Successful marketing on GameJolt/Itch.io/other sites?

MechScapeZH

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@MechScapeZH Congrats on completing and releasing the game! I'd be happy to look over a pitch and offer any suggestions, if I can.
Thank you so much! Well, it's not perfect, but here it is:

Hi everyone (should I say this?)

I just finished MechScape, the retro sci-fi game I've been working on for the past few years- some of you might have seen it on rpgmakerweb, since that's where I've been posting my devlogs. (should I mention this site in case anyone who's seen it here might recall my game, or does this just seem like I'm advertising this site?)

Here's a bit about it-

MechScape is a RPG designed to embody the unique “cyber” brand of science fiction of the late 1990s-early 2000s in both its art style and its dialogue style. Mechanical beings, a post-apocalyptic setting, and of course, cyberspace- it’s all here!



Experience an intriguing story illustrated in a retro style

At some point in the distant future, a Security Robot is revived due to a freak accident. Urged on by the mysterious being speaking to it through its radio, the robot traverses the alternate dimension contained in electrical systems known as Cyberspace. Along its journey, Security Bot will be forced into conflict with the Viruses that now rule the planet. Fortunately, it possesses the ability to assimilate the Skills of these creatures and delete them. With its mission thus, this lone robot forges on- in search of what, it does not yet know.

The saga of the Security Bot is illustrated in a retro low-poly style that perfectly emulates the early-3D look of video games released in the 64-bit/fifth generation era.






Copy the abilities of the hostile creatures you meet and use their powers against them

To delete the hostile Viruses that it finds itself facing off against, the Security Bot must copy their Skills. This power is the basis of MechScape’s core gameplay feature- the ability to duplicate the abilities of your opponents and use them as your own. To win, you’ll need to gather Skills and use them in a strategic manner- no mashing “Attack” here!



“Early bird price” in effect

For a limited time, you can grab MechScape for only $4.99! When you do, you’ll get all of the DLC that’s currently in development for FREE! This limited-time offer ends when the first DLC pack is released. As a bonus, you'll even get three wallpapers!

(all of the above was-quite obviously- copied & pasted from my store page- I didn't have a better marketing blurb so I just copied this one... My two worries with doing this are 1.) people will notice it's copied & pasted & somehow have a negative reaction to it and 2.) it's rather long and I read an article saying that the patience of the average indie game customer is rather limited.)

Thank you for taking a look at my game! (Is this a good sign-off...? Maybe not?)

My three things that I want to convey to potential customers are

1.) It's retro and designed to look like it was made in the late 90s.
2.) It's an RPG
3.) You can get it & its future DLC for a reduced price right now (everyone loves a sale, right?)

But I'm afraid I'm coming across as too... self-promote-y? I don't want to come off as one of those people who just talks about themselves & is far too fixated on their own success, if that makes sense... I want to present my product in a manner that doesn't make me look like that &- obviously- makes people want to play it. I'm awful at self-promotion- I never want to talk about myself, so this is terribly difficult for me...

Thank you, @rue669.
 

rue669

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Hi @MechScapeZH

I read over the pitch. I would delete:

Hi everyone (should I say this?)

I just finished MechScape, the retro sci-fi game I've been working on for the past few years- some of you might have seen it on rpgmakerweb, since that's where I've been posting my devlogs. (should I mention this site in case anyone who's seen it here might recall my game, or does this just seem like I'm advertising this site?)

Here's a bit about it-


I say, just get into it. People are busy. The shorter the better. Remember, buyers are not only actively looking for reasons to buy your game but also to NOT buy your game (especially in this saturated market).

I would start with:

MechScape is a RPG designed to embody the unique “cyber” brand of science fiction of the late 1990s-early 2000s in both its art style and its dialogue style. Mechanical beings, a post-apocalyptic setting, and of course, cyberspace- it’s all here!

I would try to add a little something more about the gameplay here. Turn-based RPG? Strategy RPG? Action RPG? Classic RPG? Modern turn-based RPG? etc.

I think the other two blurbs on story and gameplay is good but needs to be shortened. To be honest, what made me excited for the game was copying enemy abilities and using them against the enemy. That's cool. I think that's your hook. I'd try to weave that together with the story. YOu kind of do but needs to be more upfront, I'd say.

Also, with the story, I'd try to give the security bot a want/need. He's your main character, presumably it's his story. The blurb reads as if he's being pushed along the story, but heroes should be active and should be actively pursuing a goal. That's what makes heroes likeable. I'd try to make it less mysterious too. The ending of the story blurb didn't hook me. He's on a journey in search of...what? He doesn't know. That's not compelling. It's okay if he doesn't know what he's searching for, but he should have a reason for going after that something. Does that make sense? Maybe it's to solve/uncover a mystery or it's something else, I'm not sure. Something you may want to think about more.

I think the early bird stuff is great. It's an incentive to buy.


Also, don't be afraid to promote your game. First of all, you're not promoting yourself, you're promoting a product that you created that you whole-heartedly believe that people will enjoy. Why wouldn't you want to share that? The only time promotion is really bad or embarrassing is if you post every five minutes BUY MY GAME BUY MY GAME!
 

MechScapeZH

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Hi @MechScapeZH

I read over the pitch. I would delete:

Hi everyone (should I say this?)

I just finished MechScape, the retro sci-fi game I've been working on for the past few years- some of you might have seen it on rpgmakerweb, since that's where I've been posting my devlogs. (should I mention this site in case anyone who's seen it here might recall my game, or does this just seem like I'm advertising this site?)

Here's a bit about it-


I say, just get into it. People are busy. The shorter the better. Remember, buyers are not only actively looking for reasons to buy your game but also to NOT buy your game (especially in this saturated market).

