Watched this talk recently and thought it might be good to share here: Game Discoverability Day: Building a Community for Your Game from Scratch - YouTube
It’s about community building for a game, specifically through Discord, and goes into specific steps to execute from start to finish. Mike Rose, the speaker, founded a publisher that’s well known for creative Discord community building and management which he leads himself. He likes to build meta-games using Discord bots so that people are playing a game within Discord leading up to the launch of the actual game, and they’re both based on the same lore and setting. This means that people get invested in the game to the point where they’re hardcore fans before the game is even out. The Discord meta-game is designed like a prologue, so once people have participated in it, they’re so invested that they can’t help but want to buy the game.
(Usually GDC talks have uploaded slides separately too but in this case I couldn’t find them )
In other marketing and startup news, I’ve been running a Twitter account for the company (https://twitter.com/FraglessDesigns) as an experiment and it’s been OK - we’ve hit 300 followers in about two weeks and I haven’t been super active on it. The next thing I’m working on is our Steam page launch as I learnt that’s very important to the game’s success overall – multiple industry people say that there’s some invisible threshold of around 10,000-12,0000+ steam wishlists where if your game hits that number, when it’s close to release Steam will feature it on the popular upcoming section of their front page. This leads to a ton of extra traffic and 300-1200+ wishlists per day for free for each feature day. I also noticed a game on Steam right now that released August 27th and is still featured on Popular Upcoming, leading to even more visibility for it while people can actually play the game, which is great for that game. Wishlists also quite reliably convert into sales at some variable ratio between 33 and 50% overall, with like 20% of wishlists converting into sales during the first week of a game’s launch. Also learnt that Steam Capsule Art (the big banner art that’s the first thing you see when you search a game up on Steam, next to its name) is super important and it’s worth hiring a professional artist to do it for $500-1000. Steep for us but seems worth it so we’re going to scrape together the funds and put together an art brief for potential artists. It looks like many developers view Steam wishlists as their KPI of choice when doing any marketing before the launch of their game. So they have an idea of their base Wishlists/day, and then when they make a reddit post or go to an event like Gamescom, they check to see how much their wishlists increase due to that exposure/traffic. It’s nice to know about that KPI because now we can start testing stuff and seeing how the results translate (once we have our Steam page of course)
Also reading the book Ask Iwata atm and finding it nice so far. Iwata was the CEO of Nintendo and also a skilled programmer it seems. He became President of HAL Laboratories where he was a developer to try to save it from 2.5 billion yen of debt and first thing he did was speak with every employee, a practice he since continued wherever he went, having those 1 on 1s at least twice a year.
Since this post kinda moved away from Marketing and into more general startup update stuff, I might make a thread in the future to post updates on my work at the startup and how things are going there.
Edit: Also forgot to say, Steam wishlists are like a pseudo-mailing list in that people who’ve wishlisted your game get sent updates when the game launches, goes on discount, or has major updates. Unfortunately you don’t have a ton of control over how the emails get sent or what they look like, so it’s still great to build your own mailing list for sure.