New to game PR. Where do the journos lurk?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by TheWyrm, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. TheWyrm

    TheWyrm Member

    Dec 31, 2014
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    #1 TheWyrm, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
    Hi all,

    I have worked in the game industry for about 8 years and about 6 months ago I decided to go indie. So I put my dancing shoes on and started developing my first major independent game. Now this means I am an amalgamation of all development roles, a kind of super developer, but the role I am struggling with most is PR.

    So are their any friendly developers / journalists out there that can take me under their wing? Where do journalists linger? Anyone fancy a pint?

    Here is an early pre-alpha video of the game I am making if you're interested: Paradox -> http://youtu.be/EfZcmWmxIUs

    Other than that, I wish everyone a happy New Year and lots of merriment while the year ticks out!
    -TheWyrm

    p.s sorry for the duplicate thread. I posted in the wrong topic... ERROR!
     
  2. Rubicon

    Rubicon Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2011
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    #2 Rubicon, Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
    The good news is that journos don't help much wrt getting sales. Even a front-page mention here on TA doesn't do that much of a spike if it's a one off. Sad but true.

    You need to make something so awesome or funny or with a unique back story that the press find you and keep coming back. Make it easier for them to find you by attending as many trade shows as possible and getting in their face.

    Failing that, just keep hammering away on twitter, facebook, your blog, etc and direct people there whenever you can. An early playable can help if its something really refreshing.
     
  3. TheWyrm

    TheWyrm Member

    Dec 31, 2014
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    Thanks for the information. I believe the game I am developing is going to create waves as it is completely unique, but if people don't know about it then it will stay in the shadows. So where are good places to post and what type of posts catch peoples attention?

    I will be making a playable alpha and beta so thanks for that little tip.
     
  4. Rubicon

    Rubicon Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2011
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    #4 Rubicon, Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
    There's nowhere good to post. You have to go out and meet people to get anything done, and even then there are no guarantees - we've stopped doing it.

    But don't open the conversation with "I have something new that will set the world on fire". They hear that 100 times a day minimum. Even if in your case it's actually true, they'll be expecting something that wouldn't win ludum dare because that's what such claims usually reveal.
     
  5. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    It looks great, but definitely not completely unique. You are fooling yourself if you don't think that mechanic has been done. There are a couple of games that were developed with similar mechanics on the unity forums I have seen(and sadly weren't that successful, although that could of been a range of reasons). I prefer your one graphically. I think it is a little dark but could be a great niche game. I love dark games but normally they don't make waves.
     
  6. TheWyrm

    TheWyrm Member

    Dec 31, 2014
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    Do you have any names or links to these similar mobile games? I would be interested in comparing if nothing else to see where they went wrong. The closest I have seen is 'To-Fu: The Trials of Chi', which is a puzzle game requiring you to fire the player character in straight lines. My game differs as it uses trajectory, physics, stealth in a dark platformer labyrinth world.

    If it ends up being niche then so be it. I make games that I would love to play first. Thanks for your input, I have taken it on board.
     
  7. TheWyrm

    TheWyrm Member

    Dec 31, 2014
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    Oh man... that means I'll have to put some pants on and venture into the real world. Time to search the UK for shows. :) (Thanks again)
     
  8. Rubicon

    Rubicon Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2011
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    Yeah that's why we gave up, most of the big ones are in the USA.
     
  9. TheWyrm

    TheWyrm Member

    Dec 31, 2014
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    Exactly. I think the main indie show over here is EuroGamer Expo. I'm living in Nottingham and we have Game City. There is also the Develop Conference and Play Expo. All that is the later part of the year and some require expensive tickets.
     
  10. OnlyJoe

    OnlyJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2013
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    You would probably be best trying to approach a publisher. If it is a well known one they will have a large promotional network setup. It seems the only real ways to get a game noticed on the app store are, featured by apple, through people searching, or cross promotion. Publishers generally have the large cross promotion networks that can help get your game out there.

    Apps are not quite the same as the PC or console gaming world. I think mainly because an mobile game is either free or 1 dollar and requires very little time involvement, so the risk and personal investment is very low. This means people are not actively searching for reviews on what to get, or looking forward to the next big game they can spend many hours on. Whereas when the game is $100 you want to know what other options you have and so the reviewers and bloggers have a lot more influence, as people are actively searching for this information.

