
Identify your most active community members
- consider hiring them, or giving special access
Target the best platform for your kind of title
- console is an open market (no barriers!), not enough content right now!
- mobile scary
- Steam crowded, but rewarding
Kickstarter is a great marketing tool. Terrible funding source.
- If your Kickstarter fails, it should tell you the market doesn’t want your game. (Yes, it’s that brutal.)
- If any of your are out there with the sole plan of using Kickstarter to fund the entire dev budget of your title - there is a high likelyhood of failure.
- If I don’t know you, or your IP - Kickstarter probably not a good idea.
Steam Early Access can be a great way to earn a little $ to bridge the gap to launch. It also can be a great marketing tool.
Treat both of the above as product launch - with huge effort in marketing/awareness/push
Lean on partners for help! Epic, nVidia, ID@Xbox, Sony, Apple, Google, Amazon, Logitech, Razor all have opportunities to leverage for marketing/tradeshow presence/contests/etc
- Sony is being particularly friendly to indie devs! PS Plus opportunities!
Go to tradeshows. Raises visibility + gets you in front of the press. PAX, Indiecade, etc. Yes, it’s expensive.
Youtube/Twitch reviewers(players?) are worth their weight in gold, try to get one excited about your game.
Focus on a platform at launch, but if success - have a plan to port to everything else. Build a long term income stream to fund future activities
Have a plan for post launch regular, frequent updates. Each update = more sales.
Watch your metrics.
- A slow rise in # of players is actually good, will hit momentum at some point. (SMITE is a great example.)
- Know when to walk away.
There are some small publishers that can help with marketing/PR (and some funds). 505 Games, VS. Evil, Sierra Online, etc. May be right for you, may not.
Making the game is the easy part. Don’t discount good marketing/PR/biz dev!
Engine Licensing for the Americas