Marketing as important part of early development


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    Marketing as important part of early development

    Introduction
    Marketing is a really important part of the game development like it is actually in business as usual. Marketing is also something where you can go really wrong or absolutely nail it. Marketing can be costly, but with some smart strategy you can find the right places where to invest money and still avoid massive costs.

    I am not a marketing person myself and I have worked mostly in purchasing or financial in general. However, I have watched from aside when my colloques from marketing and sales do their job. Sometimes when I have paid those imo overpriced marketing bills, I have almost cried, because those prices can sometimes be quite insane. I have experience from startup companies as well and I am working in one right now, so I understand how for small indie-game studio it can be hard to make marketing right when funds are quite limited. So maybe we could focus on low expense marketing possibilities.

    Good start?
    DynaMight Studios has done many things right already. They have nice website from where you can find good amount of needed information. Foundation program is absolutely great and promotes community members to spread the word. DS has been active in social media too and now the latest thing was opening an Instagram account. So I would say, that the starting point is on solid base.

    Kickstarter was a little bit disappointment and I am sure devs were hoping much better result. Still it gave something to start build on. Some people had high hopes when NDA was lifted and they wished something great would happen. I was sceptical about the impact and unfortunately I was right. The Funding meter on website has barely moved. Removing NDA is of course a good bonus, but it won't sell by its own. There is not enough content creators and not enough content from where to create. Later the situation gets better and I do not have any doubt about that.

    Ideas from community
    Now if our community members have good marketing ideas, maybe we could talk about those and in best case we hopefully give DS some useable ideas. My suggestion relates to media and especially for videos.

    Videos, videos, videos
    Videos are nowadays what sells the games. People loves to watch gaming videos especially from youtube (and why not from Twitch too). And I am not talking about long Q&A or streaming videos. Those are nice add, but not something what captures the interest of totally outsider who first time crosses with Fractured or does not give much for those who already follows your development. People wants to see official trailers, teasers and content updates.

    • Trailer
      Quality of videos does not need to be same as big studios with all fancy cinematic cutscenes. It might be actually better to focus on gameplay and give audience honest feel of the game itself. Videos does not need to be long especially when we are talking about teasers or trailers. These can be just couple of minutes long and introduce the most important headers and key features, show some gameplay footage and maybe short peak for something not revealed before. This kind of trailer is what Fractured needs imho. It may be too early to ask this for A1/P2, but maybe for start for Alpha 2 or at least for Beta 1. This would be really good marketing boost for sure.

    • Teaser
      Throwing small teasers live now and then is a good way to keep players interested. Maybe start of upcoming testing phases you could publish a teaser, which introduces shortly the upcoming content and features. It is enough to have a hook, that captures people attention and get more people to join the next testphase.

    • Content updates
      Content updates are different and can be longer if the introduced content includes a lot of information. It is not a bad idea to make short ones either if the addressed matter is a smaller feature for example. People loves content update videos or at least I do. 😉

    Final words
    There can not be too much videos.. Because people are always waiting for new vids to get more information and something new to discuss with. I know DS has limited resources atm so I do not expect anything radical happen straight away, but I hope you consider add some videos during upcoming test phases, because after or too close for launch, it might be too late already.

    SBI did generally a good job with the official Albion Online videos during development, but they really nailed it with few of those. I remember how much this one video affected positively to so many people and got them really excited of the game. This Everybody Matters video has so many things made right; Music, story, gameplay footage, core features, storyteller, introducing playstyles.. It was fantastic and not made with mega budget.

    Albion Online Youtube Channel

    Here is also few articles what I have been reading lately and which are related to this topic if someone is interested.

    Indie game marketing tips

    Marketing your indie game

    How to make indie game trailer


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    you never want to hype a game 2 years before release. you start that 6 months before when 99% of the game is settled and wont change (baring some major redesigns).

    we were suppose to get more content pills but that stopped for a while. we should be getting Kickstarter backer updates. until DS hires a community manager that can rally the developers to release content, we just have to wait.

    I did love the full Dev show that Crowfall did. they had 1 dev from each aspect of the game display some samples or explain parts they were working on.


  • TF#3 - ENVOY

    @Tuoni
    You always surprise me with your question and thoughts of the game. Keep it going.