    So this has caused the owners of the market places, Apple and Google, to basically control the success of new apps. It is very hard to get anywhere if you don't get featured by one of them, unless you can control some other channel of getting your app known. Such as cross promotion, or large social media audience. Which is what a publisher can offer (if they are a good publisher).
     
  11. IronNinjaGames

    Jun 17, 2014
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    You're story closely models mine. I too left six months ago and plan to be doing this for 2-3 years with little to no return before heading back to the programmer salt mine. My expectations are this low so I can only be pleasantly surprised -- but also because making indie games is just a very difficult path to pursue.

    My advice is not to worry about how unique/not-unique your gameplay mechanic is relative to how good of a game it is. Yes, the niche-factor is important, but not as important as the genuine quality of your game. There could be 1,000 other games that did the same thing you're doing (roughly) but are awful, crappy implementations of it and yours will be the first "breakthrough" in that space because you did it well. That's all you need.

    Me personally, I've budgeted some money for advertising. I plan to spend some of it in different places to see if my game will get some traction. I think it's very possible for your game to be something 50 million people would love bet never gets traction because it's buried in the ether of saturation. Word of mouth only works if you can get those initial players to start the fire.
     
  12. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    For straight lines this one is similar and loads of fun https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ludocube.froog but I wouldn't say really similar. The straight line mechanic makes it less turn based.

    The game I really want to find for you has fuzzy round characters and it was 2D physics puzzler where you took multiple shots with trajectory (and there was a sticky character which worked similar to yours but I can't think of the name.

    Also super stickman golf has a level pack called sticky world or something similar which works the same basic mechanic as your game.


    On your game, one piece of critical feedback IMO is you shouldn't show the entire trajectory. Just start with to give a hint of where it will go. By showing the entire thing you won't feel that you have made a good shot (since you knew it was going to go there anyway). Just showing the first 30% of it is enough to give you an idea while make you feel skillful. Making a player feel they have used their skill is important.
     
  13. OnlyJoe

    OnlyJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2013
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    Auckland
  14. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    Nah that wasn't it. It was an indie game made in unity 3d (i remember seeing in the unity forums, i might of even seen here). It is driving me mad now!!!!!
     
  15. TheWyrm

    TheWyrm Member

    Dec 31, 2014
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    Nottingham, UK
    Interesting. What do publisher ask for in return? Are there any publishers that you recommend? Thanks for the effort you put into your detailed reply.
     
  16. TheWyrm

    TheWyrm Member

    Dec 31, 2014
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    Cool. Glad to know I'm not the only brave soul starting from scratch! I have budgeted for advertising as well. Where do you think the money is best spent?
     
  17. TheWyrm

    TheWyrm Member

    Dec 31, 2014
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    Any feedback is great Destined! What I am doing is still pre-alpha and I'm feeling for the best settings. The trajectory path transparency gradient is something I can easily change. It will mainly depend on the size of levels and if I allow what I call juggling (The ability to fling the player mid flight).

    Thanks for the game references. It's really good to see more similar games just so I can examine where they work well and not so much. Froog looks really cool, but as you said just straight lines. I did various searches for a fuzzy round puzzle game but couldn't find it either. :)

    Anyway, I'm sure someone has probably done something like it before. However, I make games out of love and passion so it's not just about making waves. I just want people to know that I have done something and not have a silent launch.
     
  18. TheWyrm

    TheWyrm Member

    Dec 31, 2014
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    Ohh this is getting closer, but man I have no idea what's going on. Cats that are bombs. I'm guessing you have to flick the cat bomb around the level to collect all of some stuff before you blow up? I'll have to give it a download later and try it.

    It's hard to tell from my rough pre-alpha video but I am making full platformer like levels rather than a puzzler. It also wont have the love I'll give it ;)
     
  19. TheWyrm

    TheWyrm Member

    Dec 31, 2014
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    You seem like a great bunch of guys. If you're interested in playing/testing the google play/adndroid alpha then shoot me an e-mail to mat@thewyrm.com and I'll invite you to the group. The alpha should be ready by the end of the month.
     
  20. 1stSPIN

    1stSPIN Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    Own 1stSPIN
    China / Canadian
    There was a time years ago when forums could give your product some momentum but it seems that time is gone. Your solution is to get in front of people, work with a publisher or have a pocket full of money or find a way to ge money and buy ads. The cheapest way is to find a good publisher and hope they let you attach your brand to the game. :)
     

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