Marketing Advice Needed!

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by goldlogsh, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. goldlogsh

    goldlogsh Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    #1 goldlogsh, Jun 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
    Hey guys! We're an indie team here, who lacks experience on marketing :(
    So here's this thread trying to get some advice and help.

    There's a game of ours, which is called 44 Chairs. There was a 800+ number of download one day, and the average downloads is around 300 now. We haven't done much on marketing, the only two times that it has been exposed is by 2 Chinese media, I think that was how it got the 800 downloads.

    It's been doing quite good to us. Now we want to give it a try on getting more exposure, mainly on Europe and US market. But it has been released for over a month, out of the new release section now. I think that is why it didn't get a good rank because we did't think it could get that far so missed the chance.

    Don't want to just sit and see another opportunity missed.
    What should we do now? With barely any budget.
    Any suggestion would be precious to us, thanks!!
     
  2. fgl_sam

    fgl_sam Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2016
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    Engineer
    Norwich, UK
    Updates give your app store ratings a boost. Are you recording any stats about your game? Like retention of players for instance? Do you have adverts in game, or is it a bought app? More details!
     
  3. goldlogsh

    goldlogsh Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    It's free with banner. We only have basic stats. Impression and app units.

    Some people said they can't tell how the game works by description and screenshots. I think that's why the download/impression rate is not so high. Maybe I'll have to work on the landing page first.
     
  4. scandalff

    scandalff Member

    Oct 29, 2015
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    Co-founder and project manager
    Turku, Finland
    Without any budget there are ways you can promote your game. Being present here in TA is a good start, think about other possible channels like Reddit, Indie database etc. Where are the people present who might be interested in your game?
    Take part in discussions regarding gamedev, indiedev, gaming etc. Help others and ask them to give tips for your game.
    Have social media covered and start releasing your own content from the game: e.g. your own lets plays, screenshotsaturdays, gamedev videos etc. Start writing a game development blog and release it in your own website and from there share it to other channels (be it your own or others). Getting reviews from gamedev press or coverage by Youtube channels never hurt nobody.

    Google and read stuff on how to market your game with 0 budget, you will find that this topic has a lot of discussion surrounding it.
    In the long run start to build a community around your game team and games.

    You can do all of this, it will take time, so start by taking small steps and then gradually adding more stuff to gain exposure.

    These are just few things that you can do to gain exposure, so as I said start reading those articles and discussions regarding game marketing on 0 budget.

    Hope this helps, wish you all the best for your game projects, cheers! :D
     
  5. goldlogsh

    goldlogsh Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    Thanks Scandalff! These help a lot!

    We have started on twitter and reddit. Posting some graphics or animation we do. A reddit discussion similar to this one on TA has got some help as well. Can't agree with you more on helping with each other. And I'm really grateful for you guys out there!

    Sending e-mails to reviews sites and bloggers are one of the most popular options. But barely anyone talked about sending e-mails along to AppStore (official work account of course since not much has personal connection with app editors). I wonder is it a zero possible way to try? All are these e-mail address of AppStore are fake? :confused:


     
  6. liteking

    liteking Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2013
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    Indie Game Developer
    IMO, don't be too excited.
    My friend did an experiment on Google Play, by selling 12 small games (mostly clones of famous games)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=SBX+Casual+Game+Labs
    He said there's one game (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sbx.superbloxx.tower.stacking ) that suddenly got 10x downloads more than the rest.
    But there's nothing special about it. It's just a clone, just like the others.
    He can't understand why it got that number of downloads. It's purely luck.
    So don't be over-excited and think that your game has anything special. It might be because you're lucky to win a particular search keyword
     
  7. goldlogsh

    goldlogsh Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    That's almost the exact Stack!

    Maybe it got spread by words of mouths. And the graphics looks nice. I would absolutely give it a try if I have no idea it was a clone of something else.
    I think that's how all the clone games survive. Idea of the games are nice, all you have to do is work on the graphics.

    So that's purely his experiment? An experiment to see if clone games could survive?
     
  8. liteking

    liteking Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2013
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    Indie Game Developer
    My point is that a game might perform much better than others not because its content is better, but because it's luckier in term of ASO.
    So be careful when you decide to spend money on user acquisition. It might not work well
     
  9. goldlogsh

    goldlogsh Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    Can't agree with you more. And because we don't have much budget at first place, that's why social media of our owns is the way we're doing now.