    I myself don't work in marketing and sales either. I suffer on the other end when our customers have trouble because it doesn't work as promised or I have to teach them how to do it right.

    Marketing is a double edged sword. Done right it can give you more than you ever expected. Done wrong it can kill you.
    Know your market, know your customer, know your product, know your goal. Those are the basics for every marketing strategy. If you have your strategy you need to have a good timing so all your effort is not for nothing.

    Know your market
    The gaming market is big. The competion is high. Plenty of established games are already there, plenty of new games are in development and plenty of games are already down the road.
    Nearly every game launches already half finsihed state at a market that expect final games and in my opinion it hurt the market extrem.

    Know your product
    We know what Fractured wants to be and as you said we are not even close to it yet. Teh access to Fractured is at the moment behind a big paywall and really limited in time. That is nothing wrong in this state of development. The only thing we can sell is the idea at the moment and that will not bring in the mass.

    Know your customer
    Every game needs player and player want to do what? Play.
    Do we have something to play? No.
    What will they do? Look for something to play and forget about us.
    So why should they pay for something they can't use?

    Know your goal
    Yes we need player, but do we really need them now? What we need now are supporter that will test, give feedback and build up the core of the game the community. We need to create an interest in the game and build up the trust, that the game will be what it is promised.

    Strategy
    I think DS did already a good job. They set up all modern marketing channels along with the website. They get their news published on gaming websites. But I think needs to be a change in this strategy. From posting news just when they have time or something new to a regular shedule. If I didn't found this game just before alpha I wouldn't have bought and test it. I burnt my fingers to often on early access titles to really hype just because of an idea and no further infos and news.

    I would love to see on a fix date every month a news. It could be a spotlight or just a comment on the state of the development. Are they still on shedule regarding A1 T2? What could they implement last month (see content pill)? What do they want to implement next month? At the end a reminder what is needed to play A1 T2 and the promise see you next month. Those news are taken by the gaming websites and are published, those will taken by the players and spread in the world. It only cost time and discipline but build up trust. We see they are on it and there is a progress. We see they can keep deadlines or see the reason why they have to postpone something. And we keep the mass outside informed regulary so they can't forget us.

    I don't see the need for livestreams at the moment, that is something for Beta2 when we can really play 24-7. And yes there could be too much videos. Honestly when watching the ingame videos I thought, that is nothing for me. They walk, walk, walk, kill a bear, walk, walk, walk, kill 2 wolfs, walk, walk, walk, goblin camp. Finally something to see after 15min? Not good. If there is nothing really happening in the first 2min the most stop watching the video or jump forward in the video and perhaps miss the big thing.

    Regarding your idea of a trailer, why should the devs do it? Let the players do it. They know why they play the game and what others will hook up. I witnessed once such a contest and was blown away what they were able to do. And those trailers are honest because they are done with actual game play.

    @Jetah Yeah I would also love to see livestreams with devs. But I also know how much work it is. Since we have already experienced streamers, why don't they host a QA with the devs and take over all the preparations like taking questions and prepare a list, take care of the chat and catch up live questions, so the devs only need to be there and answer. That is a big help.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Sindariya

    because watching the devs do their thing on the official channel is better for the them. Q&A's are easy to watch.

    It was neat watching Crowfall Dev working with the landscape modifications and mentioning how easy it was to change topography! something that couldn't be shown on another stream.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Jetah said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    you never want to hype a game 2 years before release. you start that 6 months before when 99% of the game is settled and wont change (baring some major redesigns).

    Never? Like Albion Online, Ashes of Creation or Crowfall did (just mention few)? But I guess you know better than developers of these studios..


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Tuoni
    They were hyped for Kickstarter. How much hype do you see now from those games?


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Sindariya said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    Marketing is a double edged sword. Done right it can give you more than you ever expected. Done wrong it can kill you.
    Know your market, know your customer, know your product, know your goal. Those are the basics for every marketing strategy. If you have your strategy you need to have a good timing so all your effort is not for nothing.

    I can easily agree with you with these 4 main points, but there is something with the content I disagree and I want to discuss a little bit more.

