How should I advertise my game

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

  1. Labyrinthine

    Labyrinthine Artist/ Developer Veteran

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    @Studio Blue
    You just have different tastes than my core audience.
     
  2. VisitorsFromDreams

    VisitorsFromDreams Veteran Veteran

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    I have been away for a while and wow, this thread... I look forward to watching @Studio Blue LP.
     
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  3. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Labyrinthine : While they might have different tastes than your core audience, the problem is the way you set it up, your core audience is tiny. What they are suggesting is ways to expand the audience. So you might either want to consider those or accept the fact that this game is for a really small audience, which might mean you need to expect 1000 sales if you are lucky in that case.

    Though...I will say if you do try to expand it to reach more players make sure the # of players you gain is > the number you lose. It's possible to make a game no one likes by adding too much at once. And if you wish to just keep it niche, then try the other ideas of adding spin-off games and such, or a book, or something you can show people "Hey, here's something else I did. Now check out this previous project."

    In fact, one idea that came to me today at work is many you should try your hand at a game jam or two? See if you can gain some fans that way who decide to check out your game in return. And since most game jams have a short time limit, players there don't expect as much original stuff as (most) understand the time limit makes some of that unrealistic. I know itch.io ha a list of ones in progress, and I think Hawkzombie is running one that ends October 20th.
     
  4. Storyteller-Hero

    Storyteller-Hero Veteran Veteran

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    Another idea that probably won't help as much as making the crystal balls into portals, but won't affect the story, is to offer the Dark One a map that includes recommended levels for the different areas around the beginning palace, and an indicator for where the Dark One needs to go next, as well as a map that shows a recommended first path for the Fountains area when entering it.
     
  5. jkweath

    jkweath Goes Fast Veteran

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    I feel like I'm a little late to the party! I figured this was a topic about how to advertise games, but it looks like it's mostly about TC's specific game. Either way I suppose I'll try to add a few suggestions for advertising and see if anyone has anything else to add.

    Guess I should add that everything here applies mostly to Steam as that's what I use almost exclusively. Will also add that I used all of these suggestions for my 2nd game Knight Bewitched, which, I believe, sold a little better than the "average" RPG maker game:

    Curator connect: Just talked about this one in a different thread recently, but for Steam developers you can use Curator Connect to easily send keys to Steam curators who may (or may not) play your game and leave a curator review/YouTube video/etc. You can send keys to up to 100 curators, so basically you'll browse curators that play RPG games or other niches that your game falls into (such as SciFi, romance, etc). You can also do this before your game is even released, which is useful for building up hype/wishlists/etc.

    I'm not 100% sure how much Curator Connect benefited my sales, but I know that, out of the 74 curators I sent keys to, 8 of them made reviews - and I'd call that a success considering the process of selecting curators and writing a message took maybe 20 minutes.

    Keymailer.co: This is a similar thing to Steam's Curator Connect, but with significantly more users and the ability to send a key to anyone who requests one that has a YouTube channel, Twitter, etc. You register an account, people request keys and you can choose to send them one. Keymailer has plenty of paid services you can utilize if you have the money, such as sponsored listings and the ability to find people and send keys yourself instead of waiting for people to request keys.

    My experience with Keymailer has overall been very positive - according to its stats, 41 YouTube videos have been made for Knight Bewitched. Granted I'm willing to bet many of those videos have less than 100 views, but I'd wager 41 YouTube videos is better than... Well, zero. For my third game, which is releasing next month, I definitely plan on using some of Keymailer's paid services.

    Woovit: Very similar to Keymailer, though it seems to have a somewhat smaller audience. The difference here is that you set criteria for gamers who want a key for your game (for example, minimum 500 YouTube subscribers, 1000 Twitter followers, etc.) If they meet that criteria, they can request a key and get one automatically without you having to approve it.

    I had some moderate success with Woovit - not a whole lot else to say about it, but I got a lot more exposure from Keymailer. Still, it's free (and has a service you can pay for) so why not?

