It has been a very long time since I have done a blog post, for various reasons, however it is 11pm on a weds and I am waiting for the train. Now is a better time than ever.
So why the sudden post. Well a couple of my fav devs wrote an interesting article about a reverse indiepocalypse. For those of you that don’t know, it is a theory that making indie games is impossible and they won’t exist soon for various reasons. What I just said is a massive over simplification amd if you want to dig deeper, gooogle is your friend.
In reality right now, there are too many indie games.
The app stores, itch, steam, psn are all filled to the brim of games. Yes I go to PSN on console and it tries to sell me some unknown game I have no idea about.
And why the hell should I buy them? There are so many titles and I have a finite amount of time and money.
For example, let us say you are a developer at a relatively well known company and you make a cool puzzle game. You even document really well how you made it and release it to the world. You release it on store x y and z. You make a grand total of 30 quid and you wonder why.
In blunt terms. The majority of consumers do not really give a damn about you. And in reality why should they. This is nothing new. Your mechanics may be awesome. Your presentation spectacular. That does not sell a game alone. And it is upsetting how many people think “it will all be ok” in this way.
How do you solve it?
Realise that noone cares. Seriously. Once you do that you will actively want to make people care. Your gane will not sell on merit alone in 2017 when everyone and their mum can make a game.
How do you do that? Well ask yourself, who is the audience. You are not going to get everyone to play the game. If it is an adventure game, why not send a free copy to those that stream adventure games.
My example here is a small win, but a win none the less. I released Storm Ship Shiro on mobile. I made very little but it was a night out worth of cash. And I had a good one. Regardless, I was already following a PS Vita specific streamer. I asked him if he would stream my game. I was 2nd in the PSMobile store for a long time after that stream.
Now, I can prempt your argument. Yes that store was dead and Shiro was fun. Fundamentally though, if I hadn’t made the effort I would have been bottom of that store.
I am not saying it is that easy. Of course it is not. What I am saying is you have to know that noone is gonna care and you have to make them.
A hard recap of you making the game is not gonna do that either unless you are already well known. Making and finishing games is hard. Funnly enough it is pretty similar for everyone in some shape or form. As a consumer, I kind of do not really care you lived off beans on toast for months because you did not have time to feed yourself properly because you were making your game.
Harsh but true.
In 2017 in a massively overcrowded market, you cannot just upload your game to itch, google play, the app store or whatever and expect consumers to care. There are a lot of games released everyday. Use marketing and other creative ways you can think of to make your game stand out. Or even better, when you are at the inception of the game, ask who your audience is and think at the start how you are going to make those people. Earlier the better. Analyse those markets.
I hope this helps someone. I know it may not be presented in the best of ways but I hope the underlying point gets across. Your game may br awesome (amd if it is let me gace a play :p), but in the crowded markets of today, competition is tough. I want to see cool, new, unique games and I do not want them to die on something as simple as this 🙂