    Know your product
    The only thing we can sell is the idea at the moment and that will not bring in the mass.
    Know your customer
    Every game needs player and player want to do what? Play.
    Do we have something to play? No.
    What will they do? Look for something to play and forget about us.
    So why should they pay for something they can't use?

    Yes it can bring masses. If people have followed other MMORPGs' kickstarter campaigns and development, there is so much people already backed those games, even there is nothing more than just an idea, concept art and really early footage. Ashes of Creation, Crowfall, Starcitizen and Camelot Unchained are few examples. So we have seen how people will invest money early on even game is coming after several years. Some of the backers will for sure play something else during the development, but they will come back usually in beta state or at least for launch.

    Know your goal
    Yes we need player, but do we really need them now? What we need now are supporter that will test, give feedback and build up the core of the game the community. We need to create an interest in the game and build up the trust, that the game will be what it is promised.

    More backed players at early state of the game means more money for development, so I guess I do not need to say more about that. 😉

    I don't see the need for livestreams at the moment, that is something for Beta2 when we can really play 24-7. And yes there could be too much videos. Honestly when watching the ingame videos I thought, that is nothing for me. They walk, walk, walk, kill a bear, walk, walk, walk, kill 2 wolfs, walk, walk, walk, goblin camp. Finally something to see after 15min? Not good. If there is nothing really happening in the first 2min the most stop watching the video or jump forward in the video and perhaps miss the big thing.

    I agree with that livestream part, there is not enough content to watch stream particularly long. And no no no.. I did not mean much videos from current A1 content. 😅 In future with upcoming test phases you can do a good amount and different kind of videos. Check that Albion Online youtube channel, it looks like somehow what I meant.

    Regarding your idea of a trailer, why should the devs do it? Let the players do it. They know why they play the game and what others will hook up. I witnessed once such a contest and was blown away what they were able to do. And those trailers are honest because they are done with actual game play.

    Because devs knows what they want to include to those trailers and also in most cases the quality is simply better. However, your video contest idea is actually quite good. 🙂

    I have personally found almost every game I follow from youtube and in most cases the most attractive vids are the official ones. Those have usually best quality and most importantly 100% truthful.

    I was really active tester in Albion Online when it was still under development. It was totally playable in Alpha and Beta, and many people still says that one of the test phases was better than the actual game. And I agree with that. Even we were testing Albion, we also played it like any other game already released. Therefore, if Fractured has the same amount of content in Alpha 2 or Beta 1 what Albion had, then there will be supply for really large audience. So it is important to get that marketing part in better situation what we have seen at the moment. I have critisized a lot of Albion and some of the SBI's solutions, but they did a really good job with the youtube video channel and that bringed to them a lot of new followers and players. Their problem was that they could not keep the playerbase and it crushed soon after the release.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Jetah said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    @Tuoni
    They were hyped for Kickstarter. How much hype do you see now from those games?

    Albion Online had actually steady rising hype and I can see much same possibilities with Fractured too. The hype around AoC and Crowfall has fade a bit, but that does not mean players are not striking back in when they finally get the chance. And of course they will go back if they have already invest money for that game.

    And yes, the gaming industry has seen some changes and the hype and marketing needs nowadays to start really early, because of those kickstarter campaigns. I do not understand your logic here, why on earth to stop marketing and hype there? Marketing strategy should goal for steady grow if you want to play it smart.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Tuoni

    hard to keep hype for 2 years. many gamers have ADD in that they last a month - half a year on a game then move on.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Tuoni said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    (...)I do not understand your logic here, why on earth to stop marketing and hype there?(...)

    Because you often get only a single chance to convince a customer. Once that chance has been burnt, the customer is unlikely to check out your product a second time. If you require the funding from Kickstarter, there is no other choice, but if you are financially stable and can afford to wait till later in development, you can increase the retention rate and thus your over all revenue drastically by delaying first exposure till it is convincing.


  • TF#3 - ENVOY

    @Tuoni said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    @Sindariya said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    Marketing is a double edged sword. Done right it can give you more than you ever expected. Done wrong it can kill you.
    Know your market, know your customer, know your product, know your goal. Those are the basics for every marketing strategy. If you have your strategy you need to have a good timing so all your effort is not for nothing.

