How should I advertise my game

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by Labyrinthine, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. eluukkanen

    eluukkanen Composer Veteran

    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    Finland
    First Language:
    Finnish
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    Advertising is a hard one, can't say I master it yet. But coming from a guy who rarely did it to one that is starting to figure it out, I recommend to really understand out what is the most important part in your game. What's the "Wow!" factor, the hook. Most of the times is easy to overlook as you already know the game in and out. But figuring out the thing to get people excited before even playing is the key for making a sale.
     
    rue669 likes this.
  2. HentaiPie

    HentaiPie Villager Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    11
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    You have various ways to advertise that are good in my opinion. Using sites like this, rmmv.co itch.io and others to promote your game is always a good idea. This way you will also get constructive criticism. Another thing is to join discord servers in the niche your game is in, talk and discuss there and casually bring up the fact that you have a game. This is important, as no one likes promotion being shoved down their throat, especially by new people. So having it casually brought up and only talking about it if anyone asks for more information is key.
     
    Golden Unicorn Gaming likes this.
  3. Dezue

    Dezue Love Ninja! Veteran

    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    276
    First Language:
    German
    Primarily Uses:
    Other
    Heyho, guys! Thanks for the all the insight in this topic!

    One thing I'd like to add from our experience that (I think) hasn't been mentioned before:

    :LZSyum: The best time to start letting people know about your game is: As soon as you have something playable! :LZScheeze:
    (As opposed to start it after your game is already done). Don't wait too long to show your game to the world!

    This way, you get to know your players much better (and it's much more fun to kinda work together with them on the game).
    I'm glad I got this tip from a friendly dev soon after we started with the whole sexy gamedev/Patreon thing, so I'm taking this opportunity to pass it on to you as well [​IMG]

    Happy devving and stay funky,
    Dez

    @Labyrinthine Good luck with the sales and your future games and thanks for starting this thread!
     
  4. Super-User

    Super-User Villager Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    4
    First Language:
    Chinese
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVX
    it is a good idea to put your game on Steam and AppStore
     
  5. jkweath

    jkweath Goes Fast Veteran

    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    135
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    Been awhile since I posted here. Glad to see this thread still being updated every once in awhile!

    I'm sure if you ask @Indinera they'd be happy to let you know. Both BMTMicro and Aldorlea take a significant cut, so most developers up the cost of their game accordingly so they can still make a profit.

    That being said I couldn't vouch more for the site. It's a shame that I only published my first game there and went in a different direction with the next few.

    The thing with Aldorlea is that, like what's already been said, your standard run-of-the-mill RPGMaker games are not only expected, but encouraged, even ones using the RTP and free resources. Unlike Steam, where a majority of users will buy your game on sale and never play it, 100% of players who buy your game on Aldorlea will at least try it. Even better is that they're not afraid to give you feedback and bug reports. I know from personal experience!

    All that being said, the userbase for Aldorlea is dedicated, but still relatively small compared to Steam and other platforms, so you shouldn't expect to make bank if you publish there. Personally I submit all of my profits to BMTMicro's end-of-the-year charity donation.

    @bgillisp it's embarrassing to say this, but it took me over a year before I realized why some hentai RPGs and even some more "generic" RPGs sell decently: It's because they have actual publishers (i.e. they're not self-published). Many of the hentai RPGs on Steam are from the same publisher, not to mention the games are translated in English and Chinese. I'm sure the Chinese translation boosts sales quite a bit.

    Having a publisher means already having users to advertise to in addition to having plenty of money to advertise and promote the game. Finding a publisher seems like the only way to have a chance of making any money from Steam nowadays unless you have a decent amount of cash to spend on advertising.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
    Studio Blue likes this.
  6. BlueMage

    BlueMage Slime Lv99 Veteran

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    40
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVX
    Well, sale your game is similar to sale toys, goods, you must catch up with nowaday trending.
    Classical RPG is out of date, not because you like it mean another does.
     
  7. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    We are curious.... what would you say the "nowaday trending" is... nowadays?
     
  8. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    11,574
    Likes Received:
    11,561
    Location:
    USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    And actually, many have been proven wrong when they say classical RPG are not popular. Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler are considered classical RPG's and they were massive successes.

    @Studio Blue : Well, it seems for RPGMaker games on Steam its only the Hentai games that do well now. In fact, I joke that Steam needs to be renamed Steamy due to the flood of those kind of games coming to Steam.
     
  9. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Ah! Gotcha! XD Yeah.... we see what ya mean.
     
  10. jkweath

    jkweath Goes Fast Veteran

    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    135
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    @bgillisp I'm just talking off the top of my head here, but I feel like the reason why hentai RPGs manage to sell is because they're presented in a way that makes the viewer feel something - and for guys, there's no easier way to spark a feeling than good ol' fashioned anime tiddies.

    I know that's obvious information, but if you think about it, the vast majority of RPGMaker games on the market try to sell themselves on the "return to classic jRPG story and gameplay" tag. It's been discussed to death by now, but this tactic's been run into the ground for years now, and it simply has no appeal, even to people who are actually into that genre.

    And for people who are into that genre, why look for an RPGmaker game with that tagline when you could just pick up Chrono Trigger or Dragon Quest or one of the games you mentioned? Because those games are part of a brand are guaranteed to have quality at least!

