Two weeks ago I was able to attend my first ever PAX, which is a massive and beloved consumer gaming show. The kind that attracts real gaming fans who will happily give up their weekend, pay for tickets, and queue in their thousands to be the first ones into the show. The kind that sells out of tickets on a regular basis. Just attending would have been extremely interesting to me but I had the opportunity to do something even more incredible: I was able to showcase the game I'm working on to thousands of potential fans. WOW. Read on for my full postmortem.
Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category
That's not an oxymoron! While the whole point of being 'indie' is to be independent (primarily of a publisher!) there are many other ways a publisher can help you while letting you remain independent. Traditionally game publishers would pay an upfront fee that paid for a studio to develop their game, but in return own all of the IP and almost all of the revenue from a game (and sequels!!).
Nowadays with digital distribution one of the main reasons to need a traditional publisher is gone but there are other things they can help with like PR, advertising and marketing budgets around launch, getting you onto marketplaces like Steam, etc. Sometimes this could be more of a partnership than a publishing deal.
I've just started talks with a few indie-friendly publishers for Guild of Dungeoneering so I thought I would share my list for others considering this approach. Some of these are full-on publishers with a focus on indie games, some are actual indie developers who also publish other dev's games, and some are marketing specialists.
- Indie Fund - http://indie-fund.com
- Devolver Digital - http://www.devolverdigital.com
- Double Fine Presents - http://www.doublefine.com
- Paradox Interactive - https://www.paradoxplaza.com
- Team 17 - http://www.team17.com
- Midnight City - http://www.midnight-city.com
- Adult Swim - http://games.adultswim.com
- Curve Digital - http://www.curve-studios.com
- Chucklefish - http://www.chucklefish.org
- Finji - http://www.finjigames.com
- Versus Evil - http://vsevil.net
- nkidu - http://www.nkidu.com
- Reverb - http://reverbinc.com/triplexp
- Mastertronic - http://www.mastertronic.com
- Positech - http://positech.co.uk
- Square Enix Collective - http://collective.square-enix.com
- Surprise Attack – http://surpriseattackgames.com
- Headup Games - http://www.headupgames.com
- Wadjet Eye Games - http://www.wadjeteyegames.com
- tinyBuild Games - http://tinybuild.com
- Digital Tribe Games - http://digitaltribegames.com/
- Evolve PR - http://www.evolve-pr.com
- STEAKSTEAK - http://steaksteak.com
- Whippering - http://whippering.com/
- Indie Wolverine - http://indiewolverine.com/
I'm focused primarily on PC, as is most of the above list, but if you are looking for help with a mobile game I'd recommend looking through this twitter list as quite a few of the list are mobile-focused.
Thanks to the Indie Game Developers facebook group, @kristruitt, @LukeD and /r/gamedev for helping me put this list together. If you have any suggestions to add to this list feel free to leave a comment!
Making a game for PC or Mac? You'll probably want access to Steam's 75 million subscribers and their often joked-about spending problem. After all it turns out most people are buying games on Steam that they never even install! Now there's a market you want to tap into!
Steam's almost-monopoly causes some real problems, with gamers often refusing to buy games from you directly, saying "I'd buy it if it was on Steam". A couple of years ago it was basically impossible as an indie dev to get onto Steam. Even with the launch of Greenlight, their crowdsourced vetting service, it was extremely difficult as recently as last September. Fortunately in January Valve started ramping up the number of games they were Greenlighting and right now they are accepting a batch of 75 games every two weeks. Lets ignore for now what this rash of games is going to do for your game's release (hint: find an audience outside Steam) and instead address the question 'How hard is it to get through Greenlight in 2014?'.