    Videogamejournaliser: This isn't a service, but rather a website that has a large list of websites that review games. If you have the time and patience (which you should), you can go through these lists and find websites that might review your game and send them an email. Problem with this website is I don't believe it's been updated in awhile, so many of the websites it lists have shut down - hoping it gets updated soon!

    There's undoubtedly more things you can do and more ways you can connect with gamers, but these are a few of the big services I've used. Of course, nothing I listed here will help if you don't have a game that's eye-catching or fun to play.

    It also really helps to try hitting a niche audience aside from your game's RPG genre as, what seems to be the opinion of many other people around here, the "generic jRPG" market is beyond over-saturated so it's difficult to gain any exposure if *something* in your game doesn't stand out - which is a major issue that many RPGmaker games have right now.

    (Or you can just make an H-game with tons of poorly drawn nude girl - seems like it works pretty well!)
     
  6. VisitorsFromDreams

    VisitorsFromDreams Veteran Veteran

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    The only strategy thats guaranteed to work.
     
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  7. Labyrinthine

    Labyrinthine Artist/ Developer Veteran

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    I'm kind of done with the thread. Nothing more to add.
     
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  8. jkweath

    jkweath Goes Fast Veteran

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    No kidding! I'd be lying if I said I haven't considered making a game like those, buuuut... That's just not my sort of thing.

    That's a shame because I was literally about to add another thing I forgot in my original post that helped my sales out a bit.
     
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  9. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Why don't you add it anyways? It's not like they own the thread and the rest of us might be interested
     
  10. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Best of luck!
     
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  11. VisitorsFromDreams

    VisitorsFromDreams Veteran Veteran

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    RIP "How Should I Advertise My Game" thread. We had some good times together. May others stumble on this thread in the future and find it helpful for its useful information and hilarious for some of the utter madness found within.
     
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  12. Kyuukon

    Kyuukon 主人公 Veteran

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  13. jkweath

    jkweath Goes Fast Veteran

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    Good point!

    I was just going to mention Steam's Update Visibility Rounds. For Steam developers, if you make a content update to your game, you can start one of these Visibility Rounds and your game will be temporarily promoted and featured on a "recently updated" list.

    I began one of these rounds a couple weeks ago with Knight Bewitched. I'll be honest, it didn't make as big of a difference in sales as I expected it to, but it was significant enough that it was worth putting in the time and effort to be able to start the update round (I added a new optional dungeon with plenty of new stuff, alongside a minor cutscene that would connect the game to its sequel releasing in a few weeks).

    So for anyone with a game on Steam already, it can be worth the effort to make an update, perhaps in the form of a new dungeon, some new cutscenes, a new chapter, etc.
     
  14. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Good information to have! :) We'll definitely be looking at that for ourselves.
     
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  15. jkweath

    jkweath Goes Fast Veteran

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    Funny because that can be good advice - eye candy in the form of busty half-naked ladies on the cover art helps a ton for getting clicks. I know both from research and personal experience!
     
  16. Dreadshadow

    Dreadshadow Lv 38 Tech Magician Moderator

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    Well, here is my opinion on some things.

    You got a "core" audience on Steam that is consisted by more than 1000 people.
    30% of them review it in a negative manner (Labyronia) the rest is positive.
    Is that good for you?
    Well maybe. But at this point I see (again) Labyronia being on a discount 80% off.
    Buying a whole bundle (3 Items) for the price of 0,4 Euro, would be tempting. After all, it's less that half a Euro and I get 3 games, I don't care.
    Thus I would have no expectations from a game that cost me less than 14 Euro-cents.
    So people might been a little bold with their reviewing, keep that in mind.

    Labyronia RPG2 has half the Labyronia reviews.

    Labyronia Elements has 7 positive and 2 negative comments.