    But a real unique original game will get popular some day, even without huge marketing strategy. (trying to convince myself to that :)
     
  10. GalacticThumb

    GalacticThumb Well-Known Member
    Patreon Diamond

    Feb 13, 2015
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    Game Developer
    Toronto
    You never want to spend money on user acquisition especially if your game is not heavy on IAP.

    -The icon and first two screenshots are so important.
    -Add an App Preview if you can they are pretty simple to make.
    -Easy landing page http://galacticthumb.com
    -Promo on twitter, instagram youtube and posts on popular forums.
    -keywords, are so important this also explains some weird trends on cloned games for android..

    Word of mouth is the main source of downloads, if the game is quality people will tell others. Make sure you have a good sharing mechanism in game.

    Other options include going to a publisher, or paying a youtube/instagram influencer.
     
  11. SconicX

    SconicX Member

    Jun 22, 2016
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    Hey,

    Something that I realized was that the app name itself doesn't attract me as much and has me confused about the game. Also, other than using the usual channels for free marketing it's vital you have some feature for sharing things in the game. Maybe the game can provide interesting situations for pretty screenshots that the players can share? Or high scores/stand out achievements etc.
     
  12. fgl_sam

    fgl_sam Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2016
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    Engineer
    Norwich, UK
    Thoughts

    I just played your game for a while and my wife had a few goes too.

    Its awesome! Really good job on the art and fun gameplay. I love the sound you play when you don't sit down fast enough.


    I will say that your write up doesn't communicate the game at all and neither do the screen shots. To me its a musical chairs game but with a moody dark art work you wouldn't normally think would go together, which makes it unique and it really works!

    44 chairs is really unfriendly to SEO too, I barely noticed the chairs were changing each time, so maybe that is a bit lost on the user.

    If you can re-publish on a different name and add a second feature (you lost, but watch a rewarded ad to get another go)... You could make it more impactful income wise and have the opportunity to remake how you pitch the game to people. I'd go with musical chairs in the afterlife. Or snap meets musical chairs. Concepts people can understand a bit easier. Then make a short video to promote (apple and google give better rankings to people with preview vids) and rewrite the wording to be a little less about collecting chairs and more about what you have to do.

    If you have any where to go on your roadmap, maybe even incrementally increase the meanness of the look of ghost people you play against, or change the winning sound to grow more exciting as you level up.

    Just some thoughts and ideas anyway :)

    Also, do add in more tracking features to your game. Flurry or Google Analytics/Firebase are a good start!
     
  13. goldlogsh

    goldlogsh Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    I'll give you 1000 thumbs up for 'never-spend-money-without-IAP' suggestion!

    The landing page of yours looks great cool! That's the style I love XD
    What do you usually use it for? Do you do ads to promote your games?

    We have started on promo video. Already made one and uploaded to youtube&playstore https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.goldlog.mychair
    Since promo video for AppStore has the max time limitation. Guess will have to work more on that.
    Twitter is the other way we just started. It takes time but guess it worth a shot.


    Thanks again for the advice!! Super useful for indies!
     
  14. goldlogsh

    goldlogsh Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    Thanks for your reply SconicX! You're making the key point! We did have heard a lot of the don't-know-what- it-is opinion about the description. That is why we just updated it, and add along a video. The video is for PlayStore only, since there's a time limitation, guess the video for AppStore will be released later.

    The sharing button was an option in old version of the game. But it's only for the highest score. And we googled some experience of game dev's about sharing things in the game. Turned out negative. So the sharing button was taken off :(

    Since you brought it up, mind if I asked if it were you, playing this game, what do you want to share the most? Screenshots of the characters, or the highest score?

    Replying your post brings up deeper thoughts. Muchas gracias SconicX!
     
  15. goldlogsh

    goldlogsh Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    Thousands of gratitude and appreciation Sam!!! It's a surprise that you tried the game and head back for this reply!!
    And the review on PlayStore, this avatar is super cute, looks exactly like you :p
    (Forgive me for this way of expressing cuz it's a girl in front of the screen XD

    The idea of a rewarded ad is a real nice one! It did popped into our mind after going a long way in the game but lose at one single shot. Drive me crazy sometime. btw, what do you think of the "what do you say?" slang by the component after losing each shot? Does it express the feeling? A bit sarcastic(? provocative(? What we want here is to drive people mad, and maybe smack the table "damn I'm so gonna win over you!"
    If it's not, is there any better words?


