Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Freeplay 2012 - Finding A Platform


The Freeplay Independent Games Festival 2012 could not have happened without the hard work of all its organisers, sponsors and volunteers, they deserve many thanks. All work and words are copyrighted their respective owners and effort has been made to accurately record every speaker and the content presented. These notes are not from any official channel associated with Freeplay and are for the purposes of providing information.

All notes are available in full via: Dropbox (PDF Download). The PDF will be updated in the next few weeks so check back if you need updates.

Nic Watt, Scott Reismanis, Andrew Goulding, Thuyen Nguyen & Jon Hayward (chair)

What should developers keep in mind when building for a curated platform (like Steam, Apple app store) versus a crowd sorted platform?
- Look at strengths and audience of platform
- Build a game for that platform
                - E.g.  Desura only accepts games that work on PC
- Look for quality
- Have a strong brand
- Try to think like platform owners

Should I be looking at developing for brand new platforms or should I wait and stick with established platforms?
- A platform wants commitment from the developer
                - E.g.  Steam Greenlight and the $100 donation
- It can be difficult and risky to get onto a platform
- Build business slowly or go for the next big thing

What should I be doing to make sure my titles have better exposure on curated platforms?
- Network (and negotiate) with the platforms
- Offer seasonal promotions
                - Offer giveaways (free versions of game) for platform to give to others
- Include support for your game
- Make a good impression
- Facilitate the platform's needs
- Make it as easy as possible for marketing departments to find your game
                - No long emails but include enough content about your game
                - Send or link videos and screenshots (use the best quality as possible)
                - Do things to suit demand
- Avoid getting on more platforms than you can support
                - Creating versions of the game that work for each platform is time consuming
- Ask yourself, how do you want to be perceived as a brand?
- Building contacts with each platform is a long process but it is worthwhile

Bundles seem to be an excellent way of selling more copies of my game. What should I consider when taking part of one?
- A bundle is a great way of drumming sales in a short period of time
- Your game will be heavily discounted from its current price
- It can be a good way of drawing attention to your work
- A bundle is more attractive than purchasing the game outright
- You may get attention from people who would not ordinarily buy your game

- Interact with (potential) audience as much as possible
- Self promote
- Paying for marketing and publishers can give you access to their contacts/market
- A blog is good for promotions (and promoting yourself)
                - Start a blog early as it shows the depth and history of your development
- Build your brand
- Marketing builds an audience

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