This Little Piggy was Learning to Market

Marketing. The most important part of a successful game release. Without marketing your game, you're left to people finding it by chance. The internet is loaded with cool stuff. The odds of them stumbling across your game and then actually playing it are microscopic. It is my current goal to learn the basics of marketing and create a marketing campaign that hits the right targets and gets a good feedback to time spent ratio.

Pipe Dreams and Outliers. There are people out there that seemed to have risen to glory with very little effort in a very short amount of time. Of course their story is going to inspire people and make them want what that person has had. It seems like an easy win. Those people are as rare as the customers who happen across your game. Yes, it happens, but not reliably, otherwise, everybody would do it. Success requires tons of preparation and putting yourself into the right places and scenarios.

Marketing is Equally as Important as Good Game Content. Of course, having a good game will increase your chances of finding people that want to play it, but a worse game with better marketing has far greater chances of higher amounts of success. Judging how good or bad a game is can be tough sometimes. If a game is niche and not as accessible to the average gamer it's not necessarily bad but requires a specific audience. With games that blur genre lines, such as I feel my own game, Dess M-8, does, it's hard to know where to find that market. I'm confident, though, that if promoted correctly, more people could be playing my game.

The Sweet Spot. How much is too much marketing? When am I no longer trying to show somebody my product and am suddenly pushing something that they don't want into their face, wasting both my and their time. Do I have enough promotional material? Not enough? Should I make more screenshots or videos or gifs? It can be frustrating trying to market without a solid knowledge on how to do so, especially with little to no results in your attempts.

Conclusion. Marketing is best left to professionals if possible. It is something that requires lots of time and knowledge. As a game developer, I want to be making games. I also want people to be playing those games. It puts me in a tight spot. I either spend the little bit of money I have on promoting the game professionally, or spend the little bit of time I have learning more marketing and working on games less. 

This week, I have been playing other Ludum Dare entries and trying to learn what I can about marketing. I've been talking to people who have tried their own releases, be they successful or flops. I've been reading article after article looking for similarities and sweet little gems of info. Eventually, I think I will figure out what the key to good marketing is. I have some marketing ideas that seem interesting and unusual and may be decent. Maybe not. Who knows. The only thing left to do is try them out.

Time is short. Have to get to my day job.

Until next time.


Time Spent Learning Marketing This Week: 5-8 hours?