    I know they're few and far between, but there are quite a few RPGmaker games that managed to sell, and IMO outside of having a publisher they generally had an appeal and some sort of approach to make the viewer feel something as they looked at the game. In other words, they had "the X factor", or whatever you prefer to call it. It just so happens that the easiest and most sure-fire X factor is... Well, anime tiddies.

    To name an example of another X factor, I saw a very unique RPGm game on steam awhile back called Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass. Just find the game on steam and you can tell from the get-go that this is a game worth buying if you're into whimsical earthbound-ish RPGs.

    Edit: Seriously, look at this game if you (the person reading this thread) get the chance because it's a shining example of an RPGMaker game that, while not on the level of Lisa or One Shot or To The Moon, succeeded without the use of sex appeal, a low price tag or having a publisher.

    As another example, my second game, Knight Bewitched, had a small X factor in the form of romance that undoubtedly helped it break the mold of the average RPGmaker game.

    I know I haven't said anything newsworthy here, but I feel like it's worth stating for every developer here that you should take a careful look at your game and ask yourself what its appeal is. If the only conclusion you can come up with is, "story-focused jRPG", or some variant of that, then you may want to acknowledge that your game will probably not sell well, regardless of the game's quality or the amount of effort put into it.

    Edit: wanted to say that I talk about appeal as someone who struggles with making appealing games himself. When I first released Mari and the Black Tower about two years ago, I honestly believed the game would sell decently because it was a good jRPG with well-written characters and a good story.

    Today, I understand that the only appeal Mari and the Black Tower has to the average Steam user is that it's a cheap game they can buy to add to their collection. I'm not knocking my own quality when I say my game has no appeal, but rather I'm acknowledging that my game does not have an X factor, and if someone looked at my game and asked me, "Why should I buy this?", I wouldn't have an answer.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  11. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Also, there is a huge thing "Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass" does that a lot of RPG Maker games on Steam do not do. This right here:



    Do you see that image? Look at it. LOOK AT IT!!! (ahem) Jimmy is sleeping in his mother's arms, and she is stroking his hair (in the actual game, you can see the mother's sprite stroking the boy's head). In 99% of all RPG Maker games, they'd be standing next to each other under that tree, with maybe Jimmy using the "Damaged" graphic that comes with the RMMV generator to simulate sleeping.

    The difference is immediately noticeable:

    1. In Jimmy's case, the physicality of the sprite creates a human connection between Jimmy and his mother, something the player can empathize with. We know from that simple action that (1) Jimmy's mother loves him and (2) Jimmy feels safe with her.

    2. In the other example, we have two sprites looking at each other. No connection. No empathy. Maybe if the writing is really good, you'll get something, but probably not (the ability of most RPG Maker developers to write compelling exhibition and dialog has been a bone of contention with us, especially Steel, for a while).

    Anyway, the additional work of creating a sprite that generates human connection makes all the difference. Video games are mostly visual storytelling, which relies on showing the player something.

    All the difference in the world.
     
    jkweath likes this.
  12. VisitorsFromDreams

    VisitorsFromDreams Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    337
    Location:
    Lismore: Australia
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I had high expectations for Jimmy in terms of sales, I thought it might be the next big RPGM game after Lisa, especially after the coverage it got from people like Nitrorad. From what the creator has said though, while its sold more copies than 99% of RPGM games out there it didnt really gain the sort of traction I think a lot of its followers expected which is unfortunate. I think the game will end up being a bit of a slow burn cult classic but I guess in the end time will tell. It certainly deserves alot more attention than it has gotten.
     
    jkweath likes this.
  13. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    11,574
    Likes Received:
    11,561
    Location:
    USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    @jkweath : I'll tell you why I'd pick it up instead of those games. Maybe I've played those games 105166 times and want something, anything else that is similar, but not the exact same game.

    I think one thing that is hurting games these days though is the low price points they set as their normal price. I see a game under $5 and immediately think it is a bad or a quick flash game and pass on it most of the time. And I wonder how many others think the same way? After all there is something to be said for valuing your own work some too.

    Personally usually if a game is under $9.99 before sales I don't even bother unless someone recommends it to me, as past experience has taught me that games with a retail value under $9.99 are usually not that great of games.
     
  14. Dezue

    Dezue Love Ninja! Veteran

    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    276
    First Language:
    German
    Primarily Uses:
    Other
    @jkweath I totally agree with your 'X-Factor' sentiment. Standing out (visually and gameplay-wise) helps a lot when it comes to visibility and gives your game a kind of unique, recognisable character.
    Basically, anwer the question 'Why should people play my game?' first and it'll be a lot easier afterwards.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
    jkweath likes this.
  15. jkweath

    jkweath Goes Fast Veteran

    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    135
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    Right! A common thread I've noticed with every RPGM game that's sold poorly is that they have no X factor - there's nothing in the game's presentation or gameplay that excites the viewer or at least makes them feel interested.

    X factor isn't just about making the game's store page prettier for viewers on Steam either. Part of releasing a commercial game usually involves contacting outlets, namely gaming websites, YouTubers and maybe streamers, to promote your game. You need a killer presentation to get any attention from content creators.

    I'd go as far as to say there's no point in lamenting over the indie game apocalypse if the game you're trying to sell isn't marketable to begin with. For developers like the guy who made Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass, sure, I'd argue that the flood of games on Steam has probably cut into his sales, so I could see him/her struggling with that, but for the traditional "RPGM game that has less than 1000 installations" , there's probably something else going on besides too much competition.
     
    Dezue and Parallax Panda like this.

Share This Page