Mr. Balling Blog

How to promote the game you made

Indie Game Promotion

At this point you have made an amazing game using phaser, packaged it up and deployed it using phonegap or cordova. Now it is time to promote it. Now let's start with going over the 22 immutable laws of marketing...

Well, maybe not, but there are tons of ideas and suggestions out there for indie game developers. It's kind of an amazing world we live in right now. It is easier than ever to create and publish your game idea, but at the same time it's just as easy for everyone else to make a game too. So that puts you in a pickle, you gotta first make a great game, but that's not enough, you gotta get the right people to see your game and make them interested enough to download and play and enjoy your game.

So, overall here is the information and guidance that I have gleaned from places I've been looking. Obviously some of this will be different depending on your game, target market and time/resources you have to devote to this. However, from what I can tell this topic may be even more important to your games success than everythign else you've done up until now. That can be pretty disheartening as you've put so much work in to build and refine your game. Hell, even a game like Mr. Balling, which you'll see is arguably simplistic in graphics and style, still took a lot of time and work to refine and finish. So, here is a list with some detail about what Mr. Balling is doing to promote the game. Before we get to that all of this assumes you've built a great game, which can mean many things. I think games are like stories, you wouldn't want to publish a crappy story and a story that is a straightup copy of another story, you would want to create something unique and genuine. As a game maker, especially solo, you have to have fun playing your game. If you don't love playing your own game, how can you expect anyone else to. As I said, this can mean many things. An arcade game like Mr. Balling won't appeal to everyone, but for your given market and target audience the first thing you want to do is make a game that is fun to play and an original story to tell. So here is the all important list of promotional and marketing items I think you've got to have correct.

  • Game Trailer

    This is incredibly important, it is sort of like you visual elevator pitch. Do whatever you can to get this right. Certain gameplay styles may not work perfecty with a trailer, but think creatively and try to get this to be entertaining and communicate the game well.

  • Social Media

    Specifically having a presence on facebook, youtube and twitter. Those three seem to be the most important for indie game promotion, obviously you can do more, but if you are anything like me you have trouble keeping everything straight. Social media is your chance to get an audience. Combined with you trailier, you can get noticed and then get fans excited.

  • Press Kit

    The press kit mostly consists of a concise description of your game, the game trailier, some compelling screenshots and possibly download links or links to play. The reason this is important is two-fold. First, this is essentially what your app store page will be. The second reason will become clear in the next point.

  • Contacting Press/Bloggers/Youtubers

    Using your press kit, you will reach out to appropriate outlets that may want to cover your game. Think of it like these people make a living off of content and your game is possible content to entertain and get them more traffic. Each should be approached in the appropriate way and you'll want to make sure you are contacting appropriate people. For example for Mr. Balling, an arcade game, it would be innapropriate to contact someone who focuses on first person shooters or massive multiplayer role playing games.

Whew, that was a lot of info, ok, but don't take Mr. Balling's word for it, here are some links and resources to other ideas. First let me say, I love the GDC talks, there is so much information in them, yes some of them are over an hour long, but they have good info in them.