    We did have received a lot suggestions of updating the confusing description and making a video.
    So here they are! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.goldlog.mychair
    Is it better of the description now :p
    We're worried about the video. Thought it might be a risk to show the simple game play, don't want to turn people down before they experience the actual fun in it. Keeping a bit curiosity is what we thought about.
    Just updated those yesterday. Quite nervous to know the feedback >~<


    Sincerely
    Lulu!
     
  16. fgl_sam

    fgl_sam Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2016
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    Engineer
    Norwich, UK
    No problem, I like to read the questions on this thread and answer when I can!

    I suggested the idea of getting another turn just because some gamers get impatient at starting again, and using the rewarded video makes it a sacrifice, as well as the CPM from rewarded ads being so high!

    Combined with the crossed arms, I get what you meant by "what do you say?", but it's not really a phrase I've heard people use. Something like "In your face" or "Say my name" or "You will never beat me", maybe alternating.

    I like the video a lot, I thought I was going crazy when I saw it this morning, I thought I must have missed it XD

    The wording is better, but not quite right. Something along the lines of:

    "

    In a dark, mysterious world where you must play musical chairs for eternity, only the fastest fingers survive.

    Tap the screen to sit down when the light bulb turns on. Sounds simple, but be warned... tap too early, or too late and your soul will be crushed into of pain and damnation for ever and ever, or until you try again.

    Put your fastest finger forward and battle your reflexes, reaction speeds and coordination against a legion of lost spirits.

    Single-player mode: Play against characters like "The Priest", "The Rockstar", "Guy with a Schoolbag" and many more. They'll try and distract you, but don't let them. Play for global high-scores and to unlock new seats.

    Two-player mode: You can play face to face with a friend* on one screen. When the light goes off, tap on your side of the screen first to win a point. The first one to get to 5 points wins.

    *May destroy friendships.

    "

    Based on the above, I'd look into a global scoreboard functionality or something? Also, it's totally essential that you record the stats within your games, especially with so many! Flurry or Google Analytics are easy and give you lots of things to measure. If you're having trouble with the SDKs for analytics or ad networks, let me know via email sam@fgl.com :)
     
  17. goldlogsh

    goldlogsh Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    The whole text! This gives me another whole different perspective of writing description for this game! You're incredible!

    I'll definitely let you know when any other function is updated! Thanks awesome Sam!!
     
  18. alex_p

    alex_p Well-Known Member

    Marketing is hard and it's a bit of a grind - few ideas have been mentioned. Just keep working and monitoring your stats. Check out Fabric.io it's good for app analytics, how long are the sessions who played what level, you can monitor any events. Product Hunt is also good to announce new games, obviously TA forum but also TigSource is a good forum. Twitter has been good for me personally make sure you are using all the relevant hashtags and on appropriate days like #screenshotsaturday (sat) #indiedevhour (wed) #gamedev #indiegame #indiedev, Reddit is good check out /r/gamedev and other relevant sub-reddits. This is a great recourse for contacting review sites too:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sWjJMLk65FgPoF9acJsEeeXp_g4nVNlBYTSKGh-KlPI/edit#gid=551061784

    Focus on ASO - 65% of downloads are driven by store views alone. Check out Sensor Tower and App Annie for optimising keywords/research, see what key words competitors are using and difficulty breaking into those rankings.... translating to other languages is good, so as you said if China is your market at the moment make sure it's translated into Traditional and Simplified Chinese - anyway that's a few ideas there!

    I should probably do a blog post on this! :)
     
  19. goldlogsh

    goldlogsh Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    Wow, super useful!! Thank you so much! And the press list! I was just about to make a list looking through any information that are available on twitter, and this sheet saves time!

    You're awesome!
     
  20. goldlogsh

    goldlogsh Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    Hey Guys!

    Thanks for all the awesome tips that you gave out! And all the precious information.
    Here's step1, the video.

    It's only available on PlayStore for now. Because of the time limitation of AppStore video. We'll still trying to figure out how to make most of the funniest moments in 30 seconds.
     

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