Developer Transparency in Marketing

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I thought it might be interesting to discuss the effect of transparency when marketing a game.

How much do you feel that it matters for a developer to give regular public updates on game development progress?

How do you feel sales are affected by whether a developer uses their real name or not when marketing a game?

Do you feel like there's too much or too little information about the developer's background for any of the games that you've purchased or played? How much do you think is just right?

How much feedback and communication do you feel a developer should open themselves up to during the development process and after the release of the game on the market?
 

pasunna

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for me I never care
I care only if I like the actual game or not
but there are fanboys type players out there
if you don’t please their opinion they start savages at your game
so show your self if you think you can handle it
I’m the less socialize one
so I prefer hidden
 

Lee Sang

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The point of developers giving updates on their game is to create an audience, a community, a group of people to know about the game and to make them not to forget about the game itself. I personally like to do that but I've never successfully done that because I'm always super lazy. Unless you're working on an AAA project with a bunch of people then you can not leak any information, but if you're an indie team or solo then that might help you to get attention. The point is for people to know your game exists.
 

gstv87

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I believe the more involved you are with monetary chains, the more you should be in touch with your supporters.

if people pay (or payed) for the development of your game, they'll expect a retribution.
not giving them that, is short of scamming them.

if you *don't* manage money, nobody can ask you for any updates.... if there's nothing to report, there's nothing to report.

people have been badly accustomed to "Oh, you're making this which partially justifies my existence.... you must complete it! it completes what I am! therefore, it must exist!"
and, that's not what game-making should be about.
game-making (like composing, painting, acting, or anything else) is an art.... it's a way of conveying a message.
if that message falls within what you feel to be in tune with your own beliefs, all the better... if not, nobody has to pick up that banner for the sake of pleasing you.
we're not shepherds.


How do you feel sales are affected by whether a developer uses their real name or not when marketing a game?
we've seen that go all over the spectrum: Banished and FNAF were made by single developers, and they succeeded... solid gameplay, solid lore, solid customization.
No Man's Sky was developed by a small team, and everyone believed in the underdog factor.... and it flopped big time.
AAA titles developed by huge firms and experienced developers, flopped big time, especially when they went the money-grabbing way.

if you release under a company name, people would expect more quality because one would assume your company means a lot more eyes looking at the same product, and HOPEFULLY one pair will spot the mistake and try to fix it.
releasing a pile of garbage under a company name, ignoring all red flags, and expecting people to *pay* for it? that's all kinds of disrespectful.
 

QuantumCapybara

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Behind the scenes type content can be interesting. I'm not going to read all of it all of the time, but it's nice to have it available. That's speaking as a consumer.

As a developer, transparency is something I find almost compulsory to do. When I work on something a lot, I think about it even more, and when I think about something a lot, I really feel a great need to talk about it.

if you release under a company name, people would expect more quality because one would assume your company means a lot more eyes looking at the same product,
Well, not this people. That's because I learned over a decade ago that THIS is all that's required to call yourself a company:
That's it. That's all the requirements. In other words, zilch and nada.

It is very true that if a product has been crowdfunded, regular, transparent communication with backers is absolutely essential.
 

KoalaFrenzy

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How much do you feel that it matters for a developer to give regular public updates on game development progress?
Depends on your method of marketing. If you have something like a kickstarter or ******* where people are putting money up front to help you out, yeah, you need to be giving out updates regularly. People like to see their money/investments doing something. If you're just doing some adverts before release, you only need to speak up if there's going to be a delay. But remember, dev progress updates also serve as marketing. If you have something cool to show, it can't hurt to show it.

(Edit: That's an interesting choice of banned word, but ok.)

How do you feel sales are affected by whether a developer uses their real name or not when marketing a game?
Most people don't care about the name behind the game except in extraordinarily rare cases like Kojima. I dunno who was the lead programmer on Trails in the Sky and I don't care. But I think when you market, you would be using your own brand name, no?

Do you feel like there's too much or too little information about the developer's background for any of the games that you've purchased or played? How much do you think is just right?
Again, it sounds mean, but the people buying your games don't care. They recognize your brand/series more than they recognize you.

How much feedback and communication do you feel a developer should open themselves up to during the development process and after the release of the game on the market?
Mostly the same answer as the first question. If your marketing campaign is very public like a kickstarter, give out lots of updates. Otherwise, whatever you're comfortable with. And you never need to tell people about yourself.
 

jkweath

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I feel like the obvious answer to a lot of these questions is "it can help", but I'll try to be more specific:

How much do you feel that it matters for a developer to give regular public updates on game development progress?
It matters a lot to anyone with a crowdfunding campaign. For those that don't, it can still help put your game out there (especially with Twitter) - that said, doing regular public updates can be more work than it looks. Taking screenshots and making a simple Twitter update is easy enough, but making a gameplay clip takes much longer, at least in my experience. All the time spent tweeting/facebooking adds up, would be much easier if you were working with another person.

How do you feel sales are affected by whether a developer uses their real name or not when marketing a game?
Depends on the quality of your games and how often you put yourself out there. I'm sure a lot of people recognize the names Scott Cawthon (FNAF), Toby Fox (Undertale), Markus "Notch" Persson (Minecraft, though he's a bit more controversial anymore, still worth mentioning). For them, I imagine having their name be so well-known actually helps with their sales and marketing. I've taken a similar approach personally, though I'm not well-known at all, most people who contact me for any reason will generally know my developer name (Joshua Keith, with Keith being my middle name). over my Steam username or email handle. It's actually helped me form some small, but still significant, relationships.

How much feedback and communication do you feel a developer should open themselves up to during the development process and after the release of the game on the market?
Enough to announce any incoming updates and to address feedback and concerns that the developer can and is willing to act upon - or if not, a good explanation as to why.
 

Former_Sky

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I'm still new, but I'll throw in my two cents.

The amount of communication should be proportionate to how much money people have invested in. If I have no money in the game, it's fine that you update erratically. If I've put money down, I want to feel my purchase was justified, and I better get some regular updates.
 

jakeybreaky

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For the most part I think it's important to do if you're trying to build a community. I don't think it's entirely necessary to like, post updates once a week or something like that, but an occasional sporadic update to let people know that progress is being made is always nice to see. I think it's just generally a good practice to be relatively transparent, so people don't feel like they've been mislead if something turns out in a way they weren't expecting. And on that note, don't mislead your audience or make promises you aren't going to hold to, don't be a yanderedev lol.
 

Tamina

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I thought it might be interesting to discuss the effect of transparency when marketing a game.

How much do you feel that it matters for a developer to give regular public updates on game development progress?
Personally, once every month to 3 weeks is enough to me. I've seen people post update every week, or even every few days, then I start to feel why they are so desperate.

How do you feel sales are affected by whether a developer uses their real name or not when marketing a game?
From self marketing perspective, it doesn't change much from what I've seen. In fact I often feel a code name or something is often easier to remember than a full name.

Some examples:
Koji Igarashi(producer of Castlevania) credited him as IGA so fans of the series also calls him IGA in discussions.
IceFrog(designer of DotA)never reveal his real name.
Popular streamer Richard Tyler Blevins is way more well known as Ninja.
Another streamer Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg is known as PewDiePie.

Your name also matters more if you are a designer/artist, less if you are a programmer.


Do you feel like there's too much or too little information about the developer's background for any of the games that you've purchased or played? How much do you think is just right?
I would appreciate informations relevant to the games that they are creating.
 

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