I would start with:

MechScape is a RPG designed to embody the unique “cyber” brand of science fiction of the late 1990s-early 2000s in both its art style and its dialogue style. Mechanical beings, a post-apocalyptic setting, and of course, cyberspace- it’s all here!

I would try to add a little something more about the gameplay here. Turn-based RPG? Strategy RPG? Action RPG? Classic RPG? Modern turn-based RPG? etc.

I think the other two blurbs on story and gameplay is good but needs to be shortened. To be honest, what made me excited for the game was copying enemy abilities and using them against the enemy. That's cool. I think that's your hook. I'd try to weave that together with the story. YOu kind of do but needs to be more upfront, I'd say.

Also, with the story, I'd try to give the security bot a want/need. He's your main character, presumably it's his story. The blurb reads as if he's being pushed along the story, but heroes should be active and should be actively pursuing a goal. That's what makes heroes likeable. I'd try to make it less mysterious too. The ending of the story blurb didn't hook me. He's on a journey in search of...what? He doesn't know. That's not compelling. It's okay if he doesn't know what he's searching for, but he should have a reason for going after that something. Does that make sense? Maybe it's to solve/uncover a mystery or it's something else, I'm not sure. Something you may want to think about more.

I think the early bird stuff is great. It's an incentive to buy.


Also, don't be afraid to promote your game. First of all, you're not promoting yourself, you're promoting a product that you created that you whole-heartedly believe that people will enjoy. Why wouldn't you want to share that? The only time promotion is really bad or embarrassing is if you post every five minutes BUY MY GAME BUY MY GAME!
Thank you so much! I revised my pitch according to your feedback-

MechScape is a turn-based RPG designed to embody the unique “cyber” brand of science fiction of the late 1990s-early 2000s with both its a retro low-poly illustration style that perfectly emulates the early-3D look of video games released in the 64-bit/fifth generation era and dialogue style that harkens back to the sci-fi & superhero comics of the era. Mechanical beings, a post-apocalyptic setting, and of course, cyberspace- it’s all here!



A retro experience with strategic gameplay- copy your enemies’ abilities to prevail

At some point in the distant future, a Security Robot that was being stored in an abandoned laboratory is revived due to a freak accident. Urged on by the mysterious being speaking to it through its radio, the robot traverses the alternate dimension contained in electrical systems known as Cyberspace. Along its journey, Security Bot will be forced into conflict with the Viruses that now rule the planet.
Fortunately, it possesses the ability to assimilate the Skills of these creatures and delete them. This power is the basis of MechScape’s core gameplay feature- the ability to duplicate the abilities of your opponents and use them as your own. To win, you’ll need to gather Skills using your Copy command and use them in a strategic manner- no mashing “Attack” here! With its mission determined, this lone robot forges on in search of a way out of the lab it finds itself trapped in.


“Early bird price” in effect

For a limited time, you can grab MechScape for only $4.99! When you do, you’ll get all of the DLC that’s currently in development for FREE! This limited-time offer ends when the first DLC pack is released. As a bonus, you'll even get three wallpapers!


Thank you for taking a look at my game!

Is that better?

I tried to merge the paragraphs so there's only two in the main pitch, and it definitely looks a lot "cleaner" now- you're definitely right about people looking for a reason not to buy the game rather than one to buy it. I'm glad the copy mechanic comes off as cool- as you ascertained, that's my main gameplay "hook" and something that took me quite a bit of time to implement. :) The Security Bot is being pushed along for the first ~15 minutes and as a semi-mindless robot (at first- that's a big part of the story) is compelled to follow its creator's orders, but it does have personality & agency in the plot- honestly, I phrased it like that because wanted to create a sense of mystery that would make people curious about the plot. The first 15 minutes are more of a "come with me if you want to live" situation, and the characters' goal is revealed after that. I hope that makes sense.

Glad to hear the "early bird price" has its intended effect.

I certainly won't be posting every five minutes- thank you for your advice. I definitely, genuinely, totally do believe that people will enjoy the game- after all, I enjoy it- it's the kind of thing that I like, and if I like it, so will others, right?

Again, thank you so much for your help @rue669. You've been doing this so long- it's an honor to have such a pro help me. :)
 

rue669

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@MechScapeZH Definitely looks a lot cleaner.

Totally understand wanting some mystery. But you have to be careful about hiding too many details, because then it can come off as obscure and you haven't given us a reason to care. What makes us care? A goal the main character is reaching for and also a hint to the need or lesson that he/she will learn through their journey (because by the end of the journey the character should have learned the lesson or failed to learn the lesson--this is commonly understood as your story's theme). You want the player to think, does the main character get what he or she wants? Does the main character learn this lesson? Well, you need to play the game to find out! That's usually how stories should operate.

And I'm no pro by any stretch of the imagination. We're all trying our best here. That's part of being indie.
 

MechScapeZH

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@MechScapeZH Definitely looks a lot cleaner.

Totally understand wanting some mystery. But you have to be careful about hiding too many details, because then it can come off as obscure and you haven't given us a reason to care. What makes us care? A goal the main character is reaching for and also a hint to the need or lesson that he/she will learn through their journey (because by the end of the journey the character should have learned the lesson or failed to learn the lesson--this is commonly understood as your story's theme). You want the player to think, does the main character get what he or she wants? Does the main character learn this lesson? Well, you need to play the game to find out! That's usually how stories should operate.

And I'm no pro by any stretch of the imagination. We're all trying our best here. That's part of being indie.
Thank you- I'm glad to hear it's been corrected successfully.

My game's story definitely does have a theme (independence vs being a follower- I don't know if that's discernible from the pitch- should it be more obvious?).

I've been seeing your posts here for years and I know you've been working with the engine far longer than me, so to me, you are a pro. :)

Thank you so much for your help.
 

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