    I can easily agree with you with these 4 main points, but there is something with the content I disagree and I want to discuss a little bit more.

    Know your product
    The only thing we can sell is the idea at the moment and that will not bring in the mass.
    Know your customer
    Every game needs player and player want to do what? Play.
    Do we have something to play? No.
    What will they do? Look for something to play and forget about us.
    So why should they pay for something they can't use?

    Yes it can bring masses. If people have followed other MMORPGs' kickstarter campaigns and development, there is so much people already backed those games, even there is nothing more than just an idea, concept art and really early footage. Ashes of Creation, Crowfall, Starcitizen and Camelot Unchained are few examples. So we have seen how people will invest money early on even game is coming after several years. Some of the backers will for sure play something else during the development, but they will come back usually in beta state or at least for launch.

    All the games you mentioned were not supported just for the idea, but for the names and their past bringing that idea to life. We don't have big names and don't need them.
    Those that pledge early and than come back after 2 or more years mostly will not stay. Often they are disappoinent that the game is not what they think or changed to far from what promised. They will sell their accounts or just bad mouth the game because of their missing knowledge. I don't want that to happen.

    Know your goal
    Yes we need player, but do we really need them now? What we need now are supporter that will test, give feedback and build up the core of the game the community. We need to create an interest in the game and build up the trust, that the game will be what it is promised.

    More backed players at early state of the game means more money for development, so I guess I do not need to say more about that. 😉

    If they would really need more money, they would set up a cash shop for skins and house/decoration. They would even have asked for more money on kickstarter. I have the impression they are save for the next 2 years. So they need to make money after that. We will get more backers at the next alpha test for sure, when the people can see again what the game is about.

    I don't see the need for livestreams at the moment, that is something for Beta2 when we can really play 24-7. And yes there could be too much videos. Honestly when watching the ingame videos I thought, that is nothing for me. They walk, walk, walk, kill a bear, walk, walk, walk, kill 2 wolfs, walk, walk, walk, goblin camp. Finally something to see after 15min? Not good. If there is nothing really happening in the first 2min the most stop watching the video or jump forward in the video and perhaps miss the big thing.

    I agree with that livestream part, there is not enough content to watch stream particularly long. And no no no.. I did not mean much videos from current A1 content. 😅 In future with upcoming test phases you can do a good amount and different kind of videos. Check that Albion Online youtube channel, it looks like somehow what I meant.

    Totally agree with you here, as soon as we leave alpha our streamer will bring up videos. It should be encouraged by the devs. I'm all in for tutorial videos and deep dives on specific aspects of the game.

    Regarding your idea of a trailer, why should the devs do it? Let the players do it. They know why they play the game and what others will hook up. I witnessed once such a contest and was blown away what they were able to do. And those trailers are honest because they are done with actual game play.

    Because devs knows what they want to include to those trailers and also in most cases the quality is simply better. However, your video contest idea is actually quite good. 🙂

    I think I was not clear enough. Sure the final trailer must come from the devs. But at least for betas a player made trailer is a great and cheap publicity. Prize could be 1 year VIP and NPC-Carpenter for the winner and less for follow ups. And also could the devs see what the player find important.

    I have personally found almost every game I follow from youtube and in most cases the most attractive vids are the official ones. Those have usually best quality and most importantly 100% truthful.

    Funny so different are the experiences. The last trailer that hooked me up was ATLAS and yes it was one big fat lie. The most others I saw mostly didn't showed any real game play. So I don't trust trailers.

    I was really active tester in Albion Online when it was still under development. It was totally playable in Alpha and Beta, and many people still says that one of the test phases was better than the actual game. And I agree with that. Even we were testing Albion, we also played it like any other game already released. Therefore, if Fractured has the same amount of content in Alpha 2 or Beta 1 what Albion had, then there will be supply for really large audience. So it is important to get that marketing part in better situation what we have seen at the moment. I have critisized a lot of Albion and some of the SBI's solutions, but they did a really good job with the youtube video channel and that bringed to them a lot of new followers and players. Their problem was that they could not keep the playerbase and it crushed soon after the release.