    Why doesn't this game sell?
    Your core audience didn't follow.
    The question is why?
    Well, check this out:
    I see some pictures and a video. What I understand as a consumer is that graphics are average to poor, it's a jrpg after all, but still maps are poorly designed. I am not better developer than you, but hey, let's be honest here, it's what I can see in the market page of Steam.

    In the video, music seems interesting but it has no consistency. Get rid of the first piece, the second while you present the game, builds a good mood. The third part with the dark character is not giving any climax or escalation to the whole presentation. If you wanna keep the same music and message, then better show the main character walking. It would be better, than a dark character that we know nothing about and we don't care yet. We search for the light, you show a dark magician or something. I am not convinced at all to give away 9,88 or 6,59, or 6,17 Euro, for that. I don't know if I am actually convinced to spend the time playing it.
    I am not bashing you. I just watched the video and saw the pictures. I give you an 100% honest piece of feedback that can help you out understand how to market this better. Knowing what is wrong with something, helps you improve it.
    You should also try and actually listen to what @Studio Blue told you on their LP review. Feedback always shows us what we did wrong. We can make things better by learning from others.

    Since I was watching you around all the threads, I get it, you got an ego, and I understand that Labyronia games are your creations. You LOVE them. You refuse to see anything wrong with them. But eventually, something must be wrong. There is a reason Labyronia Elements does not sell well since December of 2017. And it isn't only marketing.

    It is the price!!!
    Paying 40 cents for 3 games, is no big deal really.
    Paying 15 times that price for just one game, of the same series (discount on 6,59) or 25 times that price on full price, sounds weird.
    Well? Is it 25 times better than the others on the series?
    No.
    That's why.

    I don't really care if you think I am right or wrong. It's not MY game. It's not me, trying to earn money and I am not obliged to struggle to help you, banging my head against your ego wall. Either you start listening and capitalize on the priceless suggestions people tell you, or you lose the opportunities they give you to become better and better.

    My first game was for free. People here told me a lot of things that I didn't liked. And I LOVED THEM for telling me those things. I became better and better through time.

    It's up to you from now on. I wish you the best, good luck and may you sell a lot of copies in the future.
     
  17. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Thank you. THANK YOU!

    We’ve been banging our heads trying to help this developer for days and feel like we’ve been spinning our wheels. What you just said resonates with us 100%.

    So thank you. We really appreciate you taking a moment to succinctly voice what we’ve been feeling for almost a week.
     
  18. VisitorsFromDreams

    VisitorsFromDreams Veteran Veteran

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    I know im not the most active member in this community, but these forums do seem to attract a lot of people who ask for advice or feedback only to defend themselves from almost all criticism. Its a shame too, ego has no place in game design and while all of these developers all have the potential to make something great they never will unless they lower their guard and learn from their mistakes instead of defending them.
     
  19. Nekonron

    Nekonron Veteran Veteran

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    AFAIK, the visibility is only shown to those who have your game on wishlist.

    You can actually use it without doing any updates, but yeah it’s meant to be used to show potential buyers (those who wishlisted) that you’ve added more new content that might get them to buy.
     
  20. Ksi

    Ksi ~RTP Princess~ Moderator

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    Quite frankly, people have given you a lot of feedback. Now it's up to you whether you take it or not. Step back from your game and look at it objectively - not as your precious baby, not as your money making scheme, but as a game in comparison to other games in the same area. Compare. See what they've done that you haven't and no, it isn't 'better graphics'.

    We shouldn't have to tell you the same stuff over and again just because you don't want to hear what people are telling you, hoping that the critiques given will get through if worded a bit differently. Either learn from what you've been told or move on. That's all there is to it. It's pretty obvious to most in this thread that you don't want to hear what you're hearing, that you're defending your bad game dev/marketing decisions. It's your prerogative to ignore what we say and move on but you don't get to tell all of us that we're wrong just because you don't want to hear that it's your reluctance to change anything since you see the game as a golden shiny star that the game isn't selling as much as you want it to.
     

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