    I agree that this can't be the end of marketing, but we shouldn't rush it. So far DS made the impression they not only have a plan but also know what they are doing. I hope we will see at least all races and all core functions like karma, knowledge, combat/magic school and housing at the end of Alpha 2. That would be the perfect start the more aggresive marketing, be it by players or DS.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Logain said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    @Tuoni said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    (...)I do not understand your logic here, why on earth to stop marketing and hype there?(...)

    Because you often get only a single chance to convince a customer. Once that chance has been burnt, the customer is unlikely to check out your product a second time. If you require the funding from Kickstarter, there is no other choice, but if you are financially stable and can afford to wait till later in development, you can increase the retention rate and thus your over all revenue drastically by delaying first exposure till it is convincing.

    So you say its better to collect money from kickstarter and then stop marketing and hype there? That will only signal that nothing is happening anymore and game will start loose people who backed. That is why marketing should goal for steady grow. That will keep current players interested and at the same time you get new backers and followers.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Jetah said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    @Tuoni

    hard to keep hype for 2 years. many gamers have ADD in that they last a month - half a year on a game then move on.

    Firstable hype is NOT samething than marketing. And I would like to see some reference for argument that many gamers have ADD.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Sindariya

    All the games you mentioned were not supported just for the idea, but for the names and their past bringing that idea to life.

    That is why I said idea, concept art and early footage.

    Those that pledge early and than come back after 2 or more years mostly will not stay. Often they are disappoinent that the game is not what they think or changed to far from what promised.

    You are right something like this will happen, but "often" might be too strong word here.

    If they would really need more money, they would set up a cash shop for skins and house/decoration. They would even have asked for more money on kickstarter. I have the impression they are save for the next 2 years. So they need to make money after that.

    I guess they do not have enough resources for making anything extra like cash shop atm. Or maybe there is one under development already.. Well I do not know how much DS had funds before kickstarter, but that current amount of funding does not last long for sure.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Tuoni
    obviously it isn't real ADD but more of getting bored quickly with a game then finding another shiny new game even if it's genre.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    Marketing Your Indie Game On A Zero-Dollar Budget

    "Step 1: Make a kick-ass trailer to get people hooked.
    You will hear this time and time again: the trailer is your best asset to spark people’s interest in your work. It’s the only type of content that can combine beautiful images, fast-paced animation, engaging music and a strong call to action. All in one place. It’s an even stronger tool in that it conveys all the information you want to share with the viewer in 1 to 2 minutes."

    Marketing Your Indie Game On A Zero-Dollar Budget


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    The 9 Do’s and Don’ts of Game Trailers

    "your game’s trailer is one of your most powerful marketing assets. Whether it’s for your website’s visitors, who want to get a sense of how the game feels, or more importantly for the press, who will use it to decide whether they want to cover your game or not.

    Your game trailer shows what the game is, and it has the power to drive emotion and interest before people get a chance to try out your game. It provides you with an arsenal of visual and audio tools to turn viewers into players."

    The 9 Do’s and Don’ts of Game Trailers


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Tuoni said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    (...)That will only signal that nothing is happening anymore and game will start loose people who backed(...)

    Why would they? The people who already backed can play the game themselves during Alpha/Beta. Isn't that better than watching a guy talk about the game in a video?


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Logain said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    @Tuoni said in Marketing as important part of early development:

    (...)That will only signal that nothing is happening anymore and game will start loose people who backed(...)

    Why would they? The people who already backed can play the game themselves during Alpha/Beta. Isn't that better than watching a guy talk about the game in a video?

    You make it sound like there is only two options. Either you watch videos or play the game. How about both? In addition, videos' content does not restrict to just talking videos. Those are just one part. On top of that talking is also a really vague notion and does not actually tell much what kind of video we are talking about.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    14 Indie game marketing tips

    "1. Begin before the beginning
    Don’t wait for the game to be released to start marketing it. The earlier you do — the better. Run your social media, reach out to press & influencers, create a website — just make sure to keep all those channels updated. An empty Instagram account will do you no good.
    "

    "4. Make your game a movie star
    Yes, videos do sell. Yes, it will take time and efforts to create a great video. And yes — you can still do it for free using iMovie or similar tools. If you what to go fancier, you can go for paid solutions and even outsource the whole process. Just make sure your game trailer is short, exciting and tells your